It was a great night to be a struggling veteran hitter but a terrible day to be Brandon Lyon.
Reds 3, Astros 2: There is blown saves and then there are Brandon Lyon’s blown saves. With a 2-0 lead entering the ninth, hear is what Lyon did in order to “close” the game: walk, wild pitch, single, single, single, double, game over. It was Lyon’s fourth blown save of the season and possibly his last save opportunity for a long time if manager Brad Miills has any sense at all. The real shame of it is that Aneury Rodriguez and four other Astro relievers had combined to throw a one-hitter through eight innings only to have Lyon take a dump all over their hard work.
Cubs 5, Dodgers 1: Andre Ethier picked a good night to sit out because of a sore elbow because the Dodgers ran into the buzz saw that is the Big Z tonight. Zambrano avenged his only loss of the season to the Dodgers two weeks ago by limiting LA to just one run on five hits over eight innings. On the other side of the ball, Chicago scored all five of their runs by way of three homers against former Cub Ted Lilly.
Twins 3, White Sox 2: The good news for the White Sox is that they actually got a hit tonight. The bad news is that they only got six hits (and Alex Rios had half of them) and just two runs the night after falling victim to Francisco Liriano’s no-hit effort. For Minnesota, Nick Blackburn bounced back strong after getting shelled in his last start and picked up his first win in over a month.
Braves 8, Brewers 3 (Game 1): Martin Prado led the way for the Braves as he scored twice and drove in three runs in the first half of the doubleheader. The win put the Braves over .500, at least temporarily.
Braves 8, Brewers 0 (Game 2): Just kidding, the Braves won again and got to stay over .500. While most eyes were likely on this game because Zack Greinke was making his Brewer debut, it was Tim Hudson who stole the show by spinning a complete game, one-hit shutout. Greinke, meanwhile, got rocked five runs and was pulled after the fourth inning. Nate McLouth also finished off his day of double duty nicely by going 2-for-2 with 2 runs, 2 RBI, 2 walks and a homer after going 3-for-3 with 2 runs socred in the first game.
Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: You know the umpiring in a game wasn’t very good when both managers and one player all get ejected in a game in three separate incidents. The most puzzling play was the one that got Joe Maddon ejected. Basically, Country Joe West called Sam Fuld safe but reversed his own decision after consulting with another umpire who said a tag was made but that he though the tag was made after the runner was on the bag. Apparently West only listened to half of that statement and called Fuld out, leading to Maddon’s ejection. Anyway, the Jays one and all parties left thoroughly unsatisfied.
Pirates 7, Padres 4: Ryan Doumit hadn’t drive in a run since April 16th or homered since April 9th, but he fixed both of those problems in a big way with a grand slam that highlighted a six-run third inning for the Pirates. Doumit wasn’t the only slumping slugger to break out as Brad Hawpe hit a meaningless homer, his first of the season, in the ninth inning, raising his OPS to .507 in the process. You’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Tigers 4, Yankees 0: Max Scherzer’s fantastic start to the season got even better tonight with him picking up fifth win of the year while blanking the Yankees over eight innings. As if this comfortable victory wasn’t enough for Detroit, they finally got proof that Magglio Ordonez actually has a pulse as Mags smacked his first homer of the year on a night when he got dropped down to sixth in the order.
Phillies 7, Nationals 4: It just isn’t fair. The rich got richer tonight as the Phillies already fantastic rotation got a shot in the arm from rookie Vance Worley who allowed just one run over six innings in his second start of the season. This comes on the heels of six shutout innings in his debut, so this may be more than a fluke.
Orioles 3, Royals 2: The Royals got dominated by Jake Arrieta and screwed by their own stadium ground rules as they came up just short. Arrieta allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings of work, but the day was truly saved for the Orioles when a Mike Aviles base hit wedged itself under the outfield wall. Instead of an inside-the-park homer to tie the game, it was ruled a ground-rule double and caused the Royals to only plate one run instead of two.
Giants 2, Mets 0: After a game like this, Jose Reyes is probably praying that the rumors of the Giants wanting to trade for him prove true in the very near future. The Mets were shutdown by Tim Linceum who fanned 12 batters over seven shutout innings and then the Giant bullpen tacked on four more Ks to bring the total to 16. Yikes.
Athletics 3, Indians 1: What is with all the struggling veterans getting loose tonight? David DeJesus probably takes home the biggest prize of all as he busted out with a two-homer game. Those two solo shots were all Trevor Cahill needed as he held the Indian lineup to just one run.
Marlins 8, Cardinals 7: Don’t look now, but Mike Stanton is on fire. After a mildly disappointing April, Stanton has flipped the switch in May having hit three homers in his last four games, including this one. His blast tonight proved to be the game-winner. Chris Carpenter didn’t do much to help his own cause, making two errors in the field, one of which resulted directly in a Marlin run.
Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Chris Iannetta may not hit the ball often, but when he does, he makes it count. Batting just .188 on the season after tonight and with just twelve hits two his name, Iannetta now also has four homers to his credit. Talk about making ’em count. Iannetta also guided Jhoulys Chacin to a very nice performance as the Rockies survived an Arizona comeback attempt to break their two-game skid.
Rangers 5, Mariners 2: The Ranger bullpen cost Texas their last two games, but CJ Wilson made sure that wasn’t going to happen again. Wilson delivered his first complete game of the season and struck out a career-high 12 batters. Opposing Wilson was rookie sensation Michael Pineda who turned in a solid performance even though the four runs he allowed was the most he has permitted all season long. Not too shabby for a rookie.
Angels @ Red Sox: Thanks to a mid-game rain delay and four extra innings of play, this contest took nearly eight hours to complete, ending at about 2:45 AM EST. In the end, the Angels overcame a blown save by Jordan Walden to finally get their first win of the season against Boston. Seventh time is the charm, right? The Sox nearly won the game but Marco Scutaro was just barely thrown out at home in the bottom of the 12th. The very next inning, Bobby Abreu broke the deadlock with a two-run single and finally let everyone get to bed.
Pitchers of the Night:
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Tim Hudson, Braves: 9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Max Scherzer, Tigers: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K
CJ Wilson, Rangers: 9 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 12 K
Tim Lincecum, Giants: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 12 K
Hitters of the Night:
Martin Prado, Braves: 3/5, 2 R, 3 RBI
David DeJesus, Athletics: 2/3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR
Adam Lind, Blue Jays: 4/4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR
Ryan Doumit, Pirates: 2/3, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR, 1 BB
Raul Ibanez, Phillies: 3/4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR
Links of the Day:
Phil Hughes is still at least six weeks away from returning from his mystery shoulder ailment
Ozzie Guillen admits the White Sox “suck”
What MLB must do in order to salvage the mess Frank McCourt made of the Dodgers
What To Watch For:
Angels vs. Red Sox (1:35 p.m. EST): This one is only interesting because sleep deprivation since these two teams have an early start despite playing until the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday.
Marlins vs. Cardinals (1:45 p.m. EST): Josh Johnson seeks to keep his ERA under 1.00.
Blue Jays vs. Rays (1:10 p.m. EST): Two hotshot young lefties do battle in the forms of Kyle Drabek and David Price.
Enjoy your day of baseball.