The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are collapsing. Since the All-Star Break, the Angels have gone 14-20. They've gone from three games up in the wild card standings to 2.5 back. In the AL West, the Angels have lost three games in the standings, falling to seven back behind a Rangers team that has been a .500 team since the break. Last night was the nadir of the Angels problems, getting shelled 12-3 at home by the Rays with ace Jered Weaver on the hill. Weaver allowed nine runs while getting just nine outs, and he was summarily outdueled by James Shields, who the Angels declined to acquire at the trade deadline despite getting involved in conversations with the Rays. The lone bright spot all season for the Angels has been Mike Trout, who continues to be the front runner for both Rookie of the Year and MVP in the American League. But man, it's been a rough go of things for the last month in Orange County.
Game of the Night: Braves 4, Dodgers 3 (11 innings). Tommy Hanson's return from the DL for the Braves wasn't a rousing success, with the redheaded righty allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings, but showing decreased velocity that was an issue for the Braves when he was initially put on the DL two weeks ago. The Braves trailed 3-1 heading into the eighth, but managed to piece together a rally to tie the game against Dodgers starter Chris Capuano and Ronald Belisario, who relieved him. Neither team could break the tie in the ninth, and the game went to extras. Eventually in the 11th, deadline acquisition Brandon League allowed both David Ross and Paul Janish to reach before Jamey Wright relieved him and allowed a walkoff single to Juan Francisco, giving the Braves a nice comeback win and letting them keep pace with the Nationals in the NL East.
Pitching Lines of the Night: In a 10-1 blowout win for the Giants over the Padres, Matt Cain allowed just one run over eight innings on four hits, striking out six without a walk. James McDonald got back to his old form in a 2-1 Pirates win in St Louis, allowing just two hits over six shutout frames, walking three and striking out seven. JA Happ of the Blue Jays was impressive against the Rangers, allowing one run on two hits over six innings, striking out eight while walking one in a 3-2 Toronto win. Yovani Gallardo dominated the Phillies in a 6-2 Brewers win, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, walking just two and striking out nine.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Prince Fielder led the Tigers to a 5-3 win over the Orioles, going 2/3 with four RBI, a walk, and two homers. BJ Upton had a great game in Tampa Bay's blowout win in Anaheim, going 4/5 with a double, a homer, and three RBI. The Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-4, and Nick Swisher went 2/3 with two solo homers and a walk. The A's beat the Indians 6-4, and Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson went 4/4 with a run, two RBI, and a double.
Other Games: The Nationals stayed hot, beating the Mets 6-4 thanks to a Michael Morse grand slam. The Reds beat up former starter Travis Wood in a 7-3 win over the Cubs. The Royals beat the White Sox and their ace Chris Sale 4-2. Wade Miley solid for the Diamondbacks in a 3-1 win against the Astros. The Mariners beat the Twins 5-3 as Hisashi Iwakuma continues to impress for Seattle. The Marlins beat the Rockies 6-5 in Denver, thanks to this monstrous Giancarlo Stanton homer.
Today's Games: Roy Oswalt makes a spot start for the Rangers in Toronto because Ryan Dempster couldn't find his passport. Seriously. Aaron Harang and Ben Sheets will duel in Atlanta. Is this 2007 and no one told me? Jon Lester starts for the Red Sox in the Bronx. Jeff Samardizja takes on Johnny Cueto in Cincinnati during game one of a doubleheader between the Reds and Cubs. The scuffling Erik Bedard leads the Pirates against Lance Lynn and the Cardinals. Jake Peavy will start for the White Sox in Kansas City against Bruce Chen. Alex Cobb starts for the Rays in Anaheim against CJ Wilson, who will try to stop the Angels' bleeding. Jon Niese and the Mets take on Edwin Jackson and the Nationals. Cole Hamels and Mike Fiers will duel in Milwaukee.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.