For the first time since May 1st, the Detroit Tigers are in first place in the AL Central. The Tigers have won four in a row, and are an astounding 13-4 in July, compared to the White Sox, who have lost four in a row and are 8-8 this month. They've gained 4.5 games in the standings this month, and after last night's 7-1 win against Chicago, they finally managed to overtake the White Sox freight train. Look out AL Central…the Tigers have awakened.
Game of the Day: Giants 6, Phillies 5 (ten innings). When you have Cole Hamels taking on Matt Cain, you expect a low-scoring, well-played game. Of course, each starter allowed five earned runs and three homers, including one each to the opposing pitcher. The game went back and forth, with the Phillies taking a 5-4 lead in the sixth on a three-run homer by Ryan Howard. San Francisco tied the game at five in the eighth on a solo homer by Melky Cabrera, which led to Hamels getting pulled later in the inning, in possibly his final start at Citizens Bank Park. The game would go to extras, and in Jonathan Papelbon's second inning of work, Cabrera scored on a bunt single by Gregor Blanco to give the Giants a 6-5 led, and after a perfect tenth from Santiago Casilla, another win in Philly.
Pitching Lines of the Night: In a 12-0 Cardinals blowout of the Cubs, Jake Westbrook threw seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits, two walks, and struck out five Cubs batters. The Diamondbacks destroyed the Astros 12-3, and Wade Miley allowed just one run on four hits over seven innings, walking two while striking out nine. Former Diamondback Jarrod Parker turned in another gem in Oakland's 2-1 win over the Yankees, allowing just one run on five hits in eight innings while walking one and striking out five. And in that Tigers win over the White Sox, Rick Porcello allowed one run over eight innings, on five hits, striking out four without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Jason Kubel gave Miley all the offense he needed, going 3/5 with three homers and six RBI. I admit I was completely wrong about that signing, because he's thriving with his new team. Buster Posey helped the Giants earn a big win in Philly, going 4/5 with three RBI, a double, and a homer. Former Giant Juan Uribe helped the Dodgers win in New York against the Mets 8-6 by going 2/3 with three runs, four RBI, two walks, a double, and a homer. Mike Napoli of the Rangers punished his former team, the Angels, in a 9-2 Rangers win, going 2/4 with a walk and a pair of homers.
Other Games: The Braves and Nationals split a doubleheader, with Atlanta winning game one 4-0, and Washington winning game two 5-2. The Orioles beat the Indians 3-1. The Blue Jays scored seven unanswered runs in a 7-3 win over the Red Sox. The Pirates continued to roll, beating the Malinrs 5-1. The Royals beat the Twins 7-3. The Mariners edged the Rays 2-1. The Reds beat the Brewers 6-2. The Rockies beat the Padres 8-6 in 12 innings.
Today's Games: Michael Fiers will take on Johnny Cueto in Cincinnati. Matt Moore starts for the Rays against the Mariners. Jeremy Guthrie makes his Royals debut against the Twins. Anibal Sanchez of the Marlins takes on Jeff Karstens in Pittsburgh. CC Sabathia takes on former teammate Bartolo Colon in Oakland. Dan Haren returns from the DL, as his Angels host Matt Harrison and the Rangers.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.