All the talk around Atlanta's pitching staff has been around Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel, but last night showed that Mike Minor is just as crucial a part of the Braves staff. Minor threw seven one hit innings last night against the Rockies in the Braves 1-0 win, and he's sheared his ERA down by two runs since the beginning of June. Since the All-Star Break, Minor's ERA is just 2.56, second on the team's rotation behind Medlen and nearly a run better than any other starter. As the Braves continue their march towards a playoff berth, Minor is definitely one of their three best starters right now.
Game of the Night: Mariners 2, Red Sox 1. There weren't a lot of exciting games yesterday, so why not talk about the Red Sox freight train continuing to break down? Aaron Cook allowed just two runs over six innings, but that wasn't enough. Kevin Millwood, a former Sox starter, allowed just one run over six. Seattle got their runs on a two-run single by Dustin Ackley in the fourth, and Boston answered in the sixth after a Cody Ross double. And that would be all the scoring for the game, with Tom Wilhemsen shutting the BoSox down in the ninth. The Mariners actually have a better record that the Red Sox…by four games. Imagine that.
Pitching Lines of the Night: I touched on Minor's line, but he added four walks and seven strikeouts to his seven one hit innings. Gio Gonzalez was great for the Nationals against the Cubs, not that they needed it in a 9-1 win. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed three hits, striking out nine without a walk. Doug Fister was good for the Tigers in a much-needed 7-1 win over the Indians, allowing one run on four hits over seven, walking one and striking out six.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In the White Sox 6-2 win over the Twins, Alex Rios was the whole offense for Chicago, going 2/3 with a walk, two homers, and six RBI, driving in all of the White Sox runs. Rickie Weeks helped the Brewers get an 8-5 win in Miami, going 2/5 with three runs, four RBI, and a pair of homers. Bryce Harper did work in that big Nationals win against the Cubs, going 2/3 with two walks and two solo homers. Jay Bruce tried to help the Reds in their 6-2 loss to the Phillies, going 3/4 with two RBI, two doubles, and a homer. Adrian Beltre did well for the Rangers in their 7-6 win over the Royals, going 2/4 with two runs, three RBI, a triple, and a homer.
Other Games: The Angels beat the A's 7-1 to continue their hot streak. RA Dickey powered the Mets to a 6-2 win over the Cardinals. The Blue Jays halted the Orioles momentum, winning 6-4. The Yankees regained sole possession of first place with a 6-4 win over the Rays. The Pirates halted an ugly series, beating the Astros 6-3. The Padres edged the Dodgers 4-3, and the Giants fell to the Diamondbacks 6-2.
Today's Games: Only five games on the docket today. Tim Hudson starts for the Braves against Jhoulys Chacin of the Rockies. Josh Johnson starts in Miami against the Brewers. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals, hosting the Cubs. Jason Hammel returns for the Orioles, and not a moment too soon, as they'll begin a series with the Yankees.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.