The Angels aren’t dominating the AL West like everyone assumed they would, but they’re turning up the jets here at the end of May. At 12-10 this month, the team has the best record in the division for the month. After being nine games out of first at the end of April, they’ve cut the deficit to seven back right now, and they’re just a half game behind the Mariners for third in the division, and a game and a half behind the A’s for second place. The team’s -5 run differential is second in the division, behind just the Rangers. The team has a .704 OPS this month, up 54 points from April, and the team has cut their ERA by over a run, down to 2.99 this month.The Angels are finally starting to wake up…thank god.
Game of the Night: Indians 4, Tigers 2. The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the sixth off of Cleveland starter Zach McAllister, driving in their runs courtesy of an Andy Dirks double and a Prince Fielder groundout. The Indians immediately answered in the bottom of the inning, with Travis Hafner tying the game up on a two-run homer off of Doug Fister. The Indians took the lead in the eighth, on a Hafner groundout and a Carlos Santana sac fly. Chris Perez threw a perfect ninth to preserve the win for the Tribe.
Pitching Line of the Night: Cole Hamels flirted with a no-hitter, and shut out the Nationals through eight innings on four hits and three walks, striking out eight. Chris Sale of the White Sox continues to thrive, throwing seven shutout innings (albeit against the Twins) while allowing two hits, two walks, and striking out six. Jered Weaver allowed just one run over eight against the A’s, allowing three hits, two walks, and striking out four, and was stuck with a no-decision.
Hitting Line of the Night: Nick Johnson of the Orioles went 2/3 with two homers, three RBI, and a walk. Alex Rodriguez went 2/4 with two homers and three RBI. Troy Tulowitzki is starting to heat up, going 2/4 with two runs, four RBI, a double and a homer.
Spotlight Series: The Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-4 in 11 innings and took the series. Jose Bautista started the scoring in the first with a solo homer, and the Rays scored the next four, highlighted by a two-run double by Drew Sutton in the first inning. The Blue Jays rallied back, with Yan Gomes bringing in a run with a sac fly in the fifth, and Edwin Encarnacion tying the game in the eighth with a two-run homer. The game would go to extras, and after Rich Thompson was hit by a pitch, BJ Upton doubled him home to win the game for the Rays. James Shields had a great start for the Rays, allowing three runs (two earned) over seven 1/3 innings, walking one and stirking out ten. His counterpart Ricky Romero was terrible, allowing four runs over six innings, on just two hits, seven walks, and seven strikeouts. Jeez.
Other Games: The Red Sox edged the Orioles 6-5. The Mets beat the Pirates 3-1. The Brewers routed Barry Zito and the Giants 8-5. The Angels beat the A’s 3-1 in 11 innings. The Phillies beat the Nationals 4-1. Alex Liddi hit a grand slam in Seattle’s 5-3 win over Texas. A Todd Frazier walk-off homer gave the Reds a 2-1 win over the Braves. The Rockies knocked off Carlos Zambrano and the Marlins 8-4. The Yankees beat up the Royals 8-3. The Astros swept the Cubs after a 5-1 win. The White Sox shut out the Twins 6-0. The Cardinals beat the Padres 6-1, and Lance Lynn is 7-1. The Diamondbacks put a ton of runs on the board, and beat the Dodgers 11-4.
Today’s Games: Only a half slate of games today. Justin Verlander takes on Justin Masterson in Cleveland. Dan Haren starts in Seattle. Ryan Vogelsong and Anibal Sanchez will duel in Miami. Joe Blanton vs Jake Westbrook in St Louis is a good looking matchup.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.