In the White Sox 5-4 loss to the A’s yesterday, Paul Konerko (yes, that Paul Konerko) hit his 400th career homer. Konerko is 36 years old, and he’s remained relatively healthy over his career, only missing more than 25 games once since becoming a regular in 1999. He has seven 30 homer seasons, and three more above 20 (wtih two just missing the list at 19). Is it conceivable that Konerko could actually hit 500 homers in his career, and if he did, would that absolutely shatter the conventional wisdom about 500 homers? Well….I’ll explore that in a post later today.
Game of the Night: A’s 5, White Sox 4 (14 innings). The A’s got the scoring started in the sixth by plating a pair, and the White Sox got one in the seventh before tying it on the aforementioned Konerko homer in the ninth. That led to a few scoreless innings, before Chicago took the lead in the 14th on a two run double by Alexei Ramirez. Closer Hector Santiago came in, and he promptly blew the lead by allowing a two run homer to Yoenis Cespedes. Robin Ventura allowed Santiago to suffer out there, and he put two more men on before Kila Ka’aihue ended the game with a walkoff single. Four runs scored in 13 innings, and five total runs in the 14th inning…makes sense.
Pitching Line of the Night: James McDonald of the Pirates had a no hitter going for six innings against the Rockies, and left the game after seven one-run innings, allowing just the one hit and three walks, while striking out. He got a no decision. Jason Hammel threw seven shutout innings for the Orioles in their win over the Blue Jays, allowing four hits and one walk, striking out seven. And in another seven inning performance, RA Dickey allowed a sole run in seven for the Mets, along with three hits, a walk, and seven strikeouts.
Hitting Line of the Night: Billy Butler of the Royals hit a pair of homers and drove in three, while teammates Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon also homered. Hosmer drove in two and walked twice, while Gordon drove in three and had three hits. Jose Altuve of the Astros had a good day, going 4/5 with three runs. Adrian Beltre of the Rangers and Yoenis Cespedes of the A’s both went 3/5 with a homer and three RBI.
Spotlight Series: The Braves got on the board first in the fourth on a Dan Uggla RBI single, but gave the lead back as Brandon Beachy allowed a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Beachy would finish with good numbers, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing seven hits, two runs, a walk, and six strikeouts. Can’t complain about that. On the other side of the diamond, Aaron Harang shut the Braves down over seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out two. With Dodgers closer Javy Guerra coming in for the ninth, a win looked academic for the Dodgers…until Guerra allowed five straight singles, with three of them coming after a liner hit him in the face. uggla singled in Freddie Freeman to tie the game, Chipper Jones drove in a pinch running Jack Wilson to give the Braves the lead, and Jason Heyward drove in Uggla to give the Braves some insurance. Craig Kimbrel shut the Dodgers down in the ninth (after Jonny Venters did the same in the eighth), and Atlanta takes the series with a 4-2 win to conclude a 5-2 road trip. The win for the Braves was absolutely titanic for them, as they keep pace with the Nationals in the NL East.
Other Games: Tampa Bay beat the Angels 3-2, and look to sweep the Angels tomorrow. The Rockies and Pirates split a doubleheader, with Pedro Alvarez homering in both games. The Orioles shut out the Blue Jays 3-0, and are tied for first in the AL East with the Rays. The Astros salvaged their series with the Brewers, winning 7-5 in Milwaukee. The Royals broke their 12 game losing streak with a homer outburst in an 8-2 win over the Indians. Lance Lynn improved to 4-0 as the Cardinals beat the Cubs 5-1. The Mariners pounded the Tigers 9-1 behind some masterful pitching from Felix Hernandez. The Phillies used some rare offense to beat the Diamondbacks 7-2. The Rangers beat the Yankees 7-3, and still haven’t lost a series this year. The Red Sox edged the Twins 7-6, despite holding a 7-1 lead earlier in the game. The Nationals continued to win, topping the Padres 7-2. The Reds beat the Giants 4-2 thanks to three unearned runs in the seventh. The Mets beat the struggling Marlins 5-1.
Today’s Games: Limited schedule today on getaway day, and five of the eight games take place in the sunshine. The highest profile pitcher to get a start is Matt Moore for the Rays against the Angels, but Philip Humber also starts in his quest to throw two straight perfect games (which has never, and probably will never, happened).
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.