I'm not much of a believer in the theory that you can pinpoint the moment a team's season went in a direction based on one game. But I guarantee you, that if the Orioles go on an awful run in the coming weeks, everyone will point at last night's 19-7 blowout at the hands of the Twins at Target Field. Orioles starter Chris Tillman, in just his second start of the year, got two outs, allowed five hits, walked two batters, and saw seven men cross the plate (though only one of those runs was earned). Minnesota was off to a 7-0 lead, and seemed to have an answer for every attempt the Orioles had at a comeback. Wilson Betemit drove in a run with a single in the second, Joe Mauer answered with a solo homer. Mark Reynolds singled in a run in the third, Ben Revere singled in a pair in the bottom of the inning, and Trevor Plouffe brought one home in the fourth. Reynolds hit a three-run homer in the fifth, and the Twins plated three in the sixth and four in the eighth. But it's all good Orioles fans, Endy Chavez's two-run homer in the ninth were the final runs scored in this shellacking. If you're a member of the Orioles right now, how are you feeling knowing that your team cracked out 13 hits, five extra base hits, and seven runs, and still lost by a dozen? It's just not a good day to be an Orioles fan.
Game of the Night: Cardinals 3, Brewers 2. These two teams traded zeros for six, before the Brewers got on the board in the seventh inning, courtesy of a Corey Hart solo homer. In the eighth, Ryan Braun added an RBI double to make it 2-0. Then…John Axford happened (again) for Milwaukee, blowing his sixth save of the year in disastrous fashion. He walked leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter, before getting both Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran to fly out. Then…Rafael Furcal beat out an infield single. Axford walked Skip Schumaker to load the bases for Matt Holliday, never a good thing. Holliday singled to bring in Carpenter and Furcal to tie the game and move Schumaker to third for Allen Craig, who singled him home to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Jason Motte struck out Hart and Rickie Weeks before getting Martin Maldonado to ground out to end the game, and give the Brewers another stomach punch loss.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Lance Lynn allowed one run over seven innings in that game against the Brewers on six hits, striking out ten Milwaukee hitters without a walk. Wow. In the Phillies' 3-2 win over the Dodgers, Joe Blanton went eight and allowed two runs on six hits, striking out seven without a walk. Fomer Phillies JA Happ, now an Astro, shut out the Padres over 6 2/3, allowing four hits while walking one and striking out four in Houston's 2-0 win.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Arizona's 5-3 win over Cincinnati, Miguel Montero went 3/4 with two runs, four RBI, two doubles, and a homer. Mark Reynolds went 3/4 with two runs, four RBI, a double, and a homer in Baltimore's embarrassing loss to the Twins. On the other hand, Denard Span went 3/5 with two runs, five RBI, a walk, and two doubles. The Mariners beat the Royals 9-4, and Casper Wells went 2/5 with five RBI, a triple, and a homer. The Nationals lost 5-3 in Miami, but Ryan Zimmerman went 3/3 with two runs, a walk, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Tigers rallied late to beat the Angels 8-6. Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam in the Yankees' 6-3 win over the Blue Jays. The Red Sox spoiled Kevin Youkilis's return to Fenway with a 5-1 win over the White Sox. The Indians edged the skidding Rays 3-2. The Rockies got a 5-4 walkoff win over the PIrates after Pittsburgh tied it in the ninth.
Today's Games: Garrett Richards and Jacob Turner will duel in Detroit. CC Sabathia starts for the Yankees as they host the Blue Jays. Trevor Bauer and the Diamondbacks will take on Johnny Cueto and the Reds. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Marlins against the Cubs, while Matt Moore goes for the Rays against the Indians. Roy Oswalt will take on Bartolo Colon in Oakland. Roy Halladay makes his return for the Phillies in Los Angeles.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.