Scott Hairston of the Mets hit for the cycle last night, and he did it by the end of the sixth inning. That’s pretty impressive. What else is pretty impressive is that Hairston’s Mets lost the game….18-9. The last team to lose when they had a player who hit for the cycle was when Kelly Johnson hit for the cycle in July 2010, and the Diamondbacks lost 7-4 to the Giants. The last time a player’s team lost by NINE RUNS? Well, that’s never happened. The largest loss for a team that had a player hit for the cycle prior to last night was in September 2006, when Chone Figgins hit for the cycle and his Angels lost to the Rangers 12-6.
Game of the Night: Yankees 7, Tigers 6. Justin Verlander started for Detroit, and had his worst start of the year, allowing five runs (four earned) over six innings, walking none and striking out just four. Ivan Nova was even worse, exiting after 5 1/3 innings and six earned. This was a back and forth game, with the Tigers leading 3-1 after three innings. Homers by Alex Rodriguez and Russell Martin in the fourth and fifth gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead, but a two run double by Austin Jackson and an RBI single by Prince Fielder in the sixth put the Tigers back up 6-4. A Don Kelly error allowed a run to score in the bottom of the sixth made it a 6-5 game. In the eighth, Mark Teixeira tied the game on a sac fly off of highly paid setup man Joaquin Benoit. And then in the ninth, Derek Jeter scored on a passed ball by Alex Avila after advancing to third on a wild pitch just one batter earlier. Yup….
Pitching Line of the Night: I need to leave Joe Saunders alone. He threw a three hit shutout over the Marlins, walking two and striking out four. Yeah, that just happened. Keeping it in the NL West, Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs over eight innings against the Nationals, allowing just three hits and one walk, striking out six in the process.
Hitting Line of the Night: Scott Hairston, of course. As I mentioned in the intro, he hit for the cycle, scoring three runs and driving in four. Of course, the Mets still lost. In that same game, Carlos Gonzalez went 3/6 with a homer and six RBI. Michael Saunders went 2/4 with three runs scored and five RBI, with four of them coming on a tenth inning grand slam that gave the Mariners the win in Toronto.
Spotlight Series: I thought Jamies Shields would lead the Rays to a victory. I didn’t think that the Rays would get 14 hits and seven runs (six earned) off of Matt Harrison in five innings. The Rays offense completely clicked last night, and came out with a victory. By the same token, I didn’t expect James Shields to allow four runs on 11 hits in six innings…but he didn’t walk anyone, and struck out eight. That’s more along the lines of what I expected. BJ Upton and Jeff Keppinger each had three hits for the Rays, while Evan Longoria drove in four for Tampa. Elvis Andrus had three hits for the Rangers, and Josh Hamilton drove in three, hitting his ninth homer of the season in the process.
Other Games: The Cubs beat the Phillies 5-1 as Philadelphia’s offense just couldn’t get anything going. A great start from Brandon McCarthy led the A’s to a 5-2 win over the Orioles, and Wandy Rodriguez did the same in a 6-4 Astros win over the Reds. The Angels lost again, this time by a 3-2 score to the Indians on a walkoff single from Asdrubal Cabrera. The Marlins had nothing for Joe Saunders in a 5-0 loss to Arizona. Saunders and his 10th inning grand slam gave the Mariners a 9-5 win over the Blue Jays. Despite a strong start from AJ Burnett, Tommy Hanson’s performance was better, and the Braves beat the Pirates 6-1. The Cardinals absolutely thrashed Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers 13-1, and did it without a homer. The Red Sox crushed the White Sox 10-3, and Daniel Bard continues to impress in the rotation. The Rockies beat the tar out of the Mets 18-9. The Royals beat the Twins 7-6 to send Minnesota to the basement of the AL Central. The Dodgers beat the Nationals 3-2 in the final game before Bryce Harper for Washington. Cory Luebke had a strong start for the Padres in a 5-3 win over the Giants.
Today’s Games: Dan Haren goes in Cleveland for the Angels in Mike Trout’s season debut. Kyle Lohse starts for the Cardinals against the Brewers, and Johnny Cueto goes for the Reds against the Astros. The enigmatic Brandon Morrow starts for the Blue Jays against his former team, the Mariners. Ian Kennedy vs Anibal Sanchez is a solid matchup in Miami. Despite his struggles this season, Jon Lester will duel with Jake Peavy in Chicago. Tim Lincecum looks to get off of his cold spell against the weak-hitting Padres. The matchup of the night takes place in Los Angeles, and will pit Stephen Strasburg against Chad Billingsley.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.