Going into this week's Angels-Rangers series, it was looked at as one that could shape the AL West over the season's final two months. After the series has concluded, we can still say that….but I'm not sure we expected it to happen this way. The Angels won game one, controlling the Rangers bats in a 6-2 win. They led game two 7-1 halfway through the game before imploding in an 11-10 extra inning loss. Then, there's last night. The Rangers led 6-2 after two, shelling CJ Wilson in his former home park. Undaunted, the Angels fought back and battered Ryan Dempster in his first start as a Ranger, taking a 7-6 lead after their half of the fourth. Nelson Cruz homered to tie it at seven, but a Kendrys Morales RBI double quickly handed an 8-7 lead to the Angels. Then…the house of cards came crashing down. The Rangers scored eight runs between the sixth and eighth innings, taking a commanding 15-8 lead. They'd win 15-9 after an Alberto Callaspo ninth inning homer made the game look a little more presentable. Over the final 16 innings of the series, the Rangers outscored the Angels 25-12. I mean….that's a beatdown.
Game of the Night: Royals 7, Indians 6 (11 innings). The Royals put six on the board in the first inning off of Corey Kluber, making his major league debut. Of course, over Kluber's next 3 1/3 innings, they managed just three hits and no runs. While the Royals struggled after the first, the Indians chipped away at their lead. A Vinny Rottino sac fly in the second made it 6-1, and a two-run single by Carlos Santana and sac fly by Michael Brantley in the third made it 6-4, and sent Bruce Chen to the showers before the rookie Kluber. Then in the fifth, Santana struck again with a two-run homer to tie the game at six. The bats shut down after that, until the 11th inning when Esmil Rogers made a mess on the bases thanks to a single, a sacrifice, and a wild pitch. Manny Acta called for closer Chris Perez, but with no room for error, Perez allowed a walkoff single to Alcides Escobar to send the Indians to a three game sweep at the hands of the last place Royals to knock the Tribe to 7.5 out in the AL Central.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Ross Detwiler threw seven shutout innings for the Nationals in their 3-0 win over the Phillies, giving up three hits, and walking two while striking out three. Bartolo Colon threw eight shutout frames for the A's in their 4-1 win against the Blue Jays, allowing seven hits, one walk, and tallying three strikeouts. Chris Young allowed one run on four hits over seven innings in the Mets' 9-1 win in San Francisco, striking out four without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In that crazy Angels-Rangers game, Ian Kinsler went 3/5 with four runs, two RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. In a 5-0 Twins win over the Red Sox, Brian Dozier went 3/4 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer. Ronny Cedeno of the Mets powered their offense with a 3/5 game, doubling twice and driving in five runs. Adam LaRoche went 3/4 with two RBI and a homer in Washington's win over the Phillies.
Other Games: The Reds creamed the Padres 9-4. The Braves earned their 60th win of the year in a rain-infested 6-1 win over the Marlins. The Rockies salvaged their series with the Cardinals, winning 8-2.
Today's Games: There's a doubleheader in Washington between the Nationals and Marlins, with Josh Johnson starting game one for Miami and Gio Gonzalez starting game two for Washington. If only they were facing each other. Anibal Sanchez makes his second start for the Tigers, hosting the Indians. CC Sabathia will start for the Yankees at home against the Mariners. The non-traded Joe Blanton starts for the Phillies against Ian Kennedy and the Diamondbacks. Matt Moore starts for the Rays, hosting the Orioles. Tim Hudson and the Braves welcome the Astros to town. Zack Greinke makes his second start as an Angel in Chicago to take on Philip Humber. Matt Harrison starts for the Rangers in Kansas City. Dan Straily will make his major league debut at home against Toronto. Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants take on their former teammate Jonathan Sanchez in Colorado. The suddenly mortal RA Dickey and the Mets travel to San Diego. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs take on Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.