Jim Thome hit a walkoff homer yesterday as the Phillies beat the Rays 7-6. It was his 13th career walkoff homer, which is the most all-time, breaking a tie that Thome was in with Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, and Frank Robinson. The game-ending homer was also the 609th of Thome's career, tying him with Sammy Sosa for the seventh most all-time. Thome only got into the walk-off situation yesterday because of Jonathan Papelbon blowing his first save of the year for the Phililes. Before the bottom of the ninth kicked off, Papelbon offered Thome a check for $5,000 if he hit a walkoff homer. Thome did, and Papelbon paid up.
Game of the Night: Blue Jays 7, Marlins 1. This game was very hotly contested…until the ninth inning, that is. The score was deadlocked at one, after great efforts on the mound by starters Brett Cecil and Josh Johnson. But in the ninth, it was a bullpen game. In the top of the inning, Edwin Encarnacio homered off of Steve Cishek in his second inning of work to give Toronto a 2-1 lead. Cishek then allowed a single, a sacrifice, and an intentional walk before balking the runners over to second and third. Jeff Mathis (of all people) then successfully squeezed in a run, thanks to Cishek mishandling the bunt. Oddly, it was Toronto's second successful squeeze of the game. That resulted in Edward Mujica replacing Cishek, and getting an Omar Vizquel ground out for out number two. Mujica hit Brett Lawrie to load the bases for the white hot Colby Rasmus, who hit a grand slam to right to make it 7-1 and ice any chance of a comeback. Casey Janssen retired the Marlins in order in the ninth, and that was that for the Fish.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Johnny Cueto of the Reds shut out the Twins over seven innings in Cincinnati's 6-0 win, allowing just three hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts. Despite the failure by his bullpen, Josh Johnson was excellent for the Marlins, going seven innings and allowing just one run against the Blue Jays on two hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Ervin Santana was excellent for the Angels, but they still lost 3-1 to the Dodgers. Santana went eight and allowed three runs (only two earned) on four hits, walking none and striking out ten. I'll also give some love to Astros rookie Dallas Kuechel, who threw a complete game against the Indians in Houston's 8-1 win, allowing just one run on six hits while walking one and striking out three in just his second career start.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Nelson Cruz was on-point for the Rangers, who fell 11-7 to the Rockies. Cruz went 3/5 with four RBI and a pair of homers in the losing effort. Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is getting hot too. In Arizona's 10-5 win over the Cubs, Goldschmidt went 3/5 with three runs, two RBI, and fell just a single short of the cycle. Jeff Keppinger went 5/5 with a run, a double, and three RBI for the Rays in their walkoff loss to the Phillies. Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox helped powered the south siders to an 8-6 win over the Brewers, going 3/4 with two runs, four RBI, and his 13th homer of the year. Finally, there's the crazy story of Josh Reddick in Oakland. His A's lost 9-8 to the Giants, but Reddick went 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, a stolen base, and his 17th homer of the year. I bet the Red Sox wish they still had him right about now.
Spotlight Series: Nothing this weekend, because technology hates me.
Other Games: The Cardinals overpowered the Royals, and won 8-2 after a good start from Adam Wainwright. The Nationals and Edwin Jackson controlled the Orioles, winning 3-1. The Red Sox jumped on Braves starter Randall Delgado early, and won 8-4. Brad Lincoln did it with the arm and Andrew McCutchen did it with the bat, leading the Pirates to a 4-1 win over the Tigers. The Yankees rallied late against the Mets, and took home a 4-3 win. The Mariners dominated the Padres in a 5-1 win that saw Felix Hernandez strike out ten, and drive in a pair of runs with the stick.
Today's Games: Matt Garza of the slumping Cubs takes on the surprising Wade Miley in the desert. Mike Minor and Aaron Cook will duel in Boston, and the over/under on runs is set at 15.5. David Price takes on Cole Hamels in a battle of aces in Philly, and game two will pit Alex Cobb against the still-winless Cliff Lee. Lance Lynn will start for the Cardinals against Jonathan Sanchez of the Royals, who hasn't been what they expected at all this year. Justin Verlander looks to help the Tigers avoid a sweep in Pittsburgh. The impressive youngster Garrett Richards starts for the Angels against Aaron Harang of the Dodgers. Matt Cain starts for the Giants against AJ Griffin of the A's, making his major league debut. CC Sabathia takes on RA Dickey in the matchup of the day at Citi Field in primetime.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.