Yu Darvish had his finest start as a member of the Rangers, and it came against the high octane Yankees lineup. Darvish went 8 1/3 innings without allowing a run, allowing seven hits and two walks, and striking out ten Yankees hitters in the process. Perhaps more importantly, he got 12 groundball outs to only three flyball outs. Over his previous three starts, Darvish didn’t get through the seventh inning in any of them, and combined to strike out 14 while walking 13. Despite his struggles before this start, the Rangers have won each of his starts this season, and Darvish is now 3-0 on the season with a 2.42 ERA.
Game of the Night: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2 (10 innings). The Cubs led the game 1-0 until the eighth inning, when St Louis scored a pair of runs on a Matt Holliday two run homer off of Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. With Cardinals closer Jason Motte getting the night off, Mark Rzepczynski stayed in for the ninth to close it out….and allowed a solo homer to Bryan LaHair to tie the game at 2. Then in the tenth for the Cubs, Fernando Salas allowed a single to Tony Campana, who then stole second. LaHair was intentionall walked, and that brought up perennial disappointment Alfonso Soriano. Of course, he singled to center field to score Campana and win the game for the Cubs.
Pitching Line of the Night: David Price dominated the Angels up and down en route to a complete game shutout, allowing five hits and walking just one batter, and striking out six struggling Angels hitters in the process. The Angels are now 6-11…wow. Tom Milone of the A’s threw eight shutout innings against the White Sox, allowing three hits and striking out five hitters without a walk. There’s also Darvish’s masterpiece in Texas, which I outlined in the opening.
Hitting Line of the Night: Mike Aviles of the Red Sox went 4/5 with three runs, two RBI, two doubles, and a homer. Yeah, can’t complain about that one. In a losing effort in Pittsburgh, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies went 3/4 with a pair of homers and four RBI. Those were actually his first two homers of the year. Imagine that.
Spotlight Series: The Dodgers got a pair in the first inning on a Juan Rivera homer, and the 2-0 lead held until the fifth. Chipper Jones got the Braves on the board with his third homer of the year, coming on his 40th birthday nonetheless. Atlanta got another run in the fifth on an RBI groundout from Martin Prado. The Braves would pick up another run in the sixth as Brian McCann scored on an Aaron Harang wild pitch, but the Dodgers got the run back in the bottom of the inning on a Matt Kemp groundout. The game remained tied until the ninth, when Prado tripled off the glove of Matt Kemp in center to bring in Tyler Pastornicky. That triple came off of Dodgers closer Javy Guerra, nonetheless. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side to finish the game off, though he did allow a pair of baserunners. Both starters (Harang and Mike Minor) had quality starts, and Minor actually exited after throwing just 79 pitches.
Other Games: The Orioles beat the Blue Jays 2-1, and Matt Wieters’ sixth homer was the blow that put Baltimore ahead for good. The Pirates used four late runs to topple the Rockies 5-4, and they actually looked competent on offense in the process. The Royals lost their 12th in a row, falling 4-3 to the Indians and Derek Lowe. The Reds pounded Matt Cain and the Giants 9-2. The Mariners jumped on Max Scherzer, and beat the Tigers 7-4. The Mets got two late runs to beat the Marlins 2-1 in a game dominated by starting pitching (Josh Johnson and Johan Santana). The Rays homered four times in their 5-0 win over the Angels. Offense was at a premium in Texas, but Yu Darvish’s stellar pitching led them to a 2-0 win. The Brewers beat the Astros 9-6, and Nyjer Morgan and Alex Gonzalez each had three hit games. The Red Sox pounded the Twins 11-2, as Minnesota’s offense didn’t show up. The Phillies used a pair of big innings to beat the Diamondbacks 8-5. The A’s shut down the White Sox 2-0. Gio Gonzalez was solid for Washington in their 3-1 win over the Padres.
Today’s Games: CJ Wilson goes for the Angels against the Rays, who send Jeremy Hellickson to the hill. Kyle Drabek and Jason Hammel duel in a battle of young, surprising AL East starters. Felix Hernandez goes for the Mariners against the Tigers. Cole Hamels and Trevor Cahill will be dueling in the desert. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals against the Padres, in a game that won’t end well for San Diego’s offense. Brandon Beachy goes for the Braves in LA for the rubber game of the Braves-Dodgers series.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.