With just one week until the All-Star Break, standings across the league are getting a little closer, building off of my point from yesterday. The Rays abd Orioles both picked up a game in the AL East and leapfrogged the Yankees to sit in a tie for second place behind the Red Sox. The Indians salvaged game three of their four game set with the Tigers to move to 2.5 back in the AL Central. The Nationals picked up another game on the Braves in the NL East, and are just four back. The Cardinals moved into a tie with the Pirates at the top of the NL Central. Finally in the NL West, the Dodgers took sole possession of second place, but are still 4.5 games behind the Diamondbacks. This second half is going to be a doozy, folks.
PIC OF THE DAY
Logan Schafer, just hanging out on the tarp. No big deal. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Day: Cubs 4, Pirates 3 (11 innings). Another heartbreaker for the Pirates, as whispers about a potential collapse are already starting to grow. Scott Hairston homered to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead in the seventh (and was traded post-game to the Nationals, but that's a whole different story), but Starling Marte of the Pirates hit a solo bomb off of Kevin Gregg to tie the game at three. The game moved into extras, and Bryan Morris' 11th inning was a disaster on the hill for Pittsburgh. First, he allowed back to back singles to Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano to lead off the inning, and a throwing error on Russell Martin put both men in scoring position with none out. Luis Valbuena was intentionally walked, and Dioner Navarro hit a walkoff sac fly to score Rizzo and give the Cubs a win.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Pat Corbin picked up his tenth win for the Diamondbacks in their 6-1 win over the Rockies, allowing one run on three hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out ten. Jeremy Hefner had a sneaky good start for the Mets in their 2-1 win in Milwaukee, giving up one run on two hits in seven frames, striking out eight and walking one. Hiroki Kuroda threw seven shutout innings for the Yankees in their 2-1 loss to the Orioles, allowing three hits, one walk, and punching out four. Clayton Kershaw dominated the Giants in the Dodgers' 4-1 win, allowing one run on three hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out three. In the losing effort, Chad Gaudin allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out…nine?! Finally, David Price led the Rays to a 3-1 win over the White Sox, throwing a complete game while allowing one run on eight hits, walking none and punching out five.
Hitting Lines of the Day: The bat of Michael Brantley led the Indians to a 9-6 win over the Tigers, as he went 3/4 with three runs, five RBI, a double, and two homers. In the loss, Miguel Cabrera stayed hot for Detroit, going 4/4 with two RBI, a homer, a walk, and…a stolen base?! Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis combined to power the Blue Jays to an 11-5 win over the Twins, with Rasmus going 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer, and Davis going 2/4 with three runs, three RBI, a walk, a stolen base, a double, and a homer. Alexi Amarista had a good game for the Padres in their 11-7 loss in Washington, going 3/5 with two runs, three RBI, and a homer.
Other Games: The Phillies topped the Braves 7-3. Seattle edged Cincinnati 3-1. The A's smashed the Royals 10-4. The Cardinals slipped by the Marlins 3-2. The Rangers beat the Astros 5-4. The Angels shut out the Red Sox 3-0.
What You Missed: Ricky Nolasco, Dodger.
Today's Games: Nearly a full slate today, folks. Scott Feldman and the Orioles host Feldman's former team, the Rangers, and Derek Holland. Mike Minor starts for the Braves in Miami. Max Scherzer looks for win #14 for the Tigers in Cleveland. All-Stars battle in Pittsburgh, with Bartolo Colon and the A's taking on Jeff Locke and the Pirates. Homer Bailey looks for his third no-hitter and second in a row in Milwaukee as he faces off with Kyle Lohse's Brewers. Matt Garza starts for the Cubs on the South Side. Zack Greinke gets the nod for the Dodgers in Arizona. Jon Lester starts for the Red Sox in Seattle against Felix Hernandez. Matt Harvey gets the nod for the Mets in San Francisco against Tim Lincecum.
National TV: Nationals-Phillies (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Twins-Rays (7 PM, Samuel Deduno vs Roberto Hernandez)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Jon Lester vs Felix Hernandez (Red Sox vs Mariners, 10 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.