After the first week of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Pirates looked like a trainwreck. They lost two out of three to the Cubs despite a pair of Carlos Marmol collapses. They got swept by the Dodgers in a series that saw the Buccos score just two runs. But this week, their fortunes have completely shifted. Pittsburgh took two out of three in Arizona, and have now returned to Pittsburgh and won their first two games on their ten game homestand over the Reds, winning 3-1 on Saturday. The Pirates can miraculously sweep the series and get to .500 with a win today, but it'll take an outstanding effort from Phil Irwin in his major league debut (replacing the injured Wandy Rodriguez) to knock off Mat Latos and Cincinnati and complete the three game sweep.
PIC OF THE DAY
Dustin Pedroia excitedly reacts to Jacoby Ellsbury scoring the winning run in the tenth inning of Boston's 2-1 win over Tampa Bay (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports).
Game of the Night: Angels 5, Astros 4. The Astros led 2-0 early on, but the Angels cut the lead to 2-1 after Josh Hamilton's first homer as an Angels. Houston picked up two more in the seventh to make it 4-1, but the Angels scored two of their own in the eighth to once again make it a one run deficit. In the ninth, Albert Pujols doubled home Luis Jimenez and Mike Trout to give the Angels a 5-4 win, and give Michael Roth the win in his first career game.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Adam Wainwright threw a complete game shutout in the Cardinals' 8-0 win over the Brewers, allowing four hits and striking out 12 without a walk. Matt Harvey led the Mets to a 4-2 win over the Twins, allowing one run on two hits over eight innings, striking out six and walking two. James Shields threw a complete game for the Royals in their 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays, allowing three runs on two hits, walking three and striking out six. Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez dominated the Phillies in Miami's 2-1 win, throwing six shutout innings and giving up two hits, two walks, and striking out five while also picking up his first career hit and struggling at first base with his coat.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In San Diego's 9-5 loss to Colorado, Everth Cabrera of the Padres went 4/5 with two runs, two RBI, a triple, and a homer, while Wilin Rosario went 4/5 with a homer and three RBI for the Rockies. Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds carried the Indians offense in their 9-4 win over the White Sox, with Swisher going 2/2 with three runs, two RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer, while Reynolds went 2/4 with five RBI, a homer, and a stolen base. Adrian Gonzalez powered the Dodgers offense in their 7-5 win over Arizona, going 3/4 with two RBI and a homer.
Other Games: The Braves beat the Nationals 3-1, extending their winning streak to eight games. The Giants edged the Cubs 3-2 despite Chicago's Fujikawa-less bullpen. The Orioles homered three times in a 5-3 win over the Yankees. The Tigers snapped the A's nine-game winning streak, picking up a 7-5 victory. The Rangers beat the Mariners 3-1.
What You Missed: I do believe I touched on everything.
Today's Games: Jake Peavy starts for the White Sox in Cleveland. Paul Maholm and the Braves look for a sweep in Washington against Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals. Roy Halladay looks to give the Phillies a series win in Miami. Alex Cobb and Clay Buchholz will duel as the Rays and Red Sox battle in Boston. Brandon Morrow starts for the Blue Jays in Kansas City. CJ Wilson and the Angels look for their first series win against the Astros. Jaime Garcia and the Cardinals take on the Brewers. Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers will battle Jarrod Parker and the A's. Tim Lincecum and the Giants take on Edwin Jackson and the Cubs. Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles will take on Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees.
National TV: Rays-Red Sox (1:35, TBS), Orioles-Yankees (8:00, ESPN).
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.