Brandon Barnes of the Astros hit for the cycle last night, and you probably didn't even know that he did. But of course you didn't know: the Astros lost to the Mariners 10-7. Barnes, Houston's seven hitter, drove in just a pair of runs in his excellent performance. And not only did the Mariners end up losing the game, but they were trailing 9-3 in the eighth inning, so casual fans wouldn't have even given the game a second look. So here's to you Brandon Barnes, and your unappreciated cycle.
PIC OF THE DAY
Eric Hosmer stretches into the camera well (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Dodgers 3, Nationals 2. It was a bit of a weak night across baseball in the first day of game since the All-Star Break. Los Angeles was looking to make a two-run homer by Hanley Ramirez stand all night, but in the sixth, Ricky Nolasco gave up the tying run on a single by Ian Desmond. The tie game held until the ninth, when Washington closer Rafael Soriano allowed a solo homer to Andre Ethier to put the Dodgers in front. Kenley Jansen shut down the Nationals in the bottom of the inning, and the defending NL East champions fell to third in the division.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Ervin Santana dominated the Tigers in a 1-0 Royals win, allowing just two hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings, walking one and striking out six. Chad Gaudin torched the Diamondbacks in the Giants' 2-0 win, giving up three hits in seven scoreless innings, punching out eight without a walk. Jered Weaver pitched well for the Angels as they topped the A's 4-1, giving up four hits in 6 2/3 shutout frames, striking out eight and walking four. Jeff Samardzija controlled the Rockies in a 3-1 Cubs victory, allowing one run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking three. Finally, Kyle Lohse beat the Marlins in a 2-0 Brewers win, giving up five hits over six shutout innings, striking out five without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Brandon Barnes' cycle, of course: 5/5 with three runs and two RBI. It's a living, I guess. Brad Miller helped the Mariners offense top Barnes' Astros, going 3/5 with two homers, five RBI, and a walk. Chase Utley and Domonic Brown powered the Phillies to a 13-8 win over the Mets, as Utley went 2/5 with two runs, three RBI, a triple, and a homer, while Brown went 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer. Wil Myers carried the Rays to an 8-5 win over the Blue Jays, going 3/5 with two runs, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Reds withstood a late Pirates rally to win 5-3. The Red Sox doubled up the Yankees 4-2. The Braves beat the White Sox 6-4. The Orioles shut down the Rangers 3-1. The Cardinals smashed the Padres 9-6. The Twins edged the Indians 3-2.
Today's Games: Cole Hamels and Zack Wheeler will duel at Citi Field. Jake Peavy returns for the White Sox, hosting the Braves. AJ Burnett will face off with Mat Latos in Cincinnati. Hiroki Kuroda takes on John Lackey in Boston. Zack Greinke takes on Gio Gonzalez in Washington. Justin Verlander gets the nod for the Tigers in Kansas City. Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers host the Marlins. Lance Lynn and the Cardinals welcome the Padres to St Louis. Hisashi Iwakuma gets the nod for the Mariners in Houston. Wade Miley and Matt Cain will duel in San Francisco. Dan Straily takes on CJ Wilson in Anaheim.
National TV: Yankees-Red Sox (4 PM, Fox), Braves-White Sox (4 PM, Fox), Pirates-Reds (4 PM, Fox), Orioles-Rangers (8 PM, MLB Network), Diamondbacks-Giants (9 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Cubs-Rockies (8 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: AJ Burnett vs Mat Latos (Pirates-Reds, 4 PM, Fox)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.