The Atlanta Braves are doing what they need to do to start the 2013 campaign: feast on the weak. The Braves improved to 8-1 on the season after pounding the Marlins 8-0, outscoring the Fish 13-2 in the three game sweep. Atlanta is coming off of a three game sweep of the Cubs last weekend, and took two out of three from the Phillies to start their season. The Braves' schedule will now get a little tougher, as after an offday on Thursday, Atlanta will travel to Washington to take on the reigning NL East champion Nationals for a three game set over the weekend before returning home for a pair with the Royals, which leads into a ten game road trip to Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Detroit with the pleasure of just one offday after Thursday during the rest of the month.
PIC OF THE DAY
Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley hits the deck after an inside pitch. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Orioles 8, Red Sox 5. Orioles magic isn't dead, at least not yet. Baltimore trailed 5-3 heading into the ninth after back to back homers by Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the sixth gave Boston the lead. But closer Joel Hanrahan was shaky for the BoSox, first allowing a solo homer to Chris Davis to cut the lead to one run, and then bringing the tying run home after a wild pitch. On the very next pitch Manny Machado hit a three-run homer to put the Orioles in front 8-5 and chase Hanrahan from the game. Jim Johnson threw a perfect ninth to preserve the win, and that sealed the deal for Baltimore.
Pitching Lines of the Night: it was another night dominated by offense, but I can still highlight some pitching performances. Jake Westbrook threw a complete game shutout in the Cardinals' 10-0 win over the Reds, allowing five hits, four walks, and striking out three hitters. Barry Zito shut out the Rockies over seven innings in the Giants' 10-0 victory, allowing seven hits, one walk, and striking out four. Derek Holland and Matt Moore had a solid pitchers duel in Tampa Bay's 2-0 win over Texas, with Holland allowing two runs on five hits over eight innings, walking three and striking out four, while Moore threw 5 2/3 shutout innings, giving up just one hit and striking out five, but walking six hitters.
Hitting Lines of the Night: The Diamondbacks rolled to a 10-2 win over the Pirates, thanks to AJ Pollock going 3/5 with three runs, four RBI, a double, a stolen base, and two homers. The A's beat up the Angels (again) 11-5, and Brandon Moss went 3/4 with two runs, five RBI, two walks, a triple, and a homer. The Mets lost 7-3 to the Phillies, but you can't blame Lucas Duda, who went 3/4 with a double and a pair of solo homers. Matt Carpenter gave the Cardinals some offense in their blowout win over the Reds, going 4/5 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer. Buster Posey also provided the Giants with some offense in their beatdown over the Rockies, going 3/5 with two runs, three RBI, a double, and a triple. Finally, Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a good game in the Red Sox loss to the Orioles, going 3/4 with two RBI, a double, and a homer.
Other Games: The Nationals beat the White Sox 5-2. The Blue Jays rallied to beat the Tigers 8-6. The Royals swept the Twins after a 3-0 victory. The Astros won their first series of the year, knocking off the Mariners 8-3. The Dodgers withstood a late Padres rally, winning 4-3. The Yankees-Indians and Brewers-Cubs game were both rained out.
What You Missed: The Nationals-White Sox game yesterday had a delay due to traffic. The Cubs were mailed a goat head. Matt Harrison was put on the DL by the Rangers. Will there ever be a "greatest ever"? Has Jered Weaver's injury put the Angels in trouble? Cubs prospect Jorge Soler went nuts and charged the opposing dugout with a bat.
Today's Games: Josh Johnson and the Blue Jays look for their first series win of the year against Doug Fister and the Tigers. Ryan Vogelsong starts for the Giants against the Cubs. Dan Haren starts for the Nationals against the White Sox. Zack Greinke gets the nod for the Dodgers in San Diego. Felix Hernandez starter for the Mariners against the Rangers.
National TV: Orioles-Red Sox (7:00, MLB Network), Yankees-Indians (7:00, MLB Network [alternate])
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.