Dugout Digest – the topsy turvy AL West

If anyone is wondering why you shouldn't put too much stock in early standings, I direct you to the American League West. The A's started the year 12-4, and have lost eight of their last night to sit just a game above .500. Ironically over the last week and a half, the Rangers and A's have nearly inverse run differentials (+21 for Texas, -19 for Oakland), and that's spurred their turnarounds. In another odd note, the A's this year are 11-2 against AL West teams, and just 2-10 in teams outside of the division. Oh, and what about the Angels, baseball's most confusing team? Well, after sweeping the Tigers and outscoring the defending AL champs by 18 runs during their three game set last weekend, Anaheim is just 2-4 this week against the Rangers and Mariners, and need a win today in Seattle to prevent themselves from losing three of four to the Mariners.


Yonder Alonso of the Padres dumps the water bucket on teammate Nick Hundley after Hundley's walkoff single (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Brewers 6, Dodgers 4. On a night loaded with close (although unexciting) games, this one stood out from the bunch. A Luis Cruz RBI groundout in the sixth put Los Angeles on top 3-2, but the Brewers surged back in front on the seventh after a two-run homer from Carlos Gomez off of Matt Guerrier to spoil Matt Magill's attempt for his first major league win. In the eighth, Martin Maldanado struck a two-run homer off of Guerrier to extend Milwaukee's lead to 6-3. Andre Ethier responded with a solo homer off of (who else?) John Axford to make it a 6-4 game, but freshly minted Brewers closer Jim Henderson picked up his sixth save of the year despite letting the tying run get to second with two outs in the ninth.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Felix Hernandez did Felix Hernandez things in Seattle's 3-2 win over the Angels, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking one. Matt Moore lit up the White Sox for his fifth win of the year in Tampa Bay's 10-4 win in Chicago, allowing one run on three hits over six frames, walking one and punching out nine. Ervin Santana led the Royals to a 3-2 win over the Indians, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing six hits, striking out five without a walk. Finally, Jake Westbrook had a solid start for the Cardinals in their 5-3 loss to the Pirates, allowing no runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six without a walk.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Former Braves Omar Infante hurt his old team in a 7-4 Tigers win, going 3/4 with two runs, three RBI, a double, a homer, and a stolen base. Travis Hafner led the Yankees to a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays, going 2/4 with four RBI, a triple (?!?!), and a homer. Kelly Johnson provided the offense for Moore in that Rays win over the White Sox, going 4/5 with a run, two RBI, a triple, and his fourth steal of the year. Yonder Alonso helped the Padres to an 8-7, 12 inning win over the Giants, going 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and three doubles. And then, there's Carlos Gomez, who went 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer in Milwaukee's win in Los Angeles.

Other Games: Bryce Harper hit his ninth homer of the year in Washington's 6-3 win over Cincinnati. The Phillies pounded the Mets 9-4, giving Jon Pettibone his first major league win. The Orioles smashed the A's 7-3. The Cubs beat the Marlins 3-2 despite Giancarlo Stanton's first homer of the year. The Twins scored six runs late to beat the Rangers 7-2. The Red Sox beat the Astros 8-4 to boost their record to a major league best 17-7. The Diamondbacks gritted out a 3-2, ten inning win over the Rockies. 

What You Missed: The St Paul Saints are going to have an umpireless exhibition game in May.

Today's Games: Cole Hamels takes on Jon Niese in Flushing. RA Dickey will start in the Bronx against Phil Hughes. John Lackey will make his second start of the year for the Red Sox against the Astros. David Price gets the nod for the Rays in Chicago. Shelby Miller starts for the Cardinals against the Pirates. Alexi Ogando will toe the rubber for the Rangers in Minnesota. Kyle Lohse and Clayton Kershaw is your pitching matchup of the day in Los Angeles. Justin Masterson takes on Jeremy Guthrie in game one of a doubleheader in Kansas City. The white hot Pat Corbin starts for the Diamondbacks against the Rockies. Hisashi Iwakuma will start for the Mariners against the Angels. Mike Minor and Doug Fister will duel in primetime in Detroit.

National TV: Blue Jays-Yankees (1 PM, TBS), Braves-Tigers (8 PM, ESPN)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.