I think the best phrase to describe last night's 10-3, 10 inning Angels loss to the Twins would be "back-breaking". Anaheim scored a run in the ninth, courtesy of a bases loaded walk by Glen Perkins, to tie the game at three. Closer Ernesto Frieri came in for the tenth, and totally melted down, giving up hits to the first three batters of the inning. After getting a pop up, he intentionally walked Clete Thomas before giving up a grand slam to Chris Herrmann, staking the Twins to a five run lead. He was pulled, and Billy Buckner then allowed a two-run homer to Pedro Florimon, giving Minnesota a seven run tenth inning.The Angels are now 46-52, six games under .500, fourth in the AL West, and 9.5 out in the AL Wild Card race, with no less than six teams standing between them and a playoff spot. It's looking more and more like time to pack it in in Anaheim.
PIC OF THE DAY
Dustin Pedroia celebrates his new contract with a takeout slide. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Astros 5, Athletics 4. Houston fans got a solid glimpse of their future on Tuesday night. Jarred Cosart nearly matched Jarrod Parker through seven innings, but Jose Cisnero gave the A's the lead after allowing a two-run homer to Brandon Moss. But in the ninth, with Grant Balfour on the hill…something happened. Balfour wasn't his usual dominant self. He blew his first save in 44 chances, dating back to the end of last April. Balfour started the ninth by allowing an infiield single to Justin Maxwell, exacerbated by a throwing error on Balfour. He followed that up by giving up a game-tying two-run homer to Matt Dominguez to put the Astros back in the game. After getting Marc Krauss to fly out, Jonathan Villar doubled and Jose Altuve walked. Then, A's catcher Derek Norris had issues blocking a pitch from Balfour, and Altuve was hung up between second and third…but Norris' throw went into right field. Villar raced around to score, giving the Astros an improbable comeback victory.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Gerrit Cole shut down a slumping Nationals offense in the Pirates' 5-1 win, allowing one run on two hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out four. Shelby Miller shut down a scuffling Phillies team as the Cardinals won 4-1, giving up three hits over six shutout innings, striking out six and walking one. Tyson Ross led the Padres to a 6-2 win in Milwaukee, allowing one run on two hits in six innings to the Braun-less Brewers, striking out six and walking two. Rick Porcello and the Tigers topped the White Sox 6-2, with Porcello allowing four hits over seven scoreless frames, walking three and striking out one. Finally, wily veteran Bruce Chen led the Royals to a 3-2 win over the Orioles, allowing one run on three hits in six innings, striking out four without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: The duo of Zack Cozart and Devin Mesoraco helped the Reds to a 9-3 win in game one of their doubleheader with the Giants, as Cozart went 4/4 with three runs, two RBI, and a homer, while Mesoraco went 3/4 with a three-run homer. Neither player started game two, which the Reds lost 5-3. The aforementioned Chris Herrmann finished Minnesota's win over Anaheim by going 3/5 with that grand slam. Adrian Gonzalez helped the Dodgers to a 10-9 win over the Blue Jays, going 2/4 with three runs, three RBI, a walk, and a homer. Nick Hundley provided the thunder for San Diego in their win over the Brewers, going 3/4 with a homer and three RBI.
Other Games: The Mets topped the Braves 4-1. The Red Sox kept the Rays at bay in the AL East, defeating Tampa 6-2. The Yankees rallied to beat the Rangers 5-4. The Marlins doubled up the Rockies 4-2 behind strong efforts from rookies Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. The Diamondbacks smashed the Cubs 10-4. The Mariners beat the Indians 4-3.
Today's Games: Bud Norris will possibly be making his last start as an Astro, hosting the A's. Jered Weaver and the Angels host the Twins. David Price gets the nod for the Rays in Boston. Francisco Liriano and Stephen Strasburg will duel in Washington. Ricky Nolasco starts for the Dodgers in Toronto. Kyle Lohse (maybe) makes his final start as a Brewer, hosting the Padres. Matt Garza makes his Rangers debut against Andy Pettitte and the Yankees. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers against the White Sox. Wei-Yin Chen and Ervin Santana will battle in Kansas City. Jorge de la Rosa and the Rockies take on the Marlins. Jeff Samardzija starts for the Cubs in Phoenix.
National TV: Rays-Red Sox (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Twins-Angels (3:30 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Francisco Liriano vs Stephen Strasburg (Pirates vs Nationals, 7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.