Last Tuesday morning, the Cardinals were coming off of a 17-5 thrashing at the hands of the Cubs. They were 19-20, 5.5 games behind a Brewers team that was coming off of a series win over the Yankees, and would complete a series win over the Pirates that week. Fast forward to today. The Brewers have lost four in a row and the Cardinals have won five out of six, cutting their deficit in the NL Central down to just 2.5 games. Milwaukee’s run differential has fallen to -1 on the season, while St. Louis’ is up to +16. With an upcoming schedule that includes the Marlins, Orioles, Cubs, Twins, Pirates, and Mets, the Brewers have a prime opportunity to hold off the Cardinals in the division. If keep losing ground, Milwaukee’s hot start to the year could end up all for naught.
Game of the Night: White Sox 7, Royals 6. The White Sox held a 4-2 lead in the early going in this one, but increased that lead to 7-2 in the eighth following a monstrous three-run homer by Adam Dunn. In the bottom of the eighth, Alex Gordon brought Eric Hosmer home with a ground out, Lorenzo Cain singled in Billy Butler, and Cain scored on a wild pitch by Frank Francisco. All of a sudden, it was back to being a two run game. In the ninth, the Royals challenged the White Sox once again. After Ronald Belisario got the first two outs in short order, Butler doubled, moved to third on a passed ball, and scored on a Gordon single to make it 7-6. Jarrod Dyson came in to run for Gordon and stole second, but Cain struck out to end the game and push the Royals to a game under .500 and into a third place tie with Chicago.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Adam Wainwright dominated the Diamondbacks in a 5-0 Cardinals win, throwing a one hit complete game shutout while striking out nine without a walk. Julio Teheran also threw a complete game shutout in Atlanta’s 5-0 win over Milwaukee, allowing six hits, walking two, and striking out eight. Tyler Skaggs pushed the Angels to a 9-3 win over the Astros, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out six. Hisashi Iwakuma helped the Mariners best the Rangers 6-2, giving up two runs on six hits in eight innings, punching out three while walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Baltimore’s 9-2 win over Pittsburgh, Chris Davis played like he did last year, going 4/5 with three homers, four runs, and five RBI. Melky Cabrera helped the Blue Jays top the Red Sox 7-4, going 4/5 with two doubles, a homer, three runs, and two RBI. Edwin Encarnacion chipped in for the Jays by going 2/5 with a pair of two-run homers. Denard Span was great in Washington’s 9-4 win over Cincinnati, going a perfect 5/5 with two doubles, two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base. Adrian Gonzalez pushed the Dodgers to a 9-4 victory over the Mets, going 3/4 with a double, a two-run homer, and a walk.
Other Games: Trevor Bauer pitched the Indians to a 6-2 win over the Tigers. The A’s shut out the Rays 3-0. The Phillies held on to beat the Marlins 6-5. The Cubs beat the Yankees 6-1, handing Masahiro Tanaka his first career loss in the majors. The Rockies picked up a 5-4, walk off win over the Giants. The Twins topped the Padres 5-3.
What You Missed: Stephen Drew is heading back to Boston. Miguel Olivo tried to bite Alex Guerrero’s ear off during a game in AAA. The most exciting walk offs of the week. Can anyone believe in pitching phenoms anymore?
Today’s Games: Max Scherzer starts for the Tigers in Cleveland. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs host the Yankees. Alfredo Simon starts for the Reds in Washington against Tanner Roark. Kyle Lohse and Ervin Santana will duel in Atlanta. Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his return for the Dodgers against the Mets. Chris Tillman starts for the Orioles in Pittsburgh. Jose Quintana will take the hill for the White Sox in Kansas City. Nate Eovaldi and the Marlins host the Phillies. Michael Wacha and the Cardinals host the Diamondbacks. Matt Cain starts for the Giants in Colorado. Tyson Ross and the Padres host the Twins. Jered Weaver and the Angels host the Astros.
National TV: Yankees-Cubs (2 PM, MLB Network), Mariners-Rangers (2 PM, MLB Network), Dodgers-Mets (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: TBA
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.