I’m starting to wonder just a little bit about the Toronto Blue Jays. They’re still in first place in the AL East, but things have gotten a bit dicey lately. The Jays have lost nine out of their last 12 games, and they’ve scored only 28 runs over those dozen games. Their division lead has shrunk to 1.5 games over the Yankees and 2.5 over the Orioles, and their schedule won’t get any easier heading into the All-Star Break – their final 22 games of the first half come against the Reds, Yankees, White Sox, Brewers, Athletics, Angels, and Rays. and 13 of those games come away from Rogers Centre.
Game of the Day: Indians 5, Angels 3 (ten innings). So…how about that Angels bullpen? This game was knotted at one through nine, and we’d need extra innings to settle this one. Scott Atchison got the first two outs with ease in the top of the tenth, but quickly allowed a single to Kole Calhoun, a double to Mike Trout, and a single to Albert Pujols, putting the Angels on top 3-1. In the bottom of the tenth, Cam Bedrosian struggled even worse for the Angels. He led off the inning by walking Michael Bourn, and after an Asdrubal Cabrera strikeout, Bedrosian allowed a double to Jason Kipnis and walked Carlos Santana to load the bases. Ernesto Frieri replaced Bedrosian, and got David Murphy to fly out for out number two. He then gave up a walk off grand slam to an ice cold Nick Swisher, sending the Angels to another painful defeat.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Zack Wheeler threw a complete game shutout in the Mets’ 1-0 win over the Marlins, allowing three hits, walking one, and striking out eight. Chris Archer pitched the Rays to a 5-0 win against the Astros, giving up three hits over 6 2/3 scoreless frames, punching out eight while walking a pair. Gavin Floyd pitched well in Atlanta’s 3-0 win in Washington, allowing two hits in six shutout innings, walking one and striking out six, but leaving the game with a fractured elbow. David Buchanan outdueled Shelby Miller in Phialdelphia’s 4-1 win in St. Louis, giving up one run on four hits in 7 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out four. Jesse Hahn had a nice performance in San Diego’s 4-1 win over Seattle, allowing one unearned run in seven innings on five hits, striking out seven and walking a pair.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Boston’s 4-2 loss to Oakland, Dustin Pedroia went 2/4 with a double and a two-run homer. Ryan Howard stayed hot for the Phillies in their win over the Cardinals, going 2/4 with a homer and three RBI. Clint Barmes played well in Pittsburgh’s 4-3, 12 inning win over Cincinnati, going 4/5 with a double and a run scored. Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion both continued to hit in Toronto’s 6-4 loss to the Yankees, each going 2/4 with a two-run homer. Freddie Freeman went 3/5 with two doubles and two runs scored for the Braves in their win over the Nationals.
Other Games: The Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 4-1. The Tigers edged the Royals 2-1. The Twins topped the White Sox 4-2.
Today’s Games: Charlie Morton starts for the Pirates in Chicago against the Cubs. Mike Minor and Stephen Strasburg will duel in Washington. Corey Kluber and the Indians host the Tigers and Rick Porcello. Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees welcome Ubaldo Jimenez and the Orioles to the Bronx. Jarred Cosart and David Price will square off in St. Pete. R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays take on Mat Latos and the Reds. Henderson Alvarez starts for the Marlins against the Mets. Hisashi Iwakuma and James Shields will square off in Kansas City. A.J. Burnett starts for the Phillies in St. Louis against Jaime Garcia and the Cardinals. Garrett Richards and the Angels host the Rangers. Dan Haren and Ian Kennedy will cross paths in San Diego. Jesse Chavez and the A’s host the Red Sox.
National TV: Orioles-Yankee (7 PM, MLB Network), Tigers-Indians (7 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.