Look who’s tied for first place in the AL East – it’s the Baltimore Orioles. On Thursday night, the Orioles caught a break when Yu Darvish was scratched from his start because of rain in Baltimore. They thrived without Texas’ ace on the mound, topping the Rangers 5-2 to complete a four game sweep. When that win was combined with Toronto’s 4-1 loss in Oakland. the Orioles moved into a tie for the top spot in the AL East. The division rivals won’t play each other again until after the trade deadline, and who knows what the top of the division will look like then. But for now, the Orioles are back in the race.
Game of the Night: Phillies 5, Marlins 4. The Phillies ended their losing streak in one of the most unexpected ways you could imagine. They actually led this game 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning before the game got hairy with Jake Diekman on the hill. To start the inning, Diekman allowed singles to Ed Lucas and Giancarlo Stanton, and moved both runners up a base after a wild pitcher. Casey McGehee followed the wild pitch up with a ground out to score Lucas and tie the game at three. Jeff Baker then laced a triple into the right center field game to score Stanton, giving Miami a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately for Baker, he fell into a TOOTBLAN thanks to a super popular 5-2-5-4 double play caused by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. In the ninth, Steve Cishek laid an egg. He walked Tony Gwynn Jr. to lead off the inning, and after a Cody Asche fly out, Ben Revere singled to put men on the corners for Jimmy Rollins. Revere stole second, and Rollins grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Gwynn and tie the game at four. Chase Utley followed up with a ground out to score Revere and put Philly in front. We moved to the bottom of the ninth, and Marcell Ozuna led off with a single for Miami. He was bunted to second by Donovan Solano, and died there after both Reed Johnson and Christian Yelich struck out to end the game.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Not much going on here tonight, so we’re going to keep things limited. Max Scherzer dominated the Rays in an 8-1 Yankees win, allowing one run on two hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out seven. Sonny Gray pitched the A’s to a 4-1 win over the Blue Jays, giving up one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking three. In the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over the Rockies, Zack Greinke allowed two runs (one earned) on nine hits in eight innings, walking a pair and punching out eight.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Arizona’s 10-2 win over Pittsburgh, David Peralta went 3/5 with a homer, two runs, and four RBI. Paul Goldschmidt also helped out, going 2/4 with a double, a triple, a run, a walk, and two RBI. Steve Pearce spurred the Orioles to their win over the Rangers, going 4/5 with two doubles, a run, and two RBI. A trio of mashers starred for the Tigers in their win over the Rays: Miguel Cabrera went 3/4 with two doubles, a walk, and four runs; Victor Martinez went 2/3 with a walk and a two-run homer; Torii Hunter went 2/4 with a homer and two RBI. In his major league debut for the Yankees, Zelous Wheeler helped New York win 7-4 in Minnesota, going 2/4 with a homer and two runs scored.
Other Games: The Cardinals beat the Giants 7-2, knocking the Giants back out of first place after the Dodgers’ win later in the evening. The Angels topped the Astros 5-2.
Today’s Games: Jason Hammel and Tanner Roark will duel in Washington. Jon Lester and the Red Sox host the Orioles. Kyle Gibson and the Twins take on the Yankees. Marcus Stroman starts for the Blue Jays in Oakland. Gerrit Cole and the Pirates welcome the Phillies to Pittsburgh. Alex Cobb starts for the Rays in Detroit. Matt Cain gets the nod for the Giants in San Diego. Ervin Santana and the Braves host the Diamondbacks. Yordano Ventura and Josh Tomlin will battle in Cleveland. Alfredo Simon and the Reds host the division-leading Brewers and Kyle Lohse. Chris Sale starts for the White Sox against the Mariners. Yu Darvish will get the nod for the Rangers in New York against Jon Niese and the Mets. Lance Lynn and Nate Eovaldi will face off in St. Louis. Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers in Colorado. Dallas Keuchel and the Astros take on C.J. Wilson and the Angels.
National TV: Cubs-Nationals (11 AM, MLB Network), Yankees-Twins (3 PM, ESPN2), Rays-Tigers (7 PM, ESPN)
Enjoy your day of baseball, and happy Independence Day, everyone.