The Braves just aren’t going to die, are they? Yes, they picked up no ground in the NL East over the last two weeks thanks to Washington’s insane winning streak. But the team has now won seven of eight games, and has moved to just one game back of the Giants (even in the win column) for the National League’s second Wild Card spot, though the Pirates have woken up following their beating at the hands of the Braves earlier this week and are just a game and a half behind Atlanta. Because of the struggles of the Reds, it’s become a four (or five, depending on how high you are on the Marlins) team battle for the NL’s two Wild Card berths – and don’t forget, the Brewers and Dodgers haven’t exactly started to run away with their divisions yet. Nothing is simple in the National League.
Game of the Night: Mariners 5, Red Sox 3. The end of this game was, in a word, insane. Boston led 3-0 going into the ninth thanks to a three-run homer by Yoenis Cespedes off of Felix Hernandez in the sixth inning. And it looked like that blast out hold up when Koji Uehara sandwiched two outs in the ninth around a Logan Morrison single. Then…things got ugly. Morrison stole second. Uehara walked Endy Chavez. Chris Denorfia singled. All of a sudden, the tying run was at first base for Seattle. Austin Jackson doubled in Morrison and Chavez to make it 3-2 and put the go-ahead run on second. Dustin Ackley wasted no time in bringing Denorfia and Jackson home with a single to make it 4-3. Robinson Cano followed up with a single of his own to score Ackley and make it 5-3, stunning Uehara and the Sox. Fernando Rodney walked Mookie Betts with two outs in the ninth, but Christian Vazquez flied out to right to end the game and hand Boston a crushing loss that seems representative of their entire season so far.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Drew Smyly threw a complete game, two-hit shutout for the Rays in their 8-0 win in Toronto, striking out four without a walk. David who? In Arizona’s 5-1 win over San Diego, Josh Collmenter gave up one unearned run on four hits in 8 1/3 innings, striking out eight without a walk. Mike Minor took a no-hitter into the eighth as the Braves beat the Reds 3-1 in 12 innings, allowing one run on one hits while walking four and striking out five. Dan Haren shut down the Mets in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win, giving up one run on three his in seven innings, striking out six without a walk. Carlos Carrasco had another nice start for Cleveland in their 5-1 loss to Houston, giving up one run on two hits in six innings, walking a pair and punching out eight. Jake Arrieta ran through the Orioles in the Cubs’ 4-1 win, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out five. In Boston’s loss to Seattle, Joe Kelly allowed just one hit over five scoreless frames, walking three and striking out five.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Miami’s 13-5 win in Colorado, Marcell Ozuna went 3/5 with a double, a homer, two runs, and five RBI. Giancarlo Stanton chipped in by going 3/4 with a double, three runs, three RBI, and two walks. Joe Panik and the Giants snapped Washington’s winning streak with a 10-3 blowout win, as Panik went 4/5 with a homer, two runs, and three RBI. Josh Harrison and the Pirates topped the Brewers 8-3, thanks to Harrison’s 3/5 night that included a double, a homer, and five RBI. In Tampa Bay’s win in Toronto, Evan Longoria went 3/4 with a double, a homer, a walk, and three RBI. Justin Upton was the deciding factor in Atlanta’s win over the Reds, going 3/6 with a triple, a homer, and two RBI. Miguel Montero shined for the Diamondbacks in their win over the Padres, going 2/3 with a double, a homer, a walk, two runs, and two RBI.
Hitting Lines of the Night, Twins Edition: Minnesota slaughtered Detroit 20-6, and here’s who smashed the ball for them. Eduardo Escobar went 5/6 with a triple, a homer, three runs, and two RBI. Trevor Plouffe went 3/6 with a double, a homer, four runs, and three RBI. Danny Santana went 3/6 with a homer, a walk, two runs, and four RBI. Oswaldo Arcia went 2/6 with a double, a homer, three runs, and three RBI. Jordan Schafer went 2/3 with three walks, three runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base.
Other Games: The Yankees walked off on the White Sox 4-3. The Phillies prevailed over the Cardinals 5-4. The Royals doubled up the Rangers 6-3. The A’s held on to beat the Angels 5-3.
Today’s Games: Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees host the White Sox. Mark Buehrle and the Blue Jays take on the Rays. Bud Norris gets the nod for the Orioles at Wrigley. Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals host the Giants and Tim Lincecum. Ervin Santana and Mike Leake will duel in Cincinnati. Wily Peralta and the Brewers take on the Pirates. Andrew Cashner makes his first start in two months for the Padres in Arizona. C.J. Wilson and the Angels battle Jon Lester and the A’s. Zack Greinke and the Dodgers host the Mets and Jacob deGrom, returning after a short stint on the DL.
National TV: Tigers-Twins (1 PM, MLB Network), Rays-Blue Jays (1 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Nationals (4 PM, Fox Sports 1), Braves-Reds (7 PM, Fox Sports 1), Angels-Athletics (10 PM, MLB Network, joined in progress), Royals-Rangers (10 PM, MLB Network, joined in progress)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.