The Kansas City Royals are starting to make waves in the AL Central. After smashing the White Sox 7-2, and coupled with Detroit’s 2-0 loss to Minnesota, the Royals are just 1.5 games back in the division. However, I’m not sure how great that really is – the White Sox and Indians are tied for last in the division, and are just 3.5 games back of the Tigers. That four game series with Detroit to start next week is going to be huge at any rate – the Tigers really need to get the ship righted.
Game of the Night: Reds 6, Brewers 5. There were quite a few good games on Friday evening, but I’m giving this contest between Cincinnati and Milwaukee the nod. The Reds pounced on Matt Garza in the fifth inning, and took a 5-1 lead which looked safe with Homer Bailey on the hill. But Bailey began to struggle in the seventh inning, allowing a leadoff homer to Khris Davis and a pair of singles before exiting the game. Sam LeCure then went ahead and dumped gasoline on the fire, giving up an RBI single to Scooter Gennett to make it 5-3, an RBI infield single to Jonathan Lucroy to make it 5-4, and an RBI double to Carlos Gomez to tie the game at five. Logan Ondrusek got out of his mess, and the Reds pulled ahead in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod allowed a leadoff single to Zach Cozart, then after Cozart was bunted over to second, Billy Hamilton singled him in to give the Reds the lead. Cincinnati didn’t get any more runs in the ninth, and Aroldis Chapman silenced the Milwaukee bats in the bottom of the inning to save the win.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Lance Lynn and Jordan Zimmermann had one hell of a pitchers duel in St. Louis’ 1-0 win over Washington. Lynn allowed two hits in eight shutout innings, punching out eight without a walk, while Zimmermann allowed one run on three hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking one. Jake Arrieta pitched the Cubs to a 2-1 win over the Phillies, tossing seven shutout innings while allowing two hits, walking one, and punching out nine. Felix Hernandez got a hard-luck loss in Seattle’s 1-0 defeat to Texas, giving up one run on four hits in 8 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out six. In the win for Texas, Nick Tepesch pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up a pair of hits, walking two and striking out five. In Tampa Bay’s 6-1 win in Houston, Alex Cobb allowed one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out 11. David Phelps pitched the Yankees to a 7-0 win over Oakland, allowing two hits over 6 2/3 shutout frames, striking out four and walking three. Apologies to our other quality starters from Saturday: Drew Hutchison, Kyle Gibson, Bartolo Colon, Jeff Locke, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Drew Smyly, Aaron Harang, Ubaldo Jimenez, John Lackey, and Sonny Gray.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Pittsburgh’s 8-6, 13 inning win over Miami, their corner outfielders shined. Gregory Polanco went 5/7 with a homer, three runs, and two RBI, while Starling Marte went 4/7 with a homer, three runs, two RBI, and a stolen base. In the loss for Miami, Giancarlo Stanton went 3/5 with a double, a solo homer, and a walk. The Mets beat the Padres 6-2 thanks to old man Bobby Abreu going a perfect 4/4 with a double, two runs, and two RBI. Ben Zobrist pushed the Rays to a big win in Houston, going 3/4 with a double, a triple, a run, and two RBI.
Other Games: Toronto shut out Baltimore 4-0. The Braves hung on to beat the Angels 4-3. The Red Sox smashed the Indians 10-3. The Dodgers edged the Diamondbacks 4-3. The Rockies rallied in the ninth to beat the Giants 7-4.
Today’s Games: Great pitching is on tap today, but that’s becoming the norm across the league. Danny Duffy gets the nod for the Royals against the White Sox. R.A. Dickey and Bud Norris will duel in Baltimore. Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants host the Rockies. Anibal Sanchez looks to get the Tigers back on the winning track against the Twins. Zack Wheeler and the Mets host the Padres. Chris Archer and Jarred Cosart will duel in Houston. Charlie Morton starts for the Pirates in Miami. Garrett Richards and Gavin Floyd will duel in Atlanta. Mat Latos makes his first start of the year for the Reds in Milwaukee against Yovani Gallardo. Stephen Strasburg and Shelby Miller will face off in St. Louis. Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees take on Scott Kazmir and the Athletics. Dan Haren and the Dodgers host the Diamondbacks.
National TV: Twins-Tigers (4 PM, Fox Sports 1), Angels-Braves (7 PM, Fox), Reds-Brewers (7 PM, Fox), Nationals-Cardinals (7 PM, Fox), Yankees-Athletics (10 PM, MLB Network), Diamondbacks-Dodgers (10 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.