Rockies 10, Giants 2. The return of World Series hero Cody Ross didn’t do much to aid the Giants in their efforts to complete the sweep of the NL West rival Colorado Rockies. Instead, the Rox jumped all over a very shaky Matt Cain, chasing the ace after scoring six runs off of him before the end of the fifth inning. The big blow for Colorado came off the bat of Ty Wigginton who celebrated both his new role as the team’s third baseman, with Ian Stewart getting demoted yesterday, and his 1,000th career hit with a three-run home run in the second inning. Jorge De la Rosa did the rest as he cruised through seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and two walks.
Cubs 2, Padres 1 (11 innings, Game 1). Cubs fan can breath a sigh of relief, Matt Garza finally had a good outing. The struggling hurler snapped out of his funk by shutting out the Padres for six innings, striking out nine batters in the process. This might be a bit of a fluke though as Garza only was able to go six innings because he had to use 114 pitches despite his seemingly dominant line. Thanks to a blown save by Carlos Marmol and the continuing anomaly that is Dustin Mosely’s dominance, Chicago couldn’t lock up this victory until Reed Johnson hit a pinch-hit walk-off homer in the 11th inning.
Nationals 8, Cardinals 6 (Game 1). Playing their second doubleheader this week, the Nationals pulled out all the stops to secure a victory in this one, including a steal of home by Ian Desmond as the Nats jumped all over Jake Westbrook, hanging seven runs on him in three innings. Ryan Franklin also went out of his way to make sure that his demotion from the closer role wasn’t short-lived when he gave up a late homer to Laynce Nix. But at least Franklin took the high road and complained about the fans booing him after the game. That should help him get the closer’s job back, right?
Tigers 3, Mariners 2. For some reason the Mariners felt compelled to have Adam Kennedy play first base and bat third in this game and, you’re not going to believe this, but it didn’t exactly work out so well. Kennedy actually did his part by collecting two hits, including a solo home run, but the Seattle lineup could only manage two runs on the evening. Rick Porcello allowed just one run for his second consecutive start to notch his first W of the year.
Phillies 4, Brewers 3. It was a classic game of big vs. small as the Phillies topped the Brewers, who were led by 2 RBI’s from the world’s largest Vegan, Prince Fielder, on the strength of a game-tying three-run blast from Placido Polanco and the won the game on a Shane Victorino solo shot in the 8th inning. Chris Narveson continued cooling off after his hot start to the season, but he was still pretty decent allowing three runs through six innings.
Red Sox 5, Athletics 3. There is no stopping Jed Lowrie, you can only hope to contain him. After taking the collar last night, Lowrie heated right back up again by going 2-for-4 with a homer, 2 RBIs and a run scored in this one. While Lowrie was heating up, Gio Gonzalez was finally cooling off as he had his 17 inning scoreless streak snapped in this one by way of a Carl Crawford RBI single. The win marked the first road win of the season for the Red Sox, so they’ve got that going for them.
Rays 4, White Sox 1. Don’t look now but the Rays are back at .500 and if you are a ChiSox fan, you may just want to avert your eyes altogether as this marked the seventh straight loss for the Pale Hose who could get pretty much nothing going against Tampa’s Wade Davis despite some lineup juggling from Ozzie Guillen. On the bright side, it was someone other than Guillen losing his cool during the game as AJ Pierzynski let his frustrations boil over as he got ejected for arguing with the umpires.
Orioles 5, Twins 4. Impressive rookie Zach Britton bounced back nicely from his first big league loss to battle his way through six innings and register his third win. Britton had the benefit of being spotted five early runs as Nick Blackburn struggled out of the gate, giving up homers to the suddenly hot Matt Wieters and Vladimir Guerrero. To his credit, Blackburn settled down and was able to pitch seven innings, but the faltering Twin offense, who still don’t have the flu-riddled duo of Justin Morneau and Delmon Young, quite complete the comeback.
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2. Is it still 2007? I’m pretty sure it is 2011, but I am totally confused because I am pretty sure that the boxscore for this game says that Bartolo Colon started this game, pitched well and actually won. I mean, it would only be stranger if Andruw Jones were still starting in the outfield. Wait, what? Did I travel through a wormhole or something? Making things even stranger, someone other than Mariano Rivera picked up the save for the Yankees when Rafael Soriano came in to bail out Lance Pendleton in the ninth after he got himself in some trouble.
Padres 5, Cubs 4 (Game 2). After suffering a heart-breaking walk-off loss in the first half of the doubleheader, the Padres relied on some unexpected help from Ryan Ludwick who came into the doubleheader hitting just .135. But busted out in a big way, racking up three hits including a double and a two-run homer. Chad Qualls nearly choked the game away in the 8th, but the Pads held on to salvage a split.
Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1. Somehow this game featured a grand total of nine hits from both teams, but still couldn’t really be considered a pitcher’s duel, which is a pretty rare feat. Ian Kennedy was actually having a pretty nice game but got hit in the ankle by a comebacker and had leave the game with one out in the sixth. The Arizona bullpen took over and allowed just one walk and no hits to knock the Reds down to .500 for the first time this season.
Astros 4, Mets 3. The Mets somehow wasted a four-hit night from Jose Reyes and a three-hit game from Carlos Beltran, but that is pretty much a microcosm of the Mets’ season, isn’t it. RA Dickey went eight innings, but probably should’ve just gone seven because he allowed a game-winning homer to Hunter Pence in the 8th. The loss dropped the Metropolitans to 1-8 at home, the team’s worst start at home in franchise history.
Marlins 6, Pirates 0. Charlie Morton finally remembered he was Charlie Morton and got touched up for six runs on ten hits in five innings. The Marlins didn’t even really need that much though because Ricky Nolasco was lights out, pitching seven shutout innings for the Fish. The Bucs should have known they were in for trouble from the get-go after they allowed two runs to score on a Chris Coghlan INFIELD single to score. Yes, two runs on an infield single. Bravo, Pittsburgh, bravo.
Cardinals 5, Nationals 3 (Game 2). The Cards earned the doubleheader split in large part thanks to Lance Berkman’s continuing bounceback season. The Big Puma had two RBI hits on the night, including a run-scoring single that would put St. Louis ahead for good. And for all you fantasy owners out there, make a note that Mitchell Boggs got his first save and looks like he is going to be the new closer in St. Louis.
Angels 4, Rangers 1. The two AL West rivals squared off in the rubber match of this early season showdown. The teams exchanged lopsided victories the first two games, but this one was more of a pitcher’s duel with Jered Weaver doing much of the dueling. Weaver put the clamps down on the Rangers and sent a message in the process as he went the distance to pick up his fifth win already this season. As if the Angels weren’t feeling good enough about themselves, they got an added bonus by seeing struggling slugger Vernon Wells finally hit his first home run of the season. For you Web Gem fans, be sure to check out the highlights of this one to see Angel CF phenom Peter Bourjos rob a homer at the wall.
Indians 7, Royals 5. It is a crying shame that Luke Hochevar took the loss in this game. Hochevar was actually perfect through the first five innings, which, dating back to his last start, meant he had retired the last 31 batters he had faced. Unfortunately, once the streak was broken, the wheels came off and Hochevar coughed up six runs. The win moved the Indians to 13-5 on the season which is unbelievably the best record in the American League.
Dodgers 6, Braves 1. Any sinkerball pitcher will tell you that when the sinker is really working, they can be impossible to hit. But when it isn’t working, things can go real bad, real fast. We saw both of those scenarios unfold in this game. Jon Garland led the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball’s Special Financial Intervention Department to an easy win, limiting the Braves to just four hits, with Garland going the distance. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Derek Lowe was only able to go three innings after getting roughed up for five runs on nine hits. Juan Uribe led the offensive charge for Bud Selig’s new piece of property, driving in four runs.
PITCHERS OF THE NIGHT
Jorge De la Rosa, Rockies. 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Game score: 65
Jon Garland, Dodgers. 9 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Game score: 77
Jered Weaver, Angels. 9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Game score: 79
Wade Davis, Rays. 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Game score: 61
Ricky Nolasco, Marlins. 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Game score: 76
HITTERS OF THE NIGHT
Prince Fielder, Brewers. 3/3, 4 RBI, 1 2B, 1 BB
Jose Uribe, Dodgers. 3/4, 4 RBI
Curtis Granderson, Yankees. 2/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 3B, 1 HR
Ryan Ludwick, Padres. 3/4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 2B, 1 HR
Jose Reyes, Mets. 4/5, 3 R, 1 R, 2 SB
LINKS OF THE DAY
Major League Baseball has taken over control of the Dodgers in the wake of Frank McCourt’s financial problems.
The Cubs might have thrown the 1918 World Series.
A Texas Rangers beat writer has an embarrasingly awful take on Colby Lewis taking paternity leave.
Buster Posey’s sister is really good at softball, hits for the cycle.
Mike Leake didn’t steal those t-shirts, he’s just really bad at making returns, apparently.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Red Sox vs. Angels. The Angels got ridiculed all off-season long after bungling their free agency offers to Carl Crawford, but we’ll see who is laughing now as these two teams square off. The Halos are coming in hot having overtaken the Rangers for first place in the AL West while the Red Sox come limping in with their prized free agent addition hitting a mere .149 which is bound to make the Angels feel better, though it probably won’t stop the fans in Anaheim from booing Crawford mercilessly.
Diamondbacks vs. Reds. This may not be the greatest of match-ups, but it does feature Mike “Five Finger Discount” Leake making his first start since his befuddling arrest for shoplifting.
Braves vs. Dodgers. Our top pitching match-up of the night Jair Jurrjens takes on Clayton Kershaw.
Enjoy your baseball responsibly.