Dugout Digest: 5/17/11

The weird scheduling of a bunch of two-game series left Monday with an unusually full schedule, but don’t worry! The Dugout Digest is here to help you catch up.

Rays 6 Yankees 5

This is how the Rays rally in 2011: a John Jaso double, a Sam Fuld homer, an Evan Longoria single, a Matt Joyce single, and a BJ Upton homer. That sequence turned a 5-1 Yankees lead into a 6-5 Rays lead. Johnny Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth nailed it down for the Rays, and they ended a two-game losing streak and stretched their AL East lead to three games over the Yankees and Red Sox. Johnny Damon also homered off of AJ Burnett, who allowed all three homers and six Rays runs. 

Indians 19 Royals 1

The Tribe flat-out poured it on against the Royals tonight, dropping 10 runs in the fourth and having all 19 across the plate before the sixth inning ended. They hit seven doubles (Matt LaPorta had two, Travis Hafner, Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera, Shelley Duncan, and Shin-Soo Choo all had one) and Michael Brantley hit a three-run homer. Josh Tomlin went six pressure-free innings for his fifth win, while Kyle Davies failed to make it out of the first and Vin Mazzaro got tagged for 14 runs. Actually, I feel bad about even mentioning that. I think the guy’s had a rough enough day already. How did Ned Yost even let that happen? 

Red Sox 8 Orioles 7

Staring down a 6-0 deficit in the in the sixth, the Red Sox rallied for five runs on the spot and added two more on an Adrian Gonzalez walk-off double in the ninth. Gonzalez had three hits and Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, JD Drew, Jed Lowrie, and Jason Varitek all added in two more. Luke Scott and Mark Reynolds made errors for the Orioles in the Sox big sixth, which lead to all but one of the runs scored that inning being unearned. With the win, the Red Sox pull even with the Yankees for second place in the AL East. 

Cardinals 3 Phillies 1

So Tony La Russa took a week off and because he was afraid that no one would notice that he returned to the dugout tonight, he decided to play Albert Pujols at third base? And that somehow caused Cliff Lee to walk six batters in 6 1/3 innings (he walked six in 103 2/3 innings with the Mariners last year) and all three of the Cardinals runs came as a direct result of those walks. Jake Westbrook walked three of his own in seven innings (he only struck out one), but he only allowed four hits and only one of those went for extra bases and … whatever, the point here is that Tony La Russa is a genius and you’re an idiot for not understanding him. 

Blue Jays 4 Tigers 2

It’s funny how baseball works. Out in St. Louis, Cliff Lee walked six batters and lost. In Detroit, Kyle Drabek, who was involved in the Roy Halladay trade that sent Cliff Lee from Philadelphia to Seattle, walked six hitters and only threw 58 strikes in 113 pitches, but he came away with a win. That’s because he held the Tigers to three singles in his seven innings. The Tigers didn’t score off of Drabek after the first. The Blue Jays mixed three hits (Jose Bautista singled, Edwin Encarnacion singled, and Aaron Hill doubled) with two sac flies (Juan Rivera and JP Arrenciba) in the eighth to score three times, and that ended up being enough when the Tigers failed to score again after Jhonny Peralta’s homer in the ninth. 

Reds 7 Cubs 4

The Reds used a seven-run sixth inning to reel off their eighth win in ten games and move within a game of the Phillies for the NL’s best record. That rally was speared by a two-run Scott Rolen double and a two-run Jonny Gomes homer. That got Homer Bailey his third win in as many starts in May after starting the season on the disabled list. Most of the damage came against Carlos Zambrano, who saw his ERA on the season balloon up to 4.89. 

Rangers 4 White Sox 0

Colby Lewis tossed the complete game, five-hit shutout for the Rangers, striking out seven and walking just one. That’s Lewis’s first complete game shutout since 2009, when he was pitching for the Hiroshima Carp. It’s his first shutout ever in Major League Baseball. The Rangers on the whole ganged up on Edwin Jackson for 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings, scoring all four runs against him. 

Nationals 4 Pirates 2

Danny Espinosa took Jose Ascanio deep for a two-run homer in the seventh inning, which gave the Nationals their margin of victory and immediately erased Andrew McCutchen’s game-tying triple in the top of the inning. The Pirates also managed to not score in the fourth, despite starting the inning off with a walk, a single, and a double. That happened thanks to some bad base-running by Brandon Wood and the curious decision to bunt with Paul Maholm at the plate and Chris Snyder on third base, which ended predictably. 

Marlins 2 Mets 1

Can the Mets claim a moral victory by chasing Josh Johnson after five innings? The got seven hits off of the Marlins’ ace and scored once off of him in his five innings, but then they didn’t score at all off of Edward Mujica, Michael Dunn, Ryan Webb, Randy Choate, Burke Badenhop, or Leo Nunuez over the next six innings. Badenhop also contributed the game-winning hit by singling Mike Stanton home from second in the top of the 11th. Stanton also homered earlier, tying the game up for the Marlins in the seventh. 

Braves 3 Astros 2

Tommy Hanson is the story from this one: over seven innings he struck out ten, walked one, and allowed two runs on three hits. He got the win thanks to a two-run single from Joe Mather in the sixth and an RBI singled by Eric Hinske in the seventh that accounted for all of the Braves’ run. With the win, the Braves moved to with a game of the Phillies in the win column (they’re 2 1/2 back overall because they’ve played more games). With the loss, the Astros failed to make up any ground on the Cubs in their quest to move out of the National League’s cellar. 

Rockies 7 Giants 4

Tim Lincecum wasn’t his usual self, joining the six-walk parade tonight and serving up homers to Seth Smith and Carlos Gonzalez in the sixth inning. Cargo’s homer was a three-run blast that broke the 4-4 tie. Lincecum’s now 3-4 despite a 2.36 ERA, but the Giants keep a half-game lead on the Rockies in the NL West. For now at least. 

Padres 8 Diamondbacks 4

The Padres jumped on Armando Galarraga for five runs in the first two innings (Chase Headley doubled and scored in the first and had an RBI single in the second, Jason Bartlett had a two-run double in the second). Clayton Richard took the lead into the sixth and from there the Padres’ excellent bullpen (Chad Qualls, Ernesto Frieri, and Mike Adams tonight) shut the Diamondbacks down from there. 

Mariners 5 Twins 2

Remember back on May 6th, when the Twins had won three in a row and it seemed like they were finally back on the right track? They’ve dropped eight straight now and their 12 wins are three fewer than Houston, baseball’s next worst team. Last night, Michael Pineda shut them down over seven shutout innings. The rookie struck out seven and only allowed three hits. Adam Kennedy and Carlos Peguero both homered off of Scott Baker in the sixth, and because the Twins couldn’t score until it was too late, Baker’s eight strikeouts went to waste. 

Brewers 2 Dodgers 1

The Brewers are on fire right now with four straight wins, pulling to within a game of .500. Shaun Marcum was excellent tonight, holding the Dodgers to one run in seven innings, striking out four, walking one, and allowing five hits. Rickie Weeks and Prince Fielder both drove in runs with RBI singles for the Brewers, while Kameron Loe and John Axeford were perfect in relief. 

A’s 5 Angels 4

A 90-minute rain delay meant this one didn’t even start until almost midnight on the East Coast. The A’s jumped out to a three-run lead by scoring three times against Joel Piniero in the fifth, but the Angels hopped right back on top by tallying two in both the sixth and seventh off of Brett Anderson and Michael Wuertz. They seemed headed for a win when Jordan Walden retired the first two hitters he faced in the bottom of the ninth, but Coco Crisp singled, stole second, and scored the tying run on Daric Barton’s single. In the tenth, Fernando Rodey walked two hitters and then threw a wild pitch, leaving it up to Mark Ellis to knock in the winning run. 

Today’s games: 

Giants vs. Rockies, 3:10 PM ET: Ubaldo Jiminez vs. Jonathan Sanchez with first place in the NL West on the line! Afternoon baseball! What’s not to like? 

Yankees vs. Rays, 6:40 PM ET: The red hot James Shields (2.08 ERA) looks to stay hot against the Yankees and expand the Rays’ division lead over them to four games.

Twins vs. Mariners, 10:10 PM ET: Neither of these teams are very good, but it’s still Francisco Liriano vs. Felix Hernandez. The Twins need the Liriano of last year to have any shot of snapping their losing streak shy of ten games against King Felix tonight. 

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.