Braves 15, Mets 2: Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in the second inning after five runs had already scored. And guess what: THE BRAVES DIDN’T SCORE ANOTHER RUN IN THAT INNING AFTER THE HOMER. They’re rally-killers, dude. Avoid the home run at all costs. Bright side for Mets fans: Bobby Parnell didn’t get near that 85 pitch count they’re saying he’s on: he was in the showers after 71 thrown in three innings.
White Sox 4, Royals 2: Jose Contreras allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked only one. Zack Greinke only allowed six hits himself — and three of them were rally-killing home runs — but Greinke lost anyway.
Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 1: Cliff Lee (CG 2 H, 0 ER, 11K) is like a one-man army, like Charlton Heston in “Omega Man.” You ever see it? Beauty.
Pirates 3, Brewers 1: Paul Maholm is basically indestructible. In the fourth inning. Mike Cameron hit a liner off Maholm’s pitching arm and it bounced off right to the second baseman, who threw Cameron out. In the eighth inning, Alcides Escobar hit one off of Maholm’s shin, and he too was thrown out on the play. Maholm stayed in the game for another batter after that and was lifted, but it was for cause (he was tired; he gave up a single late) not injury. Final line: 7.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, a couple of giant bruises when he wakes up this morning.
Rays 3, Orioles 1: Three solo homers and a solid start by Jeff Niemann. You know, I don’t want to give any false hope here, but the Orioles are not out of the Bryce Harper race yet, sitting back of Washington a scant 4 games in the loss column as the bulldog goes to press.
Mariners 3, Tigers 1: Justin Verlander struck out ten and deserved a better fate, but Ian Snell + the Seattle bullpen pitched a little better. I’ve mentioned this before, but absolutely hate this kind of comment in a game story: “Verlander now has 204 strikeouts, making him the first Tigers pitcher to reach 200 since Jeremy Bonderman in 2006.” Really? All the way back to 2006? Here’s a suggestion: let’s make all such callbacks be required to stretch back at least five years. Like “Verlander is the first Tigers pitcher whose last name starts with a V since Andy Van Hekken’s September callup back in 2002.
Angels 3, Indians
5 0 [I have no idea where that 5 came from]: Jered Wever shuts down the Indians (CG SHO, 7 H). The Angels are 24-8 since the All-Star break and have won five in a row. Game story: “A light rain sent fans scurrying for cover in the seventh inning as the teams kept playing. It stopped about 15 minutes later.” If I didn’t know better, pardner, I’d say that you was callin’ Clevelanders yella!
Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1: If, a month ago, I would have told you that would Buchholz beat Halladay in this game, you would have assumed that the Jays won, wouldn’t you have?
Giants 1, Reds 0: Barry Zito and three relievers combine to shut out the Reds. The Giants’ only run came when Wladimir Balentien tried to lay out for a diving catch on Nate Schierholtz’s hit to the outfield — missed it — which allowed Edgar Renteria to score.
Rockies 5, Nationals 4: Carlos Gonzalez won’t stop hitting home runs.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: Adam Wainwright was throwing a no-hitter into the sixth inning but ended up getting a no decision. The Dodgers lead in the west is now only 3.5 games over Colorado. Yikes.
Cubs 7, Padres 1: The Cubs, behind Rich Harden’s seven innings of one-hit shutout ball, wake up to salvage one game of the series.
Yankees 3, Athletics 2: Teixeira hit a two-run homer and Derek Jeter stays hot. After a day off today, they’re in Fenway for the weekend with a chance to bury the Red Sox for good, one would think.
Astros 6, Marlins 3: Facts that are neat but kinda mean nothin’ department: The Marlins have had ten hits for fifteen straight games, which is the longest such streak in baseball since the St. Louis Browns did it in 1937. Ten hits combined with sixteen stranded runners and three errors gets you a loss, however.
Twins 5, Rangers 4: Pudge got a big ovation, then went 3 for 4 with an RBI and run scored in his first game with the Rangers. He couldn’t handle a throw in a play at the plate in the sixth, however, which allowed the winning run to score.