Indians 6, White Sox 5: Living with a Tigers fan is kinda hard sometimes. Like, when you have the Indians-White Sox game on the TV, she wants the Indians to lose, the White Sox blow a two-run lead in the ninth and then Carlos Santana hits a walkoff homer in extras. It’s even more complicated when, as a matter of pure coincidence, you’re wearing the White Sox shirt you picked up on that trip to U.S. Cellular last month and, when Santana hits the homer, you give a little chuckle that was in no way intended to mock said Tigers fan but was totally construed as such.
Braves 9, Rockies 0: But who cares? My team won. Atlanta just keeps rolling along, getting its sixth straight win and putting up the third six-run-or-more inning in as many games against Colorado. Mike Minor won his 11th game with seven shutout innings. After the game Freddie Freeman said “We’re clicking on all cylinders.” I think he meant firing. If your cylinders are clicking, you should probably go see your mechanic.
Pirates 5, Cardinals 4: The idea of a “statement game” or “statement series” has always seemed hokey to me as the only statement that matters is the last one you’ve made and there is still plenty of time left in the season. But yeah, the Cardinals are getting told. In other news, I have tickets to a Pirates game on Aug. 17. Since — as the White Sox shirt thing demonstrates — I am one of those people who like to own hats and shirts and stuff from almost any team, not just my rooting interest, I bought a Pirates cap and shirt yesterday to wear to the game. I feel like I’m one of many thousands buying Pirates gear for the first time. And for good reason.
Red Sox 5, Mariners 4: This was a 15-inning marathon, but it ended in the Red Sox regaining the lead in the A.L. East. The AP game story lead notes that this one started in July and ended in August, which is the kind of cutesy fact my dad would point out to me. He’s the type who will go 200 miles out of his way to stand at Four Corners or who would prefer to ski at the California-Nevada line at Tahoe more than anyplace else specifically so he can tell people he skied across two states. My dad is an odd one. Anyway, sorry for the digression. This one featured two spiffy defensive plays late: an unassisted double play by Jonny Gomes, who caught a ball and then ran all the way to second base himself to double off Raul Ibanez. It also featured this laser from Michael Saunders to cut down what would have been the game winning run in the bottom of the 14th on a fly to center. I could watch stuff like that all day.
Tigers 11, Nationals 1: Gio Gonzalez got obliterated and the Nats fall to 4-9 since the break and find themselves 11 games back. Alex Avila homered for the second straight game. Torii Hunter went 4 for 5.
Reds 4, Padres 1: The Reds break their losing streak behind eight and a third innings from Homer Bailey in which he allowed only an unearned run. After a long road trip the Reds get a much-needed day off before a weekend series at home vs. the Cardinals.
Blue Jays 5, Athletics 2: A three-run double in the 10th from Jose Bautista gave the Blue Jays their fifth win in seven games. This was a sloppy one, with the Jays committing four errors and the A’s allowing a run to score on a passed ball.
Giants 9, Phillies 2: A solid outing from Chad Gaudin and a four-RBI day from Brett Pill. Good thing the Phillies stood pat at the deadline. This is a core you really don’t want to break up.
Astros 11, Orioles 0: Just yesterday I didn’t even know what a Brett Oberholtzer was, and now here I am, looking at a pitching line of seven three-hit shutout innings for the guy. A grand slam and two doubles from Jason Castro.
Marlins 3, Mets 2: Jake Marisnick homered and Henderson Alvarez won. Each was picked up in that big trade with the Blue Jays last offseason. Which, again, was a disaster in terms of P.R. and fan base relations for the Marlins, but actually brought back some useful pieces.
Cubs 6, Brewers 1: It’s weird to think of these two in the same division as the Cards, Pirates and Reds. So much good baseball played at the top, so much bad played at the bottom. Sorry Cubs and Brewers fans: I know I’m being unfair to you guys by not digging into the box scores of these games to find all of the interesting happenings, but there are a couple of teams which I just totally tune out toward the end of each season. You two are pretty close to the top of my list of tune-outs this year.
Diamondbacks 7, Rays 0: Wade Miley pitched two-hit ball into the seventh. Paul Goldschmidt homered and reached base four times. The D-backs break their losing streak. And they gain ground on the Dodgers because …
Yankees 3, Dodgers 0: … Hiroki Kuroda tied ‘em up for seven innings and the Yankees rallied for three in the ninth. Only blemish for New York here is the revelation that Kuroda simply doesn’t know how to win.
Rangers 2, Angels 1: Walkoff homer for Adrian Beltre. Best part: as he was mobbed at home he covered his head with both hands. That whole Adrian-Beltre-hates-people-to-touch-his-head thing is just odd.
Royals 4, Twins 3: Eight wins in a row for the Royals. This is the first time the Royals have been above .500 at the end of July in 10 years.