Braves 2, Indians 0: Tom Glavine with eight shutout innings and David Justice with a big homer. Wait, sorry. Having flashbacks. The real amazing thing here is that if you would have told me before the season that the Braves would have a game in late August where Elliot Johnson got a start and tripled in the Braves’ only runs — and one of those runners was Joey Terdoslavich — I would have assumed that they were 12 games out of a playoff slot.
Red Sox 13, Orioles 2: Two homers for Shane Victorino in this laugher. You know, when Victorino was signed many — including yours truly — mocked the signing. Not so much because of the player himself, but because of the multi-year deal coming off of the season he had and what many suspected was the beginning of a steep decline. The jury is still out on whether Victorino will be worth his contract over its entire course, but there is no denying the fact that he has been a great pickup for Boston this year, contributing on both offense and defense and looking, at the moment, as one of the best free agent signings of the winter.
Mets 5, Phillies 0: Jon Niese was like a one-man army, like Charlton Heston in Omega Man. You ever see it? Beauty. A three-hit shutout, a three-RBI double and a run scored on a hustle play, blowing through the third base coach’s stop sign. Teammates? Who needs teammates?
Yankees 7, Blue Jays 1: Four RBIs on two homers for Alfonso Soriano, including his 400th career shot. Pettitte tossed seven shutout innings. Robinson Cano was hit on the hand in a manner that often leads to broken bones but thank goodness for the Yankees he suffered only a contusion.
Nationals 2, Marlins 1: Three hits for Ian Desmond. Five effective innings for Ross Ohlendorf and his old-timey windup. The pen took it from there.
Brewers 7, Pirates 6: Aramis Ramirez had a mini-Soriano night. Instead of 400, he hit his 350th career homer. Drove in four as well. Three straight losses for the Pirates.
Athletics 6, Tigers 3: Pretty spiffy when you can pitch five innings and get credited with a complete game, but Tommy Milone did it. Brandon Moss had a two-run homer off Justin Verlander in this rain-shortened game.
Angels 6, Rays 5: Another four-RBI night for someone, this time Erick Aybar. Jose Molina had three hits and three RBIs. The Angels were down four entering the seventh and rallied. Fernando Rodney blew yet another save. Just a bullpen disaster for the Rays.
Cardinals 6, Reds 1: We might be looking at the best team in baseball here. I mean, if the Cardinals were ever going to let up, it was going to be when Yadier Molina was out. They bent a bit then but didn’t break and now they’re running over everyone. The seventh straight game in which Matt Holliday had an RBI. Six wins in seven for the Cards, including two straight from the Reds. Cardinals moved one and a half games ahead of Pittsburgh and four and a half up on Cincinnati.
White Sox 4, Astros 3: Three hits for Jordan Danks. The Chisox’s ninth win in 11 games.
Giants 5, Rockies 3: Hunter Pence hit a homer over the left field bleachers, measured at 457 feet but thought by some to be much farther. Pablo Sandoval hit a homer right after that and Brandon Belt had four hits. Yusmeiro Petit got the win. His first in four years.
Royals 6, Twins 1: Solid outing for James Shields. Alex Gordon had three RBIs as Kansas City scored five runs in the eighth inning.
Diamondbacks 10, Padres 9: Not exactly a pitching duel. Aaron Hill hit a walkoff single in the 10th.
Rangers 4, Mariners 3: Not a walkoff balk as the losers were playing at home, but the winning run did score on a Danny Farquhar balk in the 10th inning which, you know, dramatic. CB Bucknor called it. He’s one of the worst and if anyone is gonna launch an ump show it’s him, but Farquhar admitted after the game he gave “the slightest flinch.” Well, OK, if you’re not gonna fight the battle we won’t either.
Cubs 3, Dodgers 2: Travis Wood outpitched Clayton Kershaw. This is not a typo. Wood allowed one unearned run in seven innings, Kershaw allowed one unearned and one earned in five and two-thirds. With the way Kershaw has been going lately that’s, like, putting up a five-spot against mere mortals.