Thursday, April 5, 2007

Granderson is Grand; World Champs Winless

Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops National League The NY Mets completed a 3-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday with a 10-0 thumping as Jon Maine shut down the St. Louis sluggers on 1 hit over 7 innings, striking out 6. Carlos Beltran (right) homered twice and drove in 4 runs, providing all the offense the Mets needed. The Cardinals' Albert Pujols had just 1 hit in 10 at-bats in the 3 games. The Washington Nationals got their first win of the season, salvaging the back end of their 3-game series with the Marlins, stunning Florida with 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th for the 7-6 win. Well-traveled reliever Jorge Julio (4 teams in 3 years) worked just 1/3 of the inning, allowing a walk, 5 hits and 3 earned runs. Miguel Cabrera continued his hot streak with a solo homer in the 3rd inning, his second in as many days. Cabrera is batting a healthy .700. Colorado's Matt Holliday exploded with 4 hits in 5 at-bats to lead the Rockies over Arizona, driving in 4 runs in the 11-4 victory. The Rockies won the final 2 games of their home-opening series after dropping the opener on Monday. Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (right) struck out 8 Braves and twirled 7 innings of shutout ball but ended up with no decision in Atlanta's 3-2, 11-inning win. Reliever Tom Gordon was credited with the blown save. The Phillies and Braves conclude their 3-game set on Thursday in Philly. The Braves have won the first two games. Acquired in the off-season from Toronto, Ted Lilly allowed just 3 hits, 1 earned run and struck out 9 over 7 innings to help the Cubs to a 4-1 win over Cincinnati. Despite giving up a solo homer to Criag Biggio in the bottom of the 9th, Pittsburgh's Salomon Torres earned his third save in as many games as the Pirates swept the Astros in Houston with a 5-4 win. Leadoff man Marcus Giles belted a 2-run homer in the 5th inning and went 3-4 overall as San Diego won their 2nd straight over San Francisco, 5-3. Giles also scored the game-winning run when 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez drove him in with a 2-run shot of his own in the top of the 8th inning. American League The Tigers and Blue Jays combined for 29 hits and 19 runs in Detroit's 10-9 home win. Curtis Granderson (right) did most of the damage for the Tigers with his 3rd-inning grand slam. Granderson had scored earlier in the inning as Detroit batted around on Toronto starter A. J. Burnett and reliever Shaun Marcum. For good measure, Granderson stole a base and added an RBI triple in the 7th, which turned out to be the game-winner as the Blue Jays erupted for 7 runs in the top of the 8th. Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez went 4 for 4 and drove in a pair of runs as the Indians beat the White Sox for the second straight day, 8-7. Martinez, who batted .316 for Cleveland last season, has 6 hits in 8 at-bats this season for a .750 average. The LA Angels completed a 3-game home sweep of Texas with a 5-3 win on Wednesday. Vladimir Guerrero drove in his 5th run of the season in the first inning. After losing 7-1 on Monday, the Boston Red Sox returned the favor with a 7-1 win at Kansas City on Wednesday. Starter Josh Beckett pitched 5 innings for the win, striking out 5, walking 4 and allowing just 2 hits and 1 earned run. The Twins completed their 3-game home sweep over Baltimore with a 7-2 win. Michael Cuddyer went 3 for 3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. The Oakland A's earned their first win of the season, after dropping their first two games at Seattle, with a 9-0 win over the Mariners. Oakland starter Rich Harden was brilliant, blanking the M's over 7 innings, striking out 7 while allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks. Light-hitting 2nd baseman Mark Ellis drove in 5 runs with a pair of doubles in the 2nd and 5th innings. While looking at box scores, we noted this entry in one of the inning-by-inning summaries: N. Swisher doubled to deep left center, M. Ellis, J. Kendall, E. Chavez, B. Crosby and T. Buck scored. N. Swisher doubled to deep left, M. Ellis, B. Crosby, N. Swisher and T. Buck scored Wow! a 5-run and a 4-run double. Swisher even managed to drive himself in one time there. Technology rocks! Break up Nick Swisher!

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