Thursday, May 31, 2007

Haren is A's Mr. Reliable; Padres' Young Blanks Pirates

American League Cleveland 8 Boston 4 - The Indians avoided the sweep at Boston as Grady Sizemore went 2-5 with a double and home run (9), stole a base (17), scored 3 times and drove in 2, and catcher Kelly Shoppach went 4-5 with a solo homer and 3 runs scored. The Indians extended their lead in the AL Central to 2 1/2 over Detroit. Boston's Kevin Youkilis hit safely in his 22nd straight game. LA Angels 8 Seattle 6 - Vladimir Guerrero socked a 3-run homer - his 11th - singled twice in 5 at-bats and scored twice as the Angels kept Seattle in their place - 2nd in the AL West. The Angels lead the division by 4 1/2 and have the best home record in the majors at 18-7. Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 23 games. Oakland 6 Texas 1 - Call Dan Haren (right) Oakland's Mr. Reliable. Haren allowed just 1 earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks over 8 innings, to help the A's get a 2-1 split over Texas and stay close to the Angels and Mariners in the AL West. The A's are 5 1/2 back, and Haren (6-2) is one of the reasons for their early season success. Haren's won 6 straight, with 3 straight no decisions - in which he allowed just 4 earned runs over 21 innings - during the stretch. Haren's ERA is a microscopic 1.64 and he's carrying a .89 WHIP. Opposing hitters are batting just .180 against him this season. Baltimore 3 Kansas City 0 - Eric Bedard allowed just 4 hits, walked 2 and struck out 5 over 8 innings, improving to 4-3 as the O's got to a game under .500 (26-27) with their 5th straight win. The Orioles have taken over 2nd place in the AL East, but have an uphill climb to catch the Red Sox, who are 10 1/2 clear. Baltimore swept the Royals in their 3-game set at KC, and continue their road trip with a 4-game set at LA and a 3-game series in Seattle over the next 7 days. NY Yankees 10 Toronto 5 - Yankees tied for last place in AL East with Tampa Bay, 13 1/2 behind Red Sox. Tampa Bay 5 Detroit 3 - James Shields got his first decision since May 3rd with a complete game outing as the Devil Rays took 2 of 3 from visiting Detroit.
Michigan Web Site Hosting
Free domain registration, easy to use website builder, and 24/7 customer support!
Shields may be the best-kept secret in the majors, sporting a 4-0 record from 10 starts, an ERA of 2.81 and a 1.00 WHIP. He's struck out 69 while walking 17 in 83 1/3 innings. Shields is in his second full season in the majors, both with Tampa Bay. Minnesota 7 Chicago White Sox 6 - David Aardsma pitched to just one batter - but it happened to be Torri Hunter with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. Hunter walked and Jason Tyner trotted home with the winning run, completing Minnesota's 3-game sweep of the visiting White Sox. The win pushed the Twins a game ahead of Chicago and 5 1/2 behind Central division-leading Cleveland. Detroit is 2 1/2 back of the Indians. National League Shutout Night in the NL San Diego 9 Pittsburgh 0 - Chris Young (right) stopped the Pirates on 4 hits over 7 innings as the Padres kept pace with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in the NL West with a 9-0 win at Pittsburgh. Young struck out 7 to improve his record to 6-3. Khalil Greene cracked a grand slam homer in the 8th inning, singled and scored another, and Mike Cameron went 3-4, scoring a run and driving in 3. LA Dodgers 5 Washington 0 - You could see this one coming. The Dodgers boast the 3rd best ERA in the league while the Nats are dead last in hitting with a .239 team average. Derek Lowe (5-5) blanked the Nationals for 7 innings on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5, as the Dodgers got another road win, 5-0. LA is 14-11 in away games, and lead the NL West by 1/2 game over the Diamondbacks. Florida 9 Chicago Cubs 0 - Five different Marlins pitchers produced Florida's 9-0 win at Chicago. Starter Sergio Mitre had to leave at the start of the 5th innings with cramps, but he completed 4 innings, gave up 3 hits and struck out 7. Reliever Randy Messenger worked the 5th and 6th for the win. Dan Uggla homered twice, driving in 4 runs to pick up a game in the NL East and tie the Phillies for 3rd place, 8 back of the Mets. San Francisco 3 NY Mets 0 Barry Zito shut out the Mets over 7 innings on 6 hits and a walk while fanning 7 in San Fran's 3-0 win at Shea. Zito leveled his record at 5-5 and Pedro Feliz drove in all of the Giants' runs with a single and triple in 4 at-bats. The Giants ended a 4-game skid with the win. Despite the loss, the Mets remain 4 games clear of Atlanta in the East. Arizona 4 Philadelphia 3 - Randy Johnson allowed just one hit - a single to Pat Burrell in the 2nd - and set down the last 9 batters he faced in order, blanking the Phillies over 6 full innings as Arizona won their 7th straight, sweeping Philly in the process. The loss dropped the Phils back below .500 at 26-27. St. Louis 8 Colorado 4 - The Cardinals finally got their bats working and ended the Rockies' 7-game winning streak in Colorado. Albert Pujols smacked a 3-run homer - his 9th. Jim Edmonds chipped in with 3 hits in 5 at-bats, including a solo homer (5). Cincinnati 4 Houston 3 - Houston has lost 10 straight but are still a game ahead of the Reds. Atlanta 9 Milwaukee 3 - E. Renteria, 4-5, 2 doubles, 2 runs. Milwaukee leads Pittsburgh by 5 1/2 in the Central despite recent 4-13 record.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Beckett's Back: Goes to 8-0; Hudson's 4 Hits Lead D-Backs to 6th Straight

American League Josh Beckett (right) returned to the mound on Tuesday after a brief stint on the DL. It was like he never left, as the Red Sox ace worked over the Indians for 7 innings, allowing just 3 hits and a walk and the resultant 2 earned runs in Boston's 4-2 win at Fenway - their 5th straight. Beckett appeared to have command of all his pitches, throwing 87, striking out 7 and joining the Angels' John Lackey as the only pitchers in the majors with 8 wins. While Lackey has suffered a pair of losses, Beckett still has a zero in the "L" column. He's also down with the leaders in ERA, at 2.65 and WHIP, 0.97. If all goes well, Beckett will be on the mound again on Sunday, as the Sox host the Yankees. Gary Sheffield pounded a two-run homer, a three-run shot, singled, scored twice and drove in 5 runs as the Detroit Tigers routed the Devils Rays, 14-2, in Tampa. The win moved the Tigers closer to the AL Central leading Indians - Detroit is 1 1/2 back. Starter Jeremy Bonderman improved to 4-0, allowing only 1 earned run over 6 1/3 innings while striking out 8. Justin Morneau doubled twice, cracked his 16th home run and drove in 4 runs to lead the Twins to a 9-2 win over the visiting White Sox. The Twins and Sox are tied for 3rd in the AL Central, 5 1/2 games back, both chasing Cleveland. Other AL Scores LA Angels 4 Seattle 1 - I. Suzuki - 22-gm. hitting streak Toronto 3 NY Yankees 2 Texas 4 Oakland 0 - A's, 3-6 last 9 gms. Baltimore 6 Kansas City 2 - O's, 4 straight wins National League Orlando Hudson (right) rapped out 4 singles, drove in 4 runs and scored once over 6 at-bats, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to an 11-5 win at Philly, their 6th straight. The D-Backs trail the Dodgers by 1/2 game and moved into 2nd place in the NL West as San Diego lost at Pittsburgh. The Phillies, meanwhile, seem incapable of handling success well. After finally exceeding the .500 mark at 26-24, they've lost two straight to Arizona, putting them in danger of falling below the even mark again as they try to avoid the sweep tonight. Carlos Delgado spanked his 2nd home run of the night in the bottom of the 12th inning to send Mets fans home happy with a dramatic 5-4 win over the Giants. Delgado's 7th homer of the season provided the winning margin after the Giants had taken a 1-run lead in the top of the inning. But in the bottom frame, Jose Reyes walked, took second on a balk by reliever Armando Benitez, was sacrificed to third and scored on Benitez's second balk. That set the stage for Delgado who send a blast into the right field stands. Brad Penny threw shut out ball for 6 1/3 innings and the LA Dodgers routed the Nationals, 10-0 at Washington. Penny didn't miss a beat, becoming the 4th National Leaguer to reach 7 wins, allowing just 4 hits and a walk. Penny has lost just once this season. The wheels are coming off for the St. Louis Cardinals, but they're rolling right along for the Rockies. Colorado won their 7th straight, an 8-3 chuckler over the struggling Cardinals who lost their 3rd straight and 9th of their last 13. Worse yet, the loss went to Braden Looper, who has been the most reliable starter for St. Louis. Looper was victimized by catcher Yorvit Torreabla's first home run of the season. Naturally, it was the bases-loaded variety. When things are going bad, they just go bad. For Colorado, they have to just keep winning as, despite their recent success, they still trail the LA Dodgers by 5 1/2 and have Arizona and San Diego in front of them in the action-packed NL West. Other NL Scores Pittsburgh 4 San Diego 1 - T. Gorzelanny (W, 6-3) Cincinnati 2 Houston 1 - Astros, 9 straight losses Milwaukee 5 Atlanta 4

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Beltre Bombs Batter Angels; Loshe Ends Pirates' Plunder

American League Fresh off a 3-game sweep of Detroit, the Cleveland Indians flew into Boston and were promptly put in their place by the high-flying Red Sox, who handed them a 5-3 loss. Curt Schilling (5-2) struck out 10 and gave up only 1 run on 6 hits over 7 innings, Manny Ramirez knocked his 8th homer and Kevin Youkilis extended his hitting streak to 20 games. The Sox are 35-15, including 8-3 against Central division foes and lead the AL East by 11 1/2 games. Cleveland has two more games at Fenway, Tuesday and Wednesday. Adrian Beltre (right), dropped to 7th in the Seattle lineup, blasted a 2-run homer in the 6th inning and a solo shot in the 7th, doubled twice, drove n 3 and scored 3 times in 5 at-bats as the Mariners closed the gap in the West with a 12-5 win at 1st place LA. Richie Sexson contributed a 3-run shot (7) and Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 21 games. Seattle has won 4 straight and have clawed to within 3 1/2 games of the Angels. The NY Yankees fell into a tie for last place in the AL East with a 7-2 loss at Toronto as they began a 10-game road trip and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays squeaked out a 6-5 win over visiting Detroit. Catcher Ramon Hernandez swatted a grand slam in the 4th inning and singled and scored in the 6th to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 9-1 laugher at Kansas City. Steve Traschel (4-3) pitched all 9 innings for the O's, allowing 5 hits and 3 walks. The O's have won 3 straight and are in 2nd place in the East, chasing the Red Sox. Other AL Scores Minnesota 10 Chi White Sox 4 - J. Santana (W, 6-4), 8 IP, 8 K Oakland 5 Texas 3 - C. Gaudin, (W, 5-1) National League The Cincinnati Reds were getting tired of seeing the Pirates beat up on their pitching staff, but pitcher Kyle Lohse (right) took matters into his own hands, shutting down the Pirates with a 6-hit complete game shutout in a 4-0 Reds' whitewash. Lohse (2-6), was in control all day, allowing just one extra-base hit - a 2nd inning Jason Bay triple - without walking a batter, though he didn't record a single strikeout. The Reds (19-33) had lost 6 straight and are in last place in the NL Central, 9 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates had won the first 3 games of the series at Cincy by a combined 33-19 score. Speaking of the Brewers, their recent slide is reaching crisis proportions. Though they still retain a 5-game bulge in the NL Central, their 2-1 loss at Atlanta on Monday was their 6th straight and 13th in their last 17. Two of the National League's hottest teams - the Phillies and Diamondbacks - got together for the first game of a 3-game series in Philadelphia on Monday, with the D-Backs coming away with a 5-4 win.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
First baseman Conor Jackson provided almost all of the offense, banging a 2-run homer in the 1st inning off starter Freddie Garcia and later doubling home a pair in the 9th. Jackson also singled, finishing the day 3-5. Arizona won their 5th straight and 8th of their last 10. At 30 up and 23 down, they trail the Padres and Dodgers by just 1/2 game in the West. Arizona's win snapped Philly's 3-game win streak, a sweep of Atlanta, and kept them 7 games back of the Mets in the East. Other NL Scores Florida 5 Chi Cubs 3 Colorado 6 St. Louis 2 - Rockies, 6-gm. win streak

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sweeps Weekend: Mets, Phils, Padres, Angels, Indians, Red Sox Take Key Series

American League John Lackey (right) became baseball's first 8-game winner, frustrating the NY Yankees on over 8 innings and completing LA's 3-game sweep with a 4-3 win in the Bronx. Lackey gave up just 5 hits, 2 walks and 2 earned runs, lowering his ERA to 2.36. The win kept space between the Angels and the Mariners and A's in the AL West as Seattle won and the A's dropped another one to the Orioles. The Yankees fell 12 1/2 behind Boston in the East, just a game out of last place, currently occupied by Tampa Bay. Fausto Carmona won his 6th straight against just one loss, as Cleveland completed a sweep at Detroit with a 5-3 win to wrest control of the AL Central by 2 1/2 games. The Indians came into the series trailing the Tigers by 1/2 game, but put together 7-4 and 6-3 wins prior to Sunday's finale. Carmona allowed 3 earned runs on 9 hits, Rafael Betancourt got through the 8th and Joe Borowski slammed the door without allowing a hit in the ninth for his league-leading 17th save. Ryan Garko belted a 3-run homer in the first and Casey Blake added a solo shot in the 5th. Nick Markakis hit a 3-run homer (7), singled twice and scored 2 times to lead the Orioles to an 8-4 win over visiting Oakland, taking 2 of 3 from the A's and grabbing 2nd place in the AL East as the Yankees and Blue Jays stumbled. Baltimore (23-27) trails the Red Sox by 11 1/2 games. Other AL Scores Tampa Bay 11 Chicago White Sox 5 Boston 6 Texas 5 - Sox sweep Rangers in Texas, 3-0 Minnesota 4 Toronto 2 Seattle 7, Kansas City 4 - I. Suzuki, 2-4, 20-game hitting streak National League Ryan Howard (right), in his third game back off the DL, crushed a pair of 2-run homers in Philly's 13-6 demolition of Atlanta. Howard got his knocks in the 1st and 8th inning. In between he walked, singled and scored another run to finish his day 3-4. The win dropped Atlanta 4 1/2 behind the NY Mets and got Philly to within 6 1/2, just 2 back of the Braves. Phils' starter Cole Hamels improved to 7-2, giving up 3 earned runs on 6 hits while striking out 8, retaining the NL lead with 86. Fast on Hamels' heels is Jake Peavy who shut out the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday in San Diego over 7 innings on 2 hits en route to a 3-0 victory. Peavy struck out 8, giving him 85 on the year, upped his record to 7-1 and lowered his major league best ERA to 1.47. The Padres' win was their 3rd straight over Milwaukee, which has lost 5 straight. Peavy and Hamels join John Smoltz for the NL lead in wins. Juan Pierre took one for the team as Cubs' hurler Carlos Marmol plunked him with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th inning to force home Ramon Martinez with the winning score as the Dodgers won at home, 2-1, to remained tied with San Diego atop the NL West. Arizona 8 Houston 4 - The Diamondbacks stayed a game back of the NL West leaders, winning their 4th straight and 7th of their last 9. It was Houston's 8th straight loss. The Astros have been outscored 66-16 over than span. Barry Bonds broke out of his 14-game homerless streak with a 2-run job in the 6th inning of Colorado's 6-4 win in San Fran, completing the 3-game sweep for the Rockies. Bonds is 9 shy of Hank Aaron's 755 career home runs. Jason Bay and the Pittsburgh Pirates are tearing apart the Cincinnati pitching staff. On Sunday, Bay stroked his 2nd home run in 3 games at Cincy (all Pittsburgh wins) and drove in 3 to give him 8 RBI over that span. Bay, who was 2-3 with a homer in Friday's 10-4 win and 3-4 in Saturday's 9-5 win, went 3-5, scored 3 and drove in 3 in Sunday's 14-10 romp. The Pirates are licking their chops as they play one more with the Reds on Monday. Cincy, losers of 6 straight, used 3 pitchers on Friday, 5 on Saturday and sent 6 to the mound on Sunday. Those are some tired arms. Other NL Scores Washington 7 St. Louis 2 - R. Langerhans GS HR (1) NY Mets 6 Florida 4 - J. Reyes, SB (28), Mets sweep 3-game road series

Overbay Heroic in Jays' 9-8 Win; Delgado's 5 RBI Lifts Mets

American League Lance Overbay hit a 2-run home run (7) and singled in the game winning run in the 13th to complete a 3-7, 4 RBI day in Toronto's 9-8 win at Minnesota. Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima banged a 4th inning grand slam and Richie Sexson has a 3-run shot in the 9th as the visiting Mariners pounded Kansas City, 9-1. Johjima, from Sasebo, Japan, in his 2nd full season, may be a real fantasy find, batting .324 with 7 homers and 22 RBI. He's had at least one RBI in each of his last 5 games. Last season, he quietly hit .291 over 140 games driving in 76 runs and smacking 18 homers. Mariners' center fielder, Ichiro Suzuki, extended his hitting streak to 19 games, currently the longest in the majors. C.C. Sabathia became the 4th AL pitcher to reach 7 wins, as visiting Cleveland stretched their lead in the AL Central to 1 1/2 over Detroit with a 6-3 win. Sabathia wasn't razor sharp, but good enough to go 7 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 6 hits and a walk while fanning 6. The highlight of the game may have been Marcus Thames' 4th inning broken bat home run which cleared the wall in right center with ease. Why isn't this guy starting? Kelvim Escobar (6-2) won for the 5th time in his last 6 starts, occluding the Yankees in a 3-1 Angels win in NY.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Escobar allowed just 6 hits and a walk over 7 innings, allowing 1 earned run while getting 8 Yankees on Ks, including Alex Rodriguez twice and leadoff hitter Bobby Abreu 3 times. He also stopped Derek Jeter's 19-game hitting streak, limiting the shortstop to an 0-4 effort. The West-leading Angels are 4 1/2 in front of Seattle, while the Yanks dropped to 11 1/2 behind Boston and tied for 3rd in the AL East. The Angels will look to complete the sweep of the Yankees on Sunday afternoon. Other AL Scores Tampa Bay @ Chicago White Sox, rained out Baltimore 8 Oakland 3 - B. Roberts, 3-4, 3 RBI, SB (17) Boston 7 Texas 4 - Red Sox, 7-3 last 10 gms. National League The NY Mets cemented their dominance in the NL East with a 7-3 win at Florida on Saturday, highlighted by a pair of home runs by Carlos Delgado (right) who smacked a two-run shot in the 3rd inning, followed by a 3-run blast in the 5th. The Mets' first baseman also singled and scored in the 2nd inning, giving him 3 hits in 5 at-bats. Delgado, who's been in a prolonged early-season slump, was moved down to 5th in the batting order and responded with his 4th and 5th homers. A perennial RBI leader, he now has 28 on the year. The Mets lead Atlanta by 3 1/2 games and surging Philly (8-3 in their last 11) by 6 1/2. The Phillies won at Atlanta, 6-4, to go over .500 for the first time this season (25-24). Antonio Alfonseca worked the ninth inning, allowing just one hit for his first save since 2002. San Diego's rookie starter, Justin Germano, tamed the Milwaukee Brewers over 6 innings, en route to a 4-2 home win for the Padres and Germano's 3rd win without a loss in 4 starts. Germano allowed only 5 hits without walking a batter, giving up 2 earned runs on solo home runs by Geoff Jenkins and Ryan Braun. Germano's stats are bordering on the ridiculous. Through 25 innings pitches, his ERA is 1.08 and WHIP is 0.76. Not a strikeout artist, Germano has only 9 Ks, but has only walked two. The Padres' win, coupled with LA's 4-2 loss to the Cubs, put those two into a tie for 1st place in the NL West at 28-21. Arizona is one game back (28-23). Aaron Cook hurled his first complete game of the season and 5th of his career, as the Colorado Rockies knocked off the Giants, 6-1, in San Francisco. Cook allowed just 5 hits and 4 walks, and kept Barry Bonds grounded, inducing groundouts to 1st, short, and twice to 2nd. Bonds has now gone homerless and without an RBI in his last 14 games. Saturday's 0-4 effort reduced his batting average to a pedestrian .265. Bonds had been at .329 on May 8, when he last homered. Other NL Scores St. Louis 8 Washington 6 Pittsburgh 9 Cincinnati 5 Arizona 5 Houston 4 - C. Lee, HR (10), 3 RBI (44) leads NL, J. Valverde, S (18) leads NL

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Guerrero, Angels Down Bombers; Reynolds Hot D-Back; Bonds Under Pressure

Friday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Vladimir Guerrero (right) singled and doubled twice in 5 at-bats, scored twice and drove in 2 runs as the LA Angels opened an important 3-game series in NY by whipping the Yankees, 10-6, maintaining their 4-game lead over Oakland in the AL West. The Angels' Orlando Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 15 games, chasing Yankee Derek Jeter, whose 19-game streak is currently the longest in the majors. Jeter singled and scored in 4 at-bats while teammate Alex Rodriguez cracked his major league best 19th home run - a 2nd-inning solo shot off starter Jered Weaver. It's all about Boston - Despite what Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner may think, or hope, the Boston Red Sox continue to pull away in the AL East. On Friday, Daisuke Matsuzaka became the third AL pitcher to reach 7 wins, joining teammate Josh Beckett and the Angels' John Lackey. Dice-K wasn't great, allowing 5 earned runs off 7 hits and 3 walks, but the Sox put a 10-spot on the board, beating the host Rangers, 10-6. Boston, now 32-15, is 10 1/2 games to the good on New York. Other AL Scores Oakland 3 Baltimore 2 - D. Haren (W, 5-2) 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER Cleveland 7 Detroit 4 - Indians take 1/2-game lead on Tigers in AL Cent. Minnesota 4 Toronto 3 Seattle 10 Kansas City 2 - I. Suzuki, 18-gm. hit streak Chicago White Sox 5 Tampa Bay 4 National League Mark Reynolds (right) smacked a pair of homers, tripled, singled twice, drove in 4 runs and scored 4 times in a 5-5 performance as the Arizona Diamondbacks slammed the reeling Houston Astros, 13-3, Friday night. Reynolds, called up recently from AAA Tuscon to replace injured Chad Tracy, is batting .459 in his first 10 games in the majors. The second of a 4-game set at Arizona went pretty much the same way as the first, won by the D-Backs, 9-1 on Thursday. Friday's loss was the Astros' sixth straight. Arizona remains 2 back of the Dodgers in the NL West. Rookie 3rd baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff extended his hitting streak to 8 games with his first major league grand slam in the Padres' 8-4 win over visiting Milwaukee - the first of a 3-game weekend series in San Diego. Kouzmanoff added a double giving him 13 hits in his last 25 at-bats (.520). The Padres remain a game behind the Dodgers in the contentious NL West, while the Brewers - despite losing their last 3 and 10 of their last 14 - maintain a 6-game bulge on the Cubs in the NL Central. What's wrong with Barry? In the first inning of Friday night's 5-3 Colorado win at San Francisco, Rockies' starter Jason Hirsh got himself into a real jam. Randy Winn, the Giants' leadoff hitter, singled and Hirsh then issued walks to Rich Aurilia and Ryan Klesko, loading the bases. Up to the plate strode Barry Bonds, ten homers shy of the all-time record. Hirsh couldn't walk him, nor could he reasonably pitch on the edges. He had to give Barry something hittable. He did, and Bonds grounded into a routine 4-6-3 double play. Winn scored, but the at-bat pointed up the latest baseball banter about the suddenly struggling "King of Swing", who hasn't homered since May 8 - a span of 13 games in which Bonds has played (he sat out games on May 15 and 23, incidentally, both one-sided Giants' wins) - his longest dinger drought of the season. So, what's wrong with Bonds? Could it be a sore hamstring? Or maybe, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests, Bonds is being too passive at the plate and umpires aren't giving him the benefit of the doubt on close pitches. That's a reasonable argument, along with the theory that there isn't a pitcher in the majors who wants to give up another Barry bomb, and they aren't giving him good pitches to hit. But even the best pitchers make mistakes, often when trying to nibble at the corners, and Barry hasn't bashed any of those muffs lately. Over his last 13 games, Barry is just 5-36 (.139) with no RBI and 7 whiffs, mostly on called third strikes. It could be injury or simply a bad slump, but maybe, as Bonds approaches 43 years of age, Father Time is finally slowing him down. All those years Barry wasn't using any performance-enhancing drugs may finally be taking their toll. Of course, there is the pressure of the situation.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Roughly the same percentage of people who believe Barry used juice also don't want him to reach Aaron's record 755 home run mark - about 70% - but Barry wants it badly and, after all, he is human and is likely to be pressing. But the pressure will not wane. As he gets closer, it's going to get harder - if he gets closer. It's a shame - just 10 home runs from immortality, yet a world away in reality. Fickle fate and his own super-inflated ego may prove to be Barry Bonds' worst enemies. Other NL Scores NY Mets 6 Florida 2 Pittsburgh 10 Cincinnati 4, 10 innings - Pirates score 8 in top 10th Washington 5, St. Louis 4 - LP: A. Reyes (0-8); Cards 5-8 last 13 gms. Philadelphia 8, Atlanta 3 - Phils' Ryan Howard back from DL (1-4, 2 RBI) LA Dodgers 9, Chicago Cubs 8 - J. Kent HR (8), 4 RBI

Friday, May 25, 2007

Smoltz Gets 200th Win; Ordonez Takes AL RBI Lead

Thursday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Magglio Ordonez (right) had a big night in Detroit's 12-0 rout of the AL West-leading Angels, going 4-4 with a pair of doubles, scoring 3 times and driving in 3, to give him the AL RBI lead with 45. He passed by the idle Yankees Alex Rodriguez who has 43. While Ordonez was enjoying his plate appearances, teammate Carlos Guillen smacked a pair of home runs and drove in 5 runs in support of Jeremy Bonderman's 8 innings of shutout work. Bonderman allowed just 4 hits, walked 5 and struck out 6, improving to 3-0. The Tigers stayed 1/2-game ahead of Cleveland in the AL Central. Anatomy of a slug-fest: Tampa Bay 13 Seattle 12. The Devil Rays were aided by 9 walks issued by Seattle pitchers, but banged out 12 hits as the Seahawks knocked 18. Ichiro Suzuki went 3 for 6, including his 3rd homer, scored twice and drove in a pair, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Mariners' 2nd baseman Jose Lopez went 4-5, with his 6th home run, drove in 4 and scored twice. The Tampa hitting was more balanced with all starters except DH Jonny Gomes getting at least one hit. Ty Wiggington hit a solo home run (9) and Carl Crawford drove in 3 runs.
Scores, Stats at Yahoo Sports
The best baseball coverage on the web, every day.
The two teams used 4 pitchers each, with Tampa starter Jae Seo getting the worst of it: 13 hits, 6 ER over 5 innings. Seattle's Sean White took the loss, working just 2/3rds of the 3rd inning, giving up 6 hits, walking 3 and allowing 7 earned runs. Cleveland 10 Kansas City 3 - The Indians avoided the ignominity of being swept by the lowly Royals and stayed 1/2-game behind the Tigers in the AL Central. In addition to ending KC's longest win streak of the season - 3 games - the Tribe pitching staff got a boost as starter Jeremy Sowers earned his first win of 2007, giving up just 6 hits and 1 earned run over 7 innings. In his rookie season of 2006, Sowers was 7-4 with a 3.57 ERA. This year he's 1-4 with a 6.29 ERA, but this outing was far and away his best recent effort. Other AL Scores Toronto 5 Baltimore 4, 10 innings National League John Smoltz (right) shut down the power-laden lineup of the New York Mets for 7 innings, en route to a 2-1 win at Atlanta, reducing NY's lead in the NL East to 1 1/2 games. The win was Smoltz's 7th against just 2 losses this season, his 200th career win, and, to make it especially sweet, came against his former teammate, Tom Glavine, who needs just 5 more wins to make it to 300. Smoltz allowed 7 hits, struck out 5 and didn't walk a batter on his historic night. Smoltz, who turned 40 just 10 days ago, spent most of the 2001-2004 seasons as the Braves' primary closer, saving 154 games over that span. Along with the 200 wins, Smoltz has thrown 46 complete games, 16 shutouts and carries a career ERA of 3.26. He's also closing in on another benchmark for pitchers - 3000 strikeouts. He currently has 60 this season to give him 2838 lifetime. Start making reservations for Cooperstown. This guy's a class act. Bradon Looper continues to be one of the bright spots for the struggling world champion St. Louis Cardinals. While the Cards are mired in the middle of the NL Central pack (19-25), they are just 7 1/2 games behind Milwaukee and it's early in the season. Looper pitched 6 solid innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 earned run as the Cards trumped the Pirates, 3-1, in St. Louis. Looper improved to 6-3.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Arizona's rookie starter, Micah Owings pitched the first complete game of his major league career, cruising to a 9-1 win over visiting Houston. Owings needed 118 pitches (80 strikes), gave up 9 hits, 1 earned run and struck out 8 while walking 1. His record improved to 3-1 and the win got the Diamondbacks to within 2 games of LA in the NL West. Other NL Scores Chicago Cubs 3 San Diego 1 Washington 4 Cincinnati 3 - Nationals take 3 of 4 in Cincy Florida 5, Philadelphia 4, 11 innings - Marlins, Phillies tied for 3rd in NL East (23-24), 6 1/2 games behind Mets

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jeter Continues Streak as Yanks Beat BoSox; Church's 6 RBI Leads Nats

Wednesday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League The New York Yankees made somewhat of a statement, taking 2 of 3 from the Red Sox with an 8-3 win Wednesday in New York as Derek Jeter continued his torrid bid for MVP, going 3-5 with a triple and a pair of singles, driving in 2 runs and scoring twice, extending his hitting streak to 18 games. Jeter is tied with teammate Jorge Posada for the league lead at .367. The Yanks rapped out 16 hits against Boston, 12 of them against starter Curt Schilling, who lasted just six innings, allowing 5 earned runs, including a pair of homers off the bats of Doug Mientkiewicz and Hideki Matsui. Jeter had a 20-game hit streak earlier in the season and has hit safely in 41 of 43 games in which he has recorded at least one official at-bat. The Yankees trail the Red Sox by 9 1/2 games in the AL East. Magglio Ordonez hit a pair of solo homers in the Tigers' 8-7 win over the visiting Angels. Ordonez continues to dog NY's Alex Rodriguez for the AL RBI lead. A-Rod has 43, Ordonez, 42. Detroit closer Todd Jones picked up his 15th save as the Tigers took a slim 1/2-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central. The Angels remain 4 1/2 better than Seattle and Oakland in the AL West. Chad Gaudin improved to 4-1 with 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball as the A's won 4-0 at Chicago. Gaudin allowed just 5 hits and a walk while striking out 4. Break up the Royals! Suddenly the hottest team in the majors, the Kansas City Royals took their 2nd straight from Cleveland on Wednesday in KC, 11-7, knocking the Indians out of first place in the AL Central. Mike Sweeney homered for the 2nd straight game and Mark Grudzielanek singled, doubled and homered in 5 at-bats, driving in 3 runs and scoring a pair. The Royals have won 4 in a row (their longest win streak of the season) and 8 of the last 10. They remain in last place in the AL Central, however, 10 games behind leader Detroit. Other AL Scores Minnesota 5 Texas 3 Baltimore 5 Toronto 2 Seattle 5, Tampa Bay 1 - J. Guillen, 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB (1); I. Suzuki, 16-gm. hit streak National League Ryan Church knocked in 6 runs with a pair of homers - a 2-run shot in the 1st and a solo blast in the 7th - and followed that up with a game-winning bases loaded double in the 8th, propelling the Washington Nationals to a 12-7 win at Cincinnati. The Nats have taken 2 of 3 from the Reds with the teams set to finish their 4-game set on Thursday. Oliver Perez kept the Braves' hitters scoreless through 7 innings on 4 hits and Joe Smith and Billy Wagner worked the 8th and 9th in the Mets' 3-0 win at Atlanta. Perez walked 2 and struck out 5 to improve to 6-3 while Wagner picked up his 11th save. Jose Reyes swiped his league-leading 26th base. The win gave NY a 2 1/2-game lead over the Braves in the NL East. Brad Penny kept the Dodgers in first place for another day with 7 innings of shutout ball as LA beat the visiting Brewers, 5-1. Penny (6-1) allowed just 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Catcher Russell Martin provided the bulk of the offense with 4 RBI on a bases-loaded triple in the 1st and a sac fly in the 7th. The Dodgers stayed 1/2-game ahead of San Diego and 2 1/2 ahead of Arizona and San Francisco in the NL West. The Brewers, despite winning just 3 times in their last 10 games, maintain a 6 1/2-game edge on the Cubs and Astros in the Central. Dan Uggla needed just a single to hit for the cycle Wednesday as he cracked his 9th home run, doubled and tripled in 6 at-bats, scoring 3 times and driving in 3 runs. The single may have helped as, despite Uggla's heroics, the visiting Phillies outlasted the Marlins, 8-7 in 10 innings. Jimmy Rollins scored the game-winner for Philly. The two teams are battling for 3rd place in the NL East. The Phillies are currently 6 1/2 back of the Mets, the Marlins 7 1/2 behind, but the teams have split the first 2 games of their 3-game series, with the rubber game on Thursday. Other NL Scores St. Louis 5 Pittsburgh 3 San Francisco 9 Houston 1 - B. Zito (W, 4-5), 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER; B. Bonds, DNP Colorado 2 Arizona 0 - J. Francis (W, 3-4), 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER San Diego 2 Chi Cubs 1 - D. Wells (W, 2-2)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Morneau Out of Park Twice; Lopez is Grand for Nats

Tuesday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Justin Morneau (right) blasted a 2-run homer in the 4th inning and a 3-run shot in the 5th to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 7-1 win at Texas. Morneau, last season's AL MVP, also singled to go 3-4. Torii Hunter also added his 11th home run of the season, a 2-run job in the 8th in support of starter Johan Santana. The Minnesota ace worked 7 innings, allowing one earned run on Sammy Sosa's 10th homer. Santana gave up just 4 hits, walking 2 while striking out 13. Jim Thome went 3-3 with a single, a 2-run double in the 2nd and a 3-run home run (7) in the 4th inning to lead the White Sox to a 10-4 win over visiting Oakland. The win was the 2nd straight for the Sox over the A's, who will complete their 3-game set on Wednesday. Thome, who spent most of May on the DL, has started the last 2 games at DH. The Sox have won 3 straight overall and trail Cleveland by 3 1/2 games in the hotly-contested AL Central. Other AL Scores
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
LA Angels 6 Detroit 3 - J. Lackey (W, 7-3), Angels up 5 1/2 in AL West Boston 7 NY Yankees 3 - M. Ramirez, 3-run HR (7) Toronto 6 Baltimore 4 - Blue Jays tied for 2nd in AL East with NY Seattle 5 Tampa Bay 2 Kansas City 4 Cleveland 3 - Royals 7-3 last 10 National League Ken Griffey Jr. hit career home run #573 - tying him with Harmon Killebrew for #8 all-time - but Washington's light-hitting 2nd baseman, Felipe Lopez (right) had a bigger blast with his 3rd home run of the season (and 59th of his career) in the Nationals' 8-4 win at Cincinnati. Lopez snapped a 4-4 tie with a grand slam in the 8th inning after driving in a run with a double in the 3rd and another on a ground out in the 5th, for a 3-6, 5 RBI night with 2 runs scored. The win was Washington's 6th on the road this season, against 16 losses, still the worst road record in the majors. The Reds dropped into last place in the NL Central, 10 games back of Milwaukee. Other NL Scores Florida 5 Philadelphia 3 Atlanta 8 NY Mets 1 - Braves trail NY by 1 1/2 in NL East St. Louis 9 Pittsburgh 4 San Francisco 4 Houston 2 - B. Bonds, 0-2, no HRs in last 12 games San Diego 5 Chicago Cubs 1 - J. Peavy (W, 6-1) 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Colorado 3 Arizona 1 LA Dodgers 3 Milwaukee 2 - R. Wolf (W, 6-3), LA maintains 1/2-gm. lead over Padres in NL West

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Quentin Cracks a Pair; Rangers Hammer with Laird Slam; Bonds Watch

Monday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Catcher Gerald Laird (right) whacked a grand slam homer in the Rangers' 8-run 5th inning and earlier doubled in a run as Texas hammered the visiting Minnesota Twins, 14-4. The Rangers banged out 15 hits, 8 for extra bases. Every starter had a hit, with 6 regulars getting 2, as the Rangers scored single runs in each of the first 4 innings, 8 in the 5th and 2 in the 6th inning. It was the 2nd night in a row in which Texas scored 14 runs. Nick Swisher drove in all of Oakland's runs in the A's 8-5 road loss to the Chicago White Sox. Coming to the plate twice with the bases loaded, Swisher delivered a 3-run double in the 5th and a 2-run single in the 8th.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
He also added a single in a separate at-bat to finish the nigh 3-5. Other AL Scores NY Yankees 6 Boston 2 - A. Rodriguez, HR (18) leads majors Cleveland 5, Seattle 2 - J. Borowski, S (14), Indians, 17-4 at home National League Carlos Quentin (right) socked a pair of homers - a 3-run shot in the 4th and a solo job in the 7th - and added the game-winning RBI with an 8th inning sac fly to provide surging Arizona with a 6-5 win over visiting Colorado. Quentin was 2-3 with 5 RBI and a pair of runs scored, boosting the Diamondbacks into a tie for 2nd in the NL West with San Diego, 1/2-game back of the LA Dodgers. Arizona has won 3 straight and 5 of their last 7. Scott Hatteberg had two doubles and a 2-run homer in Cincinnati's 8-7 win over visiting Washington, accounting for 2 runs scored, 4 RBI and keying an 8th inning winning rally. Hatteberg doubled home Alex Gonzalez and then scored the tying run on Jose Valentin's game winning 2-run blast to right. Ken Griffey Jr. also hit his 9th homer of the season - a solo shot - giving him 572 on the career list, 1 behind Harmon Killebrew at #8 all-time. Noah Lowry shut out the Astros over 7 innings, allowing 6 hits and walking 3 in San Francosco's 4-0 win over sojourning Houston. Brad Hennessey and Armando Benitez finished the job, each working an inning in relief. The Giants had only 6 hits themselves, but turned them into 4 runs and Lowry (5-4) made them stand up. In other Bay area stories, some are wondering what's happened to Barry Bonds (right) in his pursuit of Hank Aaron's mythical 755 career home run record. Barry hit 11 homers in his first 29 games and has none since. Calculating the date that Barry breaks Aaron's record may be getting easier as Bonds continues his homerless streak, now at 11 games. During that span, Bonds' batting average has fallen from .338 to .287, as he's gone 5-31 (.161), driven in exactly 0 runs, and has been walked 15 times, at least once in every game. Barry has another streak going - he's now walked at least once in each of his last 16 games. So, the current calculation, if Barry homers in his next game and then hits one every 12 games at the ripe age of 42 (he turns 43 on July 24) goes as follows: Since Barry misses one game in every 11 (he's played in 40, the Giants have played 44), that gives him 108 more chances this season, meaning he'll max out at 9 and won't get the 10 he needs to tie Aaron until, yep, next season. We can only hope. No more shots, Barry. You're being watched. Other NL Scores Milwaukee 9 LA Dodgers 5 - P. Fielder, 2 solo HR (14), R. Weeks, 4-5, 3 RBI Notes: We've had a number of requests asking about MLB rules regarding rookie status and are happy to provide the answer from Determining rookie status: A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Escobar Shuts Down Punchless Dodgers; Jenkins Drives in Five

Sunday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Kelvim Escobar threw 8 scoreless innings in a 4-1 win, giving up just 3 singles and a pair of walks as the LA Angels won their 5th straight and swept the Dodgers in their 3-game LA series, outscoring their SoCal rivals, 19-4. Scott Shields came in to work the 8th and allowed the Dodgers' only run, but Francisco Rodriguez came in to get the final out and his 14th save. Escobar is 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA. The Angels have opened up a 4-game lead over Oakland in the AL West. Matt Morris was tough as nails, allowing just 1 earned run on 2 hits and 2 walks in San Francisco's 4-1 win over the Oakland A's, helping the Giants avoid a sweep in the 3-game Bay area series. Morris pitched the entire 9 innings for his first complete game of the season. He threw 126 pitches and struck out 9, improving to 5-1. Other AL Scores Detroit 6 St. Louis 3 - Tigers sweep 3-gm. series with Cards Cleveland 5 Cincinnati 3 - Indians take all-Ohio series, 2-1 Florida 4 Tampa Bay 3 - Marlins sweep 3 in all-Florida series Boston 6 Atlanta 3 - Red Sox (30-13) best in majors, 10 1/2-gm. AL East lead San Diego 2 Seattle 1 National League We knew it was only a matter of time before this guy would begin making regular appearances as a Peak Performer, so, Milwaukee'sGeoff Jenkins performance on Sunday wasn't surprising as he single-handedly got the Brewers back on the winning track by driving in 5 runs in Milwaukee's 6-5 win over the Twins. Jenkins cracked his 9th homer of the season - a 3-run shot that tied the game in the 5th inning at 5-5 - after singling in a run in the 3rd, but he wasn't quite finished. Jenkins knocked in the game-winner with a scratch single in the 7th, plating Prince Fielder. After that, reliever Derrick Turnbow shut down the Twins in the 8th and closer Francisco Cordero struck out the side in the 9th for his 17th save, which tops the majors. The win was only Milwaukee's 3rd in their last 10 games, but the Brewers still maintain a 5 1/2-game lead in the NL Central over Houston and are 6 games up on the Chicago Cubs.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Mark Teixiera and Victor Diaz both had 4 hits, drove in 4 runs and scored twice, including a pair of homers each, in the Rangers 14-1 romp over the Houston Astros. But the most efficient Ranger was Ramon Vazquez, playing in just his 3rd game of the season, who scored 3 times, drove in 5 with a 2-run homer, a 2-run double and a single in 3 at-bats. He's batting .750 (6-8). Other NL Scores Arizona 5 Pittsburgh 2 - R. Johnson (W, 2-2), 10 K; J. Valverde, S (16) Philadelphia 5 Toronto 3 Washington 4 Baltimore 3 - O's take Beltway series, 2-1 White Sox 10 Cubs 6 - AJ Pierzynski GS HR (8), Cubs take 2 of 3 in Windy City series Kansas City 10 Colorado 5, 12 innings NY Yankees 6 NY Mets 2 - Yanks avoid Subway series sweep, A. Rodriguez, HR (17)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Red Sox, Braves Trade Beatings; Wright Doubles Mets' Pleasure

Note: During Interleague play, home teams are reported by league. Saturday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Flip-flopping in Beantown The Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves played a double-header on Saturday due to a Friday rainout and the two games could not have been more dissimilar. The only thing they had in common was a decidedly one-sided attribute as the Red Sox won the opener, 13-3, before Atlanta came back with a 14-0 blanking in the nightcap. In the first game, Mike Lowell (right) was the hitting star, with a grand slam home run, a double and 2 singles in 5 at-bats, tallying 5 RBI and scoring twice. The Sox blasted 4 homers off 3 different Braves' pitchers. Revenge was sweet and swift in the 2nd game, as Chipper Jones knocked out his 12th home run in the 1st inning and leadoff 2nd baseman Kelly Johnson doubled, tripled and hit a 2-run home run, driving in 5 runs. The Braves didn't need that much offense as John Smoltz worked his mound magic over 7 innings, allowing just 3 hits and a walk while fanning 7. A pair of relievers worked the 8th and 9th to preserve the shutout. Other AL Scores
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Seattle 7 San Diego 4 Detroit 8 St. Louis 7 - T. Jones, S (14) Cincinnati 10 Cleveland 5 Florida 7, Tampa Bay 2 - D. Willis (W, 6-3) 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K LA Angels 6 LA Dodgers 2 - Angles 4 straight wins, lead AL West by 3 gms. Oakland 4 San Francisco 2 - J. Cust, 3-run HR (8), B. Bonds, no HR last 9 gms. National League Lyle Overbay tripled in a run in the 3rd and smacked a 3-run homer in the 4th to lead Toronto to a 13-2 pounding of Philadelphia. Overbay finished 2 for 5 with 4 RBI, scoring 3 times. Third baseman David Wright (right) socked 2 2-run home runs in his only official plate appearances, walked 3 times, stole a base and scored another run as the Mets beat the Yankees again, 10-7. The Mets will try for a sweep of their metro rivals on Sunday. Yankee catcher Jorge Posada went 4-5 to boost his batting average to an AL-best .386. Other NL Scores Minnesota 5 Milwaukee 2 - Brewers lost 7 of last 9, J.J. Hardy HR (14) leads NL Cubs 11 White Sox 6 - D. Lee, pinch-hit GS HR (3) Arizona 9 Pittsburgh 8 - T. Clark, pinch-hit GS HR (6), J. Valverde, S (15) Houston 6 Texas 1 - C. Biggio, 2-5, needs 30 more hits for 3000 Baltimore 3 Washington 2, 11 innings Colorado 6 Kansas City 4

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Indians Claim Ohio; Mets Squeak by Yanks, Hunter Slams Brewers

Note: During Interleague play, games played in AL parks are listed under American League, NL parks, National League. Friday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Grady Sizemore (right) smacked a 2-run homer in the 3rd inning and added 3 singles to go 4-5 with 3 runs scored, 3 RBI and a stolen base (15) as the Cleveland Indians took the first game of the Ohio series, 9-3, over Cincinnati. Bay Area Bombing - The San Francisco Giants brought out their ace, Barry Zito, a former A's pitcher, but the Oakland A's greeting was not very cordial. Zito lasted into the 5th inning, allowing 7 runs on 6 hits and - get this! - 7 walks, as the A's pounded their crosstown rivals, 15-3. Zito (3-5) has mostly struggled in the NL, accruing an ERA of 5.13, issuing 28 bases on balls while striking out 30. After Zito's departure, the A's continued piling on. They scored in every inning except the 2nd and 4th, with the big blast coming in the 5-run 8th, capped by Mark Ellis' grand slam. Barry Bonds singled twice in 3 at-bats but hasn't hit a home run in his last 8 games, his longest such drought of the season. Aaron Boone went 2-3 with a grand slam home run in the 3rd inning and scored another run as the
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Florida Marlins beat up on their Sunshine State hosts, Tampa Bay, 8-4. Placido Polanco had 3 doubles in 4 at-bats, scored twice and drove in 3, Gary Sheffield was 2-5 with his 7th home run, 3 RBI and 3 runs, and Sean Casey stroked 4 singles in 5 trips to the plate, drove in 2 and scored twice as the Detroit Tigers ripped the St. Louis Cardinals, 14-4, in the first of a three-game rematch of last season's World Series participants. Other AL Scores LA Angels 9 LA Dodgers 1 San Diego 8 Seattle 1 - C. Young (W, 5-3) 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K National League Torii Hunter (right) pounded a grand slam home run in the third inning, singled and scored in the 6th and starter Boof Bonser won his second game of the season, holding the Milwaukee Brewers to 1 run on 3 hits over 7 innings in an 8-1 rout. Bonser struck out 11 batters while walking just one. The Twins snapped a 3-game losing streak, sending the Brewers to their 6th loss in their last 8 games. Oliver Perez (5-3) outdueled Andy Pettitte, pitching 7 2/3rds innings in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Yankees. Perez allowed just 4 hits and 2 earned runs, both which came off the bat of Hideki Matsui's 4th inning homer. That was all the offense the Yanks could muster as reliever Joe Smith finished the eighth by striking out Derek Jeter and Billy Wagner mopped up in the 9th for his 10th save. Other NL Scores Pittsburgh 11 Arizona 5 Cubs 6 White Sox 3 Philadelphia 5 Toronto 3 Baltimore 5 Washington 4 Texas 7 Houston 4 Kansas City 5 Colorado 2 - Royals win 3rd straight, 5 of last 6

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fausto Bedevils Twins, 2-0; Vlad Impales Mariners

Thursday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Remember the name Fausto Carmona (right) because you're likely to be hearing it more often as the season progresses. On Thursday, Cleveland's Carmona 4-hit the Minnesota Twins, beating their ace, Johan Santana for the second time in a month and winning his 5th straight (5-1) with a complete game shutout, 2-0, in Cleveland. Over his last five starts, Carmona, who employs a nasty sinker almost exclusively at times, has gone at least 7 innings and allowed no more than 7 hits. Over that span of 38 innings, he's given up only 6 earned runs, dropping his season ERA to 2.55 and his WHIP to 1.14. Thursday's win catapulted the Indians back into first place as the Tigers dropped a pair in Boston and now trail the Tribe by 1 game. Minnesota is fading early, now 7 games off the pace in the AL Central. The 2-0 win also gave the Indians a 3-game sweep over the Twins, in which they outscored them 24-8. Jermaine Dye provided all the offense in the White Sox's 4-1 win over visiting New York. Dye doubled in a run in the 1st, hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd and plated another run with a sac fly in the 4th. That was more than enough for starter Jon Garland (3-2), who worked 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits and 4 walks. Bobby Jenks finished with a hitless 9th inning for his 13th save. The Sox are 3 1/2 back of Cleveland in the AL Central. Sometimes, there's nothing a pitcher can do with Vladimir Guerrero (right) besides marvel at his enormous talent. Such was the case for Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn who gave up Vlad's 10th home run in the first - a two run shot - then a double in the 3rd to drive in another run, leading the Angels to a 7-3 road win and a 3-game lead over the Mariners and A's in the AL West. Guerrero finished 3-5, with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Besides being one of the most feared power hitters in the game, Guerrero is also batting a super .351, third in the AL. His 10 homers and 36 RBI are also currently good for third place. Triple Crown? If anybody can, Vlad's the man. Delmon Young cracked a pair of home runs - a 3-run shot in the 4th and a walk-off game winning 2-run blast in the 10th to pace the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to an 8-6 win over visiting Texas. The homers (#s 5 and 6 for Young) were Young's only hits in his 5 official at-bats. Other AL Scores Boston 2 Detroit 1 Boston 4 Detroit 2 - Red Sox, (28-12), 1st place AL East, 9 1/2-gm. lead Kansas City 7 Oakland 4 - KC takes 3 of 4 in Oakland National League Gabe Gross helped the Brewers avoid a 4-game sweep by the Phillies with a pair of solo home runs in Milwaukee's 3-2 win at Philadelphia, only the 2nd victory in 7 games for the Brewers, who have seen their lead in the NL Central shrinking of late, down to a reasonable 5 1/2 over Houston.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
With interleague play beginning today, the Brewers may be happy to welcome the struggling Minnesota Twins, losers of 3 straight and 8 of their last 10. Other NL Scores Pittsburgh 7 Florida 2 Washington 4 Atlanta 3 NY Mets 6 Chicago Cubs 5 - Mets score 5 in bot. 9th, lead NL East by 1 1/2 San Francisco 2 Houston 1, 12 innings Arizona 3 Colorado 1 Notes: Interleague play starts today, and while there are many detractors, I'm not one of them, as I enjoy seeing the two leagues square off in regional rivalries. Among the more interesting matchups this weekend are the Yankees at the Mets, the Dodgers at the Angels, White Sox at Cubs and Cincinnati at Cleveland. The interleague games will be reported here under our usual National and American League formats using the home teams in respective leagues. That way, you and I will both know who's using a DH and who isn't. (I still don't like the DH, regardless of my non-purist stance concerning Interleague play.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hamels, Sabathia Notch 6th Wins; Brewers Lose 4th Straight

Wednesday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League The Cleveland Indians pulled to within 1/2-game of idle Detroit with a 7-1 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins. C. C. Sabathia (right) kept the Twins' bats in check, working 8 innings for his 6th win against 1 loss. Sabathia gave up just 5 hits, a walk and 1 earned run while fanning 5. The Yankees and White Sox split a pair in Chicago, the Sox winning the day game, 5-3 and the Yankees coming back in the nightcap for an 8-1 win. Hideki Matsui accounted for 4 RBI in the second game, doubling in a pair with a double in the 3rd inning and singling home 2 more in the 9th. He added another single to finish the night 3-5. The Yanks got a welcome strong pitching performance in that game from Chien-Ming Wang, who scattered 6 hits and a walk over 7 innings, allowing just one earned run. Other AL Scores Toronto 2 Baltimore 1 - A.J. Burnett (W, 4-3) 9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB,10 K Detroit @ Boston, rained out Tampa Bay 11 Texas 8 - V. Padilla (L, 1-6), 4 IP, 12 H, 8 ER Kansas City 4 Oakland 3 LA Angels 5 Seattle 0 - J. Lackey (W, 6-3) 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER National League The Phillies have taken three straight from the previously-hot Milwaukee Brewers and will look to sweep their 4-game series this afternoon in Philly. On Wednesday night, Cole Hamels (right) took a perfect game into the 7th inning, but a walk and J. J. Hardy's 13th home run changed that tune. Still, the Phils had staked their ace to a comfortable lead, and Hamels ended up allowing just 2 hits and 2 runs over 8 innings for the 6-2 win. Striking out 11 Brewers gave Hamels 70 on the year, one shy of Jake Peavy's MLB-leading total. The win got the Phillies to .500 (20-20) and Hamels to 6-1, tying him with Houston's Roy Oswalt for the NL wins lead. The Brewers have dropped 4 straight and 5 of their last 6, all on the road. Meanwhile, the Houston Astros have won 4 straight and clawed to within 4 1/2 games of the NL Central leaders. The NY Mets took back a slim 1/2-game lead in the NL East over Atlanta with an 8-1 win over the visiting Chicago Cubs. Jorge Sosa stifled the Cubs on 1 hit and 3 walks but walked Cesar Izturis to open the 8th inning and was lifted for reliever Joe Smith, who got two outs before surrendering a single to Cliff Floyd which plated Izturis with the Cubs' only run. Sosa, who has notched wins in each of his 3 starts, walked 3 and struck out 5, lowering his ERA to 2.25 and his WHIP to a ridiculous 0.85. Arizona's Brandon Webb pitched pretty well to most of the Colorado lineup, but couldn't keep Brad Hawpe in the yard, as the Rockies' right fielder touched him up for a pair of homers - a solo shot in the 4th and a 3-run blast in the 6th which sent Webb (3-3) to the showers and propelled the Rockies to a 5-3 home win. Other NL Scores Washington 6 Atlanta 4 LA Dodgers 5 St. Louis 4 - K. Wells (L, 1-8) 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 6 BB; R. Furcal, 1-4 San Diego 3 Cincinnati 2 Florida 4 Pittsburgh 3 Houston 2 San Francisco 1

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Furcal 12-14 in last 3 games; Sizemore Leads 15-7 Tribe Rout of Twins

Tuesday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Grady Sizemore (right) doubled, homered and singled twice in 5 at-bats, driving in 2 and scoring twice as Cleveland outslugged visiting Minnesota, 15-7. Much of the Cleveland pain was inflicted on starter Ramon Ortiz (3-4) who lasted just 1 inning, allowing 6 earned runs on 7 hits and a walk. Ichiro Suzuki knocked 5 singles in 5 at-bats, stole a base, scored a run and drove in another in Seattle's 11-3 home win over the LA Angels. The Mariners are locked into a dead-tight race in the AL West with the Angels and A's. LA leads both Seattle and Oakland by one game. The Angels and Mariners play the second of their 3-game series tonight. Toronto rookie Jesse Litsch, called up from Double-A New Hampshire to replace ailing Roy Halladay, turned in a superb performance, earning his first major league win with a 4-hit, 1-run, 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Advertise on popular blogs and web sites with text ads from Downtown Magazine and
Litsch almost had a complete game, but was pulled with 2 outs in the 9th after walking Miguel Tejada. Jeremy Accardo gave up a single to Ramon Hernandez, but got Aubrey Huff to ground out to end the game. It was Accardo's 3rd save. Other AL Scores Detroit 7 Boston 2 - M. Ordonez, HR (8), 3 RBI (37) Oakland 5 Kansas City 4, 11 innings Tampa Bay 4 Texas 3, 10 innings NY Yankees @ Chi White Sox, Rained out National League Rafael Furcal (right) went 4-5 Tuesday night, equaling a mark held by 4 other players - 4 hits in 3 consecutive games. The major league record of 4 hits in 4 straight games is held by Mitt Stock, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1925. Furcal will have a shot at tying that record tonight when the Dodgers host St. Louis. On Tuesday, Furcal stroked 3 singles, drove in 3 with a bases loaded triple in the 3rd inning and scored twice as the Dodgers outhit the Cards, 9-7. In the past three games, Furcal has blistered the opposition, going 12-14 with 5 RBI, 4 runs scored and a pair of steals. He's raised his batting average from .228 to .297. Dan Uggla socked a pair of home runs - this 7th and 8th - drove in 4 runs and scored twice in 5 at-bats as Florida snapped their 4-game losing streak with a 9-3 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Edgar Renteria hit a 2-run homer in the 1st inning, and a solo shot in the 7th to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 6-3 win at Washington. In between, Renteria singled and scored in the 3rd, part of a 3 run inning that put the game away for starter Tim Hudson, who cruised through 7 innings, allowing just 3 hits, a walk and one warned run for his 5th win against one loss. Randy Johnson got his first win since returning to the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing 1 hit and no walks over 6 scoreless innings, striking out 9, as Arizona won, 3-0 at Colorado. Carlos Lee, tied for the NL RBI lead with J. J. Hardy at 37, cracked a pair of homers last night, including the game-winner in the 10th inning as the Astros took a 6-5 decision over visiting Dan Francisco. Lee's homers - his 8th and 9th - were both solo shots, but the slugger also rapped a pair of singles and scored 4 runs in his 4 at-bats. Other NL Scores Philadelphia 4 Milwaukee 3 - Brewers, 4th loss in last 5; Phillies, 8-3 vs. NL Central Chi Cubs 10, NY Mets 1 - A. Ramirez, GS HR (8) Cincinnati 2 San Diego 1, 12 innings - K. Griffey Jr., GW HR (9)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kotchman Slams Rangers, Millwood; Wright Propels Mets to 1st

Monday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Casey Kotchman (right) got the LA Angels off to a flying start in the last of their 4-game series at Texas with a grand slam home run off Rangers' starter Kevin Millwood. The Angels went on to win, 7-3, taking 3 of 4 from the Rangers. Kotchman walked in 3 consequent plate appearances and scored another run in the 3rd. Millwood had already departed, suffering an apparent hamstring injury in the second inning. Normally, Julio Lugo is expected to score runs from his leadoff position, but Monday, the Red Sox shortstop provided all the offense needed with a bases-loaded triple as Daisuke Matsuzaka hurled his first major league complete game in the Sox's 7-1 win over visiting Detroit. Dice-K gave up just 6 hits and 1 earned run, that a home run off the bat of Detroit's Curtis Granderson, while striking out 5 without walking a batter. Other AL Scores Toronto 5 Baltimore 3 Kansas City 2 Oakland 1 National League David Wright, (right) who socked a 2-run homer in the 4th inning and scored the game-tying run in the 6th, stood in the on-deck circle and watched Carlos Delgado take ball four and force Jose Reyes in with the winning run with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth as the Mets won 5-4 over the visiting Chicago Cubs. Wright's home run was his 4th of the season and he also singled, going 3-4 for the night. Michael Wuertz, who suffered the loss for Chicago, allowed a hit and 3 walks in a fitful 2/3rds of the 9th inning. Reyes, 5th in the NL with a .338 batting average, also stole a couple more bases to up his league-leading total to 23.
Get your game on with free, customizable Fantasy Baseball from FOX Sports.
The Mets took a 1/2-game lead on the Braves in the NL East as Atlanta lost at Washington, 2-1. In that game, Nationals' starter, Jason Bergmann had a no-hitter through seven innings, but gave up a solo home run to Brian McCann to lead off the 8th. Bergmann finished the inning, allowing a single to pinch hitter Matt Diaz, but suffered no further damage. The win was Bergmann's first as a major leaguer. He struck out 10 and walked just 1. Jesus Colome worked the 9th for his 1st save of 2007. Tom Gorzelanny sliced through the Florida Marlins, allowing just 5 hits in 7 scoreless innings as the Pirates sent the visiting Marlins to their 4th straight loss. Gorzelanny, in his first full season as a starter, has been a pleasant surprise for Pittsburgh, racking up a 5-2 record in 8 starts with an ERA of 2.36. Maybe the Milwaukee Brewers are cooling off, or maybe all the other teams in the National League just aren't about ready to concede the Central Division to them. The Brewers lost for the 3rd time in their last 4 games, dropping a 8-6 decision in Philadelphia. The Phillies scored 6 times in the 8th inning off the Milwaukee bullpen. Other NL Scores San Diego 7, Cincinnati 1 - G. Maddux (W, 3-2) 9 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K St. Louis 8 LA Dodgers 4

Sunday, May 13, 2007

SF's Lewis Hits for Cycle; DeJesus Leads Royals to 11-1 Win

Sunday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League David DeJesus (right) doubled twice and stroked a pair of singles in 6 at-bats to help the Kansas City Royals to their most lopsided win of the season, an 11-1 decision over the White Sox in Chicago. DeJesus, one of the few bright spots for the otherwise dismal Royals, is batting .292 out of the leadoff spot. On Sunday, he drove in 2 runs and scored 3 times, more than enough needed by starter Jorge de la Rosa, who allowed just one run on 3 hits and 3 walks over 7 innings to improve his record to 4-3. The 11 runs scored by the Royals matched their season high from April 20, an 11-7 win over Minnesota. Jack Cust capped a 5-run 9th-inning rally with a 3-run homer to give the Oakland A's a 10-7 win over visiting Cleveland. The game-ending blast was his 5th home run in the last 4 games and 6th in 7 games total since joining the A's. Cust also doubled and scored in the 4th inning. Cust has 9 hits in 26 at-bats (.346), 7 of which have been for extra bases. Boston 6 Baltimore 5 - the Red Sox scored all 6 of their runs in the bottom of the 9th inning, capped off when O's reliever Chris Ray dropped the toss from Kevin Millar on Julio Lugo's grounder, which would have been the final out, but instead allowed Jason Varitek and Eric Hinske to score the tying and winning runs. The win gave Boston 2 of 3 in their home series against Baltimore and put them 8 games up on both the O's and Yankees. The Twins weren't about to let Detroit embarass them with a sweep at home, especailly not on national TV and Torii Hunter (right) made extra sure it didn't happen, leading Minnesota to a monstrous 16-4 beating of the Tigers. Hunter hit a 3-run homer in the 1st, doubled in a pair in the 4th and blasted a 2-run bomb in the 7th inning to account for a 3-5, 7 RBI night with 2 runs scored. Hunter, who had a 23-game hitting streak snapped on May 10, is batting .324 with 8 homers and 29 RBI through 35 games. Other AL Scores Tampa Bay 2 Toronto 1 - J. Seo (W, 2-3) 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K Texas 7 LA Angels 6 Seattle 2 NY Yankees 1 National League Just called up this past Thursday when Dave Roberts was put on the 15-day DL, rookie Fred Lewis (right) hit for the cycle Sunday, going 5 for 6, driving in 4 runs and scoring 3 times as the San Francisco Giants slaughtered the Rockies, 15-2, to split their 4-game series in Colorado. Lewis led off the game with a double and scored on a balk. He then homered with two aboard in the 4th inning, tripled to drive in another run in the fifth, and singled twice in the 7th, scoring once again. Each of Lewis' extra base hits were his first of the season and the triple and homer the first of his major league career. Lewis played in 13 games last season for the Giants, going 5-11. Today's totals made him 7-14 with 7 RBI and 5 runs scored. Not a bad start for a leadoff center fielder. Rafael Furcal went 4-4, including two doubles, stole a pair of bases, scored twice and drove in a run and Nomar Garcaiparra stroked 3 singles in 5 at-bats, drove in 3 runs and scored once as the LA Dodgers completed a 3-game sweep of the visiting Cincinnati Reds with a 10-5 win. NY Mets 9 Milwaukee 1 - Damion Easley went 3-5, including his 5th home run of the season (a 2-run shot), drove in 4 total and scored twice in support of the 2-hit pitching of Oliver Perez who struck out 6 over 8 1/3 innings and allowed a run on Bill Hall's 1-out homer in the 9th. Prior to that, the only hit off Perez (4-3) was by opposing pitcher Chris Capuano, who faced defeat for the first time this season (5-1). Rookie Justin Germano worked 7 innings, allowing just 3 hits as San Diego whitewashed the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0. Germano didn't allow a walk and struck out 3 in his second start of 2007. Called up to replace Clay Hensley in the Padres' rotation, Germano pitched 6 innings at Atlanta on May 8, gave up just 3 hits and a run, but did not figure in the decision as the Padres lost, 3-2. Both Perez, who came to New York via trade in 2006 from Pittsburgh, and Easley, acquired in the off-season from Arizona, have solidified the Mets and contributed to their success. Perez sports an ERA of 3.00 and has 43 Ks in 42 innings. Easley is batting a solid .283 and often bats in the pivotal #2 hole. In his last 4 games as a regular, he's 8-16 with a pair of homers. Pittsburgh's Chris Duffy went 3-4, stole his 6th base of the season, drove in 2 runs and scored 3 times as the Pirates throttled the visiting Atlanta Braves, 13-2. Other NL Scores Washington 6 Florida 4 - Nationals sweep 3-game series from Marlins Chicago Cubs 4 Philadelphia 1 - A. Soriano, 0-4, snaps 20-gm. hit streak Houston 5 Arizona 2

Monroe Homer Leads Tigers; Thorman's Pair Powers Braves

Saturday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Craig Monroe (right) blasted his 5th home run - a 2-run shot in the 5th inning - added a pair of singles and scored twice in 4 at-bats to lead the 1st place Detroit Tigers to an 8-2 win at Minnesota. The Tigers lead the AL Central by 1 1/2 over Cleveland and dropped the Twins to 4th place, 6 1/2 back. The Twins have lost 4 straight. Detroit has been on fire, winning 11 of their last 12 including their last 3 straight. Boston 13 Baltimore 4 - 9 different players drove in at least a run in Boston's rout of the O's at Fenway. The Sox lead the AL East by 7 games over the Orioles and Yankees and have won 8 of their last 10. Other AL Scores Chicago White Sox 5 Kansas City 4, 10 innings Cleveland 6 Oakland 3 - F. Carmona, (W, 4-1) LA Angels 6 Texas 3 - B. Colon, (W, 4-0) NY Yankees 7 Seattle 2 - D. Jeter, 3-5, .376 leads AL Toronto 5 Tampa Bay 4 National League Scott Thorman (right) socked a pair of home runs - a 3-run shot in the 2nd and a 2-run blast in the 9th - to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 9-2 win at Pittsburgh. Thorman, who's been getting regular playing time at 1st base, has decent power numbers, with 5 home runs and 19 RBI in just 82 at-bats. At 6'3", 235, he has the profile of a serious power hitter. Bradon Looper stifled the Padres on 3 hits and a walk over 7 innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-0 win at San Diego. Looper, a converted reliever, struck out 7 and lowered his ERA to 2.29. At 5-2 he's one of the few bright spots for the Cards, who are mired in the middle of the NL Central at 15-19, 9 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. J. J. Hardy had just one hit in 4 at-bats, but it was a big one - an 8th inning grand slam to lead the Brewers to a 12-3 win at New York. Hardy's homer was his 11th of the season, tying him with Barry Bonds, Adam Dunn and teammate Prince Fielder. Hardy also drove in another run with a sac fly in the 9th. The Brewers are now 8 games ahead of Houston and Chicago in the NL Central. The Mets trail Atlanta by 1 1/2 in the East. Mike Lamb got the Astros on their way to a 10-4 home win over Arizona with a first-inning solo homer, later singled in another run and ended the day 3-5 with 3 runs scored. Lamb's effort helped starter Roy Oswalt improve to 6-2. Matt Holliday whacked a 3-run homer in the 1st inning and a solo shot in the 5th, both off starter Barry Zito and the Rockies cruised to a 6-2 win over visiting San Francisco. Holliday's 4 RBI tied him for 3rd in the NL. The Phillies placed 1st baseman Ryan Howard on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, but his replacement, Greg Dobbs filled in just fine as the Phillies rallied to an 11-7 home win over Chicago. Dobbs rapped out 3 singles and a triple, went 4-4, scored 2 and drove in a pair. Catcher Carlos Ruiz went 3-3 with a 2-run homer, a double and a single, drove in 3, scored 2 and also put out 2 base runners at the plate on throws from right fielder Shane Victorino. Other NL Scores LA Dodgers 7 Cincinnati 3 - B. Penny (W, 5-0), 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1.39 ERA leads NL Washington 7 Florida 3 - R. Zimmerman, walk-off Grand Slam home run (2)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Peavy Punches Out 10 for Padres; Guillen Powers Tigers, 7-3

Friday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Gary Sheffield hit a solo home run in the 1st inning, singled twice and scored 3 times in 5 at-bats, and Carlos Guillen (right) singled, tripled, homered and drove in 4 runs in 5 trips to the plate as the Detroit Tigers extended their AL Central lead to 1 1/2 games with a 7-3 win over Johan Santana at Minnesota. Jarrod Washburn shut out the Yankees on 5 hits and a walk over 8 innings and J.J. Putz pitched a perfect 9th inning for his 8th save and a 3-0 win in Seattle. Washburn evened his season record at 3-3, struck out 6 and lowered his ERA to 2.54. Other AL Scores Toronto 5 Tampa Bay 1 - Blue Jays snap 9-gm. losing streak Baltimore 6 Boston 3 - O's, 4 straight Ws, 2nd AL East, 6 behind Boston LA Angels 6 Texas 3 - J. Lackey (W, 5-3) Oakland 8 Cleveland 2 Chicago White Sox 2 Kansas City 1 - J. Garland (W, 2-2) National League San Diego's Jake Peavy (5-1, right) is on one heck of a roll. On Friday, he treated 38,901 Padres fans to 7 innings of shutout ball, limiting the St. Louis Cardinal hitters to just 3 base hits and a pair of walks, striking out 10, as the Padres won 7-0. While Peavy was working mound magic, Russell Branyan, who's played on 5 different teams in 10 years, pounded two 2-run homers and added a single in 4 at-bats to juice the offense. Peavy has struck out 10 or more batters in each of his last 4 starts, and threw a 1-hitter (over 7 innings) last time out. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 14 innings, sports a 1.52 ERA (2nd in the NL), a 1.09 WHIP, is tied for most wins in the National League and leads the majors in strikeouts with 66. The Padres are locked into a NL West battle with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Giants, all 4 teams separated by just 2 1/2 games. LA leads with a 1 1/2-game edge over Arizona, with San Diego in third, 2 back, followed by San Fran. The LA Dodgers bested visiting Cincinnati, 2-0, as Randy Wolf shut down the Reds on 4 hits over seven innings, striking out 11 without walking a batter. Reliever Jonathan Broxton worked the 8th and closer Takashi Saito took over in the 9th for his 11th save. David Wright, Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley each hit solo home runs as the Mets held off Milwaukee, 5-4, at Shea Stadium, ending the Brewers' 6-game win streak. The Mets closed to 1/2 game of Atlanta in the NL East and Milwaukee remained 7 games up on the Cubs in the Central. Pat Burrell cranked out a pair of homers - a 3-run shot in the 4th and a 2-run dinger in the 6th - went 3-4 and drove in 5 runs as the Phillies battered the visiting Cubs, 7-2. Starter Cole Hamels picked up his 5th win against just one loss, working 7 innings, allowing the Cubs 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks while fanning 7. Chris B. Young knocked his 5th and 6th home runs, both solo shots and added a double in support of Brandon Webb's complete game 6-hitter as the D-Backs won, 3-1, at Houston. Webb struck out 10, improving to 3-2. Other NL Scores Washington 6 Florida 0 - Nationals, 5 pitchers combine for 4-hit shutout San Francisco 8 Colorado 3 Atlanta 4 Pittsburgh 1

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dan Johnson Goes All 4s; Griffey catches Palmeiro on HR List

Thursday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League The Angels' Kelvim Escobar knocked the Cleveland Indians out of first place in the AL Central with a 7-hit complete game shutout on Thursday. The 8-0 win also kept the Angels a game up on Oakland in the AL West. Escobar (4-1) struck out 9 and has given up just one run in his last 16 innings, dropping his ERA to 2.21 and his WHIP to a very respectable 1.08. Oakland's Dan Johnson made up for a lot of lost time on Thursday in Kansas City. Johnson, who didn't start playing regularly until April 25, went 4-4 with 2 homers and a double, drove in 4 runs and scored 4 times as Oakland steamrolled the Royals, 17-3. With only 43 official at-bats entering the game, Johnson raised his batting average from .326 to .383. Leadoff hitter Shannon Stewart also had 4 hits in 6 at-bats, scored a pair of runs and drove in 2. Jose Contreras evened his record at 3-3 with a 5-hit complete game, 3-0 shutout of the Minnesota Twins. It was Contreras' 2nd road win of the season and his 2nd career shutout. The win moved the White Sox 1/2 game ahead of the Twins and also ended Torii Hunter's hitting streak at 23 games. The Sox took the last 2 of their 3-games series in Minnesota and trail the Detroit Tigers by 4 games in the wide-open AL Central division. Tim Wakefield shut out the Blue Jays on 3 hits over 7 innings and the Boston offense spoiled Roy Halladay's bid for his 100th career win in an 8-0 rout. The Red Sox swept the Jays in their 3-game set and sent them to their 9th straight loss. The Sox have won 4 straight and now lead the AL East by 7 games. The Texas Rangers finally got a win over the NY Yankees and they made it a big one. The Rangers had lost 5 straight to the Yankees, but their 14-2 win in New York snapped the streak.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
Mark Teixeira had a single and 3 doubles in 5 at-bats, drove in 3 runs and scored 3 for Texas. Victor Diaz hit his 1st home run of the season, a grand slam in the 8th inning to finish the scoring deluge. Other AL Scores Baltimore 11 Tampa Bay 6 - O's sweep 3-gm. series w/D-Rays Detroit 7 Seattle 3 - Tigers 1/2-gm. lead in AL Cent. National League Sergio Mitre shut out the visiting LA Dodgers on 3 hits and 3 walks over 8 innings but did not get the decision as Josh Willingham ended the contest with a 3-run homer with 1 out in the ninth inning off LA starter Derek Lowe. It was Willingham's 5th home run of the season. Adam Dunn (right) just needed a single to hit for the cycle, but he had to settle for a 3-4 effort in Cincinnati's 9-4 win over the visiting Astros, smacking his league-leading (tied with Barry Bonds) 11th home run of the season to go with a double, triple, 3 runs scored and 3 RBI. While Dunn was having his fun, Ken Griffey Jr. (left) knocked his 6th homer of the season and 5th in his last 10 games. Griffey's shot was the 569th of his career, tying him for 9th place all-time with Rafeal Palmeiro. Just 4 ahead is Harmon Killebrew at #8 with 573. Griffey, when healthy, is capable of hitting 40 or more, which he's done 7 times, though various injuries have limited him since 2000, when he last hit 40. Since then, his best has been 35 in 2005, but he's off to a solid start and should easily pass Mark McGwire (583) and Frank Robinson (586) and may catch still-active Sammy Sosa (595). While Barry Bonds continues to chase down Hank Aaron's 755 this season, Griffey, 37, looks to have at least 3 or 4 more seasons to make a run of his own. One good reason to root for "The Kid" is that in an age of steroids and other performance-enhancing potions, there's never been so much as a hint that Griffey ever used any, instead relying entirely on his own abundant physical talents. Other NL Scores Pittsburgh 6 Chicago Cubs 4 - A. Soriano, 18-gm. hit streak; D. Lee, 17-gm. streak Colorado 5 San Francisco 3 Atlanta 5 San Diego 3 - T. Hudson (W, 4-1)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ortiz Homer Helps Dice-K, Red Sox; Marquis Blanks Pirates, 1-0

Wednesday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League David Ortiz (right) singled twice, doubled, crunched his 9th home run of the season and drove in 3 runs to support starter Daisuke Matsuzaka en route to his 4th win and a 9-3 triumph over slumping Toronto. The Blue Jays have lost 8 straight, while the Red Sox have won 6 of their last 7, providing a 6-game bulge over the now-2nd place NY Yankees (16-16). Ortiz' 3 RBI moved him into a tied for 3rd in the AL with Chicago's Magglio Ordonez with 28. The Angels' Vladimir Guerrero is next with 30. They are all chasing NY's Alex Rodriguez, who leads the majors with 39. Mike Sweeney belted his 4th home run, snapping a 2-2 deadlock in the 8th inning to give the Kansas City Royals a 3-2 win over the visiting Angels. There hasn't been much to cheer about in KC lately. The Royals have won just 5 of their last 16 games and are an AL-worst 11-23, already 10 1/2 games back of AL Central-leading Cleveland. The loss dropped Oakland to 16-16, a game behind LA in the AL West, with Seattle 1/2 back of the Angels. Other AL Scores Baltimore 1 Tampa Bay 0, 10 innings - A. Huff GW HR (4) Seattle 9 Detroit 2 NY Yankees 6 Texas 2 - D. Jeter, 2-3, 3 RBI, SB (3), .362 leads AL LA Angels 3 Cleveland 2 Chicago White Sox 6 Minnesota 3 - T. Hunter, 23-gm. hitting streak National League Jason Marquis (right) twirled a perfect game into the 6th inning and finished with a 3-hit, complete game, 1-0 shutout over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, keeping the Cubs in 2nd place, 6 1/2 behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. Marquis, 5-1, beat the Pirates in his last start (May 2, 7-1) and hasn't allowed a run in 16 consecutive innings. He got just enough offense from Alfonso Soriano, who homered to lead off the game against hard-luck loser Tom Gorzelanny, who lasted 7 innings. Soriano extended his hitting streak to 17 games and teammate Derrek Lee stretched his to 16 straight with a 4th inning single. Right now, there seems to be no stopping the Milwaukee Brewers. On Wednesday, the NL Central upstarts competed a sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 3-1 win, their 6th straight. The win was their 9th in 10 games on their just-completed home stand. After a day off Thursday, the Brewers head to New York to face the Mets. Reliever Francisco Cordero picked up a save for the 5th day in a row, giving him a major league best 15. Cordero has been lights out, not allowing an earned run until two nights ago, when the Nationals touched him up for one in the 9th inning of the Brewers' 6-4 win. Regardless, Cordero has allowed only 4 hits over 16 2/3 innings while walking 7 and striking out 16. His key numbers border on the absurd: 0.54 ERA and 0.66 WHIP. The Brewers lead their division by 6 1/2 games. Braves 3 Padres 2: John Smoltz outdueld ex-teammate Greg Maddux to earn his 5th win against one loss and keep the Braves tied with the NY Mets atop the NL East.
Get your game on with free, customizable Fantasy Baseball from FOX Sports.
Smoltz worked 7 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 earned runs. Smoltz, who turns 40 on May 15, did not walk a batter and struck out 7, getting win #198 of his outstanding career, all of it with the Braves. As he approaches his 200th win, it should be remembered that Smoltz missed all of 2000, then spent 2001-2004 as Atlanta's closer, racking up 154 saves. Maybe Ryan Howard needs to come in off the bench. Howard's 7th inning pinch hit grand slam erased a 3-0 Diamondbacks lead and led the Phillies to a 9-3 win at Arizona. The shot was Howard's 6th of the year and his 2nd in the last 3 games. After a painfully slow start, Howard may be getting into a groove of sorts. While he's still batting only .204, he's still be somewhat productive, having driven in 23 runs. Other NL Scores Houston 3 Cincinnati 2 - L. Berkman, HR (5), A Dunn, HR (10) St. Louis 9 Colorado 2 - Cardinals, 4-2 last 6 gms. NY Mets 5 San Francisco 3 LA Dodgers 5 Florida 3 - Dodgers lead NL West by 2 gms.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Beckett Goes 7-0; Tigers Win 8th Straight; Glavine Wins #294

Tuesday's Peak Performers and Fabulous Flops American League Normally, the Detroit Tigers get most of their offense from guys like Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, but last night, seldom used Omar Infante provided some spark at the bottom of the lineup. Filling in at center field, Infante singled, doubled, tripled, drove in 4 runs and scored twice, helping the Tigers outlast the visiting Mariners, 9-7. The Tigers continued their relentless pursuit of Cleveland with their 8th straight win and stand just 1/2 game behind the Indians in the AL Central. Josh Beckett (right) gave up a leadoff home run to Alex Rios, but shut the door after that and his teammates scored 8 runs in the first three innings as Boston beat Toronto, 9-2 and Beckett earned his 7th victory without a loss, working 7 innings of 5-hit ball, walking 1 while striking out 5. Rios' homer was the only earned run off the Boston ace. The Sox goosed their AL East lead to 6, as the Blue Jays lost their 7th straight. The teams will complete a three-game set Wednesday and Thursday in Toronto. Cleveland starter Cliff Lee, who spent April on the DL, delivered a complete game 3-hitter as the Indians stayed just ahead of the streaking Tigers with a 3-1 win at the LA Angels. Lee didn't allow a hit until the 6th inning, and threw 102 pitches.
Advertise on Blogs
Choose your own colors, dates and message for maximum impact.
It was win #50 in his 4-year career, all of which has been with Cleveland Justin Morneau.banged a pair of homers, the second a 3-run shot in the 10th inning which provided the winning margin as the Twins outlasted the White Sox, 7-4. Morneau drove in 4 and scored twice, and now has 8 dingers on the season. Other AL Scores Baltimore 8 Tampa Bay 3 NY Yankees 8 Texas 2 - A. Rodriguez, HR (15) Oakland 6 Kansas City 1 - C. Gaudin (W, 2-1), 8 Ks National League Tom Glavine took another step closer to Cooperstown with a smooth 7-hit, 7-inning performance, leading the NY Mets to a 4-1 win at San Francisco. Glavine (4-1) won the 294th game of his stellar career despite allowing Barry Bonds to swat his 11th home run of the season and 745th career home run, just 10 short of Hank Aaron's all-time record. Glavine gave up just the lone homer, walking 1 and striking out 5. Billy Wagner worked the 9th for his 7th save. The win kept the Mets and Braves deadlocked atop the NL East at 20-12. Alfonso Soriano and Derrek Lee extended their hitting streaks to 16 and 15 games respectively, but the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates got the last laugh, winning 4-3 in 15 innings. Soriano went 3-6 and Lee had just 1 hit in 7 at-bats, dropping his batting average to a relatively pedestrian (.398). Other NL Scores Florida 6 LA Dodgers 5 - M. Cabrera, HR (8), 3 RBI, .351 Houston 7 Cincinnati 6 - C. Lee, HR (6), 2 RBI (31) leads NL Atlanta 3 San Diego 2 Milwaukee 6 Washington 4 - Brewers, 4 straight wins, lead NL Cent. by 6 1/2 Arizona 3 Philadelphia 2 St. Louis 4 Colorado 1 - J. Isringhausen, S (9)