Friday, June 22, 2007

Punchless Pirates; Rockies Tighten NL West with Sweep of Yankees

American League Seattle 3 Pittsburgh 0 - The Pirates, who haven't scored in 20 innings, went to the clubhouse scoreless for the second straight game as Felix Hernandez (4-4, right) shut them out on 6 hits over 8 innings and closer J.J. Putz finished the job for his 20th save. It was the 8th time this season, most in MLB, that the Pirates have been shut out. Hernandez struck out 9 and walked just one. Other AL Scores LA Dodgers 8 Toronto 4 - J. Kent, 2-5, HR (10) Texas 6 Chicago Cubs 5 - Cubs have lost 4 of last 5 National League Baltimore 6 San Diego 3 - The most compelling race in baseball is probably in the NL West. While the Padres were busily dripping two straight to the teetering Orioles, the Dodgers and Rockies were gaining. The current standings in the division have the Padres and Diamondbacks tied for first, with LA 1/2 back and the Rockies 3 1/2 behind. San Francisco, losers of 7 straight are 11 behind and not a factor. San Diego, which has arguably the best pitching staff in the majors - lowest staff ERA and WHIP at 3.05 and 1.19 respectively - is also saddled with the meekest offense in the league. The Padres are dead last in the NL with a .247 team batting average and near the bottom in most other offensive categories. Their top hitter, Adrian Gonzalez, is hitting .295 with 14 homers and 51 RBI. He leads the team in all three categories with Kahlil Greene and Mike Cameron providing most of the punch after that. It should be interesting to see if the Padres make any moves to pick up a potent bat via the trade route and also whether their pitching can sustain itself through the season, especially against high-powered divisional foe, Colorado. Colorado 4 NY Yankees 3 - The Rockies completed the 3-game sweep of the Yankees, and the surprise is not so much that they did it - they were at home for the series - but that nobody saw it coming. The Yankees have had their ups and downs, but the Rockies have been en fuego since May 21, going 17-7 coming into the Yankees' series. Make that 20-7 now, and 7 of their last 8 as the Rockies head to Toronto for 3 games, their final interleague series of the season. Interleague Scoreboard: Friday (6/8): AL 8, NL 6 Saturday (6/9): AL 10, NL 4 Sunday (6/10): AL 9, NL 5 Monday (6/11): AL 0, NL 2 Tuesday (6/12): AL: 8, NL: 6 Wednesday (6/13): AL: 6, NL: 8 Thursday (6/14): AL: 7, NL: 5 Friday (6/15): AL: 6, NL: 8 Saturday (6/16): AL: 5, NL: 9 Sunday (6/17): AL: 9, NL: 5 Monday (6/18): AL: 7 NL: 3 Tuesday (6/19): AL: 3, NL: 11 Wednesday (6/20): AL: 10, NL: 4 Thursday (6/21): AL: 3, NL: 2 Total: AL: 91 NL: 78 Note: During interleague play, home teams are reported under their respective leagues.

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