It may not exactly be the year of the pitcher, but with four no-hitters already this season (including two perfect games), dominance on the mound is spreading.
In Atlanta, Hammel set down 20 of the first 21 Braves in order, walking Dan Uggla to lead off the second, before surrendering another walk to Uggla and a scratch single to Jason Heyward with two out in the seventh.
Baltimore remained 1 1/2 back of the Yankees, winners of eight straight, in the AL East.
Ervin Santana took nearly the same route to a 2-0, 1-hit win as Hammel, retiring the first 20 Arizona batters, until surrendering a single toJustin Upton with twoouts in the seventh. Besides a walk to Miguel Montero in the ninth, that was the only blemish on Santana's game.
The Angels pounded outt10 hits, but only Mark Trumbo's first inning, two-run homer produced and scoring. Santana finished with one walk and five Ks, keeping LA within striking distance of AL West leader, Texas, four games out.
|Holliday: 4-5, 5RBI|
Every hit was a run-producer for the St. Louis left fielder, socking a two-run homer (11) in the first, doubling and scoring in the second, singling in another run in the seventh and finishing with a two-run double in the eighth.
The victory kept the Cardinals tied for second in the NL Central, four games behind the Reds, winners of five in a row.
St. Louis will finish their home series with the Royals Sunday afternoon.