Cincinnati Reds 9, Chicago Cubs 4
The Cincinnati Reds are the oldest team in professional baseball history, and they won their 10,000th game by defeating the now 3-11 Chicago Cubs (last in our power rankings) 9-4. The Reds are 6-8, but they are a playoff contender and will only get better as the season wears on.
Bryan LaHair has been playing at a high level early on this season, and Cubs fans can only hope that the .459 OBP 1B can keep it up. The former minor league staple went 2-4 with a double, a run, and an RBI. Drew Stubbs paced the Reds offensive attack with three hits and three steaks in five at-bats, and he also doubled.
The Cubs used five pitchers in this game, with only Scott Maine not allowing a single run (one walk, two strikeouts in an inning). Chris Volstad started the game for Chicago and had a 33 Game Score after allowing seven hits and six runs (five earned) in five innings.
For the Reds, Homer Bailey went seven strong and allowed one earned run (four in total). Bailey gave up five hits and no walks, but he only struck out two batters. However, he did have a 9.3 SwStr% (his 2011 total) for the game.
Yankees 6, Red Sox 2
Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees kicked off the rivalry series with a bang, as A-Rod passed Ken Griffey Jr. on the all-time list with a 424 ft. inning in the top of the fifth to give the Bombers a 5-1 lead. The game commemorated 100 years of Fenway Park history, and “Still D.R.E.” could be heard over the speakers in fitting fashion.
The Yankees hit five homers in this game, with all of them coming off of Clay Buchholz. Eric Chavez, in fact, had two dingers. David Ortiz hit the lone tater for Boston, as he went 2-4 in the game- his home run also traveled 424 feet.
Ivan Nova is now 3-0 on the season, as he held the Red Sox to two runs in six innings. Nova did not walk a batter and struck out five in six innings of work, although he did allow seven hits. Buchholz was about as good as Volstad, as he surrendered nine hits and five earned runs (six unearned) in six innings of work with two walks and two strikeouts. He’ll want to forget this game.
Nationals 2, Marlins 0
Even though Carlos Zambrano was slightly better than the Nationals starter in this game, the cruising Nats took a victory over the Marlins to run their record to 11-4 (7-2 at home). Z allowed just two hits and a run (a 427 foot homer for Rick Ankiel in the bottom of the third) in seven innings of work. He struck out six and walked none. Meanwhile, Ross Detwiler allowed just three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in six scoreless frames. Craig Stammen (first hold), Tyler Clippard (fourth hold), and Henry Rodriguez (fourth save) preserved the game for Washington.
Cardinals 4, Pirates 1
Lance Lynn is on a mission to prove that he’s more than just an emergency starter, and his 1.42 ERA is doing a good job proving that point. Even though it was against the futile Pirates offense, Lynn’s third win of the season was still impressive. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts and allowed just four hits and a walk. The run was an inside-the-park homer from young LF Alex Presley to lead off the game. Jason Motte earned his third save of the season, while Mitchell Boggs earned his third hold of the season for the 10-4 Cardinals who are 6-2 in away games.
Giants 4, Mets 3
It looked like things were going downhill for the Giants after pinch-hitter Jason Thole singled in the bottom of the ninth, but the Giants pulled out the victory by drawing two walks off of Mets closer Frank Francisco. After those walks, catcher Hector Sanchez (2-5) hit a bloop single to score Melky Cabrera and win the game. Both starters in this game were exactly average, and it came down to a close finish for San Francisco. Mets reliever Jon Rauch, by the way, has yet to allow a run through his first seven innings of the season.
Twins 5, Rays 4
The Tampa Bay Rays are now 7-7 after this loss to the Twins, with Matt Moore having a rare off game and both starters being equally underwhelming (Liam Hendriks for the Twins). Matt Capps earned his fourth save of the season after blanketing the Rays in the ninth, and Joe Mauer had two hits, two RBIs, and two walks in the victory.
Dodgers 3, Astros 1
The surging Dodgers (currently ranked second in our power rankings) defeated the lowly Houston Astros, and it was Matt Kemp who, again, led the way for L.A. He went 3-3 with a walk, a run, and two steaks. His home run in the first inning off of J.A. Happ, who has struggled mightily since pitching for the ‘Stros, gave the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead. That homer gave Kemp his 20th RBI of the season as well, and the two-strikeout save gives Javy Guerra seven on the year. Super set-up man Kenley Jansen struck out three in one inning of work and allowed just one walk in that inning.
Blue Jays 4, Royals 3
It was messy, but Sergio Santos received his second save of the season. Toronto’s Luis Perez is now 2-0 on the season, as he struck out four in 1.2 innings of relief with just a walk and a hit allowed. Perez has thrown 8.1 innings of scoreless ball to the start the season with eight K’s and just two hits (0.60 WHIP for the lefty). Luke Hochevar actually pitched well for K.C., but it was wasted as Greg Holland once again struggled and allowed three hits, three runs, and two walks without getting a Blue Jay out (0-2, 11.37 ERA).
Rockies 4, Brewers 3
The Rockies prevailed on the road in another 4-3 contest, as both Troy Tulowitzki and Ramon Hernandez went 2-4. John Axford was charged with the loss after allowing three hits and a run, with the run being the winning RBI-single from offseason acquisition Michael Cuddyer. Matt Belisle received the win after striking out the only two batters he faced, but everyone will tell you that starter Jhoulys Chacin pitched well (7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). CF and No. 2 hitter Norichika Aoki went 2-4 with two runs and an inside-the-park home run. The Japanese import is hitting .357 this season and also doubled in this game. Ryan Braun, by the way, struck out three times in his 3 ABs but scored on a Mat Gamel single after being hit by a pitch. Rafael Betancourt (1.50 ERA) earned his fourth save of the season after eight pitches (13 strikes, four swinging strikes).
Braves 9, Diamondbacks 1
The Atlanta Braves blew out the D’Backs, as Trevor Cahill allowed seven hits and seven runs (four earned) and was just as good as Volstad and Buchholz in 5.2 nightmare innings. He actually gave up just one home run, and that was a shot from Brian McCann. First baseman Freddie Freeman had three hits and two steaks, and Paul Goldschmidt was the only Diamondback with multiple hits. Brandon Beachy was great on the mound, as he allowed just four hits and a walk with five strikeouts in seven scoreless innings.
Angels 6, Orioles 3
The hot streak continues for O’s lead-off hitter Nolan Reimold, as he went 3-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Reimold is slugging at a .783 clip so far this year, and he added his fourth double of the year and fifth home run (both off of Jerome Williams). Brian Matusz had a Cahill-like day, as he allowed nine hits and six runs (four earned) in five innings. He also walked three and struck out six in exactly 100 pitches (68 strikes) and continues to struggle with a 7.98 ERA this year. Jerome Williams had a decent outing for the Angels, as he allowed seven hits, three runs, one walk, and struck out six in 6.2 innings. Jordan Walden (4.91 ERA) got the monkey off his back (see what I did there?) by notching his first save of the season. Star second baseman Howie Kendrick led the way for the 5-9 Halos by going 3-5 with three RBIs and a run (two doubles).
Indians 4, Athletics 3
Travis Hafner took three walks, Jack Hannahan continued his clutch run with three steaks, and Shin Soo-Choo went 2-5 with a double to lead the Cleveland Indians to a narrow, 4-3 victory over the Oakland A’s. Lead-off hitter Jemile Weeks had a double and a triple for the losing squad, offseason trade acquisition Josh Reddick went 2-5 with two runs- including a 3rd-inning shot to right, and phenom Yoenis Cespedes continued his solid hitting to start the year (.551 slugging percentage) by going 3-4 with two steaks.
Ubaldo Jimenez is now 2-0 after an average game on the mound, as he allowed six hits, two walks, but just two runs in six innings. The bullpen was fantastic, as Chris Perez notched his fifth save of the season.
Phillies 4, Padres 1
Things are not looking bright for the San Diego Padres, and they are now 3-12 overall and have a putrid 2-7 record at PETCO with this loss to the now-.500 Philadelphia Phillies. Cole Hamels doubled, Shane Victorino homered, and the 5-8 hitters on the Phillies all had two hits. Hamels tossed six innings of one-run ball while allowing six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in a solid outing. The bullpen nailed down San Diego, as Jonathan Papelbon saved his fifth game of the year, Chad Qualls notched his fourth hold (no runs allowed in five innings this season), and Jose Contreras had a hold in his first inning.
White Sox 7, Mariners 3
The 7-8 Seattle Mariners couldn’t get anything going after a narrow loss to the Cleveland Indians in their last game; a game that included a terrific outing from Felix Hernandez that went to waste. In any case, the Sox won here by running offseason acquisition Hector Noesi (9.49 ERA this season highlights his struggles) out of the game after 1.1 innings (six hits, six ER, GSC of 17).
Chris Sale got the start for the Sox and ended up getting his second win of the year after a decent outing. He did give up seven hits, three walks, and three runs in 6.1 innings, but he also struck out 11 batters.
Jesus Montero immediately upgraded the M’s offense by clubbing a home run after a day off against the Indians last time out. Adam Dunn is slugging .571 in what seems to be a clear bounce-back year, and he went 3-4 with two runs and five RBIs. Dunn doubled and hit two home runs, with the latter giving the White Sox a 6-0 lead in the third. He got his hits early, as Dunn only saw nine pitches in this game.
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