San Francisco Giants 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3 (F/14)
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings and only allowed one earned runs while striking out 10, but it wasn’t enough to get him a win. The Brewers rallied to tie the game 3-3 in the eighth inning, and that’s where the score stayed until Giants catcher Hector Sanchez hit a solo homer that proved the eventual winner in the top of the 14th. Star power was in full effect Monday night, as Ryan Braun and Buster Posey each hit two-run homers to help their respective teams. For a game to last this long with the score tied, both bullpens have to be especially effective. This contest was no different, with ultra props going to the San Francisco pen. The Giant relievers allowed just one hit and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings of duty.
Cincinnati Reds 4, Atlanta Braves 1
The Reds took down the Braves thanks to a masterful start from Mike Leake (8 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 6 K). Leake went ahead and hit a solo home run for good measure, while Zack Cozart followed suit, and Drew Stubbs hit a pair. The Reds are now just a half-game out of first place in the NL Central. Atlanta starter Mike Minor continued to struggle despite having the stuff and pedigree to succeed at the major league level. Joey Votto worked two more walks for the Reds, and he now has 40 for the season. Votto leads the league in walks by an incredible 11 over David Wright.
Gio Gonzalez continued his dominant first season in the National League on Monday, as he went six scoreless innings and struck out nine. Gonzalez now leads all of baseball in strikeouts, has his ERA under 2.00, and his WHIP is under 1.00. Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper each had two hits, and one of Desmond’s left the yard. Kyle Kendrick pitched well in the loss for Philadelphia (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 K), a team still yearning for added offensive production.
The Pirates and Mets are both really hanging in there this year! As usual, the Pirates got a nice performance from Andrew McCutchen. The star center fielder went 2-4 with a run batted in and a run scored. Catcher Michael McKenry hit a two-run shot in the seventh that tied the game after Pittsburgh had fallen behind 4-2. Neither Johan Santana nor Erik Bedard was particularly sharp in the game, though it’s tough not to salivate at that pitching matchup if the clock was turned back to 2007.
The Marlins have the best record in the game this month, and they just keep on rolling. The powerful Giancarlo Stanton plague-hammered a grand slam straight into the scoreboard to overcome an early Colorado lead, while Austin Kearns also contributed four hits and two RBI in the win. Troy Tulowitzki homered in the loss for the Rockies, which the team has to hope jump starts on of his notorious hot streaks. The Rockies could use it, as they are now sitting at 15-26 for the season.
Tyler Greene hit a two-run homer to right center in the bottom of the eighth to give the Cardinals a permanent lead after the game had gone back and forth in the late innings. Greene was 3-4 in the game, and his effort helped snap his team’s four-game losing streak. Jaime Garcia and Clayton Richard both went seven innings and allowed two earned runs, while Yonder Alonso added two hits for the Padres. Alonso has been adept at getting on base in his debut season: he’s now hitting .301/.380/.420.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball despite temporarily losing Matt Kemp and having a middle-of-the-order that has often included the limp bats of Bobby Abreu and Adam Kennedy. A big reason for the team’s success is its starting pitching, and Chris Capuano‘s start on Monday night continued the trend. Capuano allowed one earned run in six innings, while Matt Treanor, Andre Ethier, and James Loney all cleared the outfield fence.
Clay Buchholz and Tommy Hunter were both hit around by balanced attacks, but in the end the Red Sox were just too much. David Ortiz hit home run number 10, while Chris Davis went deep for the Orioles. Will Middlebrooks continued his fast start with another three hits for the Sox. It also seems worth noting that Adam Jones didn’t homer for Baltimore. Perhaps he was too busy helping Tool record a new album or going by the nickname “Pacman.” There are a lot of people with that name, okay?
Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer in the first, and that was enough for Felipe Paulino even without the other four runs. Paulino combined with Aaron Crow and Tim Collins for the shutout, and this makes three dominant starts in four outings for the Kansas City right-hander. Paulino has struck out 29 and walked seven in his 25 1/3 2012 innings. The Royals are now 6-4 in their last 10 games, while the Yankees are just 3-7 over the same span.
Kyle Drabek survived an ugly six-walk start to grab his fourth win and continue his improved results in 2012. Jeremy Hellickson gave his team a pleasant-enough effort (7 1/3 IP, 2 ER), but it wasn’t enough to withstand the three errors made behind him. Don’t look now, but the Jays are now five games over .500, three games out of first, and leading the AL East with a +39 run differential. Okay, if you want you can look now.
The A’s moved over .500 behind Tommy Milone‘s sixth win and just barely enough offense. Meanwhile, the Angels continue to reel despite the efforts of young phenom Mike Trout. Trout doubled and drove in a run, and he’s now hitting .350/.413/.600. As for Milone, it’s becoming difficult to deny that he has value as a control expert despite his low strikeout rate. Milone, a small part of the Gio Gonzalez trade, now has an ERA of 3.75 and a WHIP of 1.09.
Yu Darvish has been getting better and better in his first big league season, but his rise to stardom was put on hold by the Mariners on Monday. Darvish struggled with his control, walking six and exiting the game after four innings. Felix Hernandez was far better, pitching eight innings of one-run ball and striking out seven. The Mariners also benefited from a vintage Ichiro Suzuki sighting, as the aging star went 2-4 with a triple and two RBI. Rookie slugger Jesus Montero added a pair of RBI of his own, though he remains in an uphill battle with a deadly foe: plate discipline.