INTERLEAGUE (NL STADIUMS)
New York Mets 5, Baltimore Orioles 0
R.A. Dickey led the New York Mets to an easy win over the Baltimore Orioles by tossing his second consecutive one-hitter Monday night. Dickey’s complete game effort included 13 strikeouts, and his two-game totals look like this: 18 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 25 K. Not too shabby for a knuckle-baller pushing 40, is it? Ike Davis gave Dickey all the offense he needed with a sixth inning grand slam off Jake Arrieta, who had been pitching well until Davis left the yard. Jordany Valdespinadded a double, a triple, and two runs scored for the Mets. It will be interesting to see how close Dickey can come to extending his streak another nine innings five days from now.
The top of the order got things done for the Astros Monday. Leadoff hitter Jose Altuve had two hits and a runs scored, while Brian Bixler and Justin Maxwell each homered and drove in three runs. Billy Butler and Yuniesky Betancourt each drove in a pair for the Royals in the loss. While this game was a high-scoring affair, 11 of the 16 runs came off the respective bullpens and 10 runs came in the final two half-innings. As you can imagine, the late surge of runs led to extremely ugly lines for Louis Coleman and Brett Myers, each of whom surrendered five earned runs.
The Brewers held a 6-3 lead going into the seventh, but the Blue Jays rallied back to tie the game only to see that lead slip away in the bottom of the inning. Milwaukee was able to hold on thanks to shutout innings from Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, two relievers who have had their share of struggles this season. The Brewer offense benefited from Aramis Ramirez and Rickie Weeks starting to hit as they should. Ramirez went 3-3 with a walk, homer, and three RBI. Weeks had two hits and two RBI. On the Toronto side of things, home runs came from the likes of Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, and Edwin Encarnacion.
Aaron Hill and Wade Miley stole the show in this one. Hill went 4-4 with three runs scored and hit for the cycle, while Miley pitched seven innings of one-run ball and struck out eight. Justin Upton had a run scored and two RBI, which at this point is a pretty notable accomplishment for the struggling star. It has to just be a matter of time until he gets it all together again. Casper Wells had two hits and knocked in the only Mariner run.
The Rangers emerged victorious in an extreme mismatch, though the score indicates that of plenty Padre games. Matt Harrison continued his fine season by pitching six innings, allowing one run and striking out four. Jason Marquis was arguably more effective, and his transition back to the National League has been a positive one so far. Marquis struck out 10 batters in seven innings, which is something you certainly can’t say about most of his starts. David Murphy drove in both Texas runs, while Chase Headley had three hits for the Padres.
INTERLEAGUE (AL STADIUMS)
That makes 10 straight wins for the blazing Yankees, and they have now opened up a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL East. This contest went the way most people envision a 2012 Yankees win going. CC Sabathia went the distance and struck out 10, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano each homered, and Derek Jeter contributed two hits and three RBI. The Braves got a nice day from Michael Bourn (2-4, RBI, RS), but Mike Minor is still a complete mess. Minor’s ERA sits just over 6.00 after yet another defeat.
This game was certainly an offense-oriented one. You wouldn’t necessarily think this many runs would be scored in a game started by Mat Latos and Derek Lowe, but neither starter was effective in the slugfest. Lonnie Chisenhall had the biggest day for Cleveland, as he went 3-4 with three RBI, two runs scored, and his third home run. Casey Kotchman somehow went deep as well, and Shin-Soo Choo followed suit. The Reds had multi-hit games from six players who accounted for all of the team’s 14 hits. Among them were home runs from stars Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Votto’s OBP continues to flirt with .500 (it’s at .491 after Monday’s contest). The last player to hit that mark was of course Barry Bonds, who did so from 2001-2004.
The south-side Chicago team has been much better this season, but that didn’t stop the Cubs from hammering them into submission. Bryan LaHair, Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto, and Luis Valbuena all went deep for the Cubs. These long balls accounted for nine of the team’s runs. A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko each went deep for the White Sox, but those bombs were the only run-scoring hits managed against Matt Garza in his quality start.
Matt Cain was far less dominant in this start than his last one, the perfect one, but he still got credit for a win despite allowing three runs and four walks. Plenty of thanks can go to his awesome bullpen, a unit that managed four perfect innings of its own once Cain left the game. Brandon Belt reached base four times for the Giants, and since he’s gotten regular playing time, he’s been a monster. His season line is now up to .261/.379/.428, and things are looking to get better. Ryan Theriot curiously had three hits and two RBI as well. Mike Trout was able to reach base twice and steal three bases in the loss. Trout is now 19-22 on the season in stolen base attempts. We have plenty of great Trout/Harper seasons to look forward to in the future.