Today wasn’t just any regular game between New York and Miami in Flushing. It was the return of Jose Reyes to Citi Field for the first time since he left the team in free agency to join the Marlins.
There was a mixed reaction from the crowd when Reyes jogged out to warm up and take batting practice; there were groups that held signs up thanking Jose for what he did while in New York, and there were others that booed him. Then, he almost hit a leadoff home run off of Johan Santana in the top of the first, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis saved his starter with a great catch.
This was a pitcher’s duel between Santana and Josh Johnson, who were locked in a scoreless tie until the seventh inning. Both went 6.2 innings, with Johan striking out 11 to Johnson 9 punch outs. After the Marlins took the lead off of a Gabby Sanchez double, Josh Thole walked with the bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning, then Lucas Duda’s infield single put New York ahead for good for a 2-1 victory. Oh, and Jose Reyes? 0-4, dropping his batting average to .215 on the year.
Cincinnati Reds- 9
San Francisco Giants- 2
After taking three out of four in New York, the Giants were looking to get off to a quick start against the Reds at Great American Ballpark. Matt Cain was up against Mat Latos, and it was a close game until the seventh. Cain’s scoreless streak was halted at 18 innings, and went 6.1 last night in the loss. On the other hand, Latos was terrific, throwing seven innings of shutout ball to get his first win in a Reds uniform. Jay Bruce, Scott Rolen, and Brandon Phillips powered the offense for the Reds, while Pablo Sandoval broke a franchise record with his now 17-game hitting streak.
Milwaukee Brewers- 9
Houston Astros- 6
Randy Wolf and Bud Norris kept it a close game until it got into the later innings, then the Brewers started to pull away from Houston. The offense was carried by Corey Hart and Alex Gonzalez, but Aramis Ramirez and Rickie Weeks also contributed, possibly breaking out of their season long slumps. The win brings Milwaukee back up to .500, and John Axford tied Brad Lidge for the fourth longest save streak in MLB history by shutting the door for the 47th consecutive time.
Chicago Cubs- 3
St. Louis Cardinals- 2
The Cubs walked off with a win for the second straight game, as Mike Matheny got thrown out of the game as a manager for the first time this year. Adam Wainwright still hasn’t received one run of support in his 19.1 innings pitched this year, and he locked up with Jeff Samardzija for a great pitcher’s duel, going into extra innings. Matheny’s ejection came after Tony Campana was ruled safe on a stolen base, then Alfonso Soriano hit a screaming liner towards second base, which couldn’t be handled by Skip Schumaker, scoring the winning run.
Atlanta Braves- 4
Los Angeles Dodgers- 3
On the day that Chipper turned 40, Martin Prado brought the team to victory in the 9th inning with an RBI triple. Jones hit his fifth career home run on his birthday, and the Braves handed the Dodgers their first loss of the season in LA. Mike Minor gave Atlanta another strong start by going six innings, but it was the bullpen that shined, with three pitchers going three innings of shutout ball, allowing the offense time to come back and steal their 11th win of the year.
Philadelphia Phillies- 8
Arizona Diamondbacks- 5
The Phillies finally exploded with 8 runs on 12 hits to even their series in Arizona against Josh Collmenter. The offense was highlighted by Laynce Nix, who went 3-3 with a two-run homer, Hunter Pence with his own two-run bomb, and Pete Orr’s three-run triple. Vance Worley went six innings for the win, and after Jose Contreras gave up three runs following Worley, the rest of the bullpen kept Arizona silent. Cody Ransom and Jason Kubel both went yard for the Dbacks, who have now fallen back to .500.
Washington Nationals- 3
San Diego Padres- 1
Yet another pitcher’s duel tonight, which seemed to be the theme of last night’s games. A scoreless tie until the seventh inning between Gio Gonzalez and Clayton Richard, but it was Chad Tracy’s pinch hit two-run single that made the difference in the game out at Petco Park. The win keeps the Nationals in first place with a 13-4 record. Despite no-hitting Washington through five innings, Richard wasn’t able to make it stand up for San Diego, who continues to occupy the basement in the NL West with their 5-13 record.
Tampa Bay Rays- 5
Los Angeles Angels- 0
This was a day where David Price didn’t need much offense to take care of the opposing team, but he got it anyways, just for good measure. Tampa Bay’s southpaw went the distance, throwing a five-hit shutout, only walking one and striking out six Angel hitters. The Rays hit four home runs in support of Price (Desmond Jennings, Luke Scott, B.J. Upton, and Carlos Pena). The Angels sink to 6-11, with Pujols going 0-4, watching his average drop to .232.
Baltimore Orioles- 2
Toronto Blue Jays- 1
The Orioles are doing their best job to try and show the league that they do have some good pitchers on their staff. The latest performance by Tommy Hunter certainly helped (6 IP, 3 hits, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K). In support of Hunter, Matt Wieters provided the go-ahead run all on his own with a solo home run in the 4th inning. The Blue Jay bats were kept in check by the entire Baltimore staff, leaving seven runners on base and only mustering five hits.
Seattle Mariners- 7
Detroit Tigers- 4
Who says the Mariners are offensively challenged?! Seattle traveled to Comerica Park to face off with the Tigers for three games, and the Mariners got to Max Sherzer often, who surrendered 10 hits and two walks in his five innings pitched, which ended up in five earned runs. It looked as if Eric Wedge’s lineup took out their frustrations of Philip Humber’s perfect game out on the Tigers, with Ichiro Suzuki, Jesus Montero, Kyle Seager, Alex Liddi, and Michael Saunder all recorded multiple hit games.
Cleveland Indians- 4
Kansas City Royals- 3
The Indians returned home after their 7-3 road trip to face the struggling Royals, who have now lost 12 games in a row. Derek Lowe went 6.1 innings for the win, whereas Jonathan Sanchez struggled by walking seven in 4.2 innings. Carlos Santana drove in his 10th run of the year, while Jack Hannahan banged two more hits and two RBI, raising his batting average to .364.
Texas Rangers- 2
New York Yankees- 0
Yu Darvish was quite possibly facing his toughest challenge yet in the Major Leagues: a red-hot Yankee lineup. Boy, did he not disappoint. In what was just the seventh match-up between Japanese pitchers in MLB history, Darvish out-dueled Hiroki Kuroda quite handily. The Rangers prized off-season acquisition threw 8.1 innings of shutout ball, giving up 7 hits, 2 walks, and striking out 10. Joe Nathan came in to get the final two out for his fifth save. Ian Kinsler hit a lead-off home run, which was all the offense the Rangers would need.
Boston Red Sox- 11
Minnesota Twins- 2
Well, looks like Bobby Valentine’s Red Sox are starting to wake up! They’ve won their second game in a row, while pounding out 18 hits in their 11-run barrage. Josh Beckett pitched six innings for his second win of the year, while the Boston lineup was busy wrecking havoc on the Twins pitching staff. Mike Aviles, Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Marlon Byrd all recorded multiple hit games.
Oakland A’s- 2
Chicago White Sox- 0
The Coliseum was home to another great pitcher’s duel, this time between Tommy Milone and Gavin Floyd. Both pitchers went into the 8th inning with a scoreless tie, but it was the A’s Kurt Suzuki who got to Floyd and the White Sox first with his two-run double to get Oakland on the board. Milone got the win and finished the game with 8 innings pitched, three hits allowed, and five punch outs. Grant Balfour came on to shut the door in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.