@Orioles 2, Nationals 1: After Washington equalized on an error in the 5th, J.J. Hardy answered with a 2-out scoring double in the home half, ending an 8-game RBI drought. Hardy had been 3 for 18 (all singles) with 2 outs and RISP.

  • For a veteran pitcher with consistently mediocre seasons, where is the line between “off to a good start” and “totally different pitcher”? If last Saturday’s 1-hitter in Atlanta didn’t mark that point for Jason Hammel, tonight’s 8-IP, 10-K, no-ER, no-walk outing surely must. Hammel is 8-2, 2.61 through 14 games, and 6-2 in 11 starts against winning teams.
  • Jim Johnson hasn’t allowed a hit or run in 7 games since his only blown save of the year. Foes are hitting .140 off him; his WHIP is 0.66.
  • Reynolds giveth; Reynolds giveth back.

Brewers 1, @White Sox 0: After the aces had their say, Rickie Weeks gave his .183 average a boost with a go-ahead hit in the 10th, his first such RBI in the 9th or later since last July. John Axford, bless him, walked the leadoff man in the bottom half (his 18th walk in 28.1 IP), but got a game-ending DP from Paul Konerko (0-4, hitting .246 this month).

  • Zack Greinke (9 IP, 3 H) allowed his first hit in the 5th inning. Since 2008, he’s averaged 8.9 SO/9, and is tied for 9th with 15 games of 10+ Ks. But he has only 1 start allowing 1 hit or less, not counting a 3-IP start. In that same span, 40 different pitchers have at least 2 starts of 7+ IP and 1 hit or less, led by CC Sabathia‘s 5.
  • On the other hand, Greinke got a little BAbip payback tonight. He came in with a .361 mark, 3rd-highest among all MLB, qualifiers, but held the Sox to 3 hits despite just 4 Ks.
  • Chris Sale got nothing but a lower ERA and WHIP for his 8 zeroes. His 2.24 ERA would be the best by a ChiSox qualifier since 1971 (Wilbur Wood, 1.91).
  • A 2-7 stretch has flipped the Southsiders from a 1.5-game lead to a 1.5-game deficit.
  • The last starter who got the win with 9 scoreless innings, but not a shutout, was John Lackey on 2009-07-19.

Blue Jays 12 @Marlins 5: When Ricky Romero pitches, Toronto hits — an average of 7.3 R/G in his 15 starts. This was their 4th time scoring at least 11 runs for him, and they’ve scored at least 3 every time. And that’s how a pitcher in 2012 gets an 8-1 record with a 4.34 ERA. His ERA in his 8 wins is 3.67.

  • Joey Bats crested the .900 OPS mark for the first time since April 8. In 19 June games, he has 11 HRs, 23 RBI, 18 walks. His best monthly total ever was 12, in May and August of 2010. This is already his best June for HRs and RBI, by a margin of 5 in each.
  • First 4-run game ever for Brett Lawrie, now with 17 runs in 16 games since moving into the leadoff spot.

Braves 4, @Red Sox 1: Sent to the minors after 4 brutal starts, Jair Jurrjens kept on losing his lunch money to AAA bullies — 5.18 ERA, 1.43 WHIP in 10 starts. So, really, why not throw him into the Fenway furnace? And sure enough, Jurrjens blanked Boston until 2 down in the 8th, allowing a run on 3 hits, for his first Game Score over 62 since last July 1 (a span of 12 starts).

  • Boston is 2nd in AL scoring, but they’ve scored 1 run or less 12 times — more than 10 AL teams, more than the Nats or Giants.

@Pirates 4, Tigers 1: The 1st inning was the game in a capsule: Detroit got a man to 2nd with 1 out, but A.J. Burnett got Cabrera & Fielder on groundouts (they would go 0 for 8 over all, 0 for 4 & a DP with RISP). Pittsburgh scored their first run before Doug Fister could get an out, and his first wild pitch in a Detroit uniform proved costly when a DP brought a man home from 3rd. In the 2nd inning, Fister and Delmon Young made errors on the same Burnett AB, giving 2 Bucs a free ride around the carousel.

  • At 37-32, Pittsburgh is assured of its best 70-game record in 20 years.
  • With 6 shutout innings, Burnett went to 8-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.24, which would be a career best (no minimum). Just think: almost $90 million already paid to a guy who’s never had an ERA below 3.30.

@Mets 6, Yankees 4: The crux of this game was the continuation of two year-long themes: The Bombers scored all their runs on 3 HRs, but went 0-4 in old-style RBI chances, including their last 2 outs; they have a .217 BA in such spots. The Mets scored 5 with 2 gone in the 1st, and have scored 49% of their runs with 2 away.

  • Turning point. Talk about a lucky bounce!
  • A 1-out bases-empty walk by Frank Francisco brought the tying run to the plate. But after wading into ankle-deep muck by overthrowing to Ibanez and Jeter (3-and-1 single), he caught Curtis Granderson by surprise first with an opening changeup, then again with a fastball down the middle for strike 3.
  • The last out was a popup by Mark Teixeira on a hittable 1-and-1 fastball. Since joining the Yanks in 2009, Teix leads the club with 381 RBI, 34 more than Cano and 61 above A-Rod. But in tying or go-ahead RBI in the 9th or later, Teix is 4th with 4, trailing A-Rod & Swisher (8) and Cano (7), and tied with Granderson, who came aboard in 2010; the retired Jorge Posada; and Melky Cabrera, who last wore pinstripes in 2009.

Indians 2, @Astros 0: Both teams had 4 hits (no HRs, 1 XBH) and 4 walks. Both turned a double play. Houston had the only stolen base; Cleveland made the only error; Houston’s SP had the higher Game Score; Cleveland had 2 men thrown out at home. How this all adds up to the 4th straight win for the 1st-place Tribe is a bit of a mystery.

  • Third Quality Start in 4 games for Ubaldo Jimenez. And with 8 Ks and 4 walks, he dropped out of a tie with teammate Derek Lowe for the 2nd-worst SO/BB ratio among 109 MLB qualifiers.
  • The loss leaves Houston with a 19-17 home record, 28-42 over all. Their pace: 43-38 home, 22-59 road, 65-97 combined. The 59 road losses would be a new high for the expansion era, and tie the 1939 Browns for the most road losses since 1918. Each of the 12 teams since 1918 with at least 55 road losses also had a losing home record and at least 100 total losses.


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