Yankees 5, @Tigers 1: Derek Jeter hit the game’s first pitch over the wall in right, Phil Hughes tossed a 4-hitter for the first 9-inning CG of his career, and Justin Verlander lost a 3rd straight start for the first time since 2008.
- Verlander has allowed 19 hits in his last 2 starts, after averaging 4.6 in his first 10. It’s just the 2nd time he’s ever yielded 9+ hits in consecutive starts.
- The only run off Hughes was a mammoth wallop by Prince Fielder. Hughes has allowed a HR in 11 straight games, matching the longest streak of the last 3 years and the longest by a Yankee since 1994.
- Yanks are back to 5 games over .500, their high mark of the year. They’re 15-8 against sub-.500 teams, 14-16 vs. others.
Braves 3, @Nationals 2: Jason Heyward put Atlanta in front to stay with a 2-out, 2-run single in the 5th, after the 2nd wild pitch of the inning put 2 in scoring position. Tommy Hanson (2 R in 7 IP) allowed nothing after the 1st and delivered the Braves’ second straight quality start, after 7 games without.
- Washington took an early 2-0 lead on homers by their first two men, including the first ever by Steve Lombardozzi. But they squandered a scoring chance in the 2nd — men on 3rd and 1st with 1 out, still up 2-0 — partly due to a silly sacrifice by Gonzalez. Yeah, I know he has 2 hits and 11 Ks in 25 ABs; and maybe it was meant as a safety squeeze. It’s still nuts to give away an out in that situation.
- Gio Gonzalez (4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R) lost streaks of 5 straight winning starts and 9 straight with 5 hits or less. The former is the longest by a Nat since 2005 (Livan Hernandez); the latter is the longest for the Nats franchise since Floyd Youmans had 12 straight in 1986. Gio’s 10th straight game allowing 3 runs or less matches James McDonald for the longest streak this year.
- Bryce Harper, who homered in the 1st on the pitch after Lombo’s shot, doubled with 1 out in the 5th for the second multi-XBH of his career — but was cut down trying for 3rd, by a strong relay throw from Atlanta rookie SS Andrelton Simmons, playing his 2nd career game.
- Lombardozzi homered in his 53rd game and 153rd PA. Dad got there a little faster, hitting his first off Ron Guidry in his 45th game and 113th PA – and also as part of a back-to-back attack.
@Giants 2, Cubs 0: Don’t look now, but:
- Barry Zito is 5-2, 2.98, with 7 quality starts in 11 outings.
- SF has won 6 of 7 (despite averaging 3 runs in the wins) and closed to 3 games behind the Dodgers.
- Chicago is on track for a 55-107 record, their first 100-loss season since 1966.
- Thanks to RJ for the heads-up on this play: Melky singles home a runner … from 1st base.
@Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1: Fatal wildness by Daniel Bard. He walked his first 2 men of the game in front of Jose Bautista’s 14th HR. Then he really lost it in the 2nd, with 3 more walks and 2 HBPs, forcing in 2 straight runs.
- After leading the majors in WPA last year, Joey Bats is barely above zero, thanks mainly to a .226 BA. He already has 9 GIDPs, matching his average for the past 2 years.
- The Jays salvaged the last game of the series and remained over .500, as they’ve been since April 28, without ever getting more than 5 games over.
- 21-year-old Drew Hutchison won for the 4th time in 5 starts, allowing 3 runs in 26 IP in those wins.
- Bard has averaged 5.9 unintentional walks per 9 IP through 10 starts. He averaged 2.9 over the past 2 years, working in relief.
- Our long national wait is over: Big Z has crushed one. He’d gone a whole 10 games and 23 ABs since his last blast, off Johnny Cueto.
- Signs of a bad day at the dish: Your only extra-base hit comes from Juan Pierre.
- Reyes is getting on base at better than his career rate. His rate of doubles+triples is about the same as his career rate. He’s still batting leadoff, and he’s only missed one game. But he’s on pace for just 75 runs — 38 below his career rate per 162 games.
@White Sox 4, Mariners 2: Young Chris Sale followed his 15-K gem with his first career CG, throwing 81 strikes and 38 balls, and improved to 7-2, 2.30. Chicago leveled their home record at 14-14; they’re 17-9 away.
- Firing BBs: The first Sox run came in a 3-walk inning, including the first bases-loaded pass ever to Brent Lillibridge, hitting .205 without a HR. Their 2nd run was fueled by a walk and a HBP. They matched a season high with 7 walks; they’re 9-3 when taking 5+ passes.
- I know I’m behind the curve, but — a LOOGY named Luetge? Seattle rookie Lucas Lester Luetge had his longest outing, 2 scoreless innings. He has not allowed an earned run in 13.1 IP, and has stranded 13 of 14 inherited runners. Lefties are 2 for 25 against him, with 12 Ks.
@Rays 8, Orioles 4: Tampa hits the road alone in 1st, thanks to crooked numbers in the middle innings. Baltimore had more hits (12-6), more runners (15-10), more HRs (2-0) and more hits with RISP (3-2).
- It’s the first time in 6 years and just the 2nd time since 1987 that a team scored 8+ runs with no HRs and no more than 10 (hits+walks) or 2 extra-base hits. There are 13 such games in searchable history; none had more than 8 runs. (Only one team ever did it with no XBH, but alas, no play-by-play.)
- No Rays reached base in their 5 non-scoring innings. But in the 4th: walk, single, wild pitch, sac fly+throwing error = 2 runs. The 5th: walk, walk, walk, double = 2 runs. The 6th: double, single, single, single, error, sac fly = 4 runs.
- Matt Moore followed his best start of the year with another solid effort, 2 runs (1 ER) in 6 IP.
- Up next: Tampa is in the Bronx for yet another first-place showdown. Baltimore heads to Beantown, where they swept 3 last month to begin a 4-week stay in the penthouse.
- The Bucs hit 4 HRs in a game for the first time in over a year and 4th since 2009. Other teams have averaged 13 4-HR games in that span.
- James McDonald (3 R, 1 ER in 6 IP) has not allowed more than 3 runs in any of his 11 starts and has a 12-game streak dating to last year. McDonald had another 12-game streak last May-July; the last Pirate streak longer than that was by [gulp] Oliver Perez, 14 games in 2004.
@Mets 6, Cardinals 1: New York’s #1-2 hitters, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres, went 6 for 9 with a combined cycle and 5 RBI. Jonathon Niese went 2 for 2 at bat and had a career-high 10 Ks in 6 scoreless innings (1 walk); he has 61 Ks in 61.1 IP.
- The 8th saw the MLB debut of Mets reliever Elvin Ramirez, whose minor-league line this year includes a 0.72 WHIP (27.2 IP, 12 hits, 8 walks, 35 Ks). In 14.2 IP at AAA, no runs, 1 walk and 19 Ks. His first 2 pitches were ripped, one for a hit, the other off his leg for a 1-3 putout, and he wound up surrendering the run that ended NY’s shutout streak. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
- The Mets (31-23) moved into a 3-way tie for the East lead. It’s the latest they’ve been in 1st since Sept. 15, 2008. They’re 23-16 vs. teams at or above .500 — good thing, ’cause their June schedule gets even tougher: @Nats, @Yanks, @Rays, Reds, O’s, Yanks — yikes!
- St. Louis has the NL’s best run differential, but they’ve fallen to .500 with their 5th straight loss. Since their 20-11 peak, they’ve gone 7-16 (with 3 losing streaks of 4+) and dropped 7 games in the standings. They’re 15-8 against teams below .500, but 12-19 against the others.
- Belated note: R.A. Dickey is the first to follow a teammate’s no-hitter with an individual shutout since … I don’t know, but it didn’t happen after any of the previous 32 no-hitters, going back through 1996. The last team shutout after a no-hitter was in 2003, when Brett Myers & co. did it after Kevin Millwood‘s no-no.
@Royals 2, A’s 0: 11th shutout loss for the A’s, 3 more than any other team. If you’re thinking “1968,” forget it: Only one other team since 1918 was blanked 11 times in their first 54 games — the 1954 Pirates, who were 16-38 at that point and finished 53-101.
- Oakland’s 18 games with 1 run or less is more than any other team since the 1991 Indians, who lost 105.