Mariners 4, @Astros 2 — The line score’s no misprint: 4 runs, 1 hit, no errors for the victorious M’s. Erik Bedard allowed no hits in 6.1 IP, fanning 10, but he walked 5 and was charged with 3 runs (1 ER). There’s just one prior searchable outing of 6+ IP, no hits and 3+ runs allowed; it’s also the only prior game where a team scored 4+ runs with just 1 hit. (Yankee fans will remember those bad old days.)
Seattle scored twice in the 6th to tie, on 2 walks and a passed ball, then a sac fly and another passed ball. In the 7th, a 1-out walk sent off Bedard; reliever Cisnero walked another with 2 outs, and Michael Saunders broke up the no-hitter with a 2-run double.
- The Mariners whiffed 15 times. It’s the first win ever with 15+ Ks and no more than 1 hit.
- Houston went 1-9 with RISP, Seattle 1-2.
@Reds 5, Pirates 4 — With men on 3rd and 1st, no outs in the 9th — thanks to his own error and the game’s 2nd by Zack Cozart — Aroldis Chapman popped up Russell Martin, then whiffed the last two. Cincinnati scored 4 in the first, 3 unearned after Jordy Mercer’s error. The Bucs chipped away with 2 HRs off Mat Latos, but A.J. Burnett forced in the last run with a pair of 2-out walks in the 6th, his only passes. Martin and Pedro Alvarez both went 0-5, and Pittsburgh was 0-10 with RISP in dropping their 3rd straight and 7th in 10.
Rays 4, @Blue Jays 3 — Jeremy Hellickson just knows how to win! One secret: butter up the bullpen. They’ve allowed just 6 runs in 25.1 IP closing out his 9 wins (a 1.78 ERA).
Tampa’s runs came as follows: Walk + bunt hit + two advancing flyouts = 1 run. Single + bunt hit + walk + single + two scoring groundouts = 3 runs. They had 12 hits, all singles, and one scoring hit.
- Two more no-hit, no-run innings for Alex Torres. Batters are 7 for 92 off Torres (33 Ks), an .076 average, with no home runs. His K rate is good, and he does get a lot of ground-balls, but … a .123 BAbip?
Dodgers 3, @Nationals 1 (10 inn.) — Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez doubled to start the 10th, and a bunt and a fly doubled the lead, as L.A. stayed over .500 while ducking the Nats back under water. Zack Greinke went 6 on 1 run in the first start since his 2-hitter, but he left on the short end thanks to Gio’s 11 Ks in 6 IP. Gonzalez left for a PH who drove in the first run of the game, putting Greinke on the hook, but another lead slipped away from Drew Storen on two 2-out hits.
Washington had 10 hits and 4 walks through 8, but they missed RBI shots in the 1st (bags full, 1 out), 2nd (leadoff double), 3rd (2 on, 1 out), 6th (scored on a 2-out hit, but the batter-runner got thrown out at 2nd, leaving a man on 3rd), 7th (2 on, 1 out) and 8th (on 3rd with 1 out).
- What’s this, another 0-5, 3 Ks for friend Yasiel? In his last 10 games, he’s 9-41, all singles, no RBI, 16 Ks and 2 walks. At a rate of 1 for 4, he’d be under .300 in just 57 more games.
@Giants 4, D-backs 3 — When this one finally wrapped, all six division leaders had lost, five led by 2 games or less, and the Dodgers were half a game back. Bruce Bochy ran his staff like he still had an All-Star hangover: After Matt Cain left with 2 on in the 6th, Bochy used 7 relievers for the last 12 outs, 5 getting one out each. Is he carrying 8, or did he just say “pooh!” to the chance of extra time? It was far short of a LaRussa (8 RPs each going less than an inning in regulation) or even a Bevington (6 getting one out or less), but still — yowza! Anyway … Buster Posey’s 2-out, 2-run, 2-and-2 HR in the 5th off Josh Collmenter was the tipping point.
@Angels 2, A’s 0 — C.J. Wilson worked into the 9th for his 6th win in 7 starts, and for a second straight night the Angels beat the division leaders with no runs off the SP. Dan Straily was the hard loser, allowing one in the 1st (Hamilton sac fly) and one in the 7th (Callaspo HR). The A’s mustered 3 hits off Wilson — 2-out double in the 1st, leadoff single in the 2nd (then 3 Ks), and another single with 1 out in the 9th, after which Ernesto Frieri came on to close it with whiffs.
- Wilson’s 7-game run has a 1.69 ERA, lifting his year’s mark to 10-6, 3.16.
Orioles 7, @Rangers 4 — It was 7-0 in the 3rd inning as the O’s hammered Ross Wolf; every Oriole had reached base, and all had a run or RBI. They wasted the rest of their hits, and Texas got the tying run to bat in the 9th, but Jim Johnson held on for his 35th save. Unsung Miguel Gonzalez of Guadalajara worked into the 7th on 1 run, no walks, rising to 8-3, 3.34. Two straight wins in this series (6 of 7 overall) have boosted the O’s past the Rangers into the 2nd wild card; Texas has lost 6 of 7.
- Gonzalez was signed in December ’04 by the Angels, went to Boston by Rule 5 four years later, and was released 3 years after that, all without reaching the bigs and while splitting time between starts and relief (and not pitching at all in 2008-09). Baltimore scooped him up last March and gave him a AAA tuneup. Now, in 32 career starts, Gonzalez is 17-7, 3.35 (23 QS, 201 IP). Nice.
- Adam Jones hit his 20th, and Chris Davis logged RBI #94, one behind Cabrera.
- Tommy Hunter allowed 3 runs in the 8th, with hits by 3 of 4 lefties. He’s getting killed by LHBs this year.
- Texas had 14 hits, 13 singles, and no walks. It’s their first home game since 2004 with so many hits and so few for extras.
Padres 5, @Cardinals 3 — San Diego has won 2 of 3, their most proximate wins since they took 2 straight on June 20-21. Allen Craig drove in 2 in his only RISP chance — he’s 31-59 with 2 or more on base — but the Cards managed just 4 hits overall, none off the relievers who divvied up the last 4 frames.
- Lance Lynn has a 6.51 ERA in his last 8 starts.
@White Sox 10, Braves 6 — This time, when Alex Rios jogged, his dugout all applauded. Jake Peavy returned from a 6-week layoff with a quality start, Alejandro De Aza had 4 hits at the top of the lineup, and Rios hit a go-ahead slam in the 3rd off Paul Maholm, as the Sox rallied from 4-0 down.
- Sox rookie catcher Josh Phegley has 10 hits: 3 HRs, 3 doubles, 4 singles. Today he nabbed his first base-thief, which he excelled at in the minors.
- Maholm’s 18th decision (9-9) tied R.A. Dickey (8-10) for the MLB lead. He’s dropped 3 straight starts, with a 10.13 ERA.
@Twins 3, Indians 2 — Corey Kluber rolled through 5 scoreless innings, and Jason Kipnis homered with 2 outs in the 6th and Lonnie Chisenhall aboard. But Kluber left with a hip thingy, the first 2 reached off Rich Hill, and Chisenhall’s airmail to 2nd fueled a 3-run Twins rally. The Tribe got the tying run to second with 1 out in the 7th and 9th, but they couldn’t cash, and missed another chance to gain ground on the muddling Tigers.
- Joe Mauer hit 3rd, so Trevor Plouffe donned a golden sombrero in Joe’s accustomed 2-hole. Their leadoff man also went hitless; that spot’s batting .193 for the Twins, with a .258 OBP. Eight prior teams hit .205 or less from the leadoff spot for a full year; all finished last or next-to-last.
@Mets 5, Phillies 4 — Jimmy Rollins led off with a homer, and it felt like Fri-deja vu. Then they remembered that Cole Hamels was pitching, so they scored just once more ’til the 9th, going 0-8 with RISP.
- Wait, which bank supports us, again? A 2-out error in the 9th led to the end of Bobby Parnell’s homerless streak at 68 innings, on a big blast by Chase Utley. The last one was hit by Chase Headley. Parnell hasn’t faced Chase d’Arnaud, Chase Wright, Ken Chase or Hal Chase … nor T. Citizen.
Yankees 5, @Red Sox 2 — Hiroki Kuroda’s scoreless string ended at 21 innings in his final stanza. But he still became the 10th visiting SP to win in Fenway this year, where the Red Sox are 32-17, and gave New York a shot at their first series win over their rivals this year.
- Pitchers aren’t supposed to get better with age — not this age, at least. At 34, in 2009, Kuroda’s ERA+ was 106. Since then, it’s gone 114, 120, 125 and now over 150. You can count on your fingers the qualified age-38 seasons with ERA+ 150 or better, even if you’re Mordecai Brown, and Antonio Alfonseca could do the trick for those at 140+.
- In 20 outings this year, Kuroda’s allowed 5 runs once, 4 twice, 3 four times, 2 six times, 1 once, and none six times. In the last calendar year (34 starts), he has a 2.86 ERA in 224 IP.
@Royals 6, Tigers 5 — Greg Holland’s strikeout streak ended 19, but he still nailed his 16th straight save, 8 of those by one run. In his last 25 IP, Holland’s allowed 9 hits and 2 runs, with 4 walks and 42 Ks.
Detroit got 2 into scoring position with 1 out in the 8th, but Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera each bounced out to 3rd. A 1-out double in the 9th also died there.
Until Justin Verlander gets back to striking out 6 or 8 per game, good results (like 7 zeroes in 2 of his past 3) are fool’s gold — he’s struggling. These results stank, anyway: 6 runs in 5.2 IP against a weak offense, and a team he’s dominated his whole career. K.C. scored in 4 of his 6 innings; JV gave up a 3-1 lead, then fell behind, Detroit tied it and he fell behind again. They might win the division without him in good form, but the Series goal is in jeopardy.
Through 95 Tigers games (as of Friday), Miguel Cabrera trailed Chris Davis by 7 HRs, 37-30. Last year, after 95 Detroit games (through July 21), Cabrera was also 7 HRs behind Josh Hamilton and Adam Dunn (28-21); but he also trailed Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo (27), Edwin Encarnacion (26), Curtis Granderson (25), Josh Willingham and David Ortiz (23), Robinson Cano and Adam Jones (22). And he was tied with Josh Reddick. It took a hot Miggy finish (23 HRs in the last 67 games) and a lot of cooperation, but he pulled it off. Who knows what may go down this year, but so far it’s a two-man HR race, with Encarnacion 3rd at 26.