@Indians 1, White Sox 0: The first 3-game winner is Justin Masterson, and both he and the Tribe did it in style. Masterson’s 2nd career shutout featured strikes on 81 of 113 pitches in chill and gloom, extending his scoreless streak to 19 innings. The winning run came dramatically in the 9th, from Michael Bourn (1-out double) and Nick Swisher, whose liner on the first pitch after an IBB landed just inside the line for the Indians’ first home win after consecutive rainouts.
I meant to cover all the games, but the ‘Stros wouldn’t stop hitting….
Astros 16, @Mariners 9: The dam burst. By the 2nd inning, Houston had 9 runs, 10 hits and 2 HRs, all more than any of their first 7 games, and equaling their runs total from their last 6 games. A home run in the 4th by the indomitable Jose Altuve gave him three-fourths of the cycle, and gave Houston a 13-0 lead and their highest run count since 2010 (when they scored 18 with no dingers).
@Rockies 9, Padres 1: Colorado’s 5th straight win matched their longest streak of last year. Three straight home games yielding 3 runs or less is a first since June 2011. And four straight starts of 6+ IP and 2 runs or less … they didn’t have even two in a row like that after June 3-4 last year.
- Wilin Rosario has hit 33 HRs in his first 124 games caught, 138 games played. That’s 4 more HRs than any other catcher within his first 150 games played. Coors helps, of course — but he also has 13 road HRs in 238 PAs, which is about the same as Piazza’s career HR percentage.
- Yonder Alonso took a solid 62 walks last year, but none in 6 games so far this season.
@Mets 4, Marlins 3: Miami squandered umpteen baserunners, then donated the game in the 9th. Ahead 3-2 with 1 out and none on, Steve Cishek aimed inside on a 2-2 count to Ruben Tejada, and nicked him. Kirk Nieuwenhuis looped a single to left-center, and Tejada dared the rag-armed Juan Pierre to catch him at 3rd.
With a 1-run lead and 1 out, Pierre’s play was to 2nd base: Keep the DP in order, keep the winning run at 1st. But he threw to 3rd, badly, and when the rookie 3B came off the bag for the throw and kept his head down afterwards, Nieuwenhuis waltzed over to 2nd. Then came the manager’s move I don’t think I’ve seen before:
Twins 6, @Orioles 5: Chris Davis’s dinger drought at 1 game. O’s now 0-2 in 1-run games. Not that it means anything for the future.
- Josh Roenicke, #2 last year in relief games more than 1 IP, worked the 6th through 8th innings, preserving the tie and earning his first AL win.
@Giants 1, Cardinals 0: Barry Zito kicked off the champs’ home schedule, and his possible walk year, with 7 shutout innings and a perfect night at the plate, including a sacrifice that set up the only run. In a sign of respect for Zito’s role in the title run, he was left in to try for the last out in the 7th with 2 aboard — and he got it.
Phillies 2, @Braves 0: A streak-buster on two fronts. Atlanta had won Kris Medlen‘s last 23 regular-season starts, back to May 2010. Cliff Lee had lost his last 9 decisions when backed by 0-2 runs. The veteran was completely dominant, allowing just 2 singles, one of them promptly erased, in posting his highest Game Score since mid-2011.
@Diamondbacks 10, Cardinals 9 (16): Ian Kennedy‘s pinch-sac-bunt, which was followed by Cliff Pennington‘s game-winning single, was valued at -0.013 WPA. Pardon the Snakes if they disagree. Arizona’s tying sac fly in the 12th was also set up with a sacrifice, by Gerardo Parra. He also homered, tripled and stole a base, becoming the first since Kenny Lofton ’92 with that assortment.