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Stay For A Night Cap! Division Races and Hitting Pitchers

Angels 6 Orioles 1
WP: Ervin Santana (5-8) LP: Alfredo Simon (2-3) S: Hisanori Takahashi (1)
HR: Vernon Wells (15)
SB: Vernon Wells (4), Macier Izturis (7), Mike Trout (1)
After six innings of scoreless ball and Santana being relieved from a fantastic pitching performance, the Orioles finally got themselves into a ballgame, scoring a run in the eighth. Unfortunately, the 2-1 game, quickly turned into a 6-1 game after a four run top of the ninth by the Angels.

-Wells (3-5) had himself quite a night, for his third three-hit day of the month
-Trout went 2-3 with a run scored
-Former reliever, now steady starter for the O's, Simon (6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K) had a solid performance tonight as well

Cardinals 6 Pirates 4
WP: Chris Carpenter  (6-7) LP: Paul Maholm (6-10) S: Fernando Salas (18)
HR: Albert Pujols (22), Yadier Molina (6)

With a four run first by the Cardinals, and a four-hit night by King Albert, it's clear the Cardinals are not rolling over for upstart Pirates.  Carpenter (8 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, BB, 4 K) wasn't exactly fantastic, yielding runs in the second and sixth, but he was commanding enough to hand the ball to the struggling Salas who closed things down. Carpenter even manged a two-hit night at the plate, including what proved to be the game-winning RBI.

-Molina (3-4, 2 R, RBI), was the over-shadowed MVP tonight
-Lance Berkman and David Freese (2 RBI) each had a 2-4 night with a run scored
-Pirates catcher Michael Mckenry (3-4) snapped hits four game hitless streak, with the Pirates only three hit night

Yankees 17 Athletics 7
WP: Hector Neosi (2-0) LP:Trevor Cahill (8-9)
HR: Nick Swisher (11), Mark Teixeira (26), Chad Pennington (4)
SB: Derek Jeter (10), Curtis Granderson (19)

How many of us are still out there, rooting for Cahill's (2 IP, 9 H, 10 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) pedigree to take back-over? Better yet, after tonight performance, how many are still left? In a game of pitchers dueling to ensure their major league stability, the Yankees offense was the variable. Teixeira, (1-4, GS, BB, K) who had a one big swing night, led the way.

-Francisco Cervelli went 3-3 with three runs scored and two walks
-Swisher went 3-5 (2 R) with 5 RBI
-Hughes (4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) didn't exactly spark inspiration tonight either
Both Athletics Jemile Weeks (R, 2 RBI) and David DeJesus (R) had three-hit nights

Cubs 4 Astros 2
WP: Carlos Zambrano (7-5) LP: Bud Norris(5-7) S: Sean Marshall (3)
HR: Alfonso Soriano (15), Aramis Ramirez (18)
SB: Darwin Barney (5), Michael Bourn 2 (37)

I ask you, has there been a more dismal series all season? At least the Cubs were able showcase their talent a bit. Both Soriano (2-4, R, RBI) and Ramirez (2-4, R, 2 RBI) are rumored to be on the block. As for the game, The Astros were up 2-0, until the Cubs were jolted out of their funk by the aforementioned Soriano's shot to the left-centerfield netting. In addition to his pair of stolen bases, Bourn (3-5, RBI, K) continues to be the brightest lights on a dim Astros season. Both teams head into Saturday, buried away from a tight four team race in the N.L. Central.

-Although both Marshall (IP, K) and Carlos Marmol (0.2 IP, 2 K) were equally effective, word around the campfire has Marmol back in the closer's role as early as tomorrow.
-Kosuke Fukudome (2-3, BB) had a solid day as well

Rangers 12 Blue Jays 2
WP: Colby Lewis (10-7) LP: Jo-Jo Reyes (5-8)
HR: Nelson Cruz (22) , J.P. Arencibia 2 (14)
SB: Elvis Andrus (29)

Despite Arencibia (2-3, K) two homeruns, Lewis (6.2 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K) was perfect through five innings.  But the story tonight was Cruz (4-4, R, 8 RBI), who just had that look in his eyes as he stepped from the dugout in the top of the first.

-Michael Young (4 R, RBI) also had a four hit night, raising his average to .329
-Adrian Beltre (2-2, R, 2 RBI) left halfway through the rout with an apparent hamstring injury and was replaced by Omar Quintanilla (0-2, K, 2 R, RBI)

White Sox 3 Indians 0
WP: Gavin Floyd (8-9) Carlos Carrasco (8-8) S: Sergio Santos (19)
HR: Carlos Quentin (20)
SB: Alexei Ramirez (4)

Another Central division matchup, only this time, the gap of games behind is much more interesting. Truth be told, it was a sweet pitching matchup between Floyd (7.2 IP, 4 H, 5K) and Carrasco (6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K).  Unfortunately for Carrasco, it was one mistake, make to Quentin (3-5, R, 3RBI) that resolved tonight's game.

Mets 7 Marlins 6
WP: Bobby Parnell (3-1) LP:  Edward Mujica (8-3)  S: Jason Isringhausen (2)
HR: Gaby Sanchez (14), Mike Stanton (21)
SB: Emilio Bonifacio (20)

A game of teetering .500 clubs in the NL east, the result of this weekend series may decide who's in and who's out for the rest of the season.  Regardless of it's outcome, the Mets are no longer exhibiting their closer, and still they seem to have a dependable source. Whether you picked Parnell (IP, H, R, BB, K) or Isringhausen (IP, K) when K-Rod was traded to the Brew-Crew, you won out tonight.

-Four Mets hitters had two hits tonight, including Jose Reyes (2-6, R), David Wright (2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K), Daniel Murphy (2-4, R, BB, 2 RBI) and Lucas Duda (2-3, BB)

No-decision starters
-Mike Pelfrey (6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K)
-Chris Volstad (5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K)

Red Sox 7 Mariners 4
WP: John Lackey (8-8) LP: Felix Hernandez (8-9) S: Jonathan Papelbon (22)
HR: Mike Carp (1), Jacoby Ellsbury (16)
SB: Ichiro Suzuki 2 (26), Miguel Olivo (3), Dustin Pedroia (19)

Things were tight, until the Red Sox blew up for five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Sox beats the Mariners. In addition to Lackey's (7 IP, 8 H, ER, 4 K) solid night, Pedroia (2 R) had a three-hit night as well. Two other Red Sox hitters (Kevin Youkilis, Ellsbury) had two or more hits as well. King Felix (6.1 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) was more like the jester tonight, against a brute Sox team. With the exception of Greg Halman, every starting Mariners hitter, had at least one hit tonight

Braves 6  Reds 4
WP: Jonny Venters (5-1) LP: Nick Masset (1-4) S: Craig Kimbrel (31)
HR: Martin Prado (10), Jason Heyward (11), Brian McCann (17), Dan Uggla (18), Zack Cozart (2), Fred Lewis (3), Drew Stubbs (12)
SB: Brandon Phillips (6), Fred Lewis (1)

If any man in baseball needed a pinch-hit two-run homerun, its Dan Uggla, who is still hitting under the Mendoza line after his top of the ninth heroics.

Jair Jurrjens (3 BB, 9 K) went six innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits
Bronson Arroyo (2 BB, 2 K) went 6.2 IP, allowing four earned runs on nine hits

Tigers 8 Twins 2
WP: Max Scherzer (11-5) LP: Brian Duensing (7-8)
HR: Ryan Raburn (9), Jhonny Peralta (16)

Scoring in the first five out of six innings certainly helps any MLB team to take a game in the W column. But to take one from a division rival... Seven games back from the Tigers, and without Justin Morneau, the Twins need every win they can get.  That being said, Scherzer (7 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 4 K) controlled this game, never letting the Twins in it.

-Alexi Casilla and Jim Thome (RBI) each had a two-hit night
-Jason Kubel went 1-2 in his return and was lifted for a pinch-runner
-Peralta (3-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, K) was once again, the Tigers best hitter tonight, once again proving low-PR deals are just as important as big-stud deals.
-Both Ryan Raburn (2 R, RBI) and Magglio Ordonez (2 R) had two hit nights

Royals 10  Rays 4
WP: Luke Hochevar (6-8) LP: Wade Davis (7-7)

After a Ben Zobrist first-inning double to right, things weren't looking good for Hochevar (5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K).  But the Royals next big pitching hope strung together four innings of scoreless ball against his career nemesis Rays, as the Royals beat up on the Rays. The Royals first five-hitters went a combined 12-24 against Rays pitching, including three-hit nights by Jeff Francoeur (R, RBI) and Melky Cabrera (2 R, 3 RBI).

-Johnny Damon went 3-5 with a run scored while Evan Longoria (1-3, R, 2 BB) managed a two-RBI night
-Alex Gordon (R), Billy Butler (2 R, 2 RBI) and Eric Hosmer (R, 2 RBI) each had two hits tonight
-Davis (5.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 3 K) was not much to brag home about

Rockies 8 Diamondbacks 4
WP: Aaron Cook (1-5)  LP: Dan Hudson (10-6)

The last thing I expected from Hudson (6.1, 10 H, 5 ER, BB, 7 K) at home against the Rockies was a 10-hit result. With Cargo on the D.L. for the first time, Colorado very much appreciated the pedestrian day Hudson had, as their offense had 13 hits and first-game winner Cook (2 BB, K) managed to last six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. Cook also had a 2-3 night, with an RBI and one run scored.

The first two hitters (Dexter Fowler, Mark Ellis) in Colorado's lineup went a combined 6-9, scoring four of the eight Rockies runs and registered an RBI each.

Nationals 7 Dodgers 2
WP: John Lannan (7-6)  LP: Hiroki Kuroda (6-12)
HR: John Lannan (1), Jerry Hairston Jr. (4)
SB: Ryan Zimmerman (2)

Forget about the considerable difference in runs, this game was close.  That is until the Nats put up a four-run top of the ninth inning, heading back to the hotel just one game under .500 ball.  Forget about the rehabbing Strasburg, Lannan was fairly in control, going 6.1 innings-pitched, walking four, allowing only three hits, one earned run and striking out six Dodgers. In addition to his fine pitching performance, Lannan's 2-3 (R, 2 RBI, K) night at plate was one of the larger highlights of the Nats lineup tonight.

Kuroda (6.1, 7 H, 3 ER,  3 BB, 7 K) wasn't the reason for the ninth inning blow-out.
The Nats bullpen struckout four batters in 2.2 IP

Brewers 4 Giants 2
WP: Shaun Marcum (9-3) LP: Matt Cain (8-6) S: John Axford (27)
HR: Aaron Rowand (3)

The Giants, Matt Cain has been solid all year.  Even for solid pitchers, an inning every now and then can go ayre. That was the second inning for Cain (6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 K) and the Giants tonight. 

-Both Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy had went 2-4, with two RBI tonight
-Marcum went seven solid innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five hitters

Phillies 3 Padres 1
WP: Cole Hamels (12-5) LP: Cory Luebke (3-4) S:Ryan Madson (16)
SB:Cameron Maybin (20), John Mayberry Jr (6)

Take an anemic offense and oppose it with one of the National League's most consistent pitchers this season, and you have our Friday night result in Philly. After Philly scored in the second and fourth innings, the Padres managed to notch a run versus Hamels, but it was all they could muster.

-Hamels : 100 PC, 8 INN, 3 HA, BBI, 10 K, ER, W, QS
-Chase Utley (2-4) had a good night as well