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Stay For a Nightcap - Sleeping Giants Edition

White Sox 7, Orioles 6

- How often do you see both starters pitch into the seventh inning in a game and give up 10 runs combined? That's exactly what John Danks and Jeremy Guthrie did, as they gave up five runs (four earned) apiece. On a better note, neither walked a batter. Guthrie pitched the full seven to Danks' 6.1, but Danks struck out seven to Guthrie's two.
- J.J. Hardy isn't what you'd call a traditional leadoff hitter, but he was in the right spot today to hit a three-run homer that put Baltimore up 6-5 at the time. Hardy added a couple doubles to go 3-for-5 with four RBI.
- A.J. Pierzynski has quietly hit rather decently in a horrible offense this year. He drove in three runs with two hits (and a sac fly), including his sixth homer, and raised his average to .284.
- Gordon Beckham hit a two-run homer (9), but still has only one multi-hit game since collecting had four in a row July 10-17. We're all still wondering where that hot rookie went.
- Jesse Crain (6-3) got hit with a blown save, but won; Jim Johnson (5-4) blew one too, and lost.
- Sergio Santos needed just 14 pitches to strike out the side in order for his 23rd save.
- Robert Andino made the most of his 0-for-4, getting on base via fielder's choice and error, stealing a base (6) and scoring two runs. That's called turning lemons into lemonade.
- Alex Rios continued his out-of-nowhere August hot streak, collecting a couple hits (including a double) and stealing his 10th base. He's now 9-for-22 (.409) over seven games with a homer and two steals.

Red Sox 8, Twins 6

- Tim Wakefield got let down by his teammates in just about every possible way in this one, as errors led to two unearned runs and then the bullpen blew the save for him. He went seven, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits, didn't walk a batter – in fact, he threw 75 of 103 pitches for strikes – and struck out four.
- Scott Baker can blame only himself, as he gave up two homers among nine hits over six innings, leading to five well-earned runs. He did strike out five without a walk, so that's nice.
- Papi's in the house. David Ortiz had been scuffling since the All-Star break, but he broke out with a big night in this one, going 4-for-5 with a homer, three RBI and three runs.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a couple hits, including his 11th homer. Keep building that career high, Jarrod. He's still just 26, though it feels like he's been around forever, and he's having his best year.
- Jason Kubel had a big day for the Twinkies, homering among three hits and driving in a couple runs.
- Alfredo Aceves choked Wakefield's one-run lead away, but got bailed out and won to improve to 8-1.
- Glen Perkins gave up a couple runs, one of them unearned, to fall to 3-2.
- Jed Lowrie returned from the DL for Boston. He went 1-for-4, starting at third, but moving to first after Adrian Gonzalez was removed for a pinch-runner. Meanwhile, Marco Scutaro tried to stake his claim at shortstop with a three-hit night.

Braves 8, Marlins 5

- Derek Lowe (7-10) handled the Marlins for the second time this year, allowing just two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out three, so it wasn't a great outing overall, but Florida's offense couldn't capitalize.
- Brad Hand (1-4) also had a 3:3 K:BB, but he got bombed for seven runs on nine hits in five innings. If you were buying on Hand's 2.86 ERA entering tonight, you didn't have much company, as he has one more walk than he does strikeouts this year.
- Alex Gonzalez is warming up. He's hit in nine straight and homered in two in a row, this one a three-run job. I say just "warming up" because he's raised his average all of seven points in that span.
- Michael Bourn hasn't missed a beat since coming to Atlanta. He collected a couple more hits and his MLB-leading 42nd steal, driving in one and scoring two.
- Greg Dobbs (5) and John Buck (12) produced homers late in the game for the Marlins...
- Which helped Craig Kimbrel owners to an unexpected save opportunity (considering the Braves led 8-2 in the eighth), which he converted by striking out both batters he faced.

Rays 2, Royals 1

- Good pitchers' duel in this one. Jeremy Hellickson gave up a run in the first, then shut the Royals down into the eighth inning, finishing with seven strikeouts over 7.1 innings and just the one run on six hits (four of them doubles!) and three walks. Meanwhile, on the other side, Luke Hochevar was arguably even better, striking out seven over seven and allowing just a run on five hits and two walks. No-decisions all around.
- Candidate for the most surprising stat of this season: Casey Kotchman is hitting .341 with tonight's 3-for-4 effort, which included his seventh homer, the game-winner to lead off the bottom of the ninth. He accounted for half the Rays' hits.
- Desmond Jennings stole his eighth base.
- Blake Wood (5-1) gave up Kotchman's walk-off in the ninth. He threw one pitch.
- Kyle Farnsworth (4-1) was the beneficiary of the walk-off, pitching a perfect ninth to put himself in line.
- Melky Cabrera had two hits the day after sitting with an ankle sprain.

Mets 9, Padres 8

- Boy, these Mets have some heart, don't they? Down 8-4 in the eighth, they rallied back with two in the eighth and three in the ninth. Lucas Duda put a cap on it, justifying his spot in the cleanup position with a 3-for-5 night that included a walk-off two-run single.
- Neither starter was very effective: Mike Pelfrey allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks over his 6.1 innings; Tim Stauffer gave up three long balls early before settling down and allowing four runs on six hits and a walk over seven innings.
- Ex-Met Heath Bell was the main culprit for the Pads, as he was able to record just one out in the ninth inning. He surrendered three runs on four hits and threw a pair of wild pitches, as he simply could not locate his breaking ball. Bell hadn't allowed three runs in an appearance since Sept. 11, 2009.
- Jason Isringhausen (3-2) got an inning of work in with the Mets down two runs and ended up on the winning end thanks to the comeback.
- After coming back from injury hot on the road, David Wright hadn't hit much in his first five games back at Citi Field, but he delivered a two-run homer as well as a big RBI single off Bell in the ninth.
- Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the first with a home run, but didn't do anything after that, striking out twice. He really doesn't belong in the leadoff spot, as he's not an OBP guy, but in Terry Collins' mind, speed = leadoff, so there he is in Jose Reyes' absence.
- Jason Bay stayed hot, going 1-for-3 with a homer (9) and a walk to stretch his hitting streak to 10 games, and it's no cheapie. He's 17-for-38 (.447) in that time with three homers.
- Back in the big leagues with the Reyes and Daniel Murphy injuries, Ruben Tejada went 1-for-4 and Mike Baxter, in his 2011 debut, had a pinch-hit RBI double off Kyle Blanks' glove. Should have been caught, but he hit the ball well.
- Cameron Maybin had a terrific July, but it took him until tonight to really get things going in August. He collected two singles and a double, stole a base (27), and scored two runs.
- The amazingly effective Jesus Guzman went 2-for-5 with a couple RBI, a steal (4) and a run.
- Finishing off the steal parade, Orlando Hudson made it 15 on the year.

Rockies 10, Reds 7

- In two of many instances of horrible starting pitching tonight, Jason Hammel and Homer Bailey lasted seven innings combined, Hammel allowing six runs over four innings and Bailey five over three – all earned.
- Seth Smith made himself at home at Great American Ball Park, tagging two balls out of the yard (11) and driving in four. If only he could hit lefties, he'd be so valuable.
- Todd Helton broke out of a cold stretch with three hits, including a homer, three RBI and three runs. Yep, I sure did bench him in one fantasy league this week.
- Carlos Gonzalez homered (16) for the first time in three games since his return from the DL. CarGo is CarGo; with his injuries and non-crazy production, I wonder where he'll be drafted next year. Maybe there'll be value there again.
- Jay Bruce had one of the Reds' trio of homers, a three-run bomb (22) that was his first in nearly a month. He had a couple hits and drove in four with his first multi-hit game since July 28 and first homer since July 9.
- Drew Stubbs struck out a couple times, like you do, but did hit his 15th homer and second in as many games.
- Brandon Phillips made the most of his partial day off with a pinch-hit shot (11) in the seventh.
- Matt Belisle (6-4) was in the right place at the right time, retiring the only batter he faced and getting the win.
- Bill Bray (2-2) gave up multiple runs for the first time all year, surrendering CarGo's two-run homer in the eighth for the loss.
- Dexter Fowler was effective in the leadoff role once more, getting on base thrice (two singles and a walk), stealing a base (8) and scoring twice.
- Ty Wigginton swiped a bag, giving him seven rogue steals – most he's had since '03 with the Mets.

Rangers 9, Mariners 2

- Charlie Furbush (2-4) looked like anything but a major league starter, failing to strike out a batter over four miserable innings and allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits and four walks. The tall lefty doesn't really look like an MLB-caliber starter right now, and he's an older rookie at 25, but he did put up mighty fine numbers in Triple-A earlier this year (10 games, nine starts, 61:16 K:BB in 54 innings with a 3.17 ERA and 0.94 WHIP).
- Matt Harrison (10-8) continued his surprisingly effective campaign, taking advantage of a poor Mariners offense to go seven fine innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out six and didn't walk anyone. And I'm still in no rush to own him in fantasy.
- Nelson Cruz had a high-volume day, going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer (25), a walk, two RBI and three runs. He's surely glad to see a new opposing team, as he'd gone 0-for-13 with five strikeouts in the Cleveland series.
- Dustin Ackley is a .300 hitter no more, going 0-for-4 to drop o .293. He's just 6-for-26 (.231) to start off August, but a couple triples in there is nice.
- Franklin Gutierrez had a couple hits to pull him back to the north side of the Mendoza Line.

Astros 9, Diamondbacks 1

- Wandy Rodriguez (8-8) apparently decided that he just wasn't going to let the D-Backs hit the ball. In truth, he had trouble locating his curve and threw just 59 of 105 pitches for strikes, walking four batters, but struck out five and allowed just two hits and no runs.
- Dan Hudson (11-8) is wishing he could have missed, like, way more bats, as he was tagged for 11 hits and seven runs (four earned) in only three innings of work. A huge error unhinged him in the first, when he allowed five runs.
- Big day for Astros prospects No. 1: Jose Altuve continued to look mighty fine in the two hole, collecting three hits, his first MLB steal, and three runs.
- Big day for Astros prospects No. 2: J.D. Martinez, hitting cleanup for the first time in his short MLB career, went 2-for-4 with his third homer, three RBI and three runs.
- How about No. 3? Jimmy Paredes collected a couple hits and a couple RBI.
- Henry Blanco provided the Arizona offense with a solo homer (5).
- Cody Ransom started at short and went 0-for-3, but did walk and steal a base (1).

Pirates 5, Giants 0

- All-or-nothing Charlie Morton (9-6) had it all in this one, going eight shutout innings and allowing just six hits and three walks to end the Pirates' 10-game losing streak. He struck out four in his second straight scoreless outing since being bombed for eight runs by the Phillies on July 29.
- Ryan Vogelsong (9-2) struck out eight batters in five innings, but allowed nine hits and walked a pair, leading to five runs. His WHIP has quietly been rising since the All-Star break. Perhaps this is the beginning of Vogelsong's expected ERA regression. You think he's really gonna lead the NL in ERA when all's said and done?
- Garrett Jones was all over the offensive side in this one, collecting four hits and his fifth steal.
- No Carlos Beltran for the Giants; Nate Schierholtz started in right field and went 3-for-4 in the five hole.

Phillies 5, Dodgers 3

- Roy Halladay (15-4) was quite hittable, surrendering nine base knocks over 6.1 innings, but he allowed just one run. He struck out four and walked two en route to his fourth straight win and 10th in his last 11 decisions.
- Hiroki Kuroda (7-14) went the same distance as Halladay, allowed the same number of hits, struck out the same number of batters, and walked one less, but got tagged for four runs (three-earned). Who said this game was fair?
- Shane Victorino had a big night, doubling twice and homering (12) in the ninth to give the Phillies a two-run cushion. He scored thrice.
- Chase Utley, he of the bum knee, stole his 12th base in 64 games. Riddle me that.
- Matt Kemp had a couple hits (in fact, two through five in the Dodgers' order each had a couple hits) and stole his 29th base.
- Ryan Madson worked around a hit for his 20th save. They're really committed to him as the closer, and it does surprise me a little.

Nationals and Cubs Postponed