Brewers 7, Giants 2 - Yovani Gallardo held the Gigantes to one run in six innings and hit his 11th career big fly as Matt Cain struggled, giving up multiple home runs for the second straight start. Giants’ fans have to hope that whatever’s ailing Tim Lincecum isn’t catching.
Cubs 6, Rangers 2 - The Cubs’ plan to lull Texas’ offense to sleep on a drizzly Thursday with a rainout on Wednesday worked to perfection. Carlos Villanueva tossed seven innings of four-hit ball. Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano hit back-to-back jacks.
Rockies 11, Mets 3 - Jon Niese put together his third quality start Thursday, but then the bullpen imploded to give up eight runs in two frames, handing Colorado the quasi-sweep. The Mets are probably happy just to get the hell out of frigid Denver with all their toes.
Mariners 2, Tigers 0 - Hisashi Iwakuma outdueled Justin Verlander, shutting out the Tigers for six frames, but didn’t stay in quite long enough to get the win. After K-ing 11 times in the first 6⅔, the M’s finally got to Verlander for the only two runs they’d need.
D’Backs 6, Yankees 2 (F. 12) - J.J. Putz blew his second save of the year by offering up a meatball to Francisco Cervelli in the ninth, denying young southpaw Patrick Corbin his third win of the year. AZ came around to win it anyways a few innings later on an RBI single from Cody Ross and a three-run double from Eric Chavez.
Braves 6, Pirates 4 - A day after snapping their 10-game winning streak, Atlanta was already back to their slugging and victorious ways. Both Upton brothers, Chris Johnson, and Evan Gattis all went deep for the Braves, giving them an incredible 29 home runs in 15 games.
Red Sox 6, Indians 3 - Jon Lester helped seal the sweep for Boston by holding the Tribe to just two runs and four hits in seven stellar innings of work. The Sox have now won six straight, while the Indians have dropped four in a row.
Cardinals 4, Phillies 3 - Adam Wainwright and Cole Hamels pitched to a 3-3 draw through seven innings, then Carlos Beltran came through with a solo, go-ahead blast in the eighth to give St. Louis the win.
Orioles 10, Rays 6 (F. 10) - Matt Wieters walloped a walk-off grand salami in the 10th, putting an exclamation point on his team's big day at the plate. Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce also homered for the O's, keeping Rays ace David Price winless after four starts.
Blue Jays 3, White Sox 1 - R.A. Dickey had his second straight solid outing for Toronto, cruising through six shutout innings before leaving the game with back and neck pain. Chris Sale was also dominant for the ChiSox, but two costly errors handed the Jays the series split.
Reds 11, Marlins 1 - Rookie left-hander Tony Cingrani notched his first big-league win, striking out eight over five innings as fellow rookie Jose Fernandez got rocked for five runs in four innings. Todd Frazier put a stamp on the rout with a two-run blast in the sixth.
The Big Three
1. Everyone get their Yankees doom and gloom columns at the ready once again… Derek Jeter has a crack in his surgically repaired ankle and will not be back until after the All-Star break. New York has been using Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix at short thus far this season, who at least haven’t been worse than the Dodgers’ shortstops, but now the club will definitely have to go in search of a more reliable replacement. As the Blue Jays have found in the last week, the asking prices on available shortstops is very high, so any sort of stopgap the Yankees are able to get their hands on is probably going to be an overpay. Just whom they’re going to find to help out over the next three months is anybody’s guess. Maybe they’ll pull Ryan Theriot out of semi-retirement? Edgar Renteria? He’s certainly old enough.
2.Well, at least the Mets don’t have worry about top prospect Travis d`Arnaud’s service-time clock now… The young backstop broke his left foot in a Triple-A game on Wednesday and is in New York to undergo further tests. The break is being described as a "non-displaced fracture of his first metatarsal," which is just a fancy way of saying that it could have been much worse – i.e. there aren’t any bones breaking through the skin (eww). Non-displaced, compound, misplaced, or whatever, the injury certainly puts a crimp the Mets’ plans for d`Arnaud this year, as it’s likely to sideline him for a while. John Buck has been exceeding all expectations behind the plate for New York thus far, so the team wasn’t desperate to call on d`Arnaud anytime soon, but they’re going to want him around when Buck eventually falls back to earth.
3. Much like the question of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop (who actually licks one of those?), just how many Ks it would take to lose a roster spot on the 2013 Astros was a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, as Churchill would say. Until Thursday, that is. The answer is apparently 17, which first baseman Brett Wallace accomplished in just 26 plate appearances. That now known, no one’s quite sure how Rick Ankiel (20 Ks in 28 PAs) is still on the team... What’s that? He won’t be anymore when Julio Borbon is claimed this weekend? Oh ok then. Wallace will be spending the foreseeable future at the club's Triple-A affiliate.
In Other News...
1. Carlos Zambrano visited the Cubs recently, but apparently not to try out. Chicago has no interest in re-signing Big Z, and neither, it seems, does anyone else.
2. The Marlins have placed shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on the 15-day DL with an elbow contusion. How sure can we be sure Alex Anthopolous didn’t implant a time-sensitive self-destruct button on the prospects he traded away this winter?
3. Not 24 hours after getting lit up and complaining about "tweaking" his knee, Phillies southpaw John Lannan found himself on the 15-day disabled list. Funny how that works.