Pirates 6, Phillies 4 - Another late-inning rally from the Bucs helped them take their third of four from the Phillies. Cliff Lee was his usual solid self, but the Philly bullpen failed to hold on for the second night in a row.
Royals 8, Tigers 3 (F. 10) - Well, so much for that revamped bullpen. Bruce Rondon blew a save in his MLB debut, sending the game to extras. Alex Gordon launched a mammoth grand slam to put the game away.
Dodgers 3, Mets 2 - Pitching duels crop up in the weirdest of places. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jeremy Hefner traded zeroes for most of the day, the pair allowing just six hits over 14 combined innings. Andre Ethier came through for the Dodgers in the ninth with a two-run single.
Red Sox 7, Astros 2 - Clay Buchholz becomes baseball's first five game winner as Philip Humber drops to 0-5. Gotta love that symmetry. David Ortiz put his stamp on the win, going 3-for-4 with his first big fly of the year.
Nats 8, Reds 1 - Gio Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano one-hit the Reds Thursday night, as the Nats' offense finally emerged from its funk. Danny Espinosa hit a birthday home run and Bryce Harper notched his 11th multi-hit game of the year. Cincy's lone hit was a long ball from Joey Votto.
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3 - Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells, and Francisco Cervelli all went deep off of Mark Buehrle to take the series opener for the Yanks. If you had told me last month Wells and Cervelli would have nine home runs between them before April ended I would have had you committed.
Cubs 4, Marlins 3 - Well, they can't both lose. A solo shot from Luis Valbuena in the ninth broke the 3-3 tie. Carlos Marmol actually converted a save without loading the bases first.
White Sox 5, Rays 2 - The ChiSox showed some serious TWTW on Thursday. Adam Dunn brought his average above .100 with a two-run blast and Chris Sale struck out seven over seven frames.
Rangers 2, Twins 1 - Rookie Nick Tepesch put together another solid outing, holding the Twins to five hits in 6⅔ innings. He also beat the Twinkies at their own game, striking out just one batter on the day.
D'Backs 3, Rockies 2 - Paul Goldschmidt's two-run moonshot in the fourth proved the difference. The D'Backs' bullpen finally held a lead, holding to Rockies to just one run in the final four innings.
Orioles 10, A's 2 - Every Oriole had at least one hit Thursday. Chris Davis walloped his eighth home run of the month while Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth both had two-RBI nights. Jason Hammel tossed six three-hit innings.
Mariners 6, Angels 0 - Carlos Peguero hit the ball a mile to put the M's on the board in the third, allowing rookie Brandon Maurer to coast through 6⅓ scoreless. The Angels managed seven singles on the day.
The Big Three
1. Derek Jeter held a big press conference yesterday at Yankee Stadium to give an update on his ankle rehab, but then proceeded to not really give an update on his rehab. The Captain said he had no doubt that he will return to the Bronx at some point this season, but expressed that he was unwilling to set a date in stone for fear that he wouldn't be able to meet it. There was some speculation before the conference that there would be some big reveal during the session, but now it's apparent that the main purpose was to get Jeter back in the media spotlight for at least one news cycle. Now that it's over, we can all go back to our regular programming already in progress.
2. Buster Olney speculated yesterday that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley could be a trade candidate at the July deadline, a rumor that comes on the heels of a similar thought from Ken Rosenthal about left-hander Cliff Lee. All trade speculation concerning anything in July is utterly baseless until July actually arrives, but it's kind of fun to think about what would happen if Philly continues to struggle and decides to sell the farm this summer. Ruben Amaro actually dropped a hint yesterday indicating that kind of thing could be on the table, stating:
"We have a lot of potential free agents — Chooch, Chase, Halladay, Michael Young, Delmon Young. Do we want to go younger, or do we move forward with the guys we’ve got. We’re going to have to turn left or right. We have to decide."
For the sake of summer fun, Ruben, please go younger. Unless your idea of "younger" is to sign more guys with the surname of Young, then don't do that.
3. The New York Mets will finally get the chance to watch their de facto R.A. Dickey replacement take the hill Saturday afternoon, as Shaun Marcum is set to be activated from the disabled list to take on the Phillies. The right-hander has been out since mid-March with a nerve issue in his neck, which has caused pain in his shoulder (and neck, obviously). The Mets have surpassed all expectations on offense thus far this season but their starting pitching has struggled once past Matt Harvey and Jon Niese (with the exception of Jeremy Hefner's strong outing last night), so it'll be interesting to watch what kind of impact Marcum's return will have on the club. No one really expects the Mets to contend in the NL East, but stranger things have happened.
In Other News...
1. The Tigers DFA-ed left-hander Duane Below to clear a spot for Jose Valverde on Wednesday, and the Marlins swooped in to claim Below off waivers on Thursday. I tried to fit a "Look out, Below!" joke in here but it just wasn't working.
2. The Rockies placed Todd Helton on the DL with a left wrist issue. He isn't expected to miss any time beyond the requisite 15 days, but Colorado may still be long out of first by the time he gets back.
3. The Nats have officially picked up GM Mike Rizzo's option for 2014, and are still in discussions for a longer-term deal. Seems like there should be term limits since the club is in D.C.