Indians 9, Athletics 2 - The Tribe's hot streak continued Thursday night as Scott Kazmir turned in his best start in years. The southpaw tossed fanned 10 and walked none in six quality frames, receiving run support in the form of home runs from Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher, and Mark Reynolds.
Yankees 3, Rockies 1 - A two-hour rain delay bumped CC Sabathia out after four innings, but that didn't seem to matter. The Yankees' bullpen held the Rockies scoreless for the final five frames as Colorado notched just four hits total on the night.
Nats 5, Tigers 4 - Unable to make it to the fourth, Doug Fister suffered his first loss of the year. The heart of the Nats' order did all the damage with a bunch of singles. Matt Tuiasosopo launched a pinch-hit, three-run shot in the sixth, but Dan Haren still escaped with the win.
Royals 6, Orioles 2 - For three innings it looked like Freddy Garcia was going to replicate his stellar season debut last week, but then reality kicked in. KC launch a pair of two-run shots in the fourth -- Eric Hosmer with his first(!) -- then hung on for the win.
Twins 5, Red Sox 3 - John Lackey was going strong through five but then flubbed a throw and the wheels came off. Rookie outfielder Oswalo Arcia managed to have himself a quality 22nd birthday, mashing a two-run shot and a triple on the day.
Mets 3, Pirates 2 - It was deja vu all over again in New York, as Mike Baxter came through with the pinch-hit, walk-off base hit for the second time in three games. He should just pinch hit every time.
Rays 5, Blue Jays 4 (F. 10) - The battle of the reigning Cy Youngs wasn't really all that Cy Young-y. Luke Scott came through with the shrimp platter in the 10th thanks to shaky control from an over-worked Toronto 'pen.
Angels 6, Astros 5 - Anaheim rallied from three down to end their losing skid at four and avoid a sweep at the hands of the lowly Astros. Perhaps the Angels can only win when they know they literally cannot lose. Expect protests from Scioscia in every game from now on.
D'Backs 2, Phillies 1 - Patrick Corbin's impressive run continued Thursday. The southpaw turned in another quality effort to go 5-0 on the year and and drop his ERA to 1.75. Paul Goldscmidt managed not to hit a big fly. Heath Bell earned an almost stress-free save.
Braves 6, Giants 3 - Brian McCann walloped his first home run of the season on a three-hit, three-RBI day. Ryan Vogelsong struggled again, and may be the second Giants pitcher this year not named Tim Lincecum to come down with Tim Lincecum disease.
The Big Three
1. The Dodgers are hoping to get a key rotation cog back next week. Zack Greinke will begin his rehab stint at High-A today and could be back in L.A. by next Wednesday to take on the Nats if all goes according to plan. Greinke's only up to 60 pitches thus far in his sessions, so he'll likely be on a pitch count if he does return next week. Waiting to activate him until the club faced the Padres again in early June would have definitely built the stronger narrative, it's probably a smart move on the Dodgers' part to go with what's best for the team over the wants of the media. Good call, guys.
2. The Texas Rangers will be without their starting catcher for the next couple weeks. A.J. Pierzynski has hit the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain, meaning the club will need to survive the near future with Geovany Soto and Robinson Chirinos behind the plate. Pierzynski hasn't exactly lit things up in his first month in Arlington, but his .708 OPS is considerably better than Soto's .570 mark. Chirinos hasn't played in the big leagues since 2011, so the Rangers are probably hoping A.J.'s sore oblique won't keep him out for too long.
3. The not great closer situation in Boston got considerably worse on Thursday with the news that Joel Hanrahan has been transferred to the 60-day DL and is scheduled to visit elbow specialist Dr. James Andrews sometime today. A visit to Dr. Andrews is usually an indication that something is wrong the player's elbow, though it's not always the case that Tommy John surgery will follow. Given Boston's quick turn around in transferring Hanrahan to the 60-day DL, however, it appears the club is already prepping for the worst. The Red Sox must now cross their fingers that Andrew Bailey can stay healthy once he returns from the disabled list.
In Other News...
1. Arizona Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz has eluded Tommy John surgery for the time being, but he's still expected to miss a significant portion of the season. He suffered all sorts of elbow owies during an appearance on Tuesday.
2. The Blue Jays demoted Ricky Romero back to the minors after two lousy starts. In his place, they've called up 75-year-old right-hander Ramon Ortiz.
3. Rick Ankiel is officially an ex-Astro, as the club released him Thursday. He should be able to latch on as a bench bat somewhere. My guess is Kansas City because an Ankiel/Francoeur platoon is just too good to pass up.