Padres 4, Cubs 2 - Travis Wood was pretty much un-hittable for the first seven frames on Thursday, but the wheels came off in the eighth. The Padres mounted a two-out rally to plate four runs and take the series split.
Phillies 7, Marlins 2 - Juan Pierre got his 600th stolen base, but that was about the only thing that went well for the Marlins. Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard both went deep for Philly, and Kyle Kendrick tossed seven innings of two-run ball.
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1 - Boston claimed its MLB-best 20th win on Thursday with a strong effort from Ryan Dempster and some timely hitting. The Red Sox managed only six hits on the day, but walked 10 times.
Nats 3, Braves 1 - Dan Haren put together his best outing of the year, holding the Braves to just one run and four hits over eight innings of work. A pair of early doubles from Denard Span did all the damage necessary for the Nats to take their second straight.
White Sox 3, Rangers 1 - Rookie right-hander Justin Grimm was solid yet again on Thursday, but made one ill-timed mistake to Chicago catcher Tyler Flowers. The backstop's three-run blast sealed the Rangers' first series loss of year.
Tigers 7, Astros 3 (F. 14) - Jordan Lyles pitched well for the Astros in his first start of the year, but the bullpen couldn't hold the one-run lead. After four extra frames of nothing, Don Kelly broke through in the 14th with an RBI knock to kick off a four-run rally. Both squads struck out 18 times each on the day.
Cardinals 6, Brewers 5 - Jake Westbrook earned career win No. 100 as the Cards' bullpen barely held the lead. St. Louis jumped out ahead with a six-run third, but the 'pen gave back most of the runs late. Edward Mujica eventually sealed it for the Cards, but didn't make it look easy.
Orioles 5, Angels 1 - Chris Tillman dominated the ever-struggling Angels, allowing just three hits in eight scoreless innings. Joe Blanton's crazy streak of giving up a hit in every inning this season finally ended in the fourth, capping the "feat" at 29⅔ innings. The Halos have lost seven of nine.
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City
The Big Three
1. If the Rockies want to keep their hot start from fading into the ether by June, they're going to need some starting pitching help. I'm not really sure if Roy Oswalt qualifies as "help" at this stage in his career, but he's there now if they want him. The Rockies signed Oswalt to a minor-league pact yesterday and will initially send him to extended Spring Training to get back into the rhythm of things. The mid-season Oswalt experiment didn't go well for the Rangers in their bandbox of a stadium last year, so it should be interesting to see whether Roy will have any more luck in Coors Field. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Oswalt never actually makes it up to the big-league club. Major leaguers are really, really, really good. It's not often that players can just walk back on the field and find success.
2. Joba Chamberlain has decided to join the rest of his Yankees brethren on the sidelines, going to the 15-day DLwith an oblique strain. Chamberlain's spent more time on the DL than on the field over the last two years, so Yankees fans will be forgiven if they don't really realize that he's missing from the bullpen. Joba has struggled to find the strike zone early on this year, but maybe that's been an effect of his side injury.
3. The San Diego Padres really want to make a franchise-record offer to Chase Headley, but the third baseman has no interest in talking about anything during the season. So that kind of kills that. Perhaps the Padres should have asked Headley about that over the winter when they were expressly NOT discussing an extension. Seems like that could have saved them from looking super awkward like they now do. Headley still has one year of arbitration remaining, however, so it's not as though the Friars have completely missed their window.
In Other News...
1. The good news: Ricky Romero is back in the Blue Jays' rotation. The bad news: It's only because Josh Johnson is on the DL.
2. The Marlins activated infielder Adeiny Hechavarria from the DL yesterday, which shouldn't help their incredibly anemic offense in the slightest.
3. No need to panic, Nats fans, Bryce Harper is just fine. Everyone else is free to panic.