Giants 6, Padres 2: Aaron Harang has now shut out the opposition for two straight starts totaling 13 innings, and each time the Padres have lost. I imagine there have been some “I’m just trying to give my team a chance to win” quotes in there someplace, but it’s too depressing to look for ’em. Aubrey Huff homered to tie it at one in the ninth inning and then the Giants erupted for five runs in the top of the 12th, including an RBI infield single from Huff. But hey, at least the Padres looked good in their mustard and brown throwbacks.
Marlins 6, Cubs 3: Carlos Marmol came in to close out a 2-0 lead in the ninth and was rocked for five runs. He did it by walking the bases loaded — he threw only one strike to those three hitters — and then giving up a bases-clearing double (though an error helped). He walked another guy before getting yanked. Oy.
Rangers 5, Mariners 0: Derek Holland with the five-hit shutout. That’s eight straight wins for Texas, though you’d be forgiven for forgetting that what with the eighteen months off we’ve had due to the All-Star Break. At least that’s what it has felt like.
Blue Jays 16, Yankees 7: The Blue Jays scored 16 runs — eight off Bartolo Colon in the first inning — all without the benefit of a homer. Is Colon turning back into a pumpkin?
Twins 8, Royals 4: Plouffe, Young and Mauer combine to lead the offensive charge for Minnesota. In other news, “Plouffe, Young and Mauer” sounds like the name of a mid-sized auditing firm.
Rockies 12, Brewers 3: Ryan Spilborghs had four hits including a homer. Twenty hits in all for Colorado, who made relative short work of Yovani Gallardo. Francisco Rodriguez did not play, which confounded my “shiny new toy” theory of baseball personnel use (i.e. if a manager gets a shiny new toy, he’ll almost always use it the first chance he gets).
Indians 8, Orioles 4: Let no one say the Orioles lost focus during the All-Star break. Nope, they picked up exactly where they left off.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.