Tampa Bay Rays' Price pitches against Boston Red Sox  during MLB American League Baseball game in Boston

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Rays 5, Red Sox 1: David Price tossed a one-run, five hit complete game, with a solo homer by Mike Napoli the only real blemish. He needed a mere 97 pitches. That’s what happens when you throw 72 strikes. The Sox and Rays are once again tied in the loss column.

Dodgers 8, Blue Jays 3: For the second day in a row a team scores a boatload of runs in the tenth inning. We should probably come up with a name for that. I’m sure the Germans have a name for it with multiple syllables already because they’re so good at that. I’m thinking the word “shambles” has to be in it. Like “Exrasshambles” or something. Anyway, the Dodgers are apparently indestructible these days.

Pirates 4, Nationals 2: The “Kill the Win” alarm was buzzing loudly at Brian Kenny’s house last night as Stephen Strasburg tossed eight two-hit innings with 12 strikeouts and took the loss. That’s what happens, though, when one of those hits you allow is a solo homer and your opponent — Francisco Liranio — tosses shutout ball into the eighth. Drew Storen has been a hot mess for the Nats all year. The Nats haven’t won a game since the break and, my picking them as a team that could make a move in the second half notwithstanding, are now nine freakin’ games back.

Athletics 4, Astros 3: The A’s take their 11th of 12 games so far this year against Houston, this on a come from behind job powered by a Coco Crisp two-run homer. Someone asked Crisp after the game if the A’s offense relies too much on homers. The idea that a team hits too many homers always makes me chuckle. It’s like asking someone if they’re too rich or too thin.

Braves 8, Mets 2: A win, yes, but an awful loss in the form of Tim Hudson’s freak fractured ankle that will put him out for the season. Don’t seek out the video of this one, folks. It’s Tim Krumrie stuff.

Angels 1, Twins 0: Jered Weaver: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 9K. Pretty much says it all.

Brewers 3, Padres 1: Kyle Lohse with a strong outing. He’s quietly been pretty great for the Brewers lately, going 6-1 with a 2.51 ERA over his past 11 starts. The Brewers should probably try to flip him.

Indians 10, Mariners 1: Down goes the Mariners win streak. Scott Kazmir tossed one-hit ball for eight innings, allowing nothin’ but an unearned run. Michael Bourn hit a grand slam. Asdrubal Cabrera homered and drove in three. Eleven runs scored in this game and it lasted a mere six minutes more than the 1-0 Angels-Twins game.

Cardinals 11, Phillies 3: Another day Ruben Amaro is reported to still be a buyer at the deadline, another day the Phillies get thumped. Sixteen hits for the Cardinals.

Rockies 2, Marlins 1: Yet another nice pitching performance last night. This one from Jorge De La Rosa, who tossed six scoreless. Colorado can force a 2-2 tie in what I like to think of as the 1993 Expansion Series if they win today.

Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 6: Chicago had a 6-0 lead, blew it, but then Nate Schierholtz — who had five RBI overall — drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th. Basically any team could’ve had Schierholtz before the season began. No one wanted him but the Cubs. He’s hitting .277/.334/.521. How’s your team’s right fielder doin’?

Rangers 3, Yankees 1: Matt Garza makes his Texas debut and allowed only one unearned run in seven and a third. Homers from A.J. Pierzynski and David Murphy.

Reds 8, Giants 3: Mike Leake somehow survived six innings of one-run ball despite allowing 12 hits. He also went 3 for 4 and scored a run. Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Devin Mesoraco each drove in two. The Reds finish their season series with the Giants having taken six of seven. I suppose that doesn’t totally make up for last year’s playoffs, but it’s something.

Tigers 6, White Sox 2: Anibal Sanchez joins the parade of great starting pitching performances last night, tossing six scoreless. Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter homered.

Royals 4, Orioles 3: Two homers for Eric Hosmer. More like Eric Homer, amirite?  God, I don’t know why I keep doing that. More coffee please.  Good morning everyone.

Cardinals take 1-0 NLDS lead over the Cubs behind John Lackey’s brilliant outing

John Lackey
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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John Lackey flirted with a no-hitter but settled for 7 1/3 terrific, shutout innings to beat the Cubs in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday. The right-hander held the opposition to two hits and a walk while striking out five. Lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist struck out two to finish the eighth without issue. Closer Trevor Rosenthal worked around a one-out walk and a two-out single in the ninth to seal the 4-0 win, recording all three outs on called strike threes.

Lackey brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but lost it quickly when Addison Russell hit a ground ball single up the middle to lead off the frame. Russell would steal second base but was stranded.

Opposing starter Jon Lester wasn’t too shabby himself, relenting three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings. The first run came around in the first inning on Matt Holliday‘s RBI single, which followed a one-out double by Stephen Piscotty. Tommy Pham pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot in the eighth inning and launched a solo home run off of Lester to double the Cardinals’ lead. Lester walked Matt Carpenter before exiting. Pedro Strop came in and promptly served up a two-run home run to Stephen Piscotty.

The closest the Cubs came to scoring was when Dexter Fowler sent a deep fly ball to right field with a man on base and two outs in the sixth inning, but Randal Grichuk caught it with a foot or two to spare in front of the fence on the warning track.

The two clubs will play Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday at 5:30 PM EDT. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and oppose Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia.

Astros err in letting Scott Kazmir start sixth

Scott Kazmir
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Scott Kazmir went winless with a 6.52 ERA in six September starts. He allowed 41 hits, eight of them homers, in 29 innings, posting an 18/11 K/BB ratio. When the Astros got five innings of two-run ball from him Friday against the Royals, they should have thanked their good fortune and moved right along to the pen.

And they knew this. They must have. Josh Fields got up in the pen after Kazmir issued a one-out walk in the fifth. The left-hander got out of the frame, making himself eligible for the victory in what was then a 4-2 game, but it was still very surprising to see him come back out for the sixth, particularly with the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist (.926 OPS against lefties) and right-handed Lorenzo Cain due up.

Kazmir retired Zobrist, but he gave up a double to Cain. He was then pulled, even with the left-handed Eric Hosmer coming up. Manager A.J. Hinch had committed my biggest baseball pet peeve: he sent his starter back to the mound with the idea of pulling him after his first mistake.

It worked out terribly. Oliver Perez gave up a pair of soft hits to Hosmer and Kendrys Morales before walking Mike Moustakas. Fields then entered and walked the unwalkable Salvador Perez to tie the game at 4. The Astros gave up another run in the seventh and lost the game 5-4.

Maybe that’s the way it would have worked out anyway. Kazmir did give up just the one baserunner. It might not have even harmed the Astros if Perez had better luck.

Still, the thinking that went into the decision was disturbing. It’s always better to bring that reliever in with no one on base when you can. That’s especially the case with this Astros pen, which lacks a double-play specialist, much less a Wade Davis. But anyone in that pen would have been a better choice than sending Kazmir out to face Zobrist and Cain for a third time. Hinch needs to be more aggressive going forward.

Cardinals’ giveaway incorrectly claims ownership of 2001 division title

cardinals logo

The Cardinals have won so many division titles, it’s tough to keep track of them all. At least, it would be tough if it weren’t for Baseball Reference.

40,000 rally towels were given away to fans at Busch Stadium ahead of Friday’s NLDS Game 1 against the Cubs. The towel listed all of the years the Cardinals won the NL Central… and 2001. That year, they tied with the Astros for the best record in the National League at 93-69. However, because the Astros won the season series 9-7, they were awarded first place and the Cardinals took the Wild Card.