Author: Matthew Pouliot

Brandon Maurer

Astros light up Mariners rookie Brandon Maurer


Finally getting to take out some frustration, the Astros racked up six runs and seven hits in the first Tuesday against Mariners starter Brandon Maurer, sending him to the showers after 36 pitches.

It was a second straight rough outing for Maurer, who climbed over several pitchers this spring to win a spot in the Mariners rotation. He gave up six runs over six innings in a loss to Oakland in his major league debut last week.

While the Mariners probably won’t bail on Maurer after two starts, he’s going to have to be better next time to keep his spot. If he fails again, the Mariners could give Jeremy Bonderman a shot. Bonderman, who is trying to return to the majors after two years off, allowed three runs in five innings in his first start for Triple-A Tacoma.

Ideally, the Mariners would have Erasmo Ramirez available to fill in, but he’s on the minor league DL after coming down with some elbow soreness late in the spring. They do have top prospect Danny Hultzen available if they don’t want to turn to Bonderman. Hultzen has battled control problems since being drafted second overall two years ago, but he had a nice season debut for Tacoma, allowing one run in six innings and striking out eight.

As for the Astros, their six runs in the first tonight matched their total from the previous three games combined. They had been shut out in three of their first seven games.

Cliff Lee goes 8 2/3 innings against Mets for second win

Cliff Lee

The Phillies crowd wasn’t happy to see Cliff Lee pulled one out away from his first complete game since 2011, but it was job well done for the left-hander, who moved to 2-0 after holding the Mets to three runs — two earned — in 8 2/3 innings.

Lee last year didn’t get his first win until his 14th start on July 4. His second win came in his 19th start on July 31.

Michael Young had the biggest day for the Philadelphia offense, missing a cycle by a double. Ryan Howard and Young hit back-to-back homers in the third, while John Mayberry Jr. followed with a third homer just two batters later.

Starter Dillon Gee gave up all of the homers. He surrendered seven runs in three innings for the Mets.

With Lee’s removal, there remains just one complete game in the majors this season, that a shutout thrown by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw against the Giants on Opening Day.

Carlos Quentin gets plunked on wrist, exits game

Padres Mets Baseball

UPDATE: X-rays came back negative on the wrist, leaving Quentin day-to-day.


Ball-magnet Carlos Quentin was forced from Tuesday’s game between the Dodgers and Padres in the seventh inning after being hit in the right wrist by a Ronald Belisario sinker.

Quentin started towards first base after the plunking, but he made it only a few steps before calling the trainer out. One imagines the trainer would have come out to see him anyway, but he wanted assistance then and there, which wouldn’t seem to bode very well.

Despite missing big chunks of seasons with injuries, Quentin led his league in HBPs in both 2011 (23 in 118 games for the White Sox) and 2012 (17 in 86 games with the Padres). In just 709 major league games, he’s been hit by 115 pitches, which ranks tied for 36th all-time. On a per-plate appearance basis, he’s the most plunked player ever.

Indians’ Carlos Carrasco returns from suspension, gets ejected

Kevin Youkilis

Carlos Carrasco opened the 2013 season serving a six-game suspension he received for intentionally drilling Kansas City’s Billy Butler in 2011. Now he could well be looking at another one after seemingly intentionally drilling Kevin Youkilis following a Robinson Cano homer in the fourth inning Tuesday.

Immediately after Cano drove a ball out to left center to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead, Carrasco hit Youkilis in the shoulder area with a fastball. The Yankees went on to win 14-1, with Cano driving in five runs.

The odd thing ¬†about the ejection was that home-plate umpire Jordan Baker, a newcomer on the scene who umpired his first major league games last June, tossed Carrasco the ball after the HBP, only to eject him afterwards. It still wasn’t clear until after Terry Francona went to get him that Carrasco had been tossed.

After losing out to Scott Kazmir on a rotation spot, Carrasco, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, was originally expected to open this season in the minors. However, the Indians carried him in order to burn off the aforementioned six-game suspension. The Indians were giving him a spot start tonight, and they’re likely to send him to Triple-A tomorrow.

Joining Cano in homering for the Yankees tonight were Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis, Lyle Overbay and Brennan Boesch. Brett Gardner finished with four hits.