Prince Fielder

Josh Hamilton

Video: Josh Hamilton hits a pinch-hit walk-off two-run double

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Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton delivered a walk-off two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning to help pull out a win against the Red Sox on Sunday.

Hanser Alberto reached base to lead off the inning due to a Pablo Sandoval fielding error. After a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, Alberto was on third base, but Red Sox manager John Farrell opted to have closer Koji Uehara intentionally walk the hot-hitting Prince Fielder to bring up Hamilton. Hamilton made the Red Sox pay for the decision as he ripped a 1-1 off-speed pitch to left-center. Alberto scored easily to tie the game, and Fielder motored around the bases to score the winning run with a head-first slide.

Hamilton, in his first 26 plate appearances of the season, is hitting .273/.385/.636 with two home runs and four RBI.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Josh Donaldson
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Blue Jays 10, White Sox 9: Walkoff number one: The Josh Donaldson Show. Donaldson hit two homers — bookends, really — as he lauched a solo shot in the first and then hit a walkoff three-run homer off David Robertson for the win. After the game he said “That’s probably one of the better feelings in baseball, to hit a walkoff homer. You don’t get the opportunity very often.” Except it’s the second time he’s done it this year and the fifth time in his career, so if you’re Josh Donaldson, you get that opportunity more than a lot of dudes, frankly.

Cubs 3, Nationals 2: Walkoff number two: Youth is Served: Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant both homered to tie the game at different points and Addison Russell doubled in Jonathan Herrera for the walkoff win. The Cubs have 13 one-run victories. Charmed life.

Reds 2, Rockies 1: Walkoff number three: The Futility-Interruptor. The Reds finally snapped their losing streak — it died at nine — thanks to a pinch hit Skip Schumaker walkoff double. After the game Schumaker said “winning never gets old.” Certainly not in Cincinnati it doesn’t.

Mets 5, Phillies 4: Walkoff number four: Everybody Hates Wilmer. Wilmer Flores — who a certain stripe of Mets fan loves to hate — singled home the winning run with two outs in the 10th. Is he the best shortstop ever? No. And his defense leaves quite a bit to be desired, but he’s got a .724 OPS and pretty excellent power numbers for a shortstop in this day and age. That ain’t nothin’.

Mariners 7, Rays 6: Not a walkoff, but if it was I’d call it The Kyle Seager Show or something. Seager hit a grand slam in the eighth and, after the M’s bullpen pooed all over itself in the ninth, Seager hit a solo shot in the top of the 10th which put Seattle up for good.

Rangers 4, Indians 3: Seven straight for Texas, who are now a .500 team. Not too shabby after starting things off as poorly as they did and suffering all of the injuries they’ve suffered. Mitch Moreland hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth and Prince Fielder continued to party like it’s 2009, hitting a three-run bomb. Fielder is 14-for-24 with five homers and 15 RBI in his last five games. How did you hit your home run, Mitch Moreland? “I was trying to get a good pitch, something I could drive.” Oh. How interesting.

Giants 6, Brewers 3: Madison Bumgarner didn’t shoot out the lights, but he won for the fifth time in six starts and was backed by a Hunter Pence laser beam and homers from Matt Duffy and Brandon Belt. What’s your secret, Madison? “That’s it, just making pitches and getting outs.” Oh. How interesting.

Astros 4, Orioles 1: Houston has now won 10 of 13, so maybe it’s time to stop asking if they’re for real. I mean, sure, they could crater and, in hindsight, we’d all say they weren’t for real, but it’s not like they’re winning via trick plays and opposing teams tanking to get draft picks. Here Scott Feldman was solid over six innings and Luis Valbuena drove in two.

Yankees 5, Royals 1: Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the first and drove in two more with a double in the fifth. On the year he’s only hitting .243, but the on-base percentage is a healthy .365 and he’s slugging a stout .588. He’s on pace for 49 bombs and 123 RBI. A product of being in The Best Shape of His Life?

Pirates 5, Marlins 1: The Buccos jumped all over Jose Urena early, leading 4-0 after two innings and then they cruised behind Jeff Locke and three relievers. Well, maybe they didn’t “cruise” as Locke needed 104 pitches and walked four guys, but they certainly rumbled along, as one may while driving an older SUV that could possibly use some new tires. Either way, that’s five straight wins for Pittsburgh.

Twins 2, Red Sox 1: If there are any immutable laws in the universe, one of them has to be “if you stake Mike Pelfrey to a two-run lead in the first inning, he’ll make it hold up.” OK, maybe my math is a bit off with that. And my history, frankly, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s some good science.

Cardinals 6, Diamondbacks 4: Randal Grichuk and Jhonny Peralta each drove in two to back a dicey Jamie Garcia, who picked up his first win in nearly a year. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat for Yasmany Tomas: he hit two doubles and drove in three but he also struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh and grounded out to end the game with the tying runs in scoring position.

Dodgers 8, Braves 0: I was on a radio show yesterday when someone asked me “what’s the matter with Clayton Kershaw?” I’d guess not much apart from not facing enough pushover lineups like the Braves and not being staked to enough big leads to allow him to cruise. Here both were in play, and Kershaw struck out 10 in seven shutout innings while every single hitter in the Dodgers’ lineup, Kershaw included, got a hit.

Padres 4, Angels 0: Scoreless for nine innings and then the Angels decided that Joe Smith needed to be in the game. That’s when Matt Kemp hit a bases-loaded double and that was that. Both Kemp and the Padres have been struggling. Perhaps that wakes them up.

Tigers 1, Athletics 0: David Price and Jesse Chavez dueled and David Price won. The only run in the game came via a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and even that one wouldn’t have scored if Josh Phegley hadn’t thrown the ball away, allowing the runner to make it to third base. Price tossed seven shutout innings and the Tiger bullpen locked it down. Which is not something you hear very often. Especially when Joba Chamberlain is involved.

Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are partying like it’s 2009

Braun and Fielder
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Overheard conventional wisdom from baseball fans:  “Ryan Braun can’t hit without the juice and his thumb is all messed up.” “Prince Fielder is breaking down and his best days are behind him.”

Both sentiments could be filed under “non-crazy,” and perhaps ultimately they will be borne out. But for now Braun and Fielder are partying like it’s 2009, with the former hitting 272/.349/.543 with 12 homers and 36 driven in and the latter hitting .365/.417/.575 with nine homers and 35 driven in.

Braun certainly isn’t helping the Brewers compete for a title and, unless he keeps up this kind of production through his mid-30s, his contract gets fairly ugly starting next year. Fielder’s Rangers could be more interesting as the season wears on given how poorly Oakland and Seattle have been playing in the early going. Of course his contract is even more pricey between 2016 and 2020 than Braun’s is. There are no promises that these rebounds will mean much if anything for Braun and Fielder’s clubs or their contracts.

But it sure is neat to see guys some had written off turning it back on again.