OK, this wild card madness is getting a little ridiculous. There was movement in the back end of the National League wild card race. The Braves beat the Nationals 2-1, keeping their place at the top of the food chain. The Cardinals lost 8-5 to the Dodgers, moving LA to just a game out. The Phillies blew out the Astros 12-6, moving to three games out despite being just a game above .500. The Brewers lost 7-3 to the Mets, remaining a game out and getting paseed by the Phillies in the standings. The Pirates lost (again) to the Cubs 7-4, moving to just one game above .500 and remaning three out in the race. And…exhale.
Game of the Night: Angels 9, Royals 7. The Angels picked up a game on the Yankees and Orioles in the wild card standings with this solid win. The Royals took a 3-0 lead early on, but the Angels picked up four in the fourth to make it 4-3. KC bounced back with three in the sixth (highlighted by a two-run Jeff Francoeur homer…shocking) to make it 6-4. The teams traded runs in the seventh to make it 7-5, but the Angels exploded in the final two innings of the game, with an eighth inning Kendrys Morales homer tying the game at seven, and a bases loaded Torii Hunter walk giving the Angels an 8-7 lead. Kole Calhoun drove in a run with a fielders choice to make it 9-7, and Ernesto Frieri shut the door after a 30 pitch ninth inning.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Kris Medlen did it again. In Atlanta's walk-off win, their 20th in a row when Medlen starts, he allowed one run on five hits over seven innings, walking just one and striking out a career-high 13. Good god. Yu Darvish dominated the Mariners in a 9-3 Texas win, allowing one run on two hits over seven, striking out nine with only one walk. Jacob Turner finally turned in a good start for the Marlins, who beat the Reds 4-0. Turner threw seven shutout frames and allowed only two hits, walking two and striking out three. Denied a matchup with Justin Verlander on Thursday, Chris Sale took his rage out on the Twins in a 6-0 Sox win by throwing six shutout innings and allowing three hits, striking out five without a win. That Verlander guy was just as good in Detroit's 6-0 win over Cleveland, throwing seven shutout frames while allowing six hits, one walk, and six strikeouts.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Colorado's 7-4 win in San Diego, Chris Nelson went 3/4 with two RBI, a double, and a homer. Hunter Pence led the Giants to a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks, going 2/3 with a grand slam. Starlin Castro helped the Cubs in their win over the Pirates, going 2/4 with a homer and four RBI. Josh Hamilton went 2/5 with two runs, two RBI, and this massive homer in the Rangers blowout over the Mariners. Daniel Murphy helped the Mets offense greatly in Milwaukee, going 2/4 with two runs, two RBI, and his sixth homer of the year.
Other Games: The Rays beat the Yankees and CC Sabathia 6-4. The Red Sox rallied to beat the Blue Jays 8-5. The A's edged the Orioles 3-2 to continue to run away with the AL's top wild card slot.
Today's Games: Wandy Rodriguez looks to give the Pirates a win in Chicago. Edwin Jackson starts for the Nationals in Atlanta. Anibal Sanchez takes on Justin Masterson in Cleveland. James Shields takes on the returning Ivan Nova in the Bronx. Jenrry Mejia makes his first start for the Mets this year, taking on Shaun Marcum in Milwaukee. Zack Greinke takes on Jeremy Guthrie in Kansas City. Johnny Cueto takes on Mark Buerhle in Miami. Diamondbacks stud rookie Wade Miley starts for Arizona against the Giants. Zach Britton takes on Jarrod Parker in Oakland. Jaime Garcia starts for the Cardinals in Los Angeles.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.