Last night at Tropicana Field, the Oakland Athletics showed why they’re one of the best teams in baseball. The A’s improved to 30-16 on Wednesday night despite notching just one hit on the evening and allowing two runs. Let me explain – in the second inning, Yoenis Cespedes reached base on an error and Erik Bedard walked both Derek Norris and Brandon Moss to load the bases. After striking out Alberto Callaspo, a Josh Reddick fielder’s choice scored a pair after an error on Sean Rodriguez. A double play ended the inning, but there’s two runs for Oakland without a hit. In the fourth inning, Brandon Moss hit a solo homer to give Oakland a 3-0 lead – and that was the only hit they’d earn all night. On the evening, the A’s walked seven times and tallied just that one hit. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.
Game of the Day: Indians 11, Tigers 10 (13 innings). This game, man…this game. The Tigers scored four runs in the first inning off of Zach McAllister, and Cleveland responded by scoring six in the first and second off of reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. Each team traded solo homers in the third, and one-third of the way through the game, the Indians led 7-5. McAllister’s day ended after just two innings, but Scherzer lasted seven and didn’t allow another run following Lonnie Chisenhall’s third inning homer. The Tigers turned up the juice in the fifth inning, scoring a pair of runs to tie the game at seven. But soon thereafter, both Miguel Cabrera and Brad Ausmus were ejected (a little too soon, I might add) for arguing the lack of appeal on a check-swing. In the eighth, John Axford turned in a turd of a performance and allowed two runs to give the Tigers a 9-7 lead. Joe Nathan came in to save the game in the ninth, but turned in a turd of his own, allowing a Michael Brantley single and a two-run, game-tying homer to David Murphy. The game spiraled into extra innings, and Alex Avila’s solo homer off of Indians starter Josh Tomlin gave the Tigers a 10-9 lead in the 13th. But Phil Coke couldn’t get the job done. He allowed an infield single to Mike Aviles to lead off the inning, allowed Michael Bourn to bunt him over to second, hit Asdrubal Cabrera, and gave up the game-tying single to Brantley. After Murphy grounded out to move the winning run to third, Al Albuquerque replaced Coke, intentionally walked Yan Gomes, and balked in Cabrera to give the Indians the win. A walk off balk…sometimes, the wildest games end in the most bizarre manner.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Jered Weaver dominated Astros in a 2-1 Angels win, tossing a complete game while allowing one run on two hits, striking out five and walking one. Kyle Lohse pitched the Brewers to a 6-1 win in Atlanta, giving up one run on four hits in eight innings, walking none and punching out eight. Tyson Ross had a nice start for the Padres in their 2-0 defeat to the Twins, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, striking out eight while walking three. Phil Hughes pitched just as well in the win for Minnesota, throwing seven scoreless frames while allowing seven hits and striking out seven without a walk. In the Cubs’ 4-2, 13 inning loss to the Yankees, Jeff Samardzija was once again struck with a loss, allowing four hits over seven shutout innings, striking out three and walking two.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Victor Martinez stayed white hot for the Tigers in their win over Cleveland, going 3/6 with a double, a homer, three runs, two RBI, and a walk. In Cleveland’s win, Michael Brantley went 4/7 with a double, two runs, three RBI, and two stolen bases. Edwin Encarnacion once again did his thing in Toronto’s 6-4 win in Boston, going 2/5 with two homers and three RBI. Nelson Cruz had a nice game for the Orioles in their 9-8 loss to the Pirates, going 3/5 with a double, a homer, two runs, and three RBI. Marcell Ozuna and the Marlins smashed the Phillies 14-5, going 2/4 with a grand slam, two runs, five RBI, and a walk.
Other Games: The Rangers beat the Mariners 4-3. The Reds edged the Nationals 2-1. The Dodgers withstood a late Mets rally to win 4-3. The Royals topped the White Sox 3-1. The Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks 3-2 in 12 innings. The Giants beat the Rockies 5-1.
Today’s Games: Cole Hamels and Henderson Alvarez will duel in Miami. Yu Darvish gets the nod for the Rangers in Detroit. Tim Hudson starts for the Giants in Denver. Mark Buehrle and Jon Lester will face off in Boston. Sonny Gray starts for the A’s in Tampa against the returning Alex Cobb. Matt Garza starts for the Brewers in Atlanta against Aaron Harang. Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles host the Indians, who probably won’t start Josh Tomlin after he threw three innings yesterday. Zack Greinke starts for the Dodgers in Flushing against Jon Niese. Lance Lynn and the Cardinals host Wade Miley and the Diamondbacks. Chris Sale returns for the White Sox, hosting the Yankees.
National TV: Phillies-Marlins (12:30 PM, MLB Network), Rangers-Tigers (1 PM, MLB Network), Nationals-Pirates (7 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.