The Wrap: AL
Quote of the Night
"They had an opportunity to celebrate what they did last season, and they had their way with us."
-- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter on the team getting pasted by Tampa Bay in the Rays' home opener.
On a day the Rays got to raise their American League Championship banner, Tampa Bay also forced the New York Yankees to raise the white flag. The Rays had already jumped out to a 9-0 lead before pitcher Scott Kazmir allowed a base runner. Tampa Bay's assault started against a struggling Chien-Ming Wang whose ERA is just shy of 30.00 for the season as the Rays scored eight runs in Wang's one inning of work. The Rays continued to pummel the Yankees, scoring in all but two innings. In an unexpected twist, Yankees utility man Nick Swisher (who currently leads the team with a .450 batting average) pitched one of the scoreless innings, allowing one hit, one walk and recording one strikeout.
The new "Oriole Way" appears to be dependent on the thrashing of opposing pitchers as Baltimore tallies nine or more hits for the fifth time this season, posting 16 in a wild victory over Texas. The fourth inning proved to be the turning point for the Orioles as they turned one walk, one double, one error and five singles into five runs and chased Rangers starter Vicente Padilla. The O's continued to pile on runs and they would need it as Texas clawed back into the game. Koji Uehara was the beneficiary of the run support as he gave up seven runs in his second major league start but still managed to collect the win.
Chicago's Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko became the first players to hit back-to-back milestone home runs over 300 as both took Zach Miner deep for solo shots to reach the 300 home run plateau. Joining in the homer parade was White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin who hit two of his own while going 4 for 4. Gavin Floyd struggled with his command, giving up seven walks in five innings but still got the win. Chicago's third straight victory came at the expense of Detroit's own three-game winning streak.
Royals pitcher Zack Greinke has now thrown 25 consecutive scoreless innings, striking out nine while scattering six hits over five innings. Kansas City scored three runs off of Cleveland's Fausto Carmona in the first inning and that was all she wrote.
The Blue Jays continue to rake, lighting up Minnesota starter Kevin Slowey for 13 of their 19 hits. Through eight games, Toronto leads the majors in runs scored with an impressive 54 and have not scored fewer than five runs in their six wins.
Boston's Jon Lester struggles again, giving up six runs and 10 hits in six innings of work Monday night. Lester a cancer survivor, World Series winner and no-hitter thrower guy went 16-6 last year with a 3.21 ERA but through two starts this year is winless with an ERA of 9.00. Oakland's win ended a three-game skid and gave the team its first home win of the season. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have lost five of their last six and stand at 2-5 on the season for the team's worst start since beginning the 1996 campaign 2-12.
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