The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"I don't think I've ever been part of something like that."
-- Cleveland's Ben Francisco on the 14-spot the Indians put up in the second inning against the Yankees.
The Indians shineboxed the Yankees thanks to an astonishing 14-run second inning that saw Cleveland bring 17 batters to the plate. New York starting pitcher Chien-Ming Wang gave up eight of the second-inning runs while reliever Anthony Claggett allowed the other six. This was Wang's third consecutive disastrous start. The once-dominant sinkerballer now sports an ERA of 34.50 having allowed 23 runs in just six innings of work this season. Eight Indians players scored two or more times in the game while racking up 50 total bases as Cleveland continued to pour it on, scoring eight more runs after the now infamous second inning. In a weird bit of symmetry, the last time the Indians put up 20 or more runs was also against New York but at old Yankees Stadium in August of 2004.
Orioles pitcher Adam Eaton got off to a good start but quickly devolved into what the team has come to expect as he gave up all six runs in four innings of work. Baltimore mounted a late charge against Boston, thanks to a four-run fifth inning. Kevin Youkilis led the barrage for Boston, driving in four runs while finishing a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Josh Beckett is currently appealing a suspension handed down by the league for inciting a benches-clearing altercation against the Los Angeles Angels and thus was able to pitch against Baltimore. Beckett was on the mound for all four of the Orioles' runs before being taken out after six innings.
The Royals prevailed in a true pitchers' duel as Kansas City's Zach Greinke and Texas's Kevin Millwood each went the distance. Greinke rang up 10 strikeouts while pushing his consecutive scoreless innings streak up to 34, dating back to last season. On most day's Millwood's performance would've been good enough to win as well, as the Rangers ace gave up two runs while scattering five hits. The strangest part is that these pitching performances came in the very hitter-friendly Ballpark in Arlington. After a blistering start, Texas has won just one of its last eight games.
A day removed from hitting for the cycle, Minnesota's Jason Kubel again came up with a big hit. Kubel went 4 for 5 with three runs and two RBI Saturday. Kubel's most important hit came in the fifth inning as the Twins blew open a tight game by putting up five runs in the frame - an offensive outburst that was started by Kubel's two-run double off of Angels reliever Kevin Jespen.
Edwin Jackson has a career ERA of 5.10 but somehow he manages to turn into Cy Young himself when facing the Mariners. Jackson pitched 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball while improving his career ERA against Seattle to 0.40. Jackson's performance overshadowed another solid outing by the Mariners' Erik Bedard who struck out eight and allowed just two runs in his six innings of work. A Brandon Inge single coupled with an Ichiro Suzuki throwing error produced the only runs of the game.
The Blue Jays continued to improve upon their early AL East lead by outlasting the A's on Saturday. The hero for Toronto was Lyle Overbay whose two-out, two-run shot off of Dan Giese in the bottom of the 12th gave the team its ninth win of the season. Oakland rookie Trevor Cahill was again denied the first win of his young career, despite another fine performance, allowing just two runs over 5 1/3 innings against baseball's best offense.
Chicago slugger Paul Konerko drove in three runs to help lead the White Sox past the Rays. Mark Buehrle earned his second win of the season, pitching into the seventh inning while allowing Tampa Bay's three runs. The win is the White Sox' fifth in their past seven games. Conversely, the loss was the Rays' fourth loss in their past five games.
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