The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"Even now I'm afraid to sneeze."
-- Toronto rookie pitcher Ricky Romero after learning that a sneeze led to a strained muscle on his right side that puts the starter who sports a 2-0 record and a 1.17 ERA on the 15-day disabled list.
For the second time in three games an Orioles pitcher was taken out of a game and greeted with a standing ovation by an appreciative Baltimore crowd, what was most unusual about Thursday's affection was that it was directed at Adam Eaton. Eaton entered his third start as an Oriole as the most beleaguered member of the team's rotation having given up a combined 10 runs in his first two starts. Eaton looked like a completely different pitcher in shutting down the White Sox as he struck out nine while allowing just two runs in 7 1/3 innings. Eaton's performance came just a day after Baltimore Manager Dave Trembley publicly backed the team's fifth starter. The Orioles got on the board early scoring twice in the first inning and three times in the third to coast to victory. In a non-save situation, closer George Sherrill continued the theme of surprising efficiency by Baltimore pitchers as he turned in his first 1-2-3 inning of the year. The win was the Orioles' first victory in a series finale of the season.
Seattle ace Felix Hernandez pitched seven scoreless innings to improve his record to 3-0 as the Mariners blank the Rays. Hernandez's gem helped further lower Seattle's AL-leading 3.01 team ERA. Tampa Bay's James Shields had an impressing outing as well, allowing just one run in seven innings but one early mistake cost him the game. Ichiro Suzuki provided the game's only run by lining Shields's second pitch of the game for a home run.
Scott Richmond earned his second win of the season as he held Texas's potent lineup to just two runs over six innings of work and struck out eight in Toronto's major-league leading 12th win of the season. Toronto owes a large part of its early season success to it's own powerful offense that's one of the best in the majors. The two teams combined to hit five home runs that accounted for six of the game's seven total runs.
The Angels' Matt Palmer got his first career major league victory, allowing five runs (four earned) in six innings of work against the Tigers. Los Angeles took advantage of four Detroit errors and tagged Detroit starter Edwin Jackson with six runs (three earned) and reliever Eddie Bonine with four runs (all very much earned). Five Angels tallied two hits in the rout.
If Kansas City's Gil Meche had pitched just seven innings he would've had a start to be proud of, he'd have had six strikeouts and given up just one run. Unfortunately for Meche and the Royals, he pitched 7 1/3 innings and unraveled in that eighth inning. Meche was touched up for three of the four runs the Indians scored in that game-deciding frame. Cleveland's Jensen Lewis was credited with the win (and somehow has already accumulated a 2-2 record as a reliever) after pitching a scoreless seventh and eighth innings.
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