The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"It's frustrating, your ace goes eight great innings and you can't get a win for him -- again."
-- Indians closer Kerry Wood after taking the loss in support of ace Cliff Lee. In his past two starts (a loss and a no-decision), Lee has allowed just two runs in 16 innings but only received one run from his offense.
Cliff Lee pitched eight scoreless innings while striking out five and scattering five hits. Tim Wakefield pitched seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball with the one hit coming in the first inning. In the end, neither pitcher's performance mattered. Boston scored three runs in the top of the ninth off of Indians closer Kerry Wood while Cleveland could only muster one run in the final frame leading the Red Sox to their 11th consecutive victory. Jason Bay was the hero for Boston, hitting a clutch home run in the ninth inning against a star closer for the second time in four days. Bay took Wood deep for a three-run shot and did similar work against the Yankees' Mariano Rivera on Friday when he hit a two-run, two-out homer in the ninth to send that game to extra innings.
For the second time in his past three starts Baltimore ace Jeremy Guthrie was staked to an early lead. And just like last time, the Orioles lost. After two innings, the O's were up 4-0 against Texas pitcher Matt Harrison but the Rangers came back, scoring all six of their runs (three against Guthrie, three against Matt Albers) in innings four through six. Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis went 1 for 4 to keep his 14-game hitting streak alive.
Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox
Postponed due to rain.
Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander continues to confound Tigers fans and, let's face it, fantasy baseball players with his inconsistent outings. Monday however, he was just confounding the Yankees. Verlander looked more like the man that once capped a no-hitter by hitting 101 mph on the gun in the ninth inning than the guy who carried an 8.72 ERA into last night's game. Verlander pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine for his first win of the season while CC Sabathia needed only 99 pitches to go eight innings but gave up four runs in the process. Detroit's Magglio Ordonez hit his second home run of the season, delivering a two-run shot in what was a three-run sixth inning for the Tigers. New York put up a fight late, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth off of Detroit closer Fernando Rodney but failed to get over the hump.
Jose Guillen went 3 for 4 and hit two home runs to lead a surprisingly potent Royals offense Monday. The Royals rank in the lower third in just about every major offensive category but had no problem against Blue Jays starter David Purcey, tagging the 27-year-old lefty for six runs and eight hits in five innings. Kansas City pitcher Brian Bannister did a fine job of keeping the offensively inclined Blue Jays in check, allowing just one run and one hit in seven innings of work, though he did walk six in his second win of the season.
Carlos Pena hit his major league-leading ninth home run of the season as Tampa Bay handled Minnesota on Monday. Rays starter Jeff Niemann gave up just one run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings as the reigning AL champs are off to an identical start (8-12) this season. Scott Baker who was an impressive 11-4 a year ago for the Twins remains winless after three starts this season after yielding four runs in six innings to bring his ERA down to 9.82.
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