The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"There's probably a few more gray hairs on my head after these last three, but they have things that take care of that."
-- Yankees Manager Joe Girardi who is probably more than willing to sacrifice his vanity for the sake of winning, even if it has come in heart-stopping fashion in three straight games.
Well this has gotten out of hand. The Yankees got their third walk-off win in as many days to again rip the heart out of the Twins. First it was Melky Cabrera, then it was Alex Rodriguez and on Sunday it was Johnny Damon's turn. Damon hit a solo shot in the 10th inning to propel New York to its fifth straight win. Luckily for the Twins, this is their one and only series at Yankees Stadium this season, unfortunately they've still got one more game to play.
Kansas City didn't want to win the game but Baltimore pretty much made them. The Royals left 10 on base, only got two hits in the first five innings and made four errors but still won thanks to a three-run sixth and a three-run eighth. Koji Uehara was again very good early but faded late and didn't get much help out of the bullpen as reliever Jim Johnson took the loss after being responsible for the mess in the eighth inning. Billy Butler, Jose Guillen and John Buck each drove in two runs as the Royals earned a split of the four-game series with the Orioles.
Rays pitcher Andy Sonnanstine went 1 for 3 with an RBI as a lineup snafu made by Manager Joe Maddon led to Sonnanstine batting third in Tampa Bay's lineup. Maddon accidentally listed both Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist at third base (Longoria was supposed to DH), the mistake meant that, without a designated hitter in the lineup, Sonnanstine would have to hit in that spot, which turned out to be third. Sonnanstine also picked up the win, despite giving up five runs in 5 2/3 innings. Tampa Bay pounded out seven runs in 3 2/3 innings off of Cleveland's David Huff who was making his major league debut. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sonnanstine became the first pitcher to get two or more at-bats in an AL game since 2007 when his teammate Matt Garza did it while with the Minnesota Twins.
Detroit came back from being down six runs in the second inning to stun Oakland. Curtis Granderson and Ramon Santiago both hit three-run homers as the Tigers scored four runs in the second and third innings and three in the fifth to polish off the Athletics. Detroit's offense saved Armando Galarraga from picking up his third straight loss. The no-decision does not erase Galarraga's Sunday debacle as he gave up five runs (all earned) in just 2/3 of an inning. Galarraga started the year 3-0 but since then has allowed 21 runs, 24 hits and 12 walks in 17 1/3 innings. Zach Miner picked up after Galarraga by allowing just two runs in 4 1/3 innings to get the win.
Toronto ace Roy Halladay was dominant as usual, giving up two runs over seven innings to improve to 8-1 on the season. Halladay gave up both runs in the first inning and has yielded 10 of the 23 runs he's allowed this season in the first three innings of games. Clearly that hasn't been a problem, as he only seems to get stronger as the game goes on. Four Blue Jays tallied two hits as the team knocked around White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd for six runs in five innings.
Los Angeles' Jered Weaver allowed three runs over a full eight innings but it wasn't enough as the Angels offense failed to figure out Scott Feldman and the Rangers' bullpen. Texas earned a sweep of division rival Los Angeles with the win and has now won seven in a row and 13 of its last 15 games. The Rangers are 10-2 against the AL West so far this season with both losses coming at the hands of the division's bottom-feeding Oakland Athletics.
Boston gave Seattle a second chance in the bottom of the ninth and the Mariners were more than happy to capitalize. A routine grounder to short should have ended the game but Boston's Nick Green sailed his throw to first base into the stands, allowing Seattle's Ronny Cedeno to not only get on but also advance to second base. Franklin Gutierrez then singled through the left side of the infield to score Cedeno and give the Mariners their first series win in two weeks.
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