The Wrap: AL
AL Quote of the Night
"I'd rather give up home runs than walk guys."
-- Tampa Bay reliever Jason Isringhausen, who walked three batters, gave up two runs and took the loss but managed to not give up the long ball. Which I guess is the opposite of what he was going for.
The Rays showed up early but the Indians showed up with more firepower late as Cleveland won a strange one against Tampa Bay. The Rays held a 10-0 lead in the fourth inning after lighting up Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona for five runs (and five walks) in 1 1/3 innings. David Price made his season debut for Tampa Bay but wasn't as dominant on Memorial Day as he was last season, walking five and giving up two runs in just 3 1/3 innings, however when he left the game the Rays were up eight runs. The Indians turned the tables on Tampa Bay in the ninth inning, scoring seven runs off of four Rays relievers. First baseman Ryan Garko did a lot of the damage for Cleveland, hitting two home runs and driving in five runs while going 3 for 5.
Jeremy Guthrie gave up one run over seven innings as the Orioles handed the slumping Blue Jays their seventh straight loss in the opener of a three-game series. Baltimore picked up its third win in its past four games as the team shook off Toronto's first inning run in the first game of a seven-game homestand. The Blue Jays have one of the majors' best offenses and have averaged a little over five runs per game but during their skid the team has scored just 11 runs to average less than two runs a night.
In his first visit to Texas since admitting to using steroids while with the club, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez went 5 for 5 and drove in four runs. New York pitcher Phil Hughes won his second straight start by throwing eight shutout innings as the Yankees look to bounce back from their first series loss in over two weeks. Rangers starter Matt Harrison got roughed up by the Yankees lineup as, in addition to Rodriguez, three other players had multi-RBI games: Nick Swisher (3), Mark Teixeira (2) and Robinson Cano (2).
The Tigers throttled Kansas City's pitching to the tune of 13 runs on 19 hits while chasing Royals starter Gil Meche after just 2 1/3 innings. Justin Verlander pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eight for Detroit to get his fifth straight win and the team's eighth victory in its last 10 games. Miguel Cabrera led the Tigers' charge, going 4 for 6 with three RBI in a game where every Detroit starter recorded at least one hit.
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon made things interesting in his second straight appearance, giving up a two-run, pinch hit homer to Twins catcher Joe Mauer in the bottom of the ninth before wriggling off the hook and preserving Boston's win. In his previous outing, Papelbon took the loss after also allowing a two-run shot to a catcher (Omir Santos) in the top of the ninth against the Mets on Saturday. Despite the late-inning drama, Boston's Brad Penny improved to 5-1 on the season after allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings. The Red Sox have scored four or more runs in all but one of Penny's nine starts this year (his one loss), which explains how a starter with an ERA just shy of 6.00 has five wins. For the Twins, it was their first loss since last Wednesday in Chicago.
Oakland forced an early exit of Seattle starter Chris Jakubauskas in the fourth inning as the A's won their second straight and look to turn it into the team's first three-game winning streak of the season. Oakland second baseman Adam Kennedy led the team's offense with a 4-for-4 day that saw him also drive in a run and score another. Mariners lead-off man Ichiro Suzuki went 4 for 4 as well in the losing effort.
The White Sox blistered the Angels for 24 hits in a Memorial Day beatdown. Chicago had eight players deliver multi-hit performances with the top two batters in the lineup - Scott Podsednik and Alexei Ramirez - each smacking four hits. Meanwhile, the White Sox' three through five hitters (Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko) each homered with Thome hitting his 549th career home run to move him past Mike Schmidt for 13th on the all time list. Most of the damage done was against Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana who yielded seven runs in just one shoddy inning. Things didn't get better for the Angels once they turned to the bullpen however, as every Los Angeles pitcher used gave up at least one run.
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