The Wrap: NL (Hosted Games)
NL-ish Quote of the Night
"That's good for my psyche after wearing the goat horns last night with that error."
-- Astros first baseman Lance Berkman who atoned for a costly ninth-inning error in Wednesday's loss by hitting two homers in Thursday's win
Lance Berkman became the third player in Astros history to reach the 1,000 RBI mark, joining fellow Killer B's Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio. Berkman drove in a season-high four runs thanks to a pair of two-run homers. Royals pitcher Brian Bannister served up both blasts and was responsible for all five of Houston's runs over six innings of work as Kansas City blew its chance at just its second three-game sweep of the season.
The Rangers and Diamondbacks each hit three home runs in a wild affair in Arizona. Texas's Chris Davis, who entered the game hitting .196, broke out of his slump to hit a two-run homer, part of a three-run top of the 12th inning. The Diamondbacks refused to go down easy, though, scoring twice in the bottom half of the inning before taking the loss. Arizona first baseman Mark Reynolds hit two two-run homers, including one in the bottom of the eighth that tied up the score and ultimately forced extra innings.
The Nationals saved some face Thursday night as Washington avoided a sweep at what is technically their home stadium. Red Sox fans had taken over Nationals Park for the three game series but didn't have much to cheer for as John Smoltz, making his first start since having shoulder surgery gave up five runs in five innings in his debut for Boston. Rookie pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (23 years old) got the best of the elder Smoltz (42), by allowing just one run and five hits in seven innings to pick up the win. Four different Nats players tallied two RBI to lead the offense.
Baltimore swallowed a three-game sweep in Florida as the Marlins clubbed Orioles starter Rich Hill. Hill gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings to fall to 3-2 on the season. In his second appearance since being recalled from Class AAA Norfolk, Baltimore reliever Chris Ray got pounded for five runs in just 1 2/3 innings to further put the game out of reach. Hanley Ramirez hit a grand slam off Ray in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach in favor of Florida. Marlins rookie pitcher Sean West tossed six scoreless innings to pick up his third career victory.
In his first game back after being on the disabled list with an inner ear infection, Denard Span went 1 for 2 with a triple, three walks and three runs as the Twins took two of three from the Brewers. Minnesota has won five of six against Milwaukee while the Brewers are just 5-10 in interleague games this season. Milwaukee scored all four of its runs via the long ball as Casey McGehee hit a two-run shot while Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder each took solo spins around the bases.
Apparently Chris Carpenter only loses to fellow Cy Young Award winners. Carpenter, the NL's recipient in 2005, dropped his second game of the season. Johan Santana (2004 and 2006 AL winner) lasted seven innings and gave up two runs and seven hits as New York took two of three from St. Louis. Carpenter is 5-2 on the year with his other loss coming against the Cleveland Indians and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee during interleague play.
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