The Wrap: NL (Kind Of)
NL Quote of the Night:
"He pretty much stole home the way he waited. That was the textbook definition of manufacturing a run."
-- Astros slugger Lance Berkman on teammate Michael Bourn's first-inning run, which he scored on an infield ground out.
Astros 8, Diamondbacks 3
Hey! There was one NL game yesterday afternoon, and it showed that Houston really may be able to keep winning games this year. Showing a pop they probably didn't know they had, the Astros scored eight runs, five off Billy Buckner (in his five innings), to roll past Arizona. And with his 2 for 4 day, Miguel Tejada is really starting to look like the Tejada of old, hitting .344 despite being relatively overshadowed by, well, just about every other team in the NL. Go figure.
Giants 7, A's 1
Ladies and gentlemen, Matt Cain has most definitely arrived. The San Francisco starter improved to 9-1 by befuddling his team's rivals across the bay after watching his offense hand him a 6-1 lead after just three innings. Cain added a hit himself, which is more than we can say about local product Emmanuel Burriss, whose 0 for 3 day dropped his average to .242. For the record, that's just two points higher than Cain's .240.
Rockies 7, Mariners 1
Remember when Colorado just rolled past everyone en route to the 2007 World Series? We're not saying that's about to happen again, but we will say that they've won 11 straight, pulling themselves up from the doldrums of the NL West pits to third place in the division, only 2.5 games back of second--place San Francisco (we're not going to get heady and talk about the Dodgers yet). Jason Hammel got the win, thanks in part to both Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton, whose 3 for 4 games paced Colorado's explosive offense.
Cubs 3, Twins 2
Ryan Theriot came through when it counted. In need of an interleague win, Theriot singled in Derek Lee in the ninth, lifting Chicago past a strong Minnesota effort for a 3-2 win. Lee was nearly thrown out at third earlier in the inning, though one wonders whether the firing of hitting coach Gerald Perry before the game had some effect on the offense. It didn't bring a lot of extra success off Twins starter Scott Baker, who gave up only five hits in seven innings.
White Sox 5, Brewers 4
Milwaukee is losing tight games, and you almost get the feeling that the wheels are coming off a little bit, don't you? Of course, that's always been the time that the Brewers picked up speed again so far this year, so maybe they're headed for a streak. Regardless, they were set down on Sunday by A.J. Pierzynski in the ninth, after pitcher Mark Buehrle's first career homer lifted the White Sox early on. Of course, he let in enough runs that the homer didn't get him a win, but we're pretty sure the Chicago starter will look back on a Sunday afternoon win in Milwaukee that he produced with his bat as reward enough.
Pirates 6, Tigers 3
Maybe Ross Ohlendorf just likes the really old, retro unis? The Pirates starter was back to the impressive form he put up at the start of the season, tossing six innings while allowing only one run to bring in his first win since mid-May. Of course, his opposing starter, Dontrelle Willis, was wild enough to make that easier. Willis walked eight in his own right, making his role for the Tigers even more confusing ... and questionable.
Phillies 11, Red Sox 6
Eventually, Boston was bound to lose. Perhaps we all should have seen it coming in Philadelphia, which is both far too good and feisty a team to take three straight losses at home lying down. The Phillies rallied from an early deficit -- and a Josh Beckett homer -- with six runs in the seventh inning that broke a 5-5 tie, lifting Philadelphia to a series-salvaging win over the Red Sox. That made a curious winner of Chan Ho Park, who got the best of Boston ace Josh Beckett with his 2 1/3 innings of one-run relief, a role he's still adjusting to.
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