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05/14/2005 Archived Entry: "MLB News:AL roundup"
White Sox pitchers keep churning out wins; Tribe makes Lilly look silly and the rest of the action in the American League
By Trent Harrison
We are now at that point in the season where we can't say,"Oh, its early yet" anymore. What I mean to say is, these South-side boys from the Windy City seem to have all the tools they need to make a real run through the AL Central, and perhaps beyond.
Starter Mark Buehrle notched his sixth win of the season, going eight innings, striking out five while giving up three earned runs, with seventy-one of his one hundred and seven pitches going for strikes, en route to a 5-3 Chicago win over the Baltimore Orioles Friday night. Chicago erased a 3-0 deficit early on and Paul Konerko hit a bases-loaded, two-run single in the seventh to give the Sox three straight wins and 27-9 overall. They have a great starting rotation, very controlled bullpen, and the proper mix of speed, strength, and smarts on the field. To early to tell, huh? Why, just because it isn't New York or Boston at 27-9? Oh, the times they are a changin'.
Let's go arund the junior circuit, shall we...
In Kansas City on a beautiful spring evening, the Two Titans of the American League squared off in a battle worthy of an orchestral accompaniment to the backdrop of ... oh, sorry mates, it was Tampa Bay vs. Kansas City here and the D-rays ended up not losing by a score of 3-2 when Alex Gonzalez hit a ninth inning, two-out tater to send the nineteen thousand plus fans in K.C. home feeling a perfect sense of normality. Tampa Bay reliever Dans Baez blew another save chance en route to his fourth victory of the year.The Royals record is the exact opposite of the White Sox. Too early? I can't make that up, people.
The Cleveland Indians were the beneficiaries of Ted Lilly's continued struggles as they tagged him for five runs in the first two innings and hung on to a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays. Ben Broussard had a three-run double off Lilly in the first, giving him thirteen RBI's on the year, and Bob Wickman got his tenth save. The highlight of the game was the 72-minute rain-delay, which in an odd botanical twist, did nothing to bring the Lilly to life.
In extra innings Friday night, the Texas Rangers pulled away from the Minnesota Twins with three runs in the top half of the eleventh to give Texas a 9-6 victory. The Rangers chipped away at the Twins 6-2 lead to force extra innings, and then were able to tag closer Joe Nathan with five hits and three runs, which allowed Texas closer Francisco Cordero to come on and record his twelveth save.
Out on the West Coast, the Mariners and Red Sox got into a helluva offensive battle Friday night that ended with Seattle winning 14-7. Things went back and forth early on, but the Seattle bullpen gained control while the Red Sox pen hit every bat they threw at. Ritchie Sexson, Raul Ibanez, Adrian Beltre all homered and Ichiro went 3-4 scoring three times. All together there were 28 hits, 21 runs and twenty guys left on base. Ah, that's good baseball.
Down in Oakland, the Yankees enjoyed their first six-win streak of the season behind Mike Mussina's continued improvement on the mound, as they dropped a 9-4 loss on the Athletics, who have now lost six straight. Mussina struck out nine and gave up six hits with two earned runs in seven innings, while rookie Second baseman Robinson Cano got his first three-hit performance of the season.
Here's what you got to look forward to today:
The L.A. Angels send Bartolo Colon(4-3) and Jarrett Washburn(2-1) to the mound in a twinbill at Detroit today, to make up for yesterday's rainout, against Jeremy Bonderman(5-2) and Mike Maroth(3-2).
Gustavo Chacin(4-2) will take the mound for Toronto against Cleveland's Kevin Millwood(1-3).
Baltimore sends youngster Daniel Cabrera(2-2) out in Chicago today to go up against the White Sox's Freddy Garcia(3-2).
In Miinesota, Kenny Rogers(3-2) of the Rangers duels with the Twins Carlos Silva(2-1).
Tampa Bay sends Hideo Nomo(2-3) out against Kansas City's Ramon Hernandez(1-5).
Yankees toss that grenade known as Kevin Brown(1-4) out on the hill this evening in Oakland against Joe Blanton(0-3).
And rounding it out in Seattle, where Boston will go with Wade Miller(0-0) in his second start of the season versus Seattle's Ryan Franklin(2-4).
Enjoy the games everybody- I was gone for a bit moving into a new place, and this time it wasn't a correctional facility, so I hope to be connecting with you all much more over the rest of the season!
Aloha means goodbye friends...