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05/21/2005 Archived Entry: "MLB News: NL Roundup 5-21-2005"

MLB News: NL Roundup, by Norman LeRoy

Interleague Madness

Hereís a quick glance at yesterdays interleague action. Fifteen games! They werenít thinking of us lowly scribes when they settled on expansionÖ

NY Yankees 5, New York Mets 2
It was an ugly one in Shea Stadium last night as New York's finest combined for five errors in their first meeting of the year while both starters struggled with their control. Kevin Brown of the Yankees walked four in five innings, while the Mets Zambrano gave a free pass to six Yankee batsmen in the 5.1 innings he pitched. Brown took the win, raising his record to 3-4, While Zambrano dropped to 2-4. The game was close all the way despite the sloppy play. The Mets put runners on first and second in the eighth with the Yankees ahead 3-2, but the Yanks Tom Gordon came on to fan Kaz Matsui and Eric Valent to end the threat. After adding two insurance runs in the ninth on a ground-out and a sacrifice fly, the Bombers sent in Mariano Rivera to close out the game, which he did without incident, earning his eighth save. Hideki Matsui starred for the Yankees, going 2-for-5 with 2 RBIís and 2 runs scored. The victory was the Yanks 11th in 12 after a dismal start, raising their record to 22-20, 4 Ĺ games behind the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles. The Mets have an identical 22-20 mark with the loss, putting them 2 games behind the Florida Marlins in the see-sawing NL East.

Chicago White Sox 5, Chicago Cubs 2
The blue-collar White Sox (30-12) showed the ever-trendy Cubs (18-21) what a winning baseball team looks like yesterday, pummeling their well-heeled neighbors at the yuppie theme park known as Wrigley Field. Freddy Garcia (4-3) got the win for the Sox, pounding the strike zone successfully for seven innings, allowing only a single unearned run in his final frame. Garcia bested Greg Maddux (2-2), who pitched a fine game himself except for a three run fifth. Joe Crede, struggling through a 1-for-21 slump, began the inning with a monstrous homerun into the teeth of a 16 mph wind, and the small-ball Sox were off to the races after that, piecing together four singles for two additional runs. AJ Pierzynski went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the AL Central leading White Sox, who are off to their best start in over fifty years.

Boston Red Sox 4, Atlanta Braves 3
The Braves (23-18) dropped a half-game back of the pitching-rich Florida Marlins in the NL East with this loss, falling behind 4-0 after two and never mounting an effective comeback against a healthy Wade Miller (1-0). Miller, back in action for only his third start after fraying his rotator cuff last year, thrilled the Fenway crowd by posting 6.1 innings of three-hit ball. Miller didnít surrender his first safety till the fifth, when Johnny Estrada broke through with a lead-off single. Estrada eventually came home on a Raul Mondesi groundout, but this run and two more tacked on in the ninth against shaky Red Sox closer Keith Foulke were not enough to counter early homeruns from Jason Varitek and Bill Mueller. Tim Hudson took the loss for the Braves, dropping his record to 4-3. Boston runs its record to 24-17, two games behind the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles.

Florida Marlins 7, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6
The Marlins (22-16) raced out to an early 6-1 lead in this game, and held on for the win in the face of a ferocious Devil Rays comeback. Mike Lowell and Paul Lo Duca contributed 3 RBI days for the Marlins, who won at home for the 13th time in 31 games to surge ahead of the slumping Braves in the NL East. Al Leiter (2-4) got the win, and Todd Jones worked the ninth for his fourth save. Hideo Nomo (2-4) was saddled with the loss for the D-Rays, who drop to 15-28 on the year.

San Diego Padres 6, Seattle Mariners 1
The Padres (26-16) won their eighth straight and seventeenth-of-twenty last night in Seattle, behind another solid pitching performance from Jake Peavy. Peavy (4-0) allowed no runs in seven innings, striking out ten and giving up only three hits. Brian Giles had two RBIís for the Padres, who could only muster four hits against Seattle themselves. Mariners starter Ryan Franklin (2-5) was wild however, walking 5 in 6.1 innings while also hitting one batsman. The Padres hold on to a one-half game lead over Arizona in the NL West with the victory, while the Mariners see their record drop to 16-25.

Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Detroit Tigers 2
Arizona (26-17) was in Detroit last night, and they kept pace with San Diego by beating the pesky Tigers 6-2. Arizona starter Brandon Webb (6-0) had his sinkerball diving and darting on the night, holding the Tigers hitless into the seventh when he surrendered the lead but not the game. With the score 2-0 in the visiting teams favor, Ivan Rodriguez hit a slow squibber to third that Troy Glaus could not convert into an out. After Carlos Guillen followed with a weak hit-and-run single through the hole in short, Rondell White placed a soft line-drive near the chalk in left to drive in two.

Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman had exhibited an extreme compulsion to put D-back runners on base all night, combined with a ragged determination to keep them from home. He was able to work the trick, surrendering only two runs despite loading the bases three times in six innings; when the Tigís bullpen tried the same act, they were not so successful. Jamie Walker (2-2) and Franklyn German combined to load the bases again, whereupon Doug Creek was brought in to put out the fire, but delivered an RBI single to Craig Counsell instead. Tiger manager Allan Trammell continued to empty his bullpen, bringing in Chris Spurling who struck out Jose Cruz, Jr. before surrendering a sacrifice fly off the bat of Luis Gonzalez. The damage report for the D-backs eighth was two runs on three singles and an error against four Tigers pitchers. Arizona tacked on two more runs in the ninth to produce the games final score and keep them within one-half game of the San Diego Padres in the NL West.

St. Louis Cardinals 7, Kansas City Royals 6
The Cardinals (26-16) extended their NL Central lead to seven games by defeating their cross-state rivals in Kansas City. The game was nowhere near as violent as the Missouri Border War, thankfully, as Albert Pujols paced the Cards with a 3-for-5 night. Mark Mulder (6-1) struggled for 5.2 innings in picking up the win, giving up four runs on five walks and seven hits. Hard luck pitcher Zack Greinke (0-6) was tagged in defeat for the loss, giving up six earned in only five innings of work. Young prospect Greinke is much better then his record suggests, he has electric stuff and the hopeless Royals have only averaged a half-run of support for him in his starts. His ERA rose to 3.83 with the loss; on any other team he would be enjoying a winning season.

And now for the rest of the nightís scoresóhell, itís the weekend and Iím tired of writing -- you didnít think I could keep this up through fifteen games, did you?

Philadelphia Phillies 9, Baltimore Orioles 3
Bobby Abreuís magical season continues; Abreu ran his consecutive-game hitting streak to thirteen games by going 1-for-4 with 2 RBIís in Baltimore. Randy Wolf (3-4) went six innings for the win, allowing two runs- one earned- while striking out six. The Phillies stand at 20-23 with the win, 4.5 games behind Florida in the NL East.

Texas Rangers 7, Houston Astros 3
Houstonís nightmare season continues. The Ďstros drop to 15-26 with the loss in Arlington, and the Clemens-to-New York watch gathers steam. Texasí Michael Young was your hitting star with a 3-for-3 night, and the ageless Kenny Rogers improved to 5-2 despite seeing his consecutive-innings scoreless streak snapped at 31. Houstonís Brandon Backe drops to 3-3 with the loss.

Toronto Blue Jays 6, Washington Nationals 1
The Nationals (23-19) flubbed their chance to seize first place in the wide-open NL East, and stand at a game behind Florida after the loss. Vernon Wells went 2-for-4 with two homeruns to pace the Jays, who pleased the home-crowd with a fine effort. Ted Lilly got the win, raising his record to 2-4, and the Natís Claudio Vargas (0-2) took the loss.

Cincinnati Reds 2, Cleveland Indians 1
The Reds Aaron Harang (3-2) mystified the Indians all night, giving up only one run in 7.1 innings while striking out nine. Danny Graves worked 1.1 innings for his tenth save, and Adam Dunn had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBIís and a homerun. Cincinatti improves to 15-26 with the win. Kevin Millwood (1-4) was charged with the loss despite only allowing one run himself in 6 innings of work.

Minneapolis Twins 7, Milwaukee Brewers 1
Minneapolis cruised over the Brewers at home. Carlos Silva pitched a five-hit complete game, and young second-baseman Nick Punto went a perfect 4-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Gary Glover (2-3) lasted only 1.1 innings in losing the game for the Brewers, who fall to 19-22, seven games behind St. Louis in the NL Central.

Oakland Athletics 8, San Francisco Giants 4
Life without Barry continues to be hard for the Giants (19-22). Hereís hoping he recovers from his injured knee and then drags his disgraceful *** into retirement. Keiichi Yabu (4-0) was credited with the win for Oakland, while the Giants Kirk Rueter (2-3) suffered the defeat. San Fran drops to 19-22 on the year, still in hailing distance of a wild-card spot, but 6.5 games behind San Diego in the NL West.

ÖAngels of Anaheim 9, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Jarrod Washburn (3-2) blanked the Dodgerís for seven innings with a solid performance, while Juan Rivera hit a grand-slam in place of Vladimar Guerrero, who tweaked his shoulder sliding home in the fifth. Scott Erickson (1-4) is your loser as the slumping Dodgers fall to 22-19.

Pittsburgh Pirates 9, Colorado Rockies 4
Mark Redman (3-3) had another strong outing for the Pirates (18-21). Rob Mackowiak added a three-run homer to pace the hitters, and Jamey Wright (2-4) took the defeat for the Rockies, who fall to a pathetic 12-27.

For those of you keeping track, the final score for the night was AL 8-NL 6.

Whew! A full plate of games last night! Have a good one, and Iíll be back tomorrow to wrap up todayís action. If you spot the inevitable error or just have a comment, email me at NLeRoy@baseballguru.com



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