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To say Raul Ibanez enjoys hitting at Yankee Stadium would be an understatement. After enjoying a terrific postseason in 2012 in which he delivered three home runs at the Stadium — including his dynamic Game 3 in the ALDS where he connected for game-tying and game-winning blasts — the 40-year-old veteran has returned with just as big a bang this season while wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform.
On Tuesday, Ibanez hit a two-run homer in Seattle's 4-3 loss. On Wednesday, he went deep two more times, including a first inning grand slam off Phil Hughes and a two-run shot in the fifth that iced away Seattle's 12-2 victory. That brings his totals to six home runs and 13 RBIs at Yankee Stadium since the beginning of the 2012 playoffs. He's 10 for 21 overall and obviously feels more confident taking shots at the short porch in right. Right, Raul?
''I can't tell that much of a difference even though when you hear it, depending on how you're doing, you know,'' Ibanez said with a sly smile.
The sly smile gives him away. Or maybe he just heard he became the oldest player (40 years, 347 days) with at least six RBIs in a game since Barry Bonds in July 2007. Thanks to Elias for that tidbit. On the flipside, Phil Hughes allowed seven earned runs in the first inning after allowing only two first inning runs in seven starts all season. That's a rough night for the old ERA.
D-Backs get last laugh: Justin Upton returned to Arizona with a four-hit game, including a monster home run, in Atlanta’s win on Monday night, but the Diamondbacks ended up winning the series with a 5-3 victory on Wednesday. New offensive centerpiece Paul Goldschmidt paced the attack with three doubles, while Eric Chavez knocked in three against former A’s teammate Tim Hudson. Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
No sweep for you: A big pat on the back is in order for the Houston Astros as they avoided a sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers. Not a three-game series sweep, mind you, but a seven-game season series sweep in which they had been outscored 50-12 over the first six.
It took a strong comeback after falling behind 4-1 in the second. A four-run fourth capped by a J.D. Martinez three-run homer gave them a one-run lead. Then with the game tied at five in the ninth, Carlos Corporan and Matt Dominguez drove in the difference-making tallies as the ‘Stros held on for a 7-5 win... barely. It took a Miguel Cabrera flyout to the warning track with the bases loaded to get the elusive 27th out.
Padres 8, Orioles 4: 17-hit attack for San Diego as they complete stunning road sweep of the O’s.
Indians 10, Phillies 4: The Phillies fall to 1-8 in Cole Hamels starts.
White Sox 9, Twins 4: Adam Dunn’s five RBIs provide the difference. He homered twice and doubled to raise his average to .156 (third worst in baseball among qualifiers).
Rangers 6, A’s 2: Not shocking: Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer. Shocking: He also made a diving grab to kill a rally and save two runs.
Pirates 3, Brewers 1: The Pirates win back-to-back games against Milwaukee for the first time since Aug. 18-19, 2009.
Reds 4, Marlins 0: Two homers for Shin-Soo Choo in support of Mike Leake.
Red Sox 9, Rays 2: David Price exits with a left triceps strain. He's expected to miss at least one start for Tampa.
Cardinals 4, Mets 2: Rick Ankiel tied it for the Mets with a two-run homer in the seventh, but St. Louis rallies for single runs in seventh and eighth.
Cubs 6, Rockies 3: Jeff Samardzija's eight solid innings were nice. His two-run homer deep into the left field bleachers at Wrigley was even better.
Dodgers 3, Nationals 1: Zack Greinke wins his return with five and one-third innings of one-run ball. He also chipped in an RBI single.
Royals 9, Angels 5: Kansas City touched home seven times in the third to break it open.
''They hit some pitches that were really good and they hit some pitches that were bad. That's been the theme.''
— Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong after another difficult outing in San Francisco's 11-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. He falls to 1-4 on the season and his ERA now sits at 8.06 despite the fact that only three of the eight runs he allowed were earned.
• Jason Kipnis homered in the eighth inning on Wednesday. That's significant because his first five home runs this season all came in the first inning.
• From Elias, Shelby Miller of the Cardinals is the third pitcher in the last 100 years to allow eight or fewer earned runs in his first nine career starts. Fernando Valenzuela was the most recent in 1981.
• David Price has not won at Tropicana Field since July 19, 2012 — a span covering eight starts.