Nine innings, nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.
1. You can't lose 'em all: The Minnesota Twins seemed in good shape to drop their 10th straight game, with King Felix Hernandez staring them down Tuesday night at Safeco Field. But left-hander Francisco Liriano brought his best stuff, and while he didn't throw a no-hitter again, he did strike out nine, allowed three hits and one walk in a 2-1 victory against the Seattle Mariners. The win capped a bittersweet day, Twins player Michael Cuddyer said.
The victory came hours after the death of Minnesota great Harmon Killebrew.
"In talking about Harmon, I've always said you want to be a better person when he's around, you want to be a better player when he's around," said Cuddyer, who was quite close to Killebrew, "so maybe tonight, you don't want to say you tried harder because you try hard every day, but I don't know. Coincidence or higher power? Maybe he was looking down on us tonight."
2. Higher than Giants: Colorado pulled out one of its late-inning comeback dealies, scoring four runs in the eighth — with Carlos Gonzalez getting the go-ahead hit — in a 5-3 victory against San Francisco. After taking two from the Giants at Coors Field, the Rox are back atop the NL West.
3. He's not even supposed to be here today: The Atlanta Braves still owe Brian McCann a day off. McCann had one of those legendary games, coming off the bench to hit a tying homer in the ninth and a winning two-run shot in the 11th, leading the Braves to a 3-1 victory against the Astros.
Travis Hafner, who's finally healthy after three years of hanging around the disabled list too much, had a three-run double in the first.
5. Future tense, present even more so: Brent Morel, who was supposed to (and still might) be the Chicago White Sox's third baseman of the future, hit a tying three-run homer with two outs in the fifth. Rangers reliever Cody Eppley might not be in the majors in the future if he keeps throwing wild pitches to allow the lead run to score, which is how the White Sox won 4-3.
6. Lonely numbers: The St. Louis Cardinals limited the Phillies to two combined runs in a two-game sweep. With lefty Jaime Garcia on the hill for eight innings of five-hit ball, and with Lance Berkman singling home the winning run in the ninth, the Rebirds won 2-1.
7. Overkillers! It's one thing for the Oakland Athletics offense to be operating on all thrusters, but when Gio Gonzalez is pitching seven shutout innings to boot, it's just not fair. And that's how you get scores like Oakland's 14-0 thrashing of the Angels.
8. Do I hear seven? Alex Rodriguez went deep twice and Jorge Posada had two hits after his self-imposed one-game break in the New York Yankees 6-2 victory against Tampa Bay. New York had lost six straight coming in. Good thing Hip Hip Jorge decided to put himself back in the lineup!
9. They keep on giving: The Cubs made four errors, but pitcher Kerry Wood made the biggest one; His errant throw of a wet ball in the eighth inning keyed a four-run rally in the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 victory.
- Harmon Killebrew
- Michael Cuddyer