This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's thoroughly blended AL/NL roll call starts at LC's Barbecue in Kansas City, where Ervin Santana stuck the Royals on a spit and slow-cooked 'em until the meat fell off the bones. Baked beans come with that?
Game of the Day: Angels 4, Royals 0
West Coast: At the risk of getting a "Whoa, you better step off, son," I am going to say that Ervin Santana is better than Johan Santana right now. West Coast is better than East, ha-ha, la-la-la. Punks! Ervin improved to 6-0 with a 2.02 ERA after hurling his first complete game since his first major league victory against the White Sox nearly 3 years ago. Zero walks, 4 hits, 9 strikeouts. Click's off the heezy. On the other Johan, East Coast Santana is a puny 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA. Fo' sheezy, his stuff isn't as tight. Bed-Stuy is illin', yo.
DiGiorno? Delivery: Mike Scioscia says Santana's mechanics are better than last season, when he went 7-14. "He got a little frustrated last year because he was going out there at times without the tools he needed to do what he's doing now," Scioscia said.
Feelin' Rundown (Monday's other games)
Phillies 11, D-backs 4 — Darth (Jamie) Moyer: "Bob Melvin never told you what happened to your father."
Max Scherzerwalker: "He told me enough. He told me you killed him."
DM: "No. I am your father."
MS: "No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!"
DM: "Search your feelings — you know it to be true."
MS: "No! No!"
DM: "Max, you can destroy the Mets. They have foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me and together we can rule the National League as father and son.
Reds 5, Cubs 3 — In what probably was a good bit of managing, Dusty Baker asked Reds legend Mario Soto to fly in from the Dominican to tutor His Scarlet Highness Johnny Cueto, who has struggled after a scintillating debut. So Soto works his Miyagi/Macchio, Anne Bancroft/Helen Keller, Gazoo/Fred and Barney magic and good things happen. Aside from a 3-3, HR from Geovany Soto, Cueto the Great appeared to respond, allowing 3 runs with 8 strikeouts over 6. Not enough to win the All-Valley Tournament, but enough to beat the Cubs. Back to Dusty. Derrek Lee ended the game by hitting a grounder with the bases loaded, after which Baker said, "Boy, that was a big win. That would have been a devastating loss right there." Yes, Johnnie. The Reds came within a Lee double of dropping to 12-21. Since the Reds are instead 13-20, well, things still are swell. With the owner there possessing a hair trigger, don't be surprised if Wayne Krenchicki is running this team a year from now. If they can get permission to speak with him.
Athletics 2, Orioles 1 (10 inn.) — My cousin Emil Brown delivers the game-winning hit. Whoa, Joey's just been Devine lately in relief. He's both rico and suave here. Great pitching duel between Garrett Olson and Dana Eveland. Sounds like the lead actors in a cable movie. "She was a housewife on the edge. He was in town for a good time. She broke her vows. He broke her heart. Now, she wants revenge — but not in the usual way. Garrett Olson and Dana Eveland star in the Lifetime original movie, 'Hidden Agendas.' Next."
Cardinals 6, Rockies 5 — Albert makes a break for third, and keeps on going home, showing off why he's a better baseball player than most in this baserunning tour de force. "Remember the time Pujols scored from second on a grounder to second?" someone might ask you in the future. Well, now you will.
Red Sox 6, Tigers 3 — Not a fun day to be Jacque Jones, who would be better off if his career in Detroit be un-remembered. Not even forgotten. Just do everyone a favor and don't commit it to memory in the first place. Gary Sheffield moved into left field and he said a beautiful thing, if you're in the anti-DH (or is it pro-pitcher hitting?) movement. "I need to be a baseball player; I'm not a baseball player sitting there," Sheffield said of the joys of playing defense. ... Backed by home runs from Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis and Papi, plus an apology from Roger Clemens, Daisuke improved to 5-0 — though he needed 109 pitches to last 5 innings
Blue Jays 1, White Sox 0 — Even if the Jays had not scored, they would have been declared the winner because the exchange rate slightly favors Canada. One of these days, the Sox are going to figure out how to score negative runs — and Juan Uribe somehow will be involved. Ozzie Guillen bleeping shook up the bleeping lineup; his bleeping changes included bleeping pinch hitting for everyone before their first bleeping at-bat, so the bleeping Sox ran out of bleeping players by the 4th bleeping inning.
Mariners 7, Rangers 3 — It seems awful early to be playing out the string, but both of these teams are doing exactly that already. What chances does either have to beat the Angels? In baseball, zero. Maybe if they get a game of Uno going, and Ichiro got dealt a hot streak, the M's could contend. The Strangers, sheesh. At least Josh Hamilton could go to the All-Star Game, for a feelgood.
Dodgers 5, Mets 1 — Oliver Perez gopher ball night at Dodger Stadium. Didn't it used to be hard to hit home runs there? Spitballing here with Andruw Jones: Can he be threatened with deportation? Not even necessarily to Curacao, but to somewhere unpleasant. The Western Desert of Australia?
Photo of the Day: A good piece of ash is hard to find
White Sox infielder Juan Uribe tries a different approach — swinging a bat in pieces held together by the Force — and it works for him. He had two of his team's four hits against Dustin McGowan and Toronto relief crew.
Mike Lowell (Red Sox) 3-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI
First homer, first RBIs of season after an extended stay on the DL. Also doubled his runs scored after coming in with 54 at-bats.
Kevin Millwood (Rangers) 3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, BB, 2 K, Loss, 4.94 ERA
"I didn't have an easy inning, period," Millwood said. "You miss over the plate all the time and that is what is going to happen."
"Back then, I don't think they had radar guns." — Jamie Moyer, on technology in 1986, when he made his major league debut.