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David Brown

Morning Juice: Lefty with mustache can't beat Greinke, either

David Brown
Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in Kansas City, where several have tried and all have failed, especially those with mustaches, to stop Zack Greinke.

Game of the Day:
Royals 11, Blue Jays 3

Follicle follies: Be it from the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, the brief rain delay before the game or because he was momentarily mesmerized by Brian Tallet's intimidating mustache, Greinke allowed his first earned run of season. He allowed two, in fact, and his ERA rose from nothing to 0.50, but he also became the majors' first 5-0 man. Nobody in Royals history, and they've had a few good pitchers through the years, had gone 5-0 in April before.

Zack's on: Seven innings, two runs, five hits, two walks and eight strikeouts.

"He was able to throw every pitch for a strike," Vernon Wells said. "He keeps you off balance. He'll blow you away with a 95 (mph) if he wants to. He was dominant, as he has been all year."

So's everyone else: Perennial prospect Billy Butler went 4-for-5, hitting two homers, to lead an 11-hit offensive against the furry faced Tallet. The Jays dropped two of three in KC and fell percentage points behind the Red Sox in the AL East. KC moved into a tie for first in AL Central with the White Sox and Tigers.

Nacho trips: Yahoo! Sports' own Jeff Passan delves into Greinke's inner avocado and finds more than the stuff with which to make guacamole.

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Feelin' Rundown (Wednesday's non-Greinke affairs):

Brewers 1, Pirates 0: Yo, Gallardo: eight innings, no runs, two hits, one walk, 11 strikeouts and he hit a home run in the seventh for the only offense of the game. Hey, a good argument for the abolition of the DH.

And statistically, simply one of the better performances in major league history. Someone call Elias and ask 'em how many 1-0 games were decided by a pitcher's home run.

This just in from Stats, LLC: Gallardo is the first pitcher to homer for the game’s only run since Aug. 28, 2002, when the Dodgers' Odalis Perez did it against Arizona.

"I'll be fast," Brewers manager Ken Macha joked afterward. "Hitting? Gallardo. Pitching? Gallardo. Any questions?"

No wonder Gallardo's so tough to hit. Look how blurry he is in that photo.

The Bucs got swept, but are still over .500 and it's almost May. We call it progress.

Marlins 4, Mets 3: That old Mets formula for un-success — let the bullpen blow the lead for Santana — makes its first appearance at Citi. New York fans, who've never felt limited in how they can take out frustrations, can shout "You Putz!" at their expensive set-up man and, really, all he can do is wish they'd boo David Wright instead.

This is a bad sign for the Mets manager — from the AP story:

Matt Lindstrom escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth by getting pinch-hitter Omir Santos on a game-ending popup. In a curious move by Mets manager Jerry Manuel, the inexperienced Santos batted for fellow catcher and right-handed hitter Ramon Castro, who had two hits and an RBI.

They're watching you, Jerry!

Rockies 7, Padres 5: First victory for Aaron Cook in eight starts, going back to Aug. 29. ... The Brothers Gonzalez combined to hit a pair of homers in this game, but they did it Hank and Tommie Aaron style — Adrian hit both. Edgar did go 1-for-4 with a run and an unsightly error. ... Lefty Artuto Lopez made his major league debut and let's just say that's the highlight. His ERA is infinite but, hey, so is the universe.

D-backs 10, Cubs 0: It's the kind of result that, with a road trip ending, makes you wonder if a team really just phoned it in. Two hits for the offense, 10 walks for the pitchers. In fairness to the hitters, Doug Davis is the kind of lefty who will make you look like a lazy millionaire. And he's got a pretty good record against the Cubs. ... Carlos Marmol: Five batters, five strikes thrown, four walks.

Here's what Lou says: "We're not going to be able to just go out there and play without intensity and go through the motions and think we can win baseball games, I can tell you that, and the quicker that sinks in, I think, the better."

Angels 3, Orioles 2: Shane Loux went five-plus years between major league victories. It takes him a long time to get warmed up, OK? His previous win, Sept. 24, 2003 against KC, came with the Tigers and improved them to 40-118.

Red Sox 6, Indians 5 (10 inn.): Jonathan Van Every hits a 10th-inning homer and makes a painful-looking diving catch on the track. Theo just made up this guy on the computer, right?

White Sox 6, Mariners 3: The M's are in first place at the end of a month for the first time since 2003. ...Ichiro issued his first walk of 2009. It was intentional. Not only that, but Ozzie Guillen did it on purpose.

Yankees 8, Tigers 6: In his Comerica debut, Rick Porcello just gets hammered by the Bronx. Among the pounders, Nick Swisher hits one of his two home runs — one from each batter's box.

Swisher hits, he pitches, he rings the bell at the NYSE. Not to put too favorable of a spin on it, but Swisher was a complete bust for the White Sox. In New York, it's only a matter of where Swisher's plaque in Monument Park goes. I say kiddie corner between Donnie Baseball and Alfred Manuel Martin.

The Yankees' mop-up relief implodes in the ninth, igniting a for-naught comeback by the Tigers and forcing Girardi to retrieve Rivera from his sarcophagus.

Athletics at Rangers, ppd. (rain): It happens in Texas, too.

Cardinals 5, Braves 3: The Braves claim Javier Vazquez was "blooped to death" by the Cardinals in the fifth inning. Yeah, yeah. We heard the same stories in Chicago. ... Ryan Franklin is 7-for-7 in save opportunities. He's also 36 years old. Did you know that? Don't answer, it's rhetorical. Still, did you?

Nationals 4, Phillies 1: It appears that Julian Tavarez is the Nats closer and, more importantly, he is capable of getting a save. Have you run to your fantasy page yet?

Twins 8, Rays 3: Wild pitches, walks, errors. They're playing like the Devil Rays, all right.

Reds 3, Astros 0: It's about time. People were starting to talk about how the Reds couldn't beat the Astros at home. Well, maybe a couple people were talking. Someone mentioned it once, or it at least crossed his or her mind.

Giants 9, Dodgers 4: Timmah! has 33 strikeouts, and has allowed four runs, over his past 23 innings. Timmah!

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