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Morning Juice: If the Rangers pitch, opponents will pitch fits

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 near the Rio Grande, that river twistin' through a dusty land where, if Matt Harrison(notes) really shines and shows you all he can, the Rangers are going to be tough to beat because we know they can hit.

Game of the Day
Rangers 3, Mariners 2

Salt, meet pepper: Good pitching and the Texas Rangers don't usually go together like PB & J, but with their relentless lineup, any kind of decent arms would make them formidable. Well, here comes lefty Matt Harrison, pitching another strong complete game, and there goes Chris Davis(notes) hitting a game-ending homer.

StRangers improve to 20-14. Pandemonium erupts at Arlington.

"We're waiting a little bit too long to get the bats going, but we got them going just in time," Ian Kinsler(notes) said. "The way Matt threw the ball, it was just incredible. We feel great for him."

Dial 'M' for Moose poop: The M's wasted seven innings' worth shutout ball from King Felix, plus another inning by David Aardsma(notes). Confidence-challenged closer Brandon Morrow(notes) melted — melllllltedddddddd! — with the mother of blown saves in the ninth. Two homers, first Hank Blalock(notes), then Davis, with a man on, to end it. Just like that.

"It was a tough two days. We should have won the series, but because of two-thirds of an inning... it's tough to swallow," Morrow said. "I've got to start mixing pitches. I'm acting like a pitching machine out there."

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Feelin' Rundown (they played, too, and would like you to know):

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Mets 7, Giants 4: D-Wright gets the tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth, and he also swipes four bags, the majority of the NineMets' seven steals — a team record. Even Sheffield stole a base. Ghostbusters shirt, you know.

Seven steals is a lot (nice job, Bengie Molina(notes) and Giants pitchers) but I figure wrongly the Mookie Wilson-Lenny Dykstra-Wally Backman-Kelvin Chapman era would have done at least that many at some point.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2: Who needs Brett Gardner(notes) and Ramiro Pena(notes) when you got Derek Jeter(notes) and Hideki Matsui(notes)? Oh Captain, the Captain ties the score with a single in the seventh and Godzilla, the monster, clubs a go-ahead homer in the eighth. D'oh, Canada.

I give the Yanks mad props, or at least terse props, for knocking off the Queen's favourite baseball team twice in the Great White Homeland. CC pitched acceptably for a Big Game and Teix raised his average to .203 after going 1-for-4. Certainly worth the money. Almost. Not really. Yet, anyway.

Comment Tallet do? Eh. The thoroughly hairy left-hander departed with a 2-1 lead in the seventh, but Jason Frasor(notes) couldn't wriggle out of the nearly impossible situation he inherited.

Cubs 11, Padres 3: Bobby Scales(notes) is not simply a guy with a Vegas comedian's name. The 31-year-old rookie is 8-for-18 since getting his big break. The Tonight Show is next. Heh, heh, yessir!

Money quote from Padres closer Heath Bell(notes), whom they obviously didn't need in a save situation for the billionth time in a row: "I think this might be an eye-opener for us, to be honest with you. Just a little [butt]-whoopin', a [butt]-kicking in the [butt]."

Astros 5, Rockies 3: Another steal of home! Tres chic. Michael Bourn(notes) is the latest plate pirate, following quickly in the footsteps of Jayson Werth(notes) and Jacoby Ellsbury(notes).

One day after Coors Field gets the runs — 26 of them, in fact — we have a return to humidor normalcy on Blake Street.

All-Star-in-waiting Wandy Rodriguez(notes) said through a translator: "I felt strong. I felt very good."

I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to Wandy, and saying the Astros need to fire the Swedish speaker who translates for their Spanish-speaking players, or we need better question-askers in Denver, or both.

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Brewers 5, Marlins 3: Brewers manager Ken Macha, in describing ordinary, average guy right-hander Dave Bush(notes): "It's not a lot of bling for him." I have included this photo of Macha to illustrate that he looks like the least likely person ever to use the word "bling."

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1: StL — five runs, four left on base. Efficient. PBGH — one run, 12 hits, 10 left on base. Wasteful. That is why you don't sweep. That's why we can't have nice things.

Twins 6, Tigers 5: Clutch Crede again. Statuesque, I'm tellin' ya'. ... Oh, THAT'S what Leyland was so upset about. Missed it the first time. Sorry.

Angels 5, Red Sox 4 (12 inn.): The worst game of David Ortiz's(notes) career — 0-for-7 with 12 runners stranded — followed by the saddest quote of his quotable career: "Sorry, guys. I don't feel like talking today. Just put down, 'Papi stinks.' "

In the, "Really?" dept., Boston's starting pitchers have an AL-worst 5.90 ERA. Really?

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3 (10 inn.): Big win for the Dodger Dogs, even considering it's an inter-divisional series in the middle of May. No Manny, hostile territory, rematch of the playoffs. If you doubt it, look at Billingsley's pitch count: 123. ... The best news for the Phillies could have possibly hoped for from this game was a well-pitched effort by Coal Hamlz, and they got it.

Indians 11, Rays 7: The Tribe seems to have a little pep it their step after winning back-to-back games for the second time all season. Four hits for the Choo-Choo. ... Did Wedge pick the lineup out of a hat? Cabrera played short, Peralta played third, DeRosa played first. A woman named Val Buena played second. Crazy like a fox, Eric.

Orioles 9, Royals 5: The O's have won 15 of 18 at the K, and most of that came before they installed the honkin' TV that no doubt distracts. They had a promotion called "Girls Night Out" at Kauffman last night. I'm afraid to ask what it entailed, so you guys are on your own there.

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