David Brown

Morning Juice: Tribe eases LeBron's missed layup pain

David Brown
Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's AL Roll Call starts in the bugs/rock 'n' roll/Drew Carey capital of the world, Cleveland, Ohio, where Cliff Lee keeps on rockin' and rollin' and Carlos Silva of the Mariners gets some overdue pub.

Game of the Day: Indians 8, Mariners 3

Cliff notes version: Cliff Lee had another shutout going into the 7th, until Wladimir Balentien ruined everything with a three-run homer. Well, not everything. Lee won the game and his ERA remains south of 1.00. Balentien's other career home run also came against the Indians at Progressive. Odd!

Treatise on Carlos Silva (as promised): Silva had his best start of the season on Tuesday, allowing 2 runs and 7 hits over 7 innings against the Tribe. Silva's actually not had a bad start yet; his worst outing was 4 runs and 9 hits over 7 against the Orioles on April 7. He's been worth the money so far; the M's signed him away from the Twinkies for $48 million over 4 years. He gets a lot of run support, which might last, or it might not. Or it might leave and come back.

$48 million!?!: All that said, I don't know how this guy gets anybody out. He's a ground-ball pitcher, or should want to be — with his horrendous strikeout rate. Historically gives up more hits than innings. In 2006, he gave up almost 2 homers per 9 innings and batters hit .326 against him. But that was 2006.

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Feelin' rundown (Wednesday's other games)

Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1 — No, John Gibbons didn't pitch Roy Halladay on no days rest, but that time is coming. Twice in the 9th, Vernon Wells throws home from center. The first time, he nails Jed Lowrie at the plate. The momentum swings the other way the second time, as Manny Ramirez beats throw No. 2 and the Red Sox win ... again.

Twins 4, White Sox 3 — The White Sox are 86-101 in the Hump Dome, which opened in 1982 and can't close soon enough for them. Justin Morneau is batting .481 with 18 RBIs in 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Sox as a team are in a 5-for-45 spin with RISP in their past 5 games. That won't git 'er done.

Rays 8, Orioles 1Andy Sonnanstine, it's like he's playing ping-pong, he's so good at this pitching thing now. The Rays went 14-12 in April. A circumspect public wants to see what happens in May.

Tigers 6, Yankees 2 — Stats lie. They lie like a rug! Sometimes. Jeremy Bonderman's ERA is 3.86 and yet, this was his first quality start of the season. The Tigers are 13-15, which looks much better than 0-7. Phil Hughes joins A-Rod and Jorge Posada on the DL with a strained right oblique muscle and a wounded ERA (9.00).

Rangers 11, Royals 9 Brian Bannister is all the way back to Earth, now 3-3 with a 4.04 ERA, after allowing 7 runs over 3 innings. Who plays Josh Hamilton in the movie? Grand slam for his 6th homer; he's batting .330. In other Walker, Texas Rangers news, Brandon Boggs has 4 hits including a home run in his first 6 career at-bats — not bad for a guy not among Baseball Prospectus' top 100.

Angels 6, Athletics 1 — Hear that sizzle? It's Ervin Santana (Rosannadanna) who is just as hot as he was freezing a season ago. 5-0 with a 2.48 ERA and impressive K/BB ratio. John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, who needs ya?

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Photo of the Day: "You're OK in our book, dude."

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Ian Kinsler tapes a "kick me" sign to the back of Rangers rookie Brandon Boggs while others distract him with congratulations for his first career home run.

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Fantasy Freak

Casey Kotchman (Angels) 3-4, 3 RBIs

Kind of a West Coast version of Kevin Youkilis. Still reminds me of Pete Coachman

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Fantasy Flake

Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners) 0-4, .252 BA.

He did throw out Casey Blake at home, so his defense is still there. His worst month of the season usually is April; hits .294, then .370 in May.

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Big Talker

"Another day with our hitting." — White Sox moaner, er, manager, Ozzie Guillen, whose team's .242 batting average is the lowest in the AL.
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