This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's roll call starts in Detroit Rock City, where Minnesota's Justin Morneau might be revving up to make another run at AL MVP. He had five hits, including a home run, to remind the Detroit Tigers of their place — no better than third in the AL Central.
Game of the Day: Twins 7, Tigers 6 (11 innings)
The Morneau After: The Twinkies had 15 hits, with a third coming from Morneau, the '06 AL MVP. Already an All-Star this season, Morneau — if he gets hot again like he did two years ago — could lead the Twins right past the White Sox again. And add another award to his mantel.
Monstah hangovah: The Minnie Moochers came in having dropped three tough games in Boston, including an 18-5 butt-stompin' the day before. The Twinkies, like their grocery store counterparts, proved resilient.
Impurrfect: Tigers rookie Matt Joyce hit a home run and the Tigers had a 6-2 lead in the fourth, but the Piranhas pecked away — including two runs in the ninth that probably don't score without an error in right by Joyce. He also failed to get a bunt down in the bottom of the ninth that could have helped him atone. A day before, Joyce was the toast of the clubhouse with a big homer in a victory against the Indians.
DuhVinci Code: On Joyce's Baseball-Reference page, it indicates that his nickname, or one of his middle names, is "2qwa." It could be a hip-hop thing, it could be a mistake, but regardless, here's the definition of 2qwa: "A single protein structure of sequence from Influenza a virus." Nice.
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Feelin' Rundown (Thursday's other games):
Phillies 4, Cardinals 1 — Ryan Howard hits two deeps to take the majors HR lead from Chase Utley, and he's also in front in NL RBI. There's still the nasty batting average— which is slowly rising — and all of the strikeouts. Howard used the classic "evade" strategy when asked about his numbers: "I can't control what people look at." Howard's manager, Charlie Manuel, is in his corner. "Find somebody that's produced more runs than him," Manuel said. OK, Charlie. Two seasons ago, Manuel had a point; no one in baseball created more runs — 155.5 — than Howard. Only Travis Hafner created more runs per 27 outs. This season, Howard is 39th in runs created and 86th in RC/27. So, on average, I can find 85 guys who create more runs than Ryan Howard — which still ain't bad. But it ain't the Howard we're being told we're seeing.
Brewers 11, Rockies 1 — Do it, do it, do it. Yost is considering starting Dave Bush in home games only, and going with Seth McClung on the road, because Bush is gawdawful away from the malted confines of Miller Park. Check out these splits, you bananas! Congratulations to Corey Hart for making the All-Star team, and to your dope teammates for scaring his little kid to death in the press conference beer shower. Idiots.
Blue Jays 6, Orioles 5 — Jose Lind had the game-winning hit. He was last seen at the scene of an auto accident wearing no pants. The Jays cut the guy some slacks and he's rewarded them. Amazing comeback. Wait ... actually, Adam Lind had the hit. And he wore pants.
D-backs 7, Nationals 5 (11 innings) — Sen. Arlen Specter announced he's looking into Mark Reynolds' Ronnie Harmon-of-Iowa-in-the-1986-Rose-Bowl-like performance. Three errors, which made AZ work extra time to swat the Gnats. Blown saves in the ninth and 10th, too. So, a conspiracy, eh? "I tried to mess it up for us," Reynolds said. Sounds like an admission of guilt to me. Bake him away, toys.
Marlins 5, Dodgers 4 (11 innings) — Russell's got hustle, but Hanley's more manley.
Pirates 4, Yankees 2 - And ... interleague play is over. Did I just see SportsCenter make fun of Mike Mussina batting? I had the sound off, but it looked like they were comparing one of his at-bats against Paul Maholm — a weak out — to Billy Crystal's celeb A-B in spring training. Well, the Moose had a hit in his other at-bat. Show that, you anti-Yankee jackals! Just because we got video of Billy Crystal, we're going to use it, I guess.
Royals 4, White Sox 1 — Great pitchers duel between Greinke and Buehrle ruined late by runs! Dirty, filthy, stinky runs.
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Photo of the Day: "Yyy ... Yyy ... Yyyou're not coach Larry."
New Cubs right-hander Rich Harden (left) is freaked the heck out by interim "pitching coach" Alan Trammell who, despite a hitting pedigree, insisted he has "taken over" for actual pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Trammell added that Rothshild "was out sick forever," though other players noted he was just in the bathroom.
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Morneau (Twins) 5-5, 2 R, HR
Denard Span (Twins) 4-4, 2 R, RBI, SB
Howard (Phillies) 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Jamie Moyer (Phillies) 7 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K, Win
Bush (Brewers) 8 IP, 3 H, 13 K, Win
Ken Griffey (Reds) 2-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
R.A. Dickey (Mariners) 7 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Dan Haren (D-backs) 8 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 9 K
Howie Kendrick (Angels) 3-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Mark Buehrle (White Sox) 7 1/3 IP, 6 H, 8 K, Loss
Ramirez (Marlins) 5-6, 2 R, HR
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Jorge De La Rosa (Rockies) 3 2/3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, Loss
Brandon Morrow (Mariners) 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K, 2 HR, Blown Save
Andy Sonnanstine (Rays) 5 1/3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3 HR, Loss
George Sherrill (O's) 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, K, Loss, Blown Save
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Words of Mouth
"If I felt that he could handle the next couple of weeks with less playing time, I would not have agreed with the move. But [Wednesday], his body language was such that he looked like he wasn't going to handle it at all." — Mariners manager Jim Riggleman, on deciding to cut Richie Sexson.