Big League Stew - MLB

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 Fenway Park, home to the most famous foul poles in major league history. Sometimes the Red Sox go right, sometimes they go left, but they usually don't go wrong down the lines.

Game of the Day

Red Sox 6, Braves 5

Fair play: It wasn't Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, but that pesky Nick Green(notes) provided plenty of drama with a short fly ball that  would have been foul in any other park this side of Williamsport, Pa. At Fenway, it's 302 feet (they say) down the right-field line, so Green's baby fly had just enough English (or Irish — it's Boston) on it to bend around the Pesky Pole and and send the place into misty jubilation.

"I thought I hit it decent to right field but I thought it was going to be an out because the wind was so bad," Green said. "Fortunately, it was blowing to right and the wind blew it right where it needed to go."

If you listen to Braves' manager Bobby Cox, you'll get another world view of the game: When umpire Bill Hohn's Mustache missed a strike-three call, handing the Red Sox a free run before ejecting Cox, the wronged pitcher and Chipper "Larry Wayne" Jones, the Braves best player.

QuesTec was my father, prepare to die: In the seventh, left-hander Eric O'Flaherty(notes) had J.D. Drew(notes) struck out — as this screen capture of a pitch-trackin' machin clearly says. The strike has inches to spare, but Hohn gave it to Drew, who lined O'Flaherty's next offering off the Green Monster for a go-ahead single.

O'Flaherty simmered to a boil, finally getting Hohn to notice. Soon, he was tossed. Then Jones, then Cox (for the 145th time!). Lots of tossing. Here's VIDEO.

"It was a ball that was right down the middle for strike three. It was obvious," Cox said. "He blew the call and it upsets guys when it costs you games. And it cost us the ballgame."

Cox might be oversimplifying things some, but he's got reason to be mad.

Wearin' o' the Green: A .293 hitter, Green's been a capable fill-in at short for the Bostons, who lost Jed Lowrie(notes) and Julio to injuries and might otherwise be in the market for a shortstop. Along comes Green, a 30-year-old who's never quite stuck in the majors.

"He's really done a good job," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "It's gotten to the point where he’s just been a really good player, not a really good non-roster player, a really good major-league player."

* * *

Feelin' Rundown (it's at least 303 down the line in all of these games):

Cardinals 12 (Pujols 6), Royals 5: Is this a photo of a happy man? Escaping to this country from behind the Orange Curtain of the Dominican Republic, José Alberto Pujols Alcántara attended high school and a year of college in suburban Kansas City before the Cardinals took him in the 13th round of the 1999 draft. How did every other team miss him 12-plus times, not including sandwich picks?

AhPu makes them all pay, but he seems to save a little extra for the hometown Royals. Two homers and six driven in Sunday — including his franchise record-tying ninth grand slam (VIDEO) — completing a weekend of devastation in which he homered three times and had 10 RBIs overall.

Dodgers 5, Angels 3: Behind a rugged performance by Clayton Kershaw(notes), in front of hoop-hoop champion Kobe Bryant, under a blanket of a billion stars, next door to the People Mover, Los Angeles County takes two of three against Orange.

Tigers 3, Brewers 2: Justin Verlander's(notes) traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — his next stop, Comerica Park, about two years and nine days removed from his no-hitter against Milwaukee (VIDEO). Behind home plate, the same umpire as in '07. At first base, the same umpire as in '07.

Deja vu, have we not met before?

Not quite. A possible repeat of the no-no of '07 was over in the first inning after Casey McGehee's(notes) homer, but Verlander kept on keepin' on, and the Men of the Motor City completed a sweep.

"It was ironic to even have the same home-plate umpire, but you can't go into a game thinking about doing something like that," Verlander said. "That's just something where everything in the world goes your way for a night. Besides, it was all gone pretty quickly."

White Sox 4, Reds 1: Finally, revenge for the '19 Series! Did you know the 1919 World Series was best-of-nine, as it was on three other occasions, including the first one? They ought to bring that back.

Orioles 2, Phillies 1: What in the name of St. Elsewhere is going on with Ryan Howard(notes)? His body temperature of 103.9 was well above the league average. He's in and out of the hospital every day for the flu, making him the most celebrated medical patient in Philly history since Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers both stayed under observation overnight between the first and second "Rocky" movies.

Before the O's get too excited for sweeping the Phillies in Philly, know this: everybody seems to own them in Philly this season; they're 13-22 at the Bank.

Rays 10, Mets 6: Apparently, B.J. Upton(notes) hit a colossal home run to a previously undiscovered region of Citi Field.

"That ball was properly struck," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, adding an "Uff!" for emphasis.

Enough talk! Let's go to the tape machine, Bossman (VIDEO).

Rockies 5, Pirates 4: Why is it that I chant "Veni-son, veni-son," whenever Clint Barmes(notes) comes to bat? The Roxburys have a September 2007 thing going on; 16 wins in 17 games, putting them in the thick of the "wild card race" that has 90-some games remaining. There it is, the earliest look EVAH at the wild-card standings. And you were there for it.

Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4: The Nats took 11 innings to win Friday and extended to 12 on Saturday. Do I hear 13? Going once, twice, three times a lady? Nope, and the Jays deny the D.C. franchise its first five-game winning streak since, sacre bleu, I swear, they were speakin' French-Canadian. (They actually won seven in a row last season.)

Looks like Ricky Romero(notes) has rediscovered the Old Ricky you and I got to know in April.

Astros 4, Twins 1: Wandy, I'm betting because he was facing fresh AL meat, pitched stupendously. ... Matchup makes me think of Steve Lombardozzi for some reason. Grampa Piranha.

Cubs 6, Indians 2: The Cubs learn how to win one before their last at-bat. In the process, Randy Wells(notes) is no longer the best winless pitcher in the majors. Let the shaving cream and cheap beer flow!

Padres 4, Athletics 1: The Friars won and Adrian Gonzalez(notes) went 0-for-4, which means it took twice the effort to win. Salud!

Giants 3, Rangers 2: Zito takes a no-hitter into the seventh, un up note in a season that's been half-good, half-bad for him. A sweep, even by a total of four runs, is nonetheless a sweep. The Giants aren't doing it with their bats, that's for sure.

Mariners 3, D-backs 2: With the potential winning run on third base and two outs in the ninth, Franklin Gutierrez(notes) grounded to third; Mark Reynolds(notes) fielded the ball cleanly and made an apparently perfect throw to first base in plenty of time. Inning over, right?

In the words of Cubs broadcaster Ron Santo, "Nooooooooo!" First baseman Tony Clark(notes) just dropped the ball for an error, allowing Ronny Cedeno(notes) to score. Game over, man, game over (VIDEO).

"I just missed it," he repeated. "It's my fault."

What else can you say?

Marlins 6, Yankees 5: But wait! The Yankees protest! And not because they dropped four games out of first place, or because CC left with biceps tendinitis. But because, possibly, umpires messed up and took the wrong guy out of the game after an illegal substitution in the eighth inning by Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez. Theoretically, the game could be replayed from that point, which means A-Rod would get to see Kate Hudson again.

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