July 09, 2009
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 at Safeco Field, where the sub-Mariners kept the Orioles scoreless for eight innings and had a three-run lead heading into Baltimore's last at-bat. That's when the visitors reached under their wings and pulled out a little Orioles Magic.
Game of the Day
Slashed by Occam's Razor: There is a simple explanation as to how the Orioles put up five runs in the ninth: Seattle closer David Aardsma(notes) and infielder Jose Lopez(notes) combined for one hellacious meltdown. A meltdown caused by the supernatural sorcery of Maryland's state bird.
Aardsma, one of the AL's most effective relievers, came in having saved 17 games in 18 chances. Against the O's, he mysteriously allowed four hits and a walk and, after letting in a run and loading the bases with no outs, got some "help" from his own defense.
"You could feel the game turning in a hurry and it was turning in our favor," Orioles manager
warlockDave Trembley said (VIDEO).
Lopez, whose two-run homer staked the M's to a first-inning lead, made two errors in the ninth, the first on a potential double-play grounder that he rushed, bobbled and dropped.
"All my life, all my career, I want to make sure I get one [out] first, but I tried to do too much on that one," Lopez said. "I wanted to make a quick throw to second base and you see what happened."
Oh, we did. Orioles Magic happened.
To frost his cake of doom, Lopez made a throwing error with two outs that allowed Nick Markakis(notes) to score an insurance run. Two errors in one inning by the same second sacker? Somebody was dabbling in the orange and black arts.
He used to play for Baltimore. Ex-Orioles Magic.
* * *
Feelin' Rundown (no spells were cast on these games):
Marlins 7, Giants 0: Holy schnikees! Chris Volstad(notes) pitches a five-hitter (all singles) for the first complete-game shutout in Chris Volstad history. He retired the final 11 batters and 16 of the last 17. Six Ks, no walks. Answer Man curse be darned!
Giants right-hander Ryan "The Big" Sadowski reached 16 scoreless innings to start his career before the Fish put a run on the board in the fourth, adding another in the fifth and sixth.
Sadowski's scoreless streak was the longest for a Giants rookie in 56 years. It's also one inning better than Juan Marichal's career-opening run in 1960.
Obviously, he's not a golfer (he's a pitcher).
Astros 5, Pirates 0: Hey, five-hit shutouts for everybody! Eleven Ks for Wandy Rodriguez(notes), who extended himself to 125 pitches to finish it because, in his words, "I have vacation" — i.e., he's off because of the All-Star break. Were it not for a 3-4 start stretch at the end of May into June, he would be going to Busch Stadium.
Rangers 8, Angels 1: First at-bat, home run Andruw Jones(notes). Second at-bat, home run Andruw Jones. Third at-bat, home run Andruw Jones. This is getting interesting! Fourth at-bat, pop out Andruw Jones. Fifth at-bat, strike out Andruw Jones. Aww. No tying Mark Whiten or Lou Gehrig, et al. But pretty good for the Rangers, who exit Anaheim in first place.
Yahoo! Sports' own Tim Brown was there and files this
punt return report.
Braves 4, Cubs 1: First, he was dropped to sixth in the batting order. Next, he was dropped out of the lineup by Lou Piniella without being given a head's up. And Alfonso Soriano(notes) — who is hitting .186 with an OPS of .521 over his past 40 games — is upset about it.
"That's why I'm mad," Soriano said. "If he had told me yesterday, then I wouldn't come today ready to play.
"That's a surprise to me today. I think he could have said to me last night, 'OK, take a day off,' especially because [Thursday] is an off-day. I'd be like, 'OK, I'll take the two [days].' But I like to know before I come here."
Entitlements. Obama's gotta cut out entitlements.
"Prince can move a little bit," said Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman, who watched the play from the bullpen. "Don't underestimate his ability as an athlete. He was sniffing a hit."
I say he was sniffing out a tofu burger with Secret Stadium Sauce.
Tigers 3, Royals 1: Mr. Lucas French, probably no relation to Mr. French from "Family Affair," doesn't let KC get back in the game after Zack Greinke(notes) struggles early, and he picks up his first career victory. Mrs. Beasley would approve.
Rockies 10, Nationals 4: The Rox have the best record in the majors, 30-15, since May 21. They aren't who we thought they were. Crown 'em!
D-backs 6, Padres 2: Well, lookie who's not in last place for the first time in a month.
Rays 10, Blue Jays 9: Another win in the last at-bat, this one thanks to Busch Stadium-bound Ben Zobrist(notes), who went deep and added the game-ending single. Brian Tallet(notes), in a show of solidarity with B.J. Ryan, got lit up like a Canadian Christmas tree.
Red Sox 5, Athletics 4: Knuckles Wakefield picks up his AL-leading 11th victory.
"His knuckleball was kind of off and on," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "There were at-bats where guys came back and said they'd never seen it move as much as it was."
Phillies 3, Reds 2: The All-Star final-vote campaigning is over for Shane Victorino(notes). He went door-to-door with Philly's mayor canvassing for votes. The Phillies pulled out most of the stops to advertise his candidacy and Victorino even helped his own cause with
a BLS chat two-out RBI single to beat the Reds in the ninth inning.
Now, it's only a matter of revealing by how many votes Pablo Sandoval won. We'll find out soon.