Big League Stew - MLB

Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in San Diego, where there's a new talent on the dinner theater circuit. That's right — Li'l Davey Eckstein's got rhythm, he's got music, he's got a game-ending home run. Who could ask for anything more?

Game of the Day: Padres 3, Giants 2 (10 inn.)

In the words of Padres announcer Dick Enberg, "David Eckstein, oh my!" It's not often the 5-foot-7 fireplug gets to flex his muscles, especially in the not-so-confining confines of PETCO Park. But Eckstein hit Jeremy Affeldt's(notes) fateful pitch onto a condo balcony in left field to give the Friars their fourth straight victory.

"That was the only part of the park I can hit it out of," Eckstein said. "Probably 95 percent of my homers are hit there. Usually when it happens, it's the farthest thing from mind.”

Watch the little man hit a big blow.

In return for his 35th homer in 4,641 career at-bats, teammates gave Eckstein the privilege of being playfully pummeled and then drenched in icy Gatorade (that's actually what made him strike the show-tunes pose).

There's a lot more that happened in this game and for that report, we turn you over to Dan Hayes of the North County Times. Dan?

* * *

They Also Played

Rays 8, Red Sox 2: The Rays keep shining on the road; that's seven straight away from the Juicer. Tampa Bay is being such a nuisance right now, MLB Authorities are trying to take Joe Maddon's hoodie. Just keep your mitts off the glasses.

At six straight, this is Boston's longest losing streak at Fenway Park since 1994. And the Red Sox might be pressing: They went 0-for-30 with runners in scoring position in the four-game sweep. But remember what they say about the baseball season: It's a Boston Marathon, not a sprint.

Cardinals 4, D-backs 2: The top of the Birds rotation — Chris Carpenter(notes), Adam Wainwright(notes) and Brad Penny(notes) — is 7-0 over nine starts. At the other end of the spectrum, Arizona has blown leads in six of its past seven games. This is what happens, A.J. Hinch, when you send Clay Zavada's(notes) mustache to the minors.

Mariners 8, Orioles 2: Fistered!

Angels 2, Tigers 0: Piñeiro'd! (and Rodney'd!)

Mets 6, Cubs 1: They yanked the price tag and wadded up the receipt for Ike Davis(notes) (right), hoping never to return him to Triple-A.

Nationals 5, Rockies 2: Behind right-hander Craig Stammen(notes), the Nats won for the fourth time in five games. At 7-6, this is the first time they've have sported a winning record so late in the season since Oct. 1, 2005, when they were 81-80.

Blue Jays 8, Royals 1: All right, which one of you Royals is responsible for this?

"I was not prepared for that game and it clearly showed out there," right-hander Brian Bannister(notes) said. "I didn't give us a chance to win. I got exactly what I deserved and I take all the blame."

Well, it's very big of you to step forward, Mr. Bannister and ... yes, Brayan Peña?

"I have to do a better job calling games," Pena said. "It's my fault. I let my team down and I really feel bad for it. I apologize to my teammates and I apologize to my team."

Well, it's very adult for both of you to apologize. But what if both of you are wrong? I mean, Brandon Morrow(notes) pitched great for seven innings. Jose Bautista(notes) hit a couple of home runs.

For once, can't we just blame Canada? All that hockey hullabaloo.

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