Nine innings, nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.
1. King of all trades: Inspired by the signs in the "visiting" crowd (above), Felix Hernandez(notes) made a little history in the Seattle Mariners 5-1 "road" victory over the Florida Marlins at Safeco Field. During the third inning, Hernandez poked a single to right field off Ricky Nolasco(notes), becoming the first pitcher to record a basehit in Safeco's 12-year history. Of course this was all made possible by MLB relocating the series to Seattle due to a scheduling conflict at Sun Life Stadium with a U2 concert.
By the way, Hernandez was pretty good at his day job as well. He struck out ten while allowing only two hits over eight innings.
2. Location, location, location: Joe Mauer(notes) called for a fastball, he just didn't "call for it right down the middle" on the pitch Prince Fielder(notes) laced for a two-run double off Jose Mijares(notes), propelling the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. To say the pitch was down the middle would be a generous description. Mijares actually missed Mauer's outside target by the entire length of the plate. That didn't sit well with anyone wearing a Twins uniform, especially outspoken manager Ron Gardenhire.
3. That elusive 27th, 30th, 36th and 42nd out: Interim manager John McLaren didn't stick around long enough to see the Washington Nationals bullpen blow saves in the 9th, 10th and 12th innings, before they finally recorded the final out to defeat the Chicago White Sox, 9-5 in 14 innings. He might not be in position to see the next save chance, either. Davey Johnson, 68, is expected to be named the permanent manager within the next few days.
4. Now pitching, Rodriguez: The Houston Astros employed their all Rodriguez pitching alignment, sending Wandy Rodriguez(notes), Fernando Rodriguez(notes) and Aneury Rodriguez(notes) to the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays. Unfortunately for them, the Rays only needed James Shields(notes), who struck out nine and went the distance for the third straight start to defeat Houston, 5-1.
5. Like he never left: Jason Giambi(notes) was welcomed back by New York Yankees fans with open arms, even finding himself included in the tradional "Bleacher Creatures" role call. Shortly thereafter, Giambi would show his appreciation for their gesture by depositing an A.J. Burnett(notes) 2-0 fastball in their section for a solo home run.
"I wasn't touching the ground," Giambi said. "There's an incredible energy playing in this stadium with the fans that they have here, just being excited like old times to have that opportunity to play in front of them again. I think he could've thrown the rosin bag 2-0 and I would've swung no matter what."
Troy Tulowitzki(notes) would later homer for the fifth straight game in New York this season (first four at Citi Field), which helped provide enough offense for Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) and the Colorado Rockies bullpen to hang on for a 4-2 victory.
"This is the most bizarre baserunning game we've seen," Scioscia said. "Those early outs—that was not good. Sometimes we were too aggressive and sometimes we weren't aggressive enough."
7. Living without Choo: Rough night for the Cleveland Indians. Not only did they blow an early 3-0 lead to eventually fall 4-3 to the San Francisco Giants, they also lost outfielder Shin-Soo Choo(notes) to a broken thumb after he was plunked by Jonathan Sanchez(notes). He's expected to be sidelined for at least a month.
8. Wily Mo big fly: Wily Mo Pena(notes) hasn't connected often — eight strikeouts in 15 at-bats — since returning to the big leagues, but he makes it count when does. The Arizona Diamondbacks designed masher drove a David Purcey(notes) pitch 454 feet to break an eighth inning tie and help his squad defeat the Detroit Tigers, 7-6.
9. Bautista bomb: Jose Bautista(notes) took a break from robbing home runs to get back to what the Toronto Blue Jays are paying him to do: Win games with his bat. That's what he did when he hit his major league-leading 23rd home run, an opposite field shot off Fernando Salas(notes) in the ninth inning, pushing his birds over the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4.