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Jay Bruce made the two biggest plays of the game for the Cincinnati Reds in their division win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night. With his team trailing 1-0 in the seventh, Bruce drifted as far as he could go on an Andrew McCutchen opposite field fly ball that was ticketed for the first row of seats. Though not nearly as athletic as McCutchen, Bruce showed off some impressive hops as he left his feet and pulled the ball down to keep his Reds within one.
The game would stay 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth when Bruce stepped in against Pittsburgh closer Jason Grilli in a matchup he hasn't fared well in historically. He entered the at-bat 0 for 7 lifetime with five strikeouts, and that's not even factoring in that Grilli has been the most dominant closer in baseball this season having converted 25 of 25 saves. Maybe all that really meant was the odds were in Bruce's favor, or maybe he just took a smart approach by firing on the first plate, because he launched a no doubt homer into the right field seats to tie it up.
It took another four innings before the game would be decided. After Vin Mazzaro intentionally walked Joey Votto to load the bases, a struggling Brandon Phillips bounced one up the middle just beyond the reached of shortstop Clint Barmes to give Cincinnati the 2-1 win in 13.
Collmenter to the rescue: Starting pitcher Trevor Cahill was forced from the game after one inning after taking a line drive off the hip, which meant Arizona manager Kirk Gibson had to turn to Josh Collmenter for an extended emergency relief outing. Collmenter responded in a big way, tossing six innings of one-hit ball while striking out seven Miami Marlins.
Those innings were made even more critical due to the that fact Miami’s 20-year-old starter Jose Fernandez was matching him zero-for-zero. Though the result for Collmenter was a no-decision, we're sure he was pleased that Cody Ross finally got the Diamondbacks on the board with a three-run homer in the eighth. That held up despite an uneven ninth inning from Heath Bell as Arizona won 3-1.
Puig homers at Yankee Stadium as Dodgers split doubleheader: After rain washed out the series opener on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees met for a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. In the matinee, former Dodger hurler Hiorki Kuroda was very effective in throwing 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball. In fact, it wasn’t until his final inning that LA finally broke through against him. New York immediately countered for three in the bottom of the seventh to extend their lead to 6-2. Ichiro Suzuki, who homered earlier, put the finished touches on the eventual 6-4 win with a two-run single.
In the nightcap, Yasiel Puig starred again, launching his fifth home run in 15 games to cap a 6-0 victory and earn the doubleheader split for Los Angeles. Puig actually had a pair of hits in each game, putting his average at .474. Oft-injured Hanley Ramirez was the hitting star for both teams, going a combined 6 for 8 with a home run and four driven in.
Orioles 13, Tigers 3: Chris Davis homered twice, raising his league-leading total to 26, and drove in five in the victory. Manny Machado did not add to his record-setting doubles pace, but did single twice and scored two runs.
Giants 4, Padres 2: Benches cleared briefly but no ejections were necessary after Madison Bumgarner threw behind Jesus Guzman in the second inning. San Francisco eventually took control of the well-pitched game with a three run seventh.
Indians 6, Royals 3: Michael Brantley homered twice in support of Justin Masterson, who’s now 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA in nine home starts.
Blue Jays 5, Rockies 2: Toronto wrapped up the three-game series sweep, extended their winning streak to eight, and moved to within a game of .500 (35-36).
Braves 5, Mets 3: Another loss for Shaun Marcum drops his record to 0-9. He's just the third pitcher in Mets history to start a sason dropping nine straight decisions.
Nationals 6, Phillies 2 (11 inn.): Ian Desmond’s first career grand slam could not have come at a better time. It provided the difference in Washington’s 11-inning victory.
Rays 6, Red Sox 2: Tampa Bay wins their first in six tries at Fenway Park this season thanks to a Desmond Jennings home run and the first two career RBIs of Wil Myers. Jeremy Hellickson earned his fifth win on the hill with a quality start.
Rangers 9, A's 4: After scoring 18 total runs in their past eight games, Texas really need this breakout game offensively. Nelson Cruz and David Murphy led the way with three hits each.
Brewers 3, Astros 1: Rickie Weeks delivered a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth for Milwaukee. He's hitting .429 over his last 10 games.
Twins 7, White Sox 4: Justin Morneau ended his two-month home run drought with two-run shot in the sixth. He has three overall.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 1: Jake Westbrook got 15 of his 21 outs via the groundball and held the Cubs to two hits over seven innings. Yadier Molina contributed a two-run homer.
Angels 1, Mariners 0: No RBIs in this one as Mike Trout scored the game's only run on a wild pitch. C.J. Wilson earned the win with seven scoreless.
''I've got to try not to get caught up in how fond I am of him when he's pitching because when he comes off I'm always smiling at him. It's hard not to.''
— Indians manager Terry Francona on his ace, Justin Masterson. He's a big fan, if you couldn't tell.
Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, greets the crowd in Houston along with team president Reid Ryan.
• According to Hall of Fame writer Tracy Ringolsby, the Colorado Rockies are 0-9 all-time at Rogers Centre.
• Jason Grilli was one save away from equaling the Pirates team record for consecutive saves.
• There have been seven grand slams hit in extra innings already this season. They were only two hit in extras all of the last season.
Given the context of raw sewage stewing in the Oakland Athletics clubhouse, it's a good time to re-examine something that Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price tweeted Friday. Yep, that's his famous dog, Astro, on Tropicana Field, unleashing something raw of his own. Right there next to the pitcher's mound too.
Price didn't indicate whether he had a doggy doo-doo bag on his person to pick up the mess. Or if a Rays employee quickly scooped it up and passed Price a note that said, "Astro can poop where ever if wants if you stay in Tampa after this season."
Maybe those wacky Rays would even make a second Astro bobblehead, this one of him in mid-squat.
BLS H/N: For The Win
Jeremy Hellickson looks like his old self and Wil Myers notches his first RBIs as the Rays salvage a game from division rival Boston Red Sox, 6-2.
With an ERA above 5, how many more opportunities will Roberto Hernandez get before being moved to the bullpen?
Yes, Wil Myers went just 1 for 7 on his first day in the majors. But if there is one Ray to be worried about, it's not Myers but Alex Cobb.
Catch up on yesterday's Rays minor league action and get ready for today's games.
Oh, and Myers got his first hit.
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