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 New York, New York. So nice they got two teams. Only one has Mariano Rivera(notes).

Game of the Day

Yankees 4, Mets 2

Mariano 500: Another four-out effort earned Rivera career save No. 500, putting him on a list with Trevor Hoffman(notes) (and that's it) of closers who are at least halfway to a thousand. What really got Rivera excited was his second plate appearance on the Yankees' interleague road swing.

"I had one thing in mind — just try to do something," Rivera said, before expounding on his save. "Don't get me wrong, it's definitely special."

Rivera did something at the plate, drawing a bases-loaded walk against Francisco Rodriguez(notes) in the top of the ninth to notch his first career RBI. The insurance run wasn't needed in the bottom of the inning; the Mets went down without a serious threat.

After the last out, it seemed every teammate got a chance to hug No. 42.

"I told him he’s the best ever. The best I've seen. Nobody can even compare," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada(notes) said.

But how 'bout that RBI? I mean, you save one game, you save 500. Big whoop.

Work it: Like he knew what he was doing, Rivera worked the count full against K-Rod, even checking one of his swings on a low-and-outside pitch. Then came the moment of truth, a cutter up and in. Ball four, and Rivera had racked up his first career RBI (VIDEO).

"The RBI is the best," Rivera said. "It was my first RBI. It was my 500th save."

It's a parking lot!: Chien-Ming Wang(notes) continued his climb up Mt. Everest back to respectability, allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings for his first victory of the season.

* * *

Feelin' Rundown (New York-free):

Giants 7, Brewers 0: Giants' right-hander Ryan Sadowski(notes) was a one-man Sports Collectors Digest in his major league debut. He grabbed three game balls — his first pitch (a ball, to Mat Gamel(notes)), his first strikeout (to Gamel, later in the at-bat) and a single (against Jeff Suppan(notes), in the fourth inning). Now that's thinking ahead.

Angels 12, D-backs 8: A.J. Hinch called a team meeting before the game and the message obviously got through; the Deebs made four errors (though only three were particularly embarrassing) and allowed Gary Matthews to steal home with a right-hander on the mound and a left-hander in the batter's box (VIDEO).

Tigers 4, Astros 3: Waiting for the last moment for dramatic purposes, Brandon Inge(notes) comes through with two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth against Jose Valverde(notes) to put the Tigers ahead. They avert a sweep. Inge has had a strange career. He's been one of the best defensive third basemen in the league the past few years, but the Tigers have felt the need to put him in the outfield, behind the plate, maybe use him in the starting rotation sometimes. I think he was mayor of Detroit for a while when Kwame Kilpatrick first went to the joint. They just put him wherever there's a void and he fills it.

Reds 8, Indians 1: Happy 28th birthday, Brandon Phillips(notes)! His ghost continues to haunt the Tribe, who traded him in '06 so they could play the likes of Ronnie Belliard(notes) and Josh Barfield(notes) at second base.

Phillips' career numbers against the Indians: .341, four homers, 18 RBIs, 18 runs scored and five steals in 88 at-bats. On Sunday, Phillips had three hits, three runs and three RBIs, along with a stolen base to help the Reds take the intrastate rubber game.

"It's good to have a game like I did today, especially on my birthday and against the guys you used to play for," Phillips said. "Today, I was like, 'I'm going to show the Indians what they missed out on.' "

Phillips, from the sound of it, sounds happy to only be visiting Cleveland.

"You've got to realize I was in the big leagues when I was 20 or 21," Phillips said. "I was young, but they gave up on me. There are some things I really wish I would say, but I'm not going to say. I'm here, living the life."

A day late, here's a special (VIDEO) birthday song for Phillips.

Phillies 5, Blue Jays 4: Brad Lidge(notes) seemed to run an obstacle course in testing the strength of right knee, fielding a bunt and later wheeling off the rubber to put a man in a rundown before nailing down the save. Knee: OK.

Royals 3, Pirates 2: Zack Greinke(notes) gets to 10 victories and the Royals avoid a sweep by the Pirates. Someday, I would like to smother a Primanti Brothers sandwich in Gates BBQ sauce, just to see what would happen next.

Braves 2, Red Sox 1: Tommy Hanson(notes) improves to 4-0, despite the flu, in his best start yet. The Bostons collected two singles against him in six innings, and Hanson's got 20 scoreless innings going.

"If he was sick," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, "I really don't want to see him when he's not sick."

White Sox 6, Cubs 0: On the surface, it looks like a combined shutout by John Danks(notes) and Scott Linebrink(notes). But, as usual, these teams can't get together and just play ball. There's always got to be mental breakdowns and emotional meltdowns, purpose pitches and false bravado. Wars and rumors of wars. And this time, a steal of home on a wild pitchout, a very confusing infield fly ruling gone askew and charges of clubhouse espionage.

My favorite quote of the weekend came from Milton Bradley(notes), who is convinced the public never would have known about his argument with Lou Piniella on Saturday (in which Lou called Milton "a piece of [expletive]") if a clubhouse attendant hadn't spilled the beans to a reporter.

"We have some snitches, some White Sox staff snitches," Bradley said.

Padres 2, Rangers 0: Chad Gaudin(notes) does this sometimes, where he'll come out and look like David Cone in his prime. Gaudin allowed one hit and struck out nine over eight innings in Arlington. It might have been the best game ever pitched by an opponent in the stadium's 15-plus years.

Gaudin has 28 Ks in his past three starts. He might give up 10 hits, or walk six, in his next one.

Nationals 5, Orioles 3: John Lannan(notes) is rolling in June and has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 12 of his past 13 starts. Beatlemaniacal!

Adam Dunn(notes) did this (VIDEO) to a baseball, hitting Eutaw Street and then the B&O Warehouse on one bounce. Jim Palmer said it might have been the longest homer he ever saw at Oriole Park, which means his eyes were closed when Russell Branyan and Chris Davis(notes) hit longer ones there earlier this season.

Still, 445 feet. Pretty solid, as Hittracker notes.

In the screen shot, note the gum in Dunn's mouth — out of chewing position, safely stowed around the top front teeth. That way, he's not distracted by jaw movement, and there's no way it can get sucked into the wind pipe until the swing is complete. What a professional.

Rays 5, Marlins 2: Tampa-St. Pete sends a Sicilian Message: Sweep with the Fishes.

Twins 6, Cardinals 2: Francisco Liriano(notes) comes from nowhere, kind of, to pitch his first dominating game of the season. Maybe it's because the Cardinals hadn't seen him before, maybe it's because their offense is mediocre, or maybe it's because Liriano is learning how to pitch.

Rockies 3, Athletics 1: If NASA comes to Bud Selig and says, "We're putting together a deep space mission that requires the best baseball team you've got right now," there's no question Selig orders the Rockies to head to Huntsville, Ala. for space camp. They've won 20 of 23, having swept four series in June, and are 22-7 since the bloodless coup deposed Clint Hurdle.

Mariners 4, Dodgers 2: He can't take the pain anymore, so Adrian Beltre(notes) is having surgery to remove bone spurs from his left shoulder.

"Here's a guy that played in a lot of pain, didn't have to play and didn't need to play today," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We had talked about last night being his last game, but he came in and said: 'I'm not having surgery until Tuesday, so I'm going to give you one more. I want to be with my teammates and I want to gut it out.' He's such a special player and brings so much to our club, so that win today is for him."

He'll miss the next two months or so, which kills the M's buzz, if not their playoff chances.

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