Kansas City took a 2-1 lead into the eighth against the White Sox only to see huge lefty Andy Sisco cough it up, giving the White Sox a 3-2 lead. Fortunately, Cliff Politte wasted a good Javier Vasquez performance and gave up a Mike Sweeney two-run homer. Ambiorix Burgos closed things out for the Royals in the ninth, sending the White Sox to their fourth loss in five games.
Remember: every goes through a five-game stretch like this at some point. The White Sox's record just looks ugly because it happens to begin their year.
Emil Brown stole his second base of the year for Kansas City.
Boston beat the Orioles 2-1 and the closer-controversy flames were fanned against as Jon Papelbon was called on to finish things. Curt Schilling gave up one run in seven innings, but had just four strikeouts and used 114 pitches. Schilling has to realize that he's an old man and start conserving his pitches a little better.
Luis Matos hit his second homer for the Orioles, Jason Varitek had his second and third doubles, and Coco Crisp stole his second base (and also got caught once). Jay Gibbons also deserves a nod for throwing David Ortiz out at second base.
On the other hand, I think Ty Cobb once threw David Ortiz out at second base. And Ty Cobb is dead.
Cleveland shut out Minnesota, allowing just six hits (five singles, one Rondell White double). Travis Hafner went 3-3 with his fourth homer of the year. I hadn't realized just how good Hafner has been over the last two years until the Indians chapter in Baseball Prospectus 2006 put his numbers side-by-side with David Ortiz's. You can't expect him to hit four homers every five games all year, but you've got to figure that, at 28, he's got three to four more great hitting years left in him.
It was apparently a shutout kind of day as the Tigers downed the Rangers. Justin Verlander allowed only a couple of singles to Texas while striking out seven. Chris Shelton, who, if you'll recall, is a slugging first baseman, hit two triples against Kevin Millwood. Shelton is now batting .700 through his first five games. Curtis Granderson, the Detroit leadoff man, hit his second homer of the year.
On the negative side, Placido Polanco got caught stealing for the second time already.
Anaheim beat the Yankees 3-2. Randy Johnson threw an eight-inning complete game. Since he only threw 97 pitches threw those eight, a move to Mariano Rivera in the ninth had New York taken the lead probably wasn't automatic.
Hideki Matsui hit his third homer of the year, a solo shot in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez that narrowed the lead to one. Gary Sheffield added double number three, Chone Figgins made his second error already, and Orlando Cabrera stole his second base. At this point in the season, if you've got more than one of anything (win, save, homer, double, steal, error, et al.), it's notable.
The Reds and Pirates got into another slugfest. The Reds came out on top again, 11-9, keeping the Pirates winless. Craig Wilson got one pinch-hit at-bat for the Pirates. Please, Pittsburgh, just trade him!
Aaron Harang, despite giving up five runs in 6 2/3 innings, struck out ten Pirates and didn't allow a walk. It also took him 118 pitches to get through those innings. Rich Aurilia, again starting at first base for the Reds (can you hear my hair being torn out of my head?), hit a three-run homer, his second of the year.
The Brewers remained undefeated when Carlos Lee drove in the game-winning run with a single in the bottom of the ninth. Former Athletic Luis Vizcaino took the loss for Arizona, and former closer Dan Kolb got the win for Milwaukee. Prince Fielder hit his first homer of the year, a solo shot against Brandon Webb. It should be noted that homering off of Webb is something of an accomplishment. Despite pitching half his games in Arizona, Webb has allowed just one homer every 12.4 innings in his career.
The Giants beat the Braves 12-6 in a game that filled the box score with all sorts of neat nuggets. Marcus Giles walked four times; Matt Diaz, who didn't even start in left field, went 2-3 and had an assist from out there, throwing out Omar Vizquel at second base; Chipper Jones made his second error of the year; Vizquel went 4-4 with five RBI and his third steal of the year; Steve Finley knocked his second triple of the season; the Giants turned four double plays; and Tim Hudson didn't strike out anybody in four innings en route to giving up eight runs on eight hits and three walks.
Houston scored five runs in the first against Washington, but couldn't hold on, letting the Nationals come back to win 12-8. Jose Vidro and Alfonso Soriano combined for nine RBI, helping fight off Lance Berkman and Preston Wilson's third homers of the year. Livan Hernandez won for the Nats despite giving up twelve hits in six innings. Of the eight pitchers to appear in the game, only Russ Springer (who threw just one pitch) didn't give up a run.
After one inning, Colorado led San Diego 7-4. In Petco. Colorado won the scoring battle 5-0 the rest of the way. Dewon Brazelton, who was remarkably allowed to keep pitching for the Padres after the first, ended up giving up nine runs in 2 1/3 innings. Garrett Atkins hit his fifth double of the year already, and Dave Roberts stole his second base for San Diego.