For the reasons already explained, I'm a little behind on the rest of the league's games. Luckily, it's Sunday. These are the games from Thursday, April 13.
Even the White Sox will have games where they give up nine runs on 21 hits, especially when they're facing a team like the Tigers, who have enough offensive power to bat Carlos Guillen, a guy who's practically a lock for a .360 OBP, seventh. The best cure for that kind of game is to score thirteen runs on seventeen hits yourself. The great thing, from a fan's standpoint, about a game like this is that no lead feels safe: the Sox went up 10-3 going to the bottom of the fifth only to see the Tigers score four in the bottom half to make it a three-run game.
Other gems from the box score: Chris Shelton hit his seventh homer of the year; Omar Infante hit his first two doubles; Jim Thome had his sixth homer; and Alex Cintron, starting at shortstop for Chicago, hit two triples off of Jason Grilli.
Just two players went hitless in the game, both for Chicago: Scott Podsednik lowered his batting average to .059 with an 0-4 performance; and Brian Anderson, Chicago's rookie centerfielder, also went 0-4. Each player did walk once apiece, though.
The Yankees beat the Royals again behind a strong, if short, outing from Randy Johnson: five innings, one run, five strikeouts. The score was just 4-2 going to the bottom of the eighth, but Jimmy Gobble allowed five Yankee runs, two on a Jason Giambi homer and the other three on Johnny Damon's first Yankee homer. Alex Rodriguez added his first double of the year, which is kind of surprising: this was the Yankees' ninth game of the year, after all.
Andy Phillips made another first-base appearance for the Yankees without getting an at-bat. Bubba Crosby's doing even better, though: he's played in five games this year and managed just two at-bats.
Tony Graffanino was the starting DH for Kansas City, which says a lot about the team.
Toronto beat Boston 8-6 behind a strong Ted Lilly start: seven innings, one run, ten strikeouts. Matt Clement had the kind of game it seems like he's had a thousand of since joining the Red Sox: four innings, seven runs, four walks, one strikeout. When you have two starting lines like that, you're not supposed to have a close game, but BJ Ryan had to get the last out of the game anyway because Brian Tallet and Jason Frasor gave up five runs in the eighth and ninth.
Further evidence of Keith Foulke's downfall is that he started the eighth for the Red Sox despite the score being 8-1 at that point.
Seattle beat Cleveland 9-5 despite being outhit 12-9. The walks tell the story, though, as the M's took nine free passes in the game. Ichiro! had a neat game: 1-4 with a walk, his fourth steal of the year, and an assist, throwing out Jason Michaels at third base. He was also caught stealing once (though because the box score doesn't list a catcher, it appears that he was really picked off). Adrian Beltre continued his unlikely speed renaissance with his fourth steal of the year.
Baltimore beat Tampa Bay 6-5 by scoring five runs over the last two innings. Shawn Camp and Dan Miceli were responsible for the runs, with Melvin Mora providing the decisive blow, a two-run homer that gave the Orioles the lead. Ramon Hernandez added three hits for Baltimore, including his fourth double of the year, raising his batting average to .533.
Bruce Chen had an unusual day starting for Baltimore: 7 2/3 innings, five hits, five runs, four homers.
The Dodgers walloped Pittsburgh 13-5. Cody Ross led the charge for L.A., smacking a grand slam and a three-run bomb. He also managed to strand one man in scoring position. Rafael Furcal, in what has to be a worrisome trend, made his fourth error of the year.
Florida beat San Diego 9-2 as Jason Vargas allowed just two hits (but five walks) in his six innings. Dewon Brazelton gave up eight runs in his four innings for San Diego, as walk trouble bit him as well (four of them). The top four of the Padres' order went 0-15 with one walk, compared to a 6-12 performance, with six walks, from the corresponding Marlins. Hanley Ramirez continues to rake, going 2-3 with two walks and his fifth double of the year and Josh Willingham popped a couple of doubles himself.
Milwaukee beat St. Louis on a Carlos Lee homer in the top of the eleventh. Jason Isringhausen, who's likely no longer the premier closer Cardinal fans would like him to be, gave up the bomb and thus took the loss, his second of the year. Derrick Turnbow picked up his fifth save of the early-going.
The Reds have started off surprisingly well, improving to 6-3 with a win over the Cubs. Eric Milton pitched well enough to win (three runs in 6 2/3 innings), but the win was powered by the offense, which mustered eight runs, seven of which came on three homers: Adam Dunn's fifth, Felipe Lopez's third, and Austin Kearns's third. Milton also helped his own cause with a triple.
Derrek Lee walked three times in the game, while the rest of the Chicago infield (Neifi!, Jerry Hairston, and Ronny Cedeno) combined to go 1-12 with seven strikeouts.
The Giants won game one of their double-header with the Astros behind a nice three-run performance (in 7 2/3 innings) from Matt Morris. Brandon Backe started for the Astros and lasted just two innings, despite giving up only a Moises Alou solo homer. That's as clear a "removed for injury" pitching line as I've seen in some time.
The Phillies beat Atlanta 7-6 despite a three-run eighth for the Braves against Ryan Franklin. Jeff Francoeur hit his first two homers of the year and also added a single. His corner-outfield mate Ryan Langerhans doubled and tripled for the Braves, but Atlanta couldn't overcome the Phillies' three-homer first inning against Kyle Davies. Davies wound up allowing two homers to Chase Utley, which were his first two hit this year as well.
Roy Oswalt and Fernando Nieve combined on a shutout to give the Astros a split in their doubleheader. Lance Berkman hit his fifth and sixth homers of the year to power the offense.
Matt Cain struck out eight Astros in just five innings, which is obviously a very nice rate. Cain's a former first round pick out of high school who made his pro debut at 17 in the Arizona Fall League. He's just 21 this year, having done High-A and AA ball in just one year, and having pitched impressively all the way up the chain: 10.12 K/9, 0.91 HR/9. His minor league walk rate is a tiny bit high at 3.73, and he did give up 22 homers in 145 2/3 innings in Fresno last year, but there doesn't seem to be any real reason why he shouldn't have a very nice major-league career.
Colorado beat Arizona in a pretty generic game. Box score highlights are that Craig Counsell and Chad Tracy combined for six of the Diamondbacks' eight hits; and Todd Helton walked four times. Brad Hawpe also hit his fourth homer of the year.