Great storylines in the Majors, Saturday June 14th
A great day of action in the majors all around.
A pair of players went back to their former ballparks and haunted their ex-teams, while another went back home and blasted his hometown team.
A pitcher got a measure of revenge against his former club as well, helping his current club forget about a 20-run loss from a night earlier.
Cleveland's Cliff Lee could have joined Arizona's Brandon Webb as the only 11-game winners in the majors, but his bullpen blew it.
For Matt Cain, it was the same old story out in San Francisco.
Here's a brief recap:
-The St. Louis Cardinals bounced back from their 20-2 shellacking from Friday night with Kyle Lohse's, eight-inning, four-hitter, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2.
The Redbirds are 6-0 in Lohse's last six outings, and the right-hander is 5-0 in those outings, allowing three runs or fewer each time out.
Lohse had gone 3-0 with a 4.72 ERA with the Phillies after being acquired from Cincinnati in 2007. The Phils were 9-2 in Lohse's 11 starts, as they rallied to beat out the Mets for the NL East title.
Lohse, however, was not re-signed by Philadelphia, and moved on to St. Louis. He is 8-2 this year, with a 3.77 ERA for the Cards.
-Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, where all the hype surrounded the Red Sox-Reds series because it was Boston's first visit since the 1975 World Series, it was a Cincinnati-native who hit a game-winner homer to beat the Reds.
Kevin Youkilis' go-ahead homer in the 10th helped Boston win 6-4, as the Red Sox recovered from Jonathan Papelbon's third blown save.
-In Toronto, it was Reed Johnson, who'd spent the first five seasons of his career with the Blue Jays before being released in March, who got the last laugh, as the Chicago Cubs won 6-2.
Johnson hit what proved to be the game-winning three-run blast in the second inning off Jays ace Roy Halladay, as the Cubs won for the fifth time in six games.
-In Cleveland, ex-Indian Kevin Kouzmanoff hit an insurance grand slam in the 10th, as the San Diego Padres won 8-3.
Ironically, Kouzmanoff had hit a grand slam in his first ever ML at-bat (on the first pitch, in fact) in 2006 while with the Indians. He was subsequently traded to the Padres following the '06 season.
San Diego, which rallied from a 3-0, first-inning deficit, denied Cliff Lee his 11th win of the season. Lee, who is second in the AL in ERA behind Shaun Marcum (2.43) at 2.55, gave up two runs in his 6.1 innings pitched.
The Padres got a strong outing from Cha Seung Baek, who gave up only two hits in his seven innings.
-In the Battle of the Bay in San Francisco, the Giants' Matt Cain fanned 11, but again received no run support as Oakland won 4-0.
It was the fifth time in the last two seasons that the Giants have been shut out with Cain on the mound. Rich Harden of the A's gave up just one hit in his six innings and improved to 4-0 this season.
-In Baltimore, the Pirates and Orioles hooked up for a rematch of their 1971 and 1979 World Series but received much less fanfare than the Red Sox-Reds.
The Pittsburgh-Baltimore tilt, however, proved to be a barnburner, as the Orioles came back with two runs in the ninth to win 8-7. The O's overcame four one-run deficits, and came back from down 5-4 and 7-6 in the last three innings.
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