The last day of April provided to feature quite a few pitching duels and six games in which the winning run didn't score until the ninth inning or later.
I will outline which players really stood out in a very exciting day of baseball, where there were a plethora of aces going and also some less-heralded pitchers showing up in a big way.
Road team standouts are listed first, followed by home team.
W: Joel Peralta (1-0)
L: Fernando Rodney (0-1)
Howie Kendrick, 2-for-4, RBI
Joel Pineiro, 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K
James Shields, 8 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 12 K
Matt Joyce, 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R
Matt Joyce scored on a Fernando Rodney wild pitch as the Rays beat the Angels in extra innings. James Shields and Joel Pineiro dueled on the mound, with both only allowing only one run during their starts. Joyce also provided a home run in the fifth.
You don't see too many games go into overtime then end on wild pitches. Not the prettiest way to snag a victory, but a win is a win is a win...
W: Roy Halladay (4-1)
L: Jonathon Niese (1-4)
Carlos Beltran, 2-for-4, RBI
John Mayberry Jr, 2-for-4, HR
Placido Polanco, 2-for-3, RBI
A pitcher's duel in Philadelphia ended with the Phillies squeaking out a victory over the Mets. Roy Halladay pitched his second complete game of the season, allowing only one run on seven hits and striking out eight. Jon Niese pitched six-plus innings and allowed two runs on six hits. The victory puts Halladay at 4-1 for the year, and dropped his ERA to 2.14.
While there's not much surprising about Halladay throwing a complete game, what was a bit abnormal was the relative ease at which he pulled it off—all the hits he allowed were singles and he threw only 107 pitches. If not for the hiccup earlier this month in Milwaukee where he allowed six runs, his ERA would stand at 1.13.
W: Miguel Batista (2-1)
L: Craig Kimbrel (0-1)
S: Fernando Salas (2)
David Freese, 2-for-4, 2 RBI
Gerald Larid, 1-for-4, 3B, RBI
Miguel Prado, 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Alex Gonzalez, 1-for-2, BB, R
Gerald Laird tripled in the ninth to plate Matt Holliday as the Cards took their second in a row from the Braves. Brandon Beachy was very impressive for Atlanta, allowing two runs on three hits through seven. Jake Westbrook held his own, giving up the same amount of runs through six innings.
The Cards have been red hot lately, winning eight of their last 10. Most impressive, they've done it despite a sluggish start from Prince Albert, who is currently batting .245 with a .305 OBP.
W: Guillermo Mota (2-0)
L: John Lannon (2-3)
S: Brian Wilson (8)
Eli Whiteside, 1-for-3, BB, HR
Buster Posey, 2-for-4, 2B
Mike Fontenot, 2-for-4, 2B
Rick Ankiel, 2-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI
Aubrey Huff walked to plate the go-ahead run for the Giants as 'Frisco beat Washington in a low-scoring affair. Jonathan Sanchez pitched five shutout innings and allowed only two hits. John Lannan started for the Nats and gave up two runs over six and two-thirds innings.
The Giants received some bad news Saturday, as an MRI showed a broken bone in Pablo Sandoval's wrist. He's expected to miss between four and six weeks.
San Francisco has called up Ryan Rohlinger to keep third base warm, and that's not good news for the defending world champs—Rohlinger has 66 career ABs and nine hits (a .136 AVG). His AAA average isn't much better, as he's hitting just .194 this season. Don't expect anywhere near the numbers Pablo would normally put up from Rohlinger.
W: Colby Lewis (2-3)
L: Brett Anderson (2-2)
Michael Young, 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Nelson Cruz, 1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI
Yorvit Torrealba, 2-for-4, BB, 2B, 2 RBI
Adrian Beltre, 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, 2 R
Mike Napoli, 1-for-2, 3 BB, HR, 2 R
Elvis Andrus, 1-for-4, BB, 2 R, SB
Jason Willingham, 1-for-4, HR
Kurt Suzuki, 1-for-4, HR
Adam LaRoche, 2-for-4, 2B
The Rangers brought out the bats to knot their four-game series with the A's at one apiece. Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli all went yard, chasing Brett Anderson after five innings. Colby Lewis pitched admirably, going eight innings and surrendering two runs.
I was starting to wonder if everything was alright in Texas, since it had been at least a week since the last time they blew a team out. But looks like everything's back to normal.
W: A.J. Burnett (4-1)
L: Kyle Drabek (2-1)
S: Mariano Rivera (9)
Blue Jays Standouts
Adam Lind, 2-for-3, SF, RBI, R
Mike McCoy, 1-for-4, HR
Yunel Escobar, 1-for-4, RBI, R
Rajai Davis, 2-for-4, 3B, R
Eric Chavez, 1-for-3, BB, RBI, R
Brett Gardner, 1-for-2, BB, RBI
Russell Martin, 1-for-3, BB, RBI, R
The Yankees showed they can small-ball too, posting five runs on seven hits—only one of the hits for extra bases (a double by Mark Teixeira in the first)—in their win over the Blue Jays. A.J. Burnett went six innings, giving up four runs. Kyle Drabek was punched out after just two-plus, conceding five.
Only two and one-third innings for Drabek before he was removed from the game. He was struggling with control, giving up four walks on top of the seven hits. What was impressive was that the Jays' bullpen didn't allow a hit the rest of the game after Drabek exited.
W: Tony Sipp (1-0)
L: Brayan Villarreal (1-1)
Miguel Cabrera, 2-for-3, 3 BB, HR
Ryan Raburn, 2-for-6, HR
Michael Brantely, 3-for-6, HR, 2 R
Orlando Cabrera, 3-for-6, RBI
Carlos Santana, 1-for-4, 2 BB, HR
Orlando Cabrera singled in the 13th to plate Michael Brantley, as the Indians got their second consecutive walk-off win against the Tigers. Alex White was called up from AAA to start in place of the injured Carlos Carrasco, and surrendered only two runs over six innings. Rick Porcello got the start for the Tigers, pitched seven innings and allowed two.
Probably the most impressive thing about the Indians record (18-8, tied for best in the Majors) is that they're finding ways to come back from deficits and win ballgames. This was the second straight game they didn't lead until the game ended.
W: Brandon Lyon (3-1)
L: Kameron Loe (2-2)
Prince Fielder, 1-for-4, HR
Ryan Braun, 2-for-4, 2 2B
Wandy Rodriguez, 8 IP, 0 R, 7 H, 0 BB, 6 K
Jason Bourgeois, 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, R, 2 SB
Jason Bourgeois singled home Bill Hall as the Astros walked-off against the Brewers. Wandy Rodriguez was lights out for the 'Stros, pitching eight shutout innings. But Brandon Lyon blew his third save when Prince Fielder hit a solo shot in the top of the ninth to tie it. Randy Wolf started for Milwaukee, going seven innings and allowing just one run on just four hits.
Rodriguez has been hit or miss this year, posting three very solid outings and three subpar ones. It's too bad Lyon blew another save—Wandy deserved the win for the stellar outing.
W: Chris Tillman (1-2)
L: Philip Humber (2-3)
Robert Andino, 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, SB
Brian Roberts, 1-for-4, 2B, 2 R
White Sox Standouts
Alex Rios, 1-for-3, SF, HR, 2 RBI
Chris Tillman shut down the White Sox through five innings, allowing only one run on six hits. Phil Humber had an impressive start in his own right, going seven and giving up two on a mere three hits. The Orioles have now won four of their last five.
The Orioles are producing wins, but not the best fantasy stats—over their last five games, they've batted 42-for-168, a .250 average. Yet somehow, they've won four of them.
W: Francisco Cordero (1-0)
L: Mike Dunn (1-1)
Josh Johnson, 7 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K
Wes Helms, 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI
Omar Infante, 2-for-3, RBI
Chris Coghlan, 0-for-3, 2 BB, R, SB
Brandon Phillips, 2-for-4, BB, 2B, R
Miguel Cairo, 2-for-4, RBI, R
Jonny Gomes, 1-for-4, BB, RBI, R
Edgar Renteria singled in the bottom of the 10th to drive in Jonny Gomes as the Reds took home the walk-off win. Josh Johnson pitched seven scoreless innings, but the bullpen couldn't earn him the decision, giving up three in the eighth. Edinson Volquez got the start for Cincy, worked five innings, and gave up just one run on two hits (although he did walk five).
Josh Johnson has allowed four earned runs this season in 41 innings. His WHIP is 0.71, his ERA is 0.88 and probably most absurd, opponents are batting .130 against him.
W: Nate Adcock (1-0)
L: Brian Duensing (2-1)
Jason Kubel, 2-for-3, BB, 2B
Alex Gordon, 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI
Billy Butler, 2-for-4, HR, 2B
Mike Aviles, 1-for-3, BB, SF, 2 RBI, R
Chris Getz, 2-for-4, 3B, RBI, 2 R
The Royals pounded out 11 runs, rolling past the Twins for the second night in a row. The game was 3-2 going into the eighth, when Kansas City opened the flood gates, posting eight in the frame. Sean O'Sullivan went six innings, allowing two runs on two hits. Brian Duensing only allowed three runs—two earned—over seven innings.
The screws didn't fall out of this game for the Twins until Joe Nathan took the mound in the eighth. Eight runs and two relievers later, it was a blowout. Nathan still doesn't have his best stuff back, and you have to wonder how long Minnesota's going to let Nathan and his 10.00 ERA stick around the bullpen if there's not some improvement.
W: Doug Fister (2-3)
L: John Lackey (2-3)
S: Brandon League (7)
Ichiro Suzuki, 2-for-3, 2 BB, R, 2 SB
Jack Cust, 1-for-2, 2 BB, R
Jack Wilson, 1-for-3, SF, RBI
Milton Bradley, 1-for-2, 2B, RBI
Red Sox Standouts
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 2-for-4, 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury, 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1-for-3, BB, 2B
Doug Fister pitched five and two-thirds shutout innings and the Mariners continued their hot streak, winning their fifth in a row. Milton Bradley doubled in the first run for the M's in the third and Jack Wilson provided a sac fly in the sixth to score Jack Cust. John Lackey started the day for Boston, went six innings and gave up two runs.
Milton Bradley was ejected later on the game, which is always good fun.
W: Matt Garza (1-3)
L: J.J. Putz (0-1)
S: Chris Marmol (7)
Starlin Castro, 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R
Alfonso Soriano, 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Darwin Barney, 2-for-5, RBI, R
Aramis Ramirez, 1-for-5, 2B, RBI
Gerardo Parra, 1-for-3, BB, 3B, RBI, R
Stephen Drew, 2-for-4, 2 RBI
Justin Upton, 1-for-4, 2B, R
Darwin Barney singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth and the Cubs tacked on another run in the frame to beat the Diamondbacks for the second night in a row. Matt Garza pitched eight solid innings, allowing three runs off six hits. Ian Kennedy went seven and two-thirds innings, also giving up three.
It only took Matt Garza a month to get his first win. Following that projection, he should finish the season a dignified 6-18. Go Cubs!
W: Jason Hammel (3-1)
L: Paul Maholm (1-4)
S: Huston Street (10)
Andrew McCutchen, 2-for-4, HR
Chris Ianetta, 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez, 2-for-4, 2B, R
Seth Smith, 1-for-3, BB, RBI, R
Chris Ianetta tagged a three-run blast to right field in the second and that was all Jason Hammel needed, as the Rockies topped the Pirates. Hammel went seven innings and the only run allowed was a home run to Andrew McCutchen. Paul Maholm got the start for Pittsburgh, went seven innings and allowed four.
The Rockies tied their club record for most wins in the month of April with 17 after the win last night. They're in the same boat as St. Louis currently, winning games despite one of their best players string of subpar performances (Carlos Gonzalez—batting .228 with just one home run thus far).
W: Luke Gregerson (1-1)
L: Matt Guerrier (2-2)
S: Heath Bell (6)
Cameron Maybin, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
Chase Headley, 1-for-3, BB, R
Will Venable, 2-for-5, 2 R
Jason Bartlett, 1-for-4, BB, R
Ryan Ludwick, 1-for-3, BB, RBI
Andre Ethier, 2-for-4, R
James Loney, 1-for-3, SF, RBI
The Padres posted three runs in the eighth, claiming victory over the Dodgers to close out Saturday's schedule. Will Venable scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Matt Guerrier, who took the loss.
Travis Stauffer started the game for the Padres, going six and two-thirds innings and giving up two runs. Hiroki Kuroda got the nod for the Dodgers, went seven, struck out seven and surrendered two.
Andre Ethier singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 26 games. Heath Bell converted his 40th consecutive save to close out the game.
A win for the Padres meant they don't leave April with the worst record in baseball (that "honor" belongs to the Twins).