There were only seven games yesterday, but that didn't stop a depth of great performances around the league.
Two nine-inning shutouts(in the same game, no less), a brief flirtation with a perfect game, a three home-run day and a couple of extra-inning walk-offs combined to make an efficiently noteworthy day.
Road team standouts are listed first, followed by home teams.
W: James Shields (4-1)
L: Justin Masterson (5-1)
Reid Brignac, 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Evan Longoria, 1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 RBI
Ben Zobrist, 2-for-4, BB, R
Elliot Johnson, 1-for-4, BB, RBI, R
Casey Kotchman, 2-for-4, BB, R
Matt Joyce, 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2-for-3, BB, HR, 3B, 2 R
Orlando Cabrera, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
Shin-Soo Choo, 1-for-4, RBI, R
The Rays once again brought out the bats to take their second consecutive game from the Indians. Tampa compiled 11 hits and every Rays batter reached base safely in the game. Jame Shields helped their cause by pitching seven innings and surrendering only two runs while striking out seven. Justin Masterson got the nod for Cleveland but was ousted after five and two-thirds, allowing five runs, eight hits and four walks.
It's possible the only team in the league hotter than the Indians are the Rays. Ever since their dismal 1-8 start, the Rays have rattled off 21 wins in 28 games, including six of their last seven. The most important aspect of this has seemed to be their offense, as the Rays have averaged 5.4 runs per game over their last 15 outings.
W: Jaime Garcia (5-0)
L: Casey Coleman (1-3)
Matt Holliday, 2-for-4, BB, HR
Yadier Molina, 3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R
Jon Jay, 3-for-6, 2B, 3 RBI
Colby Rasmus, 3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R
Tyler Greene, 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2B, RBI, R
Allen Craig, 1-for-2, BB, SF, RBI
Jeff Baker, 3-for-4, RBI
The Cardinals rocked the Cubs for 16 hits, taking their second win in the three-game set. A five-run fifth inning was more than enough run support for Jaime Garcia, who pitched seven innings and allowed only one run. Casey Coleman was the unfortunate recipient of St. Louis' strong day at the plate, lasting only four and one-third and giving up six. Garcia has yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of his eight outings.
Players like Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman have been getting most of the credit this year, but players like Colby Rasmus and Yadier Molina have played parts as well, hitting .313 and .294, respectively. Overall, the Cardinals are leading the league in runs(193), batting average(.286) and on-base percentage(.358).
W: Jonathon Niese (2-4)
L: Ubaldo Jiminez (0-3)
Carlos Beltran, 3-for-5, 3 HR, 6 RBI
Willie Harris, 1-for-2, 3 BB, 3 R
Jason Bay, 1-for-4, BB, R, 2 SB
Jose Reyes, 1-for-5, 2 RBI
Jonathan Herrera, 2-for-5, HR
Todd Helton, 1-for-3, BB, HR
Seth Smith, 1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Carlos Beltran had three two-run blasts, giving him a career high and giving the Mets a victory over the Rockies. Jonathon Niese had the start for New York, pitching six and one-third adequate innings and giving up five runs. Ubaldo Jiminez didn't last close to that, going only three and two-thirds and allowing five of his own.
Ubaldo Jiminez still hasn't gotten a win yet this season and today's outing was one of the more abysmal attempts to overcome that streak. While Jiminez only allowed three hits, he gave up six walks. To this point, he has only one quality start and hasn't lasted more than six inning in a start.
W: Matt Cain (3-2)
L: Daniel Hudson (3-5)
Stephen Drew, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
Justin Upton, 2-for-4, 2B, SB
Eli Whitehead, 2-for-4, 2 2B, R
Nick Schierholtz, 3-for-4, 2B, RBI, SB
Aubrey Huff, 1-for-2, 2 BB, RBI
Andres Torres, 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
The Giants survived a late rally by the Diamondbacks to complete the three-game sweep. The D-Backs had runners on the corners with two outs, but Javier Lopez struck out Gerard Parra to end the game. Matt Cain pitched seven and two-thirds innings in the victory, giving up two runs and striking out seven. Daniel Hudson threw six and two-thirds for Arizona.
Frisco is finally looking like a defending World Series champion, winning their last six and eight of nine overall.
This game went a little over two innings before the rain washed it away. As of yet, no makeup date has been announced.
W: Sean O'Sullivan (2-2)
L: Ivan Nova (3-3)
Melky Cabrera, 2-for-5, BB, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Eric Hosmer, 3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI
Billy Butler, 4-for-6, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Alex Gordon, 1-for-5, BB, 2B, 2 R
Wilson Betemit, 2-for-4, BB, 2B, 2 R
Alcides Escobar, 1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Robinson Cano, 1-for-4, HR
Alex Rodriguez, 1-for-4, HR
Francisco Cervelli, 1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 RBI
Led by an onslaught of offense, the Royals took their second straight from the Yankees. Sean O'Sullivan retired the first 13 batters he faced until giving way to a New York four-run fourth inning. He totaled six and two-thirds innings and allowed four runs. Ivan Nova was rocked for 10 hits over a mere three innings, giving up eight runs. Every Kansas City batter had a hit, amassing a total of 16 for the night.
I literally did a spit-take when I heard Sean O'Sullivan was working on a perfect game against the Yankees. Of course, the second I change the channel over, Robinson Cano belts one into right field to end that. Oh well… funny while it lasted.
W: Jim Johnson (2-1)
L: Brandon League (0-3)
Miguel Olivo, 1-for-4, RBI
J.J. Hardy, 2-for-5, 2 RBI
Orioles and Mariners fans were treated to a remarkable pitcher's duel that was eventually won by Baltimore on a two-run single by J.J. Hardy. Both starters pitched nine innings of shutout ball and neither one got a decision. Zach Britton was the more impressive, giving up three hits and no walks. Not to take anything away from Jason Vargas' outing, who allowed seven hits and only one walk. The Mariners scored in the top of the 12th off of an RBI-single by Miguel Olivo. In the bottom half of the frame, the Orioles loaded the bases against closer Brandon League, setting up Hardy's game-winning roller up the middle.
J.J. Hardy didn't wait around to get back into the mix, as he's gone 7-for-13 with a home run and three RBIs in his first three games back. Obviously Hardy's numbers won't be this consistent throughout the season (he's a career .263 hitter), but he should put up decent numbers and is definitely one of the better shortstops in the league.
W: Craig Kimbrel (1-1)
L: Doug Slaten (0-1)
Danny Espinosa, 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI
Adam LaRoche, 1-for-3, BB, RBI, 2 R
Ivan Rodriguez, 1-for-4, HR
Laynce Nix, 1-for-4, BB, 2B, R
Martin Prado, 2-for-4, BB, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Chipper Jones, 1-for-4, BB, HR
The Braves rallied from four runs down to defeat the Nationals in extra innings. Down 5-1 in he seventh, Martin Prado launched a grand slam to tie the game. Then in the tenth, Brian McCann singled to score Prado and bring the game to a close. Derek Lowe started the game for Atlanta, going six innings and allowing five runs. Jordan Zimmermann got the call for Washington, and pitched six and one-third, surrendering three and striking out 11.
Martin Prado has been quietly outstanding for the past couple weeks, hitting safely in 14 of the past 15 games—eight were multi-hit outings—with three home runs, 14 RBI, and a .343 BA, raising his overall average 43 points in the process(now .281).