A Grand Sweep and a Grand Walkoff

1. Sox in Grand Sweep

Victor Martinez homered and drove in four runs and Boston completed a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with an 11-6 win last night. Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1) was the winner going 5.1 innings giving up five runs on five hits and three walks while throwing 92 pitches. Scott Kazmir (2-2) took the loss going 4.1 innings giving up seven runs on six hits and five walks while throwing 101 pitches. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, pitched better than both of them in this morning’s NY Press vs. Boston Press at Fenway Park.

The Angels were swept in a four-game series at Fenway Park for the first time since 1967. They are 0-7 on their road trip and have lost seven in a row for the first time since the final seven games of the 2001 season.

The Red Sox last three series have been sweeps. They went 3-0 in Toronto and 0-3 in Baltimore before beating Los Angeles.

2. Just a Sweep for the Rays

Jeff Niemann (2-0) added another gem for the Rays rotation as he finished off a three-game sweep of the Mariners, 8-0. Niemann’s seven shutout innings lowered his ERA to 2.23 as pitched into the 7th for the fifth straight start and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season. He struck out six and walked two. In sharp contrast, Seattle starter Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-2) went 4.1 innings allowing six runs and seven and has given up at least five earned runs in consecutive starts.

As for the Tampa bats, Carl Crawford had a two run homer, Willy Aybar had two hits and two RBI, B.J. Upton had an RBI double and two runs scored, and Evan Longoria extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI double.

Tampa Bay won its fourth straight and ninth in 11 games and is 12-1 on the road.

3. A Giant Sweep

Giant Panda Pablo Sandoval is hitting .309

Matt Cain held the Marlins hitless until the 6th as the Giants completed a three-game sweep with a 6-3 win. Cain (2-1) gave up four hits and two runs in seven-plus, and four relievers completed the five-hitter finished by closer Brian Wilson who picked up his sixth save in seven chances.

Ricky Nolasco (2-2) took the loss giving up five hits, four for extra bases, and three runs in six innings.

The Giants took a half-game lead over San Diego in the NL West and have won nine of their past 12 games.

4. A Sweep for the Bucs?

Excuse me for being surprised when the Pirates win, excuse me for being shocked when they sweep. Lastings Milledge drove in four, Garrett Jones three and the Bucs swept the Cubs finishing them off yesterday, 11-1.

Brian Burres (2-1) got the win that enabled the Pirates to gain their first sweep over the Cubs since since Aug. 28-30, 2006. Cubs starter Randy Wells (3-1) took the loss.

5. Baseball This Weekend

AL

Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman) at Indians (David Huff), 7:05

Yankees (Phil Hughes) at Red Sox (Josh Beckett), 7:10

Royals (Zack Greinke) at Rangers (C.J. Wilson), 8:05

Blue Jays (Shaun Marcum) at White Sox (Mark Buehrle), 8:10

Orioles (Kevin Millwood) at Twins (Francisco Liriano), 8:10

Rays (David Price) at A’s (Gio Gonzalez), 10:05

Angels (Jered Weaver) at Mariners (Felix Hernandez), 10:10

NL

Marlins (Chris Volstad) at Nationals (Craig Stammen), 7:05

Braves (Derek Lowe) at Phillies (Jamie Moyer), 7:05

Cardinals (Chris Carpenter) at Pirates (Zach Duke), 7:05

Cubs (Carlos Silva) at Reds (Homer Bailey), 7:10

Giants (Jonathan Sanchez) at Mets (Mike Pelfrey), 7:10

Padres (Mat Latos) at Astros (Bud Norris), 8:05

Brewers (Yovani Gallardo) at Diamondbacks (Edwin Jackson), 9:40

Rockies (Esmil Rogers) at Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda), 10:10

6. Standings

  • In case you didn’t notice, both Bay Area teams are in first place.
  • Each AL East team won the last game they played and each AL Central team lost their last game.
  • Four of the five teams in the AL East are over .500.
  • Houston and Baltimore are the only teams left in single-digit wins.

    Baltimore has eight wins

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

Rays         21    7  .750  –

Yankees      19    8  .704   1.5

Blue Jays    17   13  .567   5

Red Sox      15   14  .517   6.5

Orioles       8   21  .276  13.5

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

Twins        19   10  .655  –

Tigers       16   13  .552   3

White Sox    12   17  .414   7

Royals       11   18  .379   8

Indians      10   17  .370   8

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

Rangers      15   14  .517  –

A’s          15   14  .517  –

Angels       12   18  .400   3.5

Mariners     11   17  .393   3.5

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

Phillies     17   11  .607  –

Nationals    15   13  .536   2

Mets         15   13  .536   2

Marlins      13   15  .464   4

Braves       12   16  .429   5

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

Cardinals    18   11  .621  –

Reds         14   14  .500   3.5

Pirates      13   15  .464   4.5

Cubs         13   16  .448   5

Brewers      12   16  .429   5.5

Astros        9   19  .321   8.5

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

Giants       17   10  .630  –

Padres       17   11  .607   0.5

Rockies      14   14  .500   3.5

Diamondbacks 14   15  .483   4

Dodgers      12   16  .429   5.5

The Astros have nine wins

7. All About Nines in Houston

Dan Haren (4-1) allowed seven hits and walked one in nine innings of work for his 10th career complete game and first since last July 10 leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros. Haren struck out nine. Of Dan Haren’s 111 total pitches, 99 were fastballs.

Kelly Johnson entered the game with nine homers but led off the game with his 10th homer.

The Astros lost for the ninth time in 10 games and dropped to an NL-worst 9-19.

8. I Love Walkoffs

I'm still seeking a walkoff graphic

There was another near no-hitter last night as Nationals starter Scott Olsen held the Braves without a hit until David Ross hit a clean single to left with one out in the 8th then pinch-hitter Willie Harris delivered a walkoff RBI single to give Washington a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Washington had a 2-0 lead going into the bottom the 8th thanks to solo shots from Ivan Rodriguez and Adam Dunn. Olson had only allowed a 3rd inning walk but following the Ross single, there was an error, and another single, and Tyler Clippard came on to pitch and allowed a tying, two-run single to pinch-hitter Jason Heyward who did not start because of a sore right groin.

In the 9th, Eric O’Flaherty (1-1) gave up a leadoff walk to Adam Kennedy, Peter Moylan came in and gave up a double to Ryan Zimmerman, then after an intentional walk, Harris got his hit.

Clippard (4-0) got the final five outs and the win.

9. I Love Grand Walkoffs

Walkoff grand slam for Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier hit a grand slam walkoff homer off LaTroy Hawkins and the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-3. I love that!

Ethier now has two walkoffs this season and 11 since the start of 2008, the most in major leagues. Ethier has been up twice with the bases loaded this season and hit grand slams each time.

Jonathan Broxton (2-0) got the vulture win after allowing the Brewers to tie the score with two in the 9th.