Praise the Rays, Pray for the Sox, Astros and M’s

It was almost 20% filled

1. Tampa Bay Raise the Roof

It seems as if each game that goes by, Tampa Bay shows you more as to why they are the best team in baseball, at least at this point of the season. Yesterday afternoon, they exhibited more outstanding pitching as Wade Davis topped Zack Greinke and the Kansas City Royals, 1-0.

Greinke was brilliant but Davis was just little bit better. Davis (3-1) allowed three hits, three walks and struck out five in seven innings. Greinke (0-3) went the distance and allowed four hits but one of them was an Evan Longoria homer in the 4th. Greinke struck out six and hit a batter but threw only 87 pitches, 65 for strikes, and did not even reach three balls on any batter.

Randy Choate and Dan Wheeler combined for a perfect 8th and Rafael Soriano pitched the 9th for his sixth save.

Greinke (0-3) has a 2.27 ERA and a 0.983 WHIP.

2. Padres Camouflaged as a Good Team

The Padres celebrate another win

Wearing their hideous Sunday camouflage uniforms, the Padres shut out the Brewers for the third time in four games, winning 8-0 on a combined three-hitter by Jon Garland (3-2), Mike Adams and Sean Gallagher. Scott Hairston and Kyle Blanks went B2B for the NL West leaders who are now 16-9 on the season and 10-3 at home. They’ve won 13 of 16. Randy Wolf (2-2) took the loss.

In taking three-of-four from Milwaukee they outscored the Brewers 21-2.

Great trivia question for you to use: What player got the first hit, a double, in Petco Park history and singled his first time up in the majors, with the events occurring six occurring six years apart?

The answer is Lance Zawadzki who singled yesterday and as a freshman playing for Tony Gwynn at San Diego State doubled in the first game at Petco Park on March 11, 2004.

3. Carpenter Carves out a Shutout

Chris Carpenter (4-0) outpitched Aaron Harang (1-4) as the Cardinals continued to dominate the NL Central winning yesterday, 6-0. Carpenter pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and David Freese continued his hot hitting as he homered for the third time in four games. Freese had three hits and is 12 for 22 during a six-game hitting streak. Freese leads National League rookies with nine multihit games.

Big game for David Freese

Albert Pujols broke the game open with a three-run double in the 7th as the St. Louis Cardinals moved to an NL-best 17-8. Albert is hitting .385 with runners in scoring position and is 13 for 25 during a seven-game hitting streak.

4. Who needs Mauer?

Wilson Ramos became the first Twins player with four hits in his MLB debut since Kirby Puckett in May 1984, as Minnesota (16-9) kept winning beating the Cleveland Indians, 8-3. Delmon Young homered amongst his four hits for the Twins who had 20 in the game. Winning pitcher Francisco Liriano (4-0) now has a 1.50 ERA.

Jim Thome broke a 2-2 tie in the 5th with a homer off losing pitcher David Huff (1-4).

Joe Mauer missed his second game with a bruised left heel enabling Ramos to become the 21st player and first catcher since 1900 to record four hits in his MLB debut.

5. Matchups Today

American League

7:05 PM ET    Baltimore at NY Yankees

Jeremy Guthrie

CC Sabathia

7:05 PM ET    Toronto at Cleveland

Brett Cecil

Mitch Talbot

7:10 PM ET    LA Angels at Boston

Joe Saunders

Clay Buchholz

8:10 PM ET    Detroit at Minnesota

Max Scherzer

Scott Baker

8:10 PM ET    Kansas City at Chi. White Sox

Gil Meche

Jake Peavy

10:05 PM ET  Texas at Oakland

Rich Harden

Dallas Braden

National League

7:05 PM ET    St. Louis at Philadelphia

Jaime Garcia

Joe Blanton

7:10 PM ET    NY Mets at Cincinnati

Oliver Perez

Mike Leake

8:05 PM ET    Arizona at Houston

Cesar Valdez

Felipe Paulino

10:05 PM ET  Colorado at San Diego

Ubaldo Jimenez

Kevin Correia

6. Phils Back in First

The New York Mets hoped to counter Roy Halladay’s magnificent shutout on Saturday with a great performance yesterday from their ace, Johan Santana. Didn’t happen.

Shane Victorino hit a granny and Chase Utley a two-run shot as the Phils scored nine times in the 4th driving out Santana and defeating the Mets, 11-5. Santana (3-2) allowed a career-worst 10 runs in 3.2 innings.

Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard also homered for the Phillies, who took two of three in the weekend set. Jaime Moyer (3-2) picked up the win.

7. Astros Plummet

Jason Heyward and Melky Cabrera each had three RBI as the Braves completed a three game sweep and beat Houston, 7-1. The Astros suffered their sixth straight loss and were outscored 21-4 in the sweep.

Derek Lowe (4-2) picked up the win, giving up six hits and one run with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings. Bud Norris (1-3) took the loss giving up seven runs on eight hits and four walks in 4.2 innings.

Heyward is hitting .272 with 23 RBI and has made some adjustments. Meanwhile, Chipper Jones was 0 for 3 with a walk, leaving him hitless in 14 at-bats and is struggling at .206.

8. Texas is the Only One, Making them #1

The Texas Rangers are now 13-12 making them the only team in the AL West over .500, making them the first-place team in the division. They reach this pinnacle by defeating Seattle yesterday 3-1 in 11 innings, their 8th win in the last 11 games.

Doug Fister pitched brilliantly again for the Mariners retiring the first 16 batters to face him. Max Ramirez finally ended Fister’s perfect game when he got his first hit in 14 at-bats in the majors dating back to July 13, 2008. Fister has a 1.29 ERA to lead the AL. He gave up just three hits while striking out three in eight innings.

The Mariners continued to appear helplessly hapless at the plate. They’ve scored 86 runs on the season, haven’t added to their total of nine homers in a week and scored three earned runs in 32 innings of this series.

Eric Byrnes who missed a suicide squeeze call and was hitting .094 was released after the game and biked into the sunset.

9. I Love Walkoffs

For nearly a third of the residents of Boston and some of its suburbs, it was a weekend without clean tap waterafter a water main ruptured Saturday making tap water undrinkable. Red Sox Nation, who spent the weekend drinking potable liquids with high alcohol content after being swept by the lowly Baltimore Orioles in a three-game set, did not notice the water ban.

The final Boston indignity came in a 10th inning walkoff double by Ty Wigginton who drove home the winner following a throwing error by Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon (1-2), giving the Orioles a 3-2 victory and their first three-game sweep of the Red Sox at home since September 2-4, 1974. The win gave the Baltimores their first three-game wining streak of the season and improved their overall record this season to 7-18, improved their record at home to 4-8, and improved their record this season against Boston to 4-2.

Matt Albers (2-3) worked the 10th for his second win of the season and his second win in the series.

Jason Varitek and J.D. Drew homered for the losers.