Around the horn

Let’s go around the horn today.

1. 12 pitches

The Cardinals topped the Reds 7-3 last night in a Central Division showdown. The game was scoreless for three innings but in the space of 12 pitches the Cardinals rumbled and Reds starter Mike Leake tumbled. Jon Jay led off with double into the right-field corner. Albert Pujols followed with a smash past short. Matt Holliday lined one into right to make it 1-0. Colby Rasmus made it 2-0 with a single through the middle. Yadier Molina hit an infield single that loaded the bases. Then Skip Schumaker unloaded them with his first career grand slam and only his fourth home run of the year for a 6-0.

The Cards add another in the inning and Chris Carpenter (13-3) took care of the rest for St. Louis and moved to 4-0 in six starts since the All-Star break with a 1.79 ERA.

2. Red Sox relieved with split

Boston visited the New Stadium for a wrap-around weekend looking for a sweep, hoping to take three-of-four and definitely relieved to split the four game set. In their 2-1 win yesterday the Red Sox exhibited the type of play that had been expected from them since before the season, strong starting pitching, strong relief from the back end of their bullpen, and limited offense. The Yankees looked uninspired and tired after playing at 7 Friday night, 4 Saturday afternoon, 8 Sunday night, and 2 yesterday afternoon.

After losing a career-high four straight starts, ace lefty Jon Lester didn’t give up a hit until there was one out in the 5th. The Yanks loaded the bases against Lester in the 7th and then struck out three times in a row, once against Lester, then twice against Daniel Bard. Then closer Jonathan Papelbon and struck out three more in 1.1 innings for the save.

  • The Yanks were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and 2 for 17 with runners on base.
  • The Red Sox scored their pair against Phil Hughes (13-5) in the 2nd on scratch hits.

    The Yankees miss this guy

  • Mark Teixeira homered for the Yankees lone run.
  • The Yankees starting outfield included Austin Kearns, Curtis Granderson, with Marcus Thames as the DH, and they were not one of the two teams on the field beset with injuries.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury stole four bases tying the club record of Jerry Remy accomplished 30 years ago on June 14, 1980 versus the Angels. The Yankees went 3-4 on their homestand.
  • Derek Jeter played his 46th consecutive errorless game, tying his career high which only proves he can field what he can get to.

3. That makes five

The Orioles, Royals, Marlins, Diamondbacks and now the Mariners have fired their managers this season. Daren Brown, the manager of Triple-A Tacoma for the last four seasons, took over on an interim basis hours before beating Oakland, 3-1. Brown, who managed 1485 in the minors, is the seventh Seattle manager since 2002. Don Wakamatsu lasted a season and a half.

Brown became the 10th of Seattle’s 17 managers to win their first game. Only Lou Piniella their Mariners tenure with a winning record.

The Mariners welcomed Brownie by pulling off their first triple play in 15 years. They went around the horn as Jose Lopez took a chopper by Mark Ellis and stepped on third base for a forceout. Lopez then threw to second for a forceout there as Chone Figgins threw to first to complete the 5-4-3 TP.

4. It ends at five
The Rays ended their five-game losing streak topping the Tigers, 6-3. David Price (15-3) struck out nine and set a team record with his 15th win. The Tigers have lost 8 of 10.

Armando Galarraga (3-5) allowed four runs in five innings. Galarraga has only won one of 11 starts since nearly throwing a perfect game on June 2

5. I love walkoffs

Pat Burrell hit a walkoff sacrifice fly off Marcos Mateo (0-1), who made his major league debut after being called up earlier in the day and the Giants beat the Cubs, 4-3. Carlos Zambrano matched his career high with seven walks in his first start since a June 25 dugout blowup and subsequently being sent to purgatory.

Burrell had his first game-ending RBI of the season and the 10th of his career. It was his first ever via sacrifice fly.

San Francisco picked up its 28th comeback win, matching their 2009 total.

6. I love walkoffs

Here are Nine to Know about the Orioles:

  1. Brian Roberts hit a walkoff homer leading off the 10th inning to give the Orioles a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. It was his first homer of the season
  2. Baltimore is 6-1 since Buck Showalter took over, a week ago. Earl Weaver is the only other manager in the history of the Orioles to win six of his first seven games.
  3. Nine of Baltimore’s 38 wins have been walk-offs, which accounts for 24 percent of the team’s victories this season.
  4. After sweeping the Angels, the Orioles took three of four from Chicago, giving them successive series wins for the first time since July 2009.
  5. The homestand was Baltimore’s best since it went 7-0 against Seattle and Texas from Aug. 3-9, 2004.
  6. Baltimore is 28-71 in nine-inning games and 10-3 in extra innings games.
  7. It was Baltimore’s third walkoff win of the homestand. Showalter is the first manager since 1924 with three walk-off wins in his first seven games with a team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
  8. The win was the Orioles’ 10th in extra innings, which ties the Phillies for the most this season.
  9. In the Showalter era, Baltimore starters have pitched at least six innings in seven straight games and have registered a 1.89 ERA.

7. Happy birthday

Happy birthday today to Cleveland Indian legend Rocky Colavito.

Happy birthday yesterday to Atlanta Braves legend-in-the-making Jason Heyward, who turned 21 and hit his 12th home run of the season as the Braves lost to Houston, 10-4. He became the fourth player to homer on his 21st birthday, joining Ted Williams (1939), Frank Robinson (1956) and Alex Rodriguez (1996) according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

8. Players on the move

When the Dodgers finally designated Garret Anderson for assignment they di it with the express purpose of bringing up Jay Gibbons, the former Orioles outfielder prominently mentioned in the Mitchell Report. Gibbons hit batting .383 (36-for-94) with seven homers and 24 RBI in July games. The 33-year-old was among the league leaders in batting average (.347, 3rd), home runs (19, T-9th) and RBI (83, 5th).

The Reds traded outfielder Chris Dickerson to Milwaukee for Jim Edmonds, another alum from Reds GM Walt Jocketty days in St. Louis. Edmonds joins former St. Louis players Scott Rolen, Miguel Cairo and Russ Springer. Edmonds, 40, was hitting .286 with a .350 on-base percentage with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 217 at-bats for Milwaukee.

The Rays placed pitchers Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann on the 15 day DL both with sore shoulders and called up pitchers Jeremy Hellickson and Mike Ekstrom.

9. Today

AL

Orioles (Jake Arrieta) at Indians (Justin Masterson), 7:05

Rays (Jeremy Hellickson) at Tigers (Max Scherzer), 7:05 – Hellickson makes his second start.

Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka) at Blue Jays (Ricky Romero), 7:07 – The Jays are very hot at the plate. If they are patient against Dice-K, it will be a long night night for Boston.

Yankees (A.J. Burnett) at Rangers (C.J. Wilson), 8:05 – Battle of two first-place teams. The Yankees need to show some life.

Twins (Scott Baker) at White Sox (Freddy Garcia), 8:10 – Battle for the Division. Garcia is 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA in three quality starts against the Twins this year.

Royals (Bryan Bullington) at Angels (Dan Haren), 10:05

A’s (Brett Anderson) at Mariners (Felix Hernandez), 10:10

NL

Marlins (Anibal Sanchez) at Nationals (Stephen Strasburg), 7:05

Dodgers (Vicente Padilla) at Phillies (Kyle Kendrick), 7:05 – Two teams battling to stay relevant

Cardinals (Jamie Garcia) at Reds (Johnny Cueto), 7:10 – Battle for the Division.

Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez) at Mets (Mike Pelfrey), 7:10 – Rockies can’t afford to lose any starts by Ubaldo.

Braves (Jair Jurrjens) at Astros (J.A. Happ), 8:05

Diamondbacks (Barry Enright) at Brewers (Manny Parra), 8:10

Pirates (Jeff Karstens) at Padres (Wade LeBlanc), 10:05

Cubs (Ryan Dempster) at Giants (Tim Lincecum), 10:15 – Giants can’t afford to lose any starts by Lincecum.