- The Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez came within three outs of his second career no-hitter only to lose it on a broken bat leadoff 9th inning single to Dexter Fowler. He still led Florida to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. Sanchez allowed an unearned run in the 1st, struck out nine and had a complete game one-hitter. Earlier this week, Tim Lincecum of the Giants took a no-hitter into the 7th against the Rockies. The Rockies are still tied with the Phillies and the Indians for the best record in baseball at 13-6, .684 despite hitting .248 as a team, below the NL team average of .254.
- A shutout is always impressive, but its really not getting to be that big a deal shutting out the Padres. Cole Hamels led the Phils to their second straight blanking of San Diego topping them last night, 4-0. Hamels and Ryan Madson combined for the four-hit shutout, Philly’s major league-leading fifth shutout. The Padres have not scored in 21 straight innings and have been shut out a major league-leading six times scoring a total of 60 runs in 20 games.
- It’s all about getting Quality Starts for the Boston Red Sox as Jon Lester struggled through six scoreless and the Sox held on to a 4-3 win over the Angels in Los Angeles. Jonathan Papelbon earned his fifth save. It was a happy 52nd birthday gift to Sox manager Terry Francona. Boston has won six of seven and their starters have allowed no more than two earned runs in any of the past seven games, with a 1.19 ERA during that stretch. Dan Haren (4-1) took the loss allowing four runs, two earned, in six innings while striking out six and walking three. He was the victim of shoddy play by the Angels outfield in his first loss in 13 starts since last Aug. 20.
- John McDonald hit a walkoff two-run 11th inning homer to give the Blue Jays a 6-4 win over the Rays. Toronto’s Jose Bautista hit his fifth home run of the season and finished a single shy of the cycle going 3-for-3, with two walks. It was McDonald’s 20th career homer and his first walkoff.
- Michael Pineda (3-1) became the the first pitcher in Seattle history to begin his career with four consecutive quality starts as he led the Mariners to a 4-0 win over the A’s with six shutout innings. Pineda gave up five hits, struck out five and walked two. Brandon League induced a base loaded game-ending double play for his fifth save in five chances.
- Justin Verlander ended his seven inning night by striking out A.J. Pierzynski, his eighth strikeout of the night and Verlander’s 1,000th of his career as the Tigers sent the White Sox down to their eighth defeat in nine games, 9-3. Verlander allowed four hits, including two home runs by Carlos Quentin and another by Paul Konerko. Konerko passed Ralph Kiner and tied Gil Hodges for 68th place on the all time HR list, with 370. Verlander is 2-2 this month with a 3.50 ERA. In his Aprils career he is now 9-13 with a 4.76 ERA. The all-time Tigers strikeout leaders are below.
- All the Dodgers seemingly needed was to sideline Frank McCourt. Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer, Marcus Thames pinch-hit a two run homer, Andre Ethier extended his major league-best hitting streak to 19 games and Chad Billingsley contributed with outstanding pitching as the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs, 12-2. Billingsley tossed 6.1 innings allowing seven hits two runs, only one earned, and struck out and walked three. The Dodgers have won five of six, including three straight since Major League Baseball seized control of the team.
- Three games were postponed last night: the Yankees in Baltimore, the Indians in Minnesota, and the Nationals in Pittsburgh. The Cardinals waited out a 2:10 rain delay to defeat the Reds, 4-2. Tony LaRussa craftily used substitute starter Miguel Batista for six pitches, and then brought in scheduled starter Kyle McClellan after the rain delay. Mother Nature is clearly not a Yankee fan as the Bombers were rained out for the third time in 17 days. The Yankees are scheduled to play the next 16 days before a break May 9, and 32 of the next 33 days. None of the rainouts have been made up as of yet.
- On this date: April 23, 1954, the Milwaukee Braves are visiting the St. Louis Cardinals. In the 29th plate appearance of his young career, future all-time home run champion Henry Aaron hit the first homer of his career off Cardinals’ starter Vic Raschi. The Braves eventually won that game, 7-5 in 14 innings. Baseball’s greatest home run hitter finished his career with 755 homers and 100 of them, including the first, were hit in the 6th inning.
All-time Tigers strikeout leaders: