Rain played a major part in games played Friday night. In New York, the Yankees and Texas Rangers completed just six innings when the game was finally called. The Yankees won 5-1 as CC Sabathia dominated in the complete game win. CJ Wilson of the Rangers was hurt by poor defense and infield hits (four of the Yankees seven hits did not leave the infield) in his complete game loss.
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays played to a 1-1 tie at Fenway Park, as rained halted the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Play will resume prior to their start tonight. The Red Sox Josh Beckett and the Rays rookie Wade Davis were involved in a great pitcher’s duel, despite the rain, though the Rays stole four bases off of catcher Jason Varitek (who hit a solo homerun).
In Pittsburgh, rookie Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds matched up against the Pirates Zack Duke. Though Leake was not stellar (he walked five and gave up seven hits in seven innings), he limited the damage by allowing just three runs. Duke on the other hand was outstanding. He gave up six hits and one run in seven innings. However the Pirates bullpen gave away the lead by allowing three runs (one of which was Duke’s as he started the eighth inning) in two innings. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, centerfielder Andrew McCutchen collected a single. He immediately stole second base and scored on left fielder Lastings Milledge’s RBI single to center to send the Pirates home happy.
In St. Louis, the Cardinals were dominated all night by NY Mets starter Oliver Perez (even though Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter was just as dominant by striking out 10 in 6.1 innings). In the seventh, Mets manager Jerry Manuel pulled Perez after he allowed an infield single and a sacrifice bunt. Reliever Fernando Nieve came in and hit pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker and walked pinch-hitter Matt Holliday to load the bases. In came Raul Valdes to face Cardinals infielder Felipe Lopez, who deposited a 2-1 hanging curveball over the left field wall for a grand slam (which gave the Cardinals a 4-1 lead). Though the Cardinals bullpen almost blew the lead, they held on for a 4-3 win.
In Philadelphia, the Florida Marlins Jorge Cantu extended his hitting streak to 11 games but could not collect an RBI. He came up in the ninth inning after the Marlins had already scored four runs off of the Phillies bullpen with two men on base, but closer Ryan Madson induced a ground ball to end the rainy and cold game (8-6). The Marlins were dominated all night by Phillies new ace Roy Halladay, as he allowed two runs on eight hits in eight innings.
In Minnesota, the Twins seemed to have the bases loaded every inning against the KC Royals ace Zach Greinke and the Royals bullpen as they won 10-3. Greinke, last year’s CY Young award winner, did not have his usual command as he walked five in his five innings of work while allowing four runs (though only two were earned). The Twins on the other hand, received solid pitching from Scott Baker, who went seven innings while striking out six.
In LA, the Dodgers jumped all over SF Giants starter Todd Wellemeyer in the first two innings as he allowed seven runs, capped by Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier’s back-to-back homeruns in the first inning and Ethier’s grand slam in the second. There was a scary moment for the Giants in the fifth as Dodgers starter Vicente Padilla hit Aaron Rowand in the face, causing a cheek injury and a concussion. The Giants stormed back against the Dodgers bullpen as they scored five runs in the ninth, but could not overcome the lead (they lost 10-8).
In Toronto, the LA Angels almost wasted a gem thrown by starter Jered Weaver, as the Blue Jays scored four times in the eighth inning to cut the Angels lead to 7-5. However new Angels closer Fernando Rodney came in and quickly shut the door on the Blue Jays, as he threw just 9 pitches to pick up his second save of the season. Weaver went into the eighth inning (he was pulled after allowing a Randy Ruiz solo homerun) and gave up just two runs on five hits while striking out eight (he did not walk a batter).