On Saturday afternoon, NY Yankees ace CC Sabathia made quick work of the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. He got within four outs of a no-hitter. In the seventh with two outs catcher Kelly Shoppach (and a former teammate of Sabathia’s with Cleveland) ripped a single to left field on the very first pitch to break up the no-hitter. Sabathia threw 111 pitches and was helped out by great defense in the infield by Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano. The Yankees spanked the Rays 10-0.
Gaby Sanchez of the Florida Marlins hit his first big league homerun, a three-run shot, off of LA Dodger Vicente Padilla. In the bottom of the ninth and the Marlins down 6-4 (after the Dodgers came back against the Marlins bullpen to take the lead), pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino delivered a two-run double off of Dodgers reliever George Sherrill to tie the game. Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked to load the bases to face Jorge Cantu. Cantu launched a fly ball to centerfield for a sacrifice fly to score Chris Coghlin for the game winner (the Marlins won 7-6).
Zach Duke of the Pittsburgh Pirates seems to have rediscovered his dominance of a few years back. Against the Arizona Diamondbacks he got 14 ground ball outs to go with his two strikeouts in his seven solid innings of work. Duke allowed just four hits and two runs, which scored on Mark Reynolds’ two-run homerun in the seventh inning. The Pirates bullpen held on for the 6-3 win.
New LA Angels ace Jered Weaver dominated in his second start against the hot-hitting Oakland A’s. Weaver went six innings allowing one run on four hits while striking out seven (to just one walk). However the A’s were happy to see Weaver exit the game as they scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at 3-3. In the bottom of the ninth, the A’s elected to intentionally walk Torii Hunter after Bobby Abreu doubled. That brought up Hideki Matsui, who ripped a 2-0 fastball down the right field line to win the game 4-3, which broke the Angels four game losing streak.
The Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres battled into the 14th inning with Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez coming through with an RBI double for the game winner. The Rockies could not muster any offense against the Padres bullpen and had just two hits after the sixth inning. Tim Stauffer of the Padres went three shutout innings out of the pen while allowing just one hit while striking out three.
The Philadelphia Phillies continue to put runs on the board and rack up hits. They have 10 or more hits in each of their first five games (they are 4-1). Last night, veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer was cruising along until a five run third inning gave the Houston Astros the lead (their first lead of the year). The Astros, who were the only team in baseball without a homerun, hit two on Saturday night in that third inning (both Jason Michaels and Hunter Pence homered). Unfortunately for the Astros, their bullpen could not hold the lead. Brandon Lyon, who was signed to bolster the pen, gave up four hits and three runs in the seventh inning to take the loss (two of the runs came on a Ryan Howard homerun). In the ninth, Astros closer Matt Lindstrom gave up a two-run homerun to Shane Victorino. Despite the Astros hitting homeruns and scoring a run in the ninth against Phillies closer Ryan Madson, they lost 9-6 and have lost all five games to open the season at home at Minute Maid Park.
In San Francisco, the Atlanta Braves halted the Giants four game winning streak with a 7-2 win. Braves starter Derek Lowe did not have his best stuff but gutted it out. He walked seven but gave up just one run and four hits. Offensively the Braves were led by rookie Jason Heyward, who snapped an 0-for-11 skid to go 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBIs, and two runs scored, and the league’s leading hitter in second baseman Martin Prado (he is batting .600) as he went 2-for-4.