The Pittsburgh Pirates promoted their top prospect, third baseman Pedro Alvarez, to the big leagues for Wednesday night’s game. Alvarez, a left-handed batter, was in the starting lineup and batting sixth against a tough left-handed pitcher, the Chicago White Sox John Danks. Alvarez went 0-for-2 but walked and scored a run in the fifth inning.
Danks was dominant as he gave up just two single runs (in the fifth and eighth innings) on four hits in eight innings. Left fielder Jose Tabata hit his first Major League homerun in the eighth off Danks. The middle of the order for the White Sox (Alex Rios, Paul Konerko, and Carlos Quentin) went a combined 7-for-12 with three runs scored and four RBIs. The Pirates were also sloppy as they committed six errors, with Alvarez making his first big league error, in the White Sox 7-2 victory and the Pirates tenth loss in a row.
Voters for the All-Star game should start punching in the name of Toronto Blue Jays catcher John Buck. Buck leads all Major League catchers in homeruns, RBIs, and slugging percentage. Against the San Diego Padres (and at a ballpark that is supposed to be tough to hit the ball out of) Buck hit a two-run homerun in the fifth inning off Padres starter Kevin Correia (it was his 12th of the season).
Vernon Wells also hit a homerun (his 16th) in the sixth off Correia. Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero allowed just an unearned run on five hits in six innings while striking out five to earn his 6th win of the season. Fred Lewis of the Blue Jays went 4-for-5 and was a homerun shy of hitting for the cycle.
For the third consecutive game, the NY Mets recorded a five-run inning, with Wednesday’s game coming in the third inning, capped by four doubles in a row.
The Mets have won six in a row and everyone in the Mets lineup collected at least a run scored or an RBI, along with every starter collecting at least one hit. Against the Cleveland Indians, Mets starter Jon Niese (who grew up an Indians fan) pitched well as he allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings (two of those runs coming on a Shelley Duncan homerun). Indians starter Mitch Talbot pitched his worst game of the season as he allowed eight runs on 13 hits in 5.2 innings.
Philadelphia Phillies veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer silenced the NY Yankees bats to just three hits in eight innings of work. Two of those hits were solo homeruns by Robinson Cano (in the second inning) and Jorge Posada (in the fifth inning). The Phillies offense broke out against Yankees starter AJ Burnett for six runs on six hits and four walks in just 3.1 innings.
Burnett was smacked around as Shane Victorino provided a bases-clearing triple and back-to-back homeruns to Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth. Some think that the Phillies have broken out of their offensive funk, but the Yankees relievers (Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin) pitched 5.2 no-hit innings. So once Burnett was gone, the Phillies bats went back to sleep.
The Oakland A’s debuted newly acquired outfielder Conor Jackson on Wednesday as he started in left field against the Chicago Cubs (his first game since being traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks). He led off for the A’s and went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Jackson also threw Geovany Soto out at the plate. However the spark that Jackson provided was not enough to beat the Cubs. A’s starter Gio Gonzalez struggled as he allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings.