Aroldis Chapman made his much anticipated MLB debut Tuesday night for the Cincinnati Reds. Chapman was clocked at 103 mph twice in his perfect inning of work. He pitched the 8th inning and struck out one. Veteran Aaron Harang returned to the Reds rotation and he went four innings while allowing three runs (one earned) on eight hits. The Reds pounded Milwaukee Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo for eight runs in just five innings. The Reds increased their lead in the National League Central to seven games over the St. Louis Cardinals, who continue to struggle.
The Cardinals were shutout for the second straight day by Houston Astros pitching, this time by Wandy Rodriguez (and three relievers). Rodriguez allowed just two hits through seven innings while striking out five. Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence collected two hits a piece for the Astros, with Pence driving in two runs.
The Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Jeff Francoeur from the NY Mets for utility-fielder Joaquin Arias. This move gives the Rangers a veteran power bat and a great throwing arm from the outfield to back up Nelson Cruz. Cliff Lee again struggled for the Rangers, as he lasted just 4.2 innings while giving up seven runs (four earned) on ten hits. It was his shortest outing of the season. Despite the poor start from Lee, the Rangers pounded out 16 hits and nine runs (Michael Young, David Murphy, Vladimir Guerrero, and Mitch Moreland all homered) and the game against the KC Royals went to the bottom of the 9th inning tied at 9-9. The Royals scored the game winner on a wild pitch from reliever Alexi Ogando, scoring Willie Bloomquist.
The NY Yankees finally pulled ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East as they beat the Oakland A’s 9-3. Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, and Mark Teixeira all homered for the Yankees. Yankees starter Phil Hughes struggled, but gave the team enough for the victory (five innings, two runs, four hits, and five walks).
The Rays held a 3-1 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays until the Blue Jays scored ten runs in the top of the 6th inning to pound the Rays 13-5. Rays starter Jeff Niemann did not record an out in the 6th inning, as all six batters he faced scored. Lance Cormier came on in relief and allowed two homeruns, by Aaron Hill and AL homerun-leader Jose Bautista (his 43rd). The Blue Jays pounded out 15 hits with every starter recording at least one hit. Blue Jays starter Rickey Romero was wild (he walked five) and allowed five runs (four earned) but allowed just three hits in 7.1 innings for the victory.
The Baltimore Orioles have been receiving great starting pitching as of late, and Tuesday night was no different. Rookie left-hander Brian Matusz allowed just two runs (on a Jed Lowrie two-run homerun in the 5th inning) on six hits through six innings. Jim Johnson returned to the Orioles from the DL to pitch an inning of scoreless relief and Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara closed out the Boston Red Sox (Uehara earned his 5th save of the season). Red Sox starter Josh Beckett was the hard-luck loser as he allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits through seven innings. The Red Sox dropped to eight games back of the Yankees and are still seven games back of the Rays in the wild card race.
The San Diego Padres have now lost six games in a row as they lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-4. The Diamondbacks scored five runs in the 5th inning off Padres starter Kevin Correia and reliever Joe Thatcher. The inning was highlighted by a Miguel Montero two-run double and Gerardo Parra two-run single. Despite the slide, the Padres still hold a four game lead in the NL West over the SF Giants.
The Giants held on against the Colorado Rockies, as they score three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to win 5-2. Rookies Esmil Rogers of the Rockies and Madison Bumgarner of the Giants pitched six solid innings for their teams. Andres Torres hit a solo homerun to lead off the 8th inning and Buster Posey delivered a two-run double.
The Atlanta Braves scored seven runs in the bottom of the 5th inning against NY Mets starter Jonathon Niese and the Braves held on for a 9-2 victory. The inning was highlighted by a Jason Heyward two-run double and David Ross’ grand slam. Rookie Braves starter Mike Minor was solid as he allowed just two runs on seven hits through five innings. Ross went 2-for-4 with four RBIs while Derek Lee went 3-for-3.
The Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals battled to a scoreless tie into extra innings. The Marlins scored the game’s lone run in the bottom of the 10th inning on an RBI single from Chad Tracy against Nationals rookie reliever Drew Storen. The Marlins collected just three hits in the game, two of which came in the 10th inning. Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez allowed just three hits through seven shutout innings while striking out seven.
Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman, in his second start since his return from Tommy John surgery, allowed just one hit through six innings while striking out nine (he did not walk a batter).