Monday was a day for runs to be scored, as lots of runs were put up on the board throughout baseball. Last week, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates 20-0 and battered the Pirates throughout that series. Monday was no different. So far this season (in four games) the Brewers have outscored the Pirates 53-4!
That’s like a football score when the best team plays a no-name team. On Monday night in Milwaukee, the Brewers won the game 17-3 behind the solid pitching of ace Yovani Gallardo. The game was capped by a 9-run eighth inning off of two Pirates relievers (Octavio Dotel and Brendan Donnelly), highlighted by Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee’s grand slam.
Prince Fielder went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, Gallardo went 2-for-2 with three RBIs, and catcher Greg Zaun (who had trouble in the first inning throwing the ball back to the pitcher’s mound) went 4-for-4 with five RBIs. Pirates starter Zack Duke lasted just four innings while allowing eight runs on nine hits and four walks.
In Toronto, the visiting Boston Red Sox and Blue Jays went back and forth for most of the game. Every time one team would score, the other would score in the next half inning. Red Sox starter Josh Beckett lasted just three innings while allowing eight runs (six runs in the third inning) on nine hits, which was capped by Jose Bautista’s three-run homerun in the third inning. Blue Jays starter Dana Eveland did not fare any better as he lasted just three innings while allowing seven runs on eight hits.
The top of the order for the Red Sox (Marco Scutaro, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis) combined to go 9-for-15 with nine runs scored and four RBIs. The middle of the order for the Blue Jays (Adam Lind, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, and Alex Gonzalez) combined to go 11-for-19 with seven runs scored and seven RBIs.
The Blue Jays scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the Red Sox lead to 13-12 but could not score against Red Sox closer Jonathon Papelbon.
The Florida Marlins played host to the red-hot San Diego Padres and were looking to get ace Josh Johnson back on track. The Marlins offense jumped on Padres starter Mat Latos in the first inning on a Hanley Ramirez solo homerun. The Marlins scored two more in the second, four more in the third, and two more in the fourth inning (on a Dan Uggla homerun).
Latos lasted into the third inning while allowing seven runs on seven hits. Johnson, on the other hand, was solid. He pitched a complete game three hitter, allowing just a single run in the eighth inning while striking out 12. Johnson also went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
In Arlington, both the Texas Rangers and visiting Detroit Tigers had their offenses rolling but both starters struggled. The Rangers Matt Harrison lasted six innings while allowing six runs on right hits. The Tigers Jeremy Bonderman lasted into the sixth inning while allowing four runs on six hits. The game was tied into the ninth inning and the Rangers went to rookie closer Neftali Feliz and his 100+ mph fastball. Unfortunately for the Rangers, his fastball stayed in the 90s and Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge took him deep.
Tigers closer Jose Valverde had a perfect ninth (he threw just ten pitches) to hold onto the 8-6 victory. Despite the loss, there was a bright spot for the Rangers. Rookie Justin Smoak collected his first Major League hit, a double off of Bonderman in the fifth.
In Chicago, the Cubs collected a walk-off victory against the Washington Nationals as reliever Brian Bruney walked third baseman Aramis Ramirez with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth for the Cubs 4-3 victory and their fourth win in a row.
KC Royals starter Kyle Davies carried a no-hitter into the sixth against the Seattle Mariners and ace Felix Hernandez before giving up an infield single to Ichiro Suzuki with one out in the sixth. Davies and the Royals bullpen held on for the 3-1 win with Bruce Chen recording his first save in his 12-year playing career.
In San Francisco, the Giants Jonathon Sanchez outdueled Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay. Halladay allowed five runs (one on a homerun to Eli Whiteside) on ten hits in his first loss of the season. Sanchez allowed one run on three hits in five innings while striking out six (though he walked five). Whiteside went 2-for-3 while Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandoval both went 2-for-4 for the Giants.