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Lol i'm sorry.


i was just quoting from the tv show lost


i actually have no knowlege of baseball,other than its a sport and terms like "home run" and "strike 3"


Heh, no prob. just googled it, came to that conclusion.


I'm kinda the same when it comes to Rugby.

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For 4/10/10: Marlins rally over Dodgers to win 7-6



Repairs made as Florida Marlins rally over Los Angeles Dodgers

A delay caused by a loose section of the outfield wall, and fixes to clean up more bullpen messes led the Marlins.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/11/1573...l#ixzz0kqFctfEe





It seems like everything is either disappearing or falling apart at Sun Life Stadium. Fans discovered that the ``Teal Monster'' scoreboard no longer was there when they arrived for the home opener Friday. On Saturday, a section of outfield wall came loose, causing a lengthy delay, before the Marlins bullpen also came unhinged.


Workers managed to fix the padded wall in eight minutes. Ronny Paulino and Jorge Cantu came to the bullpen's rescue in one big ninth inning that led to a 7-6 victory.


With the Marlins trailing 6-4, Paulino tied the score with a bases-loaded double off the wall in center. And Cantu won the game with his sacrifice fly, which drove in Chris Coghlan from third and gave the Marlins their first walk-off win of the season.


``I thought it was gone,'' Paulino said of his long drive off Dodgers reliever George Sherrill.


It wasn't a game-winning grand slam. But it was a game-saving blow that spared the maligned bullpen further criticism, which has been mounting steadily since Opening Day.


The latest late-inning breakdown came in the eighth, when left-hander Dan Meyer couldn't leave stranded the two runners he inherited from Tim Wood. The result: Andre Ethier erased a 4-3 Marlins lead with a pinch-hit single up the middle that scored two, and the Dodgers added another run on Matt Kemp's home run off Jose Veras for a 6-4 lead.


But, just like Wednesday in New York when the bullpen squandered the lead, the Marlins escaped with a win.


Saturday's example of poor relief work came innings after a chunk of outfield wall guarding the foul pole in right came loose, prompting a delay for repair.


The delay seemed to affect Dodgers starter Vicente Padilla, who gave up a hit to Cody Ross when the game resumed, followed by a three-run home run by Gaby Sanchez that gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead.


``It actually get us going that inning,'' Sanchez said of the loose wall.


Had Sanchez not come through with his home run over the section of elevated wall formerly known as the ``Teal Monster,'' Josh Johnson might have sustained back-to-back defeats for the first time since before his Tommy John elbow surgery in 2007. As it was, he was lifted after completing the fifth and throwing 93 pitches total.


Johnson has not resembled anything like the elite pitcher the Marlins envisioned when they gave him a four-year contract extension worth $39 million in January. In his two outings covering 10-plus innings, Johnson has given up seven runs on 13 hits, seven walks and a hit batsman. He has pitched only two clean innings -- both in New York.


His worst inning was the third, when the Dodgers produced three runs on consecutive hits by Rafael Furcal, Garrett Anderson and Kemp, a sacrifice fly by Manny Ramirez, and a two-out double by Casey Blake.


Burke Badenhop took over and became a human baseball magnet. Following Russell Martin's leadoff single in the sixth, three Dodgers batters in succession bounced one-hoppers back to Badenhop. His throw on the first was off target, pulling Dan Uggla off the bag at second. An error was charged to him on the second even though neither Uggla nor Hanley Ramirez was covering the bag when he fired the ball to the shortstop. The third he fielded cleanly and threw to second to start an inning-ending double play.


But Badenhop has been one of the bullpen's few bright spots so far. The same can not be said for Saturday's culprits: Wood, Meyer and Veras.


The ninth was given to Veras, who has now allowed six runs in only 3 2/3 innings after Kemp's homer.


But the Marlins loaded the bases in the ninth when Sanchez singled, Wes Helms was hit by a pitch and Coghlan walked. Paulino went in to pinch-hit, who drove Sherrill's first pitch off the wall in center.


Cantu drove in Coghlan with the winning run on a sacrifice fly.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/11/1573...l#ixzz0kqFmT4Yf


Braves also won over Giants 7-2


Braves win 7-2, hand Giants first loss of season


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Derek Lowe is concerned about all the attention being focused on Braves teammate Jason Heyward. Atlanta's rookie outfielder, though, isn't too worried.


Heyward homered and drove in two runs, Lowe won despite a wild outing and the Braves beat San Francisco 7-2 on Saturday night to hand the Giants their first loss of the season.


Heyward, who also homered in his first major league at-bat during Atlanta's opening day win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday, finished with three hits and two walks. That came on the heels of his 0-for-5 performance a day earlier which led to criticism of the 20-year-old phenom, a point that frustrated Lowe.


"Something's got to stop where people are continually talking about this guy," said Lowe, who scattered four hits over six innings. "I pick up the paper and it's like, 'The Giants figure out Heyward.' Now today, did the Giants not figure him out? It's unfair because people are basing him on a day-to-day, at-bat to at-bat. It's amazing."


Heyward had a solo shot off starter Todd Wellemeyer in the sixth inning and added an RBI single to cap a four-run seventh, helping the Braves end the Giants' four-game winning streak.


The rookie later shrugged off the pressures of being in the spotlight as part of the job.


"To me, I'm just playing baseball," Heyward said. "For me, it's going to take adjustments, it's going to take failures, it's going to take successes. This is my first time seeing the league. Other than that I'm just playing baseball."


Lowe (2-0) won despite a career-high seven walks. Peter Moylan, Takashi Saito and Jesse Chavez completed the six-hitter for the Braves.


"Lowe was tough tonight," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He walked an unusually high amount ... but his ball was sinking good. He pitched out of some jams really good."


Martin Prado added two hits while filling in for injured Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones.


The Giants were charged with four wild pitches, tying the most in San Francisco history.


"Overall I thought we were off tonight," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It wasn't a clean game for us. We'd been playing so well and we just had an off night."


Aaron Rowand had two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who entered as the only unbeaten team in the majors. San Francisco failed to take advantage of nine walks by Braves pitching and dropped to 4-1.


Atlanta won despite a shaky outing from Lowe, its opening day starter. The right-hander, who allowed only two walks over 22 innings in spring training, struggled with his command all night and repeatedly had to pitch out of trouble as a result.


He finished with four strikeouts and the seven walks, though only one came back to hurt him.


"I don't even know how to describe it," Lowe said. "That game could have easily at any point got completely out of control. I was doing my best not to let the walks affect me ... because the positive thing was when there was contact, there was mostly groundballs."


After walking Aubrey Huff and Mark DeRosa leading off the fourth, Lowe gave up an RBI single to Jose Uribe but got out of the jam when Uribe was caught stealing and Eli Whiteside struck out.


In the sixth, Lowe issued three walks, one intentional, but got a double play and a groundout to end that threat.


Heyward tied the score at 1 with his second home run in the sixth, an opposite-field shot that just cleared the wall in left before bouncing back onto the field.


The Braves then scored three times in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Troy Glaus, Yunel Escobar's RBI groundout and Heyward's run-scoring single to left. All the runs came against Wellemeyer (0-1), who worked out of a pair of jams early before running into control issues of his own.


Wellemeyer, who gave up seven hits over 6 1-3 innings with four strikeouts, didn't get much help from his teammates. The Giants averaged 5.7 runs through their first four games but hurt themselves on the bases, grounding into two double plays while getting caught stealing twice.


Atlanta added an unearned run in the eighth, then scored twice in the ninth on an RBI double by pinch-hitter Eric Hinske and a run-scoring single by Omar Infante.


NOTES: Jones missed his second straight game because of a strained right oblique muscle and is still day to day. ... Giants RHP Tim Lincecum received his second consecutive NL Cy Young Award trophy during a pregame ceremony. ... OF Fred Lewis is eligible to come off the Giants' 15-day disabled list Sunday. Lewis, who missed the final week of spring training because of a left intercostal strain, has been rehabbing with Triple-A Fresno. ... The Giants will celebrate the 10th anniversary of AT&T Park by reuniting players from the 2000 NL West division championship team, including Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Robb Nen.

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For 4/11/10: Red Sox win their 3 game series over the Royals. Final game score, 8-6.


Pedroia, Beltre lead Red Sox past Royals


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Boston Red Sox survived two scares on Sunday - a possible serious injury to left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and a Kansas City Royals rally.


Dustin Pedroia collected four hits, including a home run, to lead Boston to an 8-6 victory.


Adrian Beltre had three hits and three RBIs for the Red Sox, but was part of a ninth-inning collision that resulted in Ellsbury being helped off the field.


"He kneed me right in the ribs," Ellsbury said. "I was worried about, a broken rib. I'm sure there is quite a bit of swelling in there cause it is a little tough to breath. It didn't feel too good initially.


"They got good enough X-rays. They'll just probably blow them up on a bigger monitor (Monday) and make sure there is nothing like a minor break. There was nothing obvious on it."


Jose Guillen homered twice and drove in four runs for the Royals. Gil Meche lasted just 3 1-3 innings in his first start after being sidelined by a stiff shoulder.


Ellsbury and Beltre were chasing Mitch Maier's foul fly ball. Ellsbury remained on the grass for several minutes and isn't sure if he'll be able to play Monday at Minnesota.


"I guess (it will be) pain tolerance," he said. "I know it's going to be really sore tomorrow."


Pedroia's homer in the fourth was his third in six games. He connected in the 2009 season opener, then went 190 at-bats before his second homer on May 31.


"I don't know how many games it was, but it seemed like forever," Pedroia said. "I'm actually seeing the ball good. I usually have a tough time early. I've got three pitches on the inner part of the plate and I hit them. I'm just trying to get my pitch and do damage with it. That's been my game plan."


Guillen led off the second with a drive to center and hit a three-run shot off Ramon Ramirez in the eighth to get Kansas City within two. Ramirez failed to retire any of the three hitters he faced.


Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon combined for the final six outs, with Papelbon earning his second save in two opportunities.


"The good news is Bard and Pap did a great job," manager Terry Francona said. "The flip side is we had to get to them. We came out of the chute with a lot of energy and did some good things and then hung on for dear life."


Boston sent eight men to the plate during its four-run first. Victor Martinez singled in Ellsbury and scored on Beltre's base hit. Jeremy Hermida added a two-run double.


Beltre doubled in two more runs in the fourth to give Boston an 8-3 lead.


Clay Buchholz (1-0) worked five innings for the Red Sox, yielding three runs, two earned and seven hits.


Meche (0-1), in the fourth season of a $55 million, five-year contract, allowed seven runs and eight hits. Royals starting pitchers had a 2.51 ERA in the first five games of the season.


"My outing was terrible," Meche said. "I felt fine, probably felt too good, coming out of the bullpen. My intensity was too high. I just couldn't get the ball down. My release point was off pretty much the whole day. They hit some balls up and capitalized early. I made a lot of mistakes."


NOTES: The Royals optioned INF Mike Aviles to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Meche on the roster. ... Maier, who led the majors with a .475 batting average in spring training, appeared in his first game, going 0 for 2 with a walk. ... OF J.D. Drew was held out of Boston's lineup with a stiff neck. He is hoping to return to the lineup Monday at Minnesota. ... INF Bill Hall made his Red Sox debut, starting at shortstop and moving to right field in the ninth. He went 0 for 3 and committed an error in the first that led to an unearned run. ... Red Sox DH David Ortiz struck out four times, bringing his strikeout total to nine in 19 at-bats. He is hitting .111 with one extra-base hit and one RBI in five games.


Marlins beat the Dodgers 6-5



Florida Marlins rally from four-run deficit to beat L.A. Dodgers

Jorge Cantu's two-run double in the seventh inning capped a comeback as the Marlins overcame costly errors. `We fight nine innings,' Cantu said.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/12/1574...y#ixzz0kvNPpZeZ





If the Marlins have proved anything six games into this season, it's that even when they look horrendous on defense, they can still find a way to win with their bats.


The Marlins' 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday became the latest example as they overcame two errors in the outfield, a four-run deficit and a nail-biting ninth inning to somehow emerge from the season's opening week with a pair of series victories and a 4-2 record.


Jorge Cantu, who drove in the winning run in Saturday's three-run, ninth-inning rally with a sacrifice fly, played the role of hero again by matching a career-high with five RBI.


On a day when Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger struck out 12, Cantu was one of the few Marlins to connect on one of Haeger's floaters. Cantu crushed a three-run home run off him in the fourth, then doubled down the left-field line off reliever Jeff Weaver in the seventh to bring in Cameron Maybin and Hanley Ramirez with the tying and go-ahead runs.


``We fight nine innings,'' said Cantu, who has 10 RBI and is one game shy of matching the franchise record for consecutive games to start a season with at least one hit and one RBI.


``I think you guys saw it last year. We're the kings of drama in the ninth inning. I think everybody here is used to that.''


Cantu's big hits helped starter Anibal Sanchez get off the hook for what would have been a tough-luck loss.


Making his first start of the season, Sanchez gave up seven hits, four earned runs, walked one and struck out five over six innings.




But the Dodgers probably would not have had a 5-3 lead when Sanchez was removed for a pinch-hitter in the sixth had the Marlins played better defense behind him.


The Dodgers (2-4) scored four runs off Sanchez in the fourth, but not until after a single to center by Ronnie Belliard bounced off Maybin's glove and past him, allowing two runs to score and Belliard to advance to third.


Cody Ross then added to the frustrations in the sixth when he dropped what would have been the second out of the inning, charging in to catch a pop fly that instead loaded the bases.


The Marlins, though, did what they always seem to do these days -- rally.




After Matt Kemp dropped a pop fly of his own for the Dodgers in center, Ross took advantage by driving in Ronnie Paulino with an RBI single to left in the sixth.


``Anytime you don't do it on defense, you want to do it at the plate, and that's kind of how you get back,'' Ross said.


``I came up and got a hit and drove in Paulino and made me feel a little better.''


After Cantu's two-run double gave the Marlins a 6-5 lead, the Marlins bullpen -- which has been having its own share of issues -- preserved the lead.


Clay Hensley provided two solid innings of relief, escaping a dangerous two-out jam with runners on the corners in the eighth by getting pinch-hitter Andre Ethier to ground out to second.


Closer Leo Nuñez then gave up a walk and a single in the ninth to put runners on the corners with one out. But he struck out Kemp and retired James Loney on a groundout to first for his second save in three tries.




It was the first win for Hensley since July 21, 2008 -- and the 128th come-from-behind win for the Marlins since Gonzalez became manager in 2007, the fourth-most in the majors.


``It seems like we come from behind every day,'' Gonzalez said. ``The way you draw it up is you score one and the starter goes nine [innings] and you beat somebody 1-0.


``We've seen this for three years and the start of this season. The resiliency. These guys battle. And I don't see that changing.''


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/12/1574...y#ixzz0kvNTqYfA


Braves fall to Giants 6-3


Lincecum leads Giants past Braves in finale


By David O'Brien


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


San Francisco – When Brian McCann hit a rare AT&T Park homer off Giants ace Tim Lincecum in the first inning Sunday, it seemed to wake the long-haired fireballer known as "The Freak."

From that point Lincecum was in control, striking out 10 in seven innings during a rain-delayed 6-3 win against the Braves that captured the series for San Francisco at AT&T Park.


"He's the best pitcher in the game," McCann said of Lincecum, who allowed five hits and one walk in seven innings. "It was almost like he turned it up another gear after that home run. His change-up is close to unhittable."


Jason Heyward hit a two-out homer in the ninth off lefty Jeremy Affeldt, but the bases were empty and the Braves trailed by four when he hit it. Heyward leads major league rookies with three homers and eight RBIs, but also made a costly throwing error earlier in the game.


Pablo Sandoval's two-run homer off reliever Kris Medlen in the eighth inning pretty much ended any hopes of a late rally by the Braves, who've lost three of four games to even their record (3-3).


Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami (0-1) pitched six strong innings (five hits, three runs, one walk) in his season debut, but a couple of singles and an off-target throw from right field erased a 2-1 lead in the sixth.


The Giants had two on with two out when Mark DeRosa singled to right. Heyward's throw to the plate was a few feet up the third-base line and skipped past McCann's mitt and off Sandoval's leg as the runner neared the plate.


The ball caromed away from McCann, allowing Aubrey Huff to also score on the play for a 3-2 Giants lead.


"The ball skipped off the runner and all of a sudden we were behind," manager Bobby Cox said. "It seemed impossible. Kawakami was as good as I've seen him. It's a shame. You're not going to pitch any better than that. Bad luck."


The Giants scored their earlier run Sandoval tripled with two out in the fourth and scored on Aubrey Huff's single through the left side where shortstop Yunel Escobar would normally have been. The Braves had a shift on with Escobar over second base, and Kawakami said he hadn't expected Escobar to be over that far.


The third loss in four games for the Braves entering a three-game series against San Diego that starts Monday afternoon. It will be a quicker-than-expected turnaround for the Braves after Sunday's game was delayed just over four hours by rain.


The wait seemed like it would be worth it for the Braves when McCann scorched a two-out shot off Lincecum in the opening inning, the first homer allowed at home by the two-time Cy Young Award winner since Sept. 23, 2008.


Lincecum pitched more than 130 innings in 18 home starts without giving up a homer at the frequently windswept park by San Francisco bay.


"We couldn't do much [after the McCann homer]," Cox said. "[Lincecum] settled down. It was almost like a strikeout machine was going out there. He's really tough."


Lincecum improved to 6-1 in seven starts against the Braves, and in the past five of those games he has a 2.27 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 35-2/3 innings.


After McCann's first-inning homer, two Braves advanced to second base against Lincecum. Kawakami flied out after Omar Infante's two-out double in the second, and Eric Hinske and McCann struck out after Martin Prado's double in the third.


Lincecum struck out all three batters in the seventh for his 20th double-digit strikeout game in 92 career starts. In his past 14 home starts, he's 10-2 with a 1.43 ERA, 122 strikeouts and 28 walks in 107-1/3 innings.

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Tough loss for the Red Sox to the Twins today, 5-2. Lester struggled in the early innings. Not having Ellsbury didn't help matters. Big Papi seems to be doing better. The Twins won their opener in their new field, so good for them. Ellsbury should be back in the line up Wednesday, thankfully.


Here's the breakdown:


Top 9th: Twins 5, Sox 2


It's over here in 2:59. Sox go down in order in the 9th against Jon Rauch, including a pop out foul by David Ortiz.


Top 8th: Twins 5 Red Sox 2


Started out as a promising inning with Jeremy Hermida doubled and Scutaro singled, but it fizzled quickly. Pedroia knocked in Boston's second run with a sac fly, but Victor Martinez knokced into a 4-6-3 DP. Scott Schoeneweis is on in the 8th.


Bottom 7th: Twins 5, Red Sox 1

Jason Kubel took Atchison downtown to lead off the inning. Atchison got the next three, but the Twins are rolling. Hard to tell if Twins will have same homefield advantage here as they did at Metrodome. But so far, not too bad.


Top 7th: Twins 4, Red Sox 1


Nice outing by former Sox Carl Pavano: 6 innings, four hits, one run, one walk and four strikeouts. MIke Cameron sent one deep to leftcenter to end the 7th. Footnote: Crowd announced at 38,145, a sellout.


Bottom 6th: Twins 4, Red Sox 1


Lester lasted five innings allowing nine hits, four runs, three walks and struck out five. He threw 107 pitches, only 59 for strikes. Scott Atchison is on in the 7th. Span is already on 2nd base with a single and stolen base.


bottom 4th: Twins 4, Red Sox 1


Lester has thrown 93 pitches through four innings, The Twins got a another run with a Span stolen base and scoring on Joe Mauer's infield single to shortstop. The Sox continue not be able to throw anyone out on the basepaths. Footnote: Whitman-Hanson Regional High School is well-represented here. Dawn Mitchell, a Fox Sports Minneapolis anchor; Dana Levangie, a Red Sox advance scout, and yours truly are alumni.


top 4th: Twins 3, Red Sox 1


Stop the presses. Ortiz has struck. The big guy just smashed a double to leftcenter that twisted and turned Delmon Young in the wrong direction as he approached the wall between the Budweiser sign and the 377 mark. The ball wound up going off his glove, but Ortiz was credited with a double scoring Kevin Youkilis, who had also doubled off Carl Pavano. FOOTNOTE:::Just ran into Brad Horn of the Hall of Fame. He has already retrieved the ball Marco Scutaro's hit for a single, the first hit at Target Field, and it's already on it's way back to Cooperstown.


Bottom 2nd: Twins 3, Red Sox 0


Looks like the young, maturing Jon Lester. Remember the one that used to get his pitch count up rapidly? That's the guy we're seeing today. He's thrown 58 pitches over two innings. The Twins scored a third run in the second when Mauer laced a a double down the left field line. I think we'll be seeing this play a lot at this ballpark. That scored Nick Punto with the third run. Punto led off with a single off Beltre, whose range actually cost him on this one. Punto stole second and went to third on a sacrifice.


top 2nd: Twins 2, Red Sox 0


Poor David Ortiz. He took a called third strike to leadoff the second inning. That's five in a row. Amalie Benjamin calculates 9 K's in his last 11 AB's.


bottom 1st: Twins 2, Red Sox 0


Jon Lester really struggled with his command here in the first. In the Twins' eight-batter inning, Lester walked two including leadoff man Denard Span. Lester also allowed a single to No. 2 hitter Orlando Hudson, but then got Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau on a fly to left (hmmm, if Mauer had been playing at Fenway for the Red Sox next season the ball might have reached the wall. Ok maybe not) and a pop to first base. Almost out of the woods, Lester broke Michael Cuddyer's bat but it was a single to left nonetheless scoring a run. After Jason Kubel single to score the second run, Delmon Young walked but Lester retired JJ Hardy for the final out to limit the damage.


top 1st: Red Sox 0, Twins 0:


Sox leadoff hitter Marco Scutaro stroked the first hit in Target Field history - a single to centerfield off Carl Pavano on a 65-degree, partly-sunny day on this historic day. Unfortunately, Scutaro got caught red-handed by Pavano when he broke too soon for second and was throw on out. The sizzling-hot Dustin Pedroia (.360, 3-7) doubled to the leftfield corner, but was stranded by Victor Martinez, who flew out to centerfield and Kevin Youkilis grounded out to end the first half-inning ever at Target Field.


Atlanta... Ouch.... Ugly loss to the San Diego Padres... 17-2


Jurrjens, Reyes allow 10 runs in ugly inning


8:34 pm April 12, 2010, by David O'Brien


San Diego – Never have more runs been scored in one inning at Petco Park than the Padres’ 10-run fourth inning against the Braves on Monday night.


Seven of those runs were charged to Jair Jurrjens, which made it the worst inning ever against the Braves right-hander in the worst start of his major league career.


The Padres had seven hits and two walks in the fourth inning, including three hits and a walk against reliever Jo-Jo Reyes after he replaced Jurrjens with one out. Kyle Banks greeted Reyes with a two-run double, runs tacked on Jurrjens’ tally.


The Padres tied the record for runs by any team in one inning at the seven-year-old ballpark. It had last been done there by the Padres in a 2005 game against Florida.


Jurrjens was charged with eight runs, eight hits and two walks in 3-1/3 innings, after never allowing more than six runs in 73 previous major league starts.


Marlins are currently tied with Cincinnati Reds 5-5 at the top of the 9th with the bases empty and 1 out.

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Ugh, when you gonna report some good Red Sox news, Benny? Double ugh for Oritz. Fuh!


Yeah, I know. Slow start to the season. Big Papi's not seeming as hot as he once was right now. If he doesn't pick up soon (I say give him a few weeks), I say they do what they did the other day and bench him (sad as it makes me to say it) and put Veritek as Catcher and V-Mart DH. It worked really well. Still, I love Big Papi, and I have faith he'll pull through this funk.

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For 4/12/10: Marlins fall to Reds after 10 innings, 6-5


REDS 6, MARLINS 5 (10)

No wild comeback this time as Florida Marlins fall to Reds

The Marlins couldn't repeat their recent late-inning heroics and wasted several chances in losing to the Reds.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/13/1576...l#ixzz0l0bOGUSL





It didn't qualify as a real standing ovation, considering the large number of empty orange seats inside Sun Life Stadium on Monday night.


But the few thousand fans really in attendance among the paid crowd of 10,119 did their best to make Jorge Cantu feel appreciated after his third-inning, two-run double made a little Marlins history. The play -- celebrated with shouts of CANT-U! -- made him only the second player in franchise history to start a season with at least one hit and one RBI in seven games.


By the end of the night, though, it was the missed opportunities in a 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Reds the Marlins were lamenting.


Scott Rolen's one-out, RBI single to right field off Burke Badenhop turned out to be the final dagger. But the Marlins, who stranded 11 runners, certainly had their chances. They scored just one run despite loading the bases with nobody out in the second and came up empty after loading the bases with one out in the ninth inning.


Neither Ronny Paulino nor Cody Ross could provide the lift needed late. Paulino chased a 2-2 Nick Masset pitch in the dirt for strike three before Ross grounded a 3-2 pitch to shortstop to end the ninth. Francisco Cordero then pitched a 1-2-3 10th, retiring Chris Coghlan, who finished 0 for 6, for the final out.


``I had him where I wanted him,'' Ross said of his at-bat against Masset. ``But I think I swung at ball four. It was probably down, a tough pitch to take. A sinker that was pretty good. That guy has good stuff. You have to give him credit.''


The disappointing ninth inning came long after Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco had exited. He became only the sixth Marlins pitcher to record 500 career strikeouts, but was pounded for nine hits and five earned runs over six innings, including three home runs.


Two solo shots came off the bat of Rolen. The other, a two-run shot by Orlando Cabrera in the fifth inning, gave the Reds the lead back at 5-4.


``I thought I made a couple good pitches they made good swings on,'' Nolasco said. ``. . . You just have to tip your hat.''


The Reds were in position to add to their lead in the sixth with runners on the corners and one out. But the Marlins escaped thanks to some solid defense on an unusual double play.


After Nolasco got pinch-hitter Chris Dickerson on a called third strike, catcher John Baker fired the ball toward second as Ramon Hernandez was trying to steal. But shortstop Hanley Ramirez cut it off and fired it back home to Baker, who blocked Laynce Nix from reaching the plate before applying the tag.


``We did it textbook,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``You couldn't have asked anybody to do it better than that.''


Paulino then provided a big lift in the seventh.


After Cantu drew a two-out walk and advanced to third on Dan Uggla's broken-bat single to right off reliever Mike Lincoln, Reds manager Dusty Baker turned to left-hander Daniel Ray Herrera out of his bullpen.


Gonzalez countered by pinch-hitting for Baker with Paulino, who promptly slapped a hard ground ball up the middle that didn't allow second baseman Brandon Phillips enough time to force Uggla at second.


Marlins reliever Clay Hensley then got out of a tough situation with runners on the corners and one out in the eighth by getting pinch-hitter Ryan Gomes to pop out to first base and Hernandez to bounce out to Ramirez.


Marlins closer Leo Nuñez retired the Reds in order in the ninth, but there was no Marlins magic on tap this time.


``We can't keep playing catch-up every night,'' Gonzalez said.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/13/1576...l#ixzz0l0bTR3JV

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4/13/10: Another close Marlins/Reds game, but the Marlins fall 10-8 after 11 innings. :sad:


REDS 10, MARLINS 8 (11)

Florida Marlins fall in 11 innings to Cincinnati Reds


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/14/1578...l#ixzz0l5M8JY6M





Jorge Cantu drove in the run that put his name in the record books.


But Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips drove in the runs that made the Marlins extra-inning losers to the Cincinnati Reds for the second night in a row.


``I don't know about the rest of the team, but I got a couple of headaches the last couple of days,'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.


On a night when umpires used video replay to take away one home run, it was RBI singles by Votto and Phillips off Dan Meyer in the 11th inning that brought the Marlins down to defeat in yet another cliffhanger, 10-8.


Votto's two-out hit skimmed off the top of leaping shortstop Hanley Ramirez's glove and came after Chris Coghlan made a spectacular diving catch on the warning track to rob Orlando Cabrera of extra bases.


``It was an unbelievable play,'' Cantu said of Coghlan's catch. ``I thought he was going to save that inning.''


The two big hits by Votto and Phillips served not only to spoil Cantu's achievement, but also negated a game-tying home run by Cody Ross in the eighth inning and helped the Reds get over an umpiring decision that erased a home run.


With the Marlins' loss, Cantu had to settle for individual glory.


With his run-scoring single in Tuesday's fifth inning, Cantu extended his club-record RBI streak to 12 consecutive games. He has driven in runs in all eight games this season, matching the major-league record for consecutive games with at least one RBI to start a season.


George Kelly in 1920, Willie McCovey in 1969 and Tony Olivo in 1970 also had RBI in their first eight games. The big-league record for consecutive games with at least one RBI is 17, which was accomplished in 1922 by Ray Grimes Sr. of the Chicago Cubs.


And Cantu and Kelly are the only two players in major-league history to collect a hit and RBI in each of his team's first eight games.


``Wow,'' Cantu said. ``I'm speechless. It's a great honor to be in that elite group.''


Earlier in the game, Jonny Gomes and Ryan Hanigan sandwiched a pair of three-run home runs around a Jay Bruce blast in the second inning that umpires later reversed after replays showed the ball slice foul before landing in the seats in right.


It was the first time a home run has come under official review at Sun Life Stadium since the new rule was adopted late in the 2008 season.


It was a rough night for Marlins starter Nate Robertson, who was making his second start since joining the team in a late-spring trade with the Detroit Tigers. Right after Robertson gave up one home run to Gomes in the second inning, it appeared that he served up another to Bruce, the Reds' next batter.


But Robertson and the rest of the Marlins complained that the ball curled in front of the foul pole in right before landing in the seats.


``I thought it was foul from my vantage point,'' Robertson said.


After reviewing the replays, umpires agreed and took away Bruce's homer.


But the ruling didn't defuse the Reds.


Hanigan's three-run blast in the fourth inning, which followed a Cantu fielding error, gave the Reds a 6-1 lead.


The Marlins cut the margin to 6-5 in the fifth, with Cantu's single driving in Ramirez from second to cap the scoring. The Reds made it 8-5 in the eighth by scoring twice off struggling Marlins reliever Jose Veras, who now has an ERA of 15.42. Veras has given up at least one run in each of his four appearances.


Ross picked an opportune moment for his first home run of the season when he tied the score with his three-run smash to left-center in the eighth off Logan Ondrusek. But his heroics went to waste in the 11th after Hanigan opened the inning with a single off Meyer.


Coghlan made his catch with two runners aboard, but Votto's single barely got over Ramirez's outstretched glove to score the go-ahead run.


The Marlins have been involved in three extra-inning games, four one-run games and two two-run decisions. Only two of their eight games -- both losses -- have been decided by more than two runs.


``I feel like the whole season so far is that way,'' Gonzalez said.


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Red Sox win over Twins 6-3. Still a bit close for comfort...


Red Sox Live Blog: John Lackey Picks Up First Red Sox Win


by Tony Lee on Apr 14, 2010 4:39:23 PM


Final, Red Sox 6-3: Jonathan Papelbon walks the leadoff man to get the crowd at Target Field going (a lot of 'Ya Betchas') and walks another with two down to bring the tying run to the plate. Arrghhh, he needs more work, me thinks. But a fly to J.D. Drew ends it and Papelbon is able to finish off win No. 4 of the season for the Sox.


It's the first win in a Boston uniform for John Lackey, who went 6 2/3 strong innings.


We have more day baseball Thursday. Same time. Same place. Tim Wakefield will be on the mound for the Sox against Twins lefty Francisco Liriano.


Mid 9th, Red Sox 6-3: The Sox get a single in the ninth off the bat of Victor Martinez, but he nearly gets thrown out at first by right fielder Michael Cuddyer. Martinez just barely avoided some ridicule in the clubhouse by sliding into first ahead of the throw. Too close for comfort here.


That was the highlight of the inning before David Ortiz doubled to left with two outs. Finally, a hit. But he needs more to make up the ground he's lost. Martinez moved to third on the hit but the two speed demons were left right there.


Papelbon time.


End 8th, Red Sox 6-3: The Twins get one back on Michael Cuddyer's home run off Daniel Bard, but strand a runner at second.


Bard also gave up a long foul and a double off the wall in right that was really struck. He has given up a run in two of his last three outings.


Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-2: The Jeremy Hermida acquisition was met with a rather lukewarm response in Boston. Eh. Fourth outfielder. Yet, all he has done since joining the team is hit, and his bases-clearing double in the top of the eighth is one of biggest hits of the young year for the Sox.


Hermida was in a great situation there. Bases loaded and a 2-1 count. He knew Jesse Crain would be coming in with something in the zone. The double gives Hermida six RBI in just 14 at bats. Hermida is awesome! He just about won the game for us. Beautiful hit, and great running by the runners.

End 7th, Red Sox 3-2: Hideki Okajima does his job, but not without a few scares. First, a Victor Martinez passed ball moves the runners up 90 feet. Then, after Joe Mauer is put on, Justin Morneau's pop is falling toward the earth with nobody under it. Finally, Adrian Beltre races in to make a basket catch and preserve the lead. Okajima did great. Well, except for not trying to catch the ball. Other than that, he saved the day.

3:36 p.m.: There are two on and two outs in the seventh with Joe Mauer coming to the plate. Time to get John Lackey out of there. Hideki Okajima is coming on.


Mid 7th, Red Sox 3-2: I'm no expert on mechanics, but it seems as if Pat Neshek would need surgery after every outing with the way he throws. It appears to be all arm, and the gyrations he goes through before every pitch are painful enough. Yeah his pitches look like he's going to tear or break something when he throws the ball, but he does pretty good.


But the results are usually good (when he's healthy). Neshek gets through two innings unscathed. He needed 11 pitches to strike out Dustin Pedroia for the second out of the seventh.


End 6th, Red Sox 3-2: John Lackey works around a one-out single in the sixth. He has retired eight of the last nine Twins.


Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-2: This one figures to become a battle of the bullpens, which does not bode well for the Sox. Minnesota's relievers have allowed just four runs in 22 2/3 innings this year. They have struck out 15 and walked only two.


One of those free passes is issued to Mike Cameron with two outs in the sixth. He is left right there when Jeremy Hermida grounds out.


End 5th, Red Sox 3-2: The rain stops and so do John Lackey's struggles. He has his first 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, the last out coming on a grounder by Lackey-killer Joe Mauer.


At 77 pitches, Lackey has a good chance to go seven. Much better.


Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-2: The first home run by an opponent in Target Field goes to Dustin Pedroia, who is now the fifth American League player to have four on the season. If I'm not mistaken, all four have been crushed down the left-field line.


Pedroia is also the first Red Sox player to reach 10 RBIs. Pedroia the Destroyah's doing Awesome! 4 Homers already!


Kevin Slowey had been in a groove before the blast. But he follows it up by allowing a single to Victor Martinez and a walk to Kevin Youkilis. Even though he got David Ortiz to pop to shallow left to end it, Slowey has thrown over 100 pitches and should be done for the day.


End 4th, 2-2: This is really the first time we've seen John Lackey struggle at all in a Red Sox uniform. His spring was so effortless and the opener against the Yankees as good as you can expect.


The Twins have had eight baserunners through four innings. Two double plays helped Lackey early and he strands a pair in the fourth.


Mid 4th, 2-2: J.D. Drew and Mike Cameron are strikeout victims in a perfect fourth for Kevin Slowey. They have combined to whiff in 16 of 45 at bats.


End 3rd, 2-2: John Lackey wiggled out of trouble the first two innings, but cannot in the third as the rain intensifies at Target Field.


Following a leadoff double by Delmon Young, Lackey gets his glove on a grounder up the middle, which shortstop Marco Scutaro then picks up in stride to nail the runner at first.


But a two-out walk put runners on the corners and Orlando Hudson and Joe Mauer followed with consecutive RBI singles.


Those are the first two runs Lackey has allowed in a Red Sox uniform.


Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: You can add a caught stealing to David Ortiz's ugly stat line. Dear God why the hell did he do that? He doesn't run very good. It wasn't necessary... Come on, Big Papi! He takes off on a 1-2 pitch to Adrian Beltre and is easy pickings for Joe Mauer. Ortiz had reached with a two-out walk.


Moments earlier, cheers were heard in Target Field as the fans there feel rain during a baseball game for the first time since 1981. Some of the fans ran for the exits, no doubt unsure what this wet stuff was falling from the sky.


End 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: There's some nice defense for you. The Sox get an over-the-shoulder grab by Dustin Pedroia and then a 3-6 double play to help John Lackey work around a leadoff single.


Boston has turned a double play in both frames and is one of four teams in the AL with double digits in that category. This was beautiful to watch.


Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: We gave Marco Scutaro some love in an earlier post, and he backs up our boast with a two-out RBI single in the second.


The Sox had been 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position before the hit, which drove in J.D. Drew from third.


We're not advocating moving Scutaro to the leadoff spot for good, but it's a luxury to have a replacement who scored 100 runs from that spot last year.


Scutaro is now hitting .364. Scuarto's a beautiful addition to the team.


End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: John Lackey walked one man in 20 innings down in Florida this spring. He has issued three free passes in seven frames during the regular season. I'm not liking this too much. Other than that, he's a great pitcher.


However, a base on balls to start the first is quickly erased by a 1-6-3 double play. Joe Mauer grounds to short for the final out.


Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox would be well served to dump as many balls to left as they can. Delmon Young is a train wreck out there.


David Ortiz's double the other day could've been caught by Young, and the Twins left fielder misplays a liner by Dustin Pedroia into a run-scoring double in the first. What seems obvious to the naked eye is also supported by raw data; among 56 AL left fielders who played at least 50 innings at the position in 2009, Young ranked last in the trendy UZR ratings, a defensive metric system.


Marco Scutaro singled ahead of Pedroia's double. Scutaro has started both games at Target Field with singles and has gone 26 plate appearances without a strikeout, tops in the American League.


Not a bad number for a leadoff man, even if he's there by default. Scutaro has also drawn three walks. By contrast, Jacoby Ellsbury has struck out five times and has yet to draw a walk in 30 plate appearances.


With runners on the corners and one out in the first, David Ortiz swung through an 87-mph fastball for the third strike. He has fanned an AL-leading 12 times in 23 at bats. Come on, Big Papi. We love ya and all, but hit something!


1:00 p.m.: It's never shocking to see Joe Mauer have good numbers against any pitcher, but it's always worth noting. The AL MVP is 9-for-20 (.450) with two home runs against John Lackey. Michael Cuddyer has also hurt the Red Sox righty, going 5-for-16 (.313) with three homers.


12:34 p.m.: Terry Francona said before the game that he doesn't see Jacoby Ellsbury returning until the homestand, which begins Friday against Tampa Bay.


Francona said that Ellsbury is having trouble "rotating," which can present obvious problems for someone up there hacking away four or five times a game. And he is hacking -- Ellsbury and Adrian Beltre are the only regulars without a walk this season.


As for Thursday's game against the lefty Francisco Liriano, Francona will have decisions to make, some of which are sure to keep New Englanders on the edge of their seats. He may go with Mike Lowell at DH, but Jeremy Hermida has been the Ellsbury replacement and he is not the same hitter against southpaws (.239 lifetime). Perhaps we will see Bill Hall in left. We'll see.


It's interesting what happens when you have a deep bench. There are multiple options to replace injured or struggling players, but because they exist people want to make changes all the time. It could make for a long year of second-guessing, as evidenced by the Ortiz-Lowell situation. Like I said before, I think a better idea would be Veritek catching and Martinez going DH. But yeah, at this point let Lowell DH for a game or two, give Ortiz a break. I hope he picks up soon.


11:45 a.m.: Marco Scutaro will bat leadoff for the second straight game as Jacoby Ellsbury remains sidelined with a bruised rib. Here are the lineups for both teams:


Red Sox


Marco Scutaro SS

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Victor Martinez C

Kevin Youkilis 1B

David Ortiz DH

Adrian Beltre 3B

J.D. Drew RF

Mike Cameron CF

Jeremy Hermida LF




Denard Span CF

Orlando Hudson 2B

Joe Mauer C

Justin Morneau 1B

Michael Cuddyer RF

Jason Kubel DH

Delmon Young LF

J.J Hardy SS

Nick Punto 3B


Minnesota has left hander Francisco Liriano on the mound Thursday in the series finale. You may see Mike Lowell get his first action at designated hitter in that one.


8 a.m.:John Lackey will make his second start for the Red Sox in the second game at Target Field as Boston and Minnesota get together for an afternoon tilt.

Lackey followed up a dominant spring training with six scoreless innings in his Boston debut, a 3-1 loss to the New York Yankees.


He will be facing a Twins lineup that has hit just .210 against right-handers this year, compared to .330 vs. lefties. Southpaw Jon Lester found that out the hard way Monday, giving up four runs on nine hits in five innings in a 5-2 loss to Minnesota.


The setback dropped the Red Sox to 10-20 in the city of Minneapolis since 2001.


First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m.


Also, the Yankees lost to the Angels today. It's a good day!

Edited by Greyskull
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4/14/10: Quick catch-up. I didn't post yesterday because the Red Sox game really pissed me off.


The Marlins beat the Reds 5-3, Jorge Cantu knocked in an RBI in his history making 9th game of the season.


The Braves beat the Padres 6-1




The Red Sox fell hard and got blanked by the Twins 8-0. WHAT THE FUCK? :D


What Happened to Red Sox' Run Prevention Plan?

by Michael Hurley on Apr 16, 2010 8:39:12 AM


Thursday afternoon's careless display from the Red Sox at Target Field begs the question: What in the world happened to run prevention?


While the Red Sox went out of their way to stress the importance of defense in the offseason, the team at times looked more like a high school team than a major league club on Thursday.


The team committed three errors on Thursday and at least one more mental error. Bill Hall misplayed a ball in center field (his second error in as many games) in the second inning, but it didn't cost the Red Sox any runs. In the fourth, Victor Martinez sailed a ball into center field while trying to catch Michael Cuddyer stealing. Cuddyer moved up to third on the throw. Again, that error did not come back to haunt the Red Sox.


In the sixth, things got plain ugly. Adrian Beltre fielded a routine ground ball behind third base, but his throw pulled Kevin Youkilis off first base by several feet. Two batters later, a relay throw came to the plate, holding the runners at second and third. Yet Martinez inexplicably fired the ball to second, allowing Nick Punto to alertly score.


Martinez's mistake (and Marco Scutaro's subsequent mishandling) was perhaps the biggest mistake of them all, even if it didn't go down in the books as an error.


Sure, any team can have a bad game in the field (especially on a getaway day), but Thursday's game was particularly notable because it wasn't exactly an outlier. The Red Sox have five errors in nine games, good enough for the sixth-best fielding percentage in the majors. Sixth place obviously isn't terrible, but for a team that was supposed to be revamped defensively, the results have not been there.


The pitching has also been less than spectacular, with the Red Sox' team ERA of 4.78 good enough for 19th in the majors. The starters are 2-1 with a 4.54 ERA, and batters are hitting .299 against them (fourth-worst in the majors). The bullpen is 1-3 with a 4.84 ERA and two saves.


From the Boston Globe:


Twins 8, Red Sox 0

The Boston Globe

Twins give Sox knuckle sandwich

Wakefield & Co. chew on tough one

By Amalie Benjamin

Globe Staff / April 16, 2010


MINNEAPOLIS — Their bags were packed in the visitors clubhouse, ready to be loaded onto the plane and returned to Boston. There hasn’t been much time spent there for the Red Sox, just a three-game cameo against the Yankees, as they have traveled from Fort Myers, Fla., to Washington, to Kansas City, to Minnesota, with only that brief stop at home. And yesterday, it appeared that they would rather have been home unpacking. Or anywhere but Target Field.


“Not a very good day,’’ manager Terry Francona said, the understatement apparent after his team came out flat and mistake-prone in an 8-0 loss to the Twins.


For a team with pitching and defense at its core, yesterday was a good day for neither. Not only did the Sox commit three errors, plus a mental mistake by Victor Martinez, Tim Wakefield allowed six runs (five earned) over 5 1/3 innings, as his team was shut out by Francisco Liriano and two relievers.


“It was a very ugly game today, and that started with me on the mound,’’ Wakefield said. “I wasn’t able to stop the bleeding quick enough.


“I just didn’t have very good stuff today. Just one of those games where I tried to grind it out as long as possible. I had really no feel for the breaking ball, couldn’t throw my fastball for strikes, and my knuckleball also wasn’t doing very well.


“Managed to get through four innings decently, then in the fifth and sixth just couldn’t control it anymore.’’


Wakefield allowed his first run in the second inning, as three straight singles yielded an RBI for J.J. Hardy. But the real damage didn’t occur until the fifth and sixth. The first run of the fifth came across on back-to-back doubles by Nick Punto and Denard Span. After Orlando Hudson struck out, the Sox made the decision to walk Joe Mauer. Hard to argue with that — until Justin Morneau lashed an RBI single to right.


In the sixth, Wakefield got the first out. That was it. After Adrian Beltre made a throwing error to allow Hardy to reach — though Beltre made a nice play to grab the ball — Punto singled to put men on first and second. Span doubled, the ball shooting down the right-field line, and the relay came in quickly. Martinez had the ball at home as Hardy took a wide turn at third. Martinez, though, threw to second trying to get the retreating Span, but the throw was dropped by Marco Scutaro. Hardy and Punto scored. Wakefield was done.


“Their guy is rounding second with his head down,’’ Francona said. “We’ve got him in a position where we’ve got a chance to get out of the inning. [Martinez] waited on Scutaro to get back toward the bag. Their guy at third ends up making a heads-up play. That’s a reaction play. I actually thought we had a chance to get out of that inning.’’ They didn’t. And, by that point, it was mostly moot — especially with Liriano looking like the Liriano of old, the Liriano with magic.



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His slider dominated, his fastball sizzled, and he left the Sox shaking their heads, walking slowly to the dugout. He allowed four hits and two walks in seven innings, striking out eight, appearing quite a bit like the pre-Tommy John Liriano of 2006.


“He should be very proud of himself, the way he threw the ball today,’’ Bill Hall said. “He’s definitely got his old stuff back. After a surgery like that, it usually takes a little time, but he’s got the velocity back on his slider.


“For me personally, in the past, he hadn’t thrown his changeup that well. He threw it pretty well today, and just didn’t give in to a lot of hitters and never made any mistakes.


“When you’ve got a guy making you swing at his pitch all the time, it’s going to be a pretty tough day.’’


And it was.


In addition to the Beltre error and the Martinez miscue, the Sox had two more errors. Hall recorded his second of the season in as many starts, this one coming as a center fielder, after the first came as a shortstop. Hall fumbled a single to center in the second, allowing runners to move up, though it didn’t lead to any runs. Then, after a wild pitch by Wakefield in the fourth, Martinez threw the ball into the outfield, as Michael Cuddyer advanced, though he didn’t score.


“We gave them some extra opportunities, some extra chances,’’ Francona said. “That was a tough way to play the game today.’’


They didn’t hit or field or pitch. Yes, that would be a tough way to play a baseball game.


“It’s bound to happen,’’ Mike Lowell said. “I don’t think you just chalk it up and say, ‘Hey, it doesn’t matter.’ It does. But it’s going to happen.’’


Fortunately, the Sox now return home. They return to a park that has been far friendlier over the past few years than the road has. And even for a team that is battered and bruised — literally, among the outfielders — there is comfort in coming home. There is a sense that things might just turn around, even with the Rays coming to town this weekend.


“Hopefully we can get on a more balanced schedule,’’ Wakefield said. “I’m not using that as an excuse, but I think we could play better. Just right now we’re not playing the best that we can. I think once we get home and get a good homestand under our belt, I think we’ll be OK.’’


Dear God, I hope they do better against the lesser-rival Rays this weekend. I shut the game off after the 6th inning I was getting upset/bummed. I woulda turned it back on had things started getting better, but they didn't.


The Braves beat the Padres 6-2


Heyward and bullpen help Braves clinch series


By David O'Brien


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


SAN DIEGO -- For a team that has been led on offense by a 20-year-old rookie and gotten no production from its leadoff hitters, the Braves are doing OK.Winning a series against the San Diego Padres is one thing, however. Facing playoff hopefuls Colorado and Philadelphia in the next week is quite another.


After getting contributions from Martin Prado, rookie Jason Heyward and several others in a 6-2, series-clinching win against the Padres on Thursday at Petco Park, the Braves returned to Atlanta with an objective:


Don't just protect the home turf, thrive upon it.


"The last two years we didn't win a lot of games at the beginning of the season. We have to change that," said Prado, whose two hits included a first-inning homer. "Our goal is to win as many games as we can in the first month. ...


"If we play from the beginning like we played at the end last year, I think we've got a pretty good shot."


Heyward had a pair of two-out RBI doubles, and Prado's sixth multi-hit game gave him 17 hits through nine games, tying an Atlanta Braves record shared by Dale Murphy and Deion Sanders.


After splitting a six-game trip to San Francisco and San Diego, the Braves (5-4) need to do good work at Turner Field against the Rockies and Phillies, teams with winning records and playoff ambitions.


"Whenever you've got Philly in your division, they're all big," said third baseman Chipper Jones, who scored the decisive run by coming around from first base on Brian McCann's two-out double in the fifth for a 3-0 lead.


"We've just got to concentrate on winning a series," Jones said. "Anytime you come back from a West Coast trip at .500 or better, you're happy. Yeah, it could have been better. Could have been worse, too. We bounced back from a really bad game [17-2 loss at San Diego] and won the last two games of the series."


Derek Lowe starts Friday against Colorado, a team he knows well from his years with the Dodgers. He's 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his past four starts against the Rockies.


At San Diego on Thursday, Tim Hudson (1-0) was staked to a 2-0 lead on Prado's first-inning homer and Heyward's fourth-inning double, the first of two big hits for the phenom who leads all major league rookies with three homers and 12 RBIs.


Hudson wiggled out of bases-loaded jams in the third and fourth, but not the sixth.


Will Venable's leadoff homer and Everth Cabrera's two-out single cut the lead to 3-2. That was all for Hudson, charged with six hits and five walks without recording a strikeout in 5 2/3 innings.


"Dancing in and out of trouble," he said. "For the most part I was able to go out there and give us a pretty good chance to win. Came out with a little lead, and the guys picked me up, put some runs on the board late.


"There's nothing that puts a dagger in another team more than when you get some two-out RBIs when you're only up by one."


The Braves seized control in the eighth on consecutive two-out RBI hits by Yunel Escobar, Heyward and pinch-hitter Eric Hinske, who has provided exactly what the Braves hoped he would.


The bullpen had another stellar day, with Kris Medlen, Eric O'Flaherty, Peter Moylan and Takashi Saito keeping the Padres off the bases for 2 1/3 innings before closer Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts.


Heyward's two doubles made him 6-for-8 (.750) with runners in scoring position, highest average in the majors among hitters with at least seven at-bats in those situations. He has driven in at least one run in seven of nine games.


Meanwhile, Braves leadoff hitters are a majors-worst 2-for-39 (.047), including 0-for-9 by Matt Diaz the past two days.


Apparently they were in Retro uniforms:




And the Marlins kicked the Reds' ass 10-2, Cantu extends his RBI streak to 14 games, just 3 shy of the longest streak ever held by Ray Grimes in 1922



Cantu's streak at 14, but several join Florida Marlins' RBI parade

Jorge Cantu extended his streak of consecutive RBI games and got plenty of help in a rout of the Reds.





The RBI express that is being piloted by Jorge Cantu had all sorts of passengers hopping on board for the Marlins on Thursday. There was Cameron Maybin popping his first home run of the season. There were Gaby Sanchez and Dan Uggla driving in one run apiece, John Baker two and Cody Ross three in a 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.


But, once again, the RBI that glowed brightest belonged to Cantu.


His gap shot, which found its way to the wall in right-center at Sun Life Stadium and scored Hanley Ramirez from second, extended Cantu's streak of games with an RBI to 14, three shy of a major-league record that has stood for 88 years.


``I'm enjoying this like you have no idea,'' Cantu said.


Cantu has never heard of Ray Grimes, who set the record in 1922. Then again, he wasn't aware such a record even existed until recently. There hasn't been a game this season in which Cantu hasn't driven in a run, and now the Marlins head off to hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to face their division rivals.


``I know how hard it is to drive in a run on one day, much less every day,'' Ross said. ``What he's doing is incredible with an exclamation point.''


Cantu, though, isn't doing it alone for the Marlins, who gained a series split with the Reds after dropping the first two games in extra innings. His helpers on Thursday included practically everyone in the lineup, most of all starting pitcher Josh Johnson.




Johnson picked up his first win. And though it hardly qualified as a gem, as once again he piled up a hefty pitch count, the performance was an improvement over his previous two outings -- one a loss, the other a no-decision. Johnson threw 104 pitches.


``Obviously, we don't want six innings of a hundred-something pitches,'' said manager Fredi Gonzalez. ``We want to get seven or eight out of that. But he made an adjustment the last few innings to get it back on track.''


By holding the Reds to a run over six innings, while whiffing 10 in the process, Johnson lowered his ERA to 4.50. And he fared much better than Reds starter Aaron Harang.


Harang was chased in the fifth inning after the Marlins hammered him for eight runs on 10 hits.


The one that got it started for the Marlins belonged to Sanchez, whose two-out double in the second scored Uggla with the game's first run. Sanchez appears to be settling into his role as the first baseman, hitting .294 while batting in the bottom third of the order.




After the Reds tied it, the Marlins regained the lead with a pair of runs during a third inning in which they sent eight men to the plate. Maybin socked a line-drive home run to left off Harang in the fourth to make it 4-1. While Chris Coghlan has been out the past two nights with an injury, Maybin has taken over in the leadoff spot and gone 4 for 7 with three walks, which could tempt Gonzalez to leave him on top when Coghlan returns.


But it was the fifth inning that was Harang's undoing.


The Marlins sent 10 to the plate and scored four times, with Cantu driving in the first run and Baker producing the last. In between, Ross knocked in a pair of runs with the first of his two doubles. He also drove in a run with the second double.


The 10 runs were the most scored this season by the Marlins. They have now scored 55 runs, and Cantu has driven in 15 of them.


His 14-game RBI streak dating to last year is the longest in the majors since Mike Piazza of the Mets had an RBI run of 15 during the 2000 season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Clay Hensley and Chris Leroux closed out the win for the Marlins. And Cantu closed out the evening on the bench, replaced after the seventh with the outcome all but settled and his latest RBI game tucked safely away.


``We go into Philly on a winning streak, and everybody is swinging the bat well,'' Cantu said. ``For me, I don't know when it's going to end, but right now, I'm happy.''


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/16/1582...l#ixzz0lGlUZHFP

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Last night's (4/16/10's game) Red Sox - Rays game got rain delayed at the bottom of the 9th tie game 1-1, just ended 1-3 Rays in 12 innings. So close too because bases were loaded in the 11th with no outs. :(


Phillies won a close game with the Marlins 8-6


Braves beat the Rockies 9-5

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Ugh... this is just getting ugly. Boston's worst start since 1996. Still, I believe in 'em, they can turn this around and bad things could happen to the Yankees. Red Sox suffered another tough loss last night to the Rays. 7-1


They need Veritek to catch for a while until V-mart stops making Errors. We need Ellsbury back of course, but until he does, why not give Reddick a chance? He seemed to be doing pretty good in Spring Training. Put him in Center Field, and have Hall cover for Ellsbury till he gets back. Hall isn't even catching flies (the bug not fly balls) in center. Lowell could DH, he's done good when they've had him at DH. Francona has too much patience. He needs to not be afraid to change out players when they've messed up. At least he's changing them some, but he needs to do it more. Not changing players is one of the biggest mistakes that's been made on the red Sox in years past. I still have faith that everything will turn out alright in the end.


Marlins are doing great though. They beat the Phillies 2-0!


Braves also won their game against the Rockies 4-3.

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Tonight's Red Sox story is one for the history books! It's nights like this that make me glad to be a Red Sox fan. Red Sox won over the Rangers 7-6 (A victory, finally) Welcome to Boston, Darnell McDonald! He woke up that morning playing for the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox (AKA Paw Sox), got called up to Boston and won the game for us!


McDonald makes instant impact in debut

After hitting game-tying homer, outfielder rips walk-off single


By Ian Browne / MLB.com


04/21/10 1:47 AM ET


BOSTON -- For more than 12 years, Darnell McDonald has been riding busses in the Minor Leagues. Sure, there have been some proverbial cups of coffee along the way, including a 17-game stretch with the Orioles in 2004, a four-game stint with the Twins in '07 and even a 47-game stay with the Reds last year.


But when the Red Sox asked McDonald to fly from Rochester, N.Y., (where Triple-A Pawtucket was playing) to Boston on Tuesday in the event that they might need to put him on the roster, how was he supposed to know it would evolve into the most storybook evening of his career?


Less than 90 minutes before the game started, the Red Sox finally summoned McDonald from a nearby hotel to Fenway Park. Jacoby Ellsbury's batting-practice session did not go well, so the speedy left fielder went on the disabled list with a left chest contusion.


Enter McDonald, who was called on by manager Terry Francona in the bottom of the eighth, the reeling Red Sox trailing by two runs. Stepping in as a pinch-hitter for Josh Reddick, the other player promoted from Pawtucket on Tuesday, McDonald promptly belted a game-tying two-run homer over the Green Monster.


He was just getting started. The night -- and the game -- ended with McDonald clubbing a walk-off single off the Monster with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Just like that, it was Red Sox 7, Rangers 6.


"Well, I got on the plane today and was sitting around [waiting]," said McDonald. "I came to the field, pretty much put my uniform on and got ready for the game. I couldn't write a script any better than this. A lot happened real quick tonight. It was a dream come true. That's the reason I signed over here, to play in this type of atmosphere, to play for an organization like this."


The Red Sox liked what they saw from the 31-year-old McDonald in Spring Training and felt that, at some point, he might help them against left-handed pitching.


"He's a great kid," Francona said. "Again, early in Spring Training, he was hurt and he wasn't able to play, so he had to go back to the Minor League complex and do his rehab. You give him that speech: 'Go to Triple-A, play well and we'll call you up.' That's what he did. And he impacts the first game he plays with us and helps us win."


According to the Elias Sports Bureau, McDonald is the first Red Sox player to end a game with an RBI hit in his debut with the team since RBIs were first kept as a stat in 1920.


And by clocking a home run in his first plate appearance, McDonald became the first Boston hitter to do that since Orlando Cabrera on Aug. 1, 2004.


"He's the microwave -- instant offense," beamed Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "There's no more Vinnie Johnson. Darnell McDonald. He's the Microwave, OK?"


Whatever works. The Red Sox just needed the win.


"Darnell was awesome for us," Pedroia said. "We needed that spark, and when he got in the game, he brought a lot of energy. Game-tying home run, he won the game for us and he gave us a big lift."


While McDonald might have lifted the Red Sox, his teammates flattened him. As he took the turn around first after his parting shot, his teammates raced onto the field and mobbed him on the outfield grass beyond shortstop. Kevin Youkilis and Jonathan Papelbon were the leading pass rushers.


"Hopefully I'll be able to play tomorrow," quipped McDonald. "They beat me up pretty good. When I seen Papelbon running out there, I tried to run away, but somebody got a hold of me. I haven't been beat up like that in a long time. I'll take that kind of beating any day. They got me pretty good. My lip is kind of busted up a little bit."


It is the sweetest pain McDonald has felt in a long time. Way back when, he was a first-round selection by the Orioles in the 1997 First-Year Player Draft.


"For me, there was a lot of perseverance and hard work, and I just kept plugging along," McDonald said. "And to get to this point, I can't put it into words how much it means to me."


Also, Mike Lowell pinch-hit for Big Papi. I think this was a good move, and I hope Francona has Lowell DH for a while. Big Papi might spring back, but right now we need to make up for lost time and lost games. Simply put, we need someone who can hit. Is Ortiz's done? I don't know yet. He's given alot to Boston so far and he's a hero for it. He'll always be a hero for Boston, just like Ted Williams, Carl Yestremski, Cy Young, Carlton Fisk and Johnny Pesky have been (more recently Pedro Martinez, Jason Veritek, Dustin Pedrioa, Kevin Youkilis). Heroes come and go though. Last night, Darnel McDonald was one such hero.


Braves beat the Phillies 4-3 in 10 innings.


Heyward matches Splendid Splinter’s start


3:12 pm April 21, 2010, by David O'Brien


When the start of your career parallels the great Ted Williams in any statistical category, well, you’re doing some serious work.


Such is the case of Atlanta’s new Golden Child, Jason Heyward, whose two-out, ninth-inning home run Tuesday night didn’t just force extra innings in a game the Braves won in dramatic fashion on Nate McLouth’s leadoff homer in the 10th.Heyward’s homer, his fourth of the young season, also gave him 16 RBIs through 13 games, matching Teddy Ballgame for the most since 1920 by any player under 21 years old in the first 13 games of his career.


Needless to say, denizens, young J-Hey is in rarefied air. In the ninth inning of the past two games, he’s electrified Heyward Nation … er, Braves Nation … by hitting a walk-off, two-run, two-out single and a tying, two-out homer.


That’s all.


Since his 0-for-5, four-strikeout game at San Francisco on April 9, Heyward has gone 11-for-30 (.367) with two doubles, three homers and 11 RBI in the past nine games, with eight walks, nine strikeouts and a .500 on-base percentage.


The Braves are 6-3 in those nine games.


ESPN’s Buster Olney arrived yesterday to spend a few days around Heyward for a feature segment the network is producing for its E:60 program.


When Heyward hit his epic spring-training home run at Lakeland against the Tigers, Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci was there working on a story on the the pride of Henry County High (and East Cobb Baseball).


Yeah, he’s a big story, and only getting bigger.


I asked him yesterday if things had at least settled down since the first week or so of media crush surrounding him, if his life had at least gotten back to some normalcy, if maybe not as many people were asking for some of his time.


Without hesitation, he said no. But he said it matter-of-factly, without emotion, not the least bit of frustration or stress.


“I don’t have any expectations that it will” slow down, he said of the buzz around him and the requests from every direction. “If it does, it does.”


And if it doesn’t, does he think he can handle it on an ongoing basis? Again, he answered without hesitation: “If I can’t, I’m not supposed to be here.”


Damn, is this kid really 20? I think of what I was doing at 20 and … well, I’ll stop there, just in case my bosses (or parents) happen to be reading.


Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how Heyward deals with inevitable struggles he’s going to go through this season. My guess is he’ll handle them much as he did the four-strikeout game, by shaking it off, learning from it and applying the lessons immediately. Because he’s not at all normal, this young man.


And that’s all good.


As for last night, when Bobby Cox moved Heyward up from seventh to sixth in the batting order for the series opener against the Phillies, the manager couldn’t have known Heyward would be up in that situation with the game on the line in the ninth inning. However, Cox did note before the game how those big situations kept finding Heyward.


Sure enough, after Troy Glaus turned home-crowd boos to cheers with a two-out homer off Ryan Madson to pull the Braves to within 3-2, Heyward reached down for a Manson change-up and pulling it to the right-center bleachers.Unbelievable, that five or so minutes of action last night. On a night when the Braves appeared dead in the water, the aging, struggling veteran and the young, sizzling rookie turned the game upside down with two big swings.


Then McLouth, another struggling veteran, ended it with a leadoff homer an inning later.


What just happened?


What is happening with Heyward? Are we seeing a genuine for-the-ages superstar in the opening days of his career, something that relatively few baseball fans ever get to witness? Folks, I hate to jump to conclusions or get ahead of myself, but I really think we are.


That said, don’t be surprised if young Jason and the Bravos have a rough one tonight. Most hitters do against Roy Halladay, who might well be the best starting pitcher in baseball.


In three starts this season, Halladay is 3-0with a 1.13 ERA, with 21 strikeouts, three walks and one homer allowed in 24 innigs. Dude pitched a complete game in his second start of the season at Houston.


Left-handed batters are 6-for-35 (.171) with no extra-base hits, no walks and eight strikeouts against him.


In his last nine starts dating to last season, Halladay is 7-2 with a 1.36 ERA, and the Phillies scored one run while he was in each of those two losses.


In 16 road starts since the beginning of the 2009 season, the former Toronto ace is 9-4 with a 2.33 ERA, with 100 strikeouts and 20 walks in 116 innings. His teams scored a total of five runs while he was in those four losses.


Against the Braves, Halladay is 1-0 with an 0.84 ERA in two starts a decade apart, in 1999 and last season. He held them to five hits in seven scoreless innings last season, with one walk and six strikeouts, but Kenshin Kawakami pitched eight scoreless against Halladay’s Blue Jays that night.


“Doc” Halladay is the latest in a series of elite pitchers who’ve migrated to the NL the past few years.


“[Cliff] Lee came over, [Johan] Santana came over, Halladay came over,” Cox said. “Those are three of your top pitchers. How much better can it get than those three guys coming over?”


When told Halladay’s stats this season, Cox wasn’t surprised. “I think he walked one in spring training, in 20-some innings,” he said. “More strikeouts than innings pitches. He’s a horse. He’s a true ace.”He said that before last night’s dramatic win. Afterward, Cox showed a little of his feisty competitiveness when asked about how important it was to win last night, given the Braves had to face Halladay today in the series’ second game.


“We’ve got Hudson throwing, who <em>they</em> have to face,” he said, smiling.


♣ Speaking of Hudson: Since returning from Tommy John surgery rehab in September, Hudson is 3-1 with a 3.44 ERA and .275 opponents average in nine starts, and has 32 strikeouts with 18 walks in 55 innings.


He’s 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA this season, with nine hits, five walks and only two strikeouts in 12-2/3 innings.


He turned in an impressive season debut at San Francisco that feature a whole lot of groundball outs and only three hits and two runs allowed in seven innings.


His second start wasn’t crisp, but Hudson got a win in his second start last week at San Diego, where he gave up nine hits and five walks in 5-2/3 innings, though only two runs.


He’ll try to reverse a recent slide against the Phillies that’s extended to nine starts. He’s 0-4 with a 4.55 ERA and 10 homers allowed in 59-1/3 innings over that stretch, after going 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA and two homers allowed in his first six starts against the Phillies.


And if you don’t want to read any alarming history between Huddy and Braves-killer Ryan Howard, then skip to the next paragraph. OK, you were warning. Howard is 12-for-34 (.353) with five homers, 10 RBI, seven walks and six strikeouts against Hudson.


Shane Victorino is 8-for-25 with two homers against him, and Carlos Ruiz also has a couple of homers in 13 at-bats against Hudson.




One reason Cox moved Heyward up to sixth yesterday: Yunel Escobar is 6-for-30 with no extra-base hits in his past eight games…. It might be hard to believe, but the Braves rank third in the NL in RBI from first baseman, with 11. Troy Glaus has eight RBI in 43 at-bats and utility man Eric Hinske has three RBI in five at-bats as a first baseman…. Brian McCann has hit .317 with seven homers, 27 RBI and a .973 OPS in his past 28 games against the Phillies…. In his last 10 relief appearances against the Braves, Ryan Madson has a 10.08 ERA and .400 opponents’ average, with 12 hits (three homers) allowed in 6-2/3 innings.


Marlins fell to the Astros 7-5


Jorge Cantu's bat stays hot, but Florida Marlins' bullpen falls flat




HOUSTON -- A victory would have made too much sense for the Marlins on Tuesday. The Houston Astros hadn't won at home this season and starting pitcher Brett Myers had mustered only one victory from his 10 previous starts against the Marlins.


In the end, simple logic didn't hold up.


With their 7-5 setback to the last-place Astros at Minute Maid Park, the Marlins continued their habit of dropping series openers. The Marlins have lost the opening game in each of their five series, but are 8-1 in all of their other games.


``I guess that's one of those things you can't explain,'' said Marlins starter Chris Volstad.


Said first baseman Jorge Cantu, who extended the longest hitting streak by a Marlins player since 2002 by hitting safely in his 18th consecutive game: ``That would take a genius to figure that out.''


Kaz Matsui came off the bench to drive in the go-ahead run with a safety squeeze bunt in the eighth, Jason Michaels blasted a two-run home run for good measure, and former Marlins reliever Matt Lindstrom rubbed salt in the wound by working the ninth for his third save.


That's how it all erupted on the Marlins and reliever Tim Wood, who gave up the tying run in the seventh and go-ahead runs in the eighth.


``We were trying to go Wood in the seventh and, if we had the lead, go with the Hopper [burke Badenhop] in the eighth and then Leo [Nuñez) in the ninth,'' said manager Fredi Gonzalez in explaining his strategy to stick with Wood, even after Wood gave up hits to the first two batters in the eighth. ``We just can't keep using the Hopper every other day. We're going to run him into the ground.''


The Marlins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as the direct result of singles by each of their first four hitters, including one from slumping Chris Coghlan and another from Cantu. Coghlan's hit snapped a 0-for-19 skid while Cantu's extended his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest by a Marlin since Kevin Millar had a 25-game streak in 2002.


Several members of Cantu's family made the five-hour drive up from Mexico to watch him play, and he didn't disappoint. Cantu, who began the day with the most RBI in the majors, added to his total with two more on Tuesday.


In addition to his RBI single in the first, Cantu connected on his fourth home run, a solo shot off Brett Myers in the sixth.


But every time the Marlins took command, the Astros inched back.


Houston, which was looking for its first home win of the season after six consecutive losses, came up with runs in the first, second and sixth innings to keep it close. Lance Berkman, who returned to the lineup after starting the season on the disabled list, tied it in the seventh with his RBI grounder.


The Marlins, who have had so much success when facing Myers over the years, were unable to produce the knockout punch. Myers, who was once a fixture in the Phillies rotation, was making his 25th career start against the Marlins.


The only active pitcher with more experience against the Marlins is Livan Hernandez, who has made 28 starts against his former team.


Myers allowed only two hits from the third inning through the seventh and didn't issue any walks during his seven innings on the mound.


The Marlins scored a run in the ninth off Lindstrom and brought the potential tying run to the plate in pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez. But Sanchez grounded to Matsui at second for the final out.

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Another victory for the Red Sox over the Texas Rangers! 8-7 in 12 innings, Kevin Youkilis with the game ending hit!


Red Sox 8, Rangers 7

The Boston Globe

Sox walk off with another win, in 12

By Amalie Benjamin

Globe Staff / April 22, 2010


They spilled out of the dugout, bleeding into the infield as they had the night before. It was a more subdued celebration, lacking the emotional release, the urgency of the streak-breaking, sanity-saving, Darnell McDonald-crowning pig-pile Tuesday night.


And still, the Red Sox leapt out onto the field last night, crowding around Kevin Youkilis, joyous at moving another step away from their ignominious start to the season.


“I got beat up a little bit,’’ Youkilis said after his double off the Wall in the 12th inning gave the Sox an 8-7 win over Texas. “It’s good. I’d rather get beat up than beat myself up in the dugout after getting out. That’s one of those things that you enjoy and take a couple shots to the ribs, move on to the next day.’’


Though it was Youkilis with the big blow, the win started two at-bats before. With the Rangers bullpen having shut down 18 straight batters, dating to a Josh Reddick walk in the sixth, Marco Scutaro finally broke through with a single to left.


J.D. Drew stepped to the plate. The right fielder already had a grand slam that got the Sox back in the game after an early deficit. This time, he flied to center, though not particularly deep. Scutaro retreated — and then he went.


“I think people would have said that was the worst decision of his career if he got thrown out,’’ Youkilis said. “He didn’t.’’


As manager Terry Francona said, “That’s just good baseball. He did a good job, kept his head up. You go hard. That was just great base running.’’


The shortstop made it, barely scooting in ahead of the throw on a play he called “do or die.’’ He stood up, the breathing having gone back to normal for the 37,518 at Fenway Park. He was in scoring position, and when the Rangers elected to intentionally walk Dustin Pedroia, who was 5 for 11 against reliever Dustin Nippert, Youkilis was next.


“A win is a win,’’ Youkilis said. “Sometimes it’s a little more emotion and a lot better of a game when you walk it off, but we’d rather play nine innings and win by 10. Those will come. We’ll have hopefully a lot of those down the road.


“You’ve just got to go out there and battle. This team is battling right now. We’ve had some injuries, guys aren’t playing up to the top of their game. It’s still so early that there’s time to bounce back and figure things out.’’


Though if this is the way the Sox will win this season, heartrates all around New England might just go haywire. After a five-game losing streak, and a six-game losing streak at Fenway, the Sox have won a modest two in a row. Two nights, two walkoff celebrations.


And it was all the fault of Josh Hamilton or Josh Beckett, take your pick. The Sox led by three entering the seventh, when an error and a walk put two men on base. That was followed by Hamilton’s blast to center field, his first home run of the season, tying the score at seven runs apiece.


“Fastball right down the middle,’’ Beckett said. “I knew as soon as I threw it that it wasn’t going to be a good outcome.’’


It was one pitch that victimized Beckett, after he had recovered from a slow start. He allowed four runs over the first two innings, and walked four in that span. He got out of the second thanks to a nice diving stab by Pedroia, leading to a stretch in which he allowed just two hits over the next four innings, though he needed some help to do that, too.


With Julio Borbon on third base in the fourth, Michael Young hit a ball to center that seemed likely to score a run. But McDonald threw home, with Jason Varitek grabbing the ball on the hop and blocking the plate skillfully enough that Borbon missed the plate and was tagged out.


“Darnell’s throw was solid, close enough where it gave Tek a chance to knock him off the plate,’’ Francona said. “But that’s just hard-nosed, good baseball from Tek. We’ve seen him do it before. He sticks that leg in there, man, it’s hard to get to the plate.’’


Beckett was helped by other teammates. Substitute designated hitter Mike Lowell hit a solo home run in the second off lefthander Matt Harrison. Then, with the Sox down by three runs, the slumping Drew stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the third.


Having ended 2009 as one of the hottest hitters in the major leagues, Drew certainly hadn’t shown up in Boston with the same thunder in 2010. He entered last night’s game batting .133 and had been moved up in the lineup specifically to help him get more fastballs to hit. It hadn’t exactly produced a change, until he curled one around the Pesky Pole for the grand slam.


He got just enough distance to erase the Rangers’ lead.


“J.D.’s swing got things going in a hurry,’’ Francona said. “He stayed back enough, used his hands, and hit it right where we needed him to hit it. That changed the game in a hurry.’’


The Sox got two more runs on a solo homer by sudden cult figure McDonald and an RBI single by Lowell. Then, nothing. They were shut down by the Texas pen, including some searing fastballs by Neftali Feliz. That is, until Nippert threw that curveball to Youkilis, and the Sox got their win.


“They’re valuable in the win column, they’re valuable any way,’’ Francona said. “That was a tough, grinding win. We’ll take ’em any way we get ’em.’’


Marlins suffered another tough loss to the Astros 5-4



Reinforcements fail again as Florida Marlins fall to Houston Astros

Josh Johnson watched another solid outing get squandered by a faulty bullpen and leaky defense as the Marlins dropped their second in a row.





HOUSTON -- Josh Johnson doesn't have the fondest memories of Minute Maid Park even thought the place brings back warm, fuzzy feelings for some of his Marlins teammates.


It is there that Johnson suffered his first major-league defeat. His wild pitch allowed in the only run in a loss to the Astros on Opening Day 2006.


His opinion of the place probably didn't improve any Wednesday.


Positioned for the win, Johnson instead watched his defense and bullpen fail him in a 5-4 loss to the Astros.


Shortstop Hanley Ramirez mangled a rundown, leading to one important Astros run. And reliever Burke Badenhop relinquished the one-run lead he inherited from Johnson, making it two nights in a row that the bullpen came undone in a Marlins loss to last-place Houston.


``It was pretty much exactly how it happened last night,'' Johnson said. ``The score was about the same as it was last night. The starter came out and the bullpen -- it's just going to happen, the bullpen give up some leads.''


It promised to turn out so much better for the Marlins when they handed Johnson a 4-1 lead by scoring four times in the fifth off Astros starter Bud Norris, who didn't allow a hit until Dan Uggla reached on a broken-bat infield single to start the inning.


It was at Minute Maid Park where Uggla and Ramirez logged their first big-league hits as rookies on that '06 Marlins team.


But there was nothing worth keeping for the scrapbook from Wednesday's performance.


Johnson appeared to be cruising when the Marlins handed him four runs in the fifth to work with.


Gaby Sanchez doubled off the scoreboard in left, driving in the Marlins' first run, Johnson executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score the second, and the Marlins added two more runs on a Cameron Maybin triple and error by Astros shortstop Jeff Keppinger.


It was after that the first signs of trouble began to appear. Johnson gave up a two-out, solo home run to Humberto Quintero. Matters worsened for him in the sixth when Michael Bourn doubled to start the inning and Keppinger walked. That brought up Lance Berkman, who grounded to Ramirez.


Ramirez forced Bourn to retreat, then flipped to Uggla for the force at second. The speedy Bourn got caught in a rundown, but Ramirez slammed into the base runner as he was chasing him to third, and Ramirez was called for interference. The misplay ended up hurting the Marlins, as Bourn then scored on Carlos Lee's single, making it 4-3.


``I was concentrating on getting the ball out of my glove, I stood in the line, and I couldn't get out of the way,'' said Ramirez, accepting full blame for the mistake.


Said manager Fredi Gonzalez: ``He [bourn] did what he was supposed to do. He got caught in a rundown and drew some contact.''


The 4-3 lead didn't hold up for very long.


Badenhop, who has been so effective for the Marlins that he has emerged as their late-inning set-up reliever, couldn't get the job done on Wednesday. He gave up an infield hit to Pedro Feliz, uncorked a wild pitch, and then watched as Kaz Matsui's swinging bunt rolled along the line and stayed fair for a hit.


Both Astros scored on pinch-hitter Geoff Blum's triple.


``I was hoping to be the guy to regroup us tonight,'' Badenhop said of the bullpen.


The lone bright spot for the Marlins late in the game came when Jorge Cantu singled off former Marlins pitcher Matt Lindstrom to extend his hitting streak to 19 games in a row. But Lindstrom, as he had done the night before, held on to notch the save, his fourth of the season, by retiring Uggla on a fly ball and John Baker on a double play grounder.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/22/1591...l#ixzz0lrzAIRUY


Braves fall to the Phillies 2-0. (Halladay's probably one of if not the toughest pitcher out there)


Halladay throws five-hit shutout against Braves


By David O'Brien


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Facing Halladay is never a holiday, as the Braves can attest.

Tim Hudson pitched six good innings, but Roy Halladay pitched nine mostly terrific ones for Philadelphia in a 2-0 Phillies win against the Braves on Wednesday night at Turner Field.


The Braves advanced runners past first base in three innings against Halladay (4-0), who threw a five-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and one walk to hand the Braves their second loss in six games.


"He's surgical out there," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said of Halladay, who threw 71 strikes in 113 pitches in his second complete game of the season, trimming his miniscule ERA to 0.82. "He knows what he wants to do. He's aggressive, he commands the strike zone, and he wants the ball."


Said manager Bobby Cox: "He's really a machine."


Before another small crowd of 21,171, the two-time defending National League champions evened the three-game series and moved back to one game ahead of the Braves atop the East standings before Thursday's rubber game.


RBI doubles by Raul Ibanez in the second inning and Jayson Werth in the sixth were enough support for Halladay, who is 8-2 with a 1.24 ERA and six complete games in 10 regular-season starts since the beginning of September.


The Braves have hit only .209 and scored 34 runs in their past nine games, but still own a 5-4 record in that stretch.


"We had our opportunities to score and just didn't get them across when we had the chance," said Hudson (1-1), who was charged with six hits, two runs and two walks, both intentional. "He must made the pitches, and they made the plays when they needed to. They had some breaks go their way, too."


Troy Glaus, whose two-run, two-out homer in the ninth inning Tuesday sparked an improbable comeback win, nearly homered again when he hit a ball deep to center field in the second inning Wednesday.


Shane Victorino leaped to make a catch with his glove on the yellow line atop the center-field fence.


The Braves didn't have a runner reach base until Jones' two-out double in the fourth, and Halladay struck out the next batter, Brian McCann.


"He's got five pitches that are all plus-pitches, and he throws them all for strikes," McCann said. "There's a reason that he is who he is."


The Braves loaded the bases in the seventh on consecutive singles by Jones and McCann and a one-out walk by rookie Jason Heyward, just the third walk issued this season by Halladay.


That threated ended when Yunel Escobar grounded into a double play. The hard-hit ball caromed off the pitcher's mound to second baseman Chase Utley, who threw to the shortstop to start the 4-6-3 play.


"We had a couple of chances," McCann said. "Breaks didn't go our way."


Hudson added, "Today they had a little bit more luck on their side than we did. When you've got a guy like Halladay on the mound and they get a little luck on their side, it's just tough to beat them."


The only other time the Braves advanced a runner past first base was on Eric Hinske's one-out pinch-hit double in the eighth. Nate McLouth grounded out to advance Hinske to third and Prado grounded out to end the inning.


Halladay threw 101 pitches through eight innings and was brought out to finish the job in the ninth, after seeing closer Ryan Madson give up three runs on two homers Tuesday to blow a 3-0 lead.


Hudson is 0-5 with a 4.41 ERA in his past 10 starts against the Phillies, after going 4-2 with a 2.68 ERA in his first six starts against them.


Halladay is 2-0 with an 0.46 ERA in three starts against the Braves, whom he beat in 1999 with Toronto. He didn't face them again until last season, when he pitched seven scoreless innings and got no decision in a Toronto loss.

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Found this on Darnell McDonald's fan page on Facebook:




Anyway, tough loss for the Red Sox last night 3-0. Clay Buchholz is showing some real signs of improvement though, pitching 6 beautiful innings with 10 K's (Strikeouts). Then it all went to fail in the 7th, allowing 3 runs with an error attributed to him and one to Adrian Beltre. V-Mart is still failing at stopping base stealers.


Rangers 3, Red Sox 0

The Boston Globe

Buchholz comes up short

Rangers’ Wilson stymies Red Sox

By Amalie Benjamin

Globe Staff / April 23, 2010


Word swirled out from the offices and clubhouse at Fenway Park that Clay Buchholz, who started last night, would be getting more starts. Even as Daisuke Matsuzaka returned from Pawtucket to join the rotation, it would not be Buchholz taking a back seat.


It will be Tim Wakefield, a club source confirmed. Buchholz, meanwhile, did his best to demonstrate why the Sox had made the decision.


As manager Terry Francona said, “I thought he was tremendous.’’


So Buchholz will continue to get his chance to make good on his promise, with the confidence of his organization behind him. That faith was rewarded last night, at least for the first six innings. The righthander, whose 1.80 ERA entering the game belied his performance thus far, looked worthy of it against the Rangers, who had little success against him in the early innings.


But Buchholz allowed three straight hits — double, single, double — in the seventh and gave up three runs in the inning.


It would be too much for the Sox to overcome, as they mustered just two hits off C.J. Wilson until the seventh inning, and just six overall.


After two straight dramatic wins, the Sox had a game that lacked heroics, and lost to the Rangers, 3-0, at Fenway Park.


“In the first inning, he threw all strikes,’’ Francona said of Buchholz. “He established all his pitches, fastball, drove it down the zone, got some swings and misses, good changeup, slider, cutter, curveball.


“But in the seventh, they obviously respected the way he was pitching. They stayed up the middle, the two lefties stayed left-center. The righty hit the ball up the middle. That’s where the damage came. He pitched tremendous.’’


He was so good for six innings that he reached double-digits in strikeouts (10) for the first time in his career. Still, the Sox took two of three from the Rangers, and enter a series with the horrendous Orioles. That could be the cure for what ails the Sox.


Not that the Sox are satisfied.


“I don’t think we were down in the depths or anything just because of four games against Tampa,’’ Mike Lowell said. “I don’t think anyone here is really that happy with the way we’ve been playing. I don’t think we’ve been playing up to our capabilities at all. I mean, walkoffs are exciting, but I think you’d rather have a 7-2 game where everything just seems solid and crisp. We’ll take them when they come, but I don’t think we’ve been playing the way we should lately.’’


Asked the reason, Lowell said, “I don’t know. The effort’s there. I don’t think guys are quitting.’’


Last night , they simply didn’t have any success against Wilson. So as Buchholz kept the Rangers off the board for six innings, so did Wilson, who allowed two hits and two walks in that span.


“Movement on his fastball, slider, changeup,’’ Francona said. “Enough velocity, enough movement, and he threw strikes. We didn’t mount a whole lot. Early in the game I thought we squared up some balls. We just never strung anything together.’’


That unfortunately took the focus off Buchholz, the loser in a game he easily could have won.


“I felt like I’m moving in the right direction,’’ Buchholz said. “From the first outing to the second to this one, things are clicking a little bit more. Had all four pitches working tonight, hadn’t had that all season.’’


The Rangers got on the board when Josh Hamilton led off the seventh with a double, and scored when Nelson Cruz singled up the middle. After Cruz stole second, David Murphy followed with another double and the Rangers led, 2-0, with no outs.


Chris Davis grounded to first and Buchholz struck out Taylor Teagarden for the second time for his 10th K. But Andres Blanco dropped a drag bunt down the first base line, which Buchholz gathered and threw wildly to first, allowing Blanco to score. It got uglier from there. Right fielder J.D. Drew picked up the ball and threw to third to keep Blanco on second, but it kicked up on Adrian Beltre for the second error of the inning and Blanco was safe at third.


It was 3-0, Rangers, and Buchholz was done.


“Up until the seventh inning, I felt really good about it,’’ Buchholz said.


“I felt like I missed two spots with the fastball, and they both got hit for doubles. They were down. I was telling myself all day if I miss, just miss down. They put two good swings on them, drove a couple of runs in. Other than that, I felt good.’’


He was also showing progress in not being affected by runners on base. That was particularly impressive given how much pressure the Texas lineup puts on a pitcher, with a team full of speedsters and the inclination to steal.


“He was quick to the plate, but under control,’’ Francona said. “He came out of the chute just hitting his spots with a lot of finish on his pitches.


“The things we’ve talked about, throwing over and everything, you also can’t get around the fact that they’re a very aggressive base-running team, and he did a very good job of unloading. He lost track of the runner one time when he left early. But for the most part, he managed the game very well.’’


In fact, Buchholz said the one time he thought that he wasn’t going to worry about a runner was when Cruz stole second in the seventh.


But even though it ended poorly for Buchholz, it was a needed start for the Sox. Boston’s rotation had a 5.76 ERA over the first 15 games, a disappointing and unexpected statistic for a club that believed it had put together a top-of-baseball starting staff.


“[buchholz] threw the ball great,’’ catcher Victor Martinez said. “C.J. Wilson threw the ball great, too. One has to lose, one has to win. Unfortunately we take the loss. But, for me personally, Clay was on since his first pitch.’


The Marlins came through and beat the Astros 5-1 last night.



Florida Marlins' Anibal Sanchez uses control to knock off Houston

Anibal Sanchez stifled the Astros by staying in the strike zone and inducing grounders as the Marlins avoided a series sweep.





HOUSTON -- Anibal Sanchez didn't have his no-hit stuff. Not even close.


Sanchez gave up hits left and right on Thursday at Minute Maid Park, nine in all in a matter of just under seven innings.


But they caused little damage as the Marlins avoided a series sweep with a 5-1 victory over the Astros.


Jorge Cantu extended his hitting streak to 20 games, and the bullpen managed to preserve a lead, something the Marlins' embattled relief corps failed to accomplish the previous two nights in losses to the Astros.


It was Sanchez, though, who led the way.


Even though the Astros managed at least one hit off the downsized pitcher in every inning he was on the mound, they were never able to convert any of them into runs until the pitcher began to tire in the seventh.


Sanchez, who lost 30 pounds over the winter as he looked to return to his rookie form of 2006 when he was a 10-game winner and tossed a no-hitter, notched his first win of the season by throwing the ball over the plate and making the Astros put the ball in play.


Of his 89 pitches, 65 were for strikes. Nine struck balls were for singles, none for extra-base hits. But Sanchez, who struck out one and walked none, recorded 12 ground-ball outs.


``They made contact, but a lot of those [hits] were with two outs,'' Sanchez said. ``I know they weren't hitting it hard. I just wanted to attack the zone.''


And, for once, the Marlins weren't the ones guilty of the fielding gaffes that produced runs for the opposition.


The Marlins' first two runs resulted from Cantu's streak-extending single in the first but only because the ball rolled under left fielder Carlos Lee's glove and all the way to the warning track. An error by Astros third baseman Geoff Blum contributed to another unearned run.


It's usually the Marlins, the most error-prone team in the majors, who make the costly miscues.


For Cantu, the hitting streak is the longest by a Marlin since Kevin Millar's 25-game streak in 2002. The club record is held by Luis Castillo, who put together a 35-game streak that same season. And Cantu is the only player in the majors with a hit in every game this season.


``I'm just going to continue to ride this wave and see how far it takes me,'' Cantu said.


The Marlins and Sanchez held a 3-0 lead until the sixth when Cody Ross drove in a pair of runs with a single.


After Sanchez gave up a run in the seventh on Michael Bourn's RBI single, Renyel Pinto took over and recorded the final out of the inning, getting Lance Berkman on a routine ground ball with runners at second and third.


Chris Leroux pitched a scoreless eighth, and Leo Nuñez, who had pitched just once in eight days, got the save by striking out the side in the ninth.


Nuñez caused momentary alarm when he slipped on the mound while facing the Astros' final batter. Gonzalez, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and Sean Cunningham went to the mound to check on Nuñez, but were convinced everything was OK and left him in to complete the save.


Gonzalez said Nunez tweaked his back a little, but it was nothing serious.


``It's all right,'' Nunez said. ``I just slipped.''


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/23/1593...l#ixzz0lxdqzdcv


Braves lose 2 of 3 games to the Phillies, last night Phillies won 8-3.


Phillies take two out of three with 8-3 win


By Carroll Rogers


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Getting no-hit by Ubaldo Jimenez and his 100 mph fastball was one thing. Stomaching a Roy Halladay shutout was upsetting but understandable for the Braves. But they closed out this homestand in an 8-3 loss to the Phillies after getting foiled by a 47-year-old.

The Braves managed only two unearned runs in six innings off soft-tossing left-hander Jamie Moyer on Thursday night, finishing their 3-3 homestand on a head-scratcher.


You know Moyer was messing with minds when he caught Jason Heyward looking at a fastball moving at all of 80 mph, with runners second and third in the sixth inning.


“He knows how to pitch,” said Braves starter Derek Lowe, who lost the offensive cushion he has been getting and had a defensive mistake behind him make matters worse. “You look at the radar gun, you think no way. But he understands how to pitch; he knows how to add and subtract just enough and throws in enough to keep you honest. He did a good job.”


The Braves (8-7) had hidden some of their offensive deficiencies this homestand behind back-to-back walk-off wins, but they had nowhere to go during these past two losses to the Phillies, who claimed the first series with the Braves.


All that separated the Braves from a sweep was a three-homer barrage in a four-batter span Tuesday night.


The Braves failed to score an earned run in 23 innings against Phillies starters in this series. Three of the Braves’ eight regular hitters in Thursday’s lineup are hitting under .200 -- Matt Diaz, Troy Glaus and Melky Cabrera.


“We’ve got to stand by them and try to help them through this period,” Chipper Jones said. “They’re not going to hit under .200 for the whole season. Just got to get some confidence and hopefully when they get that confidence and get the ball rolling back up hill, it’ll snowball for them.”


The Braves had scored 32 runs in Lowe’s first three starts -- all wins -- and only 32 runs in their other 11 games. But this night, even with Lowe’s run of luck and Moyer on the mound, the Braves stayed anemic.


When the runs dried up for Lowe, it left him exposed. He took his first loss of the season after giving up five runs (four earned) in five innings and watched his ERA rise to 5.24.


The Braves offense had been Lowe’s dearest friend. On Thursday, the Braves’ defense let him down. Lowe looked to be on his way out of a rocky second inning on a double-play grounder by Raul Ibanez, but the play was botched by the usually sure-handed Braves middle-infield combo.


Martin Prado threw high to second base and was charged with an error after shortstop Yunel Escobar got a glove on it but not with what appeared to be much effort. Two runs scored on the play, and the Phillies tacked on one more on a Juan Castro single to turn their 2-0 lead to 5-0.


“Perfect double-play ball,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “I don’t know what happened.”


The Braves got two runs back in the fifth inning after Phillies had their own issues with the double play. Second baseman Chase Utley had a chance to convert two of them but committed two errors instead, allowing the Braves to cash in two Moyer walks.


But those errors couldn’t top the one that changed the game for the Braves.


“No doubt that was the biggest play of the game,” Jones said. “That hurt. Cost us three runs and kind of took us out of the game. In the heat of battle trying to be quick, sometimes errant throw, miscatch, whatever, those kind of plays have got to be made.”

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Last night's win for the Red Sox was a little close for comfort against the "perennial bottom-dwellers" the Orioles. Still, they came out on top 4-3. Big Papi David Ortiz finally hit his first homer last night! Hopefully the first of many.




Red Sox 4, Orioles 3

The Boston Globe

Wait-and-see approach boosts Sox past Orioles

By Peter Abraham

Globe Staff / April 24, 2010


The Red Sox are still not playing especially well. But they have won three of four games since Dustin Pedroia accused his teammates of not always showing up ready to compete, the latest a 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles last night.

That it took the notoriously impatient Adrian Beltre to draw a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat the worst team in baseball isn’t the point. The Red Sox did what was needed.


“We’re finding a way to win,’’ Pedroia said. “That’s what good teams do. We’re doing the little things better. We lost some tough games early and we weren’t doing those things. Maybe if we had been, we would have won a couple of those games.’’


With J.D. Drew on third and two out, Baltimore relievers Will Ohman and Jim Johnson threw 12 of the next 13 pitches out of the strike zone to force in a run. Victor Martinez was intentionally walked before Ohman missed four times to David Ortiz.


Beltre, watching from the on-deck circle, took a lesson from Ortiz and told himself not to swing unless the pitch was up and irresistible.


“I was trying to be patient, something that I’m not really too good at,’’ said Beltre, who had walked only once in 59 plate appearances before last night. “But it worked out.’’


Beltre didn’t even swing. He took the first pitch from Johnson for a strike. The next pitch was outside, followed by three in a row inside.


“You can’t do that at the end of a game,’’ Johnson said. “I’m trying to throw the ball down the middle of the plate and it’s not going there.’’


It was the first time Beltre had walked twice in the same game in more than a year. But it was just enough for the Sox, who managed only six hits.


“It’s still not been real pretty. We’re making mistakes; we’re not making all the plays. But they’re not stopping playing,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “That’s a must. When things aren’t going your way, you’ve got to keep plugging. You can’t feel sorry for yourself.’’


It could be worse. The 2-15 Orioles have lost four straight and 13 of 14 to fall 11 games out of first place. Baltimore issued seven walks last night and left 12 men on base.


“We can’t worry about who we’re playing, it’s about us,’’ Martinez said. “If we keep playing hard, good things will happen. It’s a fight right now but it’s going to keep turning around. I think we’re getting close. The big thing is we’re fighting.’’


It wasn’t easy to finish off the win. With one out in the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon allowed a line drive off the wall by Nick Markakis. But Bill Hall, booed for a defensive miscue on Monday, threw Markakis out at second.“It’s something I’ve been working on,’’ Hall said. “I’ve been out there for batting practice every day watching how the ball comes off the wall. It’s a good feeling when you make a throw like that. Only one thing is better for me, a home run.’’


After two walks, former Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo struck out swinging. The Red Sox, who are still paying off the $36 million contract they signed Lugo to before the 2007 season, finally got a return on that investment. It was the fourth save for Papelbon.


The Red Sox had taken a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning but could not hold it. Matt Wieters led off the inning with a double to the gap in left. Manny Delcarmen (1-1) came in and walked Nolan Reimold, a .163 hitter, on four pitches.


A fielder’s choice moved Lugo, a pinch runner, to third. He scored when Adam Scott grounded to second.


Red Sox starter Jon Lester came into the game with an inflated earned run average of 8.44, the product of allowing 21 hits and nine walks along with two hit batters over 16 innings.


The poor start was a continuation of what Lester experienced early in the previous two seasons and has become a sticking point for the 26-year-old lefthander.


Lester wasn’t particularly sharp this time either, issuing four walks and hitting a batter over 5 2/3 innings. But the Orioles couldn’t do much with the strikes that he did throw as Lester did not allow a run and dropped his ERA to 2.22 in 13 career starts against Baltimore.


Lester allowed four hits and struck out seven.


“He was terrific,’’ Martinez said. “He threw his cutter for strikes and he kept them off balance. It was a big improvement for him.’’


The Sox scratched for the offense off Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie. Ortiz hit his first homer of the season, an opposite-field shot in the second inning. Drew had a sacrifice fly in the third inning and scored on a double-play grounder in the fifth.


Daniel Bard, who stopped a threat in the sixth, gave up a two-run homer to Adam Jones in the seventh.


The Marlins game against the Rockies was postponed due to rain.


Rain washes out Friday's Marlins-Rox game

Game to be made up as part of Saturday doublehheader

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com


04/23/10 10:11 PM ET


DENVER -- Winter-like weather threatened the Denver area all day, and the biting cold and icy rain caused the first postponement of the Major League season.


The Marlins and Rockies tilt, set for Friday night at Coors Field, was called off about 20 minutes before it's scheduled 9:10 p.m. ET start.


The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 5:10 p.m. ET, with the second game following about 20 minutes later.


Ricky Nolasco will start for Florida against Colorado lefty Greg Smith in Game 1. The two were initially slated to throw on Friday.


In Game 2, the Marlins will start lefty Nate Robertson, while the Rockies will counter with right-hander Aaron Cook.


The postponement means some changes to the Marlins' television schedule.


Game 2 will be carried on Fox Sports Florida. But due to agreements with the national Fox Saturday game, Fox Sports Florida can't televise Game 1 in its entirety.


However, Fox Sports Florida plans on televising the first game while it is in progress, and it will come on the air at 7 p.m. ET.


The Marlins are in the final leg of their nine-game, three-city road trip, which opened at Philadelphia on April 16, then went through Houston. Florida is 3-3 on the trip.


In 2009, the Marlins were forced to play three doubleheaders to make up weather-related postponements. Their last twin bill came on Sept. 22 against the Phillies at Sun Life Stadium. The Marlins split all three of those doubleheaders.


At stake on Saturday will be Jorge Cantu's 20-game hitting streak, which dates back to the final four games of 2009.


Cantu has hit safely in all 16 Marlins games in 2010, which is the longest streak to open a season since Nate McLouth had a 19-game streak in 2009.


"I have a streak, and whatever the path, I have to go through," Cantu said. "I'll get a lot of at-bats tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be selective and get a hit in every game, and keep on going."


Cantu's streak is the sixth longest in Marlins history. Luis Castillo holds the franchise record with 35 games, set in 2002.


"The only positive thing is I really hope the weather helps me," Cantu said. "They're saying light rain. If it is wet and very cold, it will be a disadvantage to us as hitters."


The Braves fall to the Mets 5-2.


Braves lose sloppy series opener to Mets

By David O'Brien


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


NEW YORK -- When Jason Heyward is outhit by a fellow rookie and Kenshin Kawakami is outpitched by a fellow Japanese pitcher in the same game, it doesn't bode well for the Braves.

When they make four errors on top of that, well, the Braves added embarrassment to a third consecutive defeat, a 5-2 loss against the New York Mets in a series opener Friday night at Citi Field.


"Not one of our better efforts," said third baseman Chipper Jones, who was charged with two of the Braves' errors on missed pop-ups he said were affected by a stiff wind.


Ike Davis hit his first major league homer, and Hisanori Takahashi pitched three dominant relief innings for the Mets, who took advantage of mistakes by the Braves (8-8) while coming back from an early 1-0 deficit.


"Kind of a sloppy game," said Braves center fielder Nate McLouth, who narrowly missed hitting a three-run homer in he ninth when the towering fly sailed right of the foul pole. "Couple of feet, could have gone the other way. But we'll come back tomorrow and try to right the ship.


"We've got a bunch more [games] in a row before we have a day off, so hopefully we can get some momentum going here in the final two games of the series and turn things around. It's been three tough games, but before that we were playing pretty well."


Heyward went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, including a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the third inning. The rookie is 2-for-18 with nine strikeouts in his past six games, going hitless in each of the losses during that 2-4 stretch.


The 20-year-old right fielder's performance seems a determining factor in whether the Braves win or lose. Heyward is 1-for-26 with 14 strikeouts and two RBIs in eight losses, and 13-for-30 with 14 RBIs in eight wins.


Jones' second error came on an infield-fly rule in the seventh inning. After Jose Reyes' popup skipped off Jones' glove with two on base, the third baseman and catcher Brian McCann seemed so focused on making sure an infield-fly ruling was made (it was) that they didn't pay attention to runners who could advance at their own risk in that situation.


While McCann threw to first baseman Eric Hinske and gestured to an umpire, Angel Pagan raced around to score from second and put the Mets ahead 4-2. David Wright drove in another run before the inning was over to extend the lead to 5-2.


"Trying to tag a guy out that's already out," manager Bobby Cox said of the mistake at first base.


The Mets snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth on consecutive triples by Jose Reyes and Jason Bay before Wright's sacrifice fly gave the Mets a 3-1 lead.


Kawakami (0-3) was charged with three runs and six hits in six innings and again received scant run support, a pattern that began early in his first season with the Braves in 2009 and has continued unabated. He admitted he thought about the slim margin for error after the Mets scored their initial run.


"After giving up that first run a lot of pressure started coming towards me because [the lack of run support] was in the back of my mind," Kawakami said through his interpreter.


Jones gave the Braves a 1-0 lead with his two-out single in the third, and McCann followed with a walk that reloaded the bases before Heyward struck out.


Mets starter John Maine left after 3 2/3 innings with spasms and pain in his left (non-throwing) elbow.


He was replaced by Takahashi, a lefty who limited the Brave to one run, two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in three innings.


The Braves have hit .194 and scored 13 runs in their past six games, and hit .214 in their past 11 games.


"Offensively we can't get anything strung together," Jones said. "We have an inning or two where we get opportunities for big innings and can't seem to break it open. But that will come."


Kawakami worked out of a jam in the third inning after former Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur hit a leadoff double and went to third on Melky Cabrera's throwing error on the play.


Rod Barajas then grounded to Jones, whose throw to McCann gave the catcher enough time to apply a tag and avoid most of the collision that his friend Francoeur attempted to initiate as he barreled over the plate.


Kawakami also worked around a one-out Reyes double in the fourth inning, but Davis crushed a full-count fastball leading off the fifth, launching it to the seats above the bullpens in right field.

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Looking more and more like run prevention on the Red Sox is shot to hell. Well, at least we still have some power hitting. Some beautiful runs by Youkilis and Scutaro last night gave us six runs in the 7th. The 9th was scary though. We went from a 4 run lead to a 1 run lead. Thankfully we kept it. We weren't so lucky today though. I just hope the Red Sox can really pick it up. We need Ellsbury and Cameron back. Anyway, last night, Red Sox won 7-6.


Red Sox 7, Orioles 6

The Boston Globe

Power play saves Red Sox

Scutaro, Youkilis HRs do trick against Orioles


The run-prevention Red Sox were supposed to have trouble hitting for power this season. But they went into last night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles third in the American League in home runs, then hit three more. “I’ve been shaking a lot of hands,’’ third base coach Tim Bogar said.


All three shots were needed as the Sox survived another bout of shaky pitching and defense to beat the woebegone Orioles, 7-6, before 38,017 at Fenway Park.


A six-run seventh — their biggest inning of the season — gave the Sox a 7-3 lead and a seeming respite from what has been a series of tumultuous and tight games. Marco Scutaro hit a three-run homer before Kevin Youkilis did the same three batters later.


Both home runs were to left field and gave the Red Sox 24 on the season. Only the Blue Jays (26) and White Sox (25) have more.


“I think it has something to do with weather,’’ manager Terry Francona said, pointing out the Sox have not had to fight the elements too often. “I hope it has something to do with our swings [too].’’


Francona hoped to give Jonathan Papelbon a night off. But after Adam Jones homered and Nick Markakis doubled to center off Ramon Ramirez, the closer was called in.


Singles by Miguel Tejada, Matt Wieters, and Luke Scott cut the lead to one run. But Papelbon struck out Ty Wigginton and Rhyne Hughes to finally end the game. The Orioles lost despite 17 hits, four by Wigginton and two by Hughes in his major league debut.


“You have to stay focused on the task at hand,’’ said Papelbon, who used the split-finger fastball he abandoned last season to strike out Hughes and wrap up his fifth save. “I have to be ready to pitch whenever I’m called on.’’


Said Jones: “I think we had [Papelbon] pretty scared. We just couldn’t get the big hit.’’


The Red Sox have won four of their last five games and can sweep the Orioles this afternoon. At 8-10, their poor start isn’t forgotten. But the Sox are starting to peer around the corner.


“We’re looking a lot better and starting to score some runs,’’ said Jeremy Hermida, who helped fuel the big seventh inning with a single. “Nothing is coming easy, but we’re going to get there.’’


The 2-16 Orioles have lost five straight and 14 of their last 15 games. The Orioles have lost 10 straight against the Sox and are 1-15 at Fenway Park since midway through the 2008 season.


Rookie lefthander Brian Matusz took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning, having allowed only five hits, including Jason Varitek’s fourth home run.


The Sox loaded their lineup with righthanded hitters against Matusz. Varitek was the catcher with fellow switch-hitter Victor Martinez the designated hitter. Bill Hall started in right for the first time and Mike Lowell was at third.Such was the respect the Red Sox had for Matusz, despite last night being only his 12th start in the majors.


The Orioles spent their day off in Boston Thursday after flying in from Seattle. Matusz, a 22-year-old lefthander, had never been to Fenway before and got teammate Jeremy Guthrie to catch the Rangers-Red Sox game with him.


The idea, he said, was to try and get comfortable. That was the case until the seventh inning.


After Hall worked a walk and Hermida singled, Matt Albers (0-3) came on and he immediately gave up the home run to Scutaro. Three batters later Kam Mickolio left a fastball over the plate that Youkilis hammered for his third homer.


“We’re just trying to go out there and play game by game and be a little more consistent,’’ said Scutaro, who has two home runs.


Sox starter John Lackey (2-1) was seeking atonement after allowing eight runs on nine hits over only 3 1/3 innings against Tampa Bay in his last start. The righthander was better last night, giving up three runs over seven innings.


Lackey allowed 10 hits, walked two, and struck out three in seven innings. He threw 72 of his 111 pitches for strikes.


“Good enough,’’ Lackey said. “[The] guys took care of me in the end. Stay out there long enough and good things happen. . . . It was a fun night. It was cool.’’


Poor defense handed the Orioles their first run. Wieters led off the second with a single to left, the ball skipping right past Lowell at third.


Scott followed with a ball off the wall. Hermida, who has had problems in left field, was too close to the scoreboard and the ball ricocheted over his head. Hermida stumbled to the grass trying to make the play and Wieters scored.


Singles by Wigginton and Hughes pushed the Orioles’ lead to 2-0. Hughes was called up from Triple A Norfolk earlier in the day. His parents and brother made it to Fenway Park in time to see the game.


Wigginton homered off Lackey in the sixth inning, giving the Orioles a 3-1 lead, one their bullpen could not hold.


Cantu's 21 hitting streak snaps in the 2nd game of double header yesterday. The Marlins win one and lose one to the Rockies. 1st game: Marlins 1, Rockies 8 2nd game: Marlins 4, Rockies 1



Florida Marlins settle for split against Rockies

Ricky Nolasco dominated again as the Marlins won the opener of a doubleheader. But Nate Robertson was rocked in the nightcap.





DENVER -- Most major-league pitchers have a strong disdain for Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia and Coors Field in Denver. They would prefer to avoid the places. They damage psyches and destroy earned run averages.


But to Ricky Nolasco, they're just wonderful.


Seven days after punching out the Phillies with a complete-game dandy in their home park, Nolasco did the same to the Colorado Rockies in theirs, pitching eight strong innings as the Marlins won the first game of a doubleheader 4-1 at Coors on Saturday.


``A-plus, A-plus,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez replied when asked to grade Nolasco's pair of pitching gems on back-to-back Saturdays in the two hitter-friendly parks.


Nate Robertson's report card was not nearly as glowing, as the Marlins dropped the second game of the twinbill, 8-1. Robertson, the Game 2 starter for the Marlins, walked four, hit a couple of batters and gave up five runs in only four innings. Conversely, Colorado's Aaron Cook went the distance as the Marlins settled for a split.


In the midst of everything, Jorge Cantu's hitting streak ended at 21 games. Cantu's single in the first game extended the streak, which equaled the fifth-longest in franchise history. But he went hitless in four at-bats in the second game.


From the Marlins' standpoint, Nolasco's outing was the highlight of the day. He came within an out of a shutout against the Phillies. Against the Rockies, he came within three outs of his second consecutive complete game.


``Both of those teams have real good lineups,'' Nolasco said. ``The main thing I try to focus on is getting the first out of every inning because that changes their lineups completely. If they get the leadoff men on, those lineups become twice as dangerous.''


Nolasco proved his point in victories over both teams. He retired the leadoff hitter in seven of nine innings against the Phillies. On Saturday, he retired the first hitter in six of eight innings.


``He was throwing lights out,'' outfielder Brett Carroll said. ``I was standing in the outfield thinking, as a position player, what a hitter would be looking at [with Nolasco pitching], because he mixes his pitches so well and can throw everything for strikes. He doesn't pitch in patterns.''


The Rockies managed seven hits off Nolasco. But -- just like Anibal Sanchez, who gave up nine Astros hits in Houston on Thursday in a 5-1 Marlins win -- they caused little damage. The hits given up by Nolasco were all singles, just as the hits allowed by Sanchez were.


And neither Nolasco nor Sanchez issued so much as one walk.


``I was just trying to keep those guys off balance,'' Nolasco said of the Rockies. ``You can't have them leaning over the plate on you, because that's when they're going to start hurting you. So I pitched inside a little bit more [saturday].''


Saturday's doubleheader was the result of a rainout Friday.


And, by taking the opener, the Marlins won the first game of a series for the first time after five such defeats.


Whereas Nolasco's performance was largely to credit for that, so was Carroll's bat.


With Chris Coghlan continuing to slump at the plate, and with the Rockies starting a left-hander in Greg Smith, Gonzalez decided to give Carroll the start in left. He responded with a solo home run, sacrifice fly and a double. Dan Uggla also remained on a tear by clubbing his fourth home run before adding a double. Uggla is having the best April of his career after being dangled as trade bait over the winter.


With Saturday's victory, Nolasco improved to 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA.


Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/25/1597...l#ixzz0m9oegF2u


Braves fall to the Mets 3-1


Atlanta Braves

Braves’ offense has been alarmingly awful


3:43 pm April 25, 2010, by David O'Brien


New York – Only 17 games into a 162-game season, it’s not time for the Braves to panic about their currently pitiful offense.


However, it certainly should be raising some red flags and at least getting the wheels turning in the front office.Oh, it’s gone bad in a hurry, folks. Beyond bad. Took about one day, really.


After teasing us all with a 12-hit, 16-run Opening Day performance against the Cubs since-demoted-to-the-bullpen Carlos Zambrano, the Braves have hit — are you ready? – .219 in the past 16 games. They’ve scored 54 runs in those 16 games, including nine in one game against Colorado.


In the other 15 games, they totaled just 45 runs. Three runs per game. Whew.


And it’s gotten worse instead of better lately. A lot worse, in fact.


• The Braves have hit .194 and scored 14 runs in their past seven games. That’s horrendous. They’ve hit three homers in that stretch, and all three came in one four-batter span in the ninth and 10th innings of a stirring April 20 comeback win against Philly that looks more and more like an aberration.


Think about that: The Braves have failed to hit a home run in six of their past seven games, and have gone 2-5 in that stretch despite having their pitchers allow three runs or fewer in four of those seven games.


Remember how they talked for much of last season about wasting so many great pitching performances, how they had to stop doing that? They’re doing the same thing again.


The offseason additions to the lineup – Troy Glaus and Melky Cabrera – have been a bust, and Nate McLouth continues playing like someone who barely resembles the emerging standout he appeared to be for a couple of years with Pittsburgh.


Matt Diaz and Yunel Escobar, two of the Braves’ steadiest performers last season (I voted Escobar the team MVP in 2009), have been wholly disappointing through two weeks.The Braves have four outfielders, and the only who’s come close to meeting expectations is 20-year-old Jason Heyward, who’s surpassed them. Lately, though, even Heyward hough seems to have been swept into the malaise currently gripping virtually every hitter not named Martin Prado, Eric Hinske, David Ross or Chipper Jones, and Chipper simply can’t stay healthy so he can’t be counted upon.


To be fair, Brian McCann hasn’t been bad, just hasn’t been up to his usual lofty standards.


It really is uncanny how a team can have so many guys slumping at once, so early in the season. And we haven’t even mentioned yet how the Braves’ leadoff position has been a failure of epic proportions. (They didn’t feel the need to pursue a leadoff option other than Melky this winter, huh? Well, it’s early, that’s about all that can be said in support of that decision right now.)


Here’s a few team numbers. In the 16-team National League, entering Sunday’s games the Braves ranked:


– 15th in batting average (.227)


– 14th in runs (70)


– Tied for 14th in homers (12)


– 10th in OBP (.328)


– 14th in slugging percentage (.350)


• Only five teams have more strikeouts than the Braves (135), and all of those teams have far more homers than the Braves.


“We’ve been doing more striking out than I ever thought we’d do, I tell you that,” said hitting coach Terry Pendleton, who is frustrated and disappointed by the team’s performance and his inability to help get them out of the huge rut.


• The Braves ranked 13th in the NL with a .248 average with runners in scoring position, including 7-for-47 in the past seven games.


• Braves leadoff hitters are an unfathomable 6-for-74 (.081) with a .159 OBP which is, needless to say, the worst in the majors by a wide margin. Diaz (.130) and McLouth (.167) have the two lowest leadoff OBPs in the league, and Cabrera (.200) has the fifth-worst.


• In two-strike counts, only the Mets and Pirates have been worse than the Braves (.148), who, rather remarkably, have only one hitter hitting better that .185 with two strikes. That’d be Prado, hitting .359 in those situations.


What looked in spring training like it’d be a team strength –- patience, willingness to get to two strikes -– has backfired with many Braves in the early — again, emphasizing early — part of the season.


Here’s what GM Frank Wren said on Feb. 20 when I talked to him behind the batting cage before a spring-training game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin:


“The lineup feels good. Feels like there’s depth, feels like we’ve extended our ability to score runs and, I think the other thing is, we’ve had really good at-bats this spring. Guys have worked counts and put a lot of pressure on the pitcher to throw strikes. And when you do that up and down the lineup, you put a lot of pressure on the other club.


“I think it’s a function of TP’s philosophy, which has always been that, and having more guys that can put that [philosophy] in play.”


Here’s what Pendleton said Saturday when I talked to him behind the batting cage Saturday before another loss against the Mets. I asked about all the strikeouts in crucial situations.


“I like that we’re seeing a lot of pitches, and seeing what a pitcher has,” Pendleton said. “But we’ve got to start swinging the bat, too. I’ll leave it at that.”


He didn’t want to throw any individual under the bus, in other words.About 90 minutes after that conversation, the Braves loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, and Diaz and Cabrera struck out consecutively to end the inning without getting a run across, Cabrera on a called third strike.


Other than Prado (14-for-39) and McCann (5-for-27), the three Braves who’ve had the most two-strike counts are Troy Glaus (5-for-30, 17 strikeouts), Cabrera (4-for-29, 10 strikeouts) and Heyward (5-for-40, 23 strikeouts).


It’s a fine line between being patient and working pitchers, and getting yourself behind in counts on a consistent basis against pitchers who know they can throw strikes past you early.


McLouth and Heyward rank sixth and eighth in the NL in highest percentage of pitches taken, each of them at over 65 percent. Prado is third at just over 67 percent, but the approach works for him (he’s 14-for-39 with two strikes).


“You don’t want to go up there and put yourself in a hole all the time,” Pendleton said. “You want to find something to hit, especially with runners in scoring position. You want to be swinging the bat in those situations if you get a pitch to hit.”


•Batting with runners in scoring position, the Braves’ team average has been brought down by a handful who’ve struggled mightily: Cabrera is 1-for-16, McLouth is 0-for-7, Glaus is 4-for-23, and even the usually proficient McCann is 2-for-11.


• In the late innings of close games, the Braves’ .223 average is the fourth-worst in the NL, and it’s been driven down by McLouth (1-for-8), Cabrera (1-for-9), Diaz (1-for-8), Infante (1-for-7) and Glaus (2-for-12).


Prado and Chipper are a combined 8-for-16 in late-and-close situations, and the rest of the team is just 13-for-78 (.167). That’s just awful.


Lately, the only lineup regular who’s not been pulled into the downward spiral (other than Chipper, who’s hurt again) is Prado, second in the NL with a .409 average and .481 OBP and tied for the majors lead with nine multi-hit games.


Here’s what some of the others have done lately:


– Cabrera is 3-for-35 with one extra-base hit and two RBI in his past 11 games, and his .429 OPS is the third-lowest in the NL this season.


– Glaus is 2-for-27 with two RBI, nine strikeouts and a .167 OBP in his past nine games.


– McLouth is 2-for-17 with one walk, one RBI and six strikeouts in his past six games, and hitting .150 overall with a .300 OBP, two RBI and 16 strikeouts.


– Diaz is 5-for-35 (.143) with no RBI, one walk and nine strikeouts in his past nine games.


– McCann is 3-for-21 with one RBI in his past seven games.


– Heyward is 3-for-21 with 10 strikeouts in his past seven games, though he does have five walks and four RBI.


Seriously, that just doesn’t happen very often, where a team has that many guys doing so little at the same time.


Pendleton knows he doesn’t look good in this situation, that fingers are being pointed at him. To his credit, he won’t say what some coaches might and do say in his position, that they can’t go out on the field and hit for guys, that they can’t force them to make the adjustments he’s suggesting.


For instance, a certain struggling Brave continues hitting with his back leg straight and almost rigid, instead of bent the way that another hitter told me Pendleton has suggested repeatedly to this guy. The hitter in question’s response: He feels good doing it the way he’s doing it.


“In the game of baseball, you have to make adjustments,” is all that Pendleton says, speaking in general terms about that subject. “If you’re not having success, you have got to make adjustments.”


Ultimately, if the Braves continue to underperform maybe Pendleton will pay the price with his job, if not during the season (extremely rare that Braves coaches lose their jobs with Bobby Cox as manager) then after it.


For now, Pendleton said he’s trying hard to figure out ways to help hitters get going, to help them understand and put into practice some things he’s saying. But he doesn’t put it on them, doesn’t say he’s doing his job and they’re not doing theirs. The former league MVP was always known as a great teammate, and Pendleton isn’t about to start passing the buck now and not taking his share of the blame.


“Obviously, when you’re team isn’t hitting and you’re the hitting coach, you should wonder what the heck is going on,” he said. “I try to do what I can. Maybe it’s not enough. Maybe I could do more. Maybe there’s something I’m not getting across, something I’m not doing.


“I’m going to sit back tonight and think about what I could do to help us get better. I seriously feel that maybe there’s something more I should be doing. If the team isn’t hitting, as the hitting coach I have to look at that and reassess what I’m doing….


“There’s probably only so much you can do [with them] as a group, but maybe there’s more I could do with an individual.”


It’s early, but the Braves, from top to bottom, understand how quickly it can get late.


From the sounds of it, the Braves are starting to panic. The Red Sox are a bit worrysome for me. I really hope they pull together soon or the hated Yankees might get too far ahead along with the Rays.

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question, cause I know it's only been a few weeks, how important is it to get off to a good start? didn't the yankees(go go go :P) get off to a slow start last year but got hot after the break? Isn't it a bit too early to get worried or am I just looking at this wrong due to baseball having so many games?


Also what about the thougt on the NFL saying f u to baseball and playing a game during the world series?(btw NFL will win that rating game)

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question, cause I know it's only been a few weeks, how important is it to get off to a good start? didn't the yankees(go go go :P) get off to a slow start last year but got hot after the break? Isn't it a bit too early to get worried or am I just looking at this wrong due to baseball having so many games?


Also what about the thougt on the NFL saying f u to baseball and playing a game during the world series?(btw NFL will win that rating game)


1) It all depends on how the other teams are doing, really. It is a bit early yet to really worry, and definitely too early to panic. Yeah, those Bastards from the Bronx got off to a slow start last year and then picked back up and bought another World Series win (ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little) But there's problems that need fixing which is a cause for some concern. They've been allowing too many stolen bases, especially when Victor Martinez is behind the plate. He just doesn't seem to throw the ball to 2nd or 3rd when he sees someone running to steal. It's not really a problem when Jason Veritek is catching. Also our Bullpen has been a bit sloppy with the exception of Papelbon and Declarmen and I think Ramirez too. Tim Wakefield is moving over to the bullpen and we're getting Dice-k back as starting pitcher, so I'm hopeful. I'm not too worried, but I am a bit concerned.


The NFL can play a football game during the World Series as long as I still get to watch the World Series on some channel. Or hell, if the Pats are playing, I'll do what I usually do, multi task between the internets and the TV. I really only care about the World Series if the Sox or the Yankees or the Marlins are in it. I wanna see the Sox win this year, of course. If the Yankees are in it, I like to root against them, always. (They lost last night, ha ha) And the Marlins, I like to see them win too. But if it's NFL vs World Series, go for it.

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So.. yeah. The Red Sox lost last night. They were making a great come back in the bottom of the 10th, but like Terry Francona said, "The hole was too deep." The damage had been done. It was 4-4 after the 9th, then Atchison loaded the bases with walks and Schoenweis alowed 3 in before Manny Declarmen stopped the bleeding. The loss was 7-6.


Orioles 7, Red Sox 6 (10 innings)

The Boston Globe

Pen is marked down in latest Red Sox loss

By Peter Abraham

Globe Staff / April 26, 2010

Tim Wakefield knew his fate before he threw a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. A perfect game would not have kept the Red Sox from sending him to the bullpen, a decision that rendered the veteran righthander furious.

That Wakefield pitched well into the seventh inning and left the game to a standing ovation only seemed to prove his point.


But the Sox denied him the consolation of a victory. The relievers Wakefield soon will be sharing sunflower seeds and bubble gum with kicked away the lead as Boston lost, 7-6, in 10 innings to the worst team in baseball.


“Obviously disappointing,’’ said Wakefield, an apt summation of the day and season so far.


Wakefield went 6 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits with one walk. He struck out five and guided 74 of his 108 pitches over the plate for strikes. But the 4-1 lead Wakefield handed to Hideki Okajima disappeared quickly.


Nick Markakis ripped an RBI double off the wall in left-center before Miguel Tejada lined a tying homer off the foul pole in left. The blown save denied Wakefield his 190th career victory.


The bullpen allowed three more runs in the 10th inning thanks to a curious and costly decision by manager Terry Francona.


After the oft-used Daniel Bard struck out the side in the ninth on only 15 pitches, Francona went to Scott Atchison to start the next inning. Jonathan Papelbon, who had pitched in four of the previous five games, was not available. But Manny Delcarmen was.


Opponents were hitting .083 against Delcarmen this season and the righthander had not pitched since Tuesday, the night his fastball hit 96 miles per hour for the first time this season. The first three hitters due up for Baltimore — Tejada, Luke Scott, and Ty Wigginton — were 3 for 19 against him.


“We thought about both [Atchison and Delcarmen]. We had Scotty up,’’ Francona said. “We thought he would throw strikes and we didn’t anticipate the inning unfolding the way it did.’’


Atchison (0-1) couldn’t get so much as one out. Tejada singled and went to third on a double by Scott before Wigginton walked to load the bases. Scott Schoeneweis was next out of the bullpen and gave up singles to Rhyne Hughes and Matt Wieters as the Orioles scored three runs.


“I couldn’t get them to chase at a couple of pitches,’’ said Atchison, the pitcher likely to be demoted once Daisuke Matsuzaka joins the rotation on Saturday and Wakefield goes to the bullpen. “That happens sometimes. I didn’t throw the ball overly well. They put together a couple of hits.’’


By the time Delcarmen came in and easily retired the two batters he faced the Sox were down, 7-4.


“I was ready to go no matter when the phone rang for me,’’ Delcarmen said. “I can’t worry about when I come in, that’s for somebody else. They wanted those other guys to get some work.’’


The impact of Francona’s decision was further magnified when the Sox scored two runs on four hits in the bottom of the inning off Jim Johnson (1-1). J.D. Drew had a RBI double and Bill Hall an RBI single.


But Cla Meredith finally ended it, getting Darnell McDonald to foul out and Marco Scutaro on a line drive to second with two runners on. It was the first save in 272 career relief appearances for the former Red Sox prospect.


It was only the third win in 19 games for the Orioles, who had lost 10 consecutive games against the Red Sox and 15 of their previous 16 games at Fenway Park.


“We certainly cannot celebrate, that would be pretty bush league,’’ Meredith said. “But it will make the flight home a little bit better.’’


Baltimore starter David Hernandez shut the Sox down over the first five innings, allowing two hits. But his 1-0 lead was imperiled when Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk in the sixth inning and Victor Martinez singled to right.


When Kevin Youkilis lined an RBI single into left field, Orioles manager Dave Trembley went to lefthanded reliever Mark Hendrickson. Francona had a decision to make but stuck with David Ortiz despite his being 5 for 28 against Hendrickson.


In a similar situation Tuesday night against Texas, Francona pinch hit Mike Lowell for Ortiz. The prideful Ortiz later called it his most embarrassing moment in a Red Sox uniform.


This time, Ortiz slapped an RBI single into center field. A sacrifice fly by Drew gave the Sox a 3-1 lead. A single by Beltre and Lowell’s pinch-hit double off Jason Berken added another run.


That looked like enough for Wakefield before the bullpen gave the game away.


“He deserved better than that,’’ Beltre said. “It wasn’t right.’’



I think having Wakefield in the bullpen will really help us out, though I do like him as a starter. Our bullpen is really weak though, and we need him there.

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The Red Sox had a better offensive night last night and won the game against the Blue Jays. The offense was great. That being said, Beckett allowed 8 runs and was relieved after the 3rd inning. The bullpen allowed 4 more runs. Shoenweis got the win, and Papelbon as always saved the day. Fabio Castro's been called up from the Paw Sox, and Scott Atchison's being sent there to Pawtucket.

Between that and Wake going to the bullpen I hope it helps. Here's hoping for a swift, safe recovery for Ellsbury and Cameron. I think the best outfield would be Ellsbury, Cameron, and McDonald. Anyway... Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 13-12 last night.


Red Sox Stave Off Blue Jays 13-12 in Offensive Outburst

by Associated Press on Apr 27, 2010 1:11:07 AM

TORONTO -- Jason Varitek needed a little extra time to ice his aching body after this seesaw slugfest.


Varitek had four RBIs, Marco Scutaro scored a career-high four runs and the Boston Red Sox held off the Toronto Blue Jays 13-12 on Monday night.


"I would have taken a 2-1 game rather than a 4-hour game behind the plate, to be honest with you," Varitek said with a laugh. "I was a little tired after about the fourth inning."


Varitek went 3-for-5 with a pair of two-run singles and Scutaro was 3-for-5 with a walk against his former team. Boston set season highs for runs and hits (18) in a wild game that lasted 4 hours, 3 minutes -- the longest nine-inning game in the majors this season, according to STATS LLC.


The Red Sox have been involved in the four longest nine-inning games of the year: Two against the New York Yankees (3:48 and 3:46) during their season-opening series and one against Texas (3:46) on April 20, according to STATS.


Varitek didn't have to crouch through those games, but he was behind the plate for all of a 12-inning win over Texas on April 21 that lasted 3:49.


"That was not the way we drew it up," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "I think I've said that a few times this year."


Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer and Lyle Overbay added a solo shot for Toronto, which rallied from an early 5-0 deficit against Josh Beckett. Overbay went 3 for 5 with four RBIs and scored twice.


Scott Schoeneweis (1-0) got one out for the win and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.


Shawn Camp (1-1) allowed three runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings.


Toronto's 12 runs and 16 hits also were season highs.


Beckett, who came in with a 6.62 ERA in 12 career starts against the Blue Jays, gave up eight runs and nine hits in three-plus innings, while Toronto's Dana Eveland allowed seven runs and eight hits in three-plus innings.


Beckett, who allowed seven runs to Texas in his previous start and saw his ERA balloon to 7.22 after this one, acknowledged feeling frustrated by the poor results.


"You try to make every adjustment you can," he said. "Unfortunately, every adjustment I made got hit harder than the last one."


With the offenses in high gear, Varitek said Beckett's line wasn't a fair reflection of his performance.


"He didn't have much margin for error," Varitek said. "They didn't let him breathe one bit. Whether he made good pitches or misfired a pitch, or whatever it was, today was one of those days I can honestly say you've got to credit the other team more than you have to look at what Josh did."


Both managers were planning bullpen overhauls after using 13 pitchers for a combined 399 pitches.


"We need somebody," Francona said. "We're a little thin."


Toronto didn't wait to make a move, sending right-hander Jeremy Accardo to Triple-A Las Vegas and designating righty Merkin Valdez for assignment. Right-hander Josh Roenicke and lefty Rommie Lewis were called up from Las Vegas.


"We'd be hurting a little bit if we don't get some fresh arms," manager Cito Gaston said.


Leading 1-0 on J.D. Drew's first-inning RBI single, Boston made it 5-0 with a four-run third. Varitek hit a two-run single and Adrian Beltre followed with a two-run double.


Toronto roared back in the bottom half with a six-run, 10-batter inning. Fred Lewis led off with a triple and scored on Aaron Hill's single. Vernon Wells doubled Hill to third and both runners scored on Overbay's double. After Alex Gonzalez singled, Bautista drilled a first-pitch homer into the second deck in left, his fourth.


Boston reclaimed its lead in the fourth. Eveland left with runners at first and second and was replaced by Accardo. After Kevin Youkilis loaded the bases with a single, Accardo uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch. Two batters later, Varitek lined a two-run single to center.


Toronto tied it again in the bottom half. Beckett left after opening the inning with walks to Hill and Adam Lind, and Scott Atchison gave up a two-out, two-run triple to Gonzalez, making it 8-all.


Boston jumped in front again in the fifth when Dustin Pedroia singled off Camp, stole second and scored on a two-out hit by Youkilis, but Toronto tied it in the bottom half on an RBI single by Lind.


The Red Sox took the lead for good with a four-run sixth. Darnell McDonald hit an RBI double, Scutaro singled home a run and Pedroia capped it with a two-run double.


"I was just trying to figure out how we were going to win," Francona said. "Once we got to 13, we're trying to figure out, do you go for two?"


Toronto closed to within one in the eighth on Overbay's RBI single and Bautista's sacrifice fly.



Boston RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (neck) threw a 69-pitch simulated game and will make his season debut Saturday at Baltimore, replacing RHP Tim Wakefield in the rotation. ... The Blue Jays were the last team to score six runs in an inning off Beckett, doing it Aug. 17, 2008. ... Attendance was 13,847.


Marlins beat the Padres 10-1 Johnson got 12 K's


Johnson strikes out 12, drives in 3 as Marlins pound Padres

1st H Ramirez homered to right (384 feet). 0 1

2nd C Ross doubled to deep left center, J Baker scored. 0 2

2nd J Johnson singled to left, C Ross scored. 0 3

3rd D Uggla singled to right, H Ramirez scored, J Cantu to third. 0 4

3rd G Sanchez walked, J Cantu scored, D Uggla to third, C Ross to second. 0 5

3rd J Johnson singled to center, D Uggla and C Ross scored, G Sanchez to third. 0 7

4th D Uggla homered to left (356 feet), C Coghlan scored. 0 9

6th G Sanchez singled to left, J Cantu scored, J Baker to third, B Carroll to second. 0 10

8th M Stairs hit sacrifice fly to left, N Hundley scored. 1 10

ESPN Stats and Information

Associated Press


MIAMI -- Pitching in a laugher, Josh Johnson never changed expression.


Even after driving in three runs and reaching base with his third single, Johnson remained impassive. When he received a big ovation walking to the dugout after eight innings, he kept his head down.

Only when Johnson completed a three-hitter did he show emotion, punching the air to punctuate his 12th strikeout as the Florida Marlins beat the San Diego Padres 10-1 Monday night.


Johnson (2-1), who signed a $39 million, four-year contract in January, pitched past the sixth inning for the first time in five starts this season.


"It felt good to finally get in that rhythm and find that tempo," he said. "It has been a long time coming. I felt it when I was playing catch in the outfield before the game. I was like, `Whoa, here we go. Things were starting to click.' I figured it would be a good day."


Johnson's strikeout total was a career high, and the three-hitter was a personal best. He walked one and threw 117 pitches in his fourth career complete game, his first since June 14, 2009.


His first strikeout came against the second batter he faced, David Eckstein.


"That's when I knew he had something special," catcher John Baker said. "Eckstein never strikes out."


Johnson's fastball topped out at 98 mph, and he mixed in effective sliders and -- especially late in the game -- his changeup. Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said it was as good as he has seen Johnson throw.


"It's not easy to pitch with that big of a lead," Gonzalez said. "Pitchers have a tendency to lose their concentration in those situations, and he didn't."


Dan Uggla homered and drove in three runs, while Hanley Ramirez also connected. And Johnson helped himself, matching a career high with three RBIs.


His teammates' reaction?


"We were just laughing at him," Baker said.


Johnson singled home a run in the second, added a two-run single in the third and finished 3 for 4.


"It's fun, but pitching is way better," he said.


San Diego's only run came on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Matt Stairs in the eighth to score Nick Hundley, who had doubled. The Padres, who began the day leading the NL West, lost their second game in a row after winning eight straight.


Mat Latos (1-2), who pitched seven shutout innings in his previous start, made the quickest exit of his career. He gave up seven hits and seven runs in 2 2/3 innings and walked three, doubling his total for the year.


"It just wasn't my day," Latos said. "I walked a guy with the bases loaded, something I've never done in my entire lifetime."


The Marlins tied their season high for runs, while San Diego gave up a season high.


"You're going to have those from time to time," Padres manager Bud Black said. "That's the first one this year. We've laid it on a couple of teams, but tonight it was their turn."


Florida struck out 12 times but went 5 for 13 with runners in scoring position and scored seven runs with two outs.


Ramirez hit his second home run in the first inning.


Florida scored twice in the second. Baker singled and came home on Cody Ross' double. Johnson's two-out single scored Ross.


The Marlins added four runs in the third to make it 7-0. Uggla had an RBI single, Gaby Sanchez walked with two outs and the bases loaded, and Johnson hit a sharp single on a 3-2 pitch to drive in two more.


Johnson batted again with the bases loaded in the sixth but struck out, leaving his average at .300.


"He had a career night," Latos said. "He's a potential Cy Young winner. Hats off to him."


Game notes

The Marlins activated RHP Brian Sanches (right hamstring) from the disabled list. LHP Dan Meyer was placed on the DL retroactive to Sunday with a strained left calf. ... Florida CF Cameron Maybin was back in the lineup after being sidelined by a headache following a collision with Sanchez on Saturday. ... Top Marlins prospect Mike Stanton is making a strong case for a call-up -- he hit two home runs Sunday and three more Monday for Double-A Jacksonville against Carolina. He has nine homers to lead the minor leagues, and he's batting .338. "His swing is not quite there yet," Gonzalez joked. ... Padres RHP Jon Garland, scheduled to start Tuesday, is 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins.


Braves lost their 6th straight game, this time to the Cardinals 4-3


Cardinals rally to hand Braves sixth straight loss

Associated Press


ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina is best known as the National League's Gold Glove-winning catcher the past two seasons. It was his bat that helped send the Atlanta Braves to their sixth straight loss.


Molina's RBI double snapped an eighth-inning tie after Colby Rasmus drew an intentional walk in the St. Louis Cardinals' 4-3 victory Monday night.


Molina is only 5 for 22 with runners in scoring position this season, but he capped a comeback against Tim Hudson and the Atlanta bullpen after St. Louis trailed 3-0.


Though slow-footed, Molina also got his 15th career stolen base ahead of pinch-hitter Bryan Anderson's tying double in the seventh.


"I love it," Molina said. "Every time something like that happens, it makes me happy. We showed we're going to play nine innings hard."


Troy Glaus had two hits and an RBI for the Braves, who have been outscored 23-9 during their skid. Glaus is a career .567 hitter (17 for 30) against the Cardinals, who allowed him to leave as a free agent after he missed virtually all of last season rehabbing from shoulder surgery.


Martin Prado was 1 for 5 and grounded out to end the game with a runner on first, dropping his average to .392.


"Right now, I don't feel like any kind of numbers matter," Prado said. "Now it's just like everything is going the wrong way for us. It stinks, but we've got to keep moving on."


Albert Pujols had three hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, who have won the opener in all but one of seven series. Pujols had a run-scoring groundout in the sixth and doubled off Takashi Saito (0-1) to open the eighth.


Dennys Reyes (2-0) worked around a pair of two-out walks in the eighth, getting Melky Cabrera to line out on a full count. Ryan Franklin finished for his seventh save in seven chances.


"They play the game right," Hudson said. "They take extra bases. They do the little things it takes to win."


Both starters allowed three runs in six innings. The Cardinals' Kyle Lohse finished strong, retiring his last seven batters, but Hudson stumbled late after taking a 2-0 lead into the sixth. He gave up more than two runs for the first time in four starts.


"I was proud to be able to hang in there and keep the team in it," Lohse said. "I gave up a lot of two-strike hits and I've got to do a better job of putting guys away."


Hudson allowed four singles, a walk and no runs through the first five innings, but four of his last six hitters reached safely.


"It seems like when you go through a little frustration, the little things get magnified a bit," he said.


Rasmus had two hits and an intentional walk after going 1 for 18 at home to open the season. He is 12 for 26 during a seven-game hitting streak after hitting his sixth homer to open the seventh.


Anderson, told after the game he had been optioned to Triple-A Memphis with backup catcher Jason LaRue (right hamstring) due to come off the 15-day disabled list, tied it at 3 with a double off Peter Moylan.


Pujols dawdled a bit on a drive off the wall in left-center in the first and paid for it when Cabrera, the left fielder, threw him out trying for second to end the first. The Cardinals opened the second with singles by Matt Holliday and Rasmus but Holliday was out trying to steal on a botched hit-and-run, with Molina throwing his bat in an effort to make contact with an outside pitch.


Hudson's infield hit, ending a 1-for-31 start at the plate by Braves pitchers, opened a two-run third. Hudson scored on Brian McCann's bases-loaded sacrifice fly and Glaus added a two-out RBI single.


Cabrera beat out an infield hit to open the fourth, barely beating third baseman David Freese's throw after a nice stab down the line, and scored when Nate McLouth doubled for his third RBI of the season.


Game notes

Harry Statham, coach at nearby McKendree and the career men's college basketball victory leader with 1,022, threw out the first pitch. ... Braves rookie Jason Heyward was 0 for 3 with a walk and is in a 1-for-17 slump. ... Glaus is 5 for 12 against Lohse for a .417 average, the best of any active Braves player against the right-hander.

Scoring Summary


3rd B McCann hit sacrifice fly to right, T Hudson scored, M Prado to third. 1 0

3rd T Glaus singled to center, M Prado scored, C Jones to second. 2 0

4th N McLouth doubled to deep right, M Cabrera scored. 3 0

6th A Pujols grounded out to shortstop, S Schumaker scored, R Ludwick to second. 3 1

7th C Rasmus homered to right (359 feet). 3 2

7th B Anderson doubled to left, Y Molina scored. 3 3

8th Y Molina hit a ground rule double to deep center, A Pujols scored, C Rasmus to third. 3 4

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