Yankees 6, Twins 4
- Mariano Rivera took the MLB saves record for himself tonight, recording No. 43 on the year and No. 602 for his career. As usual, he did it with a clean inning and a strikeout. No jitters here – 13 pitches and done. At 41, Rivera remains metronomically reliable, dropping his ERA to 1.98. If he can hold it there, that'll be eight out of nine years that he puts up an ERA under two. Will anyone else get to 600 saves? Well, probably, but not for a while – Francisco Cordero's the closest active pitcher, and he has only 323.
- Fitting that Rivera would get the record in this game, a battle of the bullpens after A.J. Burnett and Scott Diamond (1-5) lasted four innings each. Burnett at least struck out eight while allowing four runs on nine hits. Diamond fared worse, striking out just one and allowing 13 baserunners (10 hits, three walks) and five runs.
- Corey Wade (6-1) got the win in relief, allowing three hits and a walk over 1.2 scoreless frames.
- The magical season continues for Curtis Granderson, who slugged his 41st homer.
- With three hits, Derek Jeter raised his average to .295. He continues to frustrate us all by refusing to get old as quickly as we'd like him to.
- Ben Revere had three hits and stole two bases (32) off Burnett and Russell Martin, but he was caught once.
- He wasn't the only one testing Martin's arm – Michael Cuddyer (11) and Luke Hughes (3) both successfully swiped bags.
- Cuddyer added his 19th homer. Nice fantasy season there, especially considering his time at second base.
- Chris Parmelee did his best Justin Morneau impersonation in the cleanup spot, hitting his second career home run. He's made a very nice first impression after a direct promotion from Double-A, where his numbers suggest he won't keep this .368 pace up.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 5; Red Sox 18, Orioles 9
- The pitching was so good in this doubleheader that the only starter to win, Jeremy Guthrie (9-17) gave up four runs on 10 hits in six innings. And make no mistake, he was the best of them.
- Guthrie beat Kyle Weiland (0-3), who put on one of two horrendous Red Sox starting performances, giving up three homers and six runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings. He allowed two walks and five hits, but did strike out five.
- The pitching only got worse in the nightcap. Brian Matusz (1-8) gave up six runs without escaping the second inning, while John Lackey took a longer road to horrible results, spreading eight runs and 11 hits over 4.1 innings. Scott Atchison (1-0) benefited from Boston's 18-run explosion in relief of Lackey, who actually would have won had he stuck around for two more outs.
- Robert Andino had a nice little fantasy day, homering (4) in the day game and stealing a base (10) in the night game.
- J.J. Hardy (28) and Nolan Reimold (12) added homers off Weiland, and Reimold picked up another three RBI in Game 2.
- Matt Angle had a nice little day, stealing two bases (9) and collecting three hits, two RBI and two runs.
- Jacoby Ellsbury ripped his 28th homer in the night game, going 3-for-6 with two RBI and three runs after a 1-for-5 opener.
- Jed Lowrie had a big game in his return to the lineup in Game 2, going 2-for-5 with a walk, a homer (5), a steal and four RBI.
- Conor Jackson got in on the action with a grand slam, his first homer with the Sox and his fifth of the year. To round out the four-RBI-day crowd, Dustin Pedroia picked up three hits and drove in four.
- Marco Scutaro had an enormous day, picking up three hits in each game and piling up five runs and a couple RBI. He's now hitting .298.
- Adrian Gonzalez reached base seven consecutive times (a double, four singles, two walks) across the two games.
- Oh yeah. Nick Markakis stole his 12th base. And Jim Johnson got the save (7) in the day game. Orioles news to make your night.
Mariners 12, Indians 6
- Charlie Furbush (4-9) doesn't usually expect to win when he gives up six runs in five innings, but that's precisely what he did, thanks to some awful work by the Indians' staff. Furbush allowed 10 hits, but struck out eight and walked just one.
- David Huff (2-6) led the charge of horrible pitching, giving up nine runs (only five earned!) in 2.2 innings of work. He struck out just one while allowing seven hits and three walks.
- Alex Liddi hit his first MLB home run, a two-run shot off Huff in the second.
- Mike Carp had a huge game, hitting a grand slam (11) and adding an RBI double.
- Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run homer (23) and an RBI double among his three hits.
- Carlos Santana's batting average still isn't quite there at .239, but he does have 26 homers, including tonight's shot.
Cardinals 4, Phillies 3
- Kyle Lohse (14-8) brought his good stuff in this one, giving up just an unearned run on seven hits and a walk in 7.1 innings of work. He struck out five and picked up his third quality start in a row – which, with some of the games he's had in the second half, constitutes real progress.
- It's unusual for Roy Halladay (18-6) to be outdueled, but that's just what Lohse did. Halladay went eight innings, but uncharacteristically walked four and allowed four runs on six hits. He struck out six.
- Lance Berkman had himself a perfect day at the dish, collecting a homer (31), a single and two walks.
- Octavio Dotel cleaned up after Arthur Rhodes, who failed to clean up for Jason Motte, to pick up his second save of the year.
Motte got two outs, but gave up two hits and was charged with both runners scoring, and Rhodes gave up a hit to the only batter he faced.
Blue Jays 3, Angels 2 in 10
- Jerome Williams actually matched Ricky Romero in this one. Neither received a decision, as despite Romero going nine and allowing only two runs (both on solo homers) and six hits, Williams put together a respectable start of his own, overcoming a 3:3 K:BB by allowing just two unearned runs on six hits over 6.1 innings.
- Casey Janssen (6-0!) was the beneficiary of the 10th-inning rally, while ex-Jay Scott Downs (6-3) gave up yet another unearned run for the loss. Yep, all three runs were unearned for Toronto.
- The Angels earned their runs the hard way, with homers by Mark Trumbo (28) and Torii Hunter (21).
Astros 3, Reds 2
- Travis Wood threw five shutout innings, but was pulled with just 69 pitches under his belt and had to watch Logan Ondrusek blow the save for him the very next inning. Nick Masset (3-6) ended up with the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the eighth.
- J.A. Happ was the beneficiary of the blown save, as he got let off the hook from what would have been a tough loss, as he struck out nine and allowed just two runs on three hits and three walks in his six innings. David Carpenter (1-3) got his first MLB win in relief, recording one whole out.
- Brandon Phillips connected on his 17th homer off Happ in the first inning.
- Drew Stubbs went 0-for-3 to fall to .245, but did walk and steal his 38th base.
- Todd Frazier had a double and picked up his first MLB steal.
- The very useful Jason Bourgeois stole two bags (31) and had two hits to improve to .297.
- Matt Downs hit his ninth homer.
Marlins 6, Braves 5
- Mike Stanton, whom we can now call the most exciting young hitter in the game, slugged two solo homers to give him 34 on the year. He also scored a third run after walking.
- Mike Minor went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six. Despite giving up three homers, he was in line for the save, at least until...
- Craig Kimbrel came into the game and blew his seventh save, allowing a walk-off, two-run homer to ex-Brave Omar Infante (6). Of all people, right? By the way, the Braves now lead the Cards for the wild card by just 2.5 games.
- Clay Hensley (6-6) threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts for a relief win.
- Logan Morrison added his 21st homer for Florida.
- Dan Uggla (35) and Jason Heyward (14) homered, solo-style, for the Braves.
Cubs 5, Brewers 2
- File under "unexpected success": Casey Coleman (3-8) delivered a fine outing, surrendering only one run (a solo homer) and two hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked three. Very surprising, very impressive.
- Chris Narveson (10-8) lasted only four innings, striking out just one and allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks. He hasn't turned in a quality start since July 31.
- Geovany Soto was the offense for the Cubs, hitting a pair of two-run homers (17) and an RBI single for a big ol' five-RBI day.
- Jerry Hairston Jr. connected on his fifth homer for the only run off Coleman, and Casey McGehee (13) homered in the ninth off Carlos Marmol, just because.
Padres 8, Rockies 2
- Further proof that Corey Luebke (6-9) is not just a guy, but a bona-fide dude: He walks into Coors Field and gives up one hit (as luck would have it, a two-run homer) in seven beautiful innings. He had a no-hitter through six and struck out nine while walking three in a truly impressive performance – one of many he's delivered this year.
- Kevin Millwood (3-3) got knocked out early, recording only one out in the fourth inning while being charged with seven runs (six earned) on nine hits. Even in these dire end-of-the-year times, I hope you're not starting Millwood in fantasy.
- Cameron Maybin had a nice day, hitting his eighth triple and ninth homer, not to mention collecting his 38th steal.
- Aaron Cunningham hit his second homer of the season. Nice to visit a hitter's park.
- Mark Ellis had that lone hit off Luebke, his sixth homer with Colorado and seventh overall.
Diamondbacks 1, Pirates 0
- Who picked Ian Kennedy to go 20-4 in 2011? Raise your hand. He struck out 12 over eight innings of extremely dominant ball, allowing just a single and a walk. Nothing can be said about Kennedy that hasn't already. He's put himself solidly into the second tier of starting pitchers, and he's done it in a park that favors hitters.
- Jeff Karstens (9-9) took a tough loss on the other end, as he was outdueled despite allowing only a run on five hits in six innings.
- Willie Bloomquist stole his 18th base for Arizona, while Andrew McCutchen picked up No. 22 for the Pirates despite going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts – and a walk.
- J.J. Putz picked up his 42nd save, pitching around Pittsburgh's lone extra-base hit, an Alex Presley double.
- Justin Upton went 2-for-4 and provided all the offense for the game with a sixth-inning solo homer (31).