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Article:Baseball Notebook: Thursday's Highlights

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Tigers Sweep White Sox With 2-1 Victory

Just when the Chicago White Sox were scoring an average of nine runs a game, they play the Detroit Tigers and score a total of six runs in the Tigers' sweep of the three game series. Yesterday, Mark Buehrle and Kenny Rogers pitched eight innings and allowed one run, but Octavio Dotel (3-3) gave up a walkoff homer to Miguel Cabrera in the ninth to give the Tigers a 2-1 win. Todd Jones (2-0) took the win for the Tigers.

The Tigers have won five of their last six games after losing five of their previous six games. Still, they can't be taken too seriously until they reach .500; they need eight wins to reach .500. The Tigers are a game and a half behind the Cleveland Indians and two and half games behind the Minnesota Twins, so they have a realistic chance of climbing into second place.

Royals Nip Rangers 6-5

Jose Guillen drove in his 50th run of the season with a sacrifice fly that scored Alex Gordon as the Kansas City Royals edged the Texas Rangers 6-5. Guillen missed having 100 RBI's last year, falling one short, and has only had one 100 RBI season in his career. David Murphy drove in his 47th run for the Rangers, which puts him on a pace to have 100 RBI's in his rookie season.

Milton Bradley did not play in the game. Ryan Lefebvre, a Royals announcer had said Josh Hamilton had straightened out his life, but he couldn't say that for Bradley, which, to me, was an asinine remark to make, since Bradley has had no problems while with the Rangers that I know of. Lefebvre should not be saying negative things about a player unless he can back up his statement. I know Bradley has made numerous mistakes in the past, but I think he deserves more respect than Lefebvre showed toward him. It is difficult for Bradley to break away from his past when the media keeps bringing it back up.

Drew, Lowell and Youkilis Hit 10th Homers in 9-2 Win

J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Kevin Youkilis hit their tenth homers of the season in the 9-2 win by the Boston Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles. Lowell's homer was a grand slam. Jon Lester (5-3) won his second straight start in June, and has given up only 3 runs in 13 innings this month.

Indians Drub Twins 12-2

Aaron Laffey (4-3) was the beneficiary of an 18 hit attack by the Cleveland Indians, as they drubbed the Minnesota Twins by a 12-2 score. Laffey won his fourth decision out his last five decisions. Shin-Soo "Chattanooga Choo" Choo hit a three run homer in the third inning. Jamey Carroll and Ben Francisco had four hits in the contest. Choo is hitting .323 since being called up from Minors last month, and is slugging at a .645 mark.

Matsui's Grand Slam Lifts Yankees to 4-1 Victory

Hideki Matsui hit a grand slam in the sixth inning, which was all the runs Andy Pettitte (6-5) needed to record a 4-1 New York Yankees win over the Oakland Athletics. Pettitte had allowed 14 runs in 13 2/3 innings over his last two starts but gave up only one run in eight innings yesterday. Darrell Rasner (3-0) is the only Yankee starter in the fourth or fifth slots of the rotation to record a win this season. Joe Blanton (3-9) took the loss, and he has only three wins in fourteen starts this season. He has won only one game in his last eight starts.

The Yankees moved out of a last place tie with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays with the win and moved into third place in the AL East. Tonight, they travel to Houston to play the slumping Houston Astros, who have lost seven of their last ten games.

Bucs Make Nationals Walk the Plank In 7-5 Win Behind Doumit Homer

Red hot Ryan Doumit hit his ninth homer and drove in three runs in the Pittsburgh Pirates' 7-5 win over the Washington Nationals. Doumit only made two outs in the three game series with 9 hits in 11 at-bats. On top of that, he hit 4 home runs and drove in 7 runs. His .365 average is fourth best in the Majors among players with at least 100 at-bats behind Chipper Jones (.414), Lance Berkman (.366), and Rafael Furcal (.366).

Tom Gorzelanny (5-5) took the win for the Pirates, but has a 6.65 ERA for the season. Jason Bergmann (1-4) took the loss for the Nationals.

Wagner Blows Third Straight Save: Diamondbacks Win 5-4 in 10 Innings

Billy Wagner blew his third straight save in the 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Wagner has five blown saves this season in 18 opportunities, while having 5 blown saves last season in 39 opportunities. Before the three blown saves, his ERA was 0.36. Now, it stands at 2.33 and is 13.50 for the month of June. In his last 2 1/3 innings, he has given up 6 runs, 6 hits and 2 homers.

Wagner may have to back up to the pay window to receive his next monthly check of his $10.5 million salary. He will be hoping the paymaster won't recognize him as being the same player that was pointing fingers at his teammates for their lousy playing and now he is playing just as badly, if not worse than they were.

Johan Santana has every right to trash Wagner but I suspect he has too much class to indulge in that kind of behavior. He pitched 7 innings of scoreless baseball and came away with a no decision because the shoddy Mets' bullpen allowed 5 runs in the last three innings of the game, which ended on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Montero.

Moyer Masterpiece Sinks Marlins 3-0

Jamie Moyer (7-3) pitched eight innings and allowed only 2 hits as the Philadelphia Phillies won a crucial game against the Florida Marlins, even if it is still early in the season. Moyer has won 5 of his last 6 starts; the exception of those six starts was a no decision. He has not lost a game since May 10th. Brad "Lights Out" Lidge picked up his 18th save and has 6 saves in April, May, and June. However, June is not half over so he should have a lot more by the end of the month. He has given up only 3 earned runs in 29 innings and has an ERA of 0.93.

A Marlins win would have moved the Marlins to within a game of the Phillies, but the loss moves them three games back. The Phillies gained a game on the whole division, as all the other NL East teams lost yesterday.

The Phillies hit ten singles and only one double but still outscored the Marlins 3-0. Ryan Howard was 0-for-5, and is hitting .204. Since his three doubles game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, Howard is 0-for-12.

Four Brewers Homers Brew Up Trouble For the Astros in 9-6 Victory In Houston

Seven homers were hit in the Milwaukee Brewers' 9-6 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Gabe Kapler, and Mike Cameron connected for the Brewers while Miguel Tejada, Darin Erstad and Mark Loretta circled the bases for the Astros.

Ben Sheets (7-1) defeated the Astros for his second victory over them in the last two weeks. Sheets has not lost since losing to the [Los Angeles Dodgers]] on May 15th. Sheets does need to work on his hitting though, since he only has 3 hits in 31 times at bat for a .097 average.

Ryan Braun drove in his 50th run of the season. He did not drive in his 50th run last season until July 29th. On this date last season, he had 10 RBI's.

Ridgway Hits Batter Forcing In Winning Run In the Cubs Eleventh Inning 3-2 Victory

Tim Hudson, the only original Atlanta Braves starter to start the season who is still healthy, pitched 6 2/3 innings of one run baseball, but failed to get the win after the Braves bullpen faltered again. The game ended in the eleventh inning with Jeff Ridgway forcing in the winning run by hitting Reed Johnson. Jim Edmonds hit a homer in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.

This Chicago Cubs team is going to find a way to win because this team may be a team of destiny if they can play this well in the second half. Carlos Zambrano pitched another good game and was 1-for-3, which now means he is hitting .362. Zambrano is leading all NL pitchers with at least 30 at-bats with Cole Hamels second with a .314 average.

Giants Slug Their Way to 10-7 Win Over Rockies With 14 Hit Attack

Jonathan Sanchez (6-3) had a terrible start since he gave up 7 runs and 9 hits in 5 innings, but he still got the win when the San Francisco Giants still posted a 10-7 win over the Colorado Rockies. Their starter, Greg Reynolds (1-4), pitched even worse, giving up 8 runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Fred Lewis hit a three run homer to lead the Giants' offensive outburst. The Giants were ahead 8-4 after 4 ininings, but the Rockies scored three times in the fifth inning to close the gap to 8-7 before the Giants picked up two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning to give them the 10-7 victory.

Reds Post 6-2 Win Over Punchless Cards

Bronson Arroyo left the game with a 2-0 lead, but any hopes he had of being the winning pitcher went down the drain in the seventh inning when Jeremy Affeldt gave up a two run homer to Troy Glaus to tie the score at 2-2, ruining Arroyo's chance of picking up a win. Arroyo also hit his first homer of the season.

The Reds scored four times in the bottom of the seventh to retake the lead by a 6-2 score which turned out to be the final score. Jay Bruce hit a pinch-hit double to raise his average to .391.

Peavy Pitches Padres To Easy 9-0 Win Over Dodgers In First Start Since May

Jake Peavy (5-3) picked up where he left off before being placed on disabled list. In his first start since May 14th he pitched six innings of scoreless baseball while allowing only three hits. The San Diego Padres have the best record in the last ten games in the NL West at 7-3.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his 18th homer and drove in his 60th run of the season and is leading the NL in RBI's. Hiroki Kuroda (3-6) took the loss. In his last outing, he had pitched a complete game shutout against the Chicago Cubs while striking out 11 batters. Yesterday, he lasted only 2 1/3 innings while giving up 6 runs and 5 hits.

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