Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rocket Makes Triumphant Return

No, he wasn't at his best against the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday... nonetheless, he's back and that is great news not just for the New York Yankees but Major League Baseball in general. Roger Clemens threw 108 pitches in six innings, allowing three runs and five hits while walking two and striking out seven as the Yanks defeated the Pirates by a 9-3 score. Adam LaRoche singled in Jose Bautista in the first to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Two errors by the Pirates led to three runs by the Yankees in the bottom of the frame. Clemens then allowed a two-run double to Jack Wilson in the top of the fourth.... The Yanks would seize command of the game after that, scoring runs in every inning between the 5th and 8th for a 9-3 win...

Both pitchers with the surname "Santana" pitched yesterday, and the results can only be termed as "unexpected." For once, the Los Angeles/Anaheim Angels' Ervin Santana actually picked in a road start, allowing three earned runs in six innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 9-3 Angels win. Chone Figgins continued to be red-hot for the Halos, collecting 4 more hits and stealing two bases. Santana even helped himself, collecting his first major league hit - a two-run double in the fourth. Although it was his best road start of the year, and his first win away from home, the effort still leaves Santana with a 8.50 ERA away from Anaheim this year. The "other" Santana - Johan - was pitching at home against the Washington Nationals, and he pitched very well in his seven innings, only giving up two earned runs and seven hits while walking none and striking out five. Unfortunately for the Twins, the great Johan made one mistake - he left a ball up to the Nats' Ryan Zimmerman in the third inning and Zim made him pay, driving a three run homer to left for his ninth blast of the year. Justin Morneau hit his 17th homer for the Twins only run off of Nats starter Jason Simontacchi. Chad Cordero closed things out for his eighth save of the year as the Nats won their second straight game on the road trip, 3-1. The Nats have now won seven of their last nine road games and 17 of their last 28 overall - a very good .608 Won-Loss percentage.

Back at Chavez Ravine, Derek Lowe of the Los Angeles Dodgers was similarly masterful against the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday save for one pitch as well... Lowe pitched a complete game, giving up only four hits, walking none while striking out three. The lone Blue Jays run came on Matt Stairs homer in the 7th. Unfortunately for Lowe and the Dodgers, the offense couldn't score against starter Shane Marcum or the bullpen. Marcum pitched six and two-thirds shutout innings, and Casey Janssen closed things out for his third save of the year in a 1-0 Toronto win.

Finally, in the so-called "Superstation Series" the Atlanta Braves took on the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field. The hitters dominated the game early as starting pitchers Tim Hudson and Jason Marquis would fail to make it out of the third inning. Hudson was tagged by the Cubs for five runs in two innings plus while Marquis was lit up for six runs (four unearned) in an inning and two-thirds by the Braves. The Braves would add two more runs in the fourth on Edgar Renteria's ninth homer of the year, and another run in the sixth on a Renteria double. Andrew Jones hit his 11th homer of the year in the first inning. With the win, the Braves pulled within 3 1/2 games of the struggling New York Mets for the N.L. Eastern division lead.


An unknown has taken the lead at the McDonald's LPGA Championship in Maryland... Na On Min of South Korea carded a seven-under par 65 to reach 10-under par to lead the second major of the year by one stroke going into today's final round. Suzann Pettersen battled an errant driver all day, but managed to salvage a one-under par 71 to be alone in second at nine under. Angela Park and Karrie Webb are another stroke back, while Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Morgan Pressel is three back after a two-under par 70. As for the tours two top players, Lorena Ochoa sits five back at five-under par, while Annika Sorenstam is another stroke back at four-under. Final round coverage can be seen on the Golf Channel beginning at 4 pm ET/1 pm PT.


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