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The Morning After: A Look Around the American League

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AP


A recap of what else happened around baseball -- from a Red Sox-centric perspective -- while Boston was being shut out for the sixth time this season, this one resulting in a 6-0 setback at Baltimore that sent the locals limping back to Fenway as losers of seven of nine on a three-city road trip ...

IN THE DIVISION

Twins 7, Blue Jays 2: The East-leading Jays lost for the fourth time in five games, getting shut down by righthander Phil Hughes. The former Yankee struck out nine without a walk over seven shutout innings, dropping his ERA to 3.17 while improving his record to 7-2 -- and before anyone suggest that his success has been aided by a move outside of the AL East, consider that he's allowed nine earned runs in 32.1 innings of work against that division, good for an ERA of 2.51. Offensively for Minnesota, Kendrys Morales continues to be the anti-Stephen Drew at the plate, collecting three hits, including two doubles, and driving in three runs. Like Drew, Morales lingered as a free agent, but after signing with the Twins over the weekend bypassed a minor-league assignment and is 6-for-13 through three games. (Drew is 1-for-14.)
Toronto is 9 games up on Boston; Minnesota, 2.5 up.

Yankees 4, Mariners 2: The Yankees are just 22-29 when someone else starts, but they're now 11-2 when Masahiro Tanaka is on the mound, as the rookie tied for the AL lead with his 10th victory. Dropping his league-best ERA to 2.02, the righty had a shutout working until Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer in the ninth, but it hardly spoiled things for the righty who threw just 110 pitches despite completing the game and striking out 11. Mark Teixeira had the big blow for the Yankees, delivering a three-run homer, while Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 15 games by going 2-for-4. He's up to .290 on the year, and his team is tied with the Orioles for second place, 4.5 games out.
New York is 4.5 games up on Boston; Seattle, 5 up.

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Rays 6, Cardinals 3: Turns out the Rays aren't just allowed to hit opposing batters without penalty. They're also allowed to hit the baseball. Tampa Bay snapped a 31-inning scoring drought with a four-run fourth, beating Michael Wacha to win for just the second time in 16 games. To get a sense of how desperate the Rays were, consider that starter Erik Bedard was lifted after allowing three runs in four innings, then closer Grant Balfour pitched the final 2.1 innings to notch the save. Still, Tampa trails Toronto by 14 in the East.
Tampa Bay is 5 games back of Boston.

AROUND THE AL

Royals 4, Indians 1: Terry Francona's Tribe come to Boston for a four-game series as losers of two straight after Kansas City used four sacrifice flies to beat them. After winning nine of 10 that included a sweep of the Sox, the Indians were swept in a quick two-game visit to the Royals, so they arrive at Fenway with an even record of 33-33. Two days after his five-hit, three-homer, nine-RBI performance in Texas, Lonnie Chisenhall had two more safeties for Cleveland, lifting his average to .393 through 168 at-bats this season.
KC is 4 games up on Boston; Cleveland, 3.5 up.

Rangers 6, Marlins 0: A David Ortiz single ousted Yu Darvish after 8.2 scoreless innings earlier this season, but Wednesday night the righty finally finished a game for the first time in his career, notching a six-hit shutout of the upstarts from Miami. Shin-Soo Choo knocked in four runs to support Darvish, while the sizzling Adrian Beltre (2-for-4) had at least two hits for the fifth straight game, and eight time in his last nine tilts. Now up to .323 on the year, Boston's former third baseman has the fifth-best average in the AL.
Texas is 2.5 games up on Boston.

White Sox 8, Tigers 2: Ortiz's game-winning blast late Sunday hasn't exactly been a spark the Red Sox hoped it would be -- but it has apparently left the Tigers reeling a bit. Detroit lost its third straight as Justin Verlander continued to look like something of a weak link, allowing seven runs over 5.2 innings and falling to 6-6 with a 4.61 ERA on the season. Jose Abreu hit his 19th homer among his three hits for the ChiSox as the Cuban-born first baseman continued making the case that he and the Yankees' Tanaka have left Xander Bogaerts a lot of ground to make up if Boston's future star hopes to be this year's AL rookie of the year.
Detroit is 7 games up on Boston; Chicago, 3.5 up.

Athletics 7, Angels 1: A day after delivering what might have been the throw of the decade, Yoenis Cespedes showed off his incredible arm again (check it out above) while also impacting the game with his bat, knocking three hits to notch a couple of RBIs, and help the West-leading A's avoid a sweep at the hands of their biggest threat in the West. Los Angeles is now 3.5 games back, as Oakland got two hits and two runs from Coco Crisp, who also took a homer away from Josh Hamilton in center field. (Did you SEE that catch Coco made?)
Oakland is 10.5 games up on Boston; LA, 7 up.

Astros 5, Diamondbacks 1: Chris Carter slugged a pair of solo homers as the Astros improved to 30-37 -- which equates to a .448 winning percentage and puts them points ahead of the reigning World Series champions (.446). That's right: Entering June 12, the Red Sox stand 14th of the AL's 15 teams, ahead of only the Rays.
Houston is (technically) even with Boston.

NATIONAL LEAGUE NOTABLES

Old friend Jonathan Papelbon picked up a win when his scoreless ninth was followed by Reid Brignac's walk-off home run, as the Phillies edged the Padres, 3-0 ... Chris Denorfia, the Wheaton product who has been linked to Boston as a potential trade target, went 1-for-4 to pick up his first hit of June. His OBP is now .308 on the season ... Mark Melancon needed only eight pitches to pitch the eighth, collecting his 13th hold while whiffing two in the Pirates' 4-2 triumph over the Cubs ... Adrian Gonzalez saw 31 pitches in four plate appearances, but struck out three times for a second straight game. The Dodgers' first sacker is now hitting .097 with a .338 OPS in June ... Bumped from the Rockies' rotation at the end of May, lefty Franklin Morales turned in his fourth straight scoreless relief appearance as Colorado beat Atlanta, 8-2 ... The Nationals won their fourth straight while sending the NL-best Giants to a third consecutive defeat.

10 YEARS AGO TODAY...

A day after Ortiz delivered Johnny Damon for a walk-off win, the Dodgers exacted a measure of revenge by pummeling the Sox, 14-5, at Fenway Park. Tim Wakefield yielded eight runs over 4.1 innings before being relieved by Anastacio Martinez, who was charged with four runs while getting just one out, then later moonlighting first baseman Dave McCarty made the second of his three pitching appearances that season, registering his first career strikeout amid a perfect ninth. Offensively, every Boston starter except right fielder Gabe Kapler finished that day with a season-long OPS of better than .800, highlighted by the 1.092 of Manny Ramirez, who launched his 17th homer that afternoon. With the loss the Sox sat 3.5 games back of the Yankees, at 36-25.