BLACK MESA 9, YUMA 8 (12 innings)
WP: Takashi Saito (2-2, 0.98)
LP: Will Ohman (0-1, 3.86)
The Anomalies finished off a series sweep of the West-leading Firebirds, in the process picking up three games in the standings in a wild, extra-inning thriller in Black Mesa. Carlos Zambrano took a 6-0 lead into the fourth, but was hit hard in the fifth, giving up five extra-base hits, including Adam Dunn’s 12th homer of the season. In the fifth, Justin Morneau hit a grand slam off Zambrano to knock him out of the ballgame trailing 8-6, but he was pulled off the hook in dramatic fashion when Travis Hafner hit a solo shot leading off the ninth against Yuma closer Jonathan Papelbon. That sent the game into extra innings, where Will Ohman loaded the bases with one out for pinch-hitter Doug Mirabelli, who fouled off three 0-2 pitches before walking, forcing in the winning run.
S-MART 4, WORCESTER 3
WP: Jason Isringhausen (3-3, 5.14)
LP: Jon Rauch (0-2, 6.35)
In the ‘rubber game’, Nate Robertson worked eight strong innings to keep his club in the contest, and Gary Sheffield hit a walkoff homer on a slider from Jon Rauch with one out in the ninth as the home town Boom Sticks rallied to edge the visiting Eliminators, and win their first series in nearly a month. Edwin Encarnacion atoned for an earlier error by singling in the tying run, setting up the ninth for his teammates. Garret Atkins, meanwhile, hit his 10th homer of the year in a losing cause for East-leading Worcester.
DARWIN 7, POTTSYLVANIA 5
WP: J.J. Putz (4-0, 1.73)
LP: David Wells (3-11, 4.63)
SV: Broxton (2)
In a costly victory, Josh Johnson apparently reinjured his elbow and had to leave in the fourth down 4-2, but J.J. Putz and company were sensational in relief, while Aaron Rowand hit a tie-breaking sac fly in the sixth, good enough to hold off the struggling (29-53) Creepers. The loss of Johnson is the third blow in two weeks, with the Finches already doing without LF/3B Chipper Jones and CF Billy Hall, who suffered a severely sprained ankle. The Finches may go with Chad Billingsley (1-3, 9.51) in the fifth starter’s role over veteran Jose Contreras (6-3, 4.00), who has been disgruntled with being dropped from the rotation.
FROSTBITE FALLS 7, LAS VEGAS 0
WP: Johann Santana (10-5, 3.26)
LP: Chuck James (7-1, 3.99)
The Luchadores’ charmed Chuck James finally had lost a game, outdueled by the brilliant Santana, who took a no-no into the sixth and finished with his third shutout and eighth complete game, a three-hitter, while his teammates ran roughshod over James and reliever Aaron Heilman. Brad Hawpe hit his 11th homer of the year and Barry Bonds added a sac fly and a two-run single to lead the Squirrels, who improved to 43-39, still five-and-a-half back in the competitive East.
BROOKLYN 8, OAKEYLAND 3
WP: Mark Buehrle (9-4, 4.49)
LP: Dontrelle Willis (7-3, 4.44)
Brian McCann had three hits, Chase Utley and Casey Blake both went yard, and Mark Buehrle induced 24 ground balls en route to a complete-game win as the Moabs (44-38) stayed one game ahead of the defending world champs, four-and-a-half out of division-leading Worcester. Despite the loss, the Ballers (43-40) are only a half-game out in the Central, and are really giving Las Vegas competition this summer after a lackluster spring.