Worcester—At home in their final game before the BARB’s version of the All-Star Break, Elims starter Danny Haren (9-6, 3.48) made history of a sort, hurling the second no-hitter of the season but the second for the Elims (Eric Bedard did it earlier), and he did in dramatic fashion, outdueling Roger Clemens (1-3, 3.27) in a 1-0 game that saw him give up only one baserunner, a one-out walk to Ryan Braun in the second.
The venerable Clemens, meanwhile, was nearly as stingy as Haren, but he took just a little bit longer for him to get in the swing of things. Clemens got the first two batters in the ball game, but both balls were sharply hit. Grady Sizemore singled with two out for the game’s first hit, and Garret Atkins hit a booming double over the head of Vernon Wells for the game’s only run.
Clemens would settle down after that, scattering four more hits the rest of the way, but his teammates couldn’t do anything with Haren, who promptly got his manager into a predicament. As Joe Girardi explained, "We were getting pretty deep into the ballgame, and we only had a 1-0 lead, and Yuma has some pretty tough hitters....ordinarily I would’ve taken him out sometime after the 100th pitch, but the thing is, the kid had a no-no going and...I couldn’t."
So, with not only the no-hitter but the ballgame at stake on every pitch, Worcester fans could only twist and squirm in the final two frames. But Braun and Nick Markakis flied harmlessly out to center and Raul Ibanez grounded meekly to Roberts in the eighth, and in the ninth, Yuma pulled out all the stops in an attempt to break the spell. Russell Martin grounded to short. One out. Pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman worked a full count, but struck out. Then, the Firebirds last chance, pinch-hitter Adam LaRoche, struck out on a 0-2 changeup and the win, and the no-no, belonged to Haren and the Elims.
With the win, Worcester once again moved into sole possession of first place at the BARB All-Star Break:
Worcester 55-36 ----
Darwin 54-37 1
Brooklyn 49-41 5.5
F Falls 48-43 7
In other BARB action:
DARWIN 4, SAN JOSE 1
WP: Tom Glavine (10-5, 4.09)
LP: Dave Bush (3-6, 5.21)
SV: Hoffman (18)
Jeff Francouer hit a sac fly and a two-run homer, only his sixth of the season, and veteran Tom Glavine worked into the seventh before coughing up a run, going on to become the eighth hurler and the second Finches starter to reach double figures in wins, as the host Finches romped in Darwin.
ARIZONA 13, BROOKLYN 7
WP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-5, 7.27)
LP: Roy Oswalt (10-3, 2.69)
Carlos Delgado went 5-for-5 with a pair of HR and 3 RBI, David Wright added three more ribbies and new reliever Octavio Dotel handled his role to perfection, quelling a five-run Moabs seventh to help preserve a win at home for up-and-down Central League import Matsuzaka. With the win, the D-Backs made up another game between themselves as Yuma, which has slumped noticeably in the last few weeks.
Your Western Division standings:
Yuma 52-37 -----
Arizona 46-43 6
Black Mesa 44-46 8.5
San Jose 38-55 16
S-MART 10, POTTSYLVANIA 2
WP: Jose Valverde (4-5, 4.71)
LP: Adam Wainwright (2-5, 7.52)
Alex Rodriguez scored four runs, and set the tone for the Boom Sticks uprising by belting his 13th HR of the season as part of a five-run first, and the Smart Shoppers handed the Creepers and Adam Wainwright another one-sided loss. Pottsylvania, looking to the future, has a number of irons in the fire, trade-wise, but apparently lost out on the Chris Young sweepstakes.
FROSTBITE FALLS 5, BLACK MESA 2
WP: Bronson Arroyo (9-5, 4.65)
LP: John Maine (6-9, 4.32)
SV: Nathan (19)
Carlos Beltran, Takahito Iguchi and Barry Bonds all hit solo homers in the first inning, with Beltran’s leading off the game, and the Squirrels tacked on two more in the second before John Maine settled in, and Frostbite Falls held on to beat the visiting Anomalies. LF Hideki Matsui, heating up, had four hits in a losing cause for Black Mesa.
LAS VEGAS 9, OAKEYLAND 5
WP: Aaron Heilman (6-2, 4.55)
LP:Jeff Francis (10-6, 3.81)
Aaron Heilman won the duel of long relievers, coming in with runners on in the third and pitching shutout ball the rest of the way, taking one from their division rival right before the All-Star Break with help from Michael Barrett, who snapped a 5-5 tie in the fourth with an RBI single. Alfonso Soriano hit his 21st HR of the year and scored three times, but yet another flurry of errors (3 in this game alone!) continues to raise doubts as to whether or not he is a championship-quality second baseman.
The Central standings as we enter the Break:
Las Vegas 47-43 -----
Oakeyland 46-47 2.5
S-Mart 34-54 12
Pottsylvania 30-61 17.5