WORCESTER 11, BROOKLYN 6
WP: Juan Rincon (3-0, 3.42)
LP: Jeremy Bonderman (11-5, 2.75)
Carl Crawford scored the first and the ninth run in a nightmarish second against Bonderman and the Moabs pen, as the BARB-leading Eliminators became the league’s first team to 70 wins and kept their lead in the East to four-and-a-half. With this kind of offense, you would think it would be duck soup for starter Gil Meche, but he was lifted in the middle of a four-run third in favor of Juan Rincon, who retired ten hitters in the middle innings for the win. Fausto Carmona was the one positive note, pitching 6.1 innings of one-hit baseball in relief, and it was announced after the game that he would take a veteran’s place in the rotation for the rest of the season.
DARWIN 12, FROSTBITE FALLS 7
WP: J.J. Putz (7-1, 1.99)
LP: Jamie Walker (1-4, 4.61)
In his second BARB start, rookie Dustin McGowan outpitched Rich Hill, taking a 7-0 lead into the fifth, but the Squirrels came roaring back against the Finches pen, to the point where J.J. Putz blew the save but picked up the win when Jose Cruz, Jr. hit a grand slam in the eighth off Pat Neshek to cap a five-run seventh, snapping Darwin’s five-game losing streak.
POTTSYLVANIA 3, BLACK MESA 1
WP: Mike Mussina (3-8, 3.91)
LP: Justin Verlander (9-5, 2.93)
SV: Wagner (12)
Jim Edmonds had three hits, including a two-run single off Justin Verlander, and Billy Wagner worked two innings for his second save in as many outings as the Creepers actually pitched their way to a win for the first time in weeks. Buoyed by recent trades and the return to health of some veterans, it will be interesting to see how well Pottsylvania actually plays down the stretch, and what role veterans like Edmonds might have in the projected youth movement.
ARIZONA 5, LAS VEGAS 4
WP: Derrick Turnbow (4-2, 6.13)
LP: Brandon Lyon (2-2, 4.41)
SV: Villareal (4)
The on-again, off-again D-Backs (proclaimed sellers by GM Ronald Melkonian) are now confounding the pundits, winning for the ninth time in the last ten games to improve to 60-53, just seven games behind West-leading Yuma, as their bullpen outlasted Vegas’s and Carlos Delgado hit a pair of run-scoring doubles to help Arizona edge the visiting Luchadores. Despite the loss, Vegas’s record (identical to the D-Backs) is good enough for an eight-and-a-half game lead in the Central, by far the largest margin in the league. For better or worse, Vegas is pretty much coasting into the playoffs.
YUMA 9, OAKEYLAND 5
WP: Carlos Zambrano (9-7, 3.53)
LP: Joe Blanton (6-9, 4.76)
SV: Otsuka (20)
Miguel Tejada drove in four runs as part of a nine-run first off Joe Blanton, capping it with a bases-loaded double off Jeff Francis in relief. That meant this game was over before it was started, good news for Carlos Zambrano, who began the BARB season 3-0 with 25 straight scoreless innings but who has compiled a 6-7, 4.34 dance with mediocrity ever since and might not be named to start a game should the Firebirds (67-46, second-best record in BARB) hold on for a playoff spot.