Arizona----In an absolute classic, Johann Santana and Josh Beckett matched each other pitch-for-pitch and each starter was allowed to work the ninth with the game tied 1-1. Only, in Beckett’s case, the Squirrels went 1-2-3 in the top of the frame, while Santana....? Never got an out. B.J. Upton singled to start the frame, took second on a short flare by Mark Loretta, then scored on Delmon Young’s line drive in front of Carlos Beltran, making a winner of Beckett (8-3, 3.69), who fanned seven.
It was another poor outing by Santana (14-8, 3.57), who has given up 30 hits in his last four starts (1-2, 6.57 in that span). Beckett, meanwhile, is 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA since coming over in a deal at the trading deadline with Oakeyland and is arguably pitching better than any other starter in the league. That has to frost the Ballers, who have fallen nearly ten games off the pace since making the megaswap.
Albert Pujols accounted for Frostbite Falls’s only run in the fourth with his BARB-leading 40th homer of the year, a shot that at the time tied the game 1-1 but which ended up being the only sputter of offense that the Squirrels could muster against the host D-Backs.
In other BARB action:
S-MART 7, LAS VEGAS 3
WP: Tim Wakefield (5-6, 4.94)
LP: Ervin Santana (4-8, 3.68)
Alex Rodriguez, on a tear, hit his team-leading 28th homer of the season in the first and the Boom Sticks never looked back, scoring five times in the first two frames to knock out Santana and coast to an easy win on the road in Vegas. Matt Holliday hit a three-run shot in the fifth for Vegas’s only runs, his 21st of the season.
YUMA 6, BROOKLYN 4
WP: Francisco Cordero (6-3, 2.91)
LP: Francisco Rodriguez (4-5, 2.98)
This one had to hurt, as ‘K-Rod’ loaded the bases with one out and a 4-1 lead, uncorked a wild pitch on a 3-2 count that not only forced in a run but allowed Travis Hafner to score from second, then followed that by allowing a three-run homer to Nick Markakis, a walkoff job. In a space of a few batters, ‘K-Rod’ completely squandered a brilliant outing by Fausto Carmona (8 IP, 1 run, 10 K), dropping the Moabs five games behind Worcester.
BLACK MESA 3, DARWIN 2
WP: Ted Lilly (8-10, 4.04)
LP: Yovani Gallardo (0-1, 4.91)
Ted Lilly went all the way in a weird win, as both clubs had the same number of hits and errors as runs scored. Darwin scored twice in the first three innings on just one hit, as the Finches cashed in a walk leading off the game and an error by Mike Cameron, but otherwise couldn’t muster any offense against Lilly, who finished with a two-hitter. Like I said....weird!