ARIZONA 8, WORCESTER 1
WP: Andrew Miller (1-0, 1.35)
LP: Doug Davis (1-4, 9.09)
Rookie Andrew Miller made the most of an emergency start, allowing just one run and pitching into the seventh before needing some help, as David Wright had 4 hits and Jose Reyes tripled, homered and swiped his BARB-leading 59th stolen base to lead the D-Backs over the visiting Elims. Worcester picked a wrong time to play Arizona, as Ronald Melkonian’s club is hot, having won eight of ten since activating long-injured closer Huston Street. It will be interesting to see if, having also activated CF Hunter Pence and installing James Loney at 1B, if ‘The Ronald’ sticks with Zack Greinke in the fifth starter’s spot.
As for the Elims? They are reeling. Less than two weeks ago they had a two-game lead on another hot club (Frostbite Falls), but they lost 8 of 12, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the visiting Squirrels, to fall three games out. By a quirk of the schedule, Worcester has six more games to come in a home-and-home series with the hot-hitting D-Backs, before getting a relative breather against the already-eliminated Boom Sticks. How they fare against Arizona may well determine their season. As GM Matt Caskey asserted, ‘We have to get our pitching straightened out.’
If so, more bad news for Worcester: despite regaining the services of Chris Young, the lefty who arguably had pitched the best of the club (Eric Bedard) is likely to miss the rest of the season with a strained oblique....
In other BARB news:
YUMA 5, DARWIN 4 (1st game of DH)
WP: C.C. Sabathia (16-8, 3.32)
LP: Chad Billingsley (5-5, 4.67)
SV: Soriano (4)
DARWIN 7, YUMA 1 (2nd game of DH)
WP: Tom Glavine (13-8, 3.98)
LP: Jake Peavy (10-8, 4.45)
Tom Glavine, twice skipped in the starting rotation in favor of youngsters Yovani Gallardo and Dustin McGowan, made the most of being well-rested, twirling an eight-hitter in going the distance against the visiting Firebirds to ensure a split of a twin bill at home in Darwin. Rumored to be considering retirement, the veteran lefty showed a spark, handling Yuma’s coterie of southpaw sluggers (Hafner, Ibanez, Markakis) in check and inducing three double plays to snuff scoring threats.
Glavine’s effort was backed by David Ortiz, who singled, was hit by a pitch, doubled with the bases loaded and added a sac fly for 4 RBI off Jake Peavy (who was knocked out early) and Scot Shields.
In the opener, the Firebirds assured themselves of a split by edging their hosts with a strong outing by C.C. Sabathia (8 IP, 2 earned runs) and a tie-breaking single in the fourth by Ryan Braun. With the win, Sabathia joined another lefty, Squirrels ace Johann Santana, as the loop’s only 16-game winners. Still, with the split, Arizona picked up a half-game on West-leading Yuma, which has seen its lead dwindle to three games. . . .
SAN JOSE 5, FROSTBITE FALLS 4
WP: Aaron Harang (9-10, 4.63)
LP: Rich Hill (9-6, 5.68)
Johnny Damon tripled and came home on a sac fly to tie the game, then hit a two-run homer off Rich Hill in the fifth to put the Rockets up, while Aaron Harang used 113 pitches to go all the way in edging the visiting Squirrels. Frostbite Falls’ sole consolation came in the form of Albert Pujols’ BARB-leading 46th homer of the year, a solo shot in the fifth. After going 9-1 in the previous week to take the lead in the East, the Squirrels have cooled, playing just .500 ball their last ten games. . . .
BROOKLYN 11, BLACK MESA 4
WP: Roy Oswalt (14-4, 3.38)
LP: Justin Verlander (11-7, 3.34)
Ryan Howard and Brian McCann both homered as part of the Moabs’ 16-hit attack, with Howard hitting his team-leading 36th with runners on and McCann adding three more hits to back a decent outing by Roy Oswalt, who fanned seven, but (ominously) left the mound pulling at his left shoulder following an awkward attempt at fielding a bunt by Rafael Furcal.