Worcester----The Brooklyn Moabs, behind ace Roy Oswalt and slugging Ryan Howard, finally put an end to an eight-game losing streak, building an early 3-2 lead against Gil Meche and then pounding out ten runs against the Eliminators bullpen, snapping Worcester’s win streak at eight and keeping the Moabs (64-51) within seven games of their East-leading rival.
Oswalt (11-3, 3.61) went seven strong innings but nearly didn’t get the decision when Worcester tied it 3-3 in the sixth on Robinson Cano's double. But then the roof fell in, as Howard drove in five runs in the next two frames, the big blow his 28th homer of the year, a three-run shot off McKay McBride (0-1, 7.64). Things got so bad for the Elims that, after giving up a two-run triple to Ichiro Suzuki (who had four hits), Brad Lidge departed in favor of infielder J.J. Hardy, who finished up with three-plus innings of ball, allowing (!) only one run.

Despite the win, however, Brooklyn remained seven games back, with two other talented ball clubs (Darwin and Frostbite Falls) between them and sibling Matt Caskey. But, ya never know. After all, there’s still 40 games left in BARB and, well, look at the Mets.....

In other BARB action:

WP: Brad Penny (7-9, 3.80)
LP: Jonathan Broxton (2-6, 3.49)

Michael Young’s two-out single off J.J. Putz snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh, and the Squirrels went on to score four more times in a six-run disaster that saw the Finches use four pitchers, including erratic lefty Oliver Perez, who walked two with one out to trigger the uprising. After the game, Perez was dispatched to the minors and Jonathan Sanchez recalled for the Finches, who have lost their third straight and have now fallen seven games back in the East. Brad Penny, thanks to the big uprising, hung around to give the bullpen the day off, collecting his second complete game since coming over in a trade from Las Vegas.

WP: Adam Wainwright (3-9, 7.23)
LP: John Maine (4-12, 3.91)
SV: Wagner (13)

Off-again, on-again starter Adam Wainwright scattered five hits over six innings and the Creepers cashed in FIVE errors by the host Anomalies, the big blow being Jim Edmonds’s three-run homer in the fifth, his 13th of the year. Billy Wagner, who started so slowly, got his ERA under 4.00 for the first time in months while posting his sixth straight save in as many opportunities.

WP: C.C. Sabathia (14-8, 3.39)
LP: Dontrelle Willis (8-6, 5.49)

Travis Hafner hit a pair (#27 and #28) of homers, drove in three runs and scored three times to lead Yuma’s hit parade and C.C. Sabathia worked seven strong innings for the win, as the host Firebirds (68-47) won for the seventh time in the last ten games and maintained their mark in the West, finally picking up a game on Arizona, which has managed to pull back within single figures in the West and make a race of it of late.

WP: Bobby Jenks (6-4, 3.97)
LP: Jose Valverde (4-8, 5.83)

Barry Zito took a 3-0 lead into the ninth, only to watch the Boom Sticks rally to tie the game on David Ross’s 16th homer, a pinch-hit job off the bench. Not to worry, though: the Rockets came back to win in the bottom of the ninth on Orlando Hudson’s two-out RBI single, scoring a running Freddie Sanchez all the way from first as the Rockets came back to win at home against visiting S-Mart. The real news, though, was that Zito did what six previous Boom Stick foes could not: he held Alex Rodriguez without a boundary belt after ‘A-Rod’ had connected in six straight games.

LAS VEGAS 8, ARIZONA 7 (15 innings)
WP: Mariano Rivera (5-1, 1.48)
LP: Oscar Villareal (6-3, 5.32)

Mariano Rivera blew a save in the 13th, but (as the last pitcher left) hung around long enough to benefit from SS Jimmy Rollins in the top of the 15th. Rollins singled with one out, and after Iguchi singled him to second, executed the front end of a double steal, where he scored on Matt Holliday’s sac fly. Rivera would go on to finish the frame in his first multi-inning effort of the season, and the longest game of the year for the Luchadores----who, at 61-53, have now won four straight and have a nine-game lead over runner-up Oakeyland.

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