MLB Roundup: The Doc, the Panda & the Tiger

Phillies 2, Astros 1
It’s about time Roy Halladay produced a shutout – I mean, it’s been two games for crib’s sake. The “Doc” gave up just one run on seven innings while striking out eight in nine innings on Sunday to help the Phillies beat the Astros, 2-1. Houston’s feeble offense once again mustered very little run support for Roy Oswalt, who dropped to 0-2 on the season after losing earlier last week to Tim Lincecum. The Astros are now 0-6 on the year under new manager Don’t-worry-about-his-name-because-it-won’t-matter-soon-anyway.

Tigers 9, Indians 8
Justin Verlander looked like feces again for a second straight outing, allowing six runs on six hits and surrendering a grand slam to somebody named Luis Valbuena. (I checked, he’s actually on Cleveland’s roster.) Even when Verlander did settle down, he still only struck out three batters and wasn’t his usual dominant self. But it’s still early, so Tiger fans have nothing to worry about yet. Detroit overcame a 7-3 deficit in the sixth inning by scratching across six runs in the final three frames to improve to 5-1 on the year. Chris Perez played the goat for the Tribe by throwing a wild pitch to give up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth. He gave up three runs on three hits in his one inning of relief.

Giants 6, Braves 3
Somebody woke up the Kung Fu Panda on Sunday. Pablo Sandoval, who hasn’t looked sharp at the plate or in the field to start the season, went 3-for-4 with two RBI, three runs scored and one mammoth two-run homer (his first of the year). He also made a great catch on a foul play hit by Jason Heyward earlier in the game where he almost tumbled over the railing of the Giants’ dugout. Sandoval bailed out Tim Lincecum, who only struck out 10 batters in seven innings to rack up his second win of the year.

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MLB Roundup: Red-hot Renteria, Lee’s bad news & the BoSox’s early woes

Giants 5, Braves 4
Quick, name the team with the best record in baseball. The Yankees? Sorry – they’re currently only .500. The answer would be the Giants, who have begun the year 4-0 after coming from behind to the beat the Braves 5-4 in 13 innings on Friday. Quick, name the hottest hitter in the league right now. If you said Albert Pujols, then punch yourself in the ear because you’re wrong. If you said Edgar Renteria, you’re right, but you probably only said that to be a wiseass – so the jokes on you. Renteria is batting an astonishing .688 to start the year after going 3-for-5 with a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, which helped San Fran erase a 4-2 deficit. I don’t know how Pablo Sandoval slimmed down and stole Renteria’s jersey without anyone seeing, but there’s no way that’s the real Edgar Renteria.

Rangers 6, Mariners 2
Nelson Cruz abused the Mariners on Friday, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer, two RBI and two runs scored in the Rangers’ 6-2 victory. Seattle is hitting .199 as a team and was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. It was the club’s fourth straight loss and making matters worse, it was revealed that Cliff Lee might not come off the disabled list until May now.

Royals 4, Red Sox 3
It’s early, but you know things are bad in Boston when they’re losing to Kansas City. Rick Ankiel (yes, that Rick Ankiel) hit a go-ahead two-run single off Daniel Bard in the eighth inning of the Royals’ 4-3 win over the BoSox on Friday night. It was the fourth hit of the night for Ankiel, who also hit a solo home run and drove in three runs. Not a bad night for the newcomer, who helped sent Boston spiraling to a 1-3 start.

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MLB Report: Heyward homers in first AB, Pujols, Lincecum dazzle

Braves 16, Cubs 5
Rookie Jason Heyward had a picture-perfect start to his MLB career when he belted a three-run home run off Carlos Zambrano in his first at bat on Monday. Heyward finished the day with two hits, four RBI and two runs scored to lead Atlanta in the rout. Zambrano had a nightmarish debut, allowing eight runs on six hits in just 1.1 innings of work.

Cardinals 11, Reds 6
MLB might as well start the engraving process for the MVP award, because Albert Pujols is already making a claim that he deserves the honor. The best hitter in baseball went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two home runs in the Cards’ 11-6 victory over the Reds.

Giants 5, Astros 2
Concerns about Tim Lincecum after his so-so spring were put to rest on Monday in Houston after the two-time Cy Young winner blanked the Stros over seven innings. Lincecum held a weak Houston lineup to four hits and no runs, while also striking out seven. Outside of a small jam in the sixth inning, he was nearly flawless.

Phillies 11, Nationals 1
It didn’t take long for Roy Halladay to impress his new teammates. He pitched seven innings against the Nationals on Monday, allowing one run on just six hits while striking out nine. The lone run actually scored in the first inning, but Washington looked overmatched after that point.

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 4
Shaun Marcum had a no hitter through six innings on Monday before the Rangers finally got to him in the seventh. Texas erased a 3-0 and 4-3 deficit to win 5-4 with two runs in the ninth. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia came through in the clutch, delivering a bases-loaded, walk-off single to win it for the Rangers.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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