Jered Weaver Jersey Scherzer improves to 11-0 with V-Mart’s help vs. Sox

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For about a half-inning, Max Scherzer’s unbeaten start was in jeopardy. But it was only a half-inning.

Once Victor Martinez erased the deficit with his first grand slam in two years, and his first hit with the bases loaded all season, Scherzer looked like he couldn’t lose. Once the Tigers added on late-inning runs to get into double-digits, Scherzer really couldn’t lose.

That’s the kind of year he has had so far. With Saturday’s 10-3 Tigers win over the Red Sox at Comerica Park, it’s now a historic season.

No Major League starter had gone 11-0 to begin a season since Roger Clemens did it 16 years ago in Toronto. The last 12-0 start, too, belongs to Clemens, way back in his breakout 1986 season in Boston. Scherzer will have a chance to enter that territory next Friday at Tampa Bay.

No starter in the illustrious history of the Tigers franchise had won his first 11 decisions as a starter to begin a season. George Mullin stood 11-0 in his 29-win season of 1909, but the 11th win came in relief, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Scherzer Jered Weaver Angels Jersey will continue to call it a fluky record, and the run support he’s getting — and the support his fellow starters have not — will back him up on that. That’s why he insists it doesn’t mean much to him.

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“I realize it takes so many other teammates to put me in that position,” Scherzer said. “This is a credit to the Detroit Tigers for being in this position. I know I pitched well, and I know I gave my team a chance to win, but it doesn’t always go that way. To be 11-0, it means that everyone else around me has done their job, and I couldn’t be happier for everybody else.”

But as his manager pointed out coming in, he still has to pitch well to be in line to win a game more often than not. He leads the Majors in wins, and he’s now second to Yu Darvish in strikeouts and batting average allowed. His ERA, which stood at 3.42 four starts ago, is down to 3.05, just outside the American League’s top 10.

When Scherzer ended his outing with a strikeout of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, he joined Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in American League history to begin a season with 15 consecutive starts of six or more strikeouts. Martinez holds the AL record with 29 straight in 2000.

The wins and losses might look fluky, but the statistics supporting it are not.

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“It’s been special,” catcher Brayan Pena said. “It’s not because he’s 11-0. It’s because he’s such a great competitor. He just goes out there and battles. He doesn’t worry about numbers. He doesn’t worry about nothing. He just worries about winning and keeping the game close and throwing strikes. That’s what he preaches, and he really followed that big time.”

Considering his history against the Red Sox, and what the Red Sox have done this season to lead the league in runs scored, it wasn’t simply the record that impressed with Scherzer.

When the Red Sox put up three hits in the first, including a David Ortiz home run halfway up the right-field seats, it looked like Scherzer’s history of blisterings from Boston was going to hold. Ortiz had his third homer and seventh RBI in 11 at-bats against Scherzer.

A day after Scherzer talked about the importance of working ahead in the count against Boston, he was falling behind. Once Martinez’s slam gave Scherzer a lead, he allowed as many hits in his final six innings combined as he did in his first.

Scherzer fell behind each of Boston’s first four hitters, then threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the final 21.

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“To me, that’s a great sign of attacking their hitters, not being afraid of situations,” Scherzer said. “I felt like that was a major reason I had success tonight, because I constantly had them 0-1. When you do that against a good hitting team, you put yourself in a position to have success. I executed some pitches after that, and my defense made even better plays.”

Arguably the biggest pitch he executed, and the biggest out from his defense, both came against Ortiz in their next two meetings. He cranked up his fastball to 97 mph in the fourth inning, but once he missed with the fastball on a 2-2 pitch to run the count full, he brought out his curveball.

It’s the pitch Scherzer has honed specifically for left-handed hitters like Ortiz, but he hadn’t thrown it to him before — not just in the game, but ever.

“I didn’t have that last year,” Scherzer said.

He left it up, but Ortiz swung through it and missed for just his second career strikeout against Scherzer.

Scherzer threw just a few curveballs all night, and none to Ortiz again. With another full count in the sixth inning, two men out and a runner on, Scherzer went to his fastball. Ortiz didn’t pull it, but blasted it well over 400 feet to left-center.

It was the wrong part of the ballpark to do it. Austin Jackson, a day after missing a game with soreness in his left leg, ran it down just in front of the fence, preserving a 7-2 lead.

It had to seem familiar to Martinez, who has suffered all too often this year. When he got under a 95-mph fastball from Red Sox starter Allen Webster in the first inning, he wondered if the same might happen.

“I just knew that I hit it good,” said Jered Weaver Jersey Martinez, who was 0-for-8 with the bases loaded this season before that at-bat. “When I first hit it, I thought for sure I’d get an RBI, but the ball kept going and, thank God, it didn’t get caught.”

The ball landed in the first row of seats in right. Martinez added an RBI double in the fifth before watching a drive to left field die on the track in the eighth, but the homer was the key.

“It’s always good when you give an answer,” Martinez said. “They came in ready in the first inning and scored two runs. It’s always big to come right back, especially with Max on the mound. Everybody knows how well he’s been throwing the ball.”

SoCal Andrew Heaney Jersey native Cole bests at Angel Stadium

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Here in southern California, under the palm trees and the klieg lights, life is said to flash by at a quicker pace.

So, naturally, Gerrit Cole, a son of Orange County, merged into the fast lane on Friday night. He delivered four-hit ball for 6 1/3 innings in the Pirates’ 5-2 victory over the Angels, relying on several 100-plus mph fastballs to help him become the second pitcher in Pittsburgh history to start and win each of his first three appearances.

“Yeah, I let a few go tonight,” Cole said sheepishly of his fastballs, which maxed out at 101 mph.

Or “90-and-11” to Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who vouched for the legitimacy of the radar gun that is set up behind home plate in Angel Stadium.

“Seemed about right,” said Andrew Heaney Angels Jersey Hurdle, basing that judgment on readings for a couple of familiar relief arms that closed out the Pirates’ 44th win, Vin Mazzaro and Jason Grilli, who earned his 26th save.

“Their reads were accurate, what we’d seen throughout the season,” the manager testified.

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Without doubt, Cole, who’d topped out at 97 mph in two introductory starts in PNC Park, hit the new gear because he was pitching in his “backyard,” the park he began visiting as a preschooler. As cool and focused as he can be, Cole melted a little bit when he began to warm up in the Pirates bullpen to the accompaniment of a familiar tune.

“It hit me when they started playing, ‘Calling All Angels.’ I’ve been listening to that song since I was 6 years old,” Cole said. “That’s when I had to take a step back and go, ‘Whoa, I’m in this stadium.’ It was exciting.”

And polished, dominant. Impressive.

“That ball was sinking. It wasn’t just 101 straight,” said Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos, who had one of the four hits off Cole. “The first time he [hit 100], I was like, ‘Is that gun right?’ And he did it again, so obviously it was. And he was doing it effortlessly.”

Cole had the Angels — who had amassed 52 hits in a just-concluded four-game series with Seattle — blanked on two hits until Albert Pujols led off the bottom of the seventh with a homer. It was a trite act for Pujols who, even though out of St. Louis and the National League for two years, leads all active players with 49 home runs off Pittsburgh.

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That seventh became even more complicated for Cole: He issued his first big league walk, to Mark Trumbo, then had Howie Kendrick smash a comebacker off his left thigh. Alberto Callaspo then singled to knock in Trumbo, who had taken second on Kendrick’s grounder, and knock out Cole.

“It’s pretty sore,” said Cole, glancing down at the bulky ice pack under his sweatpants. “Got me right on it, good thing I got fat legs. I think we’ll be all right.”

Cole had taken a 4-0 lead into that seventh inning, built on Pedro Alvarez’s solo shot and Jordy Mercer’s two-run blow in the second, and Starling Marte’s RBI triple in the fourth.

Cole even had something for the worrywarts who fretted over the fact he’d struck out only three in his first two starts: five whiffs, including two of Pujols.

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“His best outing to date, for me,” Hurdle said. “His fastball played big today, the breaking ball came into play in the third inning. He was aggressive to both sides of the plate with the fastball.

“He pitched like he was pitching in front of friends and family. A little more adrenaline, a little more zip in his step. He got after it. He didn’t want to let anybody down.”

Each Andrew Heaney Jersey Cole win has featured an Alvarez homer, as the streaking third baseman hit his 17th of the season. Meanwhile, Mercer has hit .333 (8-for-24) in the seven games since taking over as the regular shortstop, although Friday’s homer gave him his first RBIs of the week.

Hurdle had admitted looking forward to his first in-person look at Angels outfielder Mike Trout. He saw more than he wanted in the fifth when, with one on and two out, Trout levitated for a diving snare of Gaby Sanchez’s hooking liner before it could get lost in the left-field corner.

“That was an outstanding play, absolutely,” said Hurdle before giving a prop to his own guy, Marte. “Two of the better left fielders in the game are in this series.”

The victory was a pleasure for Hurdle in one other sense: He didn’t have to see his pitchers go through former protege and still good-friend Josh Hamilton for it. The outfielder, who had his best season under Hurdle’s batting coaching with the 2010 Rangers, missed the game, and is likely to sit out the entire series, with a right-wrist injury.

It was the latest dismal development for Hamilton, who is experiencing a trying first season with the Angels. Even before the wrist issue, he was hurting from his latest 0-for-15 drought. Hurdle was relieved not to have to see Cole add to that.

For Wright, Classic Andrew Heaney Jersey can be even more special

This All-Star Game should be one of the really special moments in David Wright’s career. Here’s hoping he has someone videotape as many of the memories as possible, because it’s going to be a blur.

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What Wright is likely to remember is the ovation he gets when his name is announced during pregame ceremonies at Citi Field on July 16. It’ll probably be a thunderclap of recognition and celebration, followed by a long, sustained show of appreciation.

That’s how the hometown guy ought to be treated. That’s also what David Wright deserves because he’s exactly what the Mets — and Major League Baseball — want their players to be. On the field. Off the field.

  Andrew Heaney Jersey Just the other day, Wright approached a Mets official and asked that the campaign to get him into the National League starting lineup be toned down. He said he appreciated the effort, but with the Mets struggling on the field, he was uncomfortable with the individual attention.

He wants to be part of a winning team, and until that happens, he thinks the focus should be on the entire ballclub. Yeah, sometimes the guy seems too good to be true.

When he’s done, he’s going to be one of the players every future member of the Mets is compared to. He’s not just a great player, although he certainly is that. More on that later. He’s also a guy who gets it in terms of giving back to the community and using his name to make New York a better place.

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So this All-Star Game is going to be a showcase for David Wright and an opportunity for the Mets to show off how good he is. And that’s why they’ve been so focused on getting him into the NL’s starting lineup.

It’s the right thing for the Mets. As the ballclub improves — and general manager Sandy Alderson’s track record says it will soon be in contention — Wright will still be the player around which the club is constructed. This All-Star Game is one of those special moments in the history of the franchise. Why not be allowed to put the home team’s best player on center stage?

Now about that spot in the starting lineup. First, Wright deserves it. At the moment, he’s trailing Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval by 126,403 votes, but there’s still plenty of time for fans to get it right.

All Wright is doing is leading NL third basemen in a long list of categories, including batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, stolen bases, walks, hits and runs.

He’s second to Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez in home runs and fourth in RBIs. If you’re looking for a broader measuring stick, his 3.7 Wins Above Replacement number by Baseball-Reference.com is third in the NL, behind only outfielders Carlos Gomez (4.5) and Carlos Gonzalez (4.2). Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is also at 3.7.

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As for Sandoval, he deserves some love, too. The All-Star Game isn’t just for the players having the best half-season. It’s also for those who’ve contributed the most to the game. Stars like Derek Jeter and Brandon Phillips should always get special consideration because of their stature inside baseball.

Sandoval is coming off a season in which he led the Giants to their second championship in three seasons. He batted .500 in the World Series and won the Most Valuable Player Award.

If Sandoval ends up starting at third for the NL, it will be a tribute not to just his individual accomplishments but to all the good work the Giants have done and to the 42,000 fans who pack AT&T Park each night.

But Wright has had a better season, and Sandoval is on the disabled list with a strained tendon in his left foot. Wright has more home runs and doubles. He’s a better baserunner and a better defensive player.

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Beyond that, the All-Star Game has always been for the fans, and with the game at Citi Field, it just feels right that Wright would have the honor of starting what probably will be the only home All-Star Game he has a chance to play in. Andrew Heaney Jersey Sandoval’s lead is far from insurmountable, but Mets fans need to turn out. Fans around the country need to turn out, too, both to honor the NL’s best third baseman and to give the game the touch it deserves.

Wright will be a big deal at this All-Star Game regardless of whether he’s in the starting lineup. But the starting lineup would make the whole thing a bit more special. So let’s punch those ballots for him. Let’s make a special couple of days even more special.

Jered Weaver Jersey Lind’s blast leads Blue Jays to eighth straight win

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Some early runsupport was all the Blue Jays’ pitching staff needed to carry them to their eighth straight victory on Wednesday.

Adam Lind provided the thump with a three-run home run in the first inning, and Toronto never gave up the lead, defeating the Rockies, 5-2, at Rogers Centre.

“Getting those three runs early was a big help,” said Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, who was the biggest beneficiary of the early lead. “[You] can kind of relax a little bit and know if you make a mistake and give up a home run, you still got a lead. It was big to get those runs.”

Lind’s three-run shot came off Rockies starter Juan Nicasio, and continued a very hot couple of months for the Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter.

Making his recent streak surprising is that it comes just over a year after the 2009 Silver Slugger Award winner was removed from the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster.

“Surreal,” said Jered Weaver Angels Jersey Lind about how he feels considering where he was at this time in 2012. “Couldn’t have written that script.”

Lind came to the plate in the first after Jose Bautista reached on an error and Edwin Encarnacion singled. On a 2-1 changeup, Lind hit his ninth homer of the year, a blast into the first deck in right.

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“Just got into a hitter’s count, he threw me a pitch over the plate to hit, and I was fortunate enough to hit it on the sweet spot,” said the 29-year-old, who is batting .397 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in June.

The homer was enough for Buehrle, who battled in his five innings.

The veteran lefty was hit hard by the Rockies, particularly early, but managed to limit the damage. The hardest shot came from Carlos Gonzalez, who cleared the fence in right in the fifth inning for his National League-leading 21st homer to cut the Blue Jays’ lead to 4-2.

“Today was a lucky day,” Buehrle said. “[In] back-to-back starts I had some good stuff, location, getting ahead in the count. Today there was a lot of pitches that I missed over the plate. There was a lot of pitches I got away with today.”

Buehrle allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Despite his struggles, the performance was enough to continue a string of good outings for Buehrle, who has a 2.13 ERA over his last six starts, with 28 strikeouts in 38 innings.

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“It was a battle for [Buehrle] today,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “It was a gutsy outing. He wasn’t on. He was always up a little bit today. But he did what he does best, he kept them off balance.”

It was Buehrle’s shortest outing since April 10 against Detroit, when he pitched only 4 1/3 innings.

“It’s frustrating only going five innings today, but when your bullpen’s pitching that good, turn it over to them and you know what they’re going to do,” Buehrle said.

After Buehrle left, the bullpen dominated, as it has all season. Neil Wagner, Brett Cecil, Steve Delabar and Casey Janssen, who earned his 16th save, combined for four shutout innings, striking out seven and allowing one walk and one hit. Delabar struck out the side in the eighth.

Among those innings was a team record from the resurgent Cecil, who like Lind, found himself spending time in the Minors last season.

Cecil pitched a flawless seventh inning with two strikeouts. After striking out Michael Cuddyer for the second out, he set a club record for facing the most batters in a row without allowing a hit.

When the inning was over, the lefty had faced 38 straight batters without allowing a hit, beating David Cone’s mark of 36 that ended on June 17, 1995.

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“It kind of speaks for itself,” Gibbons said.

Said Cecil: “It’s still sinking in. Of course I’ll think about it tonight and the off-day, and then Friday I’m thinking about Orioles hitters.”

Although he appreciates the roll he’s been on and the record he’s set, he said it’s not what drives him.

“I’m not here to break records, I want to win a World Series,” Cecil said.

The Jered Weaver Jersey Blue Jays have won eight in a row and 11 of 13, and the Rockies didn’t have much to show for in their first trip north of the border since 2007.

“It’s just a tough road trip, but you can’t carry this everywhere,” Gonzalez said. “[Toronto] has been playing really good baseball, and we didn’t play good at all. We’re going to go and play a different series with a different team and try to win games.”

For the Blue Jays, they take their winning streak into an off-day before a stretch of 10 straight games against division opponents begins on Friday, when the Orioles come to town.

Said Gibbons: “Everything’s clicking right now. You almost hate to have a day off tomorrow.”

A’s roll in Texas behind dealing Parker Jered Weaver Jersey

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The offensive binge continued for the A’s on Tuesday off one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, as Oakland got to Yu Darvish early and often en route to a 6-2 win over the Rangers in Arlington.

Yu Darvish received the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in six innings. He struck out 10 and walked two on 109 pitches. Darvish has three of his four career losses at Rangers Ballpark against the A’s.

“When you have some success, it breeds that kind of confidence sometimes,” A’s  Jered Weaver Angels Jersey manager Bob Melvin said. “You know going in that it’s going to be a difficult matchup, and you’ve got to be at your best, focus and take advantage of opportunities when they’re there.”

The A’s collected two home runs off Darvish. Brandon Moss hit a shot to lead off the second and give the A’s the early lead. It was his sixth home run in the last 13 games. The A’s are 11-0 when Moss hits a home run.

“I just went out there to be aggressive,” Moss said. “He’s going to get his strikeouts. He’s going to throw whatever he wants, whenever he wants. There’s no way to predict what he’s going to throw. … Anything I thought was over the plate, I was going to hit.”

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Eric Sogard made it 2-0 when he knocked in a run on a single later in the inning. John Jaso hit the second home run off Darvish to lead off the third. Darvish had not allowed a home run in June prior to Tuesday’s contest. The A’s have 22 long balls this month.

Jarrod Parker surrendered two runs in the third, but that was all the Rangers could score off the A’s starting pitcher. A.J. Pierzynski brought in both runs on a two-run single. He was eventually thrown out attempting to take third on a wild pitch.

Parker maintained his composure with a shutdown fourth inning. He ended his outing retiring 12 of his last 14 batters faced. David Murphy reached on a fielding error by Jed Lowrie in the fourth, but Parker got Craig Gentry to pop out to end the inning. Gentry was hit by a pitch in the seventh, but Parker worked out of the inning by forcing Leonys Martin to ground out.

“My changeup was pretty good tonight,” Parker said. “I think I found it in the last game. It’s starting to come back to where I can throw it for a strike or put it down in the zone for a punchout.”

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“He just finds a way to throw the right pitch at the right time,” said Texas designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. “Early in the game, he was throwing his fastball, and later in the game, he was throwing his breaking ball, changeup and slider. He was dealing.”

With the win, Parker moved to 6-6 on the season. He allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked two on 91 pitches, not allowing a hit after the third. He has received at least four runs of support in five of his six wins. Parker is now 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA in four June starts.

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“It’s not a routine [that] I want to give up two runs every time,” Parker said. “It’s something that I want to continue to work and get better to limit those kinds of situations. Any time we’re swinging the bats like we were tonight and manufacturing runs, I just want to get them to the dugout. For me to just get them to put the ball in play and stay ahead of guys and keep them on their toes, it makes the game flow and we’re playing our game.”

The Jered Weaver Jersey A’s brought in two more runs off Darvish in the fourth. Josh Donaldson and Seth Smith started the inning with a single and a double. Donaldson scored on a wild pitch from Darvish and Smith advanced to third. Eric Sogard reached first on an error by first baseman Lance Berkman, scoring Smith to make it 5-2.

The A’s picked up an insurance run in the eighth. Moss collected a leadoff triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Donaldson. The A’s have scored 23 runs on 32 hits in their last three games. They’ve won two of those three.

“It was again really good,” Melvin said. “[Darvish is] going to strike some guys out, because he’s got great stuff. If you can square a couple balls up, situationally hit well — we did that well tonight.”

10-0: Max Nolan Ryan Jersey matches 104-year-old mark in Tigers’ win

Move over, Wabash George Mullin. Max Scherzer can’t have your nickname, but he has designs on your record.

He can’t have Rocket, either, but he can start being mentioned with his best start to a season, too.

With six innings of one-run ball in Monday’s 5-1 Tigers victory over the O’s, Scherzer not only became the first Major League starter since Roger Clemens in 1997 to go 10-0 to begin a season. He became just the second starter in the Tigers’ illustrious history to do it, challenging the 104-year-old standard of Mullin.

Even Scherzer, an advanced stats fan who calls wins and losses “flukey,” had to appreciate that kind of company.

“Yeah, you have to savor this a little bit because of the history of this organization,” Scherzer said. “It’s special to be 10-0. But at the end of the day, I don’t measure my success on being 10-0. I measure my success on everything else I do on the mound.”

Mullin began the 1909 season 11-0, according to Elias Sports Bureau, on his way to 29 wins. Clemens stood 11-0 after 12 starts in 1997 on his way to a 21-win campaign and a Cy Young Award in Toronto.

Scherzer, maybe supporting his fluke argument, would be at 11-0 now with six wins in a row if not for the Orioles’ ninth-inning comeback off Jose Valverde on May 31 in Baltimore. But then, he might not have gotten to 10-0 without a big strikeout Monday.

Mullin had a big fastball and a nasty curve, according to reports. Scherzer had 98 mph on the outside corner to Chris Davis with the game on the line. When he couldn’t get the call on that, he had the confidence to throw 97 mph just off the plate — likely ball four, had Davis taken it — to get a Triple Crown candidate to swing and miss.

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Whether wins and losses are flukey, the way Scherzer got there Monday was not.

“You have one of the American League’s best pitchers going up against one of the American League’s best hitters of the time,” manager Jim Leyland said. “That’s a nice challenge for the fans, and tonight Max won the challenge.”

Not since Pedro Martinez in 2001 has an American League pitcher started the season with at least 14 games of six or more strikeouts, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Scherzer’s 10-strikeout performance was his fifth of the season.

Considering Scherzer didn’t retire the O’s in order in any of his six innings, many of those strikeouts came in handy.

Scherzer Nolan Ryan New York Mets Jersey called his biggest pitch a 3-1 changeup to Nick Markakis that allowed him to set up a strikeout for the second out of the fifth inning, allowing him to pitch aggressively to escape. His catcher, who called the changeup to Markakis, wasn’t buying it.

“I think [Davis] was the at-bat of the game, in my humble opinion,” Brayan Pena said. “The fact that Davis got pretty good at-bats against us the previous two at-bats, for Max to strike him out with a fastball, that says a lot about Max.”

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Adam Jones’ infield single set up Davis as the potential tying run. Davis had tagged a Scherzer fastball for his Major League-leading 24th homer of the year leading off the second inning, then shrugged off pitches off the corner to work the count in his favor for a single in the fourth.

With the game on the line, Scherzer flirted again with the outside corner after a swing and miss put Davis in a 1-2 count. Pena didn’t have to move his mitt on back-to-back fastballs, lining up virtually in the same spot, but home-plate umpire Tim Timmons wasn’t going to give him the call.

He came close.

“The 2-2 was the one,” Pena said. “I turned around, not trying to show [Timmons] up, because I would never do that, but he screamed. He usually screams before he rings somebody up.”

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“The thing is, when you’re out on the mound and you hit the catcher’s glove, you always think it’s a strike,” Scherzer said. “When you see it on video, the pitches were out. Sometimes they do a good job of calling them balls.”

With the count full, Scherzer set up his best pitch, going with his changeup over the plate. Davis fouled it off.

“It just had enough movement on it,” Davis said. “Of course, when you’re throwing 96, 97, 98, that helps.”

He knew what was coming next. Scherzer had no question. It was just a matter of placing it.

“My best pitch is my best fastball in that situation,” Scherzer said. “If I was going to get beat, I was going to get beat on my best.”

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It was farther outside than the previous two fastballs, according to MLB.com’s Gameday, but Davis wasn’t taking a chance.

“It was a ball,” Davis said. “When you’re throwing that hard and you’re throwing a number of pitches for strikes, you assume that he’s going to throw a strike. I was looking for a ball over the plate. He got me to chase.”

Scherzer Nolan Ryan Jersey struck out Davis, Markakis and Manny Machado, All-Star candidates all, in that inning. He fanned Machado twice on the night, and sent down designated hitter Chris Dickerson swinging three times. That’s more how Scherzer measures his pitching.

“Pitching on four pitches, generating swings and misses, minimizing my walks, working ahead of hitters, all the other things it takes to be a good pitcher,” Scherzer said.

Miguel Cabrera’s 19th home run of the year, a two-run shot in the opening inning, gave Scherzer a lead to protect. Austin Jackson and Jhonny Peralta added two-out RBI singles along with Victor Martinez’s sacrifice fly off Orioles spot starter Jake Arrieta (1-2).

Drew Smyly replaced Scherzer in the seventh and went the rest of the way for his second save of three or more innings this season.

Father-to-be Gonzalez sharp as O’s trim East deficit Nolan Ryan Jersey

Three days before his wife is scheduled to give birth, Miguel Gonzalez turned in a strong start as the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

The Orioles took three of four from the visiting Red Sox, and now trail the American League East leaders by 1 1/2 games. It’s the sixth consecutive series Baltimore has won against Boston, and the Orioles have also won nine of the last 10. No team in baseball has won more series this season than the O’s.

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“Just to get on a roll,” Chris Davis said of the importance of winning a series over the Red Sox. “Anytime we can rattle off some wins against a division opponent it’s a good thing, especially these guys, knowing they’re in first place. We’re definitely happy the way the series went.”

With Baltimore still looking up at the Red Sox in the AL East, manager Buck Showalter said it’s too early to look at the standings.

“Play Boston as much as we do in the spring and last year and this year, there aren’t many secrets,” Showalter said. “You kind of line up and know you’re going to play some competitive games, you hope. But it all plays off your pitching. We pitched well this series. Very appropriate that the father-to-be had a good day on Father’s Day.”

Gonzalez breezed through the first two innings, and after the fifth, he had only allowed one baserunner to get as far as second base.

The offense backed the father-to-be, as they tagged Boston starter Jon Lester for five earned runs in five innings. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter, but the Orioles strung together hits at the top of the order to provide run support for Gonzalez. Nick Markakis was 4-for-5 from the leadoff spot while playing good defense in right field and taking at least one extra bag on the basepaths.

Manny Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers Jersey Machado hit his Major League-leading 32nd double in the first inning, wasting no time extending his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games. But he was stranded there when J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones both struck out. Machado singled in the fifth and scored on Davis’ RBI double.

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“It was fun to watch our hitters hit, especially against Lester. He’s been doing a great job this year and always pitched well against us,” Gonzalez said. “That was pretty fun to watch Markakis, CD [Davis], Machado and all the other guys do a great job on staying with it and hitting the ball everywhere. So it was fun.”

The Orioles took a 3-0 lead in the third off Lester. Jones hit a two-out RBI double, driving in Markakis from second. Davis followed with a long two-run homer to right field. It was the 100th home run of his career and his 23rd this season, most in the Major Leagues.

Davis said he knew he was nearing the milestone, but didn’t know if the third-inning blast was his 100th. When he discovered it was, he said he traded a bat for the home run ball to add to his collection.

Before the homer, Davis had been 0-for-14 against Lester in his career, including a first-inning strikeout.

In fact, the Orioles’ lineup as a whole had historically struggled against Lester. Entering Sunday, the Red Sox lefty was 14-1 in 21 career starts versus the Orioles. He was 7-0 with a 2.52 ERA in 10 career starts at Camden Yards.

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But Davis and the Orioles reversed those trends Sunday, sticking Lester with the loss after he pitched just five innings.

“This team counts on me to throw innings,” Lester said. “I have not done that. I need to do a better job going deeper into the game.”

Gonzalez got through the fourth and fifth with ease, as he faced the minimum six batters over those two frames. The only hiccup was a leadoff walk to Mike Carp in the fifth, but he was erased on a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play two batters later.

Baltimore tacked on two runs against Lester in the fifth, when Markakis doubled and Machado plated him with an RBI single to the outfield. The throw to the plate was cut off as the Red Sox tried to nab Machado at second, but the return throw sailed to the right of the bag and back into the outfield, and Machado moved on to third. After Hardy and Jones struck out, Davis drove home Machado with a double to left field.

Gonzalez ran into trouble in the seventh, when Carp doubled and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to put runners on first and third with one out. Then Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run home run over the wall in right field to knock Gonzalez from the game. In 6 1/3 innings, Gonzalez allowed three runs on five hits, struck out two and walked two.

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In the seventh, Baltimore scored another run, which was set up when Markakis doubled to open the inning, the third time he led off an inning with a base hit. Machado bunted him to third and Hardy drove him in with a sharp single through the left side of the infield.

The Orioles’ bullpen combined to pitch 2 2/3 scoreless innings to close out the win for Gonzalez, with Jim Johnson earning his 25th save by pitching a clean ninth.

The day belonged to Gonzalez, though, who said he’s anxiously awaiting the birth of his first child. He talks daily with his wife and receives updates. He will travel with the team to Detroit, and whenever the moment comes, will go to California to be with his wife.

“It gets me pumped up. I’m excited,” Gonzalez Nolan Ryan Jersey said. “I’m excited for her to come and obviously she’s taking a little longer than what we thought, but just waiting on that day.”

Nolan Ryan Jersey Cobb’s injury tempers Rays’ win over Royals

Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Royals could have been a chance for the Rays to enjoy a moment where, finally, everything clicked at the same time. They pitched well, hit three homers to power their offense and played their usual brand of solid defense.

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But Tampa Bay’s first win since Tuesday was marred by a scary head injury sustained by starter Alex Cobb, who was struck on the right ear by a line drive in the top of the fifth inning, rolled off the field on a stretcher and taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was in good spirits but remained overnight after being diagnosed with a mild concussion.

The Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers Jersey Rays’ most reliable starter this season, Cobb had pitched fairly well to that point, allowing two runs over 4 1/3 innings. With only 78 pitches thrown, he might have gone deeper into the game and delivered another win had Eric Hosmer’s line drive not slammed into his head at 102.4 mph, a scary moment that silenced Tropicana Field.

But the Rays, understandably emotional in the moments Cobb spent facedown on the mound and throughout the rest of the game, pressed on.

“That’s really tough to do. Such a heart-wrenching and terrible thing to happen on a baseball field and something that you just never wish upon anybody,” said right fielder Matt Joyce, who hit his fourth homer in his last six games. “At the same time, you have to finish the game. The only thing you can do is pray, pray that he’s OK, and pray for a speedy recovery.”

Alex Torres replaced Cobb and struck out four over 1 2/3 perfect innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in 16 innings, the second-longest scoreless streak to start a season by a reliever in club history. So far this season, Torres has given up three hits and three walks while striking out 23.

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“I just came out when I knew I’m the guy that’s going to pitch in the game. I was coming out to try to pick up Alex Cobb in the game and just do [it] for him,” Torres said. “After that, I’m just focused on throwing the ball around the strike zone and making outs.”

Torres’ dominant performance was followed by Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney as Tampa Bay’s bullpen delivered 4 2/3 strong innings in relief of Cobb.

“Alex Torres was ridiculously good again,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “They were all good.”

And the Rays’ hitters did their part as well. Their lineup was designed from the beginning to be more contact-oriented, avoiding the high strikeout numbers that plagued them in the past, and there was no better proof of that than on Saturday. For the first time since July 15, 2007, the Rays didn’t strike out once all game.

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They got right to work in the first, scoring a quick run on Evan Longoria’s sacrifice fly to right field. Cobb gave up two runs in the second on a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly, but the Rays regained a one-run lead in the third inning on a two-run homer by Scott, his first round-tripper since May 19.

Scott was bumped up to the third spot in the order after starting this series 3-for-3 at the plate. After Saturday night, he’s 5-for-6 with a homer and a double after going 4-for-37 over his first 10 games this month. Scott has been putting in extra work with hitting coach Derek Shelton and watching video of himself from 2010, and he believed all that is starting to pay off.

“That was a nice comeback for him today,” Maddon said. “We needed that today. We needed that lift from him, and he provided it.”

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Tampa Bay’s offense didn’t falter after Cobb’s injury, either. Instead, Joyce and Longoria continued to follow each other up the Rays’ home run leaderboard, with Joyce crushing a solo homer to right in the fifth and Longoria blasting a solo shot to left in the sixth. Both have 14 jacks on the year, tied for the team lead.

“I told him, ‘You can just let me lead just for a little bit,'” Joyce Nolan Ryan Jersey said. “That would be nice.”

All three of the Rays’ home runs came against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie, who leads the Majors with 19 homers allowed this year.

“His pitches weren’t horrible,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I think he was struggling with his command a little bit, but the balls that left the yard were definitely the ones that hurt him.”

Added Maddon: “We hit homers today. We normally play pretty good when we hit homers.”

Nolan Ryan Jersey Tillman, Orioles top Red Sox, gain ground in East

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Friday’s 2-0 win over Boston at Camden Yards moved Baltimore (39-29) to 10 games above .500 for the first time this season, and the Orioles are now 1 1/2 games behind the American League East-leading Red Sox. With two games remaining in the series, Baltimore has a chance to sit atop the standings with a sweep.

“I think it’s still a little early [to look at the standings],” Chris Davis said, “but we know we’re close. And any time a division rival comes in, you want to try to take as many games as you possibly can. I think we’re pleased with the way things have gone so far, and hopefully, we can continue it.”

Chris Tillman (7-2) pitched six-plus shutout innings, and the bullpen added three scoreless frames to seal the victory. Tillman has now won four of his past five starts, and he hasn’t allowed a home run in seven career starts against the Red Sox.

“Chris [went to Spring Training] knowing full well that he was out of options,” manager Buck Showalter said, “but he pitched like a guy who had three [options remaining] and didn’t want to go to [Triple-A] Norfolk. And that shows a lot of maturity, because he wanted to be a guy for us this year, and he has been so far.”

Tillman Nolan Ryan California Angels Jersey scattered three hits and four walks and kept one of baseball’s best offenses off the board.

“I thought it was good. Early, I struggled with command a little bit with all my pitches,” Tillman said. “I was able to make an adjustment midgame. Kind of went with [catcher Matt] Wieters from there and started attacking the zone a little.”

Davis thinks the 25-year old Tillman has settled into a veteran’s maturity.

“I think there were times last year when he really showed signs of greatness and showed signs of how dominant he could be,” Davis said. “And this year he’s had some games where he’s really gone out and just made you step back and take a deep breath because he’s throwing the ball so well. I mean, that’s a pretty solid lineup he shut out tonight, and he did it pretty handily.”

The Orioles didn’t make much noise off Boston starter Ryan Dempster, but the combination of Davis and Manny Machado provided all the offense needed.

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Dempster pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed just five hits, but that solid effort wasn’t enough.

“Sometimes you just get outpitched. There is really nothing you can do about it,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We don’t get shut out very often. It’s kind of a rarity. We’ll just bounce back tomorrow.”

Davis’ home run in the second inning — his Major League-leading 22nd of the year — provided enough support for Tillman and the bullpen, which continued its scoreless string of innings against the Red Sox. Including the end of Thursday’s 13-inning win, the Orioles’ bullpen has now gone 9 1/3 innings without allowing a run, and they haven’t issued a walk in that time frame, either.

Machado’s single and two doubles padded his Major League lead in hits (95) and doubles (30), and he has set a season-long hitting streak of 12 games.

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Nate McLouth walked with one out in the third and moved to second when Machado collected his second hit, which gave him his third consecutive multihit game. Nick Markakis moved McLouth to third with a flyout to center field, then Adam Jones beat out an infield single to drive home McLouth and give the Orioles a two-run lead.

Tillman allowed at least one baserunner in each of the first four innings, including a season-high four walks, but he did not permit a run.

Jose Iglesias dropped a bunt single in front of Machado in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. The bunt moved Mike Carp to third with one out, but Tillman escaped the jam with a flyout and a strikeout at the bottom of the Red Sox order.

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Those two outs started a string of eight consecutive batters Tillman retired until Iglesias’ double snapped the streak and knocked Tillman from the game. Tillman had already thrown 106 pitches and was relieved by Darren O’Day, who retired the next three batters to strand Iglesias.

Tommy Nolan Ryan Jersey Hunter pitched a clean eighth inning in relief of O’Day, and Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 24th save.

Hunter, who threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings on Thursday, said that the team is happy with what it has accomplished to date, but not satisfied.

“We’re not finished,” Hunter said. “We’ve got a goal. It’s pretty much the same goal as last year, and that’s bringing a championship back here. We’re on our way there, but we haven’t clicked yet. We’re waiting for that little run, and it’s going to be exciting when that happens, and hopefully this is maybe the start of it.”

Nolan Ryan Jersey Davis’ bloop single walks off O’s in 13 innings

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The Orioles used a two-out rally in the bottom of the 13th inning to beat the Red Sox, 5-4, on Thursday night at Camden Yards.

With two outs in the bottom of the 13th, Nick Markakis walked and Adam Jones singled, which brought Chris Davis to the plate with a chance to win it. He flared a single into shallow left field, just out of reach of Boston shortstop Stephen Drew, to drive in Markakis and send the announced crowd of 20,098 home happy.

Six relievers from the Orioles’ bullpen combined to pitch 7 2/3 innings, with the final 6 1/3 scoreless.

Orioles Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers Jersey starter Kevin Gausman only lasted 5 1/3 innings, but it was a step in the right direction for the rookie.

Gausman struck out the side in the second inning, and faced just one batter over the minimum through his first three innings.

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Danny Valencia homered to left field to open the scoring for the O’s in the third inning. Then Ryan Flaherty doubled on a flare to left and Nate McLouth bunted him to third. Manny Machado stretched the Orioles lead to 2-0 when he singled home Flaherty on a broken-bat single up the middle.

After Markakis singled and Jones grounded into a fielder’s choice, Davis tacked on another run. He singled through the right side of the infield to bring home Machado and give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

David Ortiz and Mike Carp cut into the deficit with one swing apiece. Ortiz turned around a 97-mph Gausman fastball — belt high and in the middle of the plate — and sent it into the right-center-field seats, and Carp followed with a home run to a similar area on a changeup. It was Carp’s first at-bat since entering the game to replace Mike Napoli, who left with an undisclosed illness

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Markakis reached on an error in the fifth inning when Will Middlebrooks couldn’t handle his grounder. Then Jones was hit on the leg. Davis struck out, but Matt Wieters followed with an RBI single. 

J.J. Hardy then walked, which loaded the bases and chased Red Sox starter Felix Doubront. But Valencia, facing lefty Franklin Morales, popped out to shortstop to end the inning.

Dustin Pedroia knocked Gausman out of the game with a one-out single in the sixth inning. He left after 5 1/3 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs. He struck out five batters without walking any, and is still looking for his first big league win after five starts.

Left-hander Brian Matusz relieved Gausman and stranded Pedroia with a popout and strikeout.

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But Matusz Nolan Ryan Jersey got into trouble the next inning, when the Red Sox loaded the bases with three consecutive singles. Stephen Drew hit a deep fly ball to the warning track in left-center field, but Jones ran it down, which limited the damage to a sacrifice fly. Then Matusz, facing Jacoby Ellsbury, got a double-play ball to the second baseman, but Flaherty’s flip pulled shortstop Hardy wide of the bag. The O’s recorded the out at second, but the relay throw was not in time to nab Ellsbury.

The Orioles escaped with the score still tied at 4 when Wieters threw out Ellsbury attempting to steal second.

In the 10th, Ellsbury reached first on a catcher’s interference call, and then stole second to get into scoring position with two outs for Shane Victorino. But O’Day struck out Victorino to end the threat.