Finally. After winning their 81st game of the year last Tuesday, it took the Pirates five tries to win their 82nd game. That win came on Monday night in Texas, with Yu Darvish opposing rookie Gerrit Cole, who stared the game of win #81. Pittsburgh pushed one run across the board in the seventh inning, and that would be enough for them to pick up the victory. The streak is officially over. The Pirates could go 0-19 in their remaining games, and they'd still finish with a record above .500. But hey, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
PIC OF THE DAY
Buck Showalter wants a piece of Joe Girardi. (Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Astros 6, Mariners 4. People wonder why I always put the Astros, the worst team in baseball, so high in the watchability rankings. Well, on Sunday night, they showed why. Houston trailed 3-2 heading into the ninth on Monday night, but Danny Farquhar turned in an awful inning. He struck out Brandon Barnes to lead off the ninth, and then walked Marc Krauss and Carlos Corporan. Jimmy Paredes singled in pinch runner Jake Elmore to tie the game, and Paredes and pinch runner Marwin Gonzalez moved up a base on an error by Abraham Almonte. Jonathan Villar singled in both runners to give the Astros the lead, and that led to Farquhar's night ending. Bobby LaFramboise came in and allowed a single to Jose Altuve and got a pop-out from Trevor Crowe for out number two...and Justin Smoak's home hit Crowe and sailed wide, allowing Villar to score. The insurance was critical after Brad Miller hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, but Josh Fields was flawless aside from that to hold on to the win for the Astros.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Gio Gonzalez dominated the Mets in Washington's 9-0 win, allowing just one hit over his complete game shutout, striking out eight and walking a pair. The Gerrit Cole-Yu Darvish duel in Texas was awesome, as Cole gave up just three hits in seven scoreless innings, walking a pair and punching out nine, while Darvish gave up one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one. Chris Sale pitched the White Sox past the Tigers 5-1, allowing one run on four hits in eight innings, striking out eight and walking one while not needing to deal with Miguel Cabrera. Travis Wood gave the Pirates some breathing room, pitching the Cubs past the Reds 2-0, giving up six hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out seven without a walk. Ubaldo Jimenez pitched well for the Indians in their 4-3 win over the Royals, allowing one unearned run on seven hits in seven innings, striking out ten without a walk as the Tribe kept pace with the Orioles behind the Rays in the wild card race. Speaking of those Orioles, Chris Tillman spurred them to a 4-2 win over the Yankees, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings, punching out nine and walking none. Ricky Nolasco pitched the Dodgers past the Diamondbacks 8-1, giving up one unearned run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Josmil Pinto (yes, THAT Josmil Pinto) helped the Twins top the Angels 6-3, going 3/4 with two runs, an RBI, a walk, and three doubles. Denard Span stayed hot for the Nationals in their win in Flushing, going 3/5 with a solo homer and two runs scored. Teammate Tyler Moore went 2/3 with a double and a solo homer, while Jayson Werth chipped in by going 2/5 with a three-run homer. Alex Gordon had a good night for the Royals in their loss in Cleveland, going 2/5 with two runs, two RBI, a stolen base, and a homer. In the Dodgers' win over the Diamondbacks, Juan Uribe went 4/4 with three homers and four RBI, while Hanley Ramirez went 2/3 with a double, a solo homer, three runs, and a walk.
Other Games: The Braves got back on the winning track, beating the Marlins 5-2. The Giants beat the Rockies 3-2 in ten innings.
What You Missed: Who is the favorite for the AL's second Wild Card? The Dodgers are nearing a deal with Cuban refugee Alexander Guerrero. Baseball is going back to Montreal - kinda. The Yankees hazed their rookies. Your post-mortem and hope for the hopeless for the White Sox.
Today's Games: Ivan Nova starts for the Yankees in Baltimore. Andrew Cashner gets the nod for the Padres in Philadelphia. Julio Teheran and the Braves take on the Marlins. Clay Buchholz and David Price will duel in Tampa Bay. Jordan Zimmermann starts for the Nationals in Flushing against the Mets. Francisco Liriano starts for the Pirates in Texas against Martin Perez. Shelby Miller and the Cardinals host the Brewers. Jarrod Parker starts for the A's in Minnesota. Jorge de la Rosa gets the nod for the Rockies in San Francisco.
National TV: Red Sox-Rays (7 PM, MLB Network), Yankees-Orioles (7 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Pirates-Rangers (8 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Clay Buchholz vs David Price (Red Sox vs Rays, 7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.