Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 7/15/12

The NL West has been a very tight race over the last month and a half, and last night, the three teams in contention pretty much threw up their hands and said that no one wanted to win it. The Diamondbacks began the day by falling 4-1 to the Cubs to fall three games under .500, and 5.5 back in the division. With trade talk surrounding stat right fielder Justin Upton, two straight losses to the hapless Cubs aren't what this team needed at all. The Dodgers fell 7-6 to the Padres, allowing three runs over the final two innings to squander an easy win over a bad team. Finally, the Giants. They beat the Astros 3-2 in 12 innings, but led 2-0 after eight. Santiago Casilla blew the save, forcing the team to play three more innings before walking away with a win. This really just is not a good division at all.

Game of the Night: Orioles 8, Tigers 6 (13 innings). Going into the ninth, Baltimore led 4-1, and stud closer Jim Johnson was on the hill. Of course, Johnson allowed three runs (just one earned) in the ninth, to tie the game up and send it to extras. Detroit got one in the 11th to take a 5-4 lead, but Baltimore got one of their own in the inning to re-tie the game at five and keep the extras going. Detroit broke through again in the 13th to retake the lead 6-5, but a JJ Hardy homer once again tied the game. Later in the inning, Taylor Teagarden stepped in, replacing Orioles catcher Matt Wieters who had been lifted for a pinch runner earlier in the game. In just hit second plate appearance of the year, Teagarden hit a walk-off, two-run bomb to left to give the Orioles a wild 8-6 win and destroy the hearts of the Tigers and their fans.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Felix Hernandez threw a complete game shutout for the Mariners in their 7-0 win over the Rangers, allowing three hits and striking out 12 Texas hitters without a walk. Yeah, that's pretty damn good. Tim Lincecum looked like his old self in that 3-2 Giants win, throwing eight shutout innings and allowing five hits, one walk, and 11 strikeouts against an awful Astros offense. And...that does it for good pitching yesterday.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Edwin Encarnacion celebrated his contract extension with the Blue Jays by going hitting a pair of solo homers, driving in three runs, and walking in Toronto's 11-9 win over Cleveland. His teammate Adam Lind went 4/5 with one run, four RBI, and a double. Alcides Escobar of the Royals also hit a pair of homers and drove in three runs in Kansas City's 6-3 win over the White Sox. In that Dodgers loss to the Padres, Andre Ethier went 3/5 with four RBI and a homer, while Matt Kemp had three hits in his second game back with the team.

Other Games: The Yankees beat the Angels 5-3. The Braves edged the Mets 8-7, and during the game, they acquired shortstop Paul Janish from the Reds for AAA pitcher Todd Redmond. The Reds edged the Cardinals 3-2 in ten innings. The Pirates rallied late to beat the Brewers 6-4. The A's beat up on the Twins, winning 9-3. The Marlins edged the Nationals 2-1. The Phillies beat the Rockies 8-5. David Price outdueled Clay Buchholz in a 5-3 Rays win against the Red Sox. 

Today's Games: Ben Sheets makes his first major league start in nearly two years, as his Braves host Johan Santana and the Mets. Jered Weaver starts for the Angels in New York against the Yankees. Stephen Strasburg starts for the Nationals in Miami. AJ Burnett and Yovani Gallardo will duel in Milwaukee. Josh Beckett takes on James Shields in Tampa Bay. Chris Sale starts for the White Sox in Kansas CIty. Trevor Cahill will start for the Diamondbacks in Chicago against Matt Garza. Cole Hamels takes on Drew Pomeranz in Denver. Matt Cain will start as the Giants host the Astros. Jarrod Parker starts for the A's in Minnesota. Matt Harrison goes for the Rangers in Seattle. 

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

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