Baseball Today April 7

Baseball Today April 7

Baseball Today

Cleveland at L.A. Angels (10:05 p.m. EDT). Fausto Carmona, a 19-game winner last season, matches up with Joe Saunders in a game between two of the AL's playoff teams from last year.

STARS

- Ben Sheets, Brewers, pitched a five-hitter for his second career shutout, leading Milwaukee to a 7-0 win over Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants. He struck out eight and walked none.

- Ken Griffey Jr., Reds, hit a two-run drive for his 594th career homer in an 8-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

- Frank Thomas, Blue Jays, broke a fifth-inning tie with his 11th career grand slam and Toronto beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4 to complete a three-game sweep of the World Series champions.

- Hideki Matsui, Yankees, hit a two-run homer in a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

- John Smoltz, Braves, allowed two hits over five scoreless innings in his season debut to beat Johan Santana and the New York Mets 3-1.

- Derrek Lee, Cubs, hit a tiebreaking drive off Oscar Villarreal in the seventh inning of a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros. It was Lee's third homer of the season. He didn't hit his first homer last season until the 21st game and finished the season with only 22.

- Gerald Laird, Rangers, had four hits, homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs in a 10-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

- Felix Hernandez, Mariners, allowed five hits over eight shutout innings in a 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

AILING

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a left calf strain. Wilson was injured running to first after a seventh-inning single during Thursday's game at Atlanta. The DL stint was made retroactive to Friday. ... Houston Astros third baseman Ty Wigginton has a small fracture in his left thumb and didn't play Sunday against the Cubs. He was optimistic the injury won't send him to the disabled list. Teammate Lance Berkman also was out of the lineup with a sore neck.

WHAT A DEBUT

Edinson Volquez struck out eight in 5 1-3 innings in the Cincinnati Reds' 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. The 24-year-old Volquez, who was part of the trade with Texas for Josh Hamilton in December, got a standing ovation when he left with a 4-1 lead in the sixth. He gave up five hits and a pair of walks in his first start with Cincinnati.

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

Josh Beckett was back on the mound for Boston, but the Red Sox still lost 7-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Out since mid-March because of a strained lower back, Beckett was activated from the disabled list and gave up three hits and five runs in 4 2-3 innings as the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the World Series champions.

PITCHER'S DUELS

John Smoltz pitched five shutout innings to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 victory over Johan Santana and the New York Mets. Smoltz was making his first start after opening the season on the disabled list with tightness in the back of his right shoulder. He again felt a knot in the trapezoid muscle but said it was all right. Santana gave up only one run in seven innings. ... Chien-Ming Wang pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning to help the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0. Wang, known for his nasty sinker, mixed in his slider, splitter and changeup effectively. James Shields wasn't too bad for the Rays, either, allowing eight hits and two runs in five-plus innings.

FAST START

Kansas City finished its opening trip to Detroit and Minnesota 4-2, its best start since 2004. The Royals had only three winning trips last season, none until a 6-4 swing to the Chicago White Sox, Oakland and Colorado from May 11-20. They beat the Twins 3-1 Sunday.

SPEAKING

``Hopefully, this is as worse as it gets. Not too many positives coming out of losing. Hopefully, this is our low point and we don't experience this again,'' Troy Tulowitzki said after Colorado lost 5-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, its fifth straight loss.

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