MLB News and Notes May 27

MLB News and Notes May 27

Tuesday MLB Gameday

Daisuke Matsuzaka will be looking to run his season record to 9-0 on Tuesday night when the Boston Red Sox take on the Seattle Mariners. Here is your MLB Gameday . . .

Florida Marlins at New York Mets

Miller had a rough start to the season, but he's turned in four quality outings in a row to improve his record to 4-3 and lower his ERA to 5.33. The lefthander held the D-Backs scoreless over seven innings last time out, allowing just five hits and fanning nine. Back on April 2 against the Mets, Miller was knocked around for five runs over 4 1-3 innings.

Santana had a modest two-game winning streak snapped by the Braves in his last start, as he gave up three earned runs on 12 hits in seven innings of work and only struck out one batter. The lefthander last faced the Marlins way back on March 31, and he picked up the win after allowing just two earned runs on three hits over a seven-inning outing.

San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Lincecum continues to roll for the Giants, having given up three or fewer earned runs in each of his 10 starts so far this season. The righthander hasn't been tagged with a loss since April 29, when he fell to the Rockies. Last time out, against the Rockies again, Lincecum gave up three earned runs on five hits over six innings of work, fanning six.

Haren struck out a season-high eight batters last time out against the Marlins, but he still picked up the loss after giving up four earned runs on eight hits over 6 1-3 innings of work. The righthander has only won once over his past four starts, but his outing against Florida marked the first time he'd given up more than three runs since back on April 23.

Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels

Bonderman picked up his first win since April 30 last time out, holding the Mariners to two earned runs on eight hits over six innings of work. The righthander had gone 0-2 with a no-decision in his three outings prior to that game, surrendering 12 earned runs over 16 innings pitched. Bonderman has fanned 32 but walked 35 so far on the season.

Santana has now lost two games in a row since beginning the season with a 6-0 record. The righthander gave up four earned runs on nine hits over six innings versus the Blue Jays last time out, striking out seven batters. Against the Tigers back on April 25, Santana earned the win after allowing just three earned runs over 6 1-3 innings pitched.

Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners


Matsuzaka wasn't overly sharp versus the Royals last time out (three earned runs on six hits and six walks over 5 2-3 innings), but he still managed to earn the win and run his record to 8-0. The righthander has given up more than three earned runs in an outing just once this year (on April 13 versus the Yankees), and his ERA is now down to 2.40.

Batista has pitched poorly in three of his past four starts, which has boosted his ERA to 6.47 on the season. The righthander was tagged for five runs (four earned) on seven hits over just three innings pitched last time out against the Tigers (with two strikeouts), and he's managed to allow four or more earned runs in six of his 10 starts this season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes May 27

NATIONAL LEAGUE

L.A. Dodgers (26-24) at Chicago Cubs (30-21)


The Cubs try to extend their incredible run of success at Wrigley Field when they host the Dodgers in the middle game of this three-game series. Two rookies are scheduled to take the ball in this nationally televised battle, with Chicago’s Sean Gallagher (1-1, 5.68 ERA) set to oppose Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 3.48).

Chicago road home runs by Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez to a 3-1 victory over Los Angeles Monday afternoon, snapping a two-game slide and once again avoiding its first three-game losing streak of the season. Also, since opening 2008 with a pair of home losses to the Brewers, the Cubs are 20-6 at Wrigley Field. They’re also 15-3 in their last 18 home games against right-handed starters and 7-1 in their last eight against the N.L. West.

The Dodgers, who left 12 runners on base on Monday, have dropped three of their last four as their offense has gone cold, producing just six runs during the four-game stretch. Los Angeles has followed up a five-game road winning streak by losing four of its last seven as a visitor, and it is 3-9 in its last 12 against winning teams.

Last year, the Dodgers went 5-2 against the Cubs, and they’re still 13-7 in their last 20 games at Wrigley Field.

Kuroda has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his first 10 major-league starts, and he’s strung together three straight quality outings (2.57 ERA), but he only has one win to show for it, and that was Wednesday’s 5-2 home win over the Reds. In that one, Kuroda pitched a career-best eight innings, giving up two runs on five hits.

Gallagher is coming off his first loss, a 5-3 setback at Houston on Wednesday. The right-hander gave up all five runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Kuroda is just 3-1 in five road starts despite a respectable 3.09 ERA. Meanwhile, Gallagher is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA in two starts at Wrigley, both Cubs wins.

The under is 4-0 in Kuroda’s last four road outings, but both of Gallagher’s starts at Wrigley have topped the total.

The Dodgers have stayed under the total in six straight games, and the under is 5-2-1 in Chicago’s last eight, 6-0-1 in its last six against right-handed starters and 20-8-2 in its lat 30 games on Tuesday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CHICAGO and UNDER


AMERICAN LEAGUE

Toronto (28-25) at Oakland (28-25)


The streaking Blue Jays kick off a nine-game road trip in Oakland, with A.J. Burnett (5-4, 4.69) set to toe the rubber opposite A’s lefty Dave Smith (2-4, 3.18).

The Blue Jays completed a four-game home sweep of the Royals with Monday’s 7-2 rout. Toronto has won five in a row, outscoring the opposition 27-7, and the Blue Jays’ pitching staff has been outstanding over the last 2½ weeks, giving up three runs or fewer in 11 of the last 15 games. During this stretch, the Jays are 5-2 on the road.

The A’s were idle Monday after sweeping a three-game weekend series from the defending champion Red Sox at home. Oakland has followed up a 2-9 slump by winning four in a row, and like Toronto, the A’s have been getting the job done on the mound, allowing three runs or fewer in five straight games and four runs or less in 10 of their last 12. Finally, Oakland is on a 13-5 roll at McAfee Coliseum.

The A’s swept a three-game series from the Blue Jays in Canada, and they’ve won four in a row and seven of nine in this rivalry dating to last year. Also, the road team is 11-2 in the last 13 head-to-head meetings.

Burnett is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in his last three starts, including a 4-3 victory over the Angels on Thursday in which he yielded all three runs on six hits in six innings. The right-hander has worked at least six innings in six straight starts, with five of those being quality outings (three earned runs or less allowed).

Burnett is 3-2 with a 3.10 ERA in four road starts, with the Jays also winning his one no-decision. Also, the veteran hurler was 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his first three starts against the A’s, but on April 8 in Canada, he got rocked for six runs on 10 hits (both season highs), getting a no-decision in a 9-8 Toronto loss.

Smith is 0-3 with a 4.58 ERA in his last three trips to the mound, including a 3-2 home loss to the Rays a week ago tonight, as he yielded just two runs on five hits in seven innings. The A’s went 4-0 in Smith’s first four starts, but they’re 1-4 in his last five.

The left-hander has been solid at home, going 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts, with the A’s winning both of his no-decisions. Also, in his first career start versus the Blue Jays back on April 9, he gave up three runs (two earned) on two hits and five walks, getting a no-decision in Oakland’s 6-3 road win.

The under is 20-8-1 in Burnett’s last 29 starts overall (3-0 last three), 13-3-1 in his last 17 when going on four days’ rest and 5-1 in his last six on the road. The under is also 5-0 in Smith’s last five starts overall.

The over is 6-2-1 in the last nine series clashes, including 3-0-1 in Oakland. However, for Toronto, the under is on runs of 33-16-3 overall this season (5-2 last seven), 41-19-3 on the road (18-8-1 this year) and 4-0 against the A.L. West. Also, the under is 4-0 in Oakland’s last four on Tuesdays. However, the over is 5-2 in the A’s last seven at home and 4-1 in their past five against a right-handed starter.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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Baseball Today

SCOREBOARD

Boston at Seattle (10:10 p.m. EDT). Daisuke Matsuzaka (8-0) tries to stay unbeaten when the Red Sox take on the Mariners and struggling Miguel Batista (3-6).


STARS

-- Chase Utley, Phillies, tied the league lead with his 16th homer and drove in six runs as Philadelphia routed Colorado 20-5.

-- Steve Kazmir, Rays, struck out 10 Rangers in seven strong innings in Tampa Bay's 7-3 win over Texas.

-- Ryan Dempster, Cubs, pitched seven strong innings and gave the Chicago bullpen some much needed rest after the Cubs combined to use 11 relievers in consecutive extra-inning losses at Pittsburgh. He allowed one run and seven hits in Chicago's 3-1 victory over Los Angeles.

-- Bartolo Colon, Red Sox, improved to 7-0 in his last eight starts at Safeco Field with a 5-3 win over the Mariners. He has not lost in Seattle since Aug. 24, 2001.

SAD PASSING

Former major league pitcher Geremi Gonzalez, who won 11 games for the Chicago Cubs in 1997, was killed by a lightning strike in his native Venezuela on Sunday. He was 33. Emergency management official Herman Bracho said Monday that Gonzalez was struck by lightning at a beach. Gonzalez pitched for five major league teams from 1997-06. The right-hander appeared in 131 games with 83 starts, compiling a 30-35 record.

STRUGGLING

Brandon Webb's 9-0 start was rare. So was his second straight loss. Webb (9-2) gave up a season-high 10 hits in his shortest start since 2006, a 7-3 loss to the Braves. He allowed seven runs - four earned. Since the end of the 2004 season, the only other time Webb failed to finish the fifth inning was when he lasted four innings against San Diego on Oct. 1, 2006.

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

If Willie Randolph was worried about losing his job, he never showed it. He walked confidently into a packed news conference Monday, still the New York Mets' manager after a much-anticipated meeting with team ownership that lasted about two hours.

SAVIOR

Bobby Jenks became the second-fastest reliever to notch 100 career saves, doing so in 187 games with Chicago's 6-3 win in 12 innings over Cleveland. Kazuhiro Sasaki did it in 160 for Seattle in 2000-02. San Diego's Trevor Hoffman is the all-time leader with 533 saves.

STATS

Scott Elarton, called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday, made his first relief appearance in the majors since Sept. 6, 2003, with Colorado. He had started 154 times in 155 outings since 1999. He took the loss for Cleveland in a 6-3 defeat in 12 innings to the White Sox. ... The Angels played their first extra-inning game of the season, a 1-0 victory in 12 innings over Detroit. Los Angeles was the only team in the majors that hadn't played an extra-inning contest this year. It finally happened in the 53rd game, the longest such streak in club history from the start of a season.

TURNAROUND

The Tampa Bay Rays are just the second team in 105 years to have the best record at Memorial Day a year after they finished with the league's worst mark. They joined the 1903 New York Giants.

SPEAKING

"Willie's job was never in danger going into this meeting. Willie has my support. He has the support of our ownership. ... There is no limbo period. Willie is the manager.'' - Mets GM Omar Minaya after manager Willie Randolph had an afternoon meeting with owner Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff.

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