The hot bat of Aramis Ramirez is keeping Home Run 101 in this week's series with the Machine. Ramirez is 5 for 10 with a .615 OBP, two home runs, and seven RBI. The team trails by just one in the Home Run and RBI categories, it's weakest areas. Now Ramirez needs some help at the plate in the final four days to help Home Run 101 pull off the upset.
The Machine 6, Home Run 101 4
David Ross and John Buck both hit home runs on Wednesday for Home Run 101 but it may have come at a cost. Buck exerted such effort on his first homer since mid-May that he may have pulled his hamstring. Lucas Duda also missed Wednesday's game for Home Run 101 with a tight hamstring. He shouldn't miss more than two games. Luke Scott is shooting for a Monday return after being out with a sore back. David Ortiz hit a grand slam home run for the Machine Wednesday while John Mayberry scored twice. Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup for the Machine following a hamstring injury and went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI. He's played in just one game since June 7. On the mound, Gavin Floyd earned a rare quality start for the Machine while Jonathan Broxton earned his second save of the series. Unfortunately, Ricky Nolasco poisoned the team ERA and WHIP by allowing nine runs over 3.1 innings.
Bacon at Mile 11 8, Marin Menehunes 4
Jason Heyward homered twice, Justin Upton smacked a homer and drove in three runs, while Logan Morrison hit his second home run of the series and drove in his sixth run for Bacon on Wednesday. Despite the offensive explosion, the Menehunes are keeping the Home Run category close. Asdrubal Cabrera slapped his second long ball of the series Wednesday while Josh Willingham also went yard.
Trevor Cahill allowed six runs in six innings failing to give Bacon a chance to tie the Quality Start category but Jonny Venters and Bobby Parnell each added a hold in relief. Bacon received some bad news off the field, as it was announced Troy Tulowitzki will miss another six weeks after having arthroscopic groin surgery. Jerome Williams will also land on the Disabled List after going to the hospital with shortness of breath following Monday's start. The good news is closer Matt Capps should return from a sore shoulder by the weekend. Bartolo Colon will miss Saturday's start for the Menehunes with a strained oblique. That's a big strain. Anthony Bass also left Wednesday's start with shoulder inflammation.
Give it a Yankee 9, Vicious Fishes 2
Corey Hart hit a home run and stole a base Wednesday while Francisco Liriano struck out six over 6.2 innings to earn a quality start for Give it a Yankee. The team will send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound this afternoon to try and build on its Quality Start and Strikeout leads. Derek Jeter hit a home run for the Fishes but Tommy Hanson was roughed up, allowing four runs over five innings. Closer Rafael Betancourt also blew a save, allowing a run while recording just two outs. The Fishes desperately need Carlso Zambrano to pitch well in today's start or they risk losing touch in the pitching categories.
A-Rod's Mirrors 6, HUMA 6
Justin Masterson, Jake Westbrook and Stephen Strasburg took control of the pitching categories Wedneday for the Mirrors. All three tossed quality starts and combined to throw 25 innings while allowing just two runs and striking out 24 batters. It was an awesome display. At the plate, Kyle Seager continued his tear, going 3 for 5 with a homer, two RBI, and two runs scored while Alex Rodriguez also went long. It wasn't all roses for the Mirrors on Wednesday, as it was announced that closer Jose Valverde will likely miss the rest of this series with a sprained wrist and Dustin Pedroia missed yesterday's game with a sore thumb. Kelvin Herrera earned the first hold of the series Wednesday and earned a point for HUMA while catchers Willin Rosario and Jarrod Saltalamacchia combined for five runs, four RBI, and two home runs. Jason Kubel also went long.
The Cys 9, Twinkle Toes 3
Martin Prado went 3 for 5 and blasted his fifth homer of the season Wednesday for the Cys while Yu Darvish struck out eight over eight innings in a quality start. Kendrys Morales also added a home run. Roy Oswalt will start Friday for the Rangers, giving the Cys another starter for next week's series. Ian Kinsler scored a run and stole two bases for Twinkle Toes Wednesday but the failure of Brian Matusz and Bronson Arroyo on the mound kept the team from grabbing the Quality Start category. Matusz and Arroyo combined to allow eight earned runs over 8.2 innings. Ryan Vogelsong held up his end of the bargain, earning a quality start with seven innings of three run ball while striking out six. The Cys can widen their lead in Strikeouts and Quality Starts when Matt Moore pitches today.
The Bulls 6, Scully's Slammers 4
Jason Vargas gave up five home runs Wednesday and was torched for 10 runs in 4.1 innings, dragging the Bulls ERA and WHIP to Hell. The team ERA now stands at 9.61 for the week. It's not all on Vargas, as Phil Hughes and Felix Doubront gave up 10 runs over 10.1 innings and closer Frank Francisco allowed a run in relief. Whew! Thankfully, Scott Downs earned a hold and Carlos Gonzalez returned to the lineup, going 2 for 4 with a stolen base. It also looks like Chris Carpenter is close to returning. He threw a fourth bullpen Wednesday and should throw batting practice this weekend. He's on track to return after the All-Star break. Mike Aviles hit a home run, drove in three, and scored twice for the Slammers, Yovani Gallardo earned a quality start and struck out seven, while Tyler Clippard had a save in relief. Joe Mauer missed another game Wednesday for the Slammers with a sore quad. It was also announced that Ross Detwiler will return to the starting rotation for the Nationals which will give the Slammers another starter for next week's series. Edwin Encarnacion homered in his third straight game for the Slammers. Sonavabench! James McDonald will pitch today with an opportunity for the team to take the Strikeout lead.
Jersey Boys 6, Los Coche Bomba 4
Aaron Hill and Freddie Freeman each hit home runs while Austin Jackson stole a base Wednesday as the Jersey Boys kept the pressure on Bomba. Freeman had three RBI and Hill scored twice. On the mound, Glen Perkins earned a save but Jonathan Papelbon gave up a run in relief. Just when the Jersey Boys catch fire, young third baseman Brett Lawrie exits Wednesday's game with knee soreness. The injury news is worse for Bomba, as Brandon Beachy will have Tommy John surgery Thursday and miss the rest of the season. That's another ace down. Another starter, Derek Holland, is targeting a July 1 return from a sore shoulder. On Wednesday, Bruce Chen couldn't pull a rabbit out of his aging hat, failing to earn a quality start when he couldn't finish the sixth inning. Greg Holland did earn a hold but Luis Perez was bombed for two runs in relief. At the plate, Robinson Cano hit a home run and Michael Bourn stole a base.
Lower Haighters 6, High Cheese 4
You better bring your Big Boy pants when you step to the plate in this series. These two teams have combined for 32 RBI and 32 runs scored in just three days. On Wednesday, Miguel Montero went 3 for 4 with a homer and four RBI for the Haighters while Ryan Braun homered and drove in two. High Cheese had another home run from Mark Trumbo, who also scored twice. On the mound, Jered Weaver pitched six scoreless innings to earn a quality start for High Cheese but young Tommy Milone was sitting on the bench when he finished his first complete game. Sonavabench! The Haighters also missed out on a quality start from veteran Erik Bedard. In the 'pen, Joe Nathan earned a save and Sean Burnett a hold for the Haighters. High Cheese should take command in this series today, as they have a full roster of offensive players scheduled to play and Gio Gonzalez and Vance Worley will both pitch. The Lower Haighters have just five position players and three relievers with games.