The highlights from the box scores for the games of 4/17 are these.
Boston beat Seattle again, this time 7-6 on a walkoff homer by Mark Loretta, of all people. David Ortiz hit two homers, giving him six for the year, earlier in the game. Kevin Youkilis had two singles and a walk in the leadoff hole. Lenny DiNardo, who I didn't even know was a starter, threw five innings for Boston.
Cleveland walloped Detroit 10-2 on the strength of a six-run third inning. The 5-8 hitters for the Indians went 10-17 with two walks and three doubles, and the number nine hitter, Casey Blake, contributed a homer. Chris Shelton did hit his ninth homer of the season for Detroit and also walked once, but the Tigers managed just three other hits and two other walks. Alexis Gomez, who looks like a randomly generated AAA player from one of my PlayStation games, DH'd for the Tigers, and for some reason, was batting fifth, ahead of Shelton. That's a travesty, especially since Carlos Guillen also hits behind Shelton. There is absolutely no reason why a guy whose best minor-league slugging percentage was .466, and that season was four years ago, should be hitting in front of the major-league home run leader. None. Fire Jim Leyland!
The Orioles became my latest favorite team by beating the Angels 4-2. Baltimore scored two runs in each of the first two innings and just held on from there. Daniel Cabrera gave up just an unearned run in seven innings, striking out six and Chris Ray finished things for his fifth save of the year. Jeff Weaver pitched fine, and only two of the four runs were earned, as the other two were helped across by Orlando Cabrera's fourth error of the year. Garrett Anderson had three hits for Anaheim, and for some reason, Maicer Itzuris was DHing. Really? What happened to Juan Rivera?
Chicago shut out the Royals 9-0 and Kansas City managed just one hit and one walk against Jose Contreras and two relievers. John Buck compounded the problem by getting caught stealing. Paul Konerko did add his fifth homer of the year, and Joe Mays was bad, giving up eight runs (six earned) in 5 1/3 innings.
The Cardinals scored two in the top of the first on Albert Pujols's ninth homer of the year (the man just never stops), then held on for a 2-1 win over the Pirates. Jasons Marquis and Isringhausen pitched for St. Louis, with the latter getting his fourth save of the year and the former improving his record to 3-0. Pujols also added his second double of the year.
The Mets picked up their tenth win of the year behind Pedro Martinez's third. Andruw Jones blasted a solo homer against The Great Curled One, but Martinez struck out eight en route to a 6 2/3-inning, three-run performance. Xavier Nady had three hits, including his fourth homer, and Carlos Delgado added his fifth bomb of the year. Pete Orr was hitting leadoff for the Braves, which is odd because Marcus Giles was in the lineup.
Cincinnati beat the Marlins 9-1 behind a good seven-inning, no-run game from Brandon Claussen, who picked up his first win of the year. Scuffy Moehler lost his third for the Marlins, giving up eight runs in five innings. One of those was unearned, helped by Hanley Ramirez's fourth error of the year. Ramirez continued to hit, though, with two singles and a walk in the game.
Adam Dunn hit his eighth homer of the year and walked twice. The Reds, in fact, had six doubles and two homers, but just four singles. That's a lot of solid contact.
Houston beat the Brewers 8-7 with five runs in the bottom of the seventh. Matt Wise gave up all five runs for Milwaukee, and accordingly took the loss. Brad Lidge picked up his fourth save, and there were five homers in the game, including Carlos Lee's sixth of the season. Preston Wilson tried mightily, but he struck out five times in the game, leaving eight men on base. That takes real effort.
San Diego beat Colorado as Chris Young limited the Rockies to two runs in seven innings in Denver. Young also added a double off of Jeff Francis, his second two-bagger of the year. That's impressive for a guy with a strike zone the size of a Sunset Cliffs breaker. Young's having a year that Texas might prefer to the (non-)season that Adam Eaton is suffering through right now. Congratulations to Josh Barfield on his first major-league homer. Does it count if it comes in Colorado?
San Francisco won a wild one, 10-9, by scoring three times over the last two innings against Luis Vizcaino and Jose Valverde. Barry Bonds walked a couple of times, and Tim Worrell picked up his sixth save of the year. Otherwise, it was a pretty routine slugfest.
Chicago beat the Dodgers 4-1 behind a vintage Greg Maddux start: eight innings, three hits, one run, no walks, six strikeouts, 87 pitches. He even added an RBI single, since, donchaknow, chicks dig the long ball.