Well then. That was a lot of runs. The Nats and O’s combined for 28 runs in their games last night, and both teams won!
Jay Gibbons hit his 100th career homer last night in the fourth inning off of Al Leiter. It was a two-run shot that put the O’s up 8-7. Congratulations are due to Gibby.
In hockey news, the Capitals sent five more players to the AHL, including Chris Bourque (Ray Bourque’s kid), who was an interesting training camp story because he’s only 5-foot-7 and plays possessed. None of the moves are surprising, though.
Time for recaps!
MLB: Orioles 17, New York Yankees 9
YES!!!!!! The Orioles have clinched fourth place in the American League East!!!!
With a 17-9 win over the Yankees last night, the Orioles accomplished a number of things. They ended a nine-game losing streak, they kept the Yankees and Red Sox tied for the division lead, they guaranteed that they can’t fall behind Tampa Bay in the standings, Jay Gibbons hit his 100th career home run, Miguel Tejada knocked in his 96th, 97th, and 98th runs of the year, and the O’s beat the Yankees on a day when Gary Sheffield homered twice (including another grand slam) and knocked in six runs.
The O’s offense exploded early on Mike Mussina, scoring five runs in the first two innings and knocking him out of the game after just 1.2 innings. The Yankees came back on Bruce Chen, though, scoring twice in the third inning and then getting the grand slam in the fourth to make it 7-5, Yankees. But the Orioles rallied with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to go up 8-7, then added five more in the fifth, thanks in large part to two bases-loaded walks.
Gibbons went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, Tejada had three RBIs, and Melvin Mora added five RBIs.
Mora hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning, his 24th. Gibbons also now has 24 homers on the year.
Aaron Rakers (1-0) worked 2.1 scoreless innings to get the win.
Since this is the “Go Gibbons” blog now, here’s some more about the O’s player rep. Jay is now batting .278 with 24 homers, 74 RBIs and a very solid .826 OPS. Ideally he would walk more and get his on-base percentage up, but any questions about whether or not he’ll have a regular spot in the 2006 Orioles outfield should be answered.
Game three of the four-game set is tonight at 7:05 at Camden Yards, with Daniel Cabrera (10-12, 4.58 ERA, RHP) facing Shawn Chacon (6-3, 2.89 ERA, RHP).
Nationals 11, Florida Marlins 1
The Nationals are also trying to keep from finishing in last place, and they helped their cause last night by shellacking the Marlins, 11-1. The Marlins and Nationals are now tied in the cellar of the National League East at 80-78. The Mets are 80-77.
The Nats scored four runs in the second inning, two in the third, three in the fifth, and one each in the sixth and seventh to go up 11-0 before the Marlins scored in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Nats got to 22-game-winner Dontrelle Willis (22-10) early, scoring nine runs (five earned) on nine hits in four innings to knock him out of the game. Reliever Jon Rauch started for the Nationals but only pitched three innings, so Mike Stanton (2-1) got the win for his two scoreless innings.
Marlon Byrd went 4-for-6 with a homer and two RBIs for Washington, and Cristian Guzman continued to raise his batting average now that the season is over, going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Guzman is now batting .217.
The series finale is tonight at 7:05 in Florida, with Esteban Loaiza (11-10, 3.63 ERA, RHP) set to face Josh Beckett (15-8, 3.38 ERA, RHP).
Tonight’s game will determine who is in last place in the NL East heading into the final series of the season.