Joc Pederson got the LA Dodgers off on the right foot when he knocked the second pitch of their first game of a twinbill with the host Chicago Cubs out of the park for a home run, his ninth of the season and eighth this month. It was his only hit in three at-bats (plus a walk) before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the ninth. The Dodgers (38-34) took the opener, 4-3. He entered the nightcap as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning and was walked intentionally when he came to bat in the ninth. The Cubs won 2-1 in 10.
In a weird coincidence, Ian Kinsler also hit a lead-off home run (on the third pitch) for an LA franchise. No. 10 on the year and seventh in June (joining Alex Bregman as the only MOTs in double digits) was the 48th such opener of his career and was the margin of difference as the Angels (39-35) held off the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-4. Like Pederson, the dinger was Kinsler’s only hit in three at-bats plus a walk, but he also had an additional run scored.
Alex Bregman drove in the only run for the Houston Astros (49-26) in their 2-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. His RBI in the third tied the game at 1-1 as he was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Bregman was 1-for-2 with two walks. The ‘Stros’ 12-game winning streak came to an end.
Kevin Pillar poked double #22, his only hit in four at-bats (run scored), as the Toronto Blue Jays (33-39) were chopped by the Atlanta Braves, 11-4.
Ryan Braun grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers (43-40) beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2.
Danny Valencia was 0-f0r-3 with a walk and a run scored as the Baltimore Orioles (20-51) fell to the host Washington Nationals, 9-7. According to thesportsdaily.com, “Danny Valencia (119 wRC+), Adam Jones (108), and Mark Trumbo (103) join [Manny] Machado as the only players on the roster with an above-average wRC+ so far this season.” For the uninitiated among you, according the MLB.com’s glossary, “wRC+ takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for important external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.” Uh-huh. That clears that up, thanks.
As was feared, Richard Bleier, who was having a fantastic season with a lousy team, is done for the year. He underwent “successful” surgery on Tuesday to repair an injured lat. Don’t mean to be a downer, but wouldn’t you have to wait until he tries throwing again to see if was truly successful?
Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (38-33) lost to the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, 7-6.