Around the Bases: Good pitching and bad pitching

Thearon W. Henderson

Many games on Wednesday featured one starting pitcher having a great performance while the other starting pitcher ... well, their day wasn't so great.

Mets 7, Giants 2: Zack Wheeler had his best start since his career debut, pitching seven innings of one-run ball while allowing three hits. That start just so happened to come against the team that traded him away when he was a top pitching prospect. Meanwhile Matt Cain couldn't even finish one inning, departing after allowing three earned runs while earning just two outs.

Reds 6, Brewers 2: Johnny Hellweg was bad enough during this game that the Brewers decided to demote the rookie pitcher back to the minors following his start today. He allowed four earned runs on four hits and five walks over 4⅓ innings. The Reds received strong hitting from Shin-Soo Choo, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce to accompany 8⅓ innings of four-hit ball from Mike Leake.

Marlins 6, Braves 2: Jacob Turner continued an excellent second season with Miami, pitching seven innings while allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. Wednesday was Turner's sixth quality start in eight appearances. The Marlins struck early on Paul Maholm, scoring four runs in the first inning.

Angels 13, Cubs 2: Josh Hamilton may be struggling this season, but he hit two of the Angels' five home runs during this contest and picked up five RBIs along the way. C.J. Wilson allowed one run and four hits over seven innings while striking out six. Jeff Samardzija had his worst outing of the year, as he was pinned with nine earned runs over 4⅔ innings and saw his season ERA rise 52 points.

Tigers 8, White Sox 5: Detroit's 1-5 hitters combined to go 13-23, including three hits apiece from Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. The Tigers got to White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod early and often, as Chicago could not catch up despite a late effort.

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Nationals 5, Phillies 1: For four innings, this game looked like it would be a pitchers' duel between Cliff Lee and Gio Gonzalez. Then the Nationals decided enough was enough and hit four solo home runs off Lee over the next two frames. Gonzalez held the Phillies to just one run over seven innings.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: The two teams combined for just one run through the first six frames, but entered the ninth inning tied 2-2. Then things got exciting. The Blue Jays took a late 5-2 lead when Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-out bases-loaded single that scored three runs thanks in part to a Michael Bourn error. In the bottom half of the ninth the Indians started a two-out rally of their own, as the team scored two runs and fell just short of tying the game. With runners on second and third, Michael Brantley flew out to end the game.

Orioles 6, Rangers 1: Wei-Yin Chen has been out for nearly two months with a strained oblique. He showed the Orioles what they had been missing in his return to the team's starting rotation. Chen pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits. Baltimore's bats gave him plenty of support as a welcome-back present, scoring six runs off Texas starter Josh Lindblom.

Yankees 8, Royals 1: After throwing his first complete game in his last outing, Yankees starter Ivan Nova was working a shutout through seven innings before he allowed one run in the eighth. As has been a theme of the day, one good pitching performance was joined by a bad one, as Wade Davis allowed eight earned runs over five innings. The win came with a consequence for New York, as the team lost both Brett Gardner and Travis Hafner to leg contusions. The two players are day-to-day.

Rays 4, Twins 3 (13 innings): The two teams each scored three runs in the first six innings, then spent six more without a single player crossing the plate. Kelly Johnson hit a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth inning for the Rays while Ben Zobrist hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning, scoring Yunel Escobar. Jeremy Hellickson struck out eight batters over six innings of work while the Rays set team strikeout records (the game would end with 35 combined strikeouts).

Cardinals 5, Astros 4: The Astros managed to force rookie phenom Shelby Miller out of the game after just five innings as the Cardinals starter allowed three runs on five hits and five walks. Unfortunately, the Cardinals bats got to Astros' starter Jordan Lyles for four runs. Each bullpen would allow one more, allowing St. Louis to come out on top.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 7 (14 innings): Second base umpire Tim McClelland also got to show off his slick moves during this game.

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Yasiel Puig went 1-for-7 in this extra-innings affair to bring his average down to a positively frigid (for him) .394. After the Dodgers tied things up in the top of the ninth, neither team was able to score until Hanley Ramirez blasted an opposite-field home run off of Josh Collmenter on the first pitch of the 14th inning. Ramirez was 3-for-6 with a walk and three RBIs, bringing his batting average to .409. A.J. Ellis went back-to-back with Hanley on Collmenter's 74th pitch of the game in long relief.

Pirates 5, Athletics 0: Francisco Liriano continued his impressive 2013 season, pitching seven shutout innings while allowing just four hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Tommy Milone did not fare nearly so well for Oakland, pitching just 2⅔ innings and giving up seven hits and two walks, leading to three earned runs. The Pirates scored all five of their runs in the third and fourth innings. The Pirates winning ended an interesting streak:

Rockies 5, Padres 4: Colorado plugged away with a run in five different innings and Jorge de la Rosa held San Diego to just two runs on two hits and four walks in five innings of work. Carlos Quentin hit his 11th home run of the year. Chase Headley drove in a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and stole second to get himself into scoring position, but the late rally wasn't enough. The Padres came up short, losing the rubber game and the series.

Red Sox 11, Mariners 4: Boston had jumped out to a 9-0 lead by the sixth inning. David Ortiz had two hits, including a home run, to set the new all-time record for hits from the DH position. The Mariners finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh, but a late-inning rally that included a home run from Brendan Ryan(!) wasn't enough to overcome the big early deficit.

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