It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life.
-- Mickey Mantle
Red Sox win, Yankees lose - Boston has a two game lead. Al Leiter worked 5 innings and gave up 7 hits, 5 walks, threw a wild pitch, and hit a batter. Somehow, he allowed just a single run. How did that happen?
Leiter retired Jaques Jones with the bases loaded to end the first. He got Lew Ford with the bases loaded to end the second. With two out and runners on the corners in the third, Justin Morneau hit an RBI double, but Bret Boone was thrown out at home trying to score a second run. In the fourth, Leiter put runners on first and second, and then retired the side. In the fifth, Morneau hit into a double play with two men on to end the inning. The Twins stranded 10 baserunners in the first five innings. Not that it mattered in the end - they scored six runs against the New York bullpen, and Johan Santana pitched his best game in more than a month.
This was Leiter's first home start as a Yankee since April 14 1989. On that long-ago occasion, he threw 162 pitches on a damp and chilly night. Just over three weeks later, he was on the DL with a shoulder problem that would cost him most of the next two seasons. By then, of course, the Yankees had traded him to Toronto.
The stumbling Rangers faced the reeling Orioles at Camden Yards. Baltimore jumped out to a 5-0 lead off Chris Young, but Bruce Chen gave it all right back. Texas took a 6-5 lead into the eighth inning, but the Orioles tied it up. Texas scored two in the top of the ninth off B.J. Ryan, but Javy Lopez tied it again in the bottom of the ninth with a two run HR off Cordero. Finally Gary Matthews settled things with a three shot off Jorge Julio in the 11th. Texas is back at .500, and the Orioles have fallen into a tie with Toronto.
The Rangers are looking at the Oakland tail lights disappearaing into the distance. The A's scored a pair in the bottom of the ninth off Bob Wickman to force extra innings, and won it in the bottom of the tenth. Danny Haren wasn't sharp, but Joe Kennedy and Huston Street picked him up. Street, just 21 years old, is 4-1, 1.41 with 9 saves, and making himself a very viable Rookie of the Year candidate. Oakland is just 4 games behind the Angels.
Atlanta beat Washington again, to open up a 2 game lead in the NL East - their 21 year old, Jeff Francouer, had three hits and is now batting .433. Francouer's RBI double off Gary Majewski in the eighth broke up a 3-3 tie. Tim Hudson pitched 7 strong innings for the Braves, but didn't get the win as John Foster and Danny Kolb coughed up a 3-1 lead.
Washington, no longer in first, still leads the Wild Card hunt, but by just a single game over the charging Astros. Roger Clemens won his 9th last night. Craig Biggio, back at second base this season, is on pace to establish a career high in homers, score 100 runs yet again, and make it to 2800 hits before the season is over.
Finally, the reeling Padres needed a win to prevent themselves falling below .500, which would have been especially embarrassing to all of the other teams in the NL West. The Padres, despite dropping eight in a row to fall to 50-50, still lead the division by three games. San Diego got a good start from Jake Peavy against the Cardinals. They needed that one - today they have to face Chris Carpenter.
Minnesota (Mays 5-5, 4.46) at New York (Small 1-0, 4.26) 1:05
Texas (Rodriguez 2-2, 5.31) at Baltimore (Ponson 7-9, 5.91) 7:05
Los Angeles (Lackey 8-4, 3.94) at Toronto (Bush 1-5, 4.77) 7:07
Kansas City (Snyder 0-1, 6.35) at Tampa Bay (Kazmir 5-7, 4.15) 7:15
Cleveland (Lee 11-4, 3.87) at Seattle (Meche 10-7, 4.59) 10:05
Washington (Drese 7-9, 5.56) at Atlanta (Sosa 5-1, 2.55) 1:05
Arizona (Halsey 6-7, 4.00) at Chicago (Williams 3-3, 4.91) 2:20
Cincinnati (Claussen 4-8, 5.00) at Los Angeles (Houlton 4-3, 5.68) 3:10
St.Louis (Carpenter 14-4, 2.26) at San Diego (Stauffer 3-5, 4.81) 3:35
Pittsburgh (Wells 6-10, 4.77) at Florida (Willis 13-6, 3.23) 7:05
San Francisco (Hennessey (3-3, 5.79) at Milwaukee (Santos 3-10, 4.05) 8:05
New York (Martinez 12-3, 2.79) at Houston (Astacio 1-4, 8.24) 8:05
Philadelphia (Tejeda 2-2, 2.90) at Colorado (Kim 2-8, 5.24) 9:05