Mets' subs sink Cardinals, 11-0
NEW YORK — Fernando Nieve has spent nearly 10 years as a professional baseball player fighting for a spot on a pitching staff. So he knew exactly what to do when he saw two on-the-mend starters throwing in the Mets bullpen early yesterday: ignore them.
Yet another smart decision by the career minor leaguer who is making quite an impression as a fill-in starter on a depleted staff.
Nieve pitched six scoreless innings to extend his improbable stint with New York and recent callup Nick Evans hit a two-run homer in an 11-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday.
"I was thinking too much when I was with the Astros. The first time it was when (Roger) Clemens signed," said Nieve, claimed off waivers from Houston in March. "Now, I just think about doing my job."
And the job he's doing — 10 hits and three runs in just 18 2/3 innings as starter — might just earn Nieve (3-0) a spot in the rotation even after John Maine and Oliver Perez return as soon as next week.
"He has to keep pitching for us," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "Shutout innings. Giving us an opportunity to win. He looks like his ball really gets on guys. ... We're going to keep pitching out there"
David Wright tied a career best with four hits and Ryan Church had three hits and two RBIs in his first start as the cleanup hitter this season. The Mets bounced back from a 4-0, two-hit loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday with 16 hits, their best offensive output of the season.
The teams end the series with a tantalizing matchup between the Mets' Johan Santana and the Cardinals' resurgent Chris Carpenter. But Nieve did a pretty good impression of an ace in winning his third straight game filling in for Maine.
Facing the NL Central leaders, Nieve allowed three hits, walked four and struck out five.
BLUE JAYS 8, REDS 2:
Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Vernon Wells homered in a five-run bottom of the first inning as Toronto won its third straight game. Cincinnati lost its fourth in a row to drop two games under .500 for the first time this season.
MARLINS 5, ORIOLES 2:
Hanley Ramirez and Cody Ross, who had three hits, including two doubles, both drove in two runs and Ricky Nolasco (4-6) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings as host Florida beat the Baltimore for its fourth straight victory.
RAYS 7, PHILLIES 1:
Matt Garza (5-5) allowed a run on three hits over eight innings and Pat Burrell homered as Tampa Bay beat Philadelphia, which got a homer from Jayson Werth to remain the only team in the majors with an extra-base hit in every game this season.
RED SOX 6, NATIONALS 4:
David Ortiz homered and got his 1,000th career RBI, Jason Varitek also homered, and visiting Boston beat Washington before a Nationals Park record crowd of 41,530, breaking the ballpark record by 13 set in the series opener on Tuesday.
YANKEES 8, BRAVES 4:
Catcher Francisco Cervelli hit his first career homer to break New York's 14-inning scoring drought in Atlanta, Alex Rodriguez had a two-run single, and Joba Chamberlain (4-2) went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, as the Yankees snapped a three-game losing skid.
TIGERS 5, CUBS 3:
Gerald Laird and Miguel Cabrera homered, Zach Miner (5-1), the third of seven Detroit pitchers, picked up the win, and Fernando Rodney finished for his 15th save in as many tries as the Tigers beat Chicago for their sixth straight victory.
PIRATES 10, INDIANS 6:
Zach Duke (8-5) allowed one run and five hits in six innings, Adam LaRoche drove in three runs and host Pittsburgh ended a five-game losing streak by scoring three runs in the second and six in the fourth in roughing up Cleveland's Carl Pavano (6-6).
BREWERS 4, TWINS 3:
Jason Kendall's two-out RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning tied the game, and the Milwaukee catcher came around to score after two errors in an unlikely victory that ended a four-game losing streak.
WHITE SOX 10, DODGERS 7:
Josh Fields snapped out of a slump by hitting two of his team's season-high six homers and host Chicago built a 10-3 lead after five innings, then held on to beat Los Angeles, which closed to three on Matt Kemp's three-run homer in the eighth.
ROYALS 4, ASTROS 3:
Miguel Olivo homered on the first pitch in the top of the 11th inning off Jeff Fulchino (2-3) and John Bale pitched a perfect bottom of the inning for his first save as Kansas City beat Houston for its second straight victory.
RANGERS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1:
Vicente Padilla (6-3) allowed one run and six hits over seven innings, Taylor Teagarden and David Murphy each drove in a run, and visiting Texas beat Arizona to snap a five-game losing streak and remain tied with Los Angeles for the AL West lead.
GIANTS 6, ATHLETICS 3:
Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer and 45-year-old Randy Johnson (7-5) allowed a run on six hits in seven innings to earn career victory No. 302 as visiting San Francisco beat Oakland, which got a solo homer from Maui's Kurt Suzuki off reliever Sergio Romo.
MARINERS 4, PADRES 3:
Russell Branyan hit a three-run homer in the second inning and Franklin Gutierrez led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a homer off reliever Edward Mujica as Seattle won its 19th one-run game of the season by holding off San Diego,
ANGELS 11, ROCKIES 3:
Vladimir Guerrero ended a 28-game home run drought and had three RBIs, and Bobby Abreu drove in three runs with a homer and a double in support of Joe Saunders (8-4) as host Los Angeles pounded Colorado.