Zito, Giants dominate Cardinals, 2-0
SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Zito's new have-fun, don't-stress-the-small-stuff approach sure is working. So much so that he resembles his old Cy Young Award self from eight years ago with Oakland.
He's talking to himself on the mound and showing emotion with a subtle fist pump here and there. His curveball is as nasty as ever and he's striking out the middle of the opponent's order — he even had slugger Albert Pujols fuming.
Zito struck out 10 over eight dominant innings, pinch-hitter Andres Torres singled in the first run of the game in the eighth and the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0, last night.
"I'm just trying to have fun playing baseball and pitch," Zito said. "Not make it more complicated than it is."
Zito outpitched Adam Wainwright (3-1) — who allowed two runs over eight innings — in an impressive duel, earning his first career victory against the Cardinals after starting 0-4 in his initial five outings.
"That guy was on fire," Giants closer Brian Wilson said. "The curveball was the curveball I remember watching a few years ago."
San Francisco took the series opener 4-1 on Friday night to end a four-game skid, then the Giants handed the Cardinals their first series defeat of the year. St. Louis won its opening five sets.
Zito (3-0) allowed three hits and walked three in a 114-pitch performance. Wilson pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four tries and second of the series.
Zito didn't allow a hit until Felipe Lopez's leadoff single in the fourth and got Pujols on an inside fastball for a called third strike to end the sixth. Pujols argued with plate umpire Mike Reilly, then manager Tony La Russa also came out to chat.
Zito finished strong by striking out the side in the eighth inning.
"I didn't want to give them any space to breathe, any space to get a foot in the door," Zito said. "Slam the door."
DODGERS 4, NATIONALS 3
Russell Martin lined a two-out RBI single off Miguel Batista in the 13th inning, Casey Blake threw out the potential tying run at home in the bottom half after homering twice as Los Angeles beat host Washington. Batista (0-2) entered in the 11th and retired the first two batters in the 13th. But Rafael Furcal singled, stole second, and scored on Martin's hit to center on a full count.
METS 3, BRAVES 1
Jason Bay hit a tying double in the sixth inning, Jeff Francoeur doubled in the go-ahead run with a drive off the 415-foot sign in the seventh and host New York finally got to Jair Jurrjens in a victory over Atlanta. Jurrjens (0-2) entered 6-1 in his career against the Mets, including 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA in five starts last year.
PADRES 5, REDS 0
Adrian Gonzalez homered for the second straight day, Wade LeBlanc (1-0) pitched three-hit ball over six innings and San Diego won its eighth straight by beating host Cincinnati. Will Venable also connected and Yorvit Torrealba added a two-run double to help send the Reds to their eighth loss in 10 games.
PHILLIES 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Jayson Werth hit two solo homers, including a tiebreaking shot in the ninth inning, and Raul Ibanez also connected to lead Philadelphia past host Arizona. Ibanez tied it with a solo shot in the seventh inning and Werth hit a mammoth drive to center off Juan Gutierrez (0-2) with two outs in the ninth.
CUBS 5, BREWERS 1
Ted Lilly threw six shutout innings in his season debut and Carlos Zambrano made his first appearance out of the bullpen in almost eight years as Chicago defeated host Milwaukee. Lilly (1-0) gave up three hits, struck out four and walked two after being activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He was out while recovering from shoulder surgery in November. Zambrano gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings and had a sacrifice fly in a three-run eighth inning.
ASTROS 5, PIRATES 2
Wandy Rodriguez (1-2) struck out seven in 7 1/3 innings as host Houston beat Pittsburgh in a game that began with Pirates' starter Chris Jakubauskas (1-0) getting hit in the head by Lance Berkman's line drive. Jakubauskas was taken off the field on a cart. He was rushed to a Houston hospital, and was being kept overnight for observation.
MARLINS 4, ROCKIES 1, 1ST GAME. ROCKIES 8, MARLINS 1, 2ND GAME:
Aaron Cook (1-2) overcame his early-season struggles to throw a five-hitter, Miguel Olivo hit his 100th career homer and host Colorado gained a doubleheader split with Florida. In the opener, Ricky Nolasco (2-0) limited the Rockies to one run in eight innings and Dan Uggla and Brett Carroll each homered in Florida's victory.
YANKEES 7, ANGELS 1
Andy Pettitte threw eight sharp innings, Robinson Cano had four hits, and Nick Swisher and No. 9 hitter Francisco Cervelli each drove in two runs as New York beat host Los Angeles. Pettitte (3-0) allowed six hits, struck out eight and walked none.
WHITE SOX 5, MARINERS 4
Alex Rios hit a game-ending two-run homer in the ninth after Paul Konerko homered, and host Chicago beat Seattle. Trailing 4-2 in the ninth with one out, Konerko hit a solo home run off Mariners closer David Aardsma (0-1). With two outs, Carlos Quentin walked and Rios hit a 1-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers to win the game.
INDIANS 6, ATHLETICS 1
Mark Grudzielanek hit a tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning and Fausto Carmona had another stellar outing as Cleveland beat host Oakland. Carmona (3-0) scattered seven hits over 7 1/3 innings and struck out four while lowering his ERA to 2.96.
TWINS 9, ROYALS 7, 12 INNINGS
Joe Mauer matched a career high with five hits and Denard Span singled home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning, sending Minnesota to a victory over host Kansas City. Justin Morneau hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh for the Twins, who overcame an early 5-1 deficit. Mauer, last year's AL MVP, finished 5 for 6 with two RBIs, including a sacrifice fly in the 12th that gave Minnesota an insurance run.
RAYS 9, BLUE JAYS 3
Jason Bartlett and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs apiece during a seven-run eighth inning, John Jaso hit his first major league homer and host Tampa Bay beat Toronto. B.J. Upton tied it at 3 on an RBI single in the eighth off Scott Downs (0-2). Pinch-hitter Reid Brignac drew a bases-loaded walk from Casey Janssen, who also hit Jaso with a pitch as the Rays took a 5-3 lead. Bartlett and Zobrist added two-run singles to make it 9-3.
RED SOX 7, ORIOLES 6
Marco Scutaro and Kevin Youkilis each hit a three-run homer as host Boston scored six times in the seventh inning to rally from a two-run deficit and beat Baltimore. John Lackey (2-1) gave up three runs and 10 hits in seven innings. The Orioles scored three in the ninth to cut a 7-3 deficit to one run, but after giving up three straight singles Jonathan Papelbon struck out Ty Wigginton and new call-up Rhyne Hughes to earn his fifth save.
TIGERS 8, RANGERS 4
Johnny Damon drove in two runs and scored twice, helping Detroit rally from an early four-run deficit to beat host Texas. Eddie Bonine (2-0) pitched three scoreless innings in relief of spot starter Brad Thomas, who gave up four runs in three innings. Thomas started in place of Dontrelle Willis, scratched because of an upset stomach.