Zack Greinke is in midseason form. Cole Hamels is just starting his season. Greinke outpitched Hamels with seven strong innings, Hanley Ramirez homered and Yasiel Puig drove in two runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. J.P. Howell got three outs in the eighth, and Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save after the Dodgers picked up a couple of insurance runs in the eighth on Ramirez's leadoff homer to center and Justin Turner's RBI single off Shawn Camp.
Kyle Lohse pumped his right first waiting in the on-deck circle as Jean Segura's three-run homer cleared the left-field fence in the second inning. It sure felt good for Milwaukee's veteran right-hander to get some early run support in Miller Park from a lineup off to a middling start at the plate at home. Lohse allowed five hits and no walks in seven innings, Khris Davis added a solo shot in the fourth and the Brewers improved to a big league-best 16-6 with a 5-2 win Wednesday night over the San Diego Padres. Brewers batters backed up another good outing by the pitching staff with nine hits at home, where the team had been averaging just two runs and six hits entering the night.
The pine tar on Michael Pineda's neck was a stain for the New York Yankees. General manager Brian Cashman was ''embarrassed.'' Manager Joe Girardi called it ''poor judgment.'' And Pineda was ''sad'' and vowed not to do it again. The Yankees' right-hander was ejected for using pine tar less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, and the Red Sox beat New York 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Trailing by two runs with two men on in the bottom of the ninth inning, Washington's Jayson Werth worked a 3-0 count against Angels closer Ernesto Frieri. ''I can't imagine anybody thinking that J-Dub's going to swing,'' Werth's teammate Adam LaRoche said. ''Surprised all of us.'' Werth did indeed go after the next pitch, hitting it down the third-base line for a game-tying, two-run double that ended Frieri's rough outing. LaRoche then produced an RBI single off the first pitch from Fernando Salas to cap a four-run rally in the ninth, and the Nationals beat the Angels 5-4 Wednesday night to avoid a sweep.
With a 360-foot relay in the ninth inning, the New York Mets prevented a hard-fought victory from vanishing in the wind. Lucas Duda hit a long home run and New York threw out the potential tying run at the plate to hold off the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Wednesday on a blustery night at Citi Field. Jonathon Niese earned his first win of the season, and shortstop Ruben Tejada cut down Matt Carpenter for the second out of the ninth on a strong relay from center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis. ''My heart's still racing,'' Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud said.
Chris Tillman allowed season-highs in hits, home runs and earned runs against the Blue Jays. None of that bothered Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. Nelson Cruz hit two of Baltimore's season-high four home runs, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters also connected and the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 Wednesday night.
Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected for using pine tar less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, and the Red Sox beat New York 5-1 on Wednesday night. The right-hander was thrown out in the second inning when plate umpire Gerry Davis found the substance on the right side of Pineda's neck after Red Sox manager John Farrell asked him to check. Pineda walked from the mound without protest.
On the night he became the franchise's career leader in total bases, Paul Konerko liked what he saw from some of the younger Chicago White Sox. Marcus Semien's seventh-inning grand slam lifted the White Sox over the Detroit Tigers 6-4 Wednesday night. It was the first career grand slam for the 23-year-old Semien, and it turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead. ''I think everybody's really done a good job of ... having an awareness of where things are at in the game, the scoreboard, what the guy's trying to do to me.'' Konerko had three hits for the White Sox, including an eighth-inning double that moved him past Frank Thomas atop the team's career total bases list.
Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night. Simon has pitched at least six innings in each of his four starts this season as a replacement for the injured Mat Latos. Bruce had two hits and knocked in the final run of the decisive three-run fifth inning against Charlie Morton (0-3) that gave the Reds a 4-2 lead. Billy Hamilton also had two hits for Cincinnati, which has won seven of 10 games since a 3-7 start.
Backup catcher Hector Sanchez played a starring role in a wild win. Sanchez hit two of San Francisco's six homers, including a grand slam in the 11th inning Wednesday that gave the Giants a thrilling 12-10 victory over the Colorado Rockies. With the Giants on the verge of being swept in a three-game series at Coors Field for the first time in 12 years, Sanchez drove a fastball from Chad Bettis (0-1) into the bushes behind center field. ''Everybody wants to be the hero,'' said Sanchez, who was spelling Buster Posey in a day game following a night contest.
New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from a game against the Boston Red Sox in the second inning Wednesday night after umpires found a foreign substance on his neck. Pineda's ejection occurred 13 days after the right-hander had brown goo on the lower part of the palm of his pitching hand during a 4-1 win over Boston at Yankee Stadium. But with two outs, no runners and a 1-2 count on Grady Sizemore on Wednesday, Farrell left the dugout to talk with plate umpire Gerry Davis, who went to the mound. Davis touched the right side of the pitcher's neck with his index finger then ejected Pineda as other umpires and Yankee infielders stood nearby.
With one swing, Kyle Seager hopes he ended his personal skid at the plate and the Seattle Mariners' slide. ''Any time you see the ball hit the ground, it's obviously a big confidence booster,'' Seager said. Thankfully.'' Seager hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth, his second of the game, and the Mariners rallied for a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday to stop an eight-game losing streak. With Seattle on the verge of getting swept for the second straight series, Seager hit a two-run homer in the seventh off starter Jarred Cosart.
With the Texas rotation ravaged by injuries early in the season, Martin Perez has more than filled the void. Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and the Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 3-0 victory Wednesday. ''He's been the glue,'' manager Ron Washington said. He's the one guy in that rotation who's been in it from last year who hasn't had a blip yet.'' The Rangers have been without Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis already at times this season but still find themselves in first place thanks to some strong play from fill-ins and major improvement from Perez.
The Oakland Athletics say they are stopping negotiations to extend their lease at the Coliseum. A's President Michael Crowley issued the statement Wednesday after the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority said the team owes more than $5 million in back rent. Crowley says the team owes no money and says rent payments were deducted in the past for items allowed under the terms of the lease. The A's current lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2015 season, and the team rejected a 10-year extension offer on Tuesday, saying the deal ''did not address all of our issues.'' The A's have been searching for a new home for years, complaining that O.co Coliseum is dilapidated and not conducive to baseball.
The Chicago Cubs celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first game at Wrigley Field in the most appropriate way: with a gut-wrenching loss. After an error by shortstop Starlin Castro, the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied for five runs in the ninth to beat the Cubs 7-5 Wednesday. ''That one finished not like we would have wanted, obviously,'' Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. ''It seemed like the inning kept opening up, and we weren't able to end up in the end putting a stop to it.'' Martin Prado hit a two-run single off Pedro Strop (0-2), Miguel Montero had a tying single against James Russell and Aaron Hill followed with a two-run triple off Justin Grimm.
San Diego Padres starter Josh Johnson is scheduled to undergo elbow ligament-replacement surgery for the second time and will miss the entire season. He strained his elbow during spring training and the Padres initially thought he would be out about one month. He was examined after the lastest setback by Dr. James Andrews, who performed Tommy John surgery on Johnson in 2007. You know Josh Johnson has been banged up the last couple of years.
The Indians believe the only tipping Danny Salazar is doing is to cab drivers and waitresses. One night after Cleveland's struggling right-hander said he might be tipping his pitches, Indians manager Terry Francona said Salazar is just leaving too many over the plate. Francona was surprised Salazar would say he was giving hitters clues. ''He's not,'' Francona said.