The Lineup: Welcome back, Brian Roberts
Tuesday night saw a taste of history and a long-awaited comeback. Wednesday night will see aces aplenty.
Alex Rodriguez made history. Bryce Harper did what he does. Clay Buchholz continued his renaissance. But the real story is what happened in Baltimore.
Full Tuesday scoreboard with box scores and recaps for all games
Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles - Coming into Tuesday night, Roberts hadn't played in a major-league game in more than a year -- since May 16, 2011, to be exact -- because of a severe concussion and subsequent post-concussion symptoms. For a while, it appeared that Roberts's goal was merely to lead a normal life, not play baseball again. But Roberts methodically fought his way back, and on Tuesday he was finally back in the Oriole lineup and batting leadoff. That alone would've been enough to land him on this list, but then he laced a single his first time up. That, of course, cinched it. And then he went 3-for-4 on the night. So here's to better days and better health ahead for Brian Roberts.
Madison Bumgarner , San Francisco Giants - It's one thing to strike out 12, but it's another thing to become the first Giant in 16 home games to hit a home run. Bumgarner did all of those things against the Astros on Tuesday night. In doing so, he became the first San Fran hurler to strike out 10 or more and hit a home run in the same game since 1985. Oh, and he also walked none and gave up only one earned in 7.2 innings.
Brandon Moss , A's - Moss tallied a pair of homers in Oakland Athletics 's win over the Rockies, and Moss's A's hit four home runs in a game for the first time since June 3, 2010.
Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers : Sure, Peralta went 0-for-3 in Detroit's 4-3 loss to the lowly Chicago Cubs , but the real crime was his committing back-to-back throwing errors in the eighth. The second of those errors allowed the eventual winning run to score.
Cleveland Indians bullpen: It was a 2-1 deficit when Tribe starter Jeanmar Gomez handed it over to the pen. But then Joe Smith , Tony Sipp and Jeremy Accardo combined to give up five runs on seven hits in 3.0 innings pitched. The cross-state Cincinnati Reds won easily thanks to the Cleveland relief corps.
Mark Rzepczynski, St. Louis Cardinals : Heading into the 2012 season, there was talk that "Scrabble" could be more than a lefty specialist. He was an eighth-inning guy for sure, maybe even a closer and maybe even a starter. But he's taken a big step back this season. After Tuesday night's blow-up against the Chicago White Sox (0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 HR), his ERA stands at 5.48. It's probably time for manager Mike Matheny to remove him from high-leverage duties.
Stras. Burg: Yes, every single Stephen Strasburg start merits "On deck" status. He's that good, and he's that enjoyable to watch ply his trade. In Wednesday's lone matinee, Strasburg will oppose Kyle Drabek of the Toronto Blue Jays , who's coming off one of his strongest starts of the season. Is any hitter hotter than Bryce Harper right now? 12:37 pm ET
R.A. and the Tampa Bay Rays : Just as one should not squander a chance to watch Strasburg, one should similarly go to great lengths to see an R.A. Dickey start. That goes double when his opposing number is Rays ace David Price , who boasts a 2.40 ERA this season despite having pitched a pretty brutal schedule. 7:10 pm ET
Surprise aces: Jake Peavy was supposed to brittle and past his prime. Lance Lynn was supposed to be a reliever in starter's clothing. Instead, both are looking like Cy Young contenders. Both will also be on the mound when the White Sox and Cardinals go at it. 8:15 pm ET
Wednesday probables for all games
• Divided loyalties: If you're a betrayed Expos fans, should you pull for the Washington Nationals , the team that was plucked from your city of Montreal? Or should you pull for the Blue Jays, your Canadian label-mates? Ian Mendes of the Ottawa Citizen explores the pros and cons.
• But he's got good bloodlines: What happens when a father scouts his son? Find out when Larry Stone of the Seattle Times picks the brain of Reds' scout Greg Zunino on the topic of his son, Seattle Mariners ' top draft pick Mike Zunino.
• R.I.P, Roger Jongewaard: Farewell to a scouting legend, Roger Jongewaard, who passed away Monday at the age of 76. Among his countless baseball achievements was serving as Mariners scouting director when they drafted Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Tino Martinez, Jose Cruz Jr., and Jason Varitek. He'll be missed. [MLB.com]
• A very Cubs concert: Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters crashed a plane inside Wrigley Field. On purpose. Anthony Rizzo was obviously not harmed. That is all. [Big League Stew]
• Old Milwaukee: The Milwaukee Brewers donned 1980s garb for their recent road trip. Props to whoever it was who braved the Bjorn Borg look. Still, if you want to impress me, go 1890s-style. [LobShots]
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