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Rangers Sweep Cardinals in St. Louis

The Texas Rangers continued their excellent road play this weekend, improving to 22-17, after sweeping baseballs best.  The St. Louis Cardinals, who are arguably the leagues best offensive team, managed just 7 runs off the Rangers pitchers.  Starters Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Nick Tepesch allowed all 7 runs as the bulpen pitched 7.1 shutout innings.  Joe Nathan earned his 23rd, 24th and 25th save this weekend.  The Rangers beat Adam Wainwright and Shelby MillerAllen Craig was the only Cardinal to have 2 RBI this weekend.

In the opener, the Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 1, but Mitch Moreland, Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz drove in 4 in the top of the 2nd before Pete Kozma scored and tied it on a passed ball in the bottom.  It was 4-4 the rest of the game until the 9th inning, when Cruz drove in 2 runs off Trevor Rosenthal.  In game 2, A.J. Pierzynski and Cruz homered off Shelby Miller, both 2 run shots, in the 2nd and 3rd innings and neither team would score after that.  On Sunday Night Baseball, Adam Wainwright was pitching a shutout heading into the 7th, when singles by Leonys Martin and Ian Kinsler plated 2 runs.  It would be the only runs the Rangers need to beat Wainwright.  Matt Carpenter homered for the Red Birds in the bottom of the 6th.

The Rockies and Nationals split a four game set in DC.  Roy Oswalt made his season debut for the Rockies striking out 11 but Jordan Zimmermann was just too much for Colorado.  Zimmermann struck out 9, allowed 1 run (unearned) and won his 10th.  Rafael Soriano saved his 19th game.  Stephen Strasburg followed the next night with 9 Ks of his own winning his 4th and Ian Desmond provided some support with his 12th home run.  He also hit one the night before.  The Rockies won the final two games with Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge de la Rosa picking up Ws.  Rex Brothers picked up his 4th save. 

Carlos Gonzalez struck out 8 times in just 17 ABs this weekend and left yesterdays contest with leg cramps.  Michael Cuddyer continues to be great, going 6 for 16 with a home run and 5 RBI.  DJ LeMahieu had 8 hits, including his first home run of the season and 5 RBI.  The Rockies managed just 2 runs over the first two games and 14 over their wins.

Since being traded to the Mets, Eric Young Jr. is 8 for 22 with 3 doubles and 5 RBI.  This weekend in Philly he was 7 for 14 with those 3 doubles and helped the Mets take 2 of 3 from the Phillies.  The Mets nearly swept Philadelphia, after being down 7-1 on Saturday, they managed to tie the game in the 9th off Jonathan Papelbon but the Phillies walked off in the bottom of the inning. 

David Wright and Ryan Howard each had monster games in this series with Howard hitting 2 home runs and driving in 4 on Saturday and Wright hitting 2 doubles, a triple and a home run on Sunday.

Chase Utley returned to Philly and went 2 for 13 with a double and 4 Ks.

Cole Hamels fell to 2-11 as the Mets came back from down 3-0 to beat him 4-3.  Bobby Parnell saved his 12th.  Matt Harvey improved to 7-1 with 6 shutout innings and 6 Ks.  he would have gone the distance most likely, but yesterday was delayed due to rain.

Gerardo Parra set the table for a Diamondbacks series win over the Reds in Arizona.  Parra picked up 5 hits, including 2 home runs, and hit his 24th double.  Paul Goldschmidt homered twice in Saturdays win and now has 19 home runs.  Aroldis Chapman blew a save and a win for Mike Leake but followed that up with his 19th save during Mat Latos 7th victory.

Jay Bruce had 5 hits for the Reds including 2 doubles (24) and 3 homers(18).

The Padres took the first two of a four game set by a score of 11-5 and lost the second half by a combined score of 9-2.  Pitching performances from Zack Greinke and Chris Capuano saved the series for the Dodgers.  Greinke won his 4th game lasting 8 innings and allowing a single earned run while striking out 8.

Hanley Ramirez has been hot since his return from the DL and added 5 hits this weekend including his 3rd and 4th home runs.  Adrian Gonzalez also homered twice for the Dodgers and now has 10 on the year. 

Wil Venable went 0 for 12 with 5 strikeouts.

Huston Street saved his 15th game for the Padres and Kenley Jansen saved his 4th for the Dodgers.

The Miami Marlins took 3 of 4 from the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.  Gregor Blanco had one heckuva series picking up 9 hits in 18 at bats, but the team failed behind him as he scored just twice.  Marcell Ozuna continues to be great for the Marlins, with 6 hits and 6 RBI in just 14 ABs including 2 doubles and his second home run.  Steve Cishek earned his 12th save for Miami.

After praising Jordan Lyles recently, he took the mound on Sunday and got rocked by the Cubbies.  Lyles lasted just 5 innings and suffered 10 hits,  & 8 runs (5 earned).  The Cubs took the rubber game, supporting a decent start from Jeff Samardzija who won his 5th game.  Ryan Sweeney and Anthony Rizzo went off, driving in 10 runs and each hitting home runs.  Sweeney drove in 6!  Rizzo drove in 4 and scored 4 times, he also homered in the series opener.  Matt Garza was excellent in that one going 8 strong innings allowing 4 hits, 1 run and striking out 8.  Kevin Gregg saved the game, his 11th.  Gregg allowed the winning run to score in the top of 9th the next night in the Astros only win.  Jose Veras saved the game for the Stros for the 15th time.

The Braves avoided a 3 game sweep by the Brewers after being shut out twice in a row with a 7-2 win yesterday.  Wily Peralta and Donovan Hand started the first two games for Milwaukee and shut out the Braves for 11.2 innings.  The bullpen did the rest of the work over 6.1 innings.  Jim Henderson saved his 10th game on Friday and Francisco Rodriguez saved hsi 4th on Saturday.  The Brewers battered lineup only managed 4 runs themselves over the two wins with help from Aramis Ramirez, Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura, who each had 3 hit games.  Paul Maholm won his 8th game on Sunday and saved the Braves while the Brewers lost not only the game but Carlos Gomez.  Maholm was backed by home runs from Brian McCann, Jordan Schafer and Chris JohnsonCraig Kimbrel earned his 21st save for Atlanta.