Baseball-Highlights of Saturday’s MLB games (Reuters)

Aug 24 (The Sports XChange) – Highlights of Saturday’s Major League Baseball games – - – - Athletics 2, Orioles 1 Coco Crisp led off the ninth inning with a solo home run and Jarrod Parker pitched eight strong innings to win his eighth straight decision as the Oakland Athletics beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1. Oakland (72-56) snapped a three-game losing streak and moved three games ahead of the Orioles (69-59) for the second American League wild card spot. Crisp has hit home runs in three straight games while Jed Lowrie added an run-scoring double and a single for the A’s. …

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The Juice: Mark Ellis beats Yankees with walkoff single, sending Dodgers to 27th win in 33 games (Big League Stew)

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As the Associated Press reported, Mark Ellis and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been sizzling lately. Ellis is batting .415 since the All-Star break, getting hits in 11 straight games including a walkoff single Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium that sent his team to a 3-2 victory against the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers have been hot for even longer, going 27-6 since June 22, their best stretch since going 29-5 from Aug. 7-Sept. 9 1953. It’s been a fun run, Ellis said:

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Lucas Duda Helping Revive New York Mets’ Offense (Yahoo! Contributor Network)

COMMENTARY | The New York Mets have won five straight games, including a surprising four-game sweep of the New York Yankees in this year’s Subway Series. The pitching has been incredible, but Terry Collins has seen his offense start to come back to life. Lucas Duda being more aggressive at the plate is a major reason why.

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Byrd is the Word For The Mets

New York – Jose Fernandez the 20-year old pitching prospect for the Miami Marlins made his Major League debut at Citi Field Sunday afternoon and the right hander from Cuba was everything that was expected. A good fastball and curve ball from Hernandez limited the New York Mets to one run and three hits in three innings.

“That guy is everything they talked about, outstanding stuff,” commented Mets manager Terry Collins about Fernandez. “Strike one on almost everybody. “ He comprised strike after strike, impressive.”

Fernandez would leave and the Mets would capitalize, but not until the ninth inning. Marlon Byrd hit a two run single that was inside third base and New York would come from behind and get their first walk-0ff win of the young season, 4-3.

The Mets finished their opening home stand of the season 4-2 and embarked on their first road trip, ten games to Philadelphia, Minnesota and Colorado.

Daniel Murphy concluded the first stint at home with success, a solo home run off A.J. Ramos in the sixth inning to center, his second, and drove in his fifth run in the last three games. His production is what the Mets have been looking for and an extra base hit in three straight games is a positive sign.

“That guy’s got good stuff,” said Murphy about Fernandez. “I thought we stayed patient. We were able to kind of get that pitch count up just a bit to get into their bullpen in the sixth. You get in the sixth it gives you four shots at the bullpen and that’s kind of what we’re looking for.”

Fernandez, the youngest pitcher in Marlins franchise history has a good story. The Cuban refugee came to the United States in 2008 and was a 14th round pick out of a Tampa Florida High School in the 2011 amateur draft.  He was 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA in the minors last season.

The Marlins have said they intend to keep Fernandez in their rotation, and after his debut there is every reason to do that with a limited pitch count. Fernandez struck out eight, the first victim of his career was Ike Davis in the first.

“I was more nervous watching five through nine than I was pitching,’ he said. It didn’t feel any different. It was more like a spring training game.” But it was a regular season game, one the Marlins were hoping to win, that is until their bullpen gave it up and the fastball at times was clocked at 95.

New York is depending on a revamped pitching staff with the absence of Johan Santana, out for the season with surgery again to his shoulder. And right hander Shaun Marcum has been sidelined with stiffness, so left hander Aaron Laffey  was recalled from AAA Las Vegas after limited appearances with Toronto last season.

Laffey gave up 10-hits and three runs in 4/1-3 innings, but the Mets bullpen was able to keep the game close. Collins used five arms out of the bullpen that threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

“We hung in there and didn’t let the game get away which I thought was the biggest factor,” added Collins who saw his team get their second comeback win of the season.

In the end it was Byrd who got his fifth career walk off hit and Scott Rice out of the, pen getting his first Major League win. Byrd was inserted in the fifth when Collins made a double switch also scored some points from Collins. The veteran in an outfield rotation may see more playing time. He kept sharp playing in the Mexican league this winter.

“It’s huge to show we can win close games,” said Byrd who struck out twice before the game winning hit.” More so, a win that was huge early in the season.

“Two games over .500 instead of one,” said Ike Davis.  Because winning series are important and the Mets have come out of the gate and won their first two.

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Posted under Bullpen, Cuban Refugee, Curve Ball, Daniel Murphy, Fastball, Florida High School, League Debut, Mets New York, New York Mets, Ninth Inning, Right Hander, Sixth Inning, Straight Games, Three Games, Top Story

Post Game Tidbits

RA Dickey pitches another great game for the Mets

- The Mets won 4-3 behind the strong pitching of RA Dickey, who gave up three runds in 6-plus innings.

- Dickey also had two hits on the day.

- Henry Blanco said after the game he had a herniated disc in his neck, which he received a shot for. That’s why the Mets called up Omar Santos.

- This is the Mets 20th home win, which is the most in the Majors.

- This is also their sixth straight win at Citi Field. The last time they lost a game at home, it was on May 21st against the Yankees.

- Ruben Tejada went 1-4 tonight with a third inning double and drove in the go-ahead run on a groundout in the sixth for his first MLB RBI.

- Jeff Francoeur has hit in eight straight games hitting .500 over that stretch with two doubles and four RBI.

- Jason Bay was 2-4 with an RBI. Dating back May 9th against San Francisco he is hitting .429 at home with five doubles, two homers and 10 RBI.

- Angel Pagan picked up an assist in the third inning for his team leading sixth.

- The last time an opponent hit a homer at Citi Field was May 12th when Roger Bernadina of the Nats hit two.

- The Mets will make a decision tomorrow on Jon Niese. They still home Oliver Perez will accept a demotion, but it doesn’t sound hopeful.

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