Rocket launching Australian righty GRANT BALFOUR
was once again thrust into a tough situation for the Tampa Bay Rays in what
would be a disappointing 6-7 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Grant was called
upon early to douse the embers of an out of control fire after ace starter
Scott Kazmir had allowed seven runs on eight hits with one out in the fifth
inning. Although much of the damage had already been done, Balfour did a
solid job under the circumstances with 1.2ip 1h 0er 1bb 1k (5.12ERA) to
restore some sanity in the game for Tampa Bay. He inherited runners at
second and third with one out in the fifth but he quickly added Ryan Sweeney
to the out list when he struck out peering at a 94mph four-seamer that
clipped the outside of the plate. Unfortunately Grant cashed in the last two
runs for Kazmir when Orlando Cabrera slapped a two-RBI single into left
field. He ended the fifth when Kurt Suzuki flied out to centre field. 'Balf'
then banked a scoreless sixth that was punctuated only by a one out walk
issued to Matt Holliday. He got Jack Cust to ground out to the second
baseman, Jason Giambi to fly out to left field and Adam Kennedy to fly out
to centre field. His 21 pitches were enough for him on this day.
Aussie reliever PETER MOYLAN
was the first pitcher used by the Atlanta Braves today who was able to apply
the brakes on a runaway Colorado Rockies freight train in a game that they
were already trailing by the final score of 0-9. Our Pete put up a blank for
the eighth inning with his 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (5.52ERA) effort. Pitching to
a tough part of the 'Rox' lineup he got dangerous veteran Todd Helton to
ground out to the first baseman before losing a nine-pitch battle to walk
Brad Hawpe. This was quickly eradicated when he induced Chris Iannetta to
ground into an inning ending double play that he started by fielding the
came-backer himself. He had done his job for the day, even if others hadn't!
KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) found
himself on the losing side of his "topsy-turvy" season today with a
tough-luck fourth loss handed to him after his Texas Rangers were narrowly
out lasted 3-4 by the Detroit Tigers. 'Big Kev' pitched a typically lion
hearted 8.0ip 6h 4er 4bb 3k, but he saw his record levelled out at 4-4,
3.12ERA after a couple of home run balls really hurt his cause today.
Not even a healthy 2-4 (.268) plus a walk
VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) could help
his Toronto Blue Jays from slumping to a series sweep at the hands of their
division rival Boston Red Sox in a series finale 1-5 loss to the 'Bosox' at
... and from other MLB games yesterday:
GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted
1-3 (.276) plus a walk, but it was not enough to prevent his Los Angeles
Angels from coming up short in their 0-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) enjoyed another successful
start as catcher for the Atlanta Braves with a strong 1-4 (.263) plus a
walk, two RBIs and a run scored in their 12-4 win over the Colorado Rockies.