More zeros make Zito a hero
Phillies turn triple play, get 15 Ks from Hamels
The Barry Zito that San Francisco Giants fans saw in his first two starts of the season looked nothing like a former Cy Young Award winner who just signed the richest contract ever for a pitcher.
Now that he's no longer trying to live up to the expectations that came with his $126 million, seven-year contract, Zito has once again found his groove.
Zito put together his second straight scoreless outing to earn his first win at home with the Giants, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1-0, yesterday behind Barry Bonds's 739th career home run.
"I think I was getting caught up in everything," said Zito, who was 0-2 with an 8.18 ERA after his first two starts of the season. "It started to seem like more than baseball. There was a whole lot of stuff going on. These last couple of games it's been go out and have fun like when you're a kid. Put everything outside your head and let your stuff work for you."
Zito (2-2) followed up his six scoreless innings in Colorado Monday with 7 1/3 more against the Diamondbacks, the first time he has had consecutive scoreless starts since winning the AL Cy Young Award with Oakland in 2002.
Bonds provided the offense with a home run to lead off the second inning against Edgar Gonzalez (1-2) that left him 17 homers away from breaking Hank Aaron's career record of 755.
Phillies 4, Reds 1 -- Cole Hamels had a career-high 15 strikeouts in his first complete game and visiting Philadelphia turned the first triple play in the major leagues this season in a victory over Cincinnati.
Hamels (2-0) allowed five hits and walked two. His previous career best for strikeouts was 12, which he reached twice last season.
The Phillies backed Hamels with their first triple play since May 15, 1999, against the New York Mets. With Josh Hamilton on second base and Edwin Encarnacion on first in the fifth inning, David Ross hit a grounder to Phillies third baseman Abraham Nunez, who stepped on third to force Hamilton and threw to second baseman Chase Utley to force Encarnacion for the second out. Utley's relay to first baseman Wes Helms caught Ross by a step.
Mets 7, Braves 2 -- Oliver Perez (2-1) struck out nine and walked none, and Carlos Beltran had four hits for the second time in three games to lead host New York past Atlanta.
The Mets got big home runs from backups Ramon Castro and Damion Easley. Jose Reyes also homered off Chuck James (2-2) as New York's offense broke out after getting shut down by Tim Hudson Friday.
Marlins 9, Nationals 3 -- Hanley Ramirez and Jason Wood homered to help host Florida beat Washington and end a six-game losing streak.
Anibal Sanchez (2-0) pitched five innings, giving up three runs and five hits. He left because of cramping in his right hamstring.
Dodgers 7, Pirates 3 -- Russell Martin hit a walkoff grand slam off Shawn Chacon for Los Angeles, which won in 10 innings after tying Pittsburgh with a run in the ninth.
Cubs 6, Cardinals 0 -- Jason Marquis (2-1) pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and shut out his former team on seven hits over seven innings, and Michael Barrett hit a three-run homer to lead host Chicago over St. Louis.
Brewers 6, Astros 4 -- J.J. Hardy hit two homers and drove in three runs as host Milwaukee ended Houston's five-game winning streak.
Padres 7, Rockies 3 -- Clay Hensley (1-3) worked six strong innings despite a blister and Marcus Giles had four hits for San Diego in Denver.
Angels 7, Mariners 6 -- Bartolo Colon's return from the disabled list was a success as the righthander allowed only one run over seven innings for host Los Angeles.
Vladimir Guerrero had a two-run homer for the Angels. The Mariners made it close on Ben Broussard's pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth.
Orioles 5, Blue Jays 2 -- Adam Loewen (2-0) combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter, and host Baltimore beat Toronto for its seventh win in eight games.
Devil Rays 6, Indians 5 -- Jae Seo (1-1) won for the first time since July, Ben Zobrist drove in two runs, and host Tampa Bay beat Cleveland.
White Sox 7, Tigers 5 -- Jermaine Dye doubled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, giving visiting Chicago its fourth straight win.
Rangers 7, Athletics 0 -- Matt Kata hit a three-run homer and Kameron Loe (1-0) combined with four relievers on a three-hit shutout for host Texas.
Twins 7, Royals 5 -- Mike Redmond had three hits and three RBIs to help Minnesota win at Kansas City.