2008 June

1st      The Cubs best the Rockies, 5-3. Chicago begins June with the best record in baseball for the first time since 1908.

The Supreme Court turns down MLB’s appeal of a St. Louis U.S. Court of Appeals ruling regarding fantasy baseball. MLB had sued CBC Distribution & Marketing claiming that fantasy baseball was an infringement on its intellectual property, saying that names and stats belong to MLB.  The NBA and NFL had joined with MLB. The court’s decision solidifies the rights of fantasy-sports companies to run their businesses without having to buy licenses from the major sports leagues or their players’ unions anymore.”

Brian Bannister pitches into the 8th as the Royals win their 2nd in a row, topping visiting Cleveland, 6-1. The Royals had lost 12 straight before the modest win streak.

2ndChase Utley hits his 20th homer and Pat Burrell cracks a tie-breaking 2-run double as the Phils reclaim first place with a 7-5 win over the Marlins.  Utley has hit homers in four straight games and will hit another tomorrow to tie a club record.

In Arlington, the Indians hit four homeruns to down the Rangers, 13-7. Casey Blake has a pair of homers and a double to drive in 7 of the Tribe’s runs. Doug Mathis gives up 8 runs in 3+ innings but avoids a loss.

3rdThe Brewers defeat the Diamondbacks, 7-1. Arizona’s Randy Johnson moves past Roger Clemens into 2nd place on baseball’s all-time strikeout list. Johnson now has 4,673 Ks, still far behind Nolan Ryan’s 5,714.

In a minor league promotional idea that gets buried, the Grand Prairie AirHogs offers a free funeral and burial for one lucky fan. All expenses will be covered by the Chapel of Roses Funeral Home and Oak Grove Memorial Gardens, both located in Irving, TX. “We thought this promotion was a great opportunity for us to showcase Irving’s newest funeral home,” said Chapel of Roses Funeral Director, Charlotte Chism Waldrum. The winner is 60-year-old Elaine Fulps, who has had 20 surgeries and “nearly croaked many times.”

4thJosh Beckett allows one run in 6 innings as the Red Sox down Tampa Bay, 5-1, and take over the lead in the AL East.  It is Boston’s 12th straight win at home.

Joe Mauer drives in 3 runs on a homer and a two-run sac fly as the Twins down the Orioles, 7-5. Carlos Gomez scores from 2B in the 5th when CF Adam Jones slips after catching Mauer’s fly. Boof Bonser is the winning pitcher.

Ryan Garko drives in 6 runs, David Dellucci hits a 3-run homer and Ben Francisco goes 5-for-6 as the Indians scalp the Rangers, 15-9. Elizardo Ramirez enters the game with the score tied at 6-6, but then is raked for 8 runs in 2+ innings.

Bobby Valentine wins his 1,500th game as a manager when his Chiba Lotte Marines is victorious. Valentine has 1,117 wins in the majors and 383 in Japan.

5th  Chipper Jones has 4 hits, including his 400th HR, to lead the Braves to a 7-5 win over the Marlins. Chipper is hitting .418.

In the first of two at Nationals Park, Todd Wellemeyer (6-1) pitches 6 shutout innings as the Cards down the Nats, 4-1. Troy Glaus has a 2-run homer and Albert Pujols hits his first career pinch homer. It is his 297thhomer. Glaus homers in game 2 and pitcher Mark Worrell adds a 3-run homer in his first ML at bat but it is not enough as the Cards fall, 10-9, in 10 innings. Elijah Dukes has 4 hits for the Nats, including a 2-run 10thinning walkoff homer.

The Rays wait till the last minute before selecting Griffin HS shortstop Tim Beckham with the first pick of the MLB draft and will sign him for a record $6.15 million. They take the youngster over Vanderbilt 3B Pedro Alvarez and FSU catcher Buster Posey, who goes to SF with #5. The Rays then draft Tim’s older brother Jeremy Beckham, on the 17th round. Jeremy is a good fielding second baseman from Georgia Southern. Alvarez goes to the Pirates with the second pick, Florida prep slugger Eric Hosmer to the Royals at #3, and San Diego lefty Brian Matusz to Baltimore at #4. The Marlins take Kyle Skipworth with the 6th pick overall, signing him for $2.3 million. Houston, with a disastrous 2007 draft, surprises by taking Stanford catcher Jason Castro with the 10th overall pick. They raise a few eyebrows with their supplemental first-round pick of prep pitcher Jordan Lyles, not listed in Baseball America’stop 200 prospects. Picking 13th, the Cards take Arizona State’s Brett Wallace, the only two-time PAC-10 Triple Crown winner. The Brewers, picking 16th, take Canadian Brett Lawrie, the highest drafted hitter ever from Canada. The Red Sox use their first round pick on Casey Kelly, a two-way shortstop and pitcher, who also seigned a letter of intent to quarterback at Vanderbilt. Kelly will play both shrot and pitcher before settling on the latter. The Orioles sign 2nd round pick Xavier Avery, a prep outfielder, for $900,000. The Brewers take Cutter Dykstra, son of Lennie, in the second round and ink him with a $700,000 bonus.  Len’s brother Kevin will later state that Lennie lost the bonus in the stock market. The Yankees, picking 28th overall, take prep pitcher Gerrit Cole, but he elects to go to college. On the 20thround the Yanks select switch pitcher Pat Venditte. The Nats will ink RHP Aaron Crowe, picked 9th, 2 days before the deadline in August. Five players selected are from service academies, three at West Point and two at Annapolis; all must fulfill five-year service obligations before starting their pro baseball careers. Picking 19th, the Cubs choose P Andrew Cashner, who has been selected in each of three previous drafts. With the 30thpick the Red Sox take prepster Casey Kelly, son of former catcher Pat Kelly, and ink him for $3 million: he’ll have a cup of coffee with the Padres in 2012.

6thThe Dodgers obtain SS Angel Berroa from the Royals in exchange for IF Juan Rivera.

7thThe Yankees overcome two four-run deficits to outlast the Royals, 12-11. Johnny Damon goes 6-for-6 for New York, while Jose Guillen ties a Royals’ franchise record with 7 RBIs, clubbing a 2-run homer and a grand slam. Damon becomes just the third Yankee to ever get 6 hits in a game. Myril Hoag (1934) and Gerald Williams (1996) also turned the trick.

Scott Hairston greets Pedro Feliciano with a 10th inning walkoff homer to give the Padres a 2-1 win over the visiting Mets. It is San Diego’s 4th consecutive win by the same score: No team has ever performed the feat. The Mets leave their mark, however, in the 6thinning when Oliver Perez hits two Padres batters and Joe Smith plunks another.

At Fenway, the Red Sox pound Mariners starter Miguel Batista for 5 runs in 5+ innings en route to an 11-3 sinking of the M’s. J.D. Dunn is a double shy of the cycle and Manny Ramirez crushes a 2ndinning homer over the LF wall for his 504thcareer homer. Tim Wakefield allows 2 runs in 7 innings and one of his knuckleballs is clocked at 56 mph. When R.A. Dickey replaces Batista for the M’s, both pitchers are knuckleballers. Kevin Youkilis’s record-setting errorless streak ends at 238 games when he drops a throw; the first baseman had handled 2,002 chances without an error.

8thCheck, please.  Mark Ellis hammers a two-out walkoff grand slam in the 12thinning, off reliever Chris Bootcheck, and the Athletics down the Angels, 7-3. Bootcheck follows relievers Scot Shields and Justin Speier who combined on 4 1/3 innings of hitless ball.

9thThe Reds defeat the Marlins, 9-4. Ken Griffey Jr. becomes the 6th player in history to reach 600 homers with his 1st-inning blast off Mark Hendrickson.

10th  At Kansas City, the Rangers score 4 in the 8thand one in the 9thto tip the Royals, 6-5. Texas’s Michael Young has a single to run his hit streak to 23 games. He is the first Ranger to post multiple 20-game hit streaks; in 2005, the shortstop had a 25-gamer.

At Shea, the Diamondbacks use four homeruns to down the Mets, 9-5. Moises Alou is 1-for-2 with 2 RBIs but is replaced in the 7thin left field. He’ll be diagnosed with a torn left hamstring ending his season. He hit .347 in 15 games.  Alou missed the entire 1991 and 1999 seasons with injuries.

11thThe Indians lose to the Twins, 8-5, and also lose their all-star catcher Victor Martinez who exits in the 1stinning after one at bat. He will have surgery on his ailing right elbow and will not appear in a game until August 29.

Jose Cantu belts a pair of homers off Cole Hamels for Florida’s first 2 scores, and Dan Uggla finishes with a grand slam, off Tom Gordon, in the 9th.

12th  The Cubs win the old fashion way. In their first-ever “Throw back game” Wrigley fans buy hot dogs for $1, watch two innings of the game in black & white as the Cubs wear 1948 uniforms.  Andy Pafko sings during the 7th inning stretch.  With the Cubs down 2-1 in the 9th, Jim Edmonds hits a homer to tie it and two innings later Reed Johnson bats for Edmonds and is hit with a pitch with the bases loaded. The Cubs beat the Braves, 3-2.

In Oakland, Andy Pettitte allows 5 hits in 8 innings and Hideki Matsui celebrates his birthday with a 6th-inning grand slam off Joe Blanton as the Yankees whip the A’s, 4-1.

Mike Lowell hits his second grand slam of the year and J.D. Drew adds a 2-run homer as the Red Sox beat the Orioles, 9-2, at Fenway.  The Sox are 18-3 at home this season.

Jamie Moyer allows just two hits over 8 innings as the Phillies beat the host Marlins, 3-0.

Pinch hitter Reed Johnson takes one for the team as he gets hit by a pitch from Jeff Ridgeway with the sacks full in the 11thinning. The Cubs beat Atlanta, 3-2, handing the Braves their 6thstraight loss.

13thChase Utley, Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell homer in consecutive at bats in the 1st inning as the Phillies jump out to a 3-0 lead on their way to a 20-2 win.  Howard adds a 2ndhomer in the 6thand drives in 5 runs. Carlos Ruiz has 4 hits and 4 RBIs and the Phillies drill the Cardinals for 21 hits.  Infielder Aaron Miles takes the mound for the Birds in the 9thand retires 3 batters. He made two pitching appearances last year.

The Mets obtain OF Trot Nixon from the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash or a player to be named. Nixon will play just 11 games for the Mets.

14thBehind Mike Mussina’s 10thwin, the Yankees double the Astros 8-4.  Alex Rodriguez has a homer, is walked twice intentionally, and scores 3 times. For Mussina, it is the 17thstraight season he’s recorded 10 or more wins. Only Steve Carlton (18), Cy Young (19) and Greg Maddux (20) have done it more.

Willy Taveras has 2 hits and steals 5 bases in Colorado’s 2-0 win against the host White Sox, but soesn’t score a run. Taveras will lead the NL with 68 steals and get caught just 7 times. Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski has 2 of the 3 Sox hits.

At Progressive Field, the Padres’ Kevin Kouzmanoff slugs a grand slam in San Diego’s 5-run 10thas they beat the Indians, 8-3.

Catcher Buster Posey of Florida State is named winner of the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s player of the year.

Despite the flooding in Iowa, baseball goes on. Yesterday’s Triple-A Iowa game was postponed at Principal Field in Des Moines and today’s game, a 5-4 win against Nashville, is played in front of no fans. Conditions on the field are okay but the surrounding conditions are deemed to dangerous for fans.  Scouts, media, and workers are allowed.

15thThe Brewers defeat the Twins, 4-2. Minnesota P Scott Baker strikes out 4 Brewers in the 3rd inning, becoming the first Twins pitcher to accomplish the feat.

The Yankees win a laugher at Houston, 13-0, icing the game with an 8-run 6th. A-Rod has a 3-run homer and Jorge Posada adds a 2-run shot. The win is a costly one as Chien-Ming Wang (8-2) partially tears an ankle tendon (Lisfranc ligament) scoring his only career run in the 6thand will miss the rest of the season.

16thIt is firing day. The Mets fire manager Willie Randolph and replace him with coach Jerry Manuel and the Seattle Mariners let GM Bill Bavasi go. Bavasi is replaced, on an interim basis, by the longtime associate GM for the Mariners Lee Pelekoudas.

17thAt AT&T Park, Marcus Thames closes out the scoring with a 9thinning homer, his 6thin the last 5 games, as Detroit whips the Giants, 5-1, behind Kenny Rogers. Thames’ last 8 hits have all been homers, equaling the mark of Albert Belle. Mark McGwire hit 11 straight homers with no other hits during a stretch in 2001.

18thChipper Jones is 2-for-5 including a homer, and is hitting .400. He’ll go oh-fer tomorrow and his average will not hit .400 again this year. According to historian Trent McCotter, Jones kept his average at .400 or better for 67 straight games; Ted Williams’ longest stretch at .400-plus in 1941 was 62 consecutive days.

Placido Polanco goes 4-for-4 and the Tigers knock out struggling Barry Zito (2-11) en route to a 7-2 win over the Giants. Marcus Thames is hitless ending his consecutive game streak with homeruns at 5, which ties a club record. Thames last eight hits have all been homers.

In a battle of division leaders, the Red Sox down the Phils, 7-4, as ex-Phillie J.D. Drew has 4 hits, including a homer. Mike Lowell homers as rookie Justin Masterson (4-1) is the winner. Masterson is the first player born in Jamaica to pitch in the majors.

19thIn Tampa Bay, the Devil Rays drop 7 runs in the 7thinning on the Cubs and beat Chicago 8-3 to sweep the three-game series.  Carl Crawford has a grand slam in the big frame.  The Cubs are the last team in the majors to suffer a three-game losing streak.

In Chicago, the Pirates and White Sox each plate 6 runs in the 2ndinning, but the Sox continue to score, winning 13-7. Jermaine Dye has a double, solo homer and a 6th-inning grand slam to drive in 6 runs for Chicago.

In Toronto, the Blue Jays score 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th, but fall short, losing to the Brewers, 8-7. Russell Branyan has a 3-run homer for Milwaukee and Prince Fielder hits his 2ndinside-the-park homer.

Lyle Overbay hits a 2-run homer and Joe Inglett belts a grand slam as the Blue Jays score 7 runs in the top of the 9th, but lose to the Brewers, 8-7.

The Indians acquire C Sal Fasano from the Braves for a player to be named.

The Mariners fire manager John McLaren and hire coach Jim Riggleman to take his place.

The Class-A Staten Island Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Cyclones, 7-2. SI switch-pitcher Pat Venditte hurls the 9th inning in his pro debut. Switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez, causes the game to be held up for 10 minutes when he keeps switching sides of the batter’s box as Venditte gets set to pitch with alternating hands. The umpires finally give Venditte the final say, requiring Henriquez to stay in one box until a pitch is made.

20thThe Blue Jays fire manager John Gibbons and replace him with Cito Gaston, who guided the team to WS titles in 1992 and 1993. Gibbons was 305-305 for his five seasons. The Jays also fire coaches Ernie Whitt, Marty Pevey and Gary Denbo.

The Nationals edge the Rangers, 4-3, in 14 innings as outfielder Elijah Dukes’ 5th hit of the game brings home the winning run. His homer in the 8th inning ties the game.

In a battle between division leaders in Philadelphia, the Angels whip the Phillies, 7-1. Philadelphia manages just 2 hits, both off starter Ervin Santana (9-3). Howie Kendrick has 4 of Anaheim’s 17 hits.  Casey Kotchman makes 2 errors at 1B, his only errors of the year; he won’t make another until August 2010.

21stAt Fenway, Aaron Miles hits a 2-run homer in the 4-run 1stinning for the Cardinals, Troy Glaus follows with a grand slam in the 2ndand Rick Ankiel completes the scoring with a solo in the 7th. St. Louis whips the Red Sox, 9-3, and hands Daisuke Matsuzaka his first loss after 8 wins.

In Atlanta, the Braves score a pair in the 8thand again in the 9thto sink the Mariners, 5-4. Ichiro Suzuki has two hits and two steals and breaks Paul Waner’s record for most hits by a major-leaguer in his first eight seasons. Waner set the record in 1934 when he finished his eighth campaign with 1,680 knocks. He totaled 3,152 safeties in 20 big-league seasons.

At Wrigley, the Cubs unload for 9 runs in the 4thinning to whip the White Sox, 11-7. Tying a ML mark, Jim Edmonds has two homers in the 4th, while Aramis Ramirez belts a 3-run homer. Jason Marquis gives up 5 runs in 6 innings but secures the win.

In Fairbanks, Bill Lee is the starting pitcher for the Alaska Goldpanners for the 103rdMidnight Sun game. The Spaceman last pitched for the Goldpanners in 1967, losing to the Japanese American League champs Kumagai on 7 unearned runs. Bill Lee’s aunt, Annabelle Lee, will pass away in two weeks (July 3). While pitching for the Minneapolic Millerettes in 1944, Annabelle threw the first perfect game in AAGPBL history, beating the Kenosha Komets.

22ndThe Braves crush the Mariners, 8-3. Mark Teixeira hits 3 homers for Atlanta, connecting from both sides of the plate. Tim Hudson (8-5) pitches 7 shutout innings for the win.

Happy birthday, boys. At Nationals Park, Ian Kinsler of the Rangers and Willie Harris of the Nationals each hit a 6thinning home runs to celebrate their birthdays as the Rangers win, 5-3. This is the first time that two players have both homered on their birthday in the same game (according to birthday-homer guru David Vincent).

The Red Sox defeat the Cardinals, 5-3, in 13 innings. Aaron Miles goes 5-for-6 for St. Louis.

23rdLong live the King. The Mariners beat the Mets, 5-2, behind the hitting and pitching of Seattle’s Felix Hernandez. Hernandez hits the first grand slam by an AL pitcher in 37 years connecting off Johan Santana in the 2nd inning. Cleveland’s Steve Dunning was the last AL hurler to accomplish the feat, doing so on May 11, 1971. The homer is also the first by a pitcher in Mariners’ history and their first slam of 2008.

24thThe Rays defeat the Marlins, 6-4, in what state officials tout as a carbon-neutral game. According to the Marlins’ calculations, more than 440 metric tons of CO2 would be emitted during the game. The Marlins, the state of Florida, and the nonprofit group carbonfund.org said investments in reforestation projects would be made to offset those emissions.

The Blue Jays score 11 runs in the first two innings and crush the Reds, 14-1. The Jays total 22 hits. Pitcher Bronson Arroyo allows 10 runs for Cincinnati, becoming just the 6th starting hurler in ML history to surrender at least 10 earned runs while getting no more than 3 outs.

25thThe Tigers trade P Denny Bautista to the Pirates for minor league P Kyle Pearson.

The Rays score 10 runs in the 5th inning on their way to a 15-3 win over the Marlins. It is only the 2nd time that a road team has had a 10-run inning in interleague play. Carl Crawford has a pair of homers, both off Ryan Tucker, and drives in 5 runs.

At Fenway, Tim Wakefield (5-5) is on target, giving up 2 hits in 7 innings as the Red Sox beat the Diamondbacks, 5-0.  Coco Crisp has three doubles and Kevin Cash belts a 3-run homer. Boston is a game ahead of Tampa Bay in the AL East.

The Nationals defeat the Angels, 5-4. Aaron Boone becomes the 4th member of his family to get 1,000 hits in the ML with an infield single in the 8th inning. Grandfather Ray, father Bob, and brother Bret also accomplished the feat.

The Bulldogs win; the Bulldogs win. Fresno State defeats Georgia, 6-1, to win 2 out of 3 games in the College WS finals and take the national championship. The Bulldogs becomes the first No. 4 regional seed to reach the CWS since the tournament expanded in 1999. In the final game they are led by sophomore Steve Ditwiler who goes 4-for-4, with two homers and a double, to drive in all six runs.  Ditwiler played with a complete ligament tear of his thumb which will require surgery this summer.

26thThe Rays defeat the Marlins, 6-1, on Matt Garza’s 1-hitter. Hanley Ramirez’s leadoff HR in the 7th inning is Florida’s only hit.

27thAt Yankee Stadium, Carlos Delgado sets a new Mets’ record with 9 RBIs in New York’s 15-6 win in the opener of the team’s two-ballpark doubleheader against the Yankees. Delgado slugs a 2-run triple, a grand slam, and a 3-run HR. Luis Castillo scores 5 runs in the contest, Carlos Beltran 4 times and David Wright has 4 hits. The Yankees also win by 9 runs at Shea, whitewashing the Mets, 9-0, as Sidney Ponson (5-1) throws 6 shutout innings.  Bobby Abreu has 4 hits and 3 RBIs, and Robby Cano has a homer and 3 RBIs.

The Rays beat the Pirates, 10-5. Evan Longoria gets 4 hits for TB, including a homer. It is his 3rd game in a row with at least 3 hits and a homer. The last rookie to have 3 such games was the Dodgers’ Johnny Frederick in 1929.

28thNot my fault, Lou. Derrek Lee goes 5-for-5 for the Cubs but they lose to the White Sox, 6-5. A 7thinning homer off Carlos Marmol by Carlos Quentin breaks a 5-5 tie.

The Dodgers become just the fifth team in modern ML history to win a game in which they fail to get a hit, as they beat the Angels, 1-0. Jered Weaver hurls 6 hitless innings, with Jose Arredondo pitching the final 2. Since the Dodgers do not bat in the 9th, the game does not officially go into the books as a no-hitter. Matt Kemp reaches on an error in the 5th, steals 2B, reaches 3B on an error, and scores on a sac fly. Chad Billingsly pitches 7 innings for the win.

At Comerica Park, Ryan Raburn belts a grand slam off Rockies starter Jeff Francis to pace the Tigers to a 6-5 win over the visitors. Colorado scores 4 in the 9thto make it close. Francis also makes his one career error on a botched bunt attempt to allow the first run to score. His .996 FA through 2015 is the ML mark for pitchers with over 200 appearances.

29thThe Mariners defeat the Padres, 9-2. Ichiro Suzuki goes 5-for-5 for Seattle, the seventh 5-hit game of his 1,199-game ML career. He is the first player since Stan Musial to have seven 5-hit games in fewer than 1,200 ML contests. Musial did it seven times in his first 906 games.

In Oakland, Rich Aurilia has 3 hits, including a homer, and 5 RBIs as the Giants win the Battle of the Bay, 11-1 over the A’s. Freddie Lewis has a triple and scores a run as he leads off an inning all five times up. Jack Cust’s homer accounts for the lone A’s tally.

30thThe Yankees manage just four hits in a 2-1 loss to the Rangers, but they constitute a cycle. Alex Rodriguez hits his 16thhomer in the loss. The last time the Yanks hit only a single, double, triple and home run in a game was on September 9, 1951, when the defeated the Senators, 2-0, in the second game of a doubleheader.

The White Sox overcome 4 extra base hits by Jhonny Peralta and whip the visiting Indians, 9-7. Jim Thome has a double and 3-run homer and Nick Swisher adds two homers, one a grand slam, to drive in 5 runs. Gavin Floyd (9-4) is the winner.