2003 May

1st      Baseball players agree to a two-year experiment to give home-field advantage in the WS to the league that wins the All-Star Game. The two sides also agree to increase the roster size from 30 to 32, and to give players, managers, and coaches a say on who makes the team.

The Orioles sweep a doubleheader from the Tigers, winning by scores of 5-2 and 6-4, to drop Detroit’s record to 3-23. In the first game, BJ Ryan earns the win in relief without throwing a single pitch. After relieving Pat Hentgen with two outs in the 7th, he picks Omar Infante off first base to end the inning. The Orioles go on to score 3 runs in the bottom half of the inning to make him the pitcher of record on the winning side. He is relieved by Buddy Groom for the 8thand Jorge Julio in the 9th. In the 2nd game, Detroit P Mike Maroth hurls 7 innings of hitless ball before giving up a leadoff single to Jay Gibbons in the 8th. Maroth eventually takes the loss, dropping his record to 0-7. He misses by one day from becoming the first pitcher in history to lose 7 games in April.

2ndThe Devil Rays defeat the hapless Tigers, 2-0, behind Joe Kennedy’s 1-hitter. It is the first 1-hitter in Tampa Bay history. Kennedy allows a single to leadoff hitter Angel Torres in the bottom half of the first inning, then holds Detroit in check the rest of the way.

In Toronto, the Blue Jays defeat the Angels, 3–1. The game is interrupted in the 9thwhen a fan jumps on the field and jogs toward 2B. Jays second baseman Orlando Hudson shoves him and he is taken away by guards. Tim Salmon stretches his hitting streak to 19 games with a HR.

5thThe Royals defeat the Red Sox, 7-6. KC’s 11-0 start at Kauffman Stadium is the second-best in major league history behind the 1911 Detroit Tigers, who won their first 12 home games.

6thDmitri Young has 2 homers and 2 triples for 15 total bases in leading the Tigers to a 7-6 win over the Orioles. His triple in the 9thdrives home the deciding run.

Jacque Jones is 5-for-5 with 2 homers in the Twins 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay.

8thThe Reds down the Cardinals, 8-6, as Aaron Boone connects for 3 solo homers, his second 3-homer game.  He also did it August 9, 2002.

The Braves sweep the Rockies in a doubleheader, winning by scores of 12-6 in the opener and 5-2 in the nightcap. Andruw Jones drives home runs in both games, giving him a team-record 9 straight games with an RBI.

The Angels defeat the Indians, 7-1, as Garret Anderson drives home all 7 Anaheim runs to tie a career high.

The Yankees jump on the Mariners for 10 runs in the 3rd inning on their way to a 16-5 victory.

10thThe Cubs best the Cardinals, 3-2, in 10 innings on Alex Gonzalez’s walk-off HR. It is the 3rd extra-inning, game-winning homer this month for Gonzalez, tying the team’s single-season record held by Ron Santo and Ernie Banks. Gonzalez hit extra-inning homers on May 1 and May 4. The only other player to hit 3 in one calendar month was Ron Gant, in 1995. Starter Kerry Wood throws 141 pitches but the win goes to reliever Mike Remlinger.

The Cubs trade P Alan Benes to the Rangers for a player to be named later. The Rangers sent P Ryan Drese to the minors, to make room on the roster for Benes.

W.W. Norton publishes Michael Lewis’ Moneyball.

11thThe Marlins fire manager Jeff Torborg and replace him with 72-year-old Jack McKeon. Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg is also relieved of duty.

The Rangers pound the Indians, 17-10, as Rafael Palmeiro hits the 500th HR of his illustrious career. Palmeiro becomes the 19th player—and 5th-oldest—to accomplish the feat, and the second this season.

With the Cards leading the Cubs 11–9 at Wrigley Field in the top of the 5th inning the game is called on account of rain. Starters Matt Clement and Brett Tomko give up all the runs, but they won’t count. The 23-MPH wind helped Albert Pujols hit a grand slam and boosted homers by Tino Martinez (2), Moises Alou, Corey Patterson, Troy O’Leary, and Alex Gonzalez.

13thAt Pac Bell Park, the Expos take a 4-0 lead over the Giants, only to see San Francisco tie it up with 4 in the 5th. With the bases loaded Barry Bonds hits a popup and the infield fly rule is called.  The ball is not caught and all runners advance when the Expos try to nip Neifi Perez at home.  Expos’ manager Frank Robinson says later this was unique in his experience. The Expos add a pair of runs to win, 6-4.

David Eckstein has 4 hits and Ed Spezio hits a solo HR and a 9th inning grand slam as the Angels pummel the host Yankees, 10-3.

14thThe Braves down the Dodgers, 3-1, for their 23rd win in their last 27 games. John Smoltz gets his league-leading 16th save in relief. The Braves have won the last 70 games in which he has appeared—a major league record.

15thCorey Patterson’s 2-run HR in the 17th inning leads the Cubs to a 4-2 win over the Brewers. Todd Wellemeyer notches the save for Chicago, striking out three batters in the bottom half of the 17th in his ML debut. He’s the first Cub to record a save in his debut since the stat became official in 1969. The Brewers set an NL record for strikeouts in an extra-inning game with 24. The previous mark was 22, by the Dodgers vs. the Reds (1972) and Mets vs. Giants (1964).

The Braves spot the Padres a 3-0 lead, then score 8 runs in the 5th inning on their way to a 15-6 rout of the Padres. Marcus Giles has 4 hits including a pair of doubles and a homer, scores 3 and knocks in 3 runs for Atlanta.  San Diego catcher Wiki Gonzalez is 1-for-3 and pitches a scoreless 9thinning in his only ML mound appearance.

16thThe Blue Jays rout the Royals, 18-1, for the largest margin of victory in team history. Toronto batters record 22 hits in the drubbing.

19thThe Indians edge the Tigers, 10-9, despite a 3-HR, 7-RBI performance by Detroit 1B Carlos Pena. It is the first three-dinger game by a Tiger player in 1,059 days and the fifth time in team history that the club lost after receiving such a performance. Three-homer games in the majors generally spell success for the player’s team having resulted in 353 wins and 82 losses, or an .811 winning percentage.

21stThe Brewers defeat the Padres, 10-0, as Wayne Franklin hurls the first complete game of his ML career. Geoff Jenkins slams 3 HRs in the contest and drives home 4.

22nd Ryan Dempster (1-4) allows 11 hits and strikes out 10 in 6 innings as his Reds lose to the Braves, 9-4. His 10 strikeouts is a team high for the Reds this year. Javy Lopez has a pair of homers and a triple for Atlanta.

23rdThe Phillies edge the Expos, 4-2, as Philadelphia’s Jose Mesa becomes the 10th player in history to reach 100 saves with two different teams. He also reached the century mark with the Indians.

The Cardinals rally from a 7-2 deficit to pull out a 10-8, 10 inning win over the Pirates. Albert Pujols strokes 5 hits for St. Louis, including a pair of doubles, to pace their 17-hit attack.

The Padres claim Gary Matthews, Jr. off the waiver list from Baltimore.

In a Class A South Atlantic League game in Lakewood, NJ, between the BlueClaws and Kannapolis, a groundskeeper is ejected from the game. Butler, who wanted to protect the field with a tarpaulin, walks on the field, but the dispute turns heated and he is ejected. Buddy Biancalana’s Lakewood team was leading 3-0, when it started raining hard. Butler is a three-time Groundskeeper of the Year in the minors and is working his 13th season in the business. He said he told umpires Brandon Cooney and Steve Cummings it was time to cover the field.

24thAt Arizona, San Diego’s Brian Lawrence allows 2 hits in beating the Diamondbacks, 5–1. Rondell White clubs a homer off Curt Schilling, and a frustrated Schilling clubs to death a QuesTec camera  near the D’Back’s dugout.

25thThe Orioles beat the Rangers in a slugfest, 13-10. Melvin Mora leads Baltimore’s 18-hit attack with 5 safeties, including a pair of doubles.

26thAt Atlanta, the Reds defeat the Braves, 7-6, in 11 innings when Adam Dunn hits a pinch grand slam off Roberto Hernandez. The Braves then score 3 to make it close. It is the first loss for the Braves in 74 games in which reliever John Smoltz has appeared, a major league record.

27thThe Yankees beat the Red Sox, 11-3, ending Nomar Garciaparra’s 26-game hitting streak in the process.

The Mariners wallop the Royals, 15-7, led by Randy Winn, who strokes 5 hits, including a double.

28thThe Braves pound the Reds, 15-3, as they become just the second team in history to start a game with 3 consecutive homers: Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa, and Gary Sheffield connect as Atlanta’s first 3 hitters. The 1987 Padres are the only other club to accomplish the feat. Javy Lopez also homers in the inning for the Braves, to tie the ML record of 4 homers in an inning. They slug a total of 6 in the game. Starter Jeff Austin, who serves up the 3 dingers, makes his second straight start without retiring a batter.

The NL West-leading Giants whip the Diamondbacks, 10–2, as Benito Santiago homers twice and Barry Bonds once.

29thThe Rockies outscore the visiting Dodgers, 12-5, behind Todd Helton’s 3 home runs and Ron Belliard’s 5 hits. Helton adds a single as he bats in six runs.

The Red Sox, in need of a closer, trade Shea Hillenbrand to the Diamondbacks for closer Byung Hyun Kim. The Diamondbacks were reportedly not eager to swap the 24-year-old South Korean. Hillenbrand was almost traded last winter to the Expos for Bartolo Colon.

30thThe Braves slug 4 HRs on their way to a 5-2 win over the Mets. The homers give Atlanta 55 for the month of May, tying the NL mark held by the 1947 Giants and the 2000 Cardinals.

Ken Griffey, Jr. hits a game-tying homer in the 9th, then adds a go-ahead homer in the 11thto pace the Reds to a 4–3 win over the host Florida Marlins, Junior’s first homer is off Braden Looper and his 2nd, a 2-out shot, comes off Armando Almanza.

31stThe Cubs down the Astros, 1-0, in 16 innings. It is the longest 1-0 game for Chicago since a 17-inning win over Boston in 1901. Houston pitchers set a team record with 23 strikeouts in the contest, while the Cubs set a club mark by fanning that many times.

The Pirates beat the Cardinals, 4-3, as Kenny Lofton’s 26-game hitting streak comes to an end. Lofton falls a game short of the Pirates franchise record of 27 games set by Jimmy Williams in 1899. Lofton homered yesterday to match Garciaparra’s streak this year of 26 games.