MLB weekend recap: Reds top Nats, five teams sweep

The Reds look like the real deal; Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, A's, and Braves all sweep. Photo: Chris Sale wearing the 1983 throwbacks/AP Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 8, 2013 — The first weekend of the baseball season was filled with a little bit of everything. There were some extra innings games, a lot of home runs, some great pitching, and, unfortunately, some costly injuries too.

Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds


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The Washington Nationals came into the series as the only unbeaten team in baseball, but the new Big Red Machine chewed up the Nationals’ pitchers. Cincinnati hit six homeruns against the Nationals, including four off Dan Haren, and scored 15 runs on Friday.

The Reds scored six runs in a loss to Washington on Saturday and six more runs on Sunday to take the series 2-1. Cincinnati is now 4-2 on the year after playing host to two very good teams, Anaheim and Washington. So far this season, the Reds are living up to their hype.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers completed their sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 6-2 win on Sunday. The Dodgers saw good pitching from Zack Greinke on Friday in his debut with the team. He went six innings, giving up no runs with six strikeouts in the win.


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In the second game, Clayton Kershaw did what Clayton Kershaw does, giving the Dodgers seven scoreless innings, which earned Kershaw his second win of the season. In the final game of the series, a Dodger other than Kershaw finally hit a home run. And it was not Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier or Adrian Gonzalez, it came from Justin Sellers. Adrian Gonzalez did have four RBIs, while going 3 for 4 at the plate.

Justin Upton rounds the bases after his walk-off HR Saturday/AP Photo/Butch Dill

Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves

The Braves swept the Cubs in Atlanta. The Braves got two good starts from Mike Minor on Friday and Tim Hudson on Sunday. They also had enough offense to survive a not-so-good start by top prospect Julio Teheran on Saturday. Teheran was bailed out by the Upton brothers in the ninth inning when B.J. homered to tie the game and Justin hit a walk off homerun two batters later.


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Bad News for Braves fans, however, Freddie Freeman was placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. Chris Johnson, who was acquired with Justin Upton from Arizona, will start in his place. Johnson went 0 for 3 with a run scored in Sunday’s game.

Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox

The Seattle Mariners dropped the final two games on their visit to the south side of Chicago. The White Sox broke out their throwback uniforms to celebrate 30 years since their AL West pennant in 1983. Each game of the series was close with Seattle winning in 10 innings on Friday.

The White Sox took the next two games by a score of 4-3 in each game. Seattle falls to 3-4 on the season and Chicago improved to 4-2 and is tied with Minnesota for the lead in the AL Central. Michael Morse remains hot for Seattle as he hit his league leading fifth homerun in Sunday’s loss and is batting .310 on the year.

Will Middlebrooks launches his second of three homeruns on Sunday/AP Photo/Chris Young

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

The Boston Red Sox took two out of three games in Toronto and left the country with a 13-0 exclamation point on Sunday. Will Middlebrooks went 4 for 5 with three home runs in Sunday’s game. R.A. Dickey picked up his second loss of the season and got shelled in the final game of the series.

John Lackey left the game early on Saturday due to an apparent forearm injury. This was his first start since returning from Tommy John surgery.

Other Series:

The Oakland A’s continued the AL West welcome bashing of the Astros by sweeping Houston in Houston. The Arizona Diamondbacks swept the Ryan Braun-less Brewers. San Diego was swept by the Colorado Rockies in Colorado. Minnesota took two out of three in Baltimore.

Texas beat Anaheim in two out of three in Texas. Yankees avoided a sweep from the Tigers with a win on Sunday. Miami lost two out of three in New York. Royals went to Philadelphia and left with two wins in the weekend’s interleague series. St. Louis beat the Giants in San Francisco two out of three times. Finally, the Indians avoided a sweep by the Rays by putting up eight earned runs on David Price on Sunday.

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

 


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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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