The Oakland A’s traded away their top starter, sending pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to the Cubs in exchange for four young prospects. But Harden will barely be missed if Justin Duchscherer (10-5) continues to pitch like he did on Tuesday, blanking the Mariners on 2 hits in a 2-0 Oakland win.
Of 105 pitches, Duchscherer threw 72 for strikes, recording 4 strikeouts without walking a batter. The only hits allowed were a Richie Sexson double in the 5th inning and Miguel Cairo’s single to lead off the 6th. Duchscherer retired the final 12 batters in order, striking out of Raul Ibanez to end the game.
Notes: Will Cleveland ever win another game? The Indians’ losing streak stretched to 9 games Tuesday, dropping a 9-2 decision at Detroit. Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-4, with a pair of homers and 3 RBI.
Rays of hope… Just when the Rays were getting comfortable in first place, along comes Andy Pettitte and the NY Yankees to spoil the party. Pettitte shut out Tampa Bay over eight innings as the Yanks won 5-0, moving to within 7 1/2 games of first. Boston was out beating Minnesota, 6-5, to pull to within 3 games of the Rays.
Mike Pelfrey (7-6) allowed just 3 hits over 7 innings as the Mets blanked the Giants, 7-0 to move into a tie for second place in the NL East with Florida, 1 1/2 behind slumping Philadelphia.
Pelfrey was in complete control, fanning five, while getting 10 of 16 other outs via grounders. The Mets have won four straight while the Phillies lost their 4th in a row, losing 2-0 to St. Louis.
Notes: In the escalating NL Central arms race, recently-acquired C. C. Sabathia won his first start for Milwaukee, allowing 2 earned runs over 6 innings as the Brewers topped Colorado, 7-3.
LA’s flirtation with first place in the NL West didn’t last long. A day after tying the Diamondbacks for top honors, the Dodgers lost 9-3 to Atlanta, while Brandon Webb was recording his 13th win in a 2-0 Arizona win at Washington. The D-Backs have re-established a 1-game cushion in the division.