Tim Wakefield and Cliff Lee combined for 15 scoreless innings in a tremendous pitcher's duel Monday
, but the Red Sox pounced once Kerry Wood replaced Lee in the ninth inning as Jason Bay smacked a three-run homer. Lee has gone eight innings in back-to-back starts while Cleveland's lineup has provided him with no runs to work with, leaving him at 1-3 with a 3.74 ERA after going 22-3 in 2008.
Bay's homer was his third hit of the game and he's now batting .344 to go along with a league-leading 20 walks. Since replacing Manny Ramirez last year he's hit .306/.408/.571 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs in 68 games while upgrading the left field defense. For comparison, Ramirez hit .312/.411/.588 with an average of 17 homers and 55 RBIs per 68 games during his eight-season run in Boston.
While the Red Sox extend their winning streak to 11 games, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* In the midst of a 0-for-19 slump, Troy Tulowitzki was benched Monday night as manager Clint Hurdle indicated that it could be more than a one-game decision. Tulowitzki got off to a similarly poor start last April, hitting .152 before suffering a torn quadriceps tendon that sidelined him into June. He hit .327 with five homers over the final 62 games of the season and a similar turnaround looks likely now.
Tulowitzki is hitting just .167, but he's shown good power and patience with three homers, five total extra-base hits, and 11 walks in 65 trips to the plate. He's also whiffed 17 times, but his slump is due mostly to an unsustainably horrible batting average on balls in play and he's a near-lock to rebound in a big way even if he's unlikely to ever repeat his huge rookie season. His value may never be lower.
* The bad news for CC Sabathia is that he allowed four runs Monday against the Tigers, falling to 1-2 with a 4.73 ERA. The good news is that he handed out zero walks after struggling previously with his control, recorded a season-high seven strikeouts, and turned in an eight-inning complete-game that required 99 pitches. If his owners in any of your leagues are panicking, feel free to take advantage.
* Justin Verlander came into Monday's game at 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA through four starts, so naturally he struck out nine, walked zero, and scattered seven singles in seven shutout innings against the Yankees. Verlander has a 34/9 K/BB ratio in 28 innings overall, which is excellent and makes him a decent buy-low candidate even after Monday's impressive win over New York. His stuff remains top-notch.
AL Quick Hits: Michael Young had two more extra-base hits Monday, giving him six homers and seven doubles in 80 at-bats this month after totaling 12 and 36 in 645 at-bats last year … Julio Lugo (back) came off the disabled list Monday, but Nick Green still got the start at shortstop … Dr. James Andrews has determined than Jesse Litsch (forearm) simply needs rest and might be able to return next month … Daisuke Matsuzaka (shoulder) played long toss from 120 feet Monday and is expected to throw a bullpen session Wednesday … Carlos Pena smacked his MLB-leading ninth homer Monday … White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Monday that top prospect Gordon Beckham won't be coming up from Double-A this season if he can help it … Brian Bannister danced around six walks Monday for his second straight win … Scott Baker was shaky Monday, but kept the ball in the ballpark after serving up seven homers in his first two starts.
NL Quick Hits: Despite his ugly 9.31 ERA, Oliver Perez will remain in the rotation to start Saturday against the Phillies … Hanley Ramirez left Monday's game after being hit on the hand by a pitch, but x-rays were negative … Cristian Guzman (hamstring) is slated to come off the disabled list after Tuesday's game … Jose Valverde closed out Sunday's game, but said afterward that his strained calf was painful on every pitch … Homer Bailey showed signs of life while striking out 15 of the 26 batters he faced Sunday at Triple-A … Carlos Delgado was scratched from Monday's lineup after aggravating a hip injury sliding into third base … Tom Glavine (shoulder) reported no problems after playing catch Monday, but has not decided yet on his future … Chad Gaudin will join the Padres' rotation after being called up from Triple-A and will have value in NL-only leagues … Johnny Cueto and Roy Oswalt matched each other with seven innings of one-run ball Monday.