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Yardwork: A-Rod's Out For a Month, Red Sox & O's Plunk Each Other All Weekend

A-Rod tweaked his knee at Wrigley back on June 19 and it’s slowed him down to the point he’ll need surgery to repair to the torn meniscus in his right knee that will keep him out 4 to 6 weeks. Over his last 16 games he’s batting .359 with 10 RBIs but hasn’t gone deep since June 11, which happens to be the longest homer drought of his career. It’s a good thing he’s not under contract with the Yankees until 2042. Taking over at third base will be Edurado Nunez. While Big Al recovers, expect he and Cameron Diaz to break up at least four times.

Speaking of the Yankees, CC Sabathia pitched a complete yesterday opposite James Shields, who was just as good save for an error-filled seventh inning that began with BJ Upton getting a little too excited trying to double up Robinson Cano and overthrew first base leading to the only run of the game. CC has not allowed a run in 23 2-3 innings.

Red Sox 8, O’s 6 — The Red Sox and Orioles spent the weekend fighting and plunking one another. The fun began on Friday night when Kevin Gregg threw inside on David Ortiz — who naturally flipped out — making the count 3-0. He proceeded to pop up but didn’t leave the box fast enough for Gregg, so the O’s reliever told him to run to first. Hilarious. But not as hilarious as the two trying to hit each other. Never seen Papi try and fight. I can see why he rarely, if ever, charges the mound. Yesterday’s game was more of the same totaling four ejections with the blatantly obvious attempt of a plunking coming in the sixth when Mike Gonzalez threw behind Ortiz with two out and nobody on. Has everyone decided that 2011 will be the season to make up for never throwing at Big Papi in the past? If there’s one thing to enjoy about Buck Showalter besides his hair, it’s that he doesn’t put up with any crap, whether said crap was intentional or not. As for actual baseball, it’s exactly what you expected: The O’s got swept, but they did show some balls.

Pirates 9, Cubs 1 — Pat Maholm* failed to pitch a complete game which means, once again, no Chipwiches for whoever commented on that fateful day a couple months ago. However, one run on four hits over 7 2-3 innings is a splendid outing that deserves recognition. The Pirates are 47-43 and 1 game out of first place going into the All-Star break. That might the be the most amazing sentence of the 2011 baseball season. [*He's Pat until the Pirates seize control of the NL Central]

Giants 4, Mets 2 — Pablo Sandoval improved his hitting streak to 21 games. The real story though is the Mets, who go into the All-Star break at a game over .500 which is a god damn miracle considering all the injuries they’ve had to deal with.

Phils 14, Braves 1 — The Phillies slugged the living piss out of Derek Lowe, Cory Gearrin and the immortal Scott Proctor to the tune of 14 runs on 20 hits. Raul Ibanez and John Mayberry combined for 10 RBI. Cole Hamels was quite the opposite, allowing three hits and a run over eight innings.

Tigers 2, Royals 1 — Justin Verlander has allowed four runs in his last 56 1-3 innings. That is ALL.

Blue Jays 7, Indians 1 — Joey Bats and his four day tryst with Cleveland consisted of five hits, three of which were home runs and another which was a double. It’s pretty clear he’s aroused by extra bases. What an exceptional first half for the man with the worst theme song on the planet.

Nats 2, Rockies 0 — The Nationals are 46-46 going into the break and do not reside in last place. That’s progress, people. But since the Pirates have made stunning strides, no one cares about the poor Nats. Sad face? Sad face.

Twins 6, White Sox 3 — So the Twins took three of four from the White Sox and everyone here pretty much predicted such events would transpire. Go ahead and give yourselves a generous self-high five. That’s a nice way to head into the break for Minnesota. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m looking forward to watching the annual AL Central first place seesaw clusterfuck as we head into the second half of the season.

Angels 4, Mariners 2 — Dan Haren was one out from his second complete game of the year, but with a man on second and the score 4-2 Mike Scioscia went to Jordan Walden to finish it off. The home crowd hated it and let the rotund manager know about it. Haren didn’t look too pleased either as he walked off the mound. Then again, few pitchers would be.

[Photo via Getty]

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