Game of the day: Braves at Phillies, 8 p.m. These clubs are at or near the top of the majors in nearly every major team pitching statistic and have shown why in the first two games of this series with two shutouts, a near no-hitter by Derek Lowe and a 16-strikeout performance from Cliff Lee. Look for another great pitching matchup to close out this three-game series as Atlanta’s Jair Jurrgens (3-0, 1.52) faces Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels (4-1, 2.66). Both pitches have fared well recently against the other team. Jurrgens is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his past five starts against the Braves, allowing only 19 hits in 32.2 innings. Hamels is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his last five starts against the Braves, striking out 25 in 24.2 innings.
Other games to watch
Yankees at Rangers, 2:05 p.m. The Rangers, who have split the first two games of this series, try to win their first series since sweeping the Royals April 22-24. To do that, the Texas will have to beat Yankees ace CC Sabathia (2-2, 2.68). David Bush (0-0, 1.46) is making just his second start of the season for Texas. He pitched three scoreless innings in his only other start this year, a 3-2 loss at Detroit on April 12. Texas collected 14 hits in a 7-5 win over the Yankees Saturday after scoring 16 runs and hitting .194 while losing five of its first six games this month. Michael Young had four of those hits yesterday, and he is 10 for 20 with six RBI against the Yankees this season.
Indians at Angels, 3:35 p.m. Cleveland enters the game tied with Philadelphia for the best record in baseball at 22-10, but they face a formidable challenge in Angels starter Dan Haren (4-2, 1.76). Cleveland is third in the American League in runs (160), home runs (34) and batting average (.265), but Haren is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his last three starts against the Indians. He also has a 0.78 ERA at home this season. Indians starter Fausto Carmona (3-3, 4.43) is 0-3 in his last five starts against the Angels, but he does have a 2.48 ERA in those games.
Games you should have seen
Tigers 9, Blue Jays 0: Detroit’s Justin Verlander threw the second no-hitter of his career and the second in the major leagues in the past week. Verlander was nearly perfect, allowing only one baserunner on an eighth-inning full-count walk to Toronto’s J.P. Arencibia. “Right out of my fingertips, I knew it was just a hair outside and it was,” Verlander said. “It was a ball and you’ve got to give Jerry a ‘Good job.’ He called it a ball and it was.” Verlander became the 30th pitcher in major league history to throw multiple no hitters. With Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter against the White Sox on Tuesday night, it was the 17th time there have been two major league no-hitters within a five-day span and the first since Al Leiter for Florida against Colorado on May 11, 1996, and Dwight Gooden for the New York Yankees against Seattle on May 14, according to Stats LLC.
Brewers 4, Cardinals 0: Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.11) no-hit the St. Louis through seven innings and allowed only one hit - a Daniel Descalso single - in eight innings, striking out six and walking four. Gallardo’s performance is even more interesting considering that the Cardinals are leading the majors in batting average (.286) and on-base percentage (.358) and that Gallardo has allowed more hits (54) than any other pitcher in the National League this season.
Cubs 3, Reds 2: Carlos Pena led off the ninth with a tying homer and Kosuke Fukudome singled in Blake DeWitt with the game winning run. An out after Pena homered, DeWitt singled up the middle. He advanced to third on Jeff Baker’s ground-rule double to center field and scored on Fukudome’s single.
Stat you should know
30: Andre Ethier’s hitting streak, which ended in the Dodgers’ 4-2 loss to the Mets. He went 0 for 4 with a first-inning walk. His final chance for a hit came in the eighth, but he struck out swinging at a pitch well off the plate with a runner on first. Ethier fell one game shy of the Dodgers record set by Willie Davis, who had a 31-game hitting streak in 1969. The previous three major leaguers with 30-game hitting streaks also failed to reach 31: Ryan Zimmerman (2009), Moises Alou (2007) and Willy Taveras (2006). The last player to surpass 30 was Chase Utley (35) in 2006.