Griffin’s Two-Hitter Stops the Reds, Mariners Ibanez on Pace for Home Run Record

The  Oakland Athletics (46-34)’s righty A.J. Griffin (6-6) got off to a slow start but his two-hitter helped defeat the Cincinnati Reds (45-34) 5-0 on Wednesday.

A.J. Griffin

A.J. Griffin

The win represented Griffin’s first one in over a month (May 25 vs. the Houston Astros) and enabled the A’s to win their two-game series over the Reds.

No need for the A’s bullpen as Griffin had his first complete game in his career with 108 pitches. He gave up his first hit in the fifth inning and his second one in the seventh inning.

Griffin said via MLB.com, “I’m sure you guys weren’t thinking after the first inning that it was a complete game. Neither was I, but I just went out there and tried to execute pitches, and it worked out.”

This comment comes as Griffin walked the first two of three batters that he faced on Wednesday.

In addition to the pitcher’s strong effort, teammate Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer during a four-run fourth inning. This came against the Reds righty Homer Bailey (4-6). On Tuesday, Donaldson had another home run; both came on the first pitch.

For the day, Bailey had seven strikeouts and two walks in his six innings of pitching. This loss was his second consecutive one.

The A’s have the day off on Thursday and will then face the St. Louis Cardinals (48-30) for a three-game series beginning on Friday. This should be interesting as the A’s are tied with the Texas Rangers (45-33) at the top of the AL West while the Cardinals are in a battle for the top spot in the NL East with the Pittsburgh Pirates (48-30).

For Game 1, righty Bartolo Colon (10-2) will take the mound for the A’s vs. Cardinals righty Shelby Miller (8-5).

The A’s sit at +1200 to win this year’s World Series while the Cardinals are +700.

Mariners Ibanez on Pace for Home Run Record

Yep, the Seattle Mariners (34-45) lost 4-2 to the Pirates but the game still provided some entertainment.

Raul Ibanez

Raul Ibanez

Mariners Raul Ibanez hit home run No. 9 for June and No. 18 for this season on Wednesday. With these numbers, he is still on pace to set a record for hitting 30 home runs at the age of 41 or older, reported NBC Sports.com.

Ted Williams sits at the top of list with his 29 home runs at age 41 during his last season just before he retired. Barry Bonds is in the second spot with 26 homers, followed by 28 home runs the next year at 42.

Take a look at Ibanez’s competition:

3. Barry Bonds with 26 (41, 2006)
4. Darrell Evans with 22 (41, 1988)
5. Dave Winfield with 21 (41, 1993)
6. Stan Musial with 19 (41, 1962)
7. Carlton Fisk with 18 (42, 1990)
7. Carlton Fisk with 18 (43, 1991)
7. Raul Ibanez with 18 (41, 2013)

The Mariners have 83 games remaining with Ibanez at No. 6 for home runs for 41-year-olds and tied for the seventh spot among players 41 or older. As noted by NBC Sports, this has come on Ibanez playing in 58 of 79 games to date.

Can he keep this up for the rest of the season? There’s plenty of time to get to 30 and set the record.

And what a better opportunity than playing against the Chicago Cubs (32-44) on Friday night.

Other AL West Action

On Thursday, the Rangers will play the New York Yankees (42-35).

Lefty Derek Holland (5-4) will take the mound for the Rangers vs. the Yankees righty Phil Hughes (3-6) in the final game of this series.

Both pitchers have been struggling lately. Hughes does not play well at the home stadium as he’s lost his last three starts there, gaining a 13.91 ERA.

Holland is 0-2 (5.40 ERA) from his four previous starts, with four runs and four hits over seven innings in a 6-4 win at St. Louis recently.

It could be a long game but the Rangers get the win (-123, 8.5 o/u).

The other AL West game is the LA Angels (35-43) vs. the Detroit Tigers (42-34). Look for a Tigers win (-144, 8.5 o/u).

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