Qualifying has provided Jeff Gordon with some real surprises this season.
By Bruce Martin PA SportsTicker Contributing Editor
Francisco Rodriguez blew the save and earned a victory. Eric Gagne had no such consolation. Boston scored four in the eighth to take the lead against Rodriguez, only to see Gagne give it back in the ninth on Friday night when the Los Angeles Angels rallied to beat the Red Sox 7-5 and split a day-night doubleheader.
Carlos Zambrano’s long wait paid off. The Chicago Cubs’ talented and emotional ace agreed Friday to a $91.5 million, five-year contract extension that features a 2013 option that could make the deal worth $110.75 million over six seasons. Zambrano skipped a shot at free agency and its lucrative payday to stay with the only club he’s ever known.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is perplexed, frustrated — and still feeling confident.
Eric Stults followed batterymate Russell Martin’s instructions to the letter. And he was glad he did, because the prevailing letter for the rookie on Friday night turned out to be “K.” Stults allowed two hits and struck out nine over seven innings after getting recalled from Triple-A, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-4 Friday night.
Woody Williams was outstanding against his old team, and Lance Berkman put the Houston Astros over the top. Berkman hit two long home runs to back Williams’ superb pitching effort as the Houston Astros defeated the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Friday night. Berkman supplied the power with his 22nd and 23rd homers, including the go-ahead, two-run blast in the eighth inning.
Andy Pettitte tossed a gem, Jason Giambi provided the power and the New York Yankees got back on track with an efficient win over Detroit. Pettitte pitched eight fantastic innings to win his fourth straight start and Giambi homered twice, sending New York to a 6-1 victory over the Tigers on Friday night.