Three teams finish off weekend series sweeps

Updated: April 20, 2008

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Mark Teixeira rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning on Sunday.

SWEET SWEEPS

Sunday's theme on "Baseball Tonight" was "Sweeps Weekend," with nine teams trying to complete series sweeps. Only a handful succeeded.

MONDAY NIGHT BASEBALL

Mets at Cubs, 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN

The most convincing victors may have been the Cubs, who pummeled Pirates pitching for the second straight game, overshadowing another strong weekend at the plate for Pittsburgh's Nate McLouth. The Braves' pitchers made the Dodgers' hitters look bad for three straight games and Mark Teixeira continued a lengthy run of success against Joe Torre-managed teams. Speaking of young pitchers, the Royals' young starters, who had looked so good in their first couple of trips through the rotation, struggled this weekend, as the Athletics beat Brian Bannister, Zack Greinke and Luke Hochevar in succession.

The Red Sox will be the only team on Monday which will attempt to sweep a series, though it wasn't easy for them Sunday, when they topped the Rangers with an impressive eighth-inning rally.

INSIDE THE SWEEPS
Teams that swept series this past weekend:
Team* Opponent Notable
Braves Dodgers Teixeira: Five RBIs; has a .403 batting average against teams managed by Torre since 2006
Cubs Pirates Pirates allowed 13-plus runs in back-to-back games for first time since 1950
Athletics Royals Bannister, Greinke, Hochevar: 14 2/3 IP, 7.98 ERA
* The Red Sox have won three straight games against the Rangers, and will go for a four-game sweep on Monday.

Past Baseball Tonight Clubhouses: April 17 | April 16 | April 15 | April 14 | April 13 | April 10

FORWARD THINKING: MONDAY

• Rangers at Red Sox, 11:05 a.m. ET: In the annual Patriots Day game at Fenway Park, Kason Gabbard (1-0, 2.41 ERA) will pitch for the Rangers against his former team. Gabbard was sent to Texas in the trade that sent Eric Gagne to Boston in July 2007. Clay Buchholz (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will get the start for the Red Sox.

• Tigers at Blue Jays, 12:37 p.m. ET: Armando Galarraga (1-0, 2.70 ERA) will make his second career start for the Tigers. He'll be opposed by Shaun Marcum, who has pitched seven innings in each of his two starts at home this season.

• Dodgers at Reds, 7:10 p.m. ET: Brad Penny (2-2, 2.96 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season for the Dodgers, and hasn't given up a home run in his first four starts (24 1/3 innings pitched). He'll face Matt Belisle, who will make his first start of the year after being sidelined since March with a strained right forearm.

Complete list of pitching probables for Monday's games


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BBTN ON THE AIR: MONDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: John Kruk, Buck Showalter
12:20 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: John Kruk, Buck Showalter

BASEBALL TONIGHT MINUTE: BIG HURT RELEASED

SUNDAY'S NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

GOOD
Jim Thome went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and hit a solo home run in the White Sox's 6-0 win over the Rays. The homer was the 512th of Thome's career and tied him with Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 19th place on the all-time list.
BAD
• Handed a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the 10th, Eric Gagne didn't register an out before being taken out after facing just three batters. Edwin Encarnacion and Paul Bako led off the inning with back-to-back home runs and then Scott Hatteberg walked. Salomon Torres then took over for Gagne and allowed Hatteberg to score three batters later on a single by Ken Griffey Jr., giving the Reds a 4-3 win over the Brewers.
UGLY
Pirates• The Pirates lost to the Cubs 13-6 as four Pittsburgh pitchers gave up a combined 18 hits. The loss was the fifth straight for the Pirates and marked the second straight game the Cubs scored 13 runs against Pittsburgh pitching.

FANTASY: PREVIEW OF MONDAY'S GAMES

Adam Madison examines the pitching matchups in store for the 10 games on Monday's schedule in the American League and National League.

Adam also looks at current injuries and details player reports that could help shape the way you put together your roster for Monday's games. Daily Notes

THIS DATE IN MLB HISTORY (APRIL 21)

1961: The Minnesota Twins, formerly known as the Washington Senators, played their first home game in Minnesota at Metropolitan Stadium.

1967: After 737 consecutive games, the Dodgers were rained out for the first time since moving to Los Angeles.

1991: In perhaps the best extra-inning comeback in major league history, Pittsburgh scored six runs in the bottom of the 11th to erase a five-run Cubs lead built in the top of the inning with the help of Andre Dawson's grand slam. The Pirates had rallied earlier from a 7-2 deficit to tie the game in the ninth.