Phillies’ slugger Ryan Howard handed Shairon Martis (L 5-1) the first loss of the 2009 season on Saturday. He turned offerings of the 22-year-old right-hander in the second and third innings into monster homeruns to the second deck of the right field stands at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, accounting for five runs. Overall Martis allowed seven hits, seven runs and two walks, while striking out one in four innings. The Nationals lost the slugfest 6-9 in the end with World Series MVP Cole Hamels laboring for six innings to pick up the win. Martis is now 5-1 with an ERA of 5.62 in ten starts for Washington this year. He has 26 strikeouts and 23 walks in 57 2/3 innings.
Around the Majors:
- Outfielder Wladimir Balentien of the Seattle Mariners scored the winning run in a 4-3 ten-inning win on Saturday against the Angels. He pinch hit for Endy Chavez in the tenth, doubled and reached home on a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt. The Mariners had erased a three-run deficit in the top of the ninth on a three-run homerun by Jose Lopez. Balentien is batting .240 (OBP .279/SLG .365) with 13 runs and six RBI in 30 games this year.
- Andruw Jones of the Texas Rangers hit his fifth homerun of the season on Friday against the Oakland Athletics, his second in May. He is batting .284 (OBP .422/SLG .568) with 16 runs scored and 14 RBI in 24 games.
- Sidney Ponson, who is pitching out of the bullpen for the Royals since a few weeks, gave up four runs on four hits and a walk in one third of an inning on Friday in a 2-11 loss against the White Sox. He now has given up a run in each of his eleven appearances this year. The 32-year-old has a 1-5 record with an ERA of 7.27 in 43 1/3 innings.