The Smallest Sample Size 08/15/13: Pinch-hitting success!

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Don't expect the St. Louis Cardinals to give up any time soon, the Kansas City Royals are fading, and players pinch-hitting with success.

Here is a recap of yesterday's action.

The Smallest Sample Size -- Game Results for 08/15/13

Photo credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals 6, Pirates 5

The Pittsburgh Pirates led the game 4-0 when they scored all four runs in the top of the fifth inning, but couldn't hold onto the lead as the St. Louis Cardinals came roaring back to score five runs in the bottom half of the same inning. Russell Martin (.185 WPA) hit his 11th home run of the season to tie the game at five, which helped the Pirates take this one into extra innings.

The Pirates had an opportunity to score in the top of the 11th inning but couldn't capitalize with runners on first and second base. Fast forward to the bottom of the 12th with runners on the corners for the Cardinal and Matt Holliday (.286 WPA) at the plate. Holliday hit a single to center field, scoring the winning run and bringing the Cardinals within two games of the Pirates in the National League Central.

More on the Cardinals at: Viva El Birdos

Tigers 4, Royals 1

The Kansas City Royals may have struck first, on an Alex Gordon (.042 WPA) single in the first inning, but it was Prince Fielder (.152 WPA) and the Detroit Tigers that got the last laugh. Fielder hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, putting his team up 2-1, and that proved to be all the offense the Tiger would need because Anibal Sanchez (.279 WPA) pitched seven and one-third innings, giving up the one run on seven hits while striking out five.

More on the Tigers at: Bless You Boys

Rays 7, Mariners 1

Wil Myers (.378) collected three hits, two of which were doubles, to help raise his impressive rookie season batting line to .326/.379/.525 as he helped his team take care of business against the Seattle Mariners and pull within two games of the Boston Red Sox. Myers also scored two runs and drove in four.

More on the Rays at: DRaysBay

Angels 8, Yankees 4

The New York Yankees bullpen was horrid in this game, allowing five earned runs after relieving starter Phil Hughes after the sixth inning. The Yankees offense also had a difficult time scoring any runs off of Los Angeles Angels starter CJ Wilson (.291 WPA), getting 11 hits off of him but just one earned run.

More on the Angels at: Halos Heaven

Athletics 5, Astros 0

Sonny Gray (.194 WPA) dominated the Houston Astros last night as he tossed eight shutout innings, only allowing four hits and he struck out nine. Not to be outdone however, Nate Freiman (.236 WPA) was perfect at the plate with four hits, one being a home run, and driving in four runs.

More on the Athletics at: Athletics Nation

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski

Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 1

Jake Peavy (-.033) was pretty decent for the Boston Red Sox yesterday but Mark Buehrle (.258 WPA) was simply better. Buehrle pitched seven innings and gave up just one run on 10 hits. Third baseman Brett Lawrie (.185 WPA) drove in the tying run on a seventh inning single and then Mark DeRosa (-.004 WPA) drove in the winning run on a sac fly immediately after him.

More on the Blue Jays at: Bluebird Banter

Giants 4, Nationals 3

The Washington Nationals led this game from the third inning but Rafael Soriano (-.749 WPA) couldn't close it out in the top of the ninth inning and a quality outing from Dan Haren (.213 WPA) went to waste. The San Francisco Giants sent Hector Sanchez (.754 WPA) in to pinch-hit and he rewarded them with a game winning three-run home run.

More on the Giants at: McCovey Chronicles

Twins 4, White Sox 3

Even though the Chicago White Sox got out to an early lead, they led 2-0 in the first inning and tacked on a third run in the third inning, the Minnesota Twins kept chipping away. Eventually they wound up tying the game on a Justin Morneau (.157 WPA) single in the bottom of the eighth inning and won it on a Chris Herrmann (.286 WPA) single in the bottom of the ninth.

More on the Twins at: Twinkie Town

Reds 2, Brewers 1

Joey Votto (.087 WPA) hit his 18th home run of the season in this one, but he also drew a walk so does that mean he still walks too much or doesn't? The only blemish in an otherwise great start by Tony Cingrani (.184 WPA) is the home run he served up in the first inning.

More on the Reds at: Red Reporter

Mets 4, Padres 1

Zack Wheeler (.185 WPA) is an amazing pitcher considering that he's just a rookie and continues to improve with each start. He lasted just six innings but he only gave up one earned run on seven hits and struck out 12 batters.He's striking out hitters at an 18.2% clip and that is only likely to go up once he gains better command of his pitches and the strike zone.

More on the Mets at: Amazin' Avenue

. . .

All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.

Lance Rinker is a writer at Beyond The Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @BSLLanceRinker.

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