Clearing the bases: Craig, Parker, Lowrie

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
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First base: That’s where Allen Craig was playing for the Cardinals on Tuesday night, not just giving the Birds back the ninth bat they’ve missed, but more importantly giving them an immediate substitute for the still-injured Lance Berkman. Much like fellow postseason hero David Freese, Craig showed he also hasn’t missed a beat from last October, pelting a pair of singles in his first game back, and contributing to the Cardinals’ bit of 10-7 stompery over the reliably feeble Pirates.

Second base: Jarrod Parker’s second start for the Oakland A’s was perhaps even better than his first against the White Sox last week. Parker shut down the Red Sox in a 5-3 win, going slightly deeper into the game (two batters faced and one out), throwing just 98 pitches while delivering a 6.2-4-1-1-2-4 line with no home runs. So while Trevor Cahill was doing just fine mowing down Nationals in last night’s D-backs spoiler of Bryce Harper’s home debut, the primary prospect he was acquired with was giving Athletics fans a reason to forget the past and embrace something more tangible than a future in San Jose.

Third base: As the Book of Armaments in Monty Python’s Holy Grail reminds us, three is the number that shall be counted before big ’splosions go off, and that’s pretty much what Jed Lowrie did for the Astros on Tuesday night, plating a pair with his third home run of the season while also drawing three walks. In the two weeks-plus since his return from the DL, Lowrie has been the multifaceted offensive terror that GM Jeff Luhnow’s crew envisioned when they acquired him from the Red Sox. So just a month into his Astros career, you can say they’ve already gotten the full Lowrie experience: A trip to the DL, power, patience, and enough good work afield to make you think his staying at shortstop makes sense after all.

Home plate: The tweet of Tuesday goes to Orioles reliever Darren O’Day, who was partially responsible for the numerical feat he chose to celebrate social mediatically:
Christina Kahrl covers baseball for ESPN.com. You can follow her on Twitter.

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