After using Lopez in the bullpen for a few weeks, the Orioles put him into the rotation on April 24. By changing speeds and relying on his good control—he'd walked just 26 in 80-plus innings—Lopez had held opponents to a .220 average. "If you want to talk about guys who should be on the All-Star team," says Red Sox manager Grady Little, "he's one of the first you should talk about."
National League teams won 13 of last Saturday's 14 interleague games, the first time since interleague play began in 1997 that one side won more than 11 games on the same day. Until the start of the weekend series, the two leagues had been virtually even, with the National League holding a 639-637 edge.
What happened on Saturday? It may be no accident that last weekend's series included the first full slates of games since 1972 in which every game was played without a designated hitter. A big complaint about interleague play has been that games in NL parks deprive AL teams of a dangerous hitter; the DH is an advantage in AL parks because National League clubs tend to use that roster spot for an extra, usually light-hitting, position player.
Alas, the AL had won just 285 of 638 games played at NL parks, including 17 of 42 this season.
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