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09/24/2013 03:42 PM
Preview: Phillies (71-85) at Marlins (58-99)
Game: 2
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: September 24, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


Ryne Sandberg is still seeking his first win since being named the Philadelphia Phillies' permanent manager this weekend. Zach Miner is searching for his first in the majors in four years.

The Phillies right-hander will try to help snap his club's five-game skid Tuesday night while sending the Miami Marlins to a 100th loss for the first time in 15 years.

Philadelphia (71-85) has gone 0-2 since taking the interim tag away from Sandberg on Sunday and managed just four hits in a 4-0 defeat in Monday's series opener at Marlins Park. The Phillies are 18-18 overall since the Hall of Fame second baseman took over for the fired Charlie Manuel on Aug. 16

During Sandberg's tenure, Philadelphia earned a seventh straight win against Miami (58-99), tying a series record, but has dropped the past two. After Roy Halladay was forced to leave Monday's game with an undisclosed injury, the Phillies used six relievers, and the seven pitchers combined to issue nine walks.

"We patched it up and the bullpen actually did a fine job keeping it a 1-0 game into the eighth," Sandberg said.

The Marlins' Ed Lucas, batting .375 in the last 14 games, hit an RBI single in a three-run eighth inning.

"We've had a long couple of days," manager Mike Redmond said. "With the double-header (Sunday) and getting back at 4 in the morning, that's exactly what we needed."

Miner (0-1, 3.22) will try to limit Lucas and Miami in his second major league start since he was with Detroit in 2009. The right-hander pitched three scoreless frames Wednesday against the Marlins in the Phillies' 4-3 defeat in 10 innings.

While Miner will seek his first major league victory since September 2009, Henderson Alvarez (4-5, 4.05) will try for his third in five starts this month. The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in four of his last five outings but took the loss in a 3-2 defeat at Washington on Thursday.

Alvarez allowed a three-run homer to Nationals slugger Bryce Harper in the first of his five innings in that loss.

"That ended up being the game. Three-run home run, that was it," Redmond told the team's website. "Unfortunately for us, we've had that scenario happen several times. The good news is that we're in this game. The bad news is we can't get on the other side of them, and get that big hit to take us over the hump and get a big win."

Alvarez is facing the Phillies for the first time.

In that initial matchup, he'll try to help the Marlins avoid reaching triple-digit losses for the first time since they were 54-108 in 1998 and second time in franchise history. Miami has lost 13 of 18 but split its last six games.

Philadelphia hasn't dropped six in a row since a season-high, eight-game skid July 20-28. Miami hasn't earned back-to-back wins since a three-game streak to open this month.

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SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Phillies at Marlins
Mon, Sep 23 Final 0 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Phillies at Marlins
Tue, Sep 24 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Phillies at Marlins
Wed, Sep 25 - 7:10PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:43 PM
Preview: Mets (71-85) at Reds (90-67)
Game: 2
Venue: Great American Ball Park
Date: September 24, 2013 7:10 PM EDT


The Cincinnati Reds are headed back to the postseason, but that's not enough.

Mike Leake will try to continue his dazzling stretch and help pull the Reds closer to the top of the NL Central on Tuesday night against the New York Mets.

Cincinnati (90-67) has qualified for the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the "The Big Red Machine" won World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.

Shin-Soo Choo booked the latest trip Monday, when he hit a long drive off the top of the wall in left-center to drive in Devin Mesoraco and clinch a 3-2, 10-inning win over New York.

"We're excited, obviously," shortstop Zack Cozart said. "That's not our goal. We're in the division hunt. We're not happy with a wild card."

The Reds and Pittsburgh have at least a wild-card berth, but both trail division-leading St. Louis by two games with five to play.

Giving the ball to Leake (14-6, 3.21 ERA) should give Cincinnati a strong chance to potentially close that gap, while the Cardinals host Washington.

Leake has been utterly dominant of late, winning three straight starts behind a 0.84 ERA.

He's thrown a career-high 20 1-3 scoreless innings over that stretch, becoming the ninth Reds starter to reach at least 20 since 1974 and first since Mat Latos went 21 innings from April 19-May 5.

Leake is also trying to win a career-high fourth straight start, and he hasn't put together a longer single-season winning streak since beginning his career 5-0 over his first 11 starts of 2010.

He was superb again last Tuesday, scattering five hits in eight innings of a 10-0 win at Houston. Despite that dominance, manager Dusty Baker didn't want to overextend Leake, who threw 105 pitches.

"He possibly could have gone the distance, but we thought about it," Baker told the team's official website. "It's not often you get to throw a complete-game shutout, but we had to look at the big picture."

Leake's most recent complete game came at home against the Mets (71-85) on Aug. 15, 2012, when he pitched a four-hitter in a 6-1 win.

He beat them again May 21, yielding three hits in seven innings of a 4-0 road victory.

Leake's success against New York is partly why the Reds have a 1.88 ERA while winning nine of the past 10 meetings.

Joey Votto is a career .359 hitter versus the Mets, collecting 13 homers, 28 RBIs and 28 runs in 36 games.

New York wanted no part of the four-time All-Star, walking Votto a career-high five times - including once with the bases loaded.

The Mets will turn to Jonathon Niese (7-8, 3.81), who is 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA over eight starts since returning from a partially torn rotator cuff. The left-hander has yielded two runs or fewer in five of them.

He allowed two runs over seven innings Thursday, but the offense mustered four hits in a 2-1 loss to San Francisco.

Niese is on schedule to start the Mets' season finale versus Milwaukee on Sunday, and he'd like to finish strong and healthy.

"If I finish the season healthy, coming into spring training next year will be a good feeling," Niese told the team's official website. "I had a rough patch there where I had some rotator cuff problems, but rehabbing got that behind me and it feels fresh now."

Niese is 1-3 with a 4.55 ERA in five lifetime starts versus the Reds, going 1-0 while allowing nine runs in 11 innings over two road meetings.

-----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Mets at Reds
Mon, Sep 23 Final 2 to 3
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Mets at Reds
Tue, Sep 24 - 7:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Mets at Reds
Wed, Sep 25 - 12:35PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:45 PM
Preview: Astros (51-106) at Rangers (85-71)
Game: 2
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: September 24, 2013 8:05 PM EDT


Yu Darvish nearly pitched a perfect game against the Houston Astros this year, then nearly no-hit baseball's worst team.

What's less memorable is that the Texas Rangers ace lost in his lone home start of the year against Houston.

The Rangers are winless in Darvish's last four home starts, but he will be heavily favored in this one with his club on a nine-game win streak versus the Astros heading into Tuesday night's matchup.

Texas (85-71) is one game behind Cleveland for the AL's second wild card and two behind Tampa Bay. The Rangers improved to 15-2 against Houston with a 12-0 rout Monday to open this three-game set.

"We've had some rough games,' Astros manager Bo Porter said. "They took it to us.'

It could get rougher for the Astros (51-106) as they face Darvish (13-9, 2.81 ERA) next after Derek Holland pitched a six-hitter with nine strikeouts Monday.

It's understatement to say that matchups against Darvish - who leads the AL with a .193 opponent batting average - haven't gone well for Houston.

He came within one out of a perfect game April 2 in a 7-0 victory before Marwin Gonzalez's single broke it up and chased Darvish, who finished with 14 strikeouts.

In his most recent start against the Astros on Aug. 12, Darvish took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Carlos Corporan's one-out homer ended that bid although Darvish finished with a career-high 15 strikeouts over eight frames in a 2-1 victory.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA with 54 strikeouts in five career starts against the Astros, but that defeat came July 6. He yielded five runs in six-plus innings to suffer a 9-5 home loss.

Texas had dropped six straight starts by Darvish before he surrendered two runs in five innings to beat 15-game winner Matt Moore in Thursday's 8-2 victory at Tampa Bay.

Darvish is still 0-3 with a 2.57 ERA in his last four starts in Arlington, with the Rangers giving him four total runs of support including none in the last two.

Support wasn't an issue Monday for Holland as Alex Rios hit for the cycle for the first time, becoming the seventh Ranger in history to accomplish the feat. Rios drove in four runs and his effort was part of a 14-hit attack for a Texas offense that totaled four runs over the weekend while losing two of three in Kansas City.

"We have to focus on the things that we have to do to win a game at a time," Rios said. "It doesn't do any good for us to look at what's happening around us."

Astros rookie starter Brad Peacock (5-5, 5.24) is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his last three road outings. He gave up four runs in 5 2-3 innings in a 6-5, 13-inning loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday.

The right-hander will face the Rangers for the second time after yielding one run over six innings and not receiving a decision in a 5-4 loss Aug. 10.

-----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Astros at Rangers
Mon, Sep 23 Final 0 to 12
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Astros at Rangers
Tue, Sep 24 - 8:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Astros at Rangers
Wed, Sep 25 - 8:05PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:46 PM
Preview: Pirates (90-67) at Cubs (65-92)
Game: 2
Venue: Wrigley Field
Date: September 24, 2013 8:05 PM EDT


Gerrit Cole has kicked it into another gear.

The blossoming rookie will look to win his fourth straight start Tuesday night as the Pittsburgh Pirates visit the Chicago Cubs seeking the top spot in the NL wild-card race.

Pittsburgh rode a pair of solo home runs to a 2-1 victory over Chicago Monday and clinched its first postseason berth since 1992.

"The people of Pittsburgh have been waiting a long time," second baseman Neil Walker said.

Walker put the Pirates (90-67) on top with a first-inning homer, his fourth in five games, and after the Cubs (65-92) tied it in the bottom of the eighth, Starling Marte provided the go-ahead run with his shot.

Closer Jason Grilli, with a .357 average against since his return from a strained right forearm, struggled, allowing a walk and a single, but Nate Schierholtz was thrown out trying to score from first on Ryan Sweeney's single.

"Even though I didn't lose for the last 20 years, they make you feel like you are," said Andrew McCutchen, whose throw from center led to Schierholtz getting nailed at the plate. "You get sick and tired of hearing that. It's awesome that there won't be any questions anymore. The question is are we going to be able to go farther."

Cincinnati also won in dramatic fashion, walking off against the Mets in 10 innings to remain in a tie with Pittsburgh.

The Reds and Pirates are both two games behind Central-leading St. Louis.

Cole (9-7, 3.23 ERA) has been a solid addition to Pittsburgh's rotation since his major league debut in June, but he's been particularly good lately. He's won each of his last three starts, allowing two runs in 20 innings with 28 strikeouts.

"He continues to grow right in front of our eyes," manager Clint Hurdle said.

The right-hander gave up a run and four hits, striking out a career-high 12 in a 10-1 victory over San Diego on Thursday.

"We just couldn't get to the fastball," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "I think we knew it was coming but he located some pitches, threw down and away well. He pitched in. He pitched up (and) mixed it up a little bit with the slider and the changeup."

Cole, who will face the Cubs for the second time in 11 days Tuesday, pitched seven one-run innings against them in a 2-1 victory Sept. 14.

Chicago's Chris Rusin (2-5, 3.52) was faring similarly well in his rookie season, as he allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven straight starts before Milwaukee roughed him up for six runs in four innings of a 7-0 loss Wednesday.

Rusin, who had yielded three home runs in his prior 58 innings, surrendered two Wednesday, including Sean Halton's first-inning grand slam.

"When I needed to make a pitch, I left it up and they hit it out of the yard,' Rusin said. "Those are the games you've just got to learn from. Just keep the ball down is what I keep telling myself. But that first inning really hurt the team. Just took the life out of us.'

The Cubs have scored 29 runs and batted .216 while losing 10 of 13.

----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Pirates at Cubs
Mon, Sep 23 Final 2 to 1
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Pirates at Cubs
Tue, Sep 24 - 8:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Pirates at Cubs
Wed, Sep 25 - 2:20PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:48 PM
Preview: Tigers (91-66) at Twins (66-90)
Game: 2
Venue: Target Field
Date: September 24, 2013 8:10 PM EDT


The Detroit Tigers' attempt to move a step closer to an AL Central title was undone in their series opener with the Minnesota Twins.

Doug Fister will try to help the Tigers wrap up that third straight division crown by delivering another solid outing against the Twins on Tuesday night.

Detroit (91-66) had a 3-2 lead heading into the ninth inning Monday at Target Field, but Brian Dozier hit a tying solo homer off Joaquin Benoit, who blew his first save in 23 chances this year. Dozier eventually scored the winning run on Josmil Pinto's single in the 11th, and that 4-3 loss kept the Tigers' magic number at two.

"Obviously, it's tough," pitcher Justin Verlander said. "We're sitting here knocking on the door and every win counts. It was a tough pill to swallow, but that's the lovely thing about baseball. We come out here tomorrow and we have another day and another crack at a win."

Fister (13-9, 3.71 ERA) will try to help his club bounce back and avoid a third straight loss Tuesday. The Tigers need a victory and a Cleveland loss to the Chicago White Sox to win the AL Central.

The right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.42 ERA in his last four starts against Minnesota (66-90), and he gave up two runs and two hits over 7 2-3 innings in his latest matchup, a 5-2 win at Target Field on June 16

Fister, though, has been inconsistent lately - giving up four runs or more in three of his last five outings. He allowed four runs and nine hits over 7 2-3 innings Thursday against Seattle, but Detroit gave him the win by rallying for a 5-4 victory.

"That's what a team does is trust one another," Fister told the team's website after striking out 10. "I think that's what kind of sets us apart right now. We're trusting one another. We're playing well together."

The Tigers will try for another complete effort against Scott Diamond (6-11, 5.54), who is 2-7 with a 6.32 ERA in his last 12 major league starts. The left-hander, though, earned his first win since June 20 on Wednesday in his second start since being recalled from a month-long stint at Triple-A Rochester.

Diamond gave up three runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 4-3 victory at the last-place Chicago White Sox.

"I think just going down to Rochester was kind of that reset for me," Diamond said. "I feel like I'm just building off of that a little bit."

Diamond is 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA in three matchups with Detroit this season after posting a 1.98 ERA in his previous four. He kept the Tigers scoreless in the first five innings of his most recent matchup June 14 before allowing four runs in his final frame of a 4-0 loss.

Miguel Cabrera is 3 for 7 with a home run and a double against Diamond this season and 10 for 21 (.476) lifetime. Cabrera went 2 for 4 and drove in a run Monday after sitting out Sunday's 6-3 loss to the White Sox with soreness in his groin.

Dozier is 5 for 9 with two doubles and a home run against Fister in his career. He'll try to help manager Ron Gardenhire earn career win No. 999.

Detroit's only other run of three straight regular-season titles came from 1907-09.

----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Tigers at Twins
Mon, Sep 23 Final 3 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Tigers at Twins
Tue, Sep 24 - 8:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Tigers at Twins
Wed, Sep 25 - 8:10PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:50 PM
Preview: Nationals (84-73) at Cardinals (92-65)
Game: 2
Venue: Busch Stadium
Date: September 24, 2013 8:15 PM EDT


The St. Louis Cardinals eliminated the Washington Nationals again.

Another victory pulls them closer to an NL Central title.

Carlos Beltran looks to continue pounding the Nationals on Tuesday night and help the Cardinals beat them for a fifth straight time since last fall.

St. Louis (92-65) beat Washington in five games during last year's division series and has won all four regular-season meetings this year.

Opening this three-game set with a 4-3 victory Monday knocked the Nationals out of contention for the two wild-card spots, allowing division rivals Cincinnati and Pittsburgh to clinch.

"It doesn't feel too good," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "Now, we're spoilers. So it's not over for us."

Washington should have plenty of motivation in that role since the Cardinals are trying to hold off the Reds and Pirates, leading both by two games.

Beltran will likely play a part in potentially expanding that lead. The right fielder is hitting .415 with five homes, 12 RBIs and 10 runs over his last 11 meetings with Washington, including the postseason.

He had two hits Monday, including a two-run homer to end a season-high 24-game drought.

"I don't think about things like that," said Beltran, who has six RBIs in five games. "It's not about homers. It's about helping the team."

It's unclear if the Cardinals will have Matt Holliday back in the lineup after he missed his second straight game with back spasms.

The left fielder is 13 for 22 with seven RBIs and eight runs in five games, and owns a .371 average over his last 17 regular-season games versus the Nationals.

The last time the Cardinals faced Gio Gonzalez (11-7, 3.39 ERA) was a 9-7 win at Washington in Game 5 of last year's division series.

Gonzalez allowed three runs with four walks in five innings while not getting a decision. He also struggled in a 3-2 win in Game 1, matching his career high by issuing seven walks while giving up two runs in five innings and not factoring in the decision.

Those performances were a tremendous departure from Gonzalez's only regular-season meeting with St. Louis, a five-hitter in a 10-0 win Aug. 31, 2012.

The left-hander enters this matchup winning four of his last five starts with a 1.87 ERA. He earned a 3-2 win over Miami on Thursday, allowing two runs in six innings.

The Cardinals will counter Gonzalez with rookie Michael Wacha (3-1, 3.21), who is facing Washington for the first time.

The 22-year-old right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in four starts since being recalled from Double-A Springfield and inserted in the rotation.

Wacha, though, is 0-1 while allowing six runs and 16 hits with 14 strikeouts in 9 2-3 innings over his last two outings.

----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Nationals at Cardinals
Mon, Sep 23 Final 3 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Nationals at Cardinals
Tue, Sep 24 - 8:15PM EDT

GAME 3
Nationals at Cardinals
Wed, Sep 25 - 1:45PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:51 PM
Preview: Red Sox (95-62) at Rockies (71-86)
Game: 1
Venue: Coors Field
Date: September 24, 2013 8:40 PM EDT


With home-field advantage in the AL still up for grabs, the Boston Red Sox won't take it easy during the final week of the regular season.

John Lackey looks to build on his best start of the year when the Red Sox visit the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night looking for an eighth win in 10 road games.

Headed to the postseason for first time in four years as East champions, Boston (95-62) hopes to hold off Oakland and Detroit in the race for the league's best record.

"We're going out to win games and be aggressive," said Felix Doubront, the winning pitcher in Sunday's 5-2 victory over Toronto. "We'll try to go hard every game."

Lackey (10-12, 3.44 ERA) likely won't let up after striking out eight during his two-hit gem in Thursday's 3-1 victory over Baltimore. The right-hander did not give up a hit until Adam Jones' homer in the seventh inning, then yielded a single to J.J. Hardy in the eighth to bounce back after he allowed 11 runs and 15 hits in 12 innings of his previous two starts.

"I felt pretty good," Lackey told the Red Sox's official website. "My arm felt good. It was fun."

In preparation for the playoffs, Boston originally intended to pitch Lackey out of the bullpen during this two-game set at Coors Field. However, they decided to push Jake Peavy to Wednesday and start Lackey on Tuesday and in Sunday's regular-season finale at Baltimore.

"We still want to play a good brand of baseball," manager John Farrell said. "We don't see the clinching of the division as a breather. It's a matter of continuing on and playing a very sound brand of baseball."

Lackey fanned a season-high 12 and gave up two runs over seven innings in a 5-3 home victory over Colorado on June 26, but pitching at Coors Field for the first time since 2010 might not be as easy. He's 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA in five road starts since the All-Star break.

The Rockies (71-86) have little to play for this week, but Michael Cuddyer still has the NL batting title in his sights. After missing the previous three games with a sore left wrist and forearm, Cuddyer raised his average to .334 with three hits in Sunday's 13-9 loss to Arizona.

He went 4 for 9 with two homers as Colorado was swept in two games by the Red Sox in June. With a solo shot off Lackey in that series, four of Cuddyer's seven hits in 22 at_bats against him have been home runs.

Boston's Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia each went 5 for 9 in that series.

Pedroia is 2 for 2 with a walk against the Rockies' Tyler Chatwood (7-5, 3.36), who gave up four runs over six innings in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to St. Louis. The right-hander has a 4.34 ERA in four September starts since returning from a month on the DL due to right elbow inflammation.

Chatwood gave up two runs and walked five in six innings in his only start against Boston, a 2011 outing with the Los Angeles Angels.

This will be the second-to-last home game for Colorado's Todd Helton, who will retire after 17 seasons. He had three hits and four RBIs on Sunday and is 12 for 30 in eight home games - including a pair in the 2007 World Series - versus Boston.

"It's good knowing that I can go out and be productive and help the team every once in awhile," Helton told the Rockies' official website.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:52 PM
Preview: Athletics (94-63) at Angels (76-80)
Game: 2
Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Date: September 24, 2013 10:05 PM EDT


The Oakland Athletics aren't satisfied with a second straight AL West title.

Jed Lowrie will try to keep them rolling and help Oakland earn a share of the best record in the league Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels.

The A's (94-63) are one game behind Boston for the best record in the AL and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

They don't appear to be letting up after clinching the West with Sunday's 11-7 win over Minnesota. Oakland followed that up by pounding out 13 hits to beat Los Angeles 10-5 in the opener of this three-game set and moved a season-best 31 games over .500.

"Just because we clinched (Sunday), that doesn't mean we're not going for more," said Tommy Milone, Monday's winning pitcher. "Home-field advantage, whatever it is. We're not going to stop."

The A's have won 11 of 13 games, including five in a row after dropping two of three at home to the Angels last week.

Lowrie is playing a vital role.

The shortstop is 10 for 28 (.357) with three homers, seven RBIs and eight runs over the past six games, homering in back-to-back contests. His three-run shot Monday was his first in 16 games at Anaheim.

Oakland sends A.J. Griffin (14-9, 3.78 ERA) to the mound hoping he can improve on his 4-0 record and 3.48 ERA over his last five starts. He's yielded one or two runs in three of those outings, including Wednesday's 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Angels. The only hit he allowed in six innings was a two-run homer by Mike Trout in the first before retiring 17 of the final 18 batters he faced.

"I'm able to repeat my delivery more often," Griffin said. "I can get the ball and let it fly."

Griffin was a 4-1 loser in his last visit to Anaheim on July 19, giving up four runs and three homers in five innings. The right-hander had won his two previous games there, yielding one run over 16 innings.

The Angels will again counter Griffin with Jason Vargas (8-7, 4.28), who allowed four runs and two homers in six innings Wednesday.

The left-hander is 0-2 with a 4.56 ERA in his last four starts versus Oakland. Lowrie is 3 for 6 off Vargas this year.

A meeting at home may not help since Vargas is 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA over his last three starts at Angel Stadium.

Some production from Trout would certainly help.

The star center fielder is 2 for 14 with six strikeouts and four walks in his past four games.

``He's just a little bit out of sync,' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``Maybe he's just getting a little tired. It's that part of the year where he's been grinding and playing hard. At times, you're not going to be playing locked-in, and tonight he had a couple of tough at_bats. But you've got to keep going.'

Trout's struggles come after he hit one homer in each game of the previous series against the A's, totaling four hits with six RBIs.

Trout has homered on both of his hits in nine at_bats versus Griffin this year.

"He's good at baseball," Griffin said.

Oakland has won 12 of 16 in Anaheim.

----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Athletics at Angels
Mon, Sep 23 Final 10 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Athletics at Angels
Tue, Sep 24 - 10:05PM EDT

GAME 3
Athletics at Angels
Wed, Sep 25 - 3:35PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:54 PM
Preview: Royals (83-73) at Mariners (68-89)
Game: 2
Venue: Safeco Field
Date: September 24, 2013 10:10 PM EDT


Back-to-back extra-inning victories have aided the Kansas City Royals' playoff push.

The visiting Royals can record their highest win total in 20 years Tuesday night when they send Bruce Chen to the mound to face the Seattle Mariners.

Kansas City (83-73) will finish with a winning record for the first time in 10 years and can win 84 games for the first time since 1993.

Making the playoffs, however, will be difficult since the Royals trail Cleveland by three games for the AL's second wild card and are also two games behind Texas with six left for every club.

``Every game from now to the last game of the season is important to us,' Royals catcher Salvador Perez said. ``We can't think about the other teams, what happened. We just need a win. We can't control other teams. The only thing we can control is our game.'

Dramatic wins to close a six-game homestand and open a seven-game trip, however, are cause for optimism. Justin Maxwell's grand slam in the 10th inning was the difference in Sunday's 4-0 win over the Rangers.

The Royals followed that up by blowing a two-run lead in the eighth inning Monday to open this three-game set before heroics by left fielder Alex Gordon and Perez in extra innings helped them avoid a crushing defeat.

That duo combined on the game's two key plays. Gordon threw out Kyle Seager at the plate with Perez making the tag to for a double play that ended the 10th inning and scored on Perez's two-out double in the 12th to lift the Royals to a 6-5 victory.

``Alex Gordon's golden arm, and great tag play by Salvy,' Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Closer Greg Holland walked the first two hitters in the bottom of the 12th before retiring the next three for his 45th save, tying the club record set by Dan Quisenberry in 1983 and matched by Jeff Montgomery 10 years later.

Kansas City is 11-4 in extra innings while Seattle has lost eight straight such games to fall to a major league-worst 6-15.

Six relievers combined to work the final 6 1-3 innings for the Royals, who will turn to Chen (8-3, 3.13 ERA).

The left-hander is 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA over his last five starts, allowing two runs in five innings last Wednesday to earn a 7-2 victory over Cleveland. Manager Ned Yost felt the veteran gives his team a boost in this race.

"I felt really good about Bruce being on the hill for us," Yost said.

Chen is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 10 starts against Seattle, although Seager is 4 for 8 with two homers against him.

He has fared better versus Raul Ibanez (3 for 15), Justin Smoak (2 for 11) and Michael Saunders (3 for 12).

Seattle (68-89) is 21-29 when facing left-handed starters and will counter with fellow southpaw James Paxton (2-0, 2.12), who will make his fourth big-league start.

Paxton, a 2010 Mariners fourth-round draft pick, won his first two outings before he gave up three runs in five innings Thursday in a 5-4 loss at Detroit.

Perez finished with his third three-hit game this season against the Mariners. He's batting.373 with 15 RBIs over his last 18 overall.

Seager is 14 for 33 (.424) during an eight-game hit streak versus Kansas City for Seattle, which has dropped five straight at home and 12 of 15 overall.

------------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Royals at Mariners
Mon, Sep 23 Final 6 to 5
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Royals at Mariners
Tue, Sep 24 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Royals at Mariners
Wed, Sep 25 - 10:10PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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09/24/2013 03:55 PM
Preview: Diamondbacks (79-77) at Padres (73-83)
Game: 2
Venue: PETCO Park
Date: September 24, 2013 10:10 PM EDT


The Arizona Diamondbacks couldn't keep their hot hitting going in the series opener against the San Diego Padres and were kept from moving a step closer to a winning season.

The Diamondbacks hitters will try to bounce back with another strong showing against San Diego's Tyson Ross while Arizona's Wade Miley will try to avoid another loss to the Padres on Tuesday night.

Arizona (79-77) was batting .332 with 70 runs during a 7-4 stretch but couldn't generate enough offense in a 4-1 loss in San Diego on Monday. The Diamondbacks had seven hits and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position after batting .282 in those situations in their previous 11 games.

Nick Hundley put San Diego (73-83) ahead for good with a three-run homer in the sixth inning as the Padres improved to 6-1 at home versus Arizona.

"We had some opportunities. The guys got frustrated," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had some lost opportunities."

Arizona will try to fare better against Ross (3-8, 3.24), who will seek to continue putting a miserable outing further in the past. The Padres right-hander failed to make it out of the first inning and was charged with six runs in a 10-5 loss in Philadelphia on Sept. 12.

He gave up two runs and three hits over seven frames Wednesday in Pittsburgh but did not get a decision in a 3-2 victory.

"A great win and Ross pitched great," manager Bud Black told the team's website. "He didn't deserve to lose that game, so it's fitting that he didn't."

Ross also gave up six runs to Arizona on Aug. 26, but over six-plus innings in a 6-1 loss. He was much better in his only other start against the Diamondbacks on July 28, yielding just three hits in eight innings of a 1-0 win.

He might have a chance at another victory over Arizona given Miley's struggles against the Padres. The left-hander is 1-6 with a 5.96 ERA in eight lifetime matchups and 0-4 with a 5.82 ERA in four this season.

Miley, though, had a solid performance in the most recent of those games. He gave up two runs over seven innings in a 5-1 defeat Aug. 28.

Miley (10-10, 3.75) has also given up three runs or fewer in each of his last three outings and was in line for a second straight victory Thursday before the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for a 7-6 win. He gave up three runs and five hits over five innings in that start.

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt will try to help his starter by producing the Diamondbacks' first 14-game hit streak of the season. He's batting .442 with 11 extra-base hits - including four homers - and 16 RBIs during his run, but is 1 for 6 with two strikeouts against Ross.

Jesus Guzman is 7 for 17 (.412) with two doubles and a home run all-time against Miley, but he's 0 for 11 in his past three starts.

----------------------------------------------------------

SERIES AT A GLANCE

GAME 1
Diamondbacks at Padres
Mon, Sep 23 Final 1 to 4
Boxscores • Recaps

GAME 2
Diamondbacks at Padres
Tue, Sep 24 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 3
Diamondbacks at Padres
Wed, Sep 25 - 10:10PM EDT

GAME 4
Diamondbacks at Padres
Thu, Sep 26 - 6:40PM EDT
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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