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MLB: The Orioles are 6-0 in their last six overall heading into Sunday night's game against the Yankees.
MLB: The Diamondbacks are 5-0 in their last five overall and 8-0 in their last eight home games.
MLB: The Dodgers were 5-0 overall and 5-0 in their last five home games as of Sunday evening.
ATP: Mardy Fish is 14-3 on the American hard courts this summer.
MLB: The Mariners are 0-4 in their last four home games.
MLB: The Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last five overall and 1-4 in their last five home games.
MLB: The Cubs are 1-6 in their last seven overall and 0-4 in their last four home games.
ATP: Fernando Gonzalez has played only six matches this season--and only one since Wimbledon--due to injury.
Injury not to be overlooked
Yankees' right-hander Freddy Garcia is back from a stint on the disabled list and will get the nod on Monday night at Baltimore. Garcia has not pitched since August 7 because of a finger injury. Prior to going on the DL, Garcia was 3-0 in his last four starts and had allowed only six runs in his last 24.1 innings.
.392 - Troy Tulowitzki's batting average since the All-Star break, including .412 over the past 30 days. The Rockies' shortstop has a five-game hitting going (as of Sunday) and has hit safely in 11 of the last 12 games. Tulowitzki has six hits in his last three outings, including six home runs and three RBIs. He will look to keep up the hot streak on Monday at Arizona.
Game of the day
NFL preseason: New York Jets at New York Giants (2.5, 35.5)
"I’m not backing down from one comment. I believe we are the best team in New York. My goal is to be the best team in the National Football League, not just in New York, and I’m not backing down one bit from that statement. I believe that will be the case." -- Jets' head coach Rex Ryan on Saturday, reiterating his previous declaration that his team is the best in New York. The Jets play the Giants on Monday night.
Tips and notes
Syracuse opens its college football season at home against Wake Forest on Thursday night and the Orange would be feeling good if they looked at nothing else other than Wake's 3-9 record from a year ago. However, Syracuse is 0-6 in its last six home games against the ACC. Head coach Doug Marrone isn't about to overlook a speedy Demon Deacon squad. "They run to the ball well," Marrone said in a weekend press conference. "They hustle well. Again, they have speed which is always a concern. We're starting the season off with a great challenge."
Georgia Tech will be hosting a new-look Western Carolina team when it opens the season against the Catamounts on Thursday. That's good news for Western, because--after all--it cannot get any worse. The Catamounts went 2-9 last year, ended on six-game losing streak, ranked 101st in total offense, 104th in scoring, and 110th in total defense out of 117 FCS schools. They head into this season with a new offense and a new starting quarterback. Western will feature a high-tempo attack with multiple formations led by the pistol, which was popularized by Nevada.
Roger Federer is 33-0 in the first round of his last 33 Grand Slam appearances. Starting at the 2003 U.S. Open, Federer won 24 consecutive first-round matches at slams in straight sets, a streak that extended through the 2009 U.S. Open. That does not bode well for unheralded opponent Santiago Giraldo on Monday.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (16-5, 2.51 ERA)
Kershaw has been lights out the entire season, but he is in especially rare form at the moment. The southpaw has allowed only one run in his last three starts and he earned the win in all three. In that span, Kershaw has pitched 22 innings while allowing only 17 hits and three walks while striking out 23 hitters.
Ricky Romero, Toronto Blue Jays (12-9, 2.78 ERA)
Romero's record is nothing to write home about, but the lefty seems to improve year after year with an ERA in steady decline; 4.30 in 2009, 3.73 in 2010, and 2.78 so far in 2011. Romero is simply on fire at the moment. He is 5-0 in his last six starts, all of which have been effective--to say the least. In that span Romero has pitched 46.1 innings, surrendering only 22 hits and seven runs.
Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins (9-9, 4.30 ERA)
Nolasco's numbers for the season are far from terrible, but he seems to be wearing down as the finish line approaches after a hot stretch in late July and early August. The veteran righty took the mound on August 17 at Colorado and lasted just three innings, surrendering 11 hits and 11 earned runs. Nolasco tried to bounce back at home against Cincinnati on Wednesday and while it got better, it still wasn't good. He scattered nine hits and four earned runs in 6.2 innings as Florida lost 8-6.
Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins (0-2, 6.84 ERA)
Almost nothing has been going right for the Twins this season, and Slowey is no exception. He had been coming out of the bullpen in the spring, but Minnesota pulled the plug on that and sent him to Triple-A. He is back in the starting rotation upon his mid-August return, but for Slowey it has just been more of the same. In two starts he has allowed 11 earned runs in 10.1 innings, taking the loss on both occasions.