Dugout Digest – clinging to hopes

You know, the Pittsburgh Pirates aren't necessarily playing *bad* lately…the issue is that the Reds just can't be stopped. After losing two straight to being the weekend, the Pirates needed to win yesterday to attempt to salvage a bid at winning the division. Well, they did that with a 6-2 win, but are still 4.5 games out of the division lead. The Pirates are 2.5 up on the Cardinals in the division and wild card race, which they're currently leading the second spot inn the race. The Pirates desperately needed a win yesterday to in an attempt to at least stay relevant…and sure enough, they got it.

Game of the Day: Tigers 10, Indians 8 (ten innings). This game just threw some more dirt on Cleveland's coffin. The game went into the tenth tied at five, and Cleveland struck in the extra inning against Joaquin Benoit and Darin Downs, plating three runs after a pair of solo homers by Travis Hafner and Ezequiel Carrera and an RBI double from Lou Marson. Against closer Chris Perez in the bottom of the inning, the Tigers managed an unreal really. Perez got the first two outs easily, but then walked both Alex Avila and Andy Dirks before allowing an RBI double to Austin Jackson to make it 8-6. An Omar Infante two-run single tied the game at eight and brought up Miguel Cabrera, who walked off with a two-run homer that stomped the life out of the Indians year.

Pitching Lines of the Day: David Price threw eight shutout innings for the Rays against the Orioles, but his team provided him no offense, and Tampa Bay lost 1-0 in ten innings. Price gave up just two hits and walked three, striking out five Baltimore hitters in his outing. His counterpart Miguel Gonzalez matched his zeroes, throwing seven shutout frames while giving up only two hits, walking four, and striking out four. AJ Burnett of the aforementioned Pirates fell just one out shy of a complete game in Cincinnati, allowing two runs on three hits, walking three and striking out seven Reds hitters. Stephen Strasburg struck out the Marlins over six innings in a 4-1 Nationals win, allowing three hits, one walk, and six strikeouts.

Hitting Lines of the Day: The Tigers' top two hitters, Austin Jackson and Omar Infante, fueled the offense in Detroit's comeback win. Jackson went 4/6 with three runs, one RBI, a double, and a striple, while Infante went 4/6 with three runs, three RBI, a double, and a homer. Travis Hafner went 3/5 with 3/5 with three RBI and a homer on the other side of the field. Neil Walker went 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer in Pittsburgh's big win over Cincinnati. In the Blue Jays' 6-5 win over the A;s, Edwin Encarnacion went 2/4 with two runs, two RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer.

Other Games: The Yankees beat the Mariners 6-2. The Braves beat up the Astros late, winning 6-1. The Red Sox survived a late Twins rally, winning 6-4. The Phillies rallied late to walk-off on the Diamondbacks 5-4. The White Sox beat the sliding Angels 4-2. The Giants crushed the Rockies 8-3. The Royals beat the Rangers 7-6 in ten on a walk-off error by rookie Mike Olt. The Padres beat up rookie Matt Harvey and beat the Mets 7-3. The Dodgers walked off on the Cubs 7-6, spoiling the debuts of top Chicago prospects Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson. The Cardinals shut out the Brewers 3-0 to complete a sweep.

Today's Games: Full slate tonight, with 13 games on the menu. Justin Verlander starts for the Tigers, hosting the Yankees. The resurgent Ben Sheets starts for the Braves in Philly. Wade Miley and Erik Bedard in Pittsburgh is an under the radar great matchup. Surprising young starters Scott Diamond and Zach McAllister will duel in Cleveland. The struggling Yu Darvish and the Ragners will head to Boston. Chris Sale starts for the White Sox, hosting the Royals. Matt Cain starts for the Giants in St Louis. Jered Weaver and Jarrod Parker will duel in Oakland as the two wild card leaders battle.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

Joe is the managing editor of The Outside Corner and an associate editor at Awful Announcing. He lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is smack dab in the middle of some of the best (and worst) sports fans in the country.

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