This AL East race is going to be crazy over this final month. The Yankees are still tops in the division with a 76-58 record, but fell to the Rays 4-3 on Monday after an eighth inning RBI single by Chris Gimenez. The Rays are now 74-61, 2.5 games back of the Yankees. Meanwhile, there's the Orioles, who just aren't losing. Baltimore beat the Blue Jays 4-0 in Toronto on Monday behind a great pitching performance from Joe Saunders, and now the O's are 75-59, just one game behind the Yankees. With 28 games to go, this might be the most compelling race in baseball right now. The dynamics of each team's schedules are in play too. The Rays and Yankees play five more times, the Orioles and Rays play six more times, and the Yankees and Orioles have four left….that will happen this week at Camden Yards. The Yankees are currently 1-4 in their 11 game stretch against their AL East foes, and need to at least break .500 to inspire some confidence.
Game of the Day: Giants 9, Diamondbacks 8 (ten innings). I think we can stick a fork in the Diamondbacks, now four games under .500 and 11.5 back of the Giants in the NL West. The Giants got four quick runs in the first inning off of Arizona rookie Pat Corbin, but that would be all as the rookie settled into a nice groove after the opening stanza. Barry Zito was unscored upon in the first four innings, but Arizona got a pair in the fifth after a two-run homer by Chris Johnson. Then, the Diamondbacks offense exploded on Zito and Guillermo Mota in the sixth inning, plating five runs to take a 7-4 lead. The teams traded runs after that, and Arizona held an 8-5 lead going into the bottom of the eighth. The Giants scored a pair in the eighth off of David Hernandez to make it 8-7, and a Buster Posey RBI double off of JJ Putz in the ninth resulted in a tie game and Putz's fifth blown save of the year. The Diamondbacks didn't score in the tenth, but the Giants did after Marco Scutaro singled Brandon Crawford home to give San Francisco a walk-off victory.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Kris Medlen continues to be a dominant force for the Braves, leading them to a 6-1 win over the Rockies. Medlen allowed just one unearned run in a complete game on five hits, striking out 12 Colorado hitters without a walk. Phillies rookie Tyler Cloyd had an impressive start against the Reds in Philly's 4-2 win, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out nine with zero walks. Ross Detwiler continued his breakout year for the Nationals, throwing seven shutout innings in Washington's 2-1 win against the Cubs and allowing four hits, three walks, and striking out three hitters. His opposition, Jeff Samardzija, was nearly as good, allowing one run on seven hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking one.
Hitting Lines of the Day: The Angels cooled down the A's with an 8-3 victory that saw Chris Iannetta go 3/4 with three RBI and his eighth homer of the year and Vernon Wells go 2/2 with two runs, two RBI, two walks, a homer, and a stolen base. The Astros earned a 5-1 win over the slipping Pirates, with Brett Wallace going 3/4 with a three-run homer. Daniel Murphy had a good game for the Mets in their 5-4 loss to the Cardinals, going 2/4 with a walk and a two-run homer.
Other Games: The Indians edged the Tigers 3-2, and combined the White Sox 4-2 win over the Tigers, Detroit's stay in first place didn't even last a day. Yu Darvish toyed with a perfect game in an 8-4 Rangers win over the Royals. The Marlins beat the Brewers 7-3. The Mariners shoveled more dirt on the Red Sox coffin, winning 4-1 in Seattle behind Jason Vargas.
Today's Games: Edwin Jackson starts for the Nationals, hosting the Cubs. Freddy Garcia looks to help keep the Yankees in first place against Alex Cobb and the Rays. Scott Diamond and the Twins take on Jose Quintana and the White Sox, battling the Tigers for first place in the AL Central. Mat Latos will start for the Reds, hosting the Phillies. Matt Harrison will start for the Rangers in Kansas City against Jeremy Guthrie. Zack Greinke takes on Jarrod Parker in Oakland. Matt Harvey of the Mets will take on Jaime Garcia in St Louis. Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers at home against the Padres. Ian Kennedy will take on Ryan Vogelsong in San Francisco.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.