The White Sox beat the Tigers 6-1 last night to move to three games up in the AL Central. This series is the last between the two contenders this year, and a series win for either side could potentially decide the division. The Tigers came into Monday's game with seven straight wins over the White Sox, and a 10-4 record on the season. Yet, no series matters more than this one at US Cellular Field. Each team isn't screwing around with their pitchinig in the final three games either, with the Tigers sending Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander to the hill, and the White Sox rolling with Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, and Chris Sale on the bump.
Game of the Night: Reds 4, Pirates 3 (14 innings). This might be the game that unofficially killed the Pirates playoff chances. Pittsburgh led 3-1 going into the bottom of the seven, and Wandy Rodriguez was dominant on the mound. He was relieved by Jared Hughes, who immediately allowed a two-run double to tie the game at three. The game remained scoreless until the 14th, with both teams missing scoring opportunities (including a bases loaded, none out situation in the 14th for the Pirates). In the bottom of the inning, Rick Vanden Hurk put two runners out, then got two outs (including a strikeout on Joey Votto). A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, and that would prove to be key after Brandon Phillips reached on an infield single with a run scoring to win the game.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Kyle Kendrick (of all people) dominated the Marlins in a 3-1 Phillies win with a very un-Kendrick-like outing: one run on two hits over seven innings, walking three and striking out eight. Mike Minor was great for the Braves in a 4-1 loss in Milwaukee, throwing 5 2/3 scoreless frames and allowing just two hits, walking two and striking out eight. Jarrod Parker destroyed the Angels in a 3-1 A's win, allowing one run on three hits over seven, walking two and striking out two to keep the A's rolling in the AL Wild Card race.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Cameron Maybin and Chris Denorfia destroyed the Cardinals in an 11-3 Padres win, with Maybin going 3/4 with three runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer, and Denorfia going 4/6 with two runs, two RBI, and a double. Buster Posey tried (and failed) to give the Giants a win in their 6-5 loss to the Rockies, going 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and a homer. Alex Rios and the corpse of Gordon Beckhma helped the White Sox win in their game against the Tigers. Rios went 2/4 with a double, a homer, and three RBI, and Beckham went 2/3 with a walk and a two-run homer.
Other Games: The Twins smsahed the Indians 7-2, pushing the Tribe into a last place tie with Minnesota. Gio Gonzalez won his 19th game in the Nationals' 5-1 win over the Mets. The Cubs staved off elimination for another day, beating the Astros 4-1.
Today's Games: Matt Moore takes on Jason Hammel in a crucial Rays-Orioles series. Roy Halladay starts for the Phillies against the Mets. Brandon Morrow starts for the Blue Jays against the Mariners. Hiroki Kuroda and the slumping Yankees take on Jon Lester and the insignificant Red Sox. Jordan Zimmermann takes on RA Dickey and the Mets. Matt Harrison starts for the Rangers against the Indians. Tim Hudson starts for the Braves in Milwaukee. Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants in Denver. Dan Straily is back for the A's, starting in Anaheim. Clayton Kershaw returns for the Dodgers in Arizona against Ian Kennedy. Adam Wainwright starts for the struggling Cardinals in San Diego against Edinson Volquez.
God bless America, and enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.