Dugout Digest – a late push

While the Cardinals, Pirates, and Dodgers all struggle in the NL Wild Card race, the Phillies and Brewers just keep pushing forward. The Phillies beat the Marlins 3-1 on Wednesday to win their seventh game in a row, push themselves above .500 for the first time in three months, and move to within three games of the Cardinals. The Brewers swept the Braves after an 8-2 win, and are also three games behind the Cardinals. Both teams are still behind both the Dodgers and Pirates in the race towards catching St Louis, but it's getting a lot tighter.

Game of the Night: Orioles 3, Rays 2. They just keep winning. Each team's first two runs were scored very early on, with a Ben Francisco double tying the game at two in the third. Then, the pitching for both teams locked down, and no one scored…until the ninth. Kyle Farnsworth came in for the ninth for the Rays (instead of closer Fernando Rodney), and he lost the game on four pitches. Rookie Manny Machado single, Robert Andino bunted him over to second, and Nate McLouth singled Machado in to win the game, and keep the Orioles in a tie for first in the AL East.

Pitching Lines of the Night: AJ Griffin dominated the Angels in a 4-1 A's win, allowing six hits over eight shutout frames, walking none and striking out six. Cliff Lee picked up his fifth win of the year in Philly's win over the Marlins, allowing one unearned run on four hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out six. Travis Wood of the Cubs had a great start against the Astros, allowing one run on four hits over 7 2/3 innings and striking out six while walking just one. Trevor Cahill pitched well for the Diamondbacks in their 3-2 win over the Dodgers, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out seven while walking none.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Kevin Youkilis did his best, but the White Sox still fell to the Tigers. Youkilis went 2/4 with two homers and four RBI in the 8-6 defeat. Likewise, Jarrod Saltalamacchia did his damndest for the Red Sox in their 5-4 loss to the Yankees, going 3/3 with two runs, a walk, a double, a triple, and a homer. Curtis Granderson went 2/5 with three RBI and two homers in that game for New York though. Alfonso Soriano gave the Cubs offense all they needed in their win over Houston, going 3/4 with two RBI, a double, and a homer.

Other Games: The Padres edged the Cardinals 3-2 to continue their downward spiral, while the Reds nipped the Pirates 2-1. The Mariners beat the Blue Jays 3-2, and held them to two hits in the process. The Rangers beat the Indians 5-2. The Nationals shut out the Mets 2-0 with John Lannan on the hill. The Royals pounded the Twins 10-5. The Giants beat the Rockies 8-3. 

Today's Games: Only a half slate of games today. Jeremy Hellickson takes on Wei-Yin Chen in Baltimore. Brett Anderson and CJ Wilson will duel in Anaheim. Lance Lynn takes on Josh Beckett in LA in a must-win series for both teams. Felix Hernandez will start in Toronto. Phil Hughes will take on Felix Doubront in Boston. Justin Verlander takes on Chris Sale in Chicago. 

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.