Dugout Digest – one step away

The Tigers are just one game out of the top spot in the AL Central after topping the White Sox 5-1 last night in Detroit. Francisco Liriano turned back into a pumpkin for Chicago, and was no match for a game Max Scherzer. The Tigers offense tripled three teams, giving the team ample opportunity for easy runs, while the White Sox scuffled and labored to push even one run across the board in the ninth inning. Today's game between the two teams will be an interesting one in determining the division winner, and each team will send their ace to the hill: Justin Verlander versus Chris Sale. Awwww yeah.

Game of the Day: Cardinals 10, Nationals 9. This was a wild, back and forth game that resulted in the Cardinals offense finally breaking out of their hibernation and getting a huge win for their team. The Nationals led 4-0 after one, and 6-2 after two, but then St Louis's offense went ham, scoring six straight over the next two innings to take an 8-6 lead and chase Jordan Zimmermann from the game (spiking his ERA by half a run in the process). In the sixth, Washington scored three to go on top 9-8 after a solo homer by Danny Espinosa and an RBI single by Ryan Zimmerman that scored Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper (on the throw). But the Cardinals wouldn't die, getting a run in each of the eighth and ninth innings to take a 10-9 lead. Jason Motte finished Washington off on just ten pitches in the bottom of the ninth, and that was that for this one.

Pitching Lines of the Day: Saturday was a day dominated by pitching. Scherzer's final line in that Tigers win ended up being eight shutout innings, four hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts. In a 2-1 Reds loss to the Astros (really), Homer Bailey did everything he could to enable his Reds to win, allowing one run on three hits over eight innings, walking one and striking out nine. Marco Estrada was awesome for the Brewers in their 3-2 walkoff win over the Pirates, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out ten while walking only one. Josh Johnson was fantastic for the Marlins in their 5-3 loss to the Mets, allowing a sole run over eight innings on three hits, walking two and striking out four. A's rookie AJ Griffin won again in Oakland's 7-1 thumping of Boston, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, striking out five without a walk. Cliff Lee pitched like Cliff Lee in Philly's 5-1 win in Atlanta, pitching seven shutout frames and allowing just five hits, walking one and striking out five.

Hitting Lines of the Day: David Freese had a great day for the Cardinals, going 3/5 with two runs, three RBI, a double, a homer, and a stolen base. The Rockies blitzed the Padres 9-1, and Tyler Colvin went 2/4 with two runs, three RBI, a double, and a homer in the win. Coco Crisp did it all for the A's in their win, going 3/4 with a walk, a double, a solo homer, and his 30th stolen base of the year. Adrian Beltre gave the Rangers offense in a 4-3 loss to the Indians, having himself a 3/4 day with a double and his 26th homer of the year.

Other Games: The Yankees edged the Orioles 4-3 thanks to a three run seventh that was not for the faint of heart. The Giants scored five in the first two innings, and that was enough to top the Cubs 5-2. The Rays beat the Blue Jays 5-4 with the game ending the same way it ended on Friday night: with a runner being thrown out at the plate to end the game. The Angels scored four in the eighth to beat Felix Hernandez and the Mariners 5-2. The Twins swept a doubleheader with the Royals, winning 3-1 and 8-7. Josh Beckett got his first win as a Dodger in a 2-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Today's Games: Chris Tillman takes on Phil Hughes in the Bronx, as the Orioles continue their magical playoff hunt. Jake Westbrook takes on Stephen Strasburg in DC. David Price starts for the Rays in Toronto against Ricky Romero, having a lost season overall. James McDonald of the Pirates takes on Yovani Gallardo in Milwaukee. Daisuke Matsuzaka takes on Brett Anderson, who has been unreal in two starts this year, in Oakland. Matt Cain starts for the Giants in Chicago. Jered Weaver will duel with Hisashi Iwakuma in Seattle. Wade Miley and Chris Capuano will battle in Los Angeles. Cole Hamels and the Phillies will look to sweep Paul Maholm and the Braves in Atlanta. And finally, your matchup of the night (on ESPN no less): Chris Sale versus Justin Verlander in Detroit.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

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