Dugout Digest – distance

The AL Wild Card race is getting a little…different. The Rangers are now actually tied with the Rays for the top spot, while the Indians are 1.5 games behind both teams for the second spot. The Yankees, Royals, and Orioles have all fallen to three or 3.5 games out respectively. The Rays and Rangers are still the overwhelming favorites for the playoff spots, and the Indians are the only one within sniffing distance, but these things can change in an instant.


Prince Fielder…just don't try to run, please. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Braves 2, Padres 1. After a dominant night from Kris Medlen, Atlanta turned it over to their impeccable bullpen to close this one out. David Carpenter finished the eighth without flinching, and Craig Kimbrel took a 2-0 lead into the ninth. Kimbrel immediately eliminated his room for error, allowing a solo homer to Chase Headley to make it a one run game. After striking out Kyle Blanks and Tommy Medica, Kimbrel walked Ronny Cedeno, and pinch runner Reymond Fuentes stole second. With the tying run a hit away from scoring, Kimbrel got Nick Hundley to chase a pitch outside of the strike zone and ground out to Chris Johnson to end the game. reducing Atlanta's number in the NL East race to four.

Pitching Lines of the Day: Jon Lester carried the Red Sox to a 5-1 win over the Yankees, allowing one run on three hits in eight innings, walking two and striking out five. Bartolo Colon outdueled Yu Darvish in Oakland's 1-0 win over Texas, giving up seven hits in eight shutout innings, walking one and striking out seven. Darvish allowed one run on four hits in seven innings, punching out ten and walking one. Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins shut out the Mets 3-0 in game one of their doubleheader, as Alvarez gave up four hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out five without a walk. In game two, Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Mets won 3-1, with Dice-K allowing one run on two hits in seven innings, punching out three and walking one. Kris Medlen spurred the Braves to that win over the Padres, allowing four hits in 7 1/3 shutout frames, striking out five and walking a pair. Finally, James Paxton improved to 2-0 on his career as the Mariners improbably beat the Cardinals 4-1, with the rookie giving up two hits in six shutout innings, striking out five and walking two.

Hitting Lines of the Day: Well, the Giants destroyed the Dodgers 19-3, with Brandon Belt going 5/6 with four runs, six RBI, a double, and a homer, and Hunter Pence going 3/5 with two runs, seven RBI, and a homer. Shin-Soo Choo and the Reds beat the Brewers 7-3, as Choo went 2/3 with three runs, three RBI, a walk, a double, and a homer. Aaron Hill and the Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 9-2, with Hill going 3/5 with a homer and three RBI. Lonnie Chisenhall kept the Indians' winning ways going in their 8-1 win over the White Sox, going 2/4 with two runs, three RBI, and a homer.

Other Games: The Blue Jays edged the Orioles 4-3. The Royals held off the Tigers 1-0. The Phillies slipped by the Nationals 5-4. The Pirates used a pair of solo homers to beat the Cubs 2-1. The Rays shut out the Twins 7-0. The Angels topped the Astros 6-2.

What You Missed: Vladimir Guerrero is calling it a career. Post-mortem and hope for the hopeless covering the Twins are live. 

Today's Games: Jeremy Guthrie and Max Scherzer duel in Detroit. Julio Teheran and the Braves host the Padres. Jordan Zimmerman and the Nationals host the Phillies. Francisco Liriano and the Pirates host Travis Wood and the Cubs. Chris Sale and the White Sox look to salvage their series with Zach McAllister and the Indians. David Price and the Rays take on the Twins. Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers take on Bronson Arroyo and the Reds. Shelby Miller starts for the Cardinals, hosting the Mariners. Jarrod Parker and Martin Perez will battle in Texas. Jhoulys Chacin starts for the Rockies in Arizona. Ivan Nova and Clay Buchholz square off in Boston.

National TV: Royals-Tigers (1 PM, TBS), Yankees-Red Sox (8 PM, ESPN)

MLB.tv Free Game: Angels-Astros (2 PM)

Pitching Matchup of the Day: Travis Wood vs Francisco Liriano (Cubs vs Pirates 1:30 PM)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

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