THT Daily: Pennant Action

Major League News for September 10

Yesterday’s Results
Today’s Games
Standings
Game of the Day
Yesterday’s Home Runs
Player News
Stats


Yesterday’s Results
American League
NYA     3  BAL     2    (Recap and Boxscore) Wang: 7.1 IP, 1 R; Loewen: 7 IP, 2 R
KC     10  BOS     4    (Recap and Boxscore) 12 innings; KC: 5 straight vs. BOS
TB      9  OAK     6    (Recap and Boxscore)
CHA    10  CLE     8    (Recap and Boxscore) Konerko: 2 HR, 5 RBI; Dye: 2B, 3B, HR
MIN     2  DET     1    (Recap and Boxscore) Boof: 7 IP, 1 R
TOR     2  LAA     1    (Recap and Boxscore) Chacin: 7 IP, 1 R; Escobar: 7 IP, 2 R
SEA     3  TEX     2    (Recap and Boxscore) 13 innings; Washburn: 6 IP, 1 R

National League
ATL     7  CHN     3    (Recap and Boxscore) James: 7 IP, 3 R
FLA     4  PHI     3    (Recap and Boxscore) 10 innings; Utley: 2 HR; Uggla: 1 HR
NYN     3  LAN     2    (Recap and Boxscore) El Duque: 7 IP, 2 R
PIT     7  CIN     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU    10  MIL     4    (Recap and Boxscore) Berkman: 2 HR, 4 RBI, Hirsh: 6 IP, 2 R
ARI     3  STL     0    (Recap and Boxscore) Webb: 9 IP, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 H (Rolen in the 4th)
COL     9  WAS     5    (Recap and Boxscore) Holliday: 3-4, 4 RBI
SF      5  SD      4    (Recap and Boxscore)


Today’s Games
Visitors                          Home                              Starts
PHI - Hamels C.* (7-7, 4.33)      FLA - Willis D.* (9-11, 3.93)       1:05
CHC - Mateo J. (1-2, 5.10)        ATL - Cormier L. (2-4, 5.26)        1:05
LAD - Stults E.* (0-0, 9.00)      NYM - Trachsel S. (14-6, 5.02)      1:10
OAK - Zito B.* (15-9, 3.79)       TB - Seo J. (1-6, 4.13)             1:15
PIT - Youman S.* (0-0, -)         CIN - Arroyo B. (12-9, 3.33)        1:15
NYY - Wright J. (9-7, 4.62)       BAL - Penn H. (0-1, 108.00)         1:35
CLE - Sabathia C.* (10-9, 3.31)   CWS - Vazquez J. (11-9, 4.80)       2:05
HOU - Rodriguez W.* (9-8, 5.43)   MIL - Bush D. (10-10, 4.66)         2:05
KC - Redman M.* (9-8, 5.26)       BOS - Tavarez J. (2-4, 4.72)        2:05
DET - Bonderman J. (11-7, 4.02)   MIN - Santana J.* (17-5, 2.84)      2:10
WAS - Astacio P. (3-5, 5.83)      COL - Francis J.* (11-11, 3.79)     3:05
TOR - Halladay R. (16-5, 3.22)    LAA - Weaver J. (10-2, 2.16)        3:35
TEX - Eaton A. (5-4, 4.93)        SEA - Hernandez F. (11-13, 4.70)    4:05
STL - Suppan J. (11-7, 4.39)      ARI - Gonzalez E. (3-7, 5.64)       4:40
SD - Williams W. (7-5, 3.91)      SF - Hennessey B. (5-4, 3.72)       8:05


Standings

The graphics next to each team are called “sparklines.” They depict each team’s performance over the last month. Each “up” bar is a victory and a “down” bar is a loss. There are horizontal lines for home games and red bars represent games decided by two runs or less. “PWins” is short for Projected Wins, based on each team’s Run Differential, and is often a better measure of a team’s true strength. Other team graphs and stats can be found on our Team Page.

American League East        Pwins  Diff
NYA     84  56 .600    0.0   82      2      
BOS     75  67 .528   10.0   71      4      
TOR     74  68 .521   11.0   74      0      
BAL     62  79 .440   22.5   61      1      
TB      57  85 .401   28.0   58     -1      
American League Central
DET     86  57 .601    0.0   86      0      
MIN     82  59 .582    3.0   78      4      
CHA     82  60 .577    3.5   80      2      
CLE     67  74 .475   18.0   78     -11     
KC      54  89 .378   32.0   55     -1      
American League West
OAK     81  60 .574    0.0   75      6      
LAA     76  66 .535    5.5   74      2      
TEX     72  71 .503   10.0   75     -3      
SEA     68  73 .482   13.0   68      0      

National League East         Pwins Diff
NYN     88  53 .624    0.0   83      5      
PHI     72  70 .507   16.5   73     -1      
FLA     71  71 .500   17.5   71      0      
ATL     68  73 .482   20.0   73     -5      
WAS     61  81 .430   27.5   60      1      
National League Central
STL     75  66 .532    0.0   71      4      
HOU     70  71 .496    5.0   72     -2      
CIN     70  72 .493    5.5   68      2      
MIL     64  78 .451   11.5   62      2      
PIT     58  85 .406   18.0   61     -3      
CHN     56  86 .394   19.5   58     -2      
National League West
LAN     75  67 .528    0.0   76     -1      
SD      73  68 .518    1.5   72      1      
SF      72  70 .507    3.0   72      0      
ARI     67  75 .472    8.0   69     -2      
COL     66  76 .465    9.0   71     -5      

Wildcard Standings
American League
MIN     82  59 .582    0.0
CHA     82  60 .577    0.5
LAA     76  66 .535    6.5
BOS     75  67 .528    7.5
TOR     74  68 .521    8.5
National League
SD      73  68 .518    0.0
PHI     72  70 .507    1.5
SF      72  70 .507    1.5
FLA     71  71 .500    2.5
HOU     70  71 .496    3.0


Game of the Day

There were a lot of dramatic games yesterday, with lots of impact on the pennant races. Our pick is San Francisco’s 5-4 victory over San Diego in 11 innings. This game featured two races in one: the Padres now lead the wildcard by 1.5 games and the Giants are 1.5 games behind them. With the Dodgers’ loss to the Mets, both teams are also within three games of first in the NL West.

The key winning hit was Ray Durham’s one-out triple in the 11th. After two intentional walks, he scored on a fielder’s choice by Mark Sweeney. Earlier in the game, Barry Bonds hit his 731st career home run. He has hit more home runs against San Diego (85) than any other team.

San Diego’s Cla Meredith pitched two innings Saturday and established a franchise record with 31 straight scoreless innings, topping Randy Jones‘ mark of 30 set in 1980. Meredith’s stretch is the longest in the majors this year. It’s also the longest scoreless streak by a rookie relief pitcher in the live-ball era, breaking a mark set by Jeff Zimmerman of the Rangers in 1999.

SAN DIEGO (4) VS SAN FRANCISCO (5) - FINAL IN 11 INNINGS 

SAN DIEGO              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
D Roberts cf-lf         5  0  0  0   0  1   2  .302
B Giles rf              5  1  1  1   0  1   1  .265
T Walker 3b             3  0  1  1   1  1   0  .280
 M Alexander pr-3b      1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .182
J Bard c                4  0  1  0   0  1   1  .318
A Gonzalez 1b           4  1  1  0   0  2   2  .285
 e-M Piazza ph          1  0  1  0   0  0   0  .281
 K Greene pr            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .247
 R Seanez p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
T Sledge lf             3  1  1  2   0  2   1  .235
 c-M Cameron ph-cf      1  0  0  0   1  0   1  .261
G Blum ss               5  0  2  0   0  1   3  .248
J Barfield 2b           5  0  1  0   0  2   2  .282
D Wells p               0  0  0  0   0  0   0 1.000
 a-J Cust ph            1  1  1  0   0  0   0 1.000
 J Adkins p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 b-P McAnulty ph        1  0  0  0   0  0   1  .250
 C Meredith p           0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 d-R Branyan ph         1  0  0  0   0  1   0  .393
 S Linebrink p          0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 M Bellhorn 1b          0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .194

Totals                 40  4 10  4   2 12  14

a-singled to right for D Wells in the 6th;  b-flied out to right for J Adkins 
in the 7th;  c-walked for T Sledge in the 8th;  d-struck out swinging for C 
Meredith in the 9th;  e-singled to left for A Gonzalez in the 11th.

BATTING: HR - T Sledge (2, 7th inning off J Schmidt 1 on, 0 Out), B Giles (13, 
8th inning off J Schmidt 0 on, 0 Out). S - J Bard , D Wells. RBI - T Walker 
(48), T Sledge 2 (5), B Giles (68). 2-out RBI - T Walker. Runners left in 
scoring position, 2 out - G Blum 1, B Giles 1. GIDP - M Cameron. Team LOB - 7. 

SAN FRANCISCO          ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
R Winn cf               5  0  0  0   0  1   0  .256
O Vizquel ss            5  0  0  0   0  1   0  .303
S Hillenbrand 1b        5  2  3  0   0  1   0  .249
B Bonds lf              5  1  2  2   0  0   1  .260
R Durham 2b             5  2  2  0   0  0   1  .298
M Alou rf               4  0  1  1   1  0   1  .294
P Feliz 3b              4  0  1  0   1  0   2  .250
T Greene c              4  0  1  1   0  0   1  .277
 b-M Sweeney ph         1  0  0  1   0  0   0  .255
J Schmidt p             3  0  0  0   0  1   2  .129
 S Kline p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 V Chulk p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 a-S Finley ph          1  0  0  0   0  1   0  .247
 M Stanton p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000

Totals                 42  5 10  5   2  5   8

a-struck out swinging for V Chulk in the 9th;  b-grounded into fielder's choice 
to second for T Greene in the 11th.

BATTING: 3B - R Durham (7, R Seanez). HR - B Bonds (23, 1st inning off D Wells 
1 on, 2 Out). RBI - B Bonds 2 (64), M Alou (57), T Greene (13), M Sweeney (35). 
2-out RBI - B Bonds 2, T Greene. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J 
Schmidt 1. Team LOB - 8. 
 
FIELDING: DP: 1 (O Vizquel-R Durham-S Hillenbrand). 
 
----------------------------------------------------
    SAN DIEGO       - 000 001 210 00  --   4
    SAN FRANCISCO   - 200 200 000 01  --   5

One out when winning run scored.
----------------------------------------------------

SAN DIEGO                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
D Wells                       5       7   4   4   0   2   1   4.09
J Adkins                      1       1   0   0   0   0   0   3.24
C Meredith                    2       1   0   0   0   2   0   0.70
S Linebrink                   2       0   0   0   0   1   0   3.62
R Seanez (L, 1-1)               1/3   1   1   1   2   0   0   5.40

SAN FRANCISCO                ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
J Schmidt                     7       8   4   4   1  10   2   3.45
S Kline                         2/3   0   0   0   0   1   0   3.30
V Chulk                       1 1/3   0   0   0   1   1   0   4.32
M Stanton (W, 6-6)            2       2   0   0   0   0   0   4.00

J Schmidt pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

IBB - M Alou (by R Seanez), P Feliz (by R Seanez). Pitches-strikes: D Wells 
74-54; J Adkins 8-6; C Meredith 31-20; S Linebrink 17-11; R Seanez 22-10; J 
Schmidt 98-66; S Kline 8-5; V Chulk 23-14; M Stanton 14-9. Ground balls-fly 
balls: D Wells 4-9; J Adkins 0-3; C Meredith 2-2; S Linebrink 1-4; R Seanez 
1-1; J Schmidt 6-5; S Kline 1-0; V Chulk 2-1; M Stanton 3-3. Batters faced: D 
Wells 22; J Adkins 4; C Meredith 7; S Linebrink 6; R Seanez 5; J Schmidt 30; S 
Kline 2; V Chulk 5; M Stanton 7. 
 
UMPIRES: HP--Doug Eddings. 1B--Jim Joyce. 2B--Paul Emmel. 3B--Paul Schrieber. 

T--2:54. Att--38,680. 
Weather: 64 degrees, overcast. Wind: 14 mph, out to center.

The following graph tracks the game’s Win Probability, courtesy of Fan Graphs.

image


Yesterday’s Home Runs

The following stats are provided by Hit Tracker, which logs the projected distance of each home run (if it were to land uninterrupted at field level) and its “standard” distance, which is corrected for weather conditions. You can read their daily updates at the Hit Tracker Blog.

Hitter                    Pitcher                      True Dist  Std. Dist.  HR #
Konerko, Paul     CWS     Carmona, Fausto    CLE           448        466      31
Dye, Jermaine     CWS     Slocum, Brian      CLE           442        452      41
Berkman, Lance    HOU     Helling, Rick      MIL           441        435      39
LaRoche, Adam     ATL     Miller, Wade       CHC           436        428      30
Hart, Corey       MIL     Borkowski, Dave    HOU           425        420       8
Sledge, Terrmel   SD      Schmidt, Jason     SF            433        419       2
Atkins, Garrett   COL     Ortiz, Ramon       WAS           435        414      24
Scott, Luke       HOU     Spurling, Chris    MIL           414        409       5
Uribe, Juan       CWS     Carmona, Fausto    CLE           393        408      18
Konerko, Paul     CWS     Slocum, Brian      CLE           396        406      32
Holliday, Matt    COL     Ortiz, Ramon       WAS           422        404      27
McCann, Brian     ATL     Miller, Wade       CHC           407        404      19
Bonds, Barry      SF      Wells, David       SD            436        403      23
Quentin, Carlos   ARI     Marquis, Jason     STL           404        395       7
Berkman, Lance    HOU     Ohka, Tomo         MIL           399        393      38
Phillips, Brandon CIN     Maholm, Paul       PIT           398        393      16
Uggla, Dan        FLA     Myers, Brett       PHI           380        388      23
Doumit, Ryan      PIT     Harang, Aaron      CIN           393        386       4
Kouzmanoff, Kevin CLE     Hermanson, Dustin  CWS           377        386       3
Millar, Kevin     BAL     Farnsworth, Kyle   NYY           391        384      12
Thomas, Frank     OAK     Howell, J.P.       TB            384        383      34
Norton, Greg      TB      Loaiza, Esteban    OAK           380        379      14
Delgado, Carlos   NYM     Maddux, Greg       LAD           382        377      37
Everett, Adam     HOU     Gonzalez, Geremi   MIL           376        371       5
Utley, Chase      PHI     Moehler, Brian     FLA           367        368      27
Matthews, Gary    TEX     Putz, J.J.         SEA           363        368      16
Soriano, Alfonso  WAS     Fogg, Josh         COL           385        367      45
Murton, Matt      CHC     James, Chuck       ATL           367        366      11
Bay, Jason        PIT     Harang, Aaron      CIN           368        364      32
Bell, David       MIL     Hirsh, Jason       HOU           368        363       8
Utley, Chase      PHI     Moehler, Brian     FLA           340        352      28
Pedroia, Dustin   BOS     Hudson, Luke       KC            384        347       1
Jones, Andruw     ATL     Ryu, Jae Kuk       CHC           353        337      33
Giles, Marcus     SD      Schmidt, Jason     SF            350        327      13
Keppinger, Jeff   KC      Delcarmen, Manny   BOS           311        291       1


Player News

Player news items are provided by CBS SportsLine.com.

Brandon Webb pitched a one-hitter for his third shutout of the season, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. Webb (15-6) did not allow a runner past second base and got 16 groundball outs for his second win since Aug. 17. It was also his fourth complete game of the season. The game lasted 1 hour, 54 minutes, and was the Diamondbacks’ second straight win and third in 11 games. Webb retired the first eight hitters, before allowing Marquis to reach when his comebacker glanced off first baseman Jackson’s glove for an error. Pujols reached on an error in the fourth when third baseman Chad Tracy dropped his grounder and then threw just wide at first, pulling Jackson off the bag. However, picked off Pujols, who was tagged out by second baseman Orlando Hudson. Scott Rolen followed with a double to center, before Webb struck out Preston Wilson to end the inning. Webb then retired the next 11 to face him before hitting pinch-hitter John Rodriguez in the eighth and then getting pinch-hitter Scott Spiezio to ground back to the box.

SP Boof Bonser brought the Minnesota Twins a little bit closer in the tightening three-team race in the AL Central. Bonser struck out five and allowed only five hits in seven strong innings, leading the Twins to a 2-1 victory Saturday over the Detroit Tigers that closed the gap in the standings to three games. It was Bonser’s fifth win of the season.

Marlins 2B Dan Uggla homered and drove in three runs for Florida on Saturday as the Fish won 4-3 in 10. Florida moved within 2 1/2 games of the NL wild card-leading San Diego. Philadelphia 2B Chase Utley hit two homers Saturday for the Phillies. According to Elias, it was the first time two players whose last names start with “U” homered in the same game.

Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner will miss the rest of the season with a broken right hand. He suffered the injury on Sept. 1 when Rangers right-hander C.J. Wilson hit him on the hand with a pitch in the eighth inning. X-rays were initially negative and Hafner was listed as day to day. He continued to feel more pain and a second X-ray before Friday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox revealed the fracture.

Twins SP Francisco Liriano pitched three scoreless innings Saturday for the Twins Triple-A team the Rochester Red Wings. He struck out four and did not allow one hit. But he did walk one batter.

SP Orlando Hernandez allowed one earned run in seven innings to lead the N.Y. Mets to a 3-2 victory over the L.A. Dodgers Saturday. Hernandez (10-10) was masterful, keeping the Dodgers off balance with changeups, curves and sliders that hovered in the 70-80 mph range, and fastballs that reached the low 90s. After Rafael Furcal’s leadoff double on the second pitch of the game, El Duque retired 15 straight hitters before running into trouble in the sixth. Hernandez worked around a leadoff walk in the seventh and finished by getting Marlon Anderson on a broken-bat grounder to end the inning. He yielded four hits and struck out six. David Wright went 3-for-3, including a go-ahead, two-run single.

When Gustavo Chacin was a prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league system, Kelvim Escobar was one of his mentors. Chacin showed he was paying attention, outdueling the Los Angeles Angels’ right-hander with seven strong innings Saturday night in the first matchup between the two Venezuelan pitchers in a 2-1 victory that snapped the Angels’ six-game winning streak. Chacin (8-3) threw just 87 pitches, allowing a run and six hits in his fourth start since coming off the disabled list and escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first inning. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four career starts against the Angels. Chacin has been limited to 14 starts and 71 innings because of elbow problems that landed him on the DL twice while missing 11½ weeks.

Chien-Ming Wang pitched effectively into the eighth inning to earn his 17th victory, and Derek Jeter had two hits and an RBI to help the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Saturday. Wang (17-5) allowed one run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking none. He permitted only one runner past second base despite retiring the side in order just twice. Adam Loewen gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings with six Ks in a tough-luck loss.

According to MLB.com, Hideki Matsui will rejoin the Yankees on Sunday in Baltimore and could be back in the starting lineup on Monday night. Matsui played his final rehab game for Double-A Trenton on Saturday.

Jason Bay homered and drove in three runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night. He now has 32 home runs and 101 RBI on the campaign.

Matt Holliday homered and hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the seventh inning to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 9-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night. Holliday was 3-for-4 with four RBI, including his 27th home run of the season.

Alfonso Soriano hit his 45th home run of the season to set the Washington Nationals’ single-season franchise record. The homer came with one out on the fourth inning on a 1-2 pitch from Colorado Rockies starter Josh Fogg.

Jon Garland pitched six innings to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 10-8 Saturday night. Garland yielded five hits and one run for his 17th victory, tying Minnesota’s Johan Santana and the Yankees’ Chien-Ming Wang for the major league lead. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Fausto Carmona gave up five runs and seven hits in three innings for a loss on Saturday against Chicago. It was Carmona’s first start in the majors since being demoted after serving as the Indians’ closer for a brief stretch. In a six-day span from July 31-Aug. 5, Carmona blew all three of his save opportunities, allowing seven runs and five hits – including two game-ending homers.

Jason Hirsh pitched six-plus strong innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 10-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. Hirsh (3-3) gave up four hits, two earned runs, three walks and struck out four while starting for Roger Clemens, who remains day-to-day after he left Monday’s game with a strained right groin.

If not for Ryan Howard, Adam LaRoche might be the MVP of the second half in the National League. LaRoche ranks third in the league in batting average since the All-Star break (.363), behind Howard (.370) and Luke Scott (.369); second in slugging percentage (.774) behind Howard (.840); third in home runs (17) behind Howard (28) and Alfonso Soriano (18); and second in RBI (46) behind Howard (67).

N.Y. Yankees SS Derek Jeter extended his career-high hitting streak to 19 games Saturday, the longest by a Yankee since Bernie Williams also hit in 19 straight Aug. 7-28, 2002

Chuck James (9-3), who went to spring training as a longshot to make Atlanta’s pitching staff, has given a boost to an injury plagued rotation. The rookie left-hander has won five straight decisions, allowing no more than two earned runs in seven straight starts. He lasted seven innings against the Cubs, giving up six hits and three runs (two earned) on Saturday in a win over chicago. James struck out six and walked only one.

The New York Post reports that Mariano Rivera (elbow) threw 40 tosses from about 90 feet to pitching coach Ron Guidry Friday. “It’s a little bit tight,” Rivera said. “It’s better (Friday). There is less tightness. That’s the good news. The more I threw it got looser. It felt much better.”

Pedro Martinez felt good after a four-inning simulated game Saturday, and the New York Mets ace is on track to return to the rotation next week.

Mets 2B Jose Valentin hasn’t committed an error in 59 games, the longest streak this season by an NL second baseman and the best by a Mets second baseman since Edgardo Alfonzo went 75 games in 1999, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Oakland right-hander Rich Harden, out since June 5 with a sprained ligament in his right elbow, is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Monday. “He’s at the point where he needs to start,” Davis said. “Whether it’s with the instructional league team or whatever, we have to be imaginative because of the time.” Harden is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA in six starts this season.

Oakland center fielder Mark Kotsay will return to the Bay Area to get treatment for his injured back and is not expected to play until Friday. Kotsay missed six games with back spasms from Aug. 7-13. He has appeared in 17 of the Athletics’ last 29 games. “The way he is now, there’s no conceivable way he can play in the next few days,” Oakland trainer Larry Davis said. “Now is not the time to be conservative. We have to be aggressive.” Kotsay is hitting .274 with seven homers and 53 RBI in 115 games.

Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba will miss the rest of the season with a strained right shoulder. Torrealba left Thursday’s game against Washington in the top of the eighth inning. He had an MRI exam and Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said Saturday that he was shut down for the year. Torrealba hit .247 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs in 65 games with the Rockies this season.

Phillies CF Aaron Rowand was scheduled to get the cast taken off his fractured ankle Friday, but it’s doubtful that he’ll be ready to take the field for the rest of the regular season.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2B Julio Lugo will be a free-agent after the season and said he would consider signing with the N.Y. Mets this winter. Before Tampa Bay traded him to Los Angeles, the Mets had some interest. Second base could be an interesting scenario as Mets 2B Jose Valentin has been exceptional since taking the job from Kaz Matsui.

OF Jeff DaVanon underwent ankle surgery this week and is expected to be back in time for spring training.

RHP Tim Hudson had better control of his sinker Friday night thanks to an accidental discovery he made in his previous outing at Philadelphia. Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer dug out such a big hole on the first-base side of the rubber that Hudson was forced to move over to the third-base side. “I liked it,” Hudson said. “The action on my sinker was a lot better. I don’t know if it was because it was making me stay closed longer or what. But it was pretty good.”

LHP Barry Zito, Sunday’s scheduled starter at Tampa Bay, is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his last five road starts. He is 10-2 overall this season in road games, compared to 5-7 at home.

Baltimore 1B Kevin Millar has hit .351 (27-for-77) in his last 24 games.


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