Orioles aim to pass Yankees in East; A's face Tigers

The Sports Network
9/18/2012 12:49:14 PM
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Oakland Athletics (84-62) at Detroit Tigers (77-69) - 7:05pm et

(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers are both three games off the lead in their respective divisions and will open a three-game series Tuesday from Comerica Park.

The Athletics are three games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West and lead the wild card over Baltimore. Detroit is three games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

Oakland will open a 10-game road trip Tuesday against the Tigers, Yankees and Rangers, and failed in its attempt of a three-game sweep versus the Orioles with Sunday's 9-5 loss. Dan Straily was tagged for four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings for the loss.

"I thought his stuff at times was good ... but when he was in the middle of the plate they hit him," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of his starter.

Josh Reddick and Stephen Drew both homered for the A's, who had won eight of nine games.

Rookie A.J. Griffin gets the nod for the A's tonight and is 6-0 with a 1.94 earned run average in 11 starts. Griffin has won three straight outings and fanned six batters over eight shutout innings in a 4-1 win at the LA Angels on Wednesday. Griffin has allowed only two runs in his past four starts.

Griffin will face Detroit for the first time and is 4-0 in five road starts.

The Tigers have lost two in a row since a four-game winning streak and dropped a 5-4 decision to the White Sox on Monday in a make-up game of an earlier rainout.

Doug Fister lasted four innings and was pegged with the loss for permitting five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits.

Delmon Young highlighted the offense with two hits and three RBI for the Tigers, who are kicking off a 10-game homestand Tuesday versus the Athletics, Twins and Royals.

"We got to beat the other teams we play. It's that simple," Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder said. "Come out, be ready to play and see what happens."

Max Scherzer looks to keep his unbeaten streak intact when he toes the rubber Tuesday. Scherzer is 6-0 in his last eight starts and threw six innings of one-run ball in an 8-6 victory over Chicago on Wednesday. Scherzer struck out seven and has fanned that many in 11 consecutive starts.

Scherzer is 16-6 with a 3.77 earned run average in 29 starts this season and 7-2 in 12 home assignments. The right-hander defeated the A's back in early May and is 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in three career starts against them.

Detroit and Oakland split a four-game series from May 10-13 at the Coliseum.

Texas Rangers (87-59) at Los Angeles Angels (80-67) - 10:05pm et

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Angels' playoff chances seem a lot brighter after the way Jered Weaver performed in his last outing.

The American League Cy Young candidate hopes to get his club a little closer in the wild-card race on Tuesday evening in the opener of a three-game series versus the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

Some doubt hovered over the Angels when Weaver was forced to miss a start due to right biceps tendinitis, but he returned to the mound for the first time in 11 days on Thursday and was outstanding in a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The right-hander scattered two hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings, striking out nine to move to 17-4 with a 2.74 earned run average in 26 starts this season.

"I felt great," Weaver said. "I was able to throw the ball the way I wanted to. I tried to locate and I was able to throw strikes."

Weaver, 29, will face the Rangers for the fourth time this season, having gone 2-1 against them in the previous three starts. He did hold them to a pair of runs over 6 1/3 frames in a win at Texas on July 31 the last time he faced them.

The Angels will need Weaver in top form down the stretch as they trail the Baltimore Orioles by three games for the AL's second wild card. Los Angeles stayed in the hunt on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Mark Trumbo hit a three-run homer and Torii Hunter added an RBI single for Los Angeles, which has won three of four since a three-game slide.

Dan Haren allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk over 5 2/3 innings to help the Halos bounce back after Kansas City rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to take Saturday's meeting.

"Last night was a tough page to turn, but our guys played well today," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, referring to Saturday night. "We got a lead and we held on."

Ryan Dempster was unable to do that when he faced the Angels back on Aug. 2 in his Rangers debut. However, the righty has been outstanding as of late and hopes to win a sixth start in a row this evening.

The 35-year-old righty has pitched to a 1.91 ERA over his winning streak, which he extended on Wednesday with a 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Dempster yielded two runs on seven hits and a walk in seven frames, fanning eight for a second start in a row.

Dempster has given up seven earned runs over 33 innings of his unbeaten streak, striking out 36 and improving his record to 6-1 with a 4.11 ERA in eight starts since getting traded to the Rangers from the Chicago Cubs before the non-waiver deadline.

The veteran faced the Angels in his first start following the deal and was drilled for eight runs on nine hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings of a no- decision, failing to hold a 6-2 lead.

It was the first time that Dempster was facing the Angels in his career.

Texas enters play with a three-game lead over the Oakland Athletics for first place in the division. It prevailed for the fourth time in six games on Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Matt Harrison tossed 8 2/3 innings to pick up his 17th victory, giving up six hits. One was a homer to Justin Smoak in the eighth.

"He was outstanding," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Harrison. "Everything we needed out of him today he gave to us."

Adrian Beltre broke a scoreless game with his 33rd home run of the season in the fourth, and Mitch Moreland drove in the eventual game-winning run in the fifth.

The Angels have taken seven of 13 versus the Rangers this season, going 4-2 at home.

Baltimore Orioles (83-64) at Seattle Mariners (70-78) - 10:10pm et

(Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles didn't give the Seattle Mariners much of a chance to play spoiler on Monday night.

The streaking O's aim to continue their playoff push with a seventh straight victory over the Mariners on Tuesday in the second contest of a three-game series.

Baltimore jumped all over Seattle in the opener, getting a leadoff homer from Nate McLouth that fueled a three-run first. The Orioles added another four runs in the second and rolled to a 10-4 victory for their fifth win in seven games.

The victory extended their lead over the idle Los Angeles Angels to three games for the league's second wild card position. Baltimore also crept to within a half-game of the New York Yankees, who were also off on Monday, for first place in the AL East.

McLouth had three of the Orioles' 15 hits, Adam Jones went 3-for-4 and scored four runs and Matt Wieters homered and drove in three runs.

Chris Tillman, who had not pitched in two weeks because of right elbow discomfort, improved to 4-0 in his career against the Mariners by allowing just one run on three hits and no walks over six innings.

"The Mariners have been playing real well for a while and you feel like they're going to make a run at you. Our guys kept adding on," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's a good time of year to not be assuming anything and we haven't been."

Baltimore, though, beat Seattle for a sixth straight time and is 10-3 versus the club over the past two seasons.

Michael Saunders and Eric Thames hit solo home runs in the second and eighth inning, respectively, while John Jaso capped Seattle's scoring with a two- run homer in the ninth.

Hector Noesi was victimized early by the Orioles, getting charged with the seven runs over the first two innings of work.

"He just really struggled. When he did get ahead he gave up two-strike hits, it looked like he was in the middle of the plate," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "You keep hoping to try and squeeze him through cause the last thing you want to do is have to go to your bullpen in the second inning."

Hoping to hand the Mariners an eighth loss in 11 games on Tuesday will be O's starter Wei-Yin Chen.

Though Chen did not win his most recent start on Thursday versus the Tampa Bay Rays, he did turn in an excellent outing by allowing two runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings with just one walk. The left-hander struck out seven in the no-decision as his club won 3-2 in extra innings.

Chen had a similar outing when he faced the Mariners for the first time in his career on July 3 in Seattle. He did not factor into a 5-4 win, but yielded just two runs on two hits over 7 1/3 frames with nine strikeouts.

The 27-year-old is 12-9 with a 4.00 earned run average through 29 starts and will be opposed by fellow rookie Erasmo Ramirez for the Mariners.

Ramirez made the 13th appearance of his career and fifth start on Tuesday, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 to earn his first victory. The righty yielded two runs on six hits over seven innings, fanning six.

"He pitched a fantastic ball game tonight," Wedge said of his starter. "That's a good hitting ball club over there and Erasmo did a great job."

Ramirez, 22, is 1-2 with a 3.49 ERA on the year and will face the Orioles for the first time.

Wei-Yin Chen (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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