The Texas Rangers are scuffling, and I'm not even talking about their failure to complete a trade for Matt Garza. Texas has lost four straight games, and has fallen to three games back of Oakland in the AL West, the second-largest deficit between a first and second place team in baseball. The Rangers aren't even in the playoff picture right now, sitting a game and a half behind the Orioles for the AL's second wild card slot and 3.5 games behind the Rays for the top spot in the junior circuit. With the Yankees coming to Arlington this week before the Rangers head to Cleveland, Texas needs to get their heads on straight if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.
PIC OF THE DAY
Something called Caleb Gindl gets antiqued after his walkoff homer (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Game of the Night: Red Sox 8, Yankees 7 (11 innings). While most people hate the Yankees-Red Sox games, they usually deliver in terms of ratings, excitement, and...a really, really long game time. Sunday night's game took four hours and 46 minutes and featured 13 pitchers, despite going just 11 innings. Boston led 7-3 after five, but New York stormed back with two each in the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game at seven. The Red Sox had a chance to go back in front in the eighth, but a Mike Napoli double play ended that dream. The Yankees had a chance to jump ahead in the tenth, but a DP from Lyle Overbay snuffed out that one. Finally in the bottom of the 11th, Napoli hit a walkoff solo homer against Adam Warren to win the game for the Red Sox and keep them 1.5 up on the Rays in the AL East.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Wily Peralta continued his hot stretch for the Brewers in their 1-0, 13 inning win over the Marlins, allowing just two hits over eight shutout innings, walking two and striking out seven. Bartolo Colon threw a complete game, four hit shutout for the A's in their 4-0 win in Anaheim, striking out five and walking one. Matt Harvey dominated the Phillies in a 5-0 Mets win, allowing only three hits over seven scoreless innings, punching out ten without a walk. Justin Masterson was in complete control in Cleveland's 7-1 win over Minnesota, allowing one run on one hit in seven innings, striking out eight and walking none. Finally, Clayton Kershaw dominated the Nationals to complete a Dodgers sweep in Washington via a 9-2 win, allowing two runs on two hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking none.
Hitting Lines of the Day: Jayson Werth *was* the Nationals offense in their loss to the Dodgers, going 2/3 with a pair of solo homers and a walk. Matt Kemp countered by going 3/4 with a double, a homer, and three RBI. Mike Napoli played well for the Red Sox in their win over the Yankees, going 2/5 with two homers and four RBI. Jason Kipnis gave Masterson all the backing he needed in Minnesota, going 2/4 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and a homer. Kelly Johnson led the Rays to a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays, going 3/4 with a double and a solo homer.
Other Games: The Pirates edged the Reds 3-2. The Tigers beat the Royals 4-1. The White Sox topped the Braves 3-1. The Mariners offense exploded to crush the Astros 12-5. Adam Wainwright won again as the Cardinals beat the Padres 3-2. The Diamondbacks beat the Giants 3-1. The Orioles doubled up the Rangers 4-2. The Rockies edged the Cubs 4-3.
Today's Games: Yu Darvish returns for the Rangers to host the Yankees. Julio Teheran starts for the Braves in New York against the Mets. Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers travel to Canada to take on Josh Johnson and the Blue Jays. Charlie Morton starts for the Pirates in Washington. Matt Moore starts for the Rays in Boston against Brandon Workman. Andrew Cashner and the Padres take on the Brewers in Milwaukee. Max Scherzer and Chris Sale will duel on the South Side. Matt Garza is *scheduled* to start for the Cubs in Arizona against Tyler Skaggs. Tim Lincecum and the Giants host the Reds.
National TV: Yankees-Rangers (7 PM, ESPN)
MLB.tv Free Game: Dodgers-Blue Jays (7 PM)
Pitching Matchup of the Day: Max Scherzer vs Chris Sale (Tigers at White Sox, 8 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.