Found June 27, 2013 on New England Sports React:
Pirates Move into Tie for NL Central Lead The Pittsburgh Pirates scored two runs in the ninth inning and beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2, Wednesday night at Safeco Field. That win, combined with the Cardinals’ loss in Houston, moved the Pirates into a tie for 1st place in a competitive National League Central division. It was also Pittsburgh’s 6th straight win, a season high, as the Bucs haven’t lost a series since June 3-5, when they were swept by the Braves. The Cardinals’ loss of sole possession of first could not come at a worse time. St. Louis is about to start a three-game series on the road in Oakland, where if the toilets don’t get them, the A’s probably will. The Athletics have lived up to their name, as their record stands at 103-59 over their last 162 games. The Pirates will also face Oakland before the All-Star break, but their next opponent is the last place team in their own division, the Milwaukee Brewers. That series will be followed by three-game sets against the Phillies and Cubs, two more sub-.500 ball clubs. Then they just have to pray that Oakland has come back down to Earth, or at least taken care of the plumbing situation. Trouble Big and Small in the Bronx It was announced on Wednesday that Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira will have season-ending wrist surgery, dealing a big blow to the Yanks’ chances in an AL East division that has seen pre-season darling Toronto climb into the race, and back over .500. New York is currently in 2nd place in the division, but they’ve already seen the return of their captain, Derek Jeter, delayed by setbacks in his rehab, and now this. How long can the replacements overachieve like this? And speaking of injured Yankee stars, Alex Rodriguez. Do I need to say more? It seems as though there are no more positive A-Rod stories to tell. Now his own general manager is telling him to, “shut the [front door],” after he tweeted that his personal doctor (and not the team’s medical staff) had cleared him to resume baseball activities. This comes after another (far more egregious) Twitter faux-pas, where it seems A-Rod is following the wrong Manny Machado. Or not, no way to be sure. Toronto All A-Flutter R.A. Dickey continues to be as unpredictable as his signature knuckleball. Wednesday afternoon he threw a complete-game two-hit shutout against the Tampa Bay Rays, the team directly ahead of them in the standings. In his last six outings, Dickey has allowed 0, 6, 1, 7, 0, and 6 earned runs, respectively. He hasn’t put together back-to-back quality starts since he had three straight in mid-May. Meanwhile, Toronto marches on through the division, beginning a four-game series with the Red Sox Thursday night, after facing the Orioles and Rays in their last two series. After squaring off against the Sox, the Jays must defend their turf against the Detroit Tigers before finally getting a break against a Minnesota Twins team that is abysmal (15-23) on the road. A Familiar Face The Colorado Rockies brought back to Fenway Park more than just memories of 2007, they brought Dante Bichette. Bichette retired as a Red Sox after the 2001 season. After a waiver-wire trade brought Bichette to Boston in August of 2000, the four-time All-Star, and 1995 NL MVP runner-up hit .287 with 19 home runs and 35 doubles in 137 games for the Sox. Bichette is now the hitting coach for the Rockies on manager Walt Weiss’ staff. Torrance Kilcoyne is a freelance writer for www.nesportsreact.com. His Twitter handle is @tkillcoin and his email is torrance.kilcoyne@gmail.com
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