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MLB News and Notes September 8

MLB News and Notes September 8

Monday's streaking and slumping starters
By JUSTIN BANKS

Streaking

Zach Miner, Detroit Tigers (8-4, 3.72)


Miner is 2-0 and has a solid 2.84 ERA in his last three starts and has relinquished more than three earned runs just twice in his last 10 starts.

Miner, who made his first start on July 21, has just one loss in his last 10 starts and is 4-1 at home. He also has three shutouts in his last 10 overall.

The Tigers are 7-3 in their last 10 home games against the Oakland Athletics.


Slumping

Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore Orioles (10-11, 3.57)


Guthrie has lost three straight and is 1-3 in his last four at Oriole Park. He has also surrendered 12 earned runs and two homers in his last nine innings.

Guthrie has struggled at home and is just 3-4 overall and 6-11 all-time at Oriole Park. He has a shaky 7.56 ERA career-ERA against the Cleveland Indians.

The O’s are 1-7 in their last eight home games and are just 18-37 in their last 55 overall.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 8

Billy Wagner out through 2009 season
September 8, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) -New York Mets closer Billy Wagner needs elbow surgery that will sideline him through the 2009 season.

The five-time All-Star has been sidelined since Aug. 3 and the Mets said Monday that he has a torn medial collateral ligament in his left elbow and a torn flexor pronator, which is a muscle in the forearm.

Wagner, a 37-year-old left-hander, will have surgery later this week.

He is owed $10.5 million next year, the final guaranteed season in $43 million, four-year contract with the Mets. The team has an $8 million option for 2010 with a $1 million buyout.

New York began Monday with a two-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL East. The Mets are 22-11 in Wagner's absence.

Wearing a protective sleeve on his left elbow, Wagner tested his arm Sunday with disappointing results. Between games of a day-night doubleheader against the Phillies, he went to the mound in a virtually empty Shea Stadium and faced teammate Gustavo Molina.

A wild Wagner hit the reserve catcher on the left foot with his 13th pitch and walked off the field to consult with a trainer and the Mets' coaching staff.

``It's bittersweet,'' manager Jerry Manuel said Sunday. ``Bitter in the sense that we lost Billy Wagner probably for the remainder of the year.''

Wagner was 0-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 27 saves in 34 chances, and he is sixth on the career saves list with 385.

``He was trying to get us to activate him today,'' Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Sunday. ``The last pitch he threw, he really felt some discomfort in the elbow area. He didn't want to risk it.''

Luis Ayala, acquired from Washington last month in a trade, is 5-for-6 in save opportunities for the Mets.

Ayala allowed an unearned run in the ninth Sunday night. Before that, Mets relievers had not allowed a run in 23 innings since Aug. 31.

Still, Wagner's loss is a huge one for a bullpen that has been unreliable much of the year. Manuel has mixed and matched as much as possible with his relievers during the past month.

``Anytime you have a guy such as him and you lose him, it becomes a big challenge,'' Manuel said. ``I think they have matured somewhat down there very well. We have some candidates down there to get outs. We just have to continue matching them up.'

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 8

Baseball Today

SCOREBOARD

Monday, Sept. 8

New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (10:05 p.m. EDT). Carl Pavano (2-0, 4.20 ERA) tries to stop the bleeding for the fourth-place Yankees, who are 8 1/2 games behind the Red Sox for the wild card spot with 19 games left. Jon Garland (12-8, 4.64) pitches for the Angels, whose magic number for clinching the division over Texas is three.

STARS

Sunday

-Chris Young, Padres, pitched 7 2-3 perfect innings before Gabe Kapler broke it up with a home run, and San Diego routed Milwaukee 10-1.

-Carlos Delgado, Mets, hit two homers and drove in four runs in the nightcap of a doubleheader to help New York salvage a split with the Phillies.

-Jose Lopez, Mariners, went deep twice for his first multihomer game to help Seattle beat New York 5-2.

-David Purcey, Blue Jays, pitched eight strong innings and Toronto shut out Tampa Bay 1-0 for its eighth straight win.

-Pablo Sandoval, Giants, had two hits and drove in five runs to help San Francisco beat Pittsburgh 11-6.

-Cliff Lee, Indians, won his 10th straight decision, holding the Royals to a run and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings in Cleveland's 3-1 win.

NEARLY PERFECT

Chris Young came within four outs of a perfect game, retiring the first 23 Brewers in order before Gabe Kapler homered, and the Padres beat Milwaukee 10-1. Young got Prince Fielder and Corey Hart to pop out in the eighth before Kapler hit Young's 76th pitch of the game - a 1-0 fastball - into the left-field bleachers. If Young had succeeded, it would have been the 18th perfect game in MLB history, and first since Arizona's Randy Johnson accomplished the feat on May 18, 2004, with a 2-0 victory over the Braves. Young gave up two hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out five in his first complete game in 114 starts.

21

Cliff Lee won his 10th straight decision, the longest winning streak in the majors this season, for his major league-leading 21st win. He held the Royals to one run and seven hits - six of them singles - in 7 1-3 innings, while striking out five and walking one, as the Indians beat the Royals 3-1. Lee is 10-0 in 11 starts since a July 6 loss at Minnesota. In those 11 starts, Lee has a 1.84 ERA, and he's lowered his major league-leading ERA to 2.28.

10

The Giants scored 10 runs in the fourth inning against the Pirates in an 11-6 win. It started with an error by right-hander Jeff Karstens, and included an injury to center fielder Nate McLouth as the first eight Giants reached base. Pablo Sandoval drove in four runs in the inning, three on a bases-loaded double. Emmanuel Burriss and Nate Schierholtz each had two hits, and Randy Winn and Burriss each scored twice. It was the Giants' most runs in an inning since they scored 10 in the second at Houston on Sept. 23, 2003.

SAVING GRACE

Francisco Rodriguez bounced back after giving up the tying run in Saturday's loss, pitching a scoreless ninth for his 55th save in 61 chances in the Angels' 3-2 win over the White Sox. He allowed a one-out single by Paul Konerko but retired Alexei Ramirez on a groundout and struck out Nick Swisher to end the game. Rodriguez is two saves shy of Bobby Thigpen's major league record of 57 set in 1990 for the White Sox.

FREE FALLING

The Mariners beat the Yankees 5-2, sending New York tumbling into fourth place in the AL East because the Blue Jays beat the Rays 1-0 for their eighth straight win. The Yankees, who have made the postseason for 13 consecutive years, trail the Red Sox by 8 1/2 games in the AL wild-card standings with 19 games remaining. "There are 19 games left, and we have to win most of them. Maybe all of them,'' manager Joe Girardi said, flatly.

ROOKIE TRICKS

Alex Rodriguez got picked off first base to kill a rally when he got tricked by a rookie first baseman. With the Yankees trailing the Mariners 3-2 in the fifth, Rodriguez walked with two outs and Derek Jeter already at second. First baseman Bryan LaHair, who has played with pitcher Ryan Feierabend for years in the minor leagues, was playing behind the bag and flashed a familiar signal to his buddy for a backdoor pickoff play. Rodriguez was caught so far off first, his only play was to run to second. That forced Jeter toward third. In the ensuing rundown, LaHair threw to third base and Adrian Beltre ran down Jeter to end the inning. LaHair estimates he's been successful all but once in the 30 times he's tried the play with Feierabend.

WORTHY CAUSE

Albert Pujols would be happy if every Cardinals game included a "buddy walk'' for children with Down Syndrome. It certainly brings out the best in the team's star. Pujols, whose adopted daughter Isabella has Down Syndrome, hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat in a 3-1 victory over the Marlins. Since becoming spokesman for the games in 2002, he's 10-for-24 with six homers and 11 RBIs and the Cardinals are 5-1. He homered in his first three at-bats in the 2006 game.

SCRATCHED

Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks was scratched from his start against the Dodgers because of shoulder fatigue. ... Carlos Silva of the Mariners was scratched from his start against the Yankees because of stiffness in his back. Left-hander Ryan Feierabend got the start instead, and took the win as Seattle prevailed 5-2 over the Yankees.

TOSSED

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was ejected in the first inning of a crucial game against the Mets for arguing an unusual call: catcher's interference. New York slugger David Wright was awarded first base after a foul ball because plate umpire Jerry Meals ruled Chris Coste's mitt touched Wright's bat as he swung. Manuel came out of the dugout and the 6-foot-4 manager towered over Meals as he gestured and pointed down at the ump. After a long argument, Meals ejected Manuel while the Shea Stadium crowd roared. It was Manuel's fourth ejection this season.

AILING

Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez left the game in the second inning against Colorado because of a right oblique strain. Rodriguez was lifted for a pinch hitter with two outs and a runner on third in the top of the second. After his scoreless inning, Rodriguez was 8-6 with a 3.73 ERA. ... Between doubleheader games, the Mets got bad news: injured closer Billy Wagner felt pain in his ailing elbow while throwing to a hitter in a virtually empty stadium. He'll be re-examined by a doctor Monday and his return appears uncertain.

OUCH

Nate McLouth left the Pirates' game against the Giants in the bottom of the fourth inning after being struck near his left eye by a batted ball. The All-Star center fielder dived for a sinking liner hit by Pablo Sandoval. The ball bounced in front of McLouth and ricocheted off him into left field, allowing three runs to score on the play. McLouth left with a cut above his left eyebrow that required three stitches, and was replaced by Nyjer Morgan.

SPEAKING

"Seriously, that was a great play. To this moment, I haven't seen him throw the ball to first yet.'' - Alex Rodriguez, after he was picked off first base on a trick play between first baseman Bryan LaHair and pitcher Ryan Feierabend of the Mariners.

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Re: MLB News and Notes September 8

Sports Advisors

Tampa Bay (85-56) at Boston (84-58)

The Rays, clinging to a 1½-game lead over the Red Sox in the A.L. East, send Edwin Jackson (11-9, 4.07 ERA) to the mound opposite Boston left-hander Jon Lester (13-5, 3.37) in the opener of a crucial three-game set at Fenway Park.

Tampa Bay got swept in Toronto over the weekend and has lost five of its last six overall. The Rays fell 1-0 on Sunday, getting shut out by Blue Jays’ rookie David Purcey. Meanwhile, Boston has won five of its last six, including Sunday’s 7-2 victory in Texas to take two of three from the Rangers over the weekend.

The season series between the Rays and Red Sox is knotted at 6-6 with the home team winning each of the 12 meetings. Boston has beaten Tampa Bay eight straight times at Fenway dating back to last season and the Red Sox are on a 45-9 run against the Rays in Beantown and 98-46 against them overall dating back several years.

Jackson has gone 6-3 with a 3.26 ERA on the road this season and has only allowed four runs in his last 19 innings on the highway. The Rays have won six of his last eight starts, but he got torched in his last start, allowing six runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings of an 8-4 home loss to the Yankees. Tampa Bay is just 3-4 in Jackson’s seven career starts against the Red Sox, and this season they are 1-2 as he’s allowed a combined 11 runs in 16 innings.

Lester has been dominant at Fenway, leading the Red Sox to 12 wins in his 14 starts as he’s posted an 8-1 mark with a 2.87 ERA. Most recently, the southpaw has allowed just two runs in his last 11 2/3 innings of work, including a 14-2 win over the Orioles on Tuesday. Boston has never lost to the Rays in Lester’s six starts against them, including two home wins this season as he’s limited them to two runs in 12 1/3 innings, winning 7-3 and 7-1.

Tampa is 4-1 in Jackson’s last five road outings but just 3-7 in his last 10 when he pitches a series opener. Meanwhile, the Rays are just 2-7 in their last nine on the road against southpaws and 1-4 in their past five against A.L. East rivals, but they are 7-3 in their last 10 Monday games. Boston is on runs of 38-17 behind Lester and 16-5 with him on the hill against A.L. East opponents. The Red Sox are also on rolls of 55-20 at home, 39-15 against right-handers, 6-1 against the A.L. East and 6-0 in series openers.

The under is 12-5 in Jackson’s last 17 against the A.L. East, but for the Rays, the over is on runs of 8-1 against the A.L. East, 8-1 overall and 5-2 on the highway. The over is also 5-0 in Lester’s last five at Fenway, 5-2-1 in his last eight overall and 8-3-2 for the Red Sox against A.L. East teams, but the under is 7-2-1 in their last 10 overall and 26-10-4 in their last 40 Monday games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON


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