THT Daily: Cardinals Walkoff All Over Cubs

Major League News for August 28

Yesterday’s Results
Today’s Games
Game of the Day
Yesterday’s Home Runs
Top Minor League Performances
Player News

Yesterday’s Results
American League
BAL     5  TB      4    (Recap and Boxscore)
TOR    10  KC      6    (Recap and Boxscore)
CHA     6  MIN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
DET     7  CLE     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYA    11  LAA     8    (Recap and Boxscore)
SEA     6  BOS     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
TEX     3  OAK     0    (Recap and Boxscore)

National League
ATL    13  WAS     6    (Recap and Boxscore)
FLA     4  MIL     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU    13  PIT     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
STL    10  CHN     6    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAN     6  ARI     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
COL     6  SD      3    (Recap and Boxscore)
SF      8  CIN     0    (Recap and Boxscore)

Today’s Games
Visitors                        Home                          Starts (EDT)
PHI - Moyer J.* (1-0, 4.50)     NYM - Maine J. (3-3, 3.58)        12:10 pm
TOR - Burnett A. (6-5, 4.27)    CLE - Byrd P. (8-6, 4.72)         07:05 pm
CHC - Guzman A. (0-3, 5.84)     PIT - Snell I. (11-8, 4.58)       07:05 pm
MIL - Sheets B. (4-5, 5.02)     FLA - Johnson J. (11-6, 2.90)     07:05 pm
 SD - Willipms W. (7-4, 3.60)   ARI - Webb B. (13-5, 2.99)        09:40 pm
BOS - Gabbard K.* (0-2, 3.38)   OAK - Loaiza E. (7-7, 5.12)       10:05 pm
LAA - Escobar K. (9-11, 3.87)   SEA - Hernandez F. (10-12, 4.81)  10:05 pm
CIN - Michalak C.* (1-1, 4.76)  LAD - Penny B. (13-7, 3.95)       10:10 pm


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     77  52 .597    0.0   75     2    sparkline graph
BOS     71  59 .546    6.5   68     3    sparkline graph
TOR     69  61 .531    8.5   68     1    sparkline graph
BAL     59  71 .454   18.5   57     2    sparkline graph
TB      52  79 .397   26.0   53    -1    sparkline graph
American League Central     
DET     82  49 .626    0.0   80     2    sparkline graph
MIN     76  53 .589    5.0   73     3    sparkline graph
CHA     76  54 .585    5.5   75     1    sparkline graph
CLE     60  69 .465   21.0   70   -10    sparkline graph
KC      47  85 .356   35.5   49    -2    sparkline graph
American League West        
OAK     74  56 .569    0.0   68     6    sparkline graph
LAA     69  62 .527    5.5   68     1    sparkline graph
TEX     67  65 .508    8.0   69    -2    sparkline graph
SEA     61  69 .469   13.0   62    -1    sparkline graph

National League East        Pwins  Diff
NYN     79  49 .617    0.0   74     5    sparkline graph
PHI     65  64 .504   14.5   65     0    sparkline graph
FLA     63  66 .488   16.5   64    -1    sparkline graph
ATL     61  68 .473   18.5   67    -6    sparkline graph
WAS     55  75 .423   25.0   55     0    sparkline graph
National League Central     
STL     69  60 .535    0.0   66     3    sparkline graph
CIN     67  64 .511    3.0   63     4    sparkline graph
HOU     63  68 .481    7.0   65    -2    sparkline graph
MIL     62  68 .477    7.5   58     4    sparkline graph
CHN     54  76 .415   15.5   53     1    sparkline graph
PIT     50  81 .382   20.0   55    -5    sparkline graph
National League West        
LAN     68  62 .523    0.0   70    -2    sparkline graph
SD      66  64 .508    2.0   65     1    sparkline graph
SF      65  66 .496    3.5   66    -1    sparkline graph
ARI     63  67 .485    5.0   63     0    sparkline graph
COL     61  69 .469    7.0   66    -5    sparkline graph

Game of the Day

I’m a sucker for walk-off grand slams. Cardinals’ backup catcher Gary Bennett connected off of Bobby Howry in the ninth with two outs to give the Cardinals the weekend sweep of the Cubs. Bennett also hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday against the Cubs, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 victory. Had I posted THT Daily yesterday, that probably would have been the Game of the Day as well. The Cardinals are now three games up on the Pretende … er … Reds in the NL Central, as Cincinnati was swept by San Francisco over the weekend. The Prete … Reds still hold the Wild Card spot, amazingly.


CHICAGO CUBS           ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
J Pierre cf             4  2  2  0   1  0   1  .283
F Bynum 2b              4  2  2  1   1  1   0  .272
A Ramirez 3b            4  0  0  1   0  1   6  .283
J Jones rf              3  1  2  2   1  0   0  .282
M Barrett c             4  0  0  1   0  0   1  .314
 R Novoa p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .200
 W Ohman p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0 1.000
 B Howry p              0  0  0  0   0  0   0 1.000
J Mabry 1b              4  0  0  0   0  1   1  .215
M Murton lf             3  0  1  0   1  0   0  .291
R Cedeno ss             4  1  1  0   0  0   2  .241
L Walrond p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 D Aardsma p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 M Wuertz p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 a-B Coats ph           1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 H Blanco c             1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .254
Totals                 32  6  8  5   4  3  11

a-grounded to first for M Wuertz in the 7th.

BATTING: HR - J Jones (22, 5th inning off J Weaver 0 on, 2 Out). S - L Walrond
, D Aardsma. RBI - M Barrett (49), F Bynum (7), J Jones 2 (65), A Ramirez (89).
2-out RBI - F Bynum, J Jones 2. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J
Mabry 1, A Ramirez 1, J Pierre 1. GIDP - R Cedeno. Team LOB - 5.

BASERUNNING: SB - F Bynum (7, 2nd base off J Weaver/G Bennett), J Pierre (45,
2nd base off A Wainwright/G Bennett).

FIELDING: E - J Jones (6, bobble). PB - M Barrett. DP: 1 (F Bynum-R Cedeno-J

ST LOUIS               ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
P Wilson rf             4  1  1  0   0  1   4  .265
C Duncan lf             5  0  1  0   0  2   3  .328
A Pujols 1b             5  1  2  0   0  0   3  .323
S Rolen 3b              5  1  1  1   0  1   1  .309
J Encarnacion cf        5  2  4  0   0  1   0  .284
R Belliard 2b           3  2  0  0   2  0   2  .247
A Miles ss              5  2  2  1   0  0   1  .269
G Bennett c             2  1  1  4   2  0   0  .243
J Weaver p              2  0  1  2   1  1   1  .125
 A Wainwright p         0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .400
 T Johnson p            0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .000
 J Sosa p               0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .130
 a-S Spiezio ph         1  0  0  0   0  0   1  .269
 B Looper p             0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .500

Totals                 37 10 13  8   5  6  16

a-fouled out to first for J Sosa in the 8th.

BATTING: HR - G Bennett (4, 9th inning off B Howry 3 on, 2 Out). S - G Bennett.
RBI - S Rolen (79), A Miles (25), J Weaver 2 (2), G Bennett 4 (22). 2-out RBI -
S Rolen, A Miles, J Weaver 2, G Bennett 4. Runners left in scoring position, 2
out - C Duncan 1, P Wilson 1, A Pujols 1. GIDP - R Belliard. Team LOB - 8.

BASERUNNING: SB - P Wilson (9, 2nd base off L Walrond/M Barrett).

FIELDING: E - J Encarnacion (6, bobble). DP: 1 (S Rolen-R Belliard-A Pujols).

    CHICAGO CUBS    - 210 010 200   --   6
    ST LOUIS        - 204 000 004   --  10

Two outs when winning run scored.

CHICAGO CUBS                 ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
L Walrond                     2 2/3   7   6   5   3   1   0  16.87
D Aardsma                     2 1/3   0   0   0   0   2   0   5.19
M Wuertz                      1       1   0   0   1   2   0   2.96
R Novoa                       1 2/3   2   0   0   0   0   0   4.66
W Ohman                         1/3   0   0   0   0   1   0   4.70
B Howry (L, 3-5)                2/3   3   4   4   1   0   1   3.62

ST LOUIS                     ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
J Weaver                      6 1/3   7   5   5   3   3   1   5.92
A Wainwright (H, 14)            1/3   0   1   1   1   0   0   3.27
T Johnson (B, 2)              0       1   0   0   0   0   0   5.08
J Sosa                        1 1/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   5.02
B Looper (W, 7-1)             1       0   0   0   0   0   0   3.66

T Johnson pitched to 1 batter in the 7th.

WP - J Weaver, A Wainwright. IBB - G Bennett (by L Walrond). HBP - P Wilson
(by R Novoa). Pitches-strikes: L Walrond 68-33; D Aardsma 24-17; M Wuertz
18-11; R Novoa 24-13; W Ohman 7-5; B Howry 19-11; J Weaver 88-56; A Wainwright
9-3; T Johnson 2-1; J Sosa 13-10; B Looper 14-8. Ground balls-fly balls: L
Walrond 3-4; D Aardsma 1-4; M Wuertz 1-0; R Novoa 3-2; W Ohman 0-0; B Howry
2-0; J Weaver 9-7; A Wainwright 1-0; T Johnson 0-0; J Sosa 1-3; B Looper 3-0.
Batters faced: L Walrond 18; D Aardsma 7; M Wuertz 5; R Novoa 7; W Ohman 1; B
Howry 6; J Weaver 28; A Wainwright 2; T Johnson 1; J Sosa 4; B Looper 3.

UMPIRES: HP--Adam Dowdy. 1B--Wally Bell. 2B--Mark Carlson. 3B--C.B. Bucknor.

T--3:14. Att--44,937.
Weather: 81 degrees, partly cloudy. Wind: 8 mph, right to left.

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

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.

 Hitter                   Pitcher               True Dist. Std. Dist.  HR #
Berkman, Lance  HOU      Chacon, Shawn  PIT       438        424       36
Cabrera, Miguel  FLA     Capuano, Chris  MIL      422        424       23
Wells, Vernon  TOR       Peralta, Joel  KC        420        417       30
Witt, Kevin  TB          Hoey, Jim  BAL           422        413        1
Jones, Jacque  CHC       Weaver, Jeff  STL        408        410       22
Jones, Chipper  ATL      Traber, Billy  WAS       426        408       21
Rodriguez, Ivan  DET     Mujica, Edward  CLE      405        407       10
Thames, Marcus  DET      Lee, Cliff  CLE          413        403       23
Stairs, Matt  TEX        Haren, Dan  OAK          410        399       10
Uribe, Juan  CWS         Silva, Carlos  MIN       391        399       16
Jeter, Derek  NYY        Carrasco, Hector  LAA    413        398       11
Francoeur, Jeff  ATL     Rivera, Saul  WAS        416        397       24
Crede, Joe  CWS          Silva, Carlos  MIN       390        395       28
Molina, Bengie  TOR      Perez, Odalis  KC        396        392       14
Pierzynski, A.J.  CWS    Silva, Carlos  MIN       419        391       12
Bennett, Gary  STL       Howry, Bob  CHC          402        389        4
Zaun, Gregg  TOR         Wellemeyer, Todd  KC     395        387        9
Williams, Bernie  NYY    Saunders, Joe  LAA       396        385       10
Betemit, Wilson  LAD     Hernandez, Orlando  ARI  393        383       15
Willingham, Josh  FLA    Capuano, Chris  MIL      385        382       19
Ibanez, Raul  SEA        Snyder, Kyle  BOS        390        380       25
Sweeney, Mike  KC        Lilly, Ted  TOR          381        376        5
Giles, Marcus  SD        Fuentes, Brian  COL      417        375       10
Guillen, Carlos  DET     Lee, Cliff  CLE          386        375       15
Gonzalez, Adrian  SD     Cook, Aaron  COL         428        374       21
Holliday, Matt  COL      Peavy, Jake  SD          413        374       24
Williams, Bernie  NYY    Saunders, Joe  LAA       383        372       10
Lowell, Mike  BOS        Baek, Cha Seung  SEA     373        372       15
Granderson, Curtis  DET  Lee, Cliff  CLE          383        369       13
Jeter, Derek  NYY        Saunders, Joe  LAA       380        369       11
Bell, David  MIL         Borowski, Joe  FLA       369        367        7
Jones, Andruw  ATL       Cordero, Chad  WAS       388        362       30
Ortiz, David  BOS        Baek, Cha Seung  SEA     372        359       47

Top Minor League Games

The following list, provided by First Inning, includes the top minor league batting (based on Runs Created) and pitching (based on Game Score) performances from yesterday.

ORG LVL PLAYER            POS AB  H 2B 3B HR BB SO  Notes
CIN AAA Brendan Harris     3B  5  4  0  0  1  0  0  Hitting .538 over last 26 at bats
CLE AA  Brad Snyder        RF  4  4  0  1  0  1  0  .575 OBP during past week
DET A+  James Essian       RF  4  3  1  0  1  0  1   
HOU AAA Cody Ransom        3B  4  3  1  0  1  0  1  3 runs scored
KC  AA  Chris Lubanski     LF  6  4  0  1  2  0  0  4 runs scored
KC  AA  Mitch Maier        CF  5  3  2  0  1  1  1   
KC  AA  Alex Gordon        3B  4  3  0  0  1  2  0  4 RBI
LAA AA  Gregory Porter     1B  4  3  1  0  1  0  0   
OAK AA  Brant Colamarino   DH  4  3  1  0  1  0  0   
PHI A   Mike Spidale       CF  4  4  1  0  0  1  0   
ORG LVL PLAYER             IP   H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
ATL AAA Kyle Davies        8.0  4  0  0  5  1  0   
BOS A   Michael Rozier     6.0  2  0  0  3  1  0   
COL A   Shane Lindsay      6.2  4  1  1  8  1  0  32 K over last 24 IP
LA  A   James McDonald     8.0  1  0  0  8  1  0   
MIL A   Steve Garrison     6.0  2  0  0  4  1  0   
MIL AA  Yovani Gallardo    8.0  5  2  2  8  1  0   
MIN A   Alexander Smit     7.0  0  0  0 11  4  0   
NYY AAA Colter Bean        7.0  3  1  1  6  1  0   
NYY A   Wilkins Arias      7.0  2  0  0  2  3  0  1.07 ERA over past month
PIT AAA Shane Youman       7.1  2  1  1  3  1  0    

Player News

Player news items are provided by CBS

This could be one of those weeks Felix Hernandez gets a start off. Hernandez starts Monday, but Tuesday starter Jarrod Washburn could go Sunday on regular rest. Manager Mike Hargrove said the 20-year-old HP Hernandez would probably need to be skipped in the rotation at least once, and possibly twice, before the end of the season to keep him under the 200-inning threshold the organization would like. Hernandez, who’ll start on Monday night against the Angels, has pitched 151 2/3 innings in 25 starts. He is 10-12 with a 4.81 ERA.

Tom Gorzelanny’s (elbow) return to the rotation is up in the air. “He’s not shut down by any stretch of the imagination,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy told “He’s still working.” Victor Santos is listed as the starter in his spot Wednesday, but Gorzelanny could still pitch over the weekend. That could bump Shawn Chacon a turn or push Ian Snell off a second start.

Using Recurrent Neural Networks to Predict Player Performance
Technology is rapidly advancing possibilities in decision-making.

Derek Lowe, struck by a line drive Saturday night, said his bruised left hand was better and he expects to make his next scheduled start Friday night. Aaron Sele will be the emergency replacement out of the bullpen, if necessary.

Jeff Karstens earned his first major league win, helping the AL East leading Yankees salvage the series finale Sunday at the L.A. Angels. Karstens (1-0) won in his second major league start, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings.

Jeff Weaver allowed five runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in Sunday’s start against the Cubs. He did not figure into the decision, as the game was tied in the ninth until Gary Bennett‘s grand slam.

Braden Looper (7-1) worked a scoreless ninth in Sunday’s game against the Cubs to pick up the win.

Gary Bennett won a game for St. Louis with two outs in the ninth for the second straight day, hitting a grand slam Sunday night to give the Cardinals a 10-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Akinori Otsuka pitched a perfect ninth inning in Sunday’s game against the Athletics for his 28th save in 31 chances to complete Texas’ eighth shutout this season.

Dan Haren (12-10), who had not lost since July 21, struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings on Sunday at Texas. He allowed three runs and seven hits, walking two.

Vicente Padilla (13-8) improved to 3-1 in his six starts against Oakland this season, striking out eight on Sunday night to match his season-high and walking four.

Kevin Gregg struck out a career-high seven over four innings on Sunday, the most by an Angels reliever this season.

Raul Ibañez was 1-for-3 with a grand slam (25) and four RBI (102) in Sunday’s game against the Red Sox. “It definitely means something after that road trip we had, bouncing back the way that we have,” Ibañez said. “We’re staying focused and playing hard and doing the right things. Hopefully we can continue that.”

Brad Wilkerson has begun his rehab from right shoulder surgery performed last week and anticipates he’ll be ready for spring training.

Adam Eaton felt a burning sensation in his surgically repaired right middle finger during Saturday night’s start, but said on Sunday that he feels OK. “It’s something you can’t really control,” Eaton said. “It bothered me at the time, but it’s fine now.”

J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 27th save on Friday against the Red Sox in 32 chances. He struck out two batters in a perfect ninth inning.

A day after Mark Ellis committed just his second error in 92 games this season, manager Ken Macha hailed his second baseman as a strong Gold Glove candidate. “What he’s accomplished is tremendous, particularly coming off a separated shoulder,” Macha said.

Cha Seung Baek (1-0) was not overpowering and walked five in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday against the Red Sox, but won for the first time since Sept. 26, 2004. Baek lost his shutout in the fifth inning after two walks and an error, and David Ortiz ended the no-hitter in the sixth with a homer.

Jeremy Reed, on the DL since July 3 with a broken right thumb, is expected to go on a rehabilitation assignment later this week.

Mike Mussina (groin) is not eligible to return until Sept. 5. Carl Pavano (too many injuries to name) can still start Saturday in place of rookie Jeff Karstens, who was Mussina’s fill-in starter.

Manager Joe Torre wouldn’t commit to a starter Thursday, which would be Jaret Wright’s day to pitch. Carl Pavano (back, shoulder, buttocks) could be brought off his rehab assignment to go that day, but he has some discomfort in the upper rib cage on his right side. Pavano is still planning to have a side session Monday. It hasn’t been determined whether his next start would be with Triple-A Columbus or the Yankees. “Evidently, he’s felt it from time to time, but it hasn’t been an issue for him,” Torre said. Pavano can come off the DL, while Mike Mussina (groin) is not eligible to return until Sept. 5. Meanwhile, Wright or Pavano can still start Saturday in place of rookie Jeff Karstens, who was Mussina’s fill-in starter.

Tim Wakefield is expected to throw off the mound in Oakland on Monday, continuing his recovery from a stress fracture in his rib cage area.

Matt Clement has started playing catch in his rehab from a strained right shoulder, but is throwing only at 45 feet.

Luis Castillo went 3-for-4 on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to eight games.

Tom Glavine (shoulder) is slated to return Friday night at Houston, while Orlando Hernandez (fatigue) should make a start Thursday. Oliver Perez figures to be on standby for that day, while top prospects Brian Bannister and Mike Pelfrey will finish out the Triple-A season before being September call-ups and possible stopgap starters down the stretch.

Kevin Witt hit his first major league homer on Sunday since 2003 with Detroit.

Vernon Wells stole second and third on consecutive pitches in the sixth. He leads the team with 14 steals.

Mark Teahen’s 17 home runs are the most by a Royals 3B since Dean Palmer hit 34 in 1998.

Luke Hochevar, the overall No. 1 pick in the June draft, hasn’t allowed an earned run in three limited starts with Class A Burlington. He has struck out 10 in 9 1/3 innings.

Jeremy Sowers said he trusts the Indians’ decision to soon curtail his innings. “I’d like to pitch, but I do what I’m told,” said Sowers. The rookie is 6-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 11 starts after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo, where he was 9-1 with a 1.39 ERA. He’s worked 168 innings overall. “The most I’ve ever pitched is 170, so it’s probably a wise thing to watch. Just because you can lift 50 pounds doesn’t mean you can all of a sudden go and lift 100.”

Steve Trachsel will be a two-start pitcher, assuming Pedro Martinez (calf) doesn’t surprisingly return over the weekend. Tom Glavine (shoulder) is slated to return Friday night at Houston, while Orlando Hernandez (fatigue) should make a start Thursday. Oliver Perez figures to be on standby for that day, while top prospects Brian Bannister and Mike Pelfrey will finish out the Triple-A season before being September call-ups and possible stopgap starters down the stretch.

Wilson Betemit went 1-for-4 with his 15th homer on Sunday at Arizona.

It appears Brad Penny will stay on his regular fifth day, which could mean Chad Billingsley gets moved back out of next weekend’s series. The 21-year-old right-hander (5-3) beat Arizona Sunday, allowing two runs on nine hits in seven innings to improve to 4-0 in his past six starts. “I think early on when this kid joined the ballclub, he was in a little bit more of a strikeout mode than he is now,” manager Grady Little said. “He knows that he’s got a good ballclub behind him, that they’ll make the plays.” Billingsley said he’s just being himself. “How I’m pitching now is how I’ve always pitched in my career. I’m getting settled in real good and believing in myself and trusting in myself,” he said. “This is really how I throw. I wasn’t trusting myself when I first got up. I was learning and giving the hitter too much credit.”

Livan Hernandez allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks and six Ks in a loss on Sunday against the Dodgers.

Joe Saunders could be skipped next weekend to allow Kelvim Escobar to stay on regular rest (Monday-Saturday) and Jered Weaver (Tuesday-Sunday). Saunders (4-2) lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his ninth big league start Sunday, allowing seven runs on eight hits and three walks vs. the N.Y. Yankees. “My arm felt good. I just didn’t execute my pitches when I needed to,” Saunders said. “I got behind a lot of guys, and at times when I needed to make a good pitch, I didn’t.”

“Ace” Mark Redman gets moved up a day to go Tuesday in a two-start week, because of the Monday day off. Jorge De La Rosa slides back a couple of days.

No. 5 starter Chris Michalak is slated for double starts, but he could be moved off that second one because of the day off Thursday. Eric Milton could go Tuesday-Sunday on regular rest.

LHP Sean Marshall (strained oblique) or Wade Miller (shoulder) could come off the DL to start next Saturday. Sunday start Les Walrond is also an option. Angel Guzman, Carlos Zambrano, Juan Mateo and Rich Hill are certain to get starts on turn this week.

A doubleheader next Saturday will necessitate a six-man Braves rotation. Lance Cormier and Kyle Davies (groin) are the ones listed in our Probable Pitchers report to start on the back end of the rotation. Davies would be coming off a long rehab assignment, while Cormier will be coming out of long relief.

LHP Mike Maroth isn’t likely to return to the Tigers’ rotation this season. “I didn’t feel too good in the bullpen today,” he said Sunday after a workout. Maroth had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow June 2, and will be activated Sept. 1. “We’ll put him in the bullpen,” manager Jim Leyland said. Maroth had hoped to start Wednesday in New York, but LHP Wilfredo Ledezma will get the call. “I wasn’t sure I’d be 100 percent on Wednesday,” Maroth said. “There’s too much at stake to go out there with a question mark.”

The Cubs optioned RHP Jae Kuk Ryu to Triple-A Iowa and moved RHP Kerry Wood to the 60-day DL. Wood has decided not to have surgery to repair his partially torn rotator cuff. “I think anytime you can avoid surgery that’s what you need to do,” Wood said. “In the situation right now, at this time surgery is not the best option.”

Alex Rodriguez, 1-for-15 with 10 strikeouts in the three-game series, singled during the Yankees’ five-run third inning Sunday at the L.A. Angels. “I’m happy we won the game today. I’m happy Bernie Williams had a great game, I’m happy Jeter had a great game. This is about winning,” Rodriguez said. “Sure, I’m disappointed about going 1-for-15 or whatever the line may be, but you’ve got to move on and keep grinding. It’s important for me to play well down the stretch for this team and in October. And I still have that chance.”

Reliever Mariano Rivera recorded the final six outs Sunday at the L.A. Angels, retiring Vladimir Guerrero on a grounder with two on in the eighth and the Yankees ahead 11-7. He allowd one earned run in the outing to raise his ERA to 1.96.

The Blue Jays optioned 2B Ryan Roberts to Triple-A Syracuse.

Kyle Lohse (1-1) allowed five runs and 10 hits in five innings in a loss on Sunday at San Francisco. The five runs matched the total he had given up in his other five appearances since being traded from Minnesota to the Reds on July 31. “The main thing before I’ve been able to get ahead with my fastball and location,” Lohse said. “That didn’t happen today. They jumped on a lot of first pitch fastballs. I threw a lot of bad strikes.”

Barry Bonds and the other San Francisco hitters made it an easy afternoon for rookie Matt Cain. Cain pitched seven sharp innings and the resurgent Giants won again, beating the slumping Cincinnati Reds 8-0 Sunday. Bonds went 3-for-3 and Giants pulled within two games of Cincinnati in the wild-card race and kept up its chase of Los Angeles in the NL West. Bonds also drew his 100th walk of the season. He’s batting .251 with 17 home runs and 55 RBI this year. “He’s getting hot again and he’s still one of the best hitters in the game, regardless of what anybody says,” Hillenbrand said. “When Bonds gets hot, the three-hole hitter sees a lot more strikes.”

Bernie Williams homered twice and drove in six runs, and Derek Jeter also hit two home runs Sunday as the Yankees ended their longest road trip of the season with an 11-8 victory over Los Angeles. “At this stage of my career, I just wanted to come out here and have fun,” said Williams, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract in December to play a 16th season with the Yankees.

Giants OF Moises Alou pinch-hit in the eighth inning on Sunday, his first appearance since Aug. 20.

Jason Giambi (cramping) was able to pinch hit in Sunday’s win at the L.A. Angels.

Ozzie Guillen said he has no plans to shake up his starting rotation, meaning Brandon McCarthy will stay in the bullpen. McCarthy allowed one hit and one run in 5 1/3 innings Saturday after Jose Contreras was pulled in the third.

White Sox DH Jim Thome missed his fourth game in a row with a strained left hamstring and remains day to day. “When he’s ready to go, I’ll let you know,” Guillen said. “Right now, he’s not.”

Carlos Silva (8-12) continued to be bothered by the long ball Sunday at the Chicago White Sox, allowing three homers after giving up five in a loss to Baltimore. He lasted six innings, giving up six runs and 11 hits. “I don’t feel that I’ve been throwing the ball bad,” he said.

Mark Buehrle had his best game in months Sunday, and the Chicago White Sox received a much-needed victory over the Minnesota Twins. Buehrle (11-11) left to a standing ovation after allowing back-to-back singles by Luis Castillo and Nick Punto with one out in the eighth. “It was louder than it was during the World Series,” Buehrle said. Buehrle — 2-7 in his last 11 starts — allowed one run and nine hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter.

Rocco Baldelli went 2-for-5 Sunday before leaving in the eighth inning with cramps in his left hamstring. He has six multihit games in his last eight starts.

Brian Fuentes (personal) allowed one run on two hits with two strikeouts over one inning on Sunday in his return to action against the Padres.

Orioles starter Adam Loewen allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings Sunday vs. Tampa Bay. He had yielded a total of three runs in his previous two starts. He did not factor in the final decision.

Devil Rays starter J.P. Howell gave up two runs and six hits in six innings Sunday vs. Baltimore, striking out six and walking one. He was called up from the minors on Friday to replace Scott Kazmir, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder tightness.

Odalis Perez allowed six earned runs Sunday at Toronto. He went just four innings, allowing seven hits and three walks while striking out three.

Bengie Molina hit a grand slam that led the Toronto Blue Jays over the Kansas City Royals 10-6 Sunday.

Ted Lilly won in his first start since tussling with manager John Gibbons as the Toronto Blue Jays over the Kansas City Royals 10-6 Sunday. “What happened last start was unlike both of us. I think we learned a lot from it,” Lilly said. “It’s good to come back and contribute a little bit, enough to help us win.” Lilly (11-11) allowed six runs — five earned — in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.

Curtis Granderson doubled to open the third inning Sunday vs. Cleveland and one out later, Marcus Thames — hitting only .171 (12-for-70) over his previous 24 games — hit a 418-foot shot to center for his 23rd homer and 3-1 lead. The rookie came in hitting only .132 (19-for-76) in 23 games in August.

Aaron Cook (9-12), winless in his two previous starts, improved to 7-3 lifetime against San Diego on Sunday. He gave up two runs and five hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking none.

Cliff Lee fell to 0-4 this season and 3-5 in his career against Detroit with a loss on Sunday. The left-hander allowed five runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out three without a walk.

Kenny Rogers knew the situation and stepped up. Rogers put on a pitching performance that Detroit desperately needed and the Tigers backed him with four home runs, beating the Cleveland Indians 7-1 Sunday and ending a four-game losing streak. “I wanted to be the guy to stop it,” Rogers said. “That’s for sure.” Rogers (14-6) won his third consecutive start, yielding one run and four hits in seven innings.

Jake Peavy (7-13) lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs – five earned — and eight hits on Sunday in a loss at Colorado.

Lance Berkman, in a 5-for-45 slump at one point of the series, went 2-for-3 and hit a three-run homer on Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Jason Hirsh (2-2), a rookie right-hander making his fourth career start on Sunday at Pittsburgh, bounced back from a 14-0 loss Tuesday to Cincinnati pitch seven innings. He gave up one run and five hits in his second appearance in PNC Park in six weeks — he also started the All-Star Futures Game for top prospects there on July 9, when he was still in the minors.

Pirates SSJack Wilson missed a third consecutive start because of a viral infection and may not start Monday night against the Cubs.

Joe Borowski blew a save but earned a win when the Marlins came back in the following inning on Sunday against Milwaukee. He allowed one run on a hit and two walks over one inning.

The Detroit Tigers optioned right-hander Colby Lewis to Triple-A Toledo and outfielder Brent Clevlen to Double-A Erie on Sunday after their 7-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. General manager Dave Dombrowski said lefty Andrew Miller, Detroit’s No. 1 draft pick in June, will be called up Tuesday from Class A Lakeland before the Tigers open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium in New York. Veteran outfielder Alexis Gomez will have his contract purchased from Toledo after the Tigers clear space on their 40-man roster.

Florida’s Anibal Sanchez threw 114 pitches in six innings in a no-decision on Sunday against Milwaukee. He allowed two runs, seven hits, three walks and struck out six.

Chris Capuano gave up two runs and four hits in six-plus innings in a no-decision on Sunday at Florida. He walked none and struck out nine.

Mike Jacobs delivered his first pinch-hit of the season at an ideal time for the Florida Marlins. Jacobs doubled home Jeremy Hermida with two outs in the ninth inning and the Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Sunday for their seventh straight victory.

Damian Miller (concussion) missed Sunday’s game at Florida.

Brewers CF Brady Clark (upset stomach) was a late scratch on Sunday at Florida.

Jeff Conine was traded to Philadelphia from the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, a deal that provides the Phillies with a solid right-handed bat and veteran leadership in their drive to earn a wild-card berth. The Orioles sent Conine and cash to Philadelphia for a player to be named. The deal was completed during the seventh inning of Baltimore’s 5-4 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Alfonso Soriano hit three doubles and a single for the Nationals and stole two bases on Sunday against the Braves.

Billy Traber couldn’t hold a 3-0, first-inning lead on Sunday at Atlanta. He gave up two runs in the bottom of the first and was knocked out in the third. Traber (3-3) gave up eight hits and eight runs, one day after Pedro Astacio gave up eight hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Atlanta’s starter, Oscar Villarreal, gave up six hits and four runs – three earned — in three innings in a no-decision on Sunday against the Nationals.

Jeff Francoeur, Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones hit home runs, lifting the Atlanta Braves over the Washington Nationals 13-6 Sunday.

First baseman Nick Johnson did not play against the Braves on Sunday because of a left cervical strain suffered in a collision with Atlanta’s Jeff Francoeur on Saturday night. According to, the Braves believe Johnson will be ready to play on Tuesday against the Phillies.

The Seattle Mariners recalled utilityman Mike Morse from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday and sent down outfielder T.J. Bohn. Morse was in uniform and available for Sunday’s game against Boston. “He just gives us some more flexibility. Mike can play both corner outfield spots, he can play third, can play shortstop, second base and first,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “He just gives us more versatility off the bench.”

Doug Mirabelli aggravated an ankle injury during batting practice on Saturday. Mirabelli iced the ankle during Saturday’s game in hopes of catching on Sunday, but told manager Terry Francona he didn’t believe he could go.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that catcher Jason Vartiek continued to rehab back in Boston and the two planned to talk after Sunday’s game on what Varitek’s next step would be.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that left-hander Jon Lester would not make his scheduled start on Monday night in Oakland and instead would be sent back to Boston for further examination on his sore back. Lester labored through five innings in a 5-4 win over the Angels on Thursday night. He almost missed making that start, and Francona said the team wants Lester to get a more complete exam back in Boston.

All-Star Manny Ramirez was out of Boston’s starting lineup for the third time in four games Sunday as the Red Sox closed out a series against the Seattle Mariners.

According to, Aaron Rowand will be out at least four weeks before he is able to begin rehabbing after undergoing surgery on his broken left ankle on Friday. Two screws were inserted into the ankle and he was placed in a cast, general manager Pat Gillick said. “We’re looking at the end of the season,” Manuel said. “I think we’ll have to wait and see what kind of condition he’s really in. If he misses six weeks, he’ll need some time hitting in games. I don’t know how we’d do that other than maybe the instructional league to get him game action.”

Houston Astros outfielder Willy Taveras extended his hitting streak to 30 games when he beat out an infield single to third base to start Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh.

Sunday’s rainout of the Mets-Phillies game was rescheduled for Monday, Aug. 28. The two starters that were supposed to pitch on Sunday, Jamie Moyer for the Phillies and John Maine for the Mets, are scheduled to pitch the makeup game instead.

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