Dugout Digest – scorching

The Rays are on a roll right now that is probably unparalleled this season. By virtue of their 10-6 win in New York last night, and the Red Sox 6-0 loss in Baltimore, Tampa Bay has moved into sole possession of first place in the AL East. They also have the best record in baseball. The Rays are 6-1 since the All-Star Break, 16-2 in their last 18, and 20-3 in their last 23 games. Are you serious? The Rays are playing at an .870 clip in their last month of action. This is a team that was hovering around .500 a month ago, and now, they're the best team in the American League.


Aaron Hicks goes airborne once again (Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Indians 11, Rangers 8. Cleveland jumped out to a 7-1 lead in this one, sending Martin Perez to the showers after just three innings. But, as always, you can't count out the Rangers. Texas scored three runs over the fifth and sixth innings to make it a 7-4 game, but the Indians answered with another run to extend their lead back to four. In the seventh, the Rangers scored twice more to make the game 8-6. In the eighth, they scored two more times thanks to an RBI single from Ian Kinsler. Just like that, that huge lead was gone. After a quiet tenth, Leonys Martin reached in the top of the eleventh on a bunt single, and moved up to third on a wild pitch…but Nelson Cruz popped up to end the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana led off with back to back singles. With none out, Jason Frasor threw a meatball to Ryan Raburn, who smashed it over the left field wall to end the game.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Felix Hernandez obliterated the Twins in Seattle's 3-2, 13 inning loss, allowing one run on five hits in nine innings, striking out 11 without a walk. Randall Delgado dominated the Padres in Arizona's 10-0 win, spinning a complete game shutout while allowing three hits, walking one, and striking out three. Doug Fister controlled the Phillies in a 2-1 Tigers win, giving up one unearned run on three hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out six. Chris Tillman led the Orioles to a 6-0 win over the Red Sox, allowing a pair of hits in seven scoreless innings, punching out eight while walking three. Finally, Matt Harvey got a no decision in the Mets' 2-1 loss to the Nationals in game two of their doubleheader, despite allowing just one unearned run on five hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking one.

Hitting Lines of the Night: The Mets beat the Nationals 11-0 in game one of that doubleheader thanks to Daniel Murphy going 4/5 with two homers, three runs, and five RBI. The duo of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Reyes led the Blue Jays to a 12-6 win over the Astros, as E-5 went 3/4 with three runs, five RBI, a walk, a double, and two homers (in the same inning, no less), while Reyes went 3/3 with two runs, two RBI, two walks, a stolen base, a double, and a homer. Adam Jones carried Baltimore's offense in that win over Boston, going 2/4 with two homers and three RBI. Jed Lowrie helped the A's to a 6-4 win over the Angels, going 3/4 with a homer and three RBI.

Other Games: Mike Minor outdueled Adam Wainwright as the Braves topped the Cardinals 4-1. The Marlins shut out the Pirates 2-0. The Rockies beat up the Brewers 8-3. The Royals topped the White Sox 5-1. Clayton Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez led the Dodgers to a 2-1 win over the Reds. The Cubs rallied late to beat the Giants 3-2.

What You Missed: The Phillies have won the Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez sweepstakes. Randy examines whether or not Alfonso Soriano's Cubs contract was a failure. This week's watchability rankings are in.

Today's Games: Chris Archer starts for the Rays in the Bronx. Josh Johnson and the Blue Jays host the Astros. Julio Teheran and the Braves host the Cardinals. Charlie Morton gets the nod for the Pirates in Miami. Ryan Dempster and Scott Feldman will duel in Baltimore. Yu Darvish and Justin Masterson will be matched up in Cleveland. Max Scherzer and the Tigers host the Phillies. Wade Davis takes on Chris Sale in Chicago. Andrew Cashner and the Padres take on Tyler Skaggs and the D-Backs. Madison Bumgarner and the Giants host the Cubs. Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers host the Reds and Bronson Arroyo.

National TV: Cardinals-Braves (3 PM, Fox), Mets-Nationals (3 PM, Fox), Angels-Athletics (3 PM, Fox), Red Sox-Orioles (7 PM, MLB Network), Rangers-Indians (7 PM, MLB Network)

MLB.tv Free Game: Rangers-Indians (7 PM)

Pitching Matchup of the Day: Yu Darvish vs Justin Masterson (Rangers vs Indians, 7 PM)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.