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Dugout Digest – the AL meat grinder

The race for the second Wild Card slot in the American League remains insane. After the events of Tuesday night, the Mariners lead is down to just 1.5 games on the Yankees and Blue Jays, with the Indians surprisingly running close behind at two games out. Three weeks ago, only the Orioles, Royals, Yankees, and Indians were within six games of Seattle. Today, every team in the American League except for the Twins, Astros, and Rangers are that close. What once looked like a safe bet isn’t looking so hot now – and you really can’t blame the Mariners for that, either. At 8-9, their July record really isn’t abysmal. It’s just that the rest of the league is starting to catch up to them.

Game of the Night: Diamondbacks 5, Tigers 4. Let’s all point and laugh at the Tigers bullpen, shall we? The Diamondbacks broke a 2-2 in the sixth, when David Peralta scored on a ground out by Aaron Hill. In the eighth, Detroit pulled in front thanks to a two-run single by Torii Hunter. But in the bottom of the inning, with Rick Porcello’s night over, things got rough for the Tigers. After getting Didi Gregorius to line out for the first out, Phil Coke walked both Ender Inciarte and Peralta. Al Albuquerque replaced him, and got Hill to fly out for the second out before walking Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases. That brought in Ian Krol, who allowed the lone hit of the inning – a two-run single by Miguel Montero to put Arizona back in front. Addison Reed set the Tigers down in the ninth to close the game out and snatch another victory away from the Tigers.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Not much going on here. Kyle Hendricks led the Cubs to victory against the Padres, going seven shutout innings while allowing five hits, walking three, and striking out five. Jacob deGrom and Erasmo Ramirez had a fantastic duel during the Mets’ 3-1 win in Seattle, with deGrom giving up one run on five hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one, and Ramirez giving up two runs on five hits in seven innings, punching out ten while walking a pair. Miguel Gonzalez pitched decently for the Orioles in their 4-2 win over the Angels, allowing two runs on three hits in 7 2/3 innings, walking four and punching out five.

Hitting Lines of the Night: In Cleveland’s 8-2 win over Minnesota, Carlos Santana went 4/5 with two doubles, a homer, two runs, and two RBI. Mike Moustakas shined in the Royals’ 7-3 win over the White Sox, going 3/5 with two homers and three RBI. Buster Posey helped the Giants beat the Phillies 9-5 in 14 innings, going 4/7 with two doubles, a homer, and two runs scored. Jonathan Lucroy led the Brewers to a 4-3 win over the Reds, going 2/4 with a pair of solo homers – including a walk off blast. Anthony Rizzo stayed hot in the Cubs’ 6-0 win over the Padres, going 2/4 with two solo homers of his own.

Other Games: The Marlins beat the Braves 6-5. The Yankees beat the Rangers 2-1 in 14 innings thanks to a walk off single by the newest Yankee, Chase Headley. The Pirates topped the Dodgers 12-7 in a wild contest. The Blue Jays defeated the Red Sox 7-3. The Rays stayed hot in their 7-2 win over the Cardinals. The Nationals extended their lead in the NL East, beating the Rockies 7-4. The Astros beat the A’s 3-2 in 12 innings.

Today’s Games: James Shields and Jose Quintana will duel on the south side. Mike Leake and the Reds square off with Kyle Lohse and the Brewers. Stephen Strasburg starts for the Nationals in Colorado. Bartolo Colon starts for the Mets in Seattle against Taijuan Walker and the Mariners. Anibal Sanchez gets the nod for the Tigers in Arizona. Yu Darvish will toe the rubber for the Rangers in the Bronx. R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays host Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox. Nate Eovaldi and Ervin Santana will square off in Atlanta. Lance Lynn and the Cardinals host Alex Cobb and the Rays. Ian Kennedy starts for the Padres on the north side of Chicago. Chris Tillman and Jered Weaver will tango in Anaheim. Jesse Chavez and the A’s host the Astros.

National TV: Indians-Twins (1 PM, MLB Network), Reds-Brewers (2 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Phillies (7 PM, ESPN)

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.