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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Aug 7, 2014, 6:53 AM EST

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 6.51.57 AM Getty Images

Red Sox 2, Cardinals 1: Joe Kelly pitched against the guys who, this time last week, were his teammates. And he did well: one run on three hits over seven. Shelby Miller was just as good, but the Sox got to Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth, loading the bases with no one out before a Xander Bogaerts sac fly. The Cardinals were lucky they only gave up one run there, but one run was enough.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1: But I was told Tuesday night was a “statement game” from the Orioles. Huh. Maybe the statement has been hereby recanted? Maybe, for some reason, this game did not count as much as Tuesday’s, making it far less important? Tell me, Orioles fans who got on my case for doubting Bud Norris’ assessment of Tuesday’s night game, why is this one different? While I wait, I’ll just tell everyone that Drew Hutchison almost went the distance, allowing just the one run.

Yankees 5, Tigers 1: Chris Capuano of all people tied up the Tigers, allowing only one run over six and two-thirds. And it wasn’t even earned. Meanwhile Justin Verlander held ‘em close, but the bullpen was pretty stinky, allowing three in the eighth. The contrast between Tuesday, when Brad Ausmus could use Chamberlain, Soria and Nathan, and last night when he had to go with Blaine Hardy and Phil Coke, is pretty major. It’ll behoove the Tigers to rest up those latter three as much as possible between now and the playoffs so the Tigers don’t have their soft underbelly exposed in close games like this one.

Rays 7, Athletics 3: The Rays avoid a sweep thanks to Jeremy Hellickson allowing just two hits in seven innings and Sonny Gray having his worst day as a major leaguer (4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 4 BB). Well, I dunno, maybe he’s had worse days. Like, if he had to put his dog down on the same day he tossed a three-hitter that would probably be a way worse day, all things considered. But this was his worst pitching performance.

Royals 4, Diamondbacks 3: Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer and drove in four. His fourth RBI — which provided the winning margin — came in the ninth when he beat out a play at first on a would-be double play. He was initially called out but the call was overturned on review. The game story I read praised Moustakas for his hustle in beating that throw, but it wouldn’t have been as close if he didn’t flop on his belly for the head first slide which is a really idiotic way to go into a bag which you are allowed to overrun. But hey, god for him.

Rockies 13, Cubs 4: Gonzalez homered, doubled and singled and Corey Dickerson drove in three runs on four hits. And this was fun: Despite being down nine runs in the ninth inning, Cubs manager Rick Renteria challenged a play at first on the final out of the game. Which is totally what MLB had in mind when it initiated the replay system. But hey, their fault. They’re the ones who made it all about manager challenges instead of something sensible.

Mariners 7, Braves 3: Down 3-1 in the third, the Mariners turned on the power: Dustin Ackley led off with a homer and Logan Morrison hit a three-run shot of his own. Chris Young got the win and after the game said “you can’t get caught up in wins and losses as a starting pitcher. One day the media will stop evaluating us on that.” I heart him. I don’t heart the Braves lately. They’ve lost eight straight. But I do hope they are enjoying their visits to San Diego, Los Angeles and Seattle. They’re lovely cities in August. Perhaps they will bring back souvenirs!

Nationals 7, Mets 1: And now the Nats have a four-game lead in the division, validating my prediction at the break that they would slowly pull away and take control of the division. Wish, like with so many other things, I was wrong about that, but alas. Doug Fister allowed one earned run in seven and a third and Adam LaRoche drove in three.

Rangers 3, White Sox 1: Adam Rosales hit two homers, providing all of the Rangers’ runs. He was then waived and claimed by the A’s, sent back to the Rangers and had the process repeat ten times before going to sleep. This joke is brought to you by the year 2013.

Reds 8, Indians 3: Mat Latos pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning before running out of gas and the Reds got a three run homer from Zack Cozart and a two-run shot from Kristopher Negron.

Pirates 7, Marlins 3: Josh Harrison remains hot. He extended his hitting streak to ten games and is is 20 for 44 over that span. And it ain’t all singles: he’s got six doubles, a triple and five home runs.

Phillies 10, Astros 3: I guess the Phillies’ offense is waking up. Ryan Howard had two hits and two RBIs, Ben Revere had four hits and Chase Utley hit a three-run homer. This one was over after the first inning, really. David Buchanan pitched nicely in Cliff Lee‘s spot. I guess it’s really Buchanan’s spot now given that Lee’s season is almost certainly over.

Padres 5, Twins 4: Seth Smith‘s solo homer in the 10th put the Padres ahead for good, but if Alexi Amarista doesn’t make this awesome play in center in the bottom of the ninth, the Twins walk off with this one.

Dodgers 2, Angels 1: Dan Haren, who has been awful, wasn’t awful. Indeed, he was pretty good, allowing one run in seven and a third. Might have had a run saved by a sick throw from Yasiel Puig to gun down Hank Conger at third in the sixth inning. Kudos to Justin Turner‘s quick tag too.

Giants 7, Brewers 4Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval each drove in three runs. The Giants have won 5 of 7.

  1. nvl004 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    Craig, Orioles fans got on your case for commenting more on some meaningless quote from a player who didn’t even play in that game than you did on the actual game.

    Just like Jay’s fans should do this morning.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:13 AM

      EH?

      • nvl004 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:23 AM

        It seemed O’s fans were annoyed that in the recap yesterday Craig focused on a meaningless comment rather than the actual game. This morning he continued to focus on the same meaningless comment instead of the Jays bats coming alive and the outstanding pitching performance.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:20 AM

      I count at least two Orioles fans affirming that Norris was right in calling that game a statement game. And of course who knows how many on Twitter. You’re being disingenuous by pretending it wasn’t about the idea of a statement game but rather putting importance on a meaningless comment.

      • nvl004 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:24 AM

        Well that’s how I felt about. And isn’t that all that really matter? lol

    • Kevin S. - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:27 AM

      You’re new here, aren’t you?

      • nvl004 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:28 AM

        no, just too much coffee

  2. uyf1950 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    The Yankees pitching these past 3 games against the Tigers has been unbelievably good. Another pitchers duel last night. Just plain good baseball all around, except maybe for the 4 errors by the Yankees Wednesday.

    • jbriggs81 - Aug 7, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Its felt like playoff baseball in the Bronx

  3. proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    Drew Hutchinson almost pitched a perfect game. That one hit was a solo home run in the second inning. As it came early, his superb performance was under reported. He finally gave up his first walk with 2 out in the 9th. He was then removed from the game.

    • nvl004 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      I was surprised they removed him. It would have been nice for him to get the CG.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:28 AM

        A season high 115 pitches after missing last season to Tommy John surgery. 4 of the last 5 pitches were balls. He had done his job and it was time to protect his arm.

      • nvl004 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:30 AM

        gotcha i didn’t realize his pitch count was that high, lost interest towards the end.

    • freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:48 AM

      Yea I felt bad for him not being able to finish, he was pretty damn good last night.

  4. renaado - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    What the heck is happenin with the Braves!?

    • Old Gator - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      Obviously, they have offended the baseball gods. Hand me another hatpin, Craig….

    • jwbiii - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Bats, they are sick. Bats are afraid.

  5. freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    New unwritten rule of baseball: If your team goes on a tough stretch against some of the toughest teams in baseball after the ASB, only to play really well against the team right behind you in the division, by all means, DO NOT call it a “statement game”, lest you will be trolled by some blogger for…what reason again?

    But seriously, if you’re just going to use this space to not talk about the game and be bitter about what people wrote about your silly post yesterday where you also didn’t talk about the game, just let johnnysoda take over. I get that these recaps aren’t to be taken seriously, but you make it quite obvious that you realize that too.

    • renaado - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      Your freedom of speech is remarkable. In a different way.

      *cough*

      • Old Gator - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        It is capacious, including freedom to (1) get and miss the point at the same time, and (2) split infinitives, despite the danger of setting orf a chain reaction throughout the language.

      • dsaverno - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        Old Gator, I’m glad you were able to boldly go where no other commenters have gone before.

      • renaado - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        Sometimes what Old Gator says here is out of my comprehension, and l always head to my dictionary on what he have said to know its meanin… and I certainly learn a lot from it. OG’s vast knowledge of these things are pretty awesome.

      • groupofsevenrules - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        Renaado: even better than you think. I believe that Gator was having some fun at the expense of the atomic scientists who set off the first A-bomb in New Mexico in 1945. They thought there was an outside possibility the explosion would cause the entire atmosphere of the Earth to be caught up in a chain reaction. Naturally, they detonated the bomb anyway. Yes, we are still here, miraculously. But these are the people who were running the show back then.

        Back then?

    • freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      Also, I’d have no problem if Drew Hutchison claimed to have made a ‘statement’ last night because A) he pitched a hell of a game, and B) I understand that in a 162 game season it’s possible to have multiple statements made.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:49 AM

        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 7, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        This right here…

        “I understand that in a 162 game season it’s possible to have multiple statements made.”

        How does that taste CC? Lol!

    • Paper Lions - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      It’s baseball. One game is never statement, most are barely a noun or a verb. Sweeping a series in dominating fashion (especially on the road) against a rival is a statement; winning one game is just winning one game.

      If the effect of a “statement” can be completely undone the very next day….it wasn’t much of a statement, was it?

      • freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        “If the effect of a “statement” can be completely undone the very next day….it wasn’t much of a statement, was it?”

        I suppose if you were to infer that making a statement is somehow an indication that you expect to win out? As I said above, I think Hutchison made a statement of his own by stopping the skid with a dominating performance.

        As everyone knows, baseball is largely a game of intangibles; so while everyone likes to say “there’s 162 games blah blah blah” like our esteemed blog leader here, we all also know that at the end of every season fans look back and distinctly remember a few games of those 162 that played a pivital role in the trajectory of their season. Will we look back and say that one of these games is one of ‘those’ games? Maybe not, but Bud Norris seemed to think it was when he said it, does that warrant a “professional” writer trolling him for it?
        I would have rather read about how well the Jays played and have set up a nice rubber match for tonight, but deep down I knew Craig wouldn’t be able to resist jumping on his computer this morning and going “See! I told you guys! ” Sadly, I was right.

      • Paper Lions - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Sorry, I couldn’t read anything after “As everyone knows, baseball is largely a game of intangibles”. That there is some funny stuff.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 7, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        Perhaps. But every damn one of them are adverbs!

      • spudchukar - Aug 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        PL, you were one of those calling for more playing time for Taveras. Craig was certainly a mess, and the Cards extended him a lot of patience. But from what I have seen from Taveras, I have a better understanding of their reticence to employ him in place of Craig. I cannot tell you how disappointed I have been in his play. He is a 22 year old DH, with little power. Who in the Cards organization thought he could play center field. He is average at best in right. He shows no quickness in any aspect of his play.

        I know the argument will be he needs more than 124 plate appearances. I will grant that could be true from a hitting perspective, but more ABs isn’t going to improve his defense, speed, jump, arm, and I doubt if significant power develops.

  6. NatsLady - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    So the day before yesterday a fan on here said the Nats looked like a tired team needed a rainout. Well, it didn’t rain, but Jonathan Niese had the same effect. Offense woke up (LaRoche is back from the wilderness, with two hits and two walks Tuesday, and two bombs yesterday). Fister was Fister–I’m still pinching myself we got this guy, and defense was solid. Two neat doubleplays, and would have had another if Danny hadn’t hurried on a low throw from Rendon (they had to give Rendon the error on the throw, but if Danny had just slowed down and taken the force, it probably would have been a shut out).

    At that point (7-0 and runners on 1st and 2nd), we got a look at our new lefty. Nice sinker. Good velo (95-96). He got Grandy to fly out, but Murphy, who is scorching hot right now, singled. So, yes, one inherited runner scored. He then got the righty David Wright (who isn’t hot at all–well, not hot in the hitting department) to ground out. Ross Detwiler came in for the 9th and also threw 95+ heat from the left-side. That’s going to be helpful.

    • dondada10 - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      The Nats could easily remain hot and pull away with the East like they did a few years ago.

    • someguyinva - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      It was me; I’m the one who said the Nats looked like they needed a rainout. Their only day off since the ASB was a day spent traveling from Denver to Cincinnati, and other than their beat down of the Phillies on Saturday, I thought they hadn’t really looked crisp since blowing that 6-0 lead in Miami ten days ago.

      Hopefully, last night is the start of something that will allow them to put serious distance between themselves and the Braves. A win today against the Mets, followed by two out of three in Atlanta this weekend, will be just the ticket, I think.

  7. janessa31888 - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Normally, I’d be griping and moaning about our dreadful starting pitching, but something happened yesterday that made it seem very silly in comparison. Very sad for our friend’s loss right now.

  8. southpaw2k - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    I do not understand it, but for some reason Drew Hutchison has the Orioles’ number(s).

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      Even stranger: until this month, Hutchinson had been brutal at home and terrific on the road. His last road start was bad, but yesterday he was brilliant at home. Baseball is full of surprises.

      • southpaw2k - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        Last night marked the third time this season that Hutchison started against the Orioles, and every time he’s shut them down completely. The first start back in April the Orioles came back to win against the bullpen, but Hutch has dominated them. I don’t get it, especially in light of his overall performance at home versus on the road.

      • nvl004 - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:12 AM

        Should they start him tonight?

  9. historiophiliac - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Maybe if we didn’t use all the better parts of our BP the same night — spread it out a little. Don’t use Chamberlain and Soria the same night. Oh, why hasn’t Joba just killed Coke already?

    • dsaverno - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      he can’t eat that much in one sitting. he’s waiting until the off-season so he can store the carcass in his larder.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        I feel like OG could give him some kind of recipe for pickled ginger pitcher that would fit the bill.

  10. Old Gator - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    The Feesh didn’t do much yesterday. They’re just running out the leash on the dog days now, still mouthing delusional sound bites about how close they are to the wild card. The Iron Giant goes ohfer again, without even the benefit of an infield single. Pretty soon, opposing infielders are going to realize how totally out of sync his is right now and begin playing in, and there goes his edge – until, of course, he connects with something and drills a rathole in somebody’s third baseman.But that day, the way he’s swinging now, looks a long, long way orf. I wonder if he’s as sensitive to the Chandler wobble as the shower runoff in my Australian hotel room was to the Coriolis effect.

    • stex52 - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      I experimented with the Coriolis effect in a Melbourne hotel shower some years back, OG. I found that the inertial forces are so small at that scale that you could get the old drain going either way just with a quick finger swirl. Now a Category 5 hurricane is a little different issue.

      Haven’t figured out a way to test the Chandler wobble like that yet. Maybe if we got everybody on earth to stand in just the right place we could cancel out the non-sphericity of the earth and see if it helps the IG’s hitting. I’m game if you are.

      • Old Gator - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        I’ll try anything at this point. It’s almost too painful to watch him bat these days. Really. He used to be the most exciting episode of the game; even seeing him move out on deck was follicle-stiffening. Now, you cringe at the thought of how he’ll embarrass himself next.

      • jwbiii - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        Doing an experiment on a phenomenon with a 400+ year periodicity? Hope you’ve got some time on your hands. . .

      • stex52 - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        I’m not planning on going anywhere. And if the periodicity is 400 years, we should at least start seeing results in 50 years or so.

  11. lazlosother - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    I never understood why Detroit traded Fister in ’13. They didn’t get much back for him and they had to go out an land an ace this year. Price may be a bit better but had they kept Fister they would still have Jackson in center, and Fister is pretty good himself.

    Not trying to troll, just curious.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      Even more puzzling is why Seattle traded Fister to Detroit for Furbish.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      They net Kinsler at 2nd in all that hand-waving, which has tightened up their defense. Imagine what that infield would have been with Iglesias at short. That was the original plan, I think.

  12. mungman69 - Aug 7, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    So, when does Bryce Harper really get sent down?

  13. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Budd Norris and the Orioles made a statement with a big win against Toronto on Tuesday. Then Toronto made a statement with a big win against Baltimore on Wednesday. I don’t really see what the problem here is Craig? Why so bitter? If you are going to Troll Orioles fans, you have got to do better than this.

    • freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      I agree. Statements are about moral, and I think Hutchison made a hell of a statement for his team yesterday, stopping their skid and bringing the O’s lead back under 5 games.

      I really felt for Drew when he came off the mound in the 9th, he earned the 1 hit complete game and fell just short. Hell of a game on his part.

      • freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        *morale*

    • nolanwiffle - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      I’m an O’s fan…..Norris said something idiotic. What statement, exactly, did the Orioles make on Tuesday night? That’s not rhetorical, by the way. Honestly, in your opinion, what statement did the Orioles win on Tueday night make?

      They lost to the same team in the same ballpark the very next night.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        They won 3 games in 3 cities against 3 teams in 3 days. They did this in the middle of a terrible run following a super late arrival due to a makeup game. The statement they made was “We are a pretty good team, people should make sure to take notice.”

        The statement that Toronto made the next night was “We are a pretty good team too, don’t completely count us out.”

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        When I say terrible run, what I meant was a terrible schedule against the toughest teams in the league, mostly on the road.

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        It was August 5th and the Birds were in first place. Who, at this point, doesn’t believe they’re “a pretty good team”?

        Who were the Orioles speaking to when they made this grand statement? Fans of other teams? Sports media? Other teams? The Jays specifically?

        It was all cliched nonsense on Norris’ part, in my opinion. I think you can have a statement series……go into Toronto and sweep them in decisive fashion. That didn’t happen, so I don’t believe any statements were made.

  14. stex52 - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    The Astros, fresh off of a 5 for seven run, strolled into Philly Tuesday. The Feelies quickly moved to remind them to respect their elders – particularly a briefly resurgent Ryan Howard. It was a typical Astros game – live or die by the starting pitcher. In this case a spectacularly ugly death. Altuve continues his amazing year. I expected steady and very good, but not this. But with Springer-Fowler still languishing on the DL there wasn’t much else. Marisnick from the Marlins has not transformed CF – a subject I while take up with Gator. On another front, the long-awaited Foltynewicz (sp?) – he of the 99 mph fastball made a two inning appearance. We have high hopes, but he isn’t fooling the batters too much just yet. Well, he is young and new to the majors. We will be patient.

    On the bright side, my over/under of 100 losses for 2014 looks a tad pessimistic. Perhaps we will see the mid-90’s.

    • Old Gator - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Marisnick is a fine outfielder and a relatively smart if inexperienced baserunner. Part of the reason that he’s inexperienced is that he’s young; most of it is that doesn’t get on base very much. He’s headed for a career of “organizational depth.” Don’t expect much.

  15. freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    “They lost to the same team in the same ballpark the very next night.”

    As I said above, I don’t think making a ‘statement’ is some sort of indication that you plan to sweep a series or win out, or anything like that.

    I think it was more that they’d come off a tough stretch of series’, had a make up game on the road against a top NL team, flew into Toronto and arrived at 4am, had a great offensive night after days of really struggling, all against the team right behind them in the division. Norris clearly thought it was a testament to their durability/determination/whatever you want to call it. I hardly consider his quote idiotic. As a team they were probably pretty exhausted and all knew they were struggling offensively. That’s what I think, and it’s okay if you disagree.

  16. indaburg - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Amusing moment in yesterday’s Rays-A’s game. Molina beats out an infield single (I know, right?), then Kiermaier hits a homer. Kiermaier’s homer run trot is so brisk (Chris Archer heartily approves) that he nearly overtakes the slow as molasses Molina on the basepaths: http://www.raysindex.com/2014/08/kevin-kiermaier-jose-molina-home-run.html

    • stex52 - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Jose Molina beats out an infield single? These truly must be the end times. Dogs and cats living together and everything.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 7, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      Molina beat out an infield single? Thee next think that you are going to tell us is that Penguins can fly.

    • moogro - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      No human would run the bases like that.

  17. theravenmaniac - Aug 7, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    And I thought Craig was going to prove me wrong that he doesn’t have a bias against certain teams, instead he just put a magnifying glass over it. Great job posting links to sports writers and trolling, well done my man you are the gold standard.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      I have no idea who your team is, but I assure your, I am biased against them. Ask anyone. I’m biased against everyone’s team.

      • voteforno6 - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Spoken like a true Yankees fan.

      • stex52 - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Craig, he said Ravens. That would be Baltimore. Not only that, but – shudder – a lost refugee from PFT.

  18. cranbery - Aug 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    It is a great day……..my Red Sox won a game!

  19. APBA Guy - Aug 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Sonny Gray had a very bad day, and unfortunately the A’s offense didn’t have 8 runs in them against Hell-boy, who got some serious defensive help.

    I’m not too worried about Gray, he’s 24, and the A’s had him at 182 IP last year (majors and minors) after 150 in 2012. So he’s at 150 now, and could do 200 in theory without any real risk. So let’s call this single data point a bad day.

    Of course, pitching in daylight in the Mausoleum is about as close to ideal pitching conditions as you can get. And the Rays certainly took advantage of it. Had Maddon chosen not to employ Balfour in the 9th the score would almost certainly ended 7-1.

    Thank god the Angels lost, and the A’s lead remains at 2. The Angels finish their series with the Dodgers today and then host Boston for the weekend. The A’s have a 4 game series at home against Minnesota. A’s fans hope that the favorable schedule leads to and expansion of the A’s margin.

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