On Deck: Interleague intrigue
Posted on: June 17, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 9:32 pm
By Matt Snyder
Only the Dodgers and Astros are stuck playing one another in an intraleague matchup Friday night, as the other 28 teams are engaged with an opponent from the other league. The Yankees visited Wrigley Field for the first time since 2003 this afternoon, we've got a Bay Area showdown, the Marlins and Rays squaring off and a Baltimore-D.C. tilt. There are some odd-ball games series like the Blue Jays-Reds and a great bout between first place teams in the Brewers-Red Sox series. But that's not all ...
Trading Places: Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.39) had a brief stint in Arizona -- one that included his only career no-hitter -- before he was traded to the White Sox. Part of the package that went to Arizona included Daniel Hudson (7-5, 3.82). Coincidentally, the two will take the mound against each other Friday night in Arizona. The White Sox continue to search for consistency from any aspect of the team, but now it's the offense as they only scored one run in two losses at Minnesota. They are 5-1/2 games out in the AL Central, kind of that middle range where you're definitely in striking distance but don't want to fall much farther back. The Diamondbacks avoided a sweep at the hands of the Giants with a win Thursday night and trail the defending champs by just 1-1/2 games. Chicago (AL) at Arizona, 9:40 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring
Different directions: Don't look now, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have won 11 of 16 games and are only three games out in the NL Central. We're past the halfway point of June, so we can't cling to "it's early" any longer. The Pirates haven't had a winning record since 1992, so being two games over 68 into the season is a big deal. Meanwhile, the feel-good story of the early season was the Indians hot start. But they're 6-16 since May 23 and have completely blown a seven game lead in that time. In fact, they now trail the Tigers by a game in the AL Central. Still, if we forget everything we've seen so far and look at the standings, the Indians are a game out and Pirates are three out. In looking at the interleague schedule, there's no way anyone would have predicted back in mid-March this series would be so meaningful come mid-June. Kevin Correia (8-5, 3.73) takes the hill for the Pirates while Josh Tomlin (7-4, 4.14) goes for the Tribe. Do note the Indians' offense receives a boost as Travis Hafner has been activated from the disabled list. Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring
He's Back: Joe Mauer has been activated off the disabled list and will start for the first time since April 12. He'll hit third and catch as the Twins host the Padres. Clayton Richard (2-8, 4.06) gets the start for the Padres. Mauer is 2-5 against Richard in his career. Brian Duensing (3-6, 4.98) takes the hill for the Twins, who are showing signs of life after being abysmal for much of the first two months. They've now won 11 of 13 and have climbed to within nine games in the AL Central. San Diego at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring
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