Saturday, September 29, 2012
Homer Bailey throws no-hitter; AL races stay tight
Here's how the pennant races look with five days to go:
- PITCHER'S DELIGHT: Homer Bailey tossed the seventh no-hitter in the majors this season, leading Cincinnati to a 1-0 victory at Pittsburgh that left the NL Central champion Reds tied with Washington for the best record in the league. The seven no-hitters match the modern record (since 1900) for one season, also accomplished in 1990 and 1991.
- NOT THERE YET: Texas missed a chance to wrap up a playoff spot Friday night, losing 7-4 at home to the Angels. Jered Weaver became the American League's first 20-game winner and Mike Trout hit a leadoff homer for Los Angeles, which remained two games behind Oakland for the second AL wild card. The Rangers have a three-game cushion in the AL West over the A's and still need one victory to secure a postseason trip.
- NOT DONE YET: Just when it appeared the slumping White Sox were finished, they stopped Tampa Bay's eight-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory to move within one game of first-place Detroit in the AL Central. The Tigers lost 4-2 at Minnesota.
- NEXT UP: Washington can clinch the franchise's second NL East crown Saturday night with a win at St. Louis and an Atlanta loss to the Mets. The New York Yankees can lock up their 17th playoff berth in 18 years with a victory at Toronto and an Angels loss in Texas.
- BIRDS ON THE WIRE: Chris Tillman pitched Baltimore to a 9-1 rout of Boston, allowing only a bunt single to leadoff hitter Scott Podsednik in eight innings of one-hit ball. The Orioles remained a game back in the AL East when the Yankees beat Toronto 11-4.
- IT'S OVER: Philadelphia and Arizona were eliminated from the playoff hunt Friday night. St. Louis maintained its three-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final NL spot. Milwaukee is one loss or a Cardinals win from being knocked out.
- CHASE CHATTER: "It's a little bit mentally exhausting. It's like we're playing in the playoffs right now, and it's been like this for quite a bit now. But you know what? It might be good, because we're getting used to it." -- Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox after hitting his career-high 25th homer in a 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay.
- CHASE CHATTER, II: "I thought we had one mulligan left. There it was." -- Rays manager Joe Maddon, whose team is three games behind Oakland for the final AL wild-card spot.