ASCENDING ASTROAlex Bregman has homered in three straight games for Houston http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-hanley-ramirez-jersey
, part of his surge since making the All-Star team. The third baseman has reached base safely in 31 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors, and looks to extend the string at home vs. Minnesota. Bregman tops the AL West leaders with his career-high 28 home runs and has 72 extra-base hits, the most by an Astros player since Lance Berkman’s 79 in 2008.OHTANI UPDATEThe Angels are hopeful Shohei Ohtani will make his next start as scheduled Sunday at Chicago against the White Sox. The two-way rookie was evaluated a day after making an early exit in his return to the mound. He was pulled after 2 1/3 innings at Houston when his velocity drastically dropped — Ohtani hadn’t pitched in the majors since June 6 because of a strained right elbow.Ohtani, who continued to be a designated hitter while his elbow recovered, wasn’t in the starting lineup Monday night at Texas. That’s been the pattern on days after he pitches.LISTLESS LINDORFrancisco Lindor thinks the Indians need a spark. The star shortstop said after a 5-1 loss to Kansas City on Monday that Cleveland’s “energy is down.” The Indians have lost three straight but still lead the AL Central by 14 games. Their magic number to clinch the division was trimmed to 12 after Minnesota’s loss to Houston.“I don’t know why,” Lindor said. “Personally Bill Lee Jersey
, my energy is down. We’re at that point in the season where guys are dragging their feet a little. We have to go back to playing the Tribe Way and not taking any pitch for granted. We’ll be fine.”CLOSING DOWNCardinals closer Bud Norris is likely to get a day off after two straight poor outings. Norris gave up a tying home run to Bryce Harper in the ninth inning at Washington on Monday, and the Nationals won in the 10th. On Sunday, Norris was tagged for two homers and three runs in the 10th inning by the Reds in a loss at Busch Stadium. Norris is 28 for 33 on save chances.REINFORCEMENTSThird baseman Rafael Devers and infielder Brandon Phillips are set to join the Red Sox in Atlanta for their game between division leaders. Devers has been on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The 37-year-old Phillips, who went to high school in the Atlanta area, will make his Boston debut. Phillips signed with the Red Sox in late June.NICE STARTYankees lefty J.A. Happ (15-6, 4.00 ERA) pitches at Oakland in what could be next month’s matchup for the AL wild-card game. Happ is 5-0 with a 3.38 ERA in six starts since being traded from Toronto to New York in late July. Friday night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium should be sponsored by the letter K, because there figures to be more than a few strikeouts.If young right-handers Walker Buehler of the Dodgers and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals pitch on Friday as they did Aug. 22 when they faced each other at Chavez Ravine Xander Bogaerts Jersey
, runs and solid contact might be at a premium in a game dripping with pennant-race pressure.Buehler (6-5, 3.09 ERA) fired seven shutout innings in that game against the Cardinals last month, permitting just three hits and two walks while whiffing nine. Flaherty (8-6, 2.92) owned a no-hitter until Joc Pederson cracked a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the sixth. It was the only hit Flaherty, who walked two and fanned 10, allowed in six innings.Article continues below ...Los Angeles’ bullpen gave it up in the last two innings that night. Tyler O’Neill clouted a pinch-homer off Scott Alexander in the eighth and Paul DeJong drilled a tie-breaking two-run shot off Kenley Jansen in the ninth to give St. Louis a 3-1 win that polished off a series sweep.The Cardinals (81-66) lead the Dodgers (80-67) by one game in the race for the National League’s second wild-card spot, thanks to Los Angeles’ 9-7 win Thursday night. The Dodgers led wire-to-wire http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-joe-kelly-jersey
, including 8-1 at one point, yet couldn’t really exhale until Matt Adams grounded out to first as the potential tying run to end the game.Manny Machado starred for Los Angeles with three hits, including a double and his 34th homer of the year in the seventh inning.“I just tried to go up there and be myself, have quality at-bats,” Machado said to Sportsnet LA. “Every out, every pitch from now on counts. One play can turn things around, so we have to be on top of it. We did everything we needed to do today.”The Dodgers Blake Swihart Jersey
, who at times have experienced terrible difficulties hitting with runners in scoring position over the last month, set the game’s tone with a great at-bat in that situation in the first inning. David Freese taxed rookie left-hander Austin Gomber for 14 pitches, fouling off nine of them, before lacing a two-run triple down the left-field line.Freese, who gets cheered during every at-bat in St. Louis because he was the 2011 World Series Most Valuable Player for the Cardinals, was acquired just before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline from Pittsburgh.“It’s always great coming back here and seeing the fans,” Freese said. “I’m excited to be a part of this. I’m on the back end of my career http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-rick-porcello-jersey
, sitting at 35 years old.”One of Freese’s former Cardinals teammates made his way back into the lineup Thursday night for this big series. All-Star catcher Yadier Molina (hamstring) missed six games, and probably isn’t 100 percent, but St. Louis wanted him back in there.The Cardinals plan for him to catch every game in the series except for Saturday, which is a 12:05 p.m. start after the Friday night game.“He’s very confident he can regulate himself in what he’s doing so not to have a setback, which we clearly don’t need,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said of Molina.