Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox Sept 13

Chicago will try to be nasty hosts on Friday when the Cleveland Indians pay a visit to U.S. Cellular Field. Join Now & Get $500 to Bet on Baseball.

Chicago sends Hector Santiago out against Danny Salazar for the Indians in this game. Santiago is 4-6 with a 3.37 ERA on the season, while Salazar is 1-2 on the year and has a 2.92 ERA.

The Cleveland Indians attempt to defeat Chicago for the 10th consecutive time when they visit the White Sox on Friday afternoon in the second contest of their four-game set. Cleveland trounced Chicago 14-3 in the opener to remain 1 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the second American League wild card and is 12-2 against the White Sox this season with five meetings remaining. Chicago has lost 12 of its last 14 games to fall 30 below .500.

Cleveland’s Ryan Raburn returned from a heel injury and matched his career high with five RBIs in the opener by going 3-for-3 with a home run. The journeyman always has feasted on White Sox pitching, and 17 of his 70 career blasts have come against them. Chicago has 88 losses and appears to be a cinch to lose 90 games for the first time since 2007.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, STO (Cleveland), CSN (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Danny Salazar (1-2, 2.92 ERA) vs. White Sox LH Hector Santiago (4-8, 3.44)

Salazar has struck out 45 batters in 37 innings over his first seven major-league starts. He has pitched more than four innings in just two of his last five outings. Salazar is holding opposing hitters to a .209 average but has given up six homers.

Santiago was rocked for five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings by Cleveland on June 28 but wasn’t involved in the decision of a 19-10 loss. He has only one victory over his last 13 starts despite allowing fewer than three earned runs nine times during the stretch. Santiago is 2-0 with a 4.82 ERA in eight career appearances (three starts) against the Indians.


1. The White Sox have been outscored 24-4 over their last three games.

2. Indians 1B/OF Nick Swisher hit his 18th homer on Thursday, leaving him two shy of his ninth straight 20-homer campaign.

3. Chicago made three errors on Thursday, has committed a whopping 20 in September and leads the majors with 112.

PREDICTION: Indians 8, White Sox 3


Steve Mikkelson, oddsmaker at the Atlantis Reno, gives his take on the impact of the MLB suspensions. Alex Rodriguez can only impact the Yankees with the constant media circus around him. Nelson Cruz is the only player suspended with real value to moneylines and totals.

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez will receive the harshest penalty and be
suspended through the end of the 2014 season. Reports indicate A-Rod will
appeal the suspension which will make him eligible to play during the process.

According to Steve Mikkelson, oddsmaker at the Atlantis Reno, Nelson Cruz,
the All-Star outfielder of the Texas Rangers, is the only player with any real
value to moneylines and totals.

"I think that without question, the Rangers are impacted the most,"
"That's a big bat in the middle of that Ranger lineup that is worth about three
or four cents to the moneyline. You'll also see totals come down a little bit as

Cruz was batting .269 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs prior to the suspension.

As for Rodriguez, the oddsmaker doesn't see much impact.

"ARod is done," Mikkelson states. "I don't think it will have a big effect on the
Yankees. It will be more of a media circus on the ball club than anything."

Also suspended was Detroit Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta.

"I don't think Peralta is a real factor," Mikkelson stated.
"They went out and got Jose Iglesias who is a much better fielder and that will
certainly aid Cabrera defensively. Cabrera can't cover anything out there and
Iglesias is a better defensive option than Peralta. Detroit will hit with or
without Peralta in the lineup."

Young San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was also given a 50-game
suspension by MLB.

"I'm not convinced by Cabrera yet," Mikkelson added. "He's a table setter, he
gets on base and he's got a really good glove, but he's not a game changer."

Other players that have agreed to suspensions are:

Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies reliever
Jordany Valdespin, New York Mets outfielder
Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher
Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners catcher
Cesar Puello, New York Mets outfield prospect
Fautino De Los Santos, San Diego Padres pitching prospect
Sergio Escalona, Houston Astros pitching prospect
Fernando Martinez, New York Yankees outfield prospect
Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher

PictureYankees preparing for life without A-rod
The Detroit Tigers already acquired Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox to fill in during Jhonny Peralta's upcoming suspension. The Rangers are preparing for life without Nelson Cruz based on their targets. The Yankees are in the same boat with Alex Rodriguez. And according to Jeff Passan, there are several major league players the public doesn't know about that will soon be suspended, and those teams will be forced to react accordingly if it could jeopardize their playoff chances.

It seems like all baseball news has been overshadowed by the looming Biogenesis suspensions and the circus that is Alex Rodriguez‘s, Major League Baseball’s and the New York Yankees’ public feud. Indeed, as this week began it appeared as though today’s trade deadline would be a mere afterthought. Or, if not an afterthought, that it would be subservient to the Biogenesis drama, with teams looking to desperately cover for players they will lose to suspension.

Things have calmed down considerably in the past 24, hours, however.

For one thing, one of the teams that stood to be most adversely affected by
Biogenesis suspensions — the Tigers, who will almost certainly lose Jhonny
— filled their imminent shortstop hole with Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox.
That, combined with the news that baseball is not likely to suspend Bartolo Colon
due to him already having been punished for taking the substances he received
from Biogenesis means that only one team currently in the playoff hunt stands to
lose a significant player. That being the Texas Rangers and Nelson Cruz, according
to multiple reports. Other players named in multiple reports include the Padres’
Everth Cabrera, whose team is not in contention, and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli,
who is on the 60-day DL with a broken hand. Ryan Braun was suspended for the
remainder of the season, but with his team far from contention, it’s unlikely the Brewers
were going to do anything but sell anyways.

For another — and maybe I’m just imagining this — Major League Baseball
appears to be settling on Friday as D-Day in the Biogenesis mess. Last night
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reported that the timeframe would be “within the next
72 hours”
— a report that was later confirmed by multiple sources — as opposed
to dropping their bomb at or around today’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. Maybe this
is a matter of MLB still having work to do before issuing suspensions. Maybe it’s
a matter of the league wanting to bury bad news on a Friday afternoon like politicians
so often do. But maybe — just maybe — it’s a matter of MLB appreciating that the trade
deadline chatter and commentary is pretty good for its brand and deciding to let
that stuff have the limelight today.

The addition of a second wild card in each league also could be depressing
trade activity, because teams are hesitant to sell while they still are in
contention. Teams still need to sell tickets for the stretch run, and
surrendering before August is no way to do that. Besides, there’s always the
chance that a club goes on a late-season run.

MLB commended Braun for taking responsibility for his actions and said it
wanted to resolve this issue, but otherwise has been publicly silent about the
Biogenesis suspensions. Rodriguez’s attorney, David Cornwell, said in a
radio interview this week that his client planned to fight the suspension.

“When the time comes and baseball does whatever it is going to do, then I
will sit down with Alex and talk to him about the process of the appeal, filing
the appeal and going in and presenting our best evidence that we have — and we
think we have good evidence — to defend his interest, to protect him. That’s
what I expect to be doing,” Cornwell told Stephen A. Smith, who was hosting the
Michael Kay Show.

Rodriguez will always dominate the news, especially in New York. A-Rod would
lead New York sports news for years even if he joined a religious sect that had
him swear off sports, public appearances and money. He’s always the story in
Gotham. But outside of that crazy media environment trades and playoff races
seem to have been thrust to the fore last night and today.

Maybe Major League Baseball will fall back on old bad-P.R. habits and drop
it’s bad news bombs after lunch today. But for now it seems pretty darn
refreshing that we can focus on what’s truly good about baseball than what is,
quite frankly, a major, major drag.

Biogenesis is the dark cloud hanging ominously over baseball that simply won't
go away, but with clarity will also come complications for many contenders. We may
get a good look at how those contenders plan on dealing with their complications in
the next 24 hours.


Dodgers' fire boy Zack Greinke squares off against "The Motown Kid" Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals in what is sure to be a pitching exhibition. Who are you betting on?

PictureLos Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals 7/20/2013
Looking up at Atlanta and Philadelphia in the National League East, Washington understands that its current 11-game homestand comes at a pivotal
point in the season.

With a 27-19 record at home this year, the Nationals know this is the time to
make up some ground.

The Nats will hope to do just that on Saturday night against the Dodgers at
Nationals Park. Washington took a 3-2 loss on Friday after closer Rafael Soriano
surrendered a solo home run to Andre Ethier in the top of the ninth inning.

"If you're doing the things I know you're capable of doing, it doesn't matter
to me whether we're at home or on the road," Nationals manager Davey Johnson
said. "We need to win ballgames. And that's the challenge we've got in front of
us. We've got 11 games here, so we need to play good here and we need to play
good all the way, not just this coming homestand."

Gio Gonzalez gets the nod for the Nationals, while Zack Greinke takes the
hill for the Dodgers. Both pitchers have been unbeatable in the last month, with
Gonzalez going 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last four starts, and Greinke going
5-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his past five starts.

Resembling the pitcher that won 20 games for Washington last season, Gonzalez
(7-3, 3.03 ERA) has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his last 13
starts. He also has a 2.18 ERA since May 1.

Meanwhile, Greinke (8-2, 3.49 ERA) is coming off one of his best
performances, tossing his fourth career shutout against the Rockies on Saturday
in a 1-0 win.

"I stayed good all the way through. I haven't done that in a while," Greinke
said after the game. "I felt good out there. It was a fun game."

With just one loss in his last 10 starts, the right-hander has been a huge
reason for the Dodgers' recent surge in the NL West.

"From where we were, I think 12 games under [.500], and the way we were able
to finish up, we kind of bounced together and put ourselves in a position to be
in the race," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "So to get ourselves back in
it coming up to the break, that's a small accomplishment in itself. But I want
to keep that in context -- and we've talked about it as a team -- because we
haven't accomplished anything yet besides getting ourselves back in the race and
putting ourselves in position. Hopefully from here we can continue to play well
and stay healthy and see what we can do."

Dodgers: Kemp eyes Sunday return
• Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp hit against live pitching before Friday's game
against the Nationals, saying he feels ready to return on Sunday, which is the first
day he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Kemp, who is out with an irritated AC joint in his left shoulder, does not
believe he will need to go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.

"He's probably had enough of [rehab assignments]," Mattingly said. "There's a
lot of guys who think they don't necessarily need them. Nobody wants them."

 • The Dodgers got three regulars back in their starting lineup for Friday
night's series opener. Left fielder Carl Crawford (stiff lower back), right
fielder Yasiel Puig (sore left hip) and second baseman Mark Ellis (left knee)
all were back in the lineup after missing some time with minor injuries late in
the first half.

Nationals: Detwiler unlikely for next start
• Johnson said on Friday that it is unlikely that Ross Detwiler will be able to come off the
15-day disabled list and make his scheduled start on Tuesday.

"For me, he would have to throw today or tomorrow, and do a side [session]
and then get out and pitch in a game. And I don't think we're going to do it by
[next weekend]," Johnson said. "But I'm going to put that question to our great
medical staff, see if they can't get him ready to go."

Detwiler has been on the disabled list since July 4 with a lingering back
strain. He played catch on flat ground on Thursday, but still had soreness in
his back after throwing.

Worth noting
• Nats outfielder Jayson Werth is hitting .326 (44-for-135) with seven doubles,
six home runs, 23 RBIs, 21 runs and 19 walks in 38 games since returning from the DL.

 • Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly threw a simulated game before Friday's
contest. Dealing with a neck injury, Lilly threw about 20 pitches and used his
entire repertoire.

June 6

— Casey Stengel, after being traded by Brooklyn in the offseason, made his return to Ebbets Field a memorable one. In his first at-bat, Stengel called time, stepped out of the batter's box and doffed his cap. A bird flew out and the fans broke into laughter.

— Myril Hoag hit a major league record six singles in the New York Yankees' 15-3 rout of the Boston Red Sox.

— The New York Giants hit five home runs in the fourth inning in a 17-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds at the Polo Grounds. With two out, Harry Danning, Al Demaree, Burgess Whitehead, Manny Salvo and Joe Moore connected as the Giants scored eight runs in the inning.

— In the first game of a doubleheader, Boston's Boo Ferriss scattered 14 hits to beat Philadelphia 5-2. Ferris, 8-0 on the year, tied the AL mark held by Chicago's John Whitehead for wins at the start of a career.

— Erv Dusak Red Schoendienst Enos Slaughter and Nippy Jones homer in the sixth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Phillies 11-1 in the first of two games. Phillies pitcher Charlie Bicknell gave up 18 total bases in the inning.

— Tom Tresh of the New York Yankees connected for three consecutive home runs in a 12-0 rout of the Chicago White Sox. Tresh hit his first homer right-handed off Juan Pizzaro in the first inning, then went to the other side of the plate and hit two against Bruce Howard in the third and fifth innings.
— Cleveland manager Frank Robinson hit two three-run homers in a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers.

— California's Nolan Ryan pitched a one-hitter for a 6-0 win over Milwaukee. Ryan's bid for a no-hitter was foiled by Hank Aaron's single in the sixth inning.

— San Diego Padres manager Steve Boros was ejected before the first pitch of the game with the Atlanta Braves when he tried to give umpire Charlie Williams a videotape of a disputed play in the previous night's 4-2 loss to Atlanta.

— Eddie Murray drove in two runs at Pittsburgh to pass Mickey Mantle (1,509) as the all-time RBI leader among switch-hitters.

— J.D. Drew of Florida State hit a record-setting three homers in his final three at-bats in a 16-11 loss to Southern California in the College World Series. Drew finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs and 12 total bases, also a series record.

— For the second time in major league history and first in the AL, a cycle and a triple play took place in the same game. Boston's John Valentin hit for the cycle, while Chicago turned a triple play in the Red Sox's 7-4 victory. In 1931, Philadelphia's Chuck Klein hit for the cycle in the same game that the Phillies turned a triple play against the Chicago Cubs.

— Jason Lane's grand slam capped a five-run ninth inning as Southern California won its first NCAA title in 20 years, beating Pac-10 rival Arizona State 21-14 in the College World Series.

— The New York Mets ended Seattle's 13-game road winning streak with a 3-2 win in the first meeting between the teams. It was the longest streak in the majors since Detroit's 17 straight road wins in 1984.

— Baltimore's Corey Patterson had his run of successive games with a stolen base stopped at nine in a 6-4 loss to Toronto. It was the longest run in the majors since Rickey Henderson had an identical stretch in 1986.

— Trevor Hoffman became the first major leaguer with 500 career saves when he closed out the San Diego Padres' 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Today's birthdays: Junichi Tazawa 27; Matt Belisle 32; Jeremy Affeldt 33; Mark Ellis

Source: Associated Press