What we're watching: Kawakami vs. Santana

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– Josh Johnson versus Wandy Rodriguez looks like the pitching matchup of the night. The two rank seventh and 11th in the NL in ERA, respectively. Johnson has gone 5-0 in his last six starts to move to 12-2 for the season, but his ERA has actually risen slightly during the span. Rodriguez was on an excellent role himself before giving up 10 runs last time out to take his ERA from 2.51 to 3.05. It was more runs than he had given up in his previous nine starts combined. Working in Rodriguez’s favor tonight is that the Marlins have struggled some against left-handed pitching. The Astros, though, have lost four of six games to the Marlins over the last two weeks.
– The Red Sox go for a big sweep in Toronto with Jon Lester on the mound. Lester has received no-decisions in four straight, though he struggled in only one of those outings. He’s 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA against Toronto this year, with the lone loss coming in a pitchers duel versus Roy Halladay. Fellow lefty Brett Cecil will go for the Jays. He owns a 5-1 record, but that one loss came to the Red Sox, as he gave up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings in Boston on May 20.
Game of the Night
Atlanta vs. New York – After a couple of routs to start the series, the Braves and Mets will play the deciding game tonight. The Mets won Tuesday after an eight-run inning against Derek Lowe, and the Braves destroyed Bobby Parnell as part of a 15-2 game last night. It will be Kenshin Kawakami versus Johan Santana in the finale. Kawakami has lost twice to the Mets despite posting a 3.09 ERA in his two starts. He’s been a victim of poor run support while going 0-3 with a 3.79 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break. Santana also has a history of poor run support against his opponent tonight. Before pitching seven scoreless innings to beat the Braves on July 18 — in a matchup against Kawakami — he had been 0-6 with a 2.31 ERA versus Atlanta.

Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.

Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.

The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.

Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.