What we're watching: Wolf looks to quiet Rockies

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– Joe Saunders returns after missing just three turns with shoulder tightness that he said had been a factor since spring training. The Angels have been pretty aggressive in handling him even though they still have the game’s second-best record and his health could play a huge role in determining their fortunes in October. Before being shut down following his Aug. 7 start, Saunders had given up at least four runs in eight straight outings, taking his ERA from 3.66 to 5.33. He’ll be facing the Tigers and Edwin Jackson.
– Also returning is knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who takes an 11-3 record into his start against the White Sox. It will be his first start since July 8. The Red Sox placed him on the DL after the break with a back strain, and he also struggled with a sore calf that developed during his rehab. He’s 7-0 with a 3.92 ERA at Fenway Park this season. Gavin Floyd will take the ball for the Pale Hose.
Game of the Night
Colorado vs. Los Angeles – We’ll go with this matchup again, since it worked out pretty well last night. The Rockies won that one 5-4 in 10 innings, moving them to within two games of the NL West lead. It’ll be Randy Wolf versus Josh Fogg in the middle contest of a three-game series. Wolf, whose early-season hard luck has all transferred over to Clayton Kershaw lately, has won three straight starts, with the Dodgers scoring nine runs in two of those games. He’s 8-6 with a 3.34 ERA overall. Fogg will be making his first start of the year after replacing the injured Aaron Cook in the rotation. He has a 2.25 ERA in 20 relief appearances.

Miguel Cabrera blasts two home runs against Braves

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 28: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a three-run home run during the fifth inning of the game against the Cleveland Indians scoring teammates Cameron Maybin #4 and Ian Kinsler #3 (not in photo) on September 28, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Even while injured, Miguel Cabrera is a force to be reckoned with. The 33-year-old slugger has been playing with a contusion on his knee since Wednesday, according to postgame comments made by Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus.

That didn’t stop him from whacking a 410-foot home run against Atlanta right-hander Matt Wisler on Friday night, skirting the center field fence to put the Tigers up 3-0 in the first inning. In the third, he lead off the inning with another long drive off of Wisler, targeting his changeup for a 421-foot shot, his 38th home run of the season:

It’s Cabrera’s sixth two-run homer game since the start of the season, and his first against the Braves since 2005. He needs just two more home runs to keep an even 40 on the year, which would return him to the kind of league-leading levels that accentuated his MVP case in 2012 and 2013. If he can do it by the end of this Tigers-Braves game (unlikely, but not unheard of), he’ll be the 15th major leaguer to hit four home runs in a single game.

Reds’ manager Bryan Price extended through 2017

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 28: Manager Bryan Price #38 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 28, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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The Reds will roll with manager Bryan Price for at least one more season. Per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Price has been extended through the 2017 season with a club option for 2018. He won’t be the only familiar face leading the team, as the Reds have reportedly asked the entire coaching staff to return as well.

This is Price’s second consecutive season with 90+ losses since Cincinnati signed him to a three-year contract back in 2014. While he hasn’t been able to replicate the same kind of success that former skipper Dusty Baker found in 2012 and 2013, he’s been saddled with a team that’s still in the throes of rebuilding, not one that looks on the cusp of playoff contention. It is, after all, the same team that has not seen a healthy season from Homer Bailey since Price’s arrival, one that unloaded Jay Bruce for a pair of prospects earlier this year and one whose pitching staff set a single-season record for most home runs given up by a major league team.

Justifying Price’s extension requires a different kind of yardstick, one that measures player development and individual success over the cumulative win-loss record. Here, Price has overseen solid performances from contributors like Adam Duvall, who is batting .244/.297/.506 with 2.9 fWAR in his first full major-league season, as well as young arms like Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Michael Lorenzen, among others.

From comments made by Reds’ CFO Bob Castellini, Price’s success within a rough rebuilding process appears to have cemented his place within the club, at least for the time being.

I like the young, aggressive team Walt and Dick have put together with players from within our system and from recent trades. […] Bryan has been here seven seasons now. He’s comfortable with the direction we are heading with our young players, and we are comfortable with him leading us in that direction.