What we're watching: Red Sox aim for sweep

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– After one minor league start, Vicente Padilla makes his Dodger debut tonight in Colorado. The 31-year-old right-hander went 8-6 with a 4.92 ERA for the Rangers before being released early this month. He’ll be facing off against the surging Jorge De La Rosa, who has gone 10-1 in his last 12 starts. De La Rosa, though, is 0-4 with a 7.89 ERA lifetime versus the Dodgers. He’s allowed seven runs in 8 2/3 innings in his two starts against the club this year. The Dodgers bounced back from a tough loss Tuesday to win 6-1 last night and push their NL West lead back to three games.
– The Braves will turn to Javier Vazquez as they attempt to bounce back from a pair of disastrous home losses to the Padres. Vazquez has been an exceptional fantasy starter all year with his 3.14 ERA and 186 strikeouts, but as is his reputation, he often pitches just well enough to lose. He’s dropped his last two starts to fall to 10-9. The Padres will start Clayton Richard, who is 3-0 with a 3.67 ERA in five starts since coming over in the Jake Peavy deal.
Game of the Night
Chicago vs. Boston – The Red Sox go for a four-game sweep of the White Sox behind Junichi Tazawa, who shut out the Yankees for six innings last time out. Tazawa has a nice 3.57 ERA despite giving up 26 hits and seven walks in 17 2/3 innings since his callup this month. The White Sox will use John Danks, who has been the team’s most reliable pitcher lately. He’s 7-3 with a 2.99 ERA in his last 13 starts. However, he has lost all three of his career starts against the Red Sox, racking up a 6.06 ERA in the process. With four losses in a row, the White Sox have fallen into a tie with the Twins for second place in the AL Central, 4 1/2 games back for the Tigers.

Tigers GM Al Avila confirms that his son likely won’t be back next year

Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila, right, is congratulated by third base coach Dave Clark after his solo home run in the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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After seven seasons in Detroit, impending free agent catcher Alex Avila will likely be playing elsewhere next season. Avila’s father, Tigers general manager Al Avila, confirmed as much in his comments to the media Thursday.

Here’s a quote from Chris Iott of MLive.com:

“I don’t really see it as a priority,” Al Avila said Thursday during a season-ending meeting with media members. “Right now, (James) McCann is our starting catcher and (Bryan) Holaday is coming back but is out of options. Basically, Holaday has to be our backup catcher or he’s out of options.”

Avila has had a heck of a run in Detroit, including an All-Star appearance in 2011, but this is a business and it’s logical why the Tigers are moving on. The 28-year-old dealt with knee problems this season while batting just .191 with four home runs and a .626 OPS in 219 plate appearances. He actually had more walks (40) than he did hits (34) while falling into a backup role.

With McCann now at the top of the depth chart and Holaday as his projected backup, Avila believes that his son will likely find an opportunity on the open market “that might be more beneficial to him.”

Adrian Beltre unsure if he’ll be ready for Game 3 of the ALDS

Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre takes batting practice during baseball practice in Toronto, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. The Blue Jays start the American League Divisional Series against the Texas Rangers in Toronto on Thursday. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP
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Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre sat out Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday due to a lower back strain and he told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News that he’s unsure whether he’ll be ready to return when the series resumes Sunday in Arlington.

“I can’t really say,” Beltre said after sitting out the Rangers’ 6-4 14-inning win over Toronto on Friday because of a lower back strain. It got a little better as the game went on. But I can’t say if I will be ready to play or not.”

Beltre tweaked his back on a slide into second base in the first inning of Game 1 on Thursday. He received a cortisone injection in an effort to stay in the game, but his back locked up on him again while running to first base on an RBI single in the third inning. While he was in a lot of pain at the time, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said that there’s been “some improvement” since. Beltre was able to take a few swings off the tee during Game 2 yesterday.

There’s obviously no replacing someone like Beltre, but the Rangers have managed to grab a 2-0 series lead over the Blue Jays without him. His replacement, Hanser Alberto, committed an error yesterday which opened the door for two runs to score, but he later redeemed himself with a go-ahead RBI single in the 14th inning.

Video: Jacob deGrom pranks Daniel Murphy in postgame press conference


After dominating the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS last night with 13 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings, Jacob deGrom‘s best performance might have been pranking Daniel Murphy in the postgame press conference.

As you’ll see in the video below, deGrom sat down between David Wright and Murphy. Wright appears to lower the seat of the shaggy-haired right-hander. This gave deGrom the idea to do the same for an unsuspecting Murphy. The reaction was priceless…

Yes, Murphy let out a “yowzers.” Appropriately enough, “yowzers” is likely how the Dodgers would summarize facing deGrom last night.