Potent quotables: 12 pieces of bacon and a Red Bull

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“We’ll show up [Sunday], do what we always do on early games, have 12 pieces of bacon, a Red Bull and go get ’em.”

– Terry Francona reveals how the Red Sox will prepare
for a do-or-die matinee with the Angels on Sunday. Clay Buchholz will
attempt to save the season against Scott Kazmir. Kazmir was 2-2 with a
1.73 ERA in six starts with the Angels this season.

“This game can be really weird. I
never would have guessed that we would have swept those guys.”

– Casey Blake comments on his team’s unlikely sweep of the Cardinals.
Though the Dodgers had the better record during the regular season,
they had to face two legitimate Cy Young candidates to start the
series. The Dodgers managed to pull out both games. They carried that
momentum to Game 3 with a dominant effort by Vicente Padilla, who
tossed seven scoreless innings.

“I don’t like the stigma of our club getting swept. We’re a better club than that, and the series was more
competitive than that. But that’s what it is. But today wasn’t a real
good competition.”

– Tony La Russa knows his team is better than the one that showed up for the NLDS. This season marks the first time that the Cardinals have ever been swept in a Division Series or League Championship Series.

“He wasn’t a bad guy at all, as far as I was I was concerned. I didn’t
feel like he stole our money. … I went down with him. He took a lot
of crap, and so did I. I never lost my perspective on what really
happened. It was a move that didn’t work because he didn’t stay
healthy. Do I blame him for it? No I don’t I don’t think he laid down
on us.”

– Yankees general manager Brian Cashman reflects on the much-maligned Carl Pavano signing. Pavano will seek redemption against his former team on Sunday night as the Twins try to keep their season alive.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.