Corey Patterson hits walkoff homer as Jays beat White Sox in 14

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Already with four hits on the day, Corey Patterson puncuated one of the best games of his career with a walkoff homer as the Blue Jays edged the White Sox 9-8 in 14 innings Saturday.

The Blue Jays survived today after the White Sox scored in both the eighth and ninth innings to send it to extras.  Working the ninth, beleaguered Jays closer Frank Francisco blew his second straight save and gave up a run for the sixth time in 11 appearances this month.

Patterson had his third career five-hit game and first since 2006.  He singled four times before taking Gavin Floyd deep in the 14th.  Floyd took the loss in his first relief appearance since 2007.

Patterson scored a career-high four of the Jays’ nine runs.

Of course, no Jays recap would be complete without a Jose Bautista mention: he hit homer No. 20 in the first inning, a three-run shot off Edwin Jackson.  He ended the game 3-for-4 with two walks.

The Jays returned to .500 at 26-26 by winning their second straight game.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves