Tigers win, White Sox fall three back with three to play

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The Tigers bested the Twins 2-1 in Minnesota on Sunday, but the White Sox failed to keep pace,  losing 6-2 to the Rays to fall three games back in the AL Central with three to play.

B.J. Upton hit his 27th and 28th homers for Tampa Bay, and David Price was in control, yielding two runs in seven innings to become the first 20-game winner in Rays history. Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney finished up from there as the Rays took three out of four in Chicago.

Detroit won despite being outhit 10-7. Of course, all of Minnesota’s hits were singles. Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer in the eighth to do all of the damage the Tigers needed this one.

Miguel Cabrera’s bid for the Triple Crown appears poised to go down to the wire. He ended the game 0-for-3 with an intentional walk, lowering his average to .325. Joe Mauer went 3-for-4, also with an intentional walk, raising his average to .323. Also, Mike Trout went 2-for-4 in the Angels’ victory, putting him at .322 entering the second game of a doubleheader. Josh Hamilton didn’t homer, so Cabrera remains tied for the AL lead with 43 there. The RBI title is all wrapped up.

The Tigers will be able to clinch the AL Central by winning in Kansas City any of the next three days. The White Sox have already been eliminated from the wild card, so things appear very bleak for them.

Tampa Bay still has a slim shot. The Rays really need a loss from the A’s today, though. They’ll end the day two or three back of Oakland for the second wild card.

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.