Rangers vs. Astros to kick off the 2013 season in prime time

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MLB just announced that the 2013 season will kick off on the evening of Sunday, March 31 with the Rangers taking on the Astros in Houston, to be broadcast in prime time on ESPN. It’ll be the first-ever American League game for the Astros. The following day ESPN will broadcast the following openers:

  • 1:00pm – Red Sox @ Yankees (ESPN)
  • 4:00pm – Giants @ Dodgers (ESPN)
  • 7:00pm – Phillies @ Braves (ESPN2)
  • 10:00pm – Cardinals @ Diamondbacks (ESPN2)

As usual, the Red Sox and Yankees are totally getting shafted by not being broadcast in prime time. Man.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.