Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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With a 10-game winning streak, the Blue Jays are the hottest team in baseball. But here comes Texas.

The Rangers tallied four runs on eight hits Saturday against Cardinals youngster Shelby Miller and got a promising outing from Martin Perez, winning 4-2 in the second game of a three-game set at Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. The eight hits were a season-high for Miller and the win was the Rangers’ fourth in a row. Nelson Cruz hit his 19th home run of the season and A.J. Pierzynski hit his seventh.

The finale of this 2011 World Series rematch is the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game. It was supposed to feature Adam Wainwright vs. Yu Darvish, but Darvish was bumped to Tuesday for non-physical reasons and Nick Tepesch will start for Texas instead. The Rangers are currently tied at the top of the American League West standings with Oakland.

Your Saturday box scores and recaps:

Rockies 7, Nationals 1

Rays 5, Yankees 7

Orioles 2, Blue Jays 4

White Sox 3, Royals 2

Astros 4, Cubs 3

Mets 7, Phillies 8

Marlins 1, Giants 2 (11 innings)

Braves 0, Brewers 2

Twins 7, Indians 8

Red Sox 3, Tigers 10

Rangers 4, Cardinals 2

Dodgers 6, Padres 1

Reds 3, Diamondbacks 4

Pirates 6, Angels 1

Athletics 5, Mariners 7

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.