What we're watching – Phi-TB rematch

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– 46-year-old Jamie Moyer and 23-year-old David Price will be the
starts as the Phillies and Rays play in a rematch of last year’s World
Series. Fortunately, the Phillies are back on the road now after losing
six straight at home to the Blue Jays and Orioles. They’re just 3-9 in
interleague play, but they’re an MLB-best 23-9 record in away games
this year. Moyer has seen his ERA come down of late, but he did
struggle last time out, giving up six runs in six innings against
Toronto. He’s 4-6 with a 6.35 ERA. Price is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in five
starts since his callup. The Phillies are hoping to get Ryan Howard
back in the lineup after he missed two starts over the weekend due to
flu-like symptoms.

– David Ortiz and Lance Berkman both enter the night with 999 career
RBI, though Ortiz may not start in the NL park against Nationals lefty
John Lannan. Berkman has just two hits and one RBI in his last six
games.

– Tim Lincecum and Vin Mazzaro will duel for the second time in 12
days when the Giants and A’s play in Oakland. The Giants won the
previous contest 3-0, with Lincecum going the distance, as part of a
three-game sweep at home. Mazzaro has turned in four straight quality
starts since debuting in June 2 and is 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA.

– Zack Greinke has seen his ERA jump from 0.84 to 1.96 while he’s
gone winless in his last four starts. Tonight’s assignment would seem
to be a pretty easy one, as he’ll be facing an Astros team that’s
hitting just .261/.329/.387 against right-handers this year. Also, Russ
Ortiz is the opposing starter. Still, the Royals have been particularly
hapless of late. They’ve not only lost five straight, but they’ve lost
all of those games by at least five runs.

Game of the Night

Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit – The Tigers will try to extend their
winning streak to five games when Carlos Zambrano and Edwin Jackson
face off. Jackson ranks second in the AL in ERA for a first-place team,
yet the Tigers are just 7-7 in his starts and they’ve lost the last
two. Zambrano, likewise, hasn’t been very fortunate when it comes to
wins and losses. He’s 4-2 despite giving up more than three earned runs
just once in 11 starts. Still to be determined is whether Magglio
Ordonez will play tonight. The Tigers have won all four games since
benching the former All-Star.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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