The Dodgers may be talking to Pedro Martinez

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The Dodgers could use some pitching help, and some have speculated that they could be in on the Cliff Lee frenzy. For now, though, general manager Ned Colletti is setting his sights a bit lower: free agent pitchers such a Pedro Martinez, Braden Looper and Jarrod Washburn.

He’s not said that he talked to any of those guys specifically, but he tells the L.A. Times today that he has inquired about
free agent pitchers.  You figure Pedro would be the main target given that, when he has pitched, he’s basically been effective whereas Washburn and Looper are no guarantees even if they weren’t rusty as hell by now.

Dodgers fans would probably be more interested in watching Martinez anyway.  Not as interested as they would have been to watch him back in the mid-to-late 90s as opposed to having Delino DeShields around, but I’m sure they don’t want to be reminded of that painful memory.

Oh, um, sorry.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.