Rangers keep raking, maintain large ALCS Game 6 lead

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We’ve got a blowout going on in Texas.

After a nine-run third inning, the Rangers have tacked on three more scores and hold a commanding 12-4 lead in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Tigers. It’s the top of the seventh inning in Arlington.

Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton plated the Rangers’ 10th run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, then RBI singles from Craig Gentry and Ian Kinsler lifted the lead to eight in the bottom of the sixth.

The Rangers have turned to their bullpen after a shaky but successful start from left-hander Derek Holland. Alexi Ogando threw a scoreless sixth inning and will head back to the mound to open the seventh.

Texas is looking to advance to the World Series for the second time in two years. Rangers Ballpark is rocking.

Report: Indians, Padres still talking about starting pitching trade

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.

The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.

Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.

Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.

The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.