The A’s and Angels are all square again at the very top of the American League West standings.
Jon Lester struck out seven Anaheim batters and allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings, and Coco Crisp scored the go-ahead tally on an eighth-inning wild pitch as Oakland took down the visiting Halos 2-1 on Saturday. A’s closer Sean Doolittle closed it out for his 20th save of 2014.
Including Sunday’s series finale — which will pit Scott Kazmir against Jered Weaver on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball — the two teams meet eight more times this season. Can the Angels survive the loss of Garrett Richards? Do the Athletics have enough offense without Yoenis Cespedes?
It should continue to be an interesting race as August turns to September.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
White Sox 3, Yankees 5
Rays 4, Blue Jays 5 (10 innings)
Tigers 4, Twins 12 (Game 1)
Mariners 7, Red Sox 3
Orioles 2, Cubs 7
Giants 2, Nationals 6
Astros 2, Indians 3
Pirates 10, Brewers 2
Royals 6, Rangers 3
Padres 2, Diamondbacks 5
Cardinals 6, Phillies 5 (12 innings)
Braves 0, Reds 1
Tigers 8, Twins 6 (Game 2)
Angels 1, Athletics 2
Mets 4, Dodgers 7
Marlins 4, Rockies 5 (13 innings)
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.