While the Yankees have taken three straight from the Orioles and no trail the Rays by just one game, winning three of four at Camden Yards, the Cleveland Indians refuse to go away. On Thursday, Cleveland opened a four-game series in Chicago by thumping the White Sox, 14-3, getting a 3-for-3 effort from Ryan Raburn which included a single, double and a first-inning, three-run homer.
The Indians went on to score in each of the first five innings, tallying seven in the fifth, Rayburn completing the scoring with a two-run single that put the Indians up by a dozen runs.
Thus, the Indians have themselves positioned 1 1/2 behind Tampa Bay and 1/2 behind the Yankees. Baltimore and Kansas City are tied, 2 1/2 behind the Rays.
Clevleand will go for its second straight win over the White Sox, Friday afternoon, at 2:10 pm EDT.
Their quest was put more in sight with a 6-1 win over the Marlins, closing out a four-game series in Miami with the Braves taking three of four.
Freddie Freeman was part of the action, socking his 20th home run of the season in the fourth inning after singling and scoring in the third.
Freeman's two-run shot added insurance for Freddy Garcia, who allowed just five hits and one run over six innings, picking up his first win as a Brave. Freeman finished up 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and continues to look like a solid choice for MVP. After going 7-for-16 in the series with the Marlins, he's batting .309 and his 98 RBI are third-most in the league, behind Paul Goldschmidt (109) and Brandon Phillips (101).
The Braves open a three-game series with San Diego in Atlanta, but then go back on the road, meeting the Nationals for three games, September 16-18.
Today's Trivia: Of these three players: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Gwynn, who has the highest career batting average? (answer tomorrow)
Yesterday's Answer: In 1995, Albert Belle of the Cleveland Indians led the majors with 50 home runs and 52 doubles, making him the only member of his own 50/50 club. Amazingly, Belle did not receive the AL MVP award, which went to Boston's Mo Vaughn, even though Belle batted .317 to Vaughn's .300. The two tied for the league lead in RBI with 126, but Belle had 11 more home runs, scored 23 more runs than Vaughn, who also had only 28 doubles and led the majors in strikeouts (150).