As usual, a scintillating night of baseball as the pennant races heat up in late August. A look at some of the big headlining stories from August 25:
Cutch is clutch in Bucs’ house of horrors
It’s been a rough season for Andrew McCutchen, but he single-handedly carried the Pirates to a much-needed, 3-2 win in 10 innings at Miller Park. Milwaukee has been a nightmarish place for Pittsburgh the past decade, with the Pirates entering last night’s game 17-64 there since 2007. But Cutch’s heroics, which included driving in all three runs, helped pull Pittsburgh to within 2 1/2 games of the Wild Card-leading Cardinals.
Royals stay hot in Miami
Kansas City continues its remarkable comeback, and perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. This is a team that can never be given up for dead, and now they have won 10 of 11 as they travel to Boston to take on the Red Sox this weekend. The Royals are four games out of the wild card and just 6 1/2 out of the AL Central, and the main reasons have been the incredible turnaround by the starting rotation and Alex Gordon. It may still be a big uphill climb, but don’t count out the defending world champions just yet.
Blue Jays miss golden opportunity to seize first
With the Red Sox having lost earlier in the day and the Orioles overmatched sending Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound against Max Scherzer, the Jays simply needed to beat the lowly Angels at home to move into sole possession of first place in the AL East. Instead, the Halos turned the table on J.A. Happ in the sixth inning, denying him a chance to become the AL’s first 18-game winner. Toronto has another cupcake series at home this weekend, with the hapless Twinkies coming to town. But last night should sting, as the team couldn’t capitalize on the healthy return of Jose Bautista to the lineup.
Moore needed just one more
Matt Moore gave the Giants a desperately-needed shot in the arm and almost made history in the process. Instead, the lefty came just one out from his third career no-hitter, but the Giants salvaged a 4-0 win in the series finale at Dodger Stadium to move back to within two games of the NL West leaders. Moore was running up quite a pitch count, but manager Bruce Bochy gave him every chance to chase history. After Corey Seager’s blooper landed on the right field grass, Moore’s night was done, but San Francisco still cruised to a big win. It marked just the Giants’ 12th win in 37 games since the All-Star break.