The St. Louis Cardinals have lost consecutive games to the
rebuilding Detroit Tigers in walk-off fashion.The Cardinals Xander
Bogaerts Jersey
, who sit second in the National League wild-card
standings, will attempt to salvage the series finale Sunday afternoon at
Comerica Park. Right-hander John Gant will start for them against Michael
Fulmer.Gant has battled control problems in recent starts. He has issued 13
walks in his last three outings, including five in 4 1/3 innings at Washington
on Tuesday. He gave up three runs that night, though none were earned.Article
continues below ...“Felt good with the heater,” Gant told the St. Louis Post
Dispatch. “My secondary stuff was iffy.”Gant (6-5, 3.19 ERA) has allowed two or
fewer earned runs in his last six outings. He made one relief appearance against
Detroit during his rookie season with Atlanta in 2016 and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless
innings.Fulmer will make his fourth start since returning from an oblique
strain. He gave up one hit, a leadoff homer, in his last outing against the
Chicago White Sox on Monday. Fulmer threw 96 pitches in that 5 2/3-inning
stint.“All the mechanical adjustments we’ve made over the past couple of
weeks ,
I didn’t trust them at first, and I was still flying open (with his front
shoulder in his delivery),” Fulmer told the Detroit News. “I came back inside
and looked at the video and sure enough, I was flying open. So I closed it right
off and I started to get weak contact.”Fulmer wound up with a no-decision that
night. Detroit has lost 11 of his last 12 starts dating to late May. The lone
win was a 3-1 decision over Minnesota on June 14.Fulmer (3-10, 4.57 ERA) was
struck in the shin by a line drive at the end of his last start, but it turned
out to be just a bruise. He’s looking forward to his remaining starts.“I am very
excited where we’re going,” said Fulmer, who will face the Cardinals for the
first time. “I just have to stick to it and trust the process.”If the Cardinals
fail to make the postseason Blake
Swihart Jersey
, they’ll look at this series as one of the big
reasons they came up short.On Saturday, Victor Reyes scored on a wild pitch in
the bottom of the ninth to give Detroit a 4-3 victory. Marcell Ozuna tied the
score with a two-run homer in the top of the inning, his third long ball in two
games.“They’re in a pennant race,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You can
tell how tense it is for them over there. We’re getting a piece of it from the
other side that we wouldn’t get if we weren’t playing teams that were in this
pennant race.“So our guys are pretty fired up in the dugout and they’re getting
after it pretty good. They’ve been doing it all summer long, but there’s
definitely a different emotion going on right now.”It has been a rough weekend
all around for the Cardinals. Infielder Jedd Gyorko was expected to be activated
off the disabled list Saturday but instead returned to St. Louis for treatment
on his left groin injury.Starting pitcher Michael Wacha was scheduled to make a
rehab start Friday night but had a setback with his left oblique injury and it’s
uncertain if he’ll return this season. A look at what’s happening around the
majors today:PEN PALSThe Cubs will try a closer-by-committee approach down the
stretch after learning Pedro Strop is out for the rest of the regular season
because of a strained left hamstring. Strop, who had posted 11 saves since
closer Brandon Morrow went on the disabled list in July, hurt himself trying to
beat out a double-play grounder this week.On Friday night, Jorge De La Rosa
worked around a double and walk in the ninth inning for his first career
save ,
preserving a 3-2 win over Cincinnati at Wrigley Field. Cubs manager Joe Maddon
said he envisions calling on veterans including Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson and
Jesse Chavez to finish games.ONE MOREMike Clevinger starts at Progressive Field
as Cleveland tries to clinch its third straight AL Central title. The Indians
have a magic number of one — they can wrap up the division with a win over
Detroit, or a loss by Minnesota at Kansas City.RATS!The New York Mets had an
unwelcome visitor to their dugout as their series opened at Fenway Park: a rat
that sent the players scurrying away. No word on whether it was the same one
that rattled the Red Sox in their dugout on Tuesday night. Boston players paid
tribute to their guest Friday night with a (presumably fake) rat skeleton on
their dugout railing.GETTING CLOSERInjured Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is set
to throw a bullpen session, then will pitch a simulated game on Monday. If all
goes well, he could be activated in the middle of next week. The New York lefty
hasn’t pitched in a game since Aug. 21 because of left knee tendinitis.THEY ALL
COUNTAll during the month, a lot of September call-ups from the minors will be
getting their first hit in the majors. It happened for Mitch Walding of the
Phillies on Friday night when he homered — off Miami catcher Bryan Holaday, who
was pitching in a blowout. Walding had been 0 for 14 with 10 strikeouts in the
big leagues.“I was speechless,” Walding said. “Probably one of the happiest
moments I’ve ever had in my life. “It was very special and something ,
obviously, I’ll never forget the rest of my life.”FOR STARTERSThe A’s and Rays,
two of the primary teams using relievers as openers to start games, will employ
the strategy against each other for the first time. Tampa Bay will go with Ryne
Stanek (2-3) while Oakland counters with Liam Hendriks (0-1) at Tropicana
Field.“It’s just trying to take advantage of what you have,” Athletics manager
Bob Melvin said.
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