This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together for the best in vengeful re-enactments of the 1991 ALCS. Today's Roll Call starts in a place U.S. Marshals can go only with a Mountie's permission, Canada, where the Blue Jays continue to make the Twins' extended vacation kind of upsetting.
Game of the Day: Blue Jays 5, Twins 4 (11 inn.)
To err is Twinkie: The Killebrews strand 13 runners and make three errors, including a crucial one in the ninth by Jason "Not Too" Pridie, to help the Jays tie the score against Joe Nathan. It's not all his fault, and no one is calling for Mike Trombley, except for me, but Nathan has blown three saves in his past four outings. "This will turn around," Nathan says. If you will it, Dude, it is no dream. Theodore Herzl.
First man of Canada: John McDonald, whose name is awfully similar to that of Canada's first prime minister, slapped home the game-winner over the glove of goalie Denard Span. His effort dropped the Twins to 5-8 on their Right-Wing Swing through North America.
Must... get... to bed: Every road ends, except for them traffic circles. One more game, plus a speech from John McCain, and the Twins can go home. And not terribly far from first place, either.
Pop a cork in 'em: Should the White Sox hang on to win the AL Central, Nick Swisher should send a case of champagne to the Jays, who have beaten the Twins seven straight. It's not like there's a rule against such gifting or anything.
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Feelin' Rundown (the balance of Wednesday's baseball bank account):
Red Sox 5, Orioles 4: O's batting coach Terry Crowley, who's lucky he's in bleepin' baseball, gets ejected by umpire/former Yankees right-hander Jeff Nelson in the ninth. Seconds later, O's pitcher/former Bears quarterback Jim Miller throws away a bunt for an error, allowing Alex Cora to score without a helmet, which his head dropped on a superfluous slide into third base. That's Orioles Magic.
White Sox 4, Indians 2: Squirrel delay! Play was stopped for a minute in the top of the ninth when a squirrel stalked the infield, getting especially close to pinch-hitter Jim Thome and umpire Larry Vanover, until it scampered into foul territory. It was a lucky squirrel, because Thome walked. ... Bobby Jenks gets the 1 2/3 inning save because Ozzie right now wouldn't trust the rest of his bullpen to babysit his grown children for an hour if the fellas were spotted a fully staffed daycare center.
Yankees 8, Rays 4: And we have a replay! A-Rod goes deep against Troy Percival for a monstrous blast over the fair pole and off the catwalk — off the catwalk, yeah — and an apparent homer. Dioner Navarro says, hey, let's TiVo that baby and the umps do, because MLB didn't spend $2.5 mildo for nothin'. After 2 minutes, 15 seconds, the umps have an announcement: Upheld! The call on the field stands. Touchdown! Humorously, Percival adds: "I thought it was clearly fair, but after looking at the replay, I wouldn't have known what to call, to be honest with you. The replay made it more cloudy for me."
Giants 9, Rockies 2: Scott McClain believes in the soul, the [profane], the [profane], the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. He believes Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. He believes there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. He believes in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening our presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and he believes in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Goodnight.
D-backs 4, Cardinals 3: Adam Dunn, who doesn't really like baseball that much, nor does he have a passion to play the game, hit a game-ending double in the ninth. Dunn was mobbed by his teammates, despite them becoming sick just at the sight of the malcontent. "I expected a little more rough-house," Dunn said. "That was exciting, man." Mmm, hmm. Take your rainy day somewhere else, pal.
Dodgers 6, Padres 4: With Jeff Kent's mustache out, who's gonna take his place? The answer is not the Hanson Brothers, but instead Blake DeWitt. Sounds like an enforcer for the Calgary Flames, or perhaps a former movie exec angling to buy the Dodgers, or the anti-hero of a half-written J.D. Salinger novel. Maybe he's all that AND an infielder.
Nationals 9, Phillies 7: Onward Cristian Guzman goes, now with eight straight multi-hit games. The Gnats are actually affecting the pennant race. As much as Apollo Creed affected Ivan Drago, but still, they're making some teams sweat.
Mets 9, Brewers 2: The sweeping Mets get some Churchin' up — Ryan Church — who goes granny in a six-run, first-inning shellacking of Homer Formby Dave Bush. For the Breu Creu, this is what we in sportswritin' call "Not taking advantage of a five-game losing streak by the Cubs."
Astros 4, Cubs 0: Do all of the Cubs, droppers of five in a row, need to hop in the team Kia Sorento with Big Z and get an MRI? No extra-base hits again. Why does Kia spell Sorento with one "R"? Paul Sorrento wouldn't do that. ... The Astros are on an annual second-half binge. They're just as much in the pennant race as the Cardinals or Rockies — which is to say, they're not really in it. But it's better than being the A's.
Marlins 5, Braves 3: About 600 folks, most of whom probably were hoping for jai alai, braved Miami's 90-degree weather to see the first pitch. Bobby Cox joined those sitting this one out in the fifth after being run for arguing balls and strikes.
Pirates 6, Reds 5: In case the two LaRoches confused you, Adam LaRoche is the LaRoche that does stuff sometimes. Oh, that's mean. Someday, I predict — saying it like I mean it — Andy LaRoche will hit at least as well as his brother. At that moment, they both will be traded for the embryos of prospects. ... 13 Ks for Volquez.
Rangers 1, Mariners 0: In an emergency start, Dustin Nippert throws seven shutout innings to lower his ERA to 6.59. Show me a football game where that happens. That's why this is the greatest game. That, and Barry Zito jeans endorsements.
Tigers 9, Angels 6: With an eight-game lead on Kansas City, the Tigers should be able to stay out of the basement. Bless you, boys. ... Is there no hope of/interest in ever putting Miguel Cabrera back at third base? Are his issues at the hot corner nothing that a commitment to being in better shape couldn't fix?
Athletics at Royals, ppd. (rain): God says no, fellas. Doubleheader tonight.
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Photo of the Day: My Precious!
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Jenks (White Sox) 1 2/3 IP, H, K, Save
Church (Mets) 1-4, HR, 4 RBI
King Felix (M's) 7 1/3 IP, 7 H, ER, BB, 3 K, Loss
Nippert (Rangers) 7 IP, 7 H, 4 K, Win
Frank Francisco (Rangers) IP, K, Save (no chairs)
McClain (R-Arizona) 3-5, HR, 3 RBI
Zito (True Religion Jeans) 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, Win
Ryan Howard (Phila) 2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI
A-Rod (DVR) 3-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
Mark Teixeira (Angels) 3-5, HR, 3 RBI
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Bush (Brew) 5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, Loss
Aaron Cook (Rockies) 3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, K, Loss
Chris Perez (Cards) 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, Loss, Blown Save
Chad Durbin (Phila) 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, K, Loss, Blown Save
Edwin Jackson (Rays) 3 1/3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, BB, 2 K, Loss
Aramis Ramirez (Cubs) 0-4, K
Ryan Braun (Brew) 0-4, 2 K
Mark Reynolds (AZ) 0-4, 4 K
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Words of Mouth
"I'm the first player. Next time I'm going stealth and go under the radar screen. It's very fitting I'm involved. I was just glad we got the right call." — Alex Rodriguez, replay star