CHICAGO -- Major League Baseball is having conversations with the players' association over possible rule changes designed to speed the pace of play, and Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday he hopes to reach an agreement instead of implementing any measures unilaterally. Manfred also said the Bruce Sherman-led ownership group trying to purchase the Miami Marlins has presented the league with a financial structure that would work for finalizing the deal, and he expressed confidence that a major league franchise can be successful in the market. The average time of a nine-inning game is a record 3 hours, 5 minutes this season, up from 3 hours last year and 2:56 in 2015, Manfred's first season as commissioner.
The Texas Rangers look to continue their recent hot streak, squaring off against the Chicago White Sox. They will be doing so, however, with Carlos Gomez, who is out of the lineup for the fifth straight game after having a cyst on his back lanced. The lineup: DeShields -- CF Choo -- DH Elvis — SS Beltre -- 3B Mazara — RF Gallo — LF Napoli -- 1B Odor — 2B Chirinos — C Andrew Cashner squares off against James Shields.
Nomar Mazara keeps driving in runs, and it's helping the Texas Rangers climb in the AL wild-card race. Mazara had five RBIs, including a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning, and the Rangers held on to beat the Chicago White Sox 9-8 on Thursday night. The Rangers (60-60) reached .500 for the first time since July 15 with their fourth straight win and seventh in eight games. The defending AL West champs, out of the division race behind Houston, pulled 1 1/2 games behind the idle Los Angeles Angels for the AL's second wild card. "I trust what I got and the team's been rolling right now," said Mazara, who has 25 RBIs in his past 19 games and 82 for the season. "We're putting a lot of