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After losing Monday night at Tampa Bay and falling a game behind the Yankees in the AL East, the Orioles need a big outing Tuesday from Miguel Gonzalez or the Yanks could clinch the division tonight – and the O’s might have to go to Oakland for the one-game wild-card playoff. Bet on Orioles-Rays and every game at WagerWeb.com.
Boston at NY Yankees – Red Sox LHP Jon Lester (9-14, 4.94) vs. Yankees RHP David Phelps (4-4, 3.34): The power lefty Lester will finish his frustrating season at Yankee Stadium. Against the Yankees this season, Lester is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA. Lester has pitched far better on the road this season (6-4, 3.38 ERA) than at home (6.31 ERA). … Phelps returns to the rotation for Game 161 in place of a struggling Ivan Nova to make the 11th start of his career and first since Sept. 19. He is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in two career starts against the Red Sox and faced them twice out of the ‘pen.
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland – White Sox RHP Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.37) vs. Indians RHP Justin Mastereson (11-15, 5.03): It could be the final start in a Sox career for Jake Peavy as the team won’t be picking up his $22 million option this offseason but hopes to re-sign him at a lower rate. Peavy leads the team in innings pitched and ranks second in strikeouts. …. Masterson is 1-4 with a 7.31 ERA in his past six starts. On Wednesday, the sinkerballer took a no-decision against the White Sox after giving up four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Minnesota at Toronto – Twins RHP Anthony Swarzak (3-5, 4.91) vs. Jays RHP Chad Jenkins (0-3, 4.67): Swarzak will make a spot start with Samuel Deduno out with left eye irritation. Swarzak has an 8.35 ERA in 18 1/3 innings as a starter and a 4.05 ERA in 73 1/3 innings as a long reliever this season. … The rookie right-hander Jenkins will start in place of Carlos Villanueva, who was scratched from his final start with arm fatigue. Jenkins will be making his third start of the year after making 10 appearances out of Toronto’s bullpen.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay – Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez (8-4, 3.45) vs. Rays RHP James Shields (15-9, 3.62): Gonzalez won his eighth game Wednesday when he allowed two runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout in seven innings against the Blue Jays. … Shields walked four and hit two Thursday night in Chicago. Nevertheless, he held the White Sox to two runs in 6 1/3 innings to come away with a no-decision. He is 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA in two starts against the Orioles this season.
Detroit at Kansas City – Tigers RHP Doug Fister (10-9, 3.38) vs. Royals RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-12, 4.82): Fister set an AL record with nine strikeouts in a row on Thursday, fanning the entire Royals lineup in order, but settled for a no-decision after 7 2/3 quality innings. …. Guthrie has gone seven innings or more in eight of his last 10 starts, in which he stands 4-0 with six no-decisions. That included seven last Wednesday night at Detroit where he gave up four runs — three from homers.
Texas at Oakland – Rangers LHP Matt Harrison (18-10, 3.26) vs. A’s LHP Travis Blackley (5-4, 4.25): Harrison is 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA and has tied Kenny Rogers for the most wins by a left-hander in club history. He could be only the second pitcher in Rangers history to finish with 18-plus wins and an ERA of under 3.30. Ferguson Jenkins is the other. … The A’s will stick with starting Blackley despite his last start in which he allowed five runs on five hits in only one inning. Subbing for the injured Brett Anderson, Blackley previously had allowed four runs in two innings against the Yankees.
LA Angels at Seattle – Angels RHP Dan Haren (12-12, 4.32) vs. Mariners RHP Hishashi Iwakuma (8-5, 3.32): Haren was good-but-not-great against the Mariners on Thursday, giving up three runs (two earned) in 5 1/3 innings before getting pulled with only 80 pitches. But he’s been mostly great lately, with a 2.57 ERA in his last seven starts. … The 31-year-old rookie from Japan has been strong since moving into the rotation in midseason, going 7-4 with a 2.83 ERA in 15 starts. He’s 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA vs. the Angels, including a win Thursday when he gave up one earned run in six innings