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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 09/07/2011

Leading off: Fading Indians get one more shot at the Tigers

Game of the day: Detroit at Cleveland, 12:05 p.m. The Tigers have continued to pull away in the American League Central, but Cleveland has one more chance to chip away at Detroit’s lead with a head-to-head matchup on Wednesday. It’s going to be tough, as Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (21-5) hasn’t lost a start since July 15. Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson (11-8) has also pitched well the last two months, and the Indians have won seven of his last eight starts. Neither starter has pitched well against his opponent. Verlander has a 4.77 ERA in 26 career starts against Cleveland, while Masterson’s ERA against Detroit is 5.00.

Other game to watch: Milwaukee at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m. The Cardinals are no longer a viable contender in the National League Central, but this matchup could still provide a look into a budding rivalry. Milwaukee right-hander Zack Greinke (14-5) has won seven of his last eight starts, and the Brewers need him to continue pitching like an ace if they are going to have a shot at keeping up with the NL’s other great rotations in the playoffs. Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter has struggled to a 9.82 ERA in his last two starts, but the former Cy Young Award winner is always capable of pitching a gem.

Game you should have seen:

Cincinnati 4, Chicago Cubs 2 (13 innings). The Cubs were down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth inning when Bryan LaHair hit a pinch-hit two-run home run to force extra innings, but Cincinnati eventually rallied to win in the 13th. Cincinnati starter Mike Leake was working on a two-hit shutout when he gave up the bomb to LaHair. Joey Votto and Miguel Cairo each had RBI hits in the 13th for the Reds.

Stat you should know:199. Career wins for Red Sox right-hander Tim Wakefield heading into his scheduled start Wednesday against Toronto. Wakefield has been stuck one win shy of 200 for seven starts now, but the 45-year old has 18 career wins against Toronto — the second most he has against any team.

Star of the night: Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson pitched a five-hit shutout Tuesday in Texas’s 8-0 win over Tampa Bay. Wilson struck out six and walked three, leading the Rangers to their fifth win in his last six starts.

Chatter: “Since I’ve been hitting, nobody’s said anything about my age.” — Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, 36, who said Tuesday he will retire after the 2012 season if he does not receive a contract extension.

By Greg Schimmel  |  07:00 AM ET, 09/07/2011

 
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