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Posted at 07:07 AM ET, 08/28/2011

Leading off: Jered Weaver starts on short rest against division-leading Texas

Game of the day: Los Angeles Angels at Texas, 8:09 p.m. Angels starter Jered Weaver stunned many when he agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension earlier this week, passing up the chance to test the free agent market after next season. It’s less surprising that the California native wanted to pitch on three days’ rest for the first time in his career to match up against the American League West leaders. Weaver, who pitched seven scoreless innings to beat the White Sox on Wednesday, will take the hill in prime time on Sunday at Texas, looking to continue his stellar season and bring the Angels closer to the top spot in the division. He allowed one run in seven innings in a no decision against the Rangers on Aug. 18. Texas starter Colby Lewis, who will go for his 12th win, matched Weaver pitch-for-pitch in that game with seven scoreless innings before Los Angeles won on Mark Trumbo’s walk-off two-run home run.

Other game to watch: Tampa Bay at Toronto, 1:07 p.m. The Rays still have a long way to go to push the Yankees and Red Sox at the top of the AL East, but they now have a strong hold on third in the division thanks to a 16-8 record this month. Four wins in five August games against Toronto have helped stoke that hot streak. Starter David Price (11-11) has been a major part of that success, pitching at least eight innings in three straight starts with a 1.13 ERA in those games. Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow (9-8) has lost three of his past four starts, including a rough outing against Kansas City (six earned runs in 4.2 innings) on Tuesday.

Games you should have seen

Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Colorado 6 (11 innings): Matt Kemp launched a walk-off solo home run — his National League-best tying 31st of the season — off Jason Hammel to give Los Angeles the extra-inning win. The Dodgers, who took their first lead with a five-run sixth, tied the game on James Loney’s ninth-inning solo shot. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki kept his team in the game with a pair of two-run home runs, including a go-ahead blast in the seventh inning.

Boston 9, Oakland 3: On a day when Hurricane Irene kept many East Coast games from ever getting started, the Red Sox and Athletics fought through the deluge to complete the first game of a doubleheader at Fenway Park. Boston shrugged off a pair of rain delays that lasted a combined three hours to win for the seventh time in 10 games. Veteran catcher Jason Varitek homered and drove in three runs and starter Jon Lester pitched six strong innings (one earned run, four strikeouts) before being chased by the first rain delay.

Star of the day: The Pirates haven’t had much go right in recent weeks, but rookie Brad Lincoln pitched six scoreless innings on Saturday to help them to a 7-0 win against St. Louis. Lincoln, a rookie filling in for injured all-star Kevin Correia (oblique), scattered six hits, struck out four and added an RBI double en route to his second career win.

Stat you should know: 20 Wins for Detroit starter Justin Verlander after allowing four runs in six innings in a 6-4 victory at Minnesota. The right-hander wasn’t at his best, surrenduring a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but he still won his eighth straight start. He became the first major league pitcher to reach 20 wins before Sept. 1 since Curt Schilling in 2002 and the first Tigers hurler in 20 years to reach the 20-win mark for a season.

Chatter: “Well, we reached our goal here. We took the series.”Florida Manager Jack McKeon on his team’s weekend trip to Philadelphia, which turned out to include just one game because of Hurricane Irene. The Marlins held on to beat the Phillies, 6-5, on Friday night before the storm wiped out the final two games. With bad weather in the forecast, Sunday’s game was moved up to make a Saturday doubleheader, but the hurricane’s early Saturday afternoon arrival ended hopes of getting the teams on the field. The games were rescheduled as a doubleheader on Sept. 15. With the revised schedule, the Phillies will close the regular season by playing 33 games in 31 days, beginning Monday in Cincinnati.

By  |  07:07 AM ET, 08/28/2011

 
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