Game of the day: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. This interleague matchup features big-market clubs who are both slogging through a disappointing season. Both the Angels and Dodgers are 8-11 so far in June and seem to be heading in the wrong direction. Right-hander Dan Haren (6-5) will start for the Angels, and Haren has been less effective as the season has gone along. Haren had a 1.23 ERA in April, a 3.40 ERA in May and has a 6.35 ERA through three starts in June. Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa (3-1) will make his fourth career start for the Dodgers after consistently getting worse in his first three. De La Rosa allowed one run in his first start, three runs in his second start and five runs in his third start.
Other game to watch:
Boston at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m. The Red Sox and Pirates played in the first modern World Series in 1903, and while the Pirates still aren’t World Series caliber, they are playing well enough to make this an interesting series. A pair of talented left-handers will pitch the opener on Friday. Jon Lester (9-3) will make his second attempt at his 10th win of the season after he took the loss in his last outing that still marked his fourth quality start out of five. Paul Maholm (3-8) has a 3.29 ERA this season, but the Pirates have scored three runs or fewer in 12 of his 15 starts.
Games you should have seen:
Washington 1, Seattle 0. Even before Jim Riggleman dropped a bomb and resigned after the game, Thursday afternoon’s Nationals-Mariners tilt was pretty entertaining. Laynce Nix hit a game-ending sacrifice fly to break a scoreless tie in the ninth inning and send the Nats to their 11th win in 12 games. Right-hander Jason Marquis threw eight scoreless innings for Washington and right-hander Michael Pineda made it through seven scoreless innings for Seattle. At 38-37, the Nationals are above .500 75 games into the season for the first time since their inaugural year in Washington in 2005.
Arizona 5, Kansas City 3. The Diamondbacks and Royals combined to score eight runs in the first four innings then were both shut down the rest of the night as Arizona won to complete the sweep. Right-hander Daniel Hudson won his sixth consecutive decision, and at 9-5 is suddenly among 12 pitchers tied for the major league lead in wins. Miguel Montero and Juan Miranda both homered for the Diamondbacks, who remained a half-game ahead of San Francisco atop the National League West.
Stat you should know: 1. National League East manager who was in his current position this time last year after the Nationals’ Jim Riggleman resigned on Thursday and Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned earlier this week. Only the Phillies’ Charlie Manuel, hired in 2005, managed his current team before the beginning of this season.
Star of the night: Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum threw seven scoreless innings Thursday, allowing three hits and striking out 12 in San Francisco’s 2-1 win over Minnesota. Lincecum (6-6) won for the first time since May 27.
Chatter: “It’s been brewing for a while. I know I’m not Casey Stengel, but I do feel like I know what I’m doing.” – Nationals former manager Jim Riggleman, who abruptly resigned Thursday when the team didn’t agree to at least immediately discuss his expiring contract.