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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 08/23/2011

Leading off: White Sox and Angels are clinging to postseason hopes

Game of the day: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels, 10:05 p.m. Both the White Sox and Angels are clinging to faint playoff hopes, and this quick two-game series could help either team stay close. White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle (10-6) took his first loss since June 16 in his last start on Wednesday, and snapped a streak of 18 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or fewer. Buehrle is just 2-7 with a 4.43 ERA in 19 career appearances against the Angels. Los Angeles right-hander Ervin Santana (9-9) also snapped a long winning streak in his last start Wednesday, taking his first loss since June 21. Santana has a 1.63 ERA since the beginning of July.

Other game to watch: Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m. The Cardinals are falling out of the playoff race and the Dodgers were never in it, but the pitching matchup in this game is the best of the night. Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (15-5) is a strong Cy Young candidate who has won seven of his last eight starts and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 17 of his 26 starts this season. The Cardinals have won right-hander Kyle Lohse’s last four starts, and Lohse (11-7) seems to be past his early-summer struggles that saw his ERA balloon from 2.13 to 3.46 during June and July.

Games you should have seen:

Seattle 3, Cleveland 2 . Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez broke a 2-2 tie with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning, sending the Indians to their fourth consecutive loss. Cleveland had runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Seattle reliever Brandon League got Ezequiel Carrera to ground out to end the game. Cleveland is a season-high 5 1/2 games behind Detroit in the American League Central.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2, St. Louis 1 . The Dodgers rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to stun the Cardinals and waste eight-plus sparkling innings by St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter. After Aaron Miles tied the game with a one-out triple to right-center field, Rod Barajas knocked in Miles when he grounded into a fielder’s choice. St. Louis has lost five out of its last seven games to fall nine games out of first place in the National League Central.

Stat you should know: 13. Consecutive wins for the Brewers against the Pirates before Pittsburgh finally beat Milwaukee, 9-2, in the second game of their doubleheader Monday. Pittsburgh is 15 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central after it was tied for first on July 25.

Star of the night: Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee pitched seven scoreless innings Monday, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out seven in Philadelphia’s 10-0 win over the Mets. Lee (14-7) has won five consecutive starts, and he has three scoreless outings in his last four.

Chatter: “Soooooo this is what we got...mild grade 2 strain. DL.” — Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, announcing colorfully on Twitter that his groin injury will send him to the disabled list.

By Greg Schimmel  |  07:00 AM ET, 08/23/2011

 
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