Posted September 03, 2013

Labor Day grill: Pirates take over first place in NL Central, A’s tie up AL West, Rays’ slide continues

AL East, AL West, NL Central, Pennant races
Neil Walker, Pirates

Neil Walker’s home run was part of a milestone day for Pittsburgh. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

NOTE: There is a full slate of games on Labor Day, including 13 afternoon start times, many of which will have major pennant race implications. Cliff Corcoran will have a look at how the day’s action impacted the races around baseball; updated standings are through today’s relevant action:

AL Wild Card

A’s/Rangers: 79-58 (.577), 5 1/2 games ahead of third-place Orioles, 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Rays
Rays: 75-61 (.551)
Orioles: 73-63 (.537), 2 games behind
Yankees: 73-64 (.533), 2 1/2 games behind

The Rays’ tumble continued Monday night as they lost 11-2 to the Angels, shedding another game off their lead for the second American League wild-card spot in light of earlier wins by the Orioles and Yankees. The Rays have now lost eight of their last nine, three of them to the sub-.500 Angels, whom they play three more times this week, and their lead for the AL’s final playoff spot is down to just two games. The Rays will activate Matt Moore to start Tuesday night’s game, one night after they had to put outfielder Sam Fuld on the mound in the eighth inning despite having an expanded roster.

CORCORAN: Weekend sweeps bring AL picture into focus as Red Sox pad AL East lead

The Orioles’ win, meanwhile, came against the Indians, knocking Cleveland, which has now lost six of its last seven, into fifth place in the wild-card race, 3 1/2 games out.


Vegas has set the Over/Under on Honey Badger Bong Hits in the First Round of the NFL Draft at 17.5.


And a message to the Bills, like you care what I think:  Now is NOT the time to draft a QB.  Nobody is high on any QB in this draft.  You should have failed worse last year and picked up one of those.


Am I the only one that thinks it's crazy to give up on Weeden so soon?  WTH.  The whole freakin' world wants everything NOW - drives me crazy.


I've got a QB for Cleveland.  JaMarcus MF Russell!