Cards Begin Series With Eye on 1st Place
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UNDATED (AP) - One way or the other, the tie at the top of the National League Central will be broken by the end of the day.
Co-leader St. Louis has a chance to take the outright lead when it opens a series at home against Cincinnati tonight. The Cards go into the day tied with idle Pittsburgh for the top spot.
The Reds are also in the hunt, just 2 1/2 games off the lead, and they hold the final wildcard spot. Mike Leake goes after his 12th win of the season for the Reds. He only has one win in his last five starts. Rookie lefty Tyler Lyons gets the start for the Cardinals, subbing for Jake Westbrook who was put on the DL with a lower back strain.
Tampa Bay can cut Boston's lead at the top of the AL East in half today. The Rays are making up a May snowed-out game in Kansas City while the Red Sox have the day off. Boston holds a one-game lead at the top of the division.
Jeremy Hellickson gets the start for Tampa Bay, trying to bust out of a recent funk that has seen him go 0-4 with an 8.06 ERA in five starts since July 26.
Jeremy Guthrie goes for the Royals and has had similar problems recently. He surrendered five runs in a loss to the White Sox the last time out. Before that, he gave up five runs on 10 hits in a loss to Boston, and four runs on a career-high 13 hits at Detroit in another defeat.
Texas takes a 2 1/2 game lead over Oakland at the top of the AL West into today's play. The Rangers open a series at Seattle, while the Athletics are in Detroit. Oakland is holding onto a 1 1/2 game lead over Cleveland for the final wildcard spot.
The NL West-leading Dodgers open a series at home against the Cubs. Zach Greinke (GREHN'-kee) goes after his 13th win of the season for LA. He's 3-0 with a 0.42 ERA in his last three starts.
There are five games in each league on the shortened schedule.