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Saturday’s early MLB games: Five games to end a glorious day

by Matt Smith

It’s a glorious day in the UK, perfect for the NBL Summer Classic in Hertfordshire, and what better way to finish it off by taking in a live MLB game this evening.  There are five to choose from, all listed below with times in BST.

18.07. NY Yankees at Toronto (Andy Pettitte – Ricky Romero)

You really can’t say (or write) enough about Andy Pettitte’s season so far.  The 38 year old is 7-1 with a 2.48 ERA through his first ten starts and he has been the Yankees’ most consistent starter.  Ricky Romero was just ten years old when Pettitte made his Major League debut in 1995 and this is his second season in the Majors compared to his opponent’s sixteenth.  That’s not to play down the Blue Jays’ chances though. Romero has pitched extremely well this season, pitching his second complete game of 2010 last time out against the Orioles, while the Blue Jays are surprising many with their competitive play this year, as shown by their 6-2 win over the Yankees last night.

21.10. LA Angels at Seattle (Ervin Santana – Ryan Rowland-Smith)

The Angels won the opening game of this series yesterday by a score of 7-1, ending a much-needed three-game winning streak for the M’s.  One of the few positives of Seattle’s season so far has been the form of starter Doug Fister, so it sums up their luck that he is now dealing with right shoulder soreness.  The Aussie Ryan Rowland-Smith (‘hyphen’ to M’s fans) had pitched his way out of the rotation, but he gets another shot in a spot start to cover for Fister’s absence.

21.10. Florida at NY Mets (Nate Robertson – Jon Niese)

The Mets are scheduled to bring Niese off the Disabled List to make the start today against the Marlins.  Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey continued his good form with the Mets yesterday, helping the team to a 4-3 win in the series opener.  Citi Field is becoming a very homely home for New York as their win last night improved their home record to 20-9, compared to 8-18 on the road.

21.10. Milwaukee at St. Louis (Chris Narveson – Adam Ottavino)

Adam Wainwright was brilliant against the Brewers yesterday as the Cards cruised to an 8-0 win in the series opener.  While St. Louis are receiving excellent performances from their top three starters (Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia), the back of their rotation is in flux with both Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny on the shelf.  Adam Ottavino is the latest person to try to fill the gap.  Narveson pitches against his former club for Milwaukee, who have now lost five of their last six games.

21.10. Tampa Bay at Texas (James Shields – Tommy Hunter) * ESPN America

The Rangers took a win from the best team in baseball last night as Justin Smoak and Josh Hamilton both went deep in a 9-6 victory.  This was always set to be an interesting series, pitting a team with an excellent road record (Rays now 21-8) against a team with a strong home record (19-9).  ‘Big Game’ James Shields had his worst start of the season last time out against the White Sox and will be determined to bounce back in style.  Hunter makes his first start of the season after beginning the year on the DL.

All the above games can be followed via various resources on MLB.com (Gameday, At Bat with Gameday Audio and MLB.tv), while ESPN America is broadcasting the Rays-Rangers game live from 21.00, followed by Padres-Phillies at midnight. A complete schedule of MLB games can be found on MLB.com

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