There are four early MLB games starting before midnight today.Â All times are in BST.
18.05. Seattle at NY Yankees (Jason Vargas – Javier Vazquez)
Yesterday wasnâ€™t a great day for the Yankees themselves.Â Alex Rodriguez, out for the three previous games with a calf strain, lasted just one at-bat before limping off the field and out of the rest of this series, possibly longer.Â Meanwhile Felix Hernandez blanked the Bronx Bombers over eight innings as the Mariners won 6-0.Â The only saving grace for the Yankees was that the Rays lost to the Aâ€™s and the Red Soxâ€™s miseries continued (Dustin Pedroia placed back on the DL, Boston losing 16-2 to the Blue Jays).
The Yanks still lead the AL East by one game, but they canâ€™t keep relying on favours from other teams.Â Javier Vazquez has been battling â€˜dead armâ€™ issues of late and the Bronx faithful will not be overly confident of their fortunes changing today with him on the mound.
21.10. Texas at Baltimore (Cliff Lee – Brad Bergesen)
The Rangers received a strong start from C.J. Wilson yesterday to tie this four-game series at 1-1 and this is where the mid-season acquisition of Cliff Lee can really make a difference.Â Ron Washington will be backing his starting pitcher to ensure his team gets at least a split from this series today.Â Lee has conceded ten runs in his last two starts, but those have been against the Rays and Yankees and few would bet against him returning to form by pitching a gem against the Orioles.
21.10. LA Angels at Minnesota (Trevor Bell – Kevin Slowey) * ESPN America
The Twins have been in great form of late, winning twelve of their last fifteen games including a 4-2 record over the closest rivals in the AL Central: the Chicago White Sox.Â Brian Duensing struck-out six Angels over eight innings yesterday, conceding just one run in the process, while the Twins pegged Dan Haren for seven runs over seven innings as they won 7-2.Â Kevin Slowey was taken out of his start last Sunday against the Aâ€™s after seven innings, despite having a no-hitter going.Â Manager Ron Gardenhire received some boos from the Target Field crowd, but it seemed the sensible move considering his pitch count (106) and the elbow problems Slowey has had of late.Â Â
21.10. Atlanta at Chicago Cubs (Tommy Hanson – Tom Gorzelanny)
Yesterdayâ€™s early game from Wrigley Field was a cracker, although not in a good way for the home team.Â The Cubs led 3-2 heading into the top of the ninth, only for closer Carlos Marmol to let the game slip.Â Former Cardinal Rick Ankiel delivered the fatal blow, a bases-loaded triple that brought home three runs to give the Braves a 5-3 lead, which Billy Wagner held on to in the bottom of the frame.Â Tommy Hanson has been in excellent form of late for Atlanta, putting up a 1.71 ERA in nine starts during July and August so far, although heâ€™s only been credited with one win over that span and that was back on 3 July.Â
All the above games can be followed via various resources on MLB.com (Gameday, At Bat with Gameday Audio and MLB.tv).Â ESPN AmericaÂ is showing theÂ Angels-Twins game. A complete schedule of MLB games can be found on MLB.com