LaRoche leads Braves in sweep of Mets

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) – Adam LaRoche went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in, as the Atlanta Braves beat the Mets, 5-2, to complete a three-game sweep of New York.

Tim Hudson (2-1) got the win after allowing two runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings. He also struck out three for the Braves, who pulled within four games of Colorado, which lost to San Diego on Wednesday, in the NL wild card race.

“I danced around and bobbed and weaved around out there and somehow managed to only give up two runs,” Hudson said.

Atlanta’s victory came hours after longtime manager Bobby Cox announced he will retire from managing following the 2010 season, for which Cox and the team agreed to a one-year contract extension.

“We’ve got a nice team, and we’re going to compete next year for sure again,” Cox said. “It’s the love of baseball, I guess.”

Mike Pelfrey (10-12) took the loss after giving up four runs — three earned — on nine hits and three walks in six innings. Angel Pagan went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run batted in for New York, which was also swept by Atlanta from September 15-17. Continue reading


Slumping Tigers return home to battle Blue Jays

The Detroit Tigers try to maintain their lead atop the American League Central this evening, when they open a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park.

The Tigers enter play with a 5 1/2-game edge on the Minnesota Twins in the division after completing a 3-3 road trip. The trek started with a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays but ended on a sour note, as the Tigers lost all three games of their series to the woeful Kansas City Royals.

“Coming off a good trip to Tampa and all of a sudden you come in here and you get beat, it’s not the end of the world,” Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said. “You can’t really hang your head at this point of the season. You can’t get upset about it.”

Luckily for the Tigers, Toronto took care of the Twins on Thursday to split a four-game series.

In Thursday’s 7-4 setback to the Royals, Wilkin Ramirez had two hits — including a triple — knocked in a run and scored twice, while Magglio Ordonez banged out three hits in a losing effort.

Tigers starter Jarrod Washburn took a no-decision after surrendering three runs on seven hits in five frames. Zach Miner (6-5) was saddled with the loss after yielding five hits and three runs in one-plus innings.

Getting the call for the Tigers tonight will be lefty Nate Robertson, who is 1-1 with a 5.40 earned run average. Robertson last started back on September 3 against Cleveland and received a no-decision despite throwing six scoreless innings.

Robertson, who has pitched primarily from the bullpen this season, is 3-3 lifetime against the Blue Jays with a 5.00 ERA in 10 games, seven of which have been starts.

Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Brian Tallet, who is 6-9 with a 5.31 ERA. Tallet won for the first time in over two months Sunday against the New York Yankees, as he allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings.

Tallet will be making his first-ever start against the Tigers, but has faced them six times in relief without recording a decision and pitching to a 4.76 ERA in those outings.

The Blue Jays earned a split in their series with the Twins on Thursday, when Adam Lind knocked in a pair of runs, including the go-ahead tally with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, to help Toronto to a 3-2 win at Rogers Centre.

Jose Bautista hit a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who have won three of their last five games.

Brett Cecil (7-4) earned the win after tossing six effective innings. The rookie left-hander allowed two runs on seven hits, walked one and fanned three.

“It felt good. It was a great way to end it,” Cecil said about his outing. “I worked on some things in my last bullpen and took it on the mound today. Everything worked out and still got a few things to work on.”

Toronto has won three of four from the Tigers this season and six of eight matchups between the teams dating back to last season.