So while the Dodgers, sitting a game back of the Giants in the NL West standings, are spending the weekend in Miami, the Giants will host a Rockies team that has not only lost six of eight to the Giants this season but is 40-69 all-time at AT&T Park. What's more, the Rockies, who have avoided Matt Cain so far this season, can't avoid him anymore. Cain is to start Sunday against a team that he has beaten more times (13) than any other, and against which he has a career 2.03 ERA.
Feldman wasn't in the rotation when the Rangers played Detroit in April, but did work 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief against the Tigers in the AL Championship Series last year, and another 1 1/3 innings against them in relief in April. The Rangers knocked off the Tigers in six games in the ALCS and have followed that up with five wins in seven games this year. Oh, and the Tigers' starter in the 15-5 loss in Game 6 last October? Max Scherzer, who lasted only 2 1/3 innings and happens to be getting the call Friday against a Rangers team that has 13 of its next 20 games at home. The Rangers, by the way, have an AL-best home record of 34-21.THREE DOWN Devil of a time: Just when the Angels get their major offensive addition of the offseason, Albert Pujols, headed in the right direction, their primary addition to the pitching staff, C.J. Wilson, falls to pieces and the Halos suddenly find themselves in third place in the AL West, behind the Rangers and A's, and scuffling to catch up in the battle for the second Wild Card spot.
The Angels went into the All-Star break in second place, four games back of Texas, which was feeling the heat. But the Halos are 11-15 since -- 1-5 in the starts by Wilson, who gave up six runs in five innings in a 10-4 loss at Oakland on Tuesday. The Angels, who had slipped a half-game ahead of the A's with a win on Monday, followed up Wilson's struggles with a 9-8 loss on Wednesday.He's back: Tampa Bay managed to hang around for 98 days while Evan Longoria was sidelined with a hamstring tear. Longoria returned this week, helping the Rays sweep Toronto and putting Tampa Bay in the middle of the AL Wild Card race. The Rays joined Oakland, Detroit, Baltimore and the Angels clustered with a game of each other for the two bonus spots.
Longoria's return is a major boost for an offensively challenged Tampa Bay. How major? Well, he drove in two runs in Thursday's completion of the sweep of Toronto. How big of a deal was that? Real big. It was only the third time in 80 games that the Rays' cleanup hitter had multiple RBIs. And the fact the two other times the cleanup hitter with more than one RBI was Drew Sutton (May 23, also against Toronto) and Jeff Keppinger (July 3 against the Yankees) says volumes about the struggles manager Joe Maddon had putting a lineup together without Longoria.In the Pitts: After two decades of losing, Pittsburgh keeps trying to find the missing pieces to ensure a winning season. A year ago, it was Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick who were added prior to the July 31 Trade Deadline with hopes they would spark the offense. That didn't work. This year, it is left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, acquired from Houston to supplement the rotation.
So far, not so good. The Pirates split a four-game series against Arizona this week, and it was Rodriguez, with a chance to wrap up a series win, who took the 6-3 loss in the finale. The Bucs are 5-6 since his arrival, and he is 0-2 in three starts with a 4.73 ERA, nearly a run higher than the 3.79 ERA he had with Houston.
A year ago, Lee hit .337 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in 28 games for the Pirates, but he went on the disabled list after appearing in only five games. Pittsburgh went 9-15 in the 24 games Lee missed and faded into oblivion. Ludwick? He hit .232 and drove in only 11 runs while striking out 37 times in 112 at-bats.
Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less