The Closer: It's Easy Being Green

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Macha, Macha Man ... The Bay Area's other Barry has legitimate tax returns, and as far as we know the grand jury is not interested in going through his trash. "More than anything, we're a relaxed bunch of guys and we don't put pressure on ourselves," said Barry Zito (15-8), who on Wednesday outpitched Curt Schilling as the Athletics beat the Red Sox 7-2 for a three-game sweep. Schilling got his 3,000th career strkeout (he's 14th on the career list), but you can pretty much begin stacking the folding chairs in Boston, Sox fans. Meanwhile, Oakland is in first place in the AL West, eight games up on the Angels.

2. We Remember: 1958. The Dodgers went 21-7 in August, tying their most successful month since they moved from Brooklyn. It's not all because of Greg Maddux, but his arrival from he Cubs didn't hurt. Maddux earned his 330th win (10th on the all-time list) as LA beat the Reds 7-3.

3. White Sox Are Disrespectful To Dirt. Can You See That We Are Serious? Tadahito Iguchi's two-out, two-run home run in the eighth tied the game, and Jim Thome won it with a single as the White Sox beat the Devil Rays 5-4, increasing their wild-card lead over the Twins to 1 1/2 games.

4. Mystery Of The Misplaced 'h' . Jhonny Peralta homered off of closer B.J. Ryan with two out in the 10th as our old friends the Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of the Fightin' Blue Jays, 3-2.

5. Today's Baseball Question. How do you get 20 hits and still not win? Did we mention that you are the Cubs? Freddy Sanchez's two-run single in the 11th provided the Pirates with an 11-9 win.