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The Closer: Kenny Rogers' Home Away From Home

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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. The Gambler Loves Oak Town. Why doesn't Kenny Rogers simply get himself traded to the Oakland Athletics? The Detroit hurler is one of the few people we know who actually likes the Coliseum, as he proved again on Wednesday by stifling the A's on three hits over 7 1/3 innings, the Tigers winning 4-1. Rogers (3-1) is 24-4 in 44 starts at the Coliseum, and 22-1 there since 1995. More importantly, Detroit is finally winning again; it's now 8-7 after a 5-0 start.


2. Schilling Having A Better Year Than The President. He embarrassed the Democratic Red Sox owners by campaigning for GW Bush in '04, but we suspect that now all is forgiven. Curt Schilling went to 4-0 — winning his first four starts for the first time in his career — with seven strikeouts over six innings in a 9-1 Boston win over the Tampa Bay Rayos de Diablo. "That's part of the rush of being in the big leagues, people write you off," Schilling, 41, told the Associated Press. It is unclear if Bush feels the same way.

3. Cubs Be Illin'. It seems that even when the Cubs win, they lose. Rookie Sean Marshall pitched Chicago to a 5-4 win over the host Dodgers, but the Junior Bears may have lost first baseman Derrek Lee to a wrist injury in the seventh inning. It happened on a bunt, of all things, as Rafael Furcal plowed into him headlong down the first base line. And we understand that Scott Eyre was also somehow injured on the play. Sweet Sassy Molassy, what next?

4. Our Pencil Was Worn To The Nub. The Camden Yards public address announcer kept it short and to the point: "There will be a slight delay in beginning the seventh inning, ladies and gentlemen, as every player is tested for banned substances. Thank you for your patience." At that point 21 runs had already been scored by the Orioles and Indians, in a game which Baltimore eventually won 18-9. The teams combined for 35 hits, including six homers and seven doubles, and there were two stolen bases and five errors (weee!). There were 10 runs scored in the seventh inning alone, seven by the Orioles, with Kevin Millar's two-run double giving Baltimore an 8-7 lead.

5. Look Out, The Twins Are Coming!. Oh, you're so boring. You've given every team the exact same Web site; the layout never varies. Fortunately though, most of the teams themselves are pretty exciting. Take the Twins, for instance. Minnesota got its seventh come-from-behind win of the season, 12-10 over the Angels, on Michael Cuddyer's pinch-hit walkoff homer on Wednesday. Oh, and he hit off of former Twins reliever J.C. Romero, who was traded during the offseason.

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