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The Closer: Turns Out There's Some There, There

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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Sleepless In Oakland. Maybe if Nick Swisher began dating Paris Hilton, or if Huston Street was a finalist on America's Got Talent, maybe, then, someone would notiice the Oakland A's. All they've done in August is go 12-1, including Wednesday's 4-0 win over Seattle, to open a 6 1/2-game lead over the second-place Angels in the AL West. And if that result surprises you, you've obviously been living in a sealed grotto at the zoo. The A's have won 15 straight over the Mariners, matching the major league record for most consecutive wins over a division opponent.


2. David And Goliath. If you're a Red Sox or Yankees fan who can go to only one series this season — a prospect that's a little odd, quite frankly; we're guessing trouble with the law? — then it should probably be the five-game set between NY and Boston at Fenway beginning Friday. It should be quite memorable. David Ortiz's major league-leading 42nd home run, and David Wells' seven-inning pitching, led the Stockings of Red to a 6-4 win over the Tigers. (We'll say "Coco Crisp" now just for the fun of it). Meanwhile, Adam Loewen and four relievers helped the Orioles beat the Yankees 3-2, as Boston climbed to within two games of first-place NY.

3. Oops You Did It Again, You Played With My Heart ... . When Bronson Arroyo beats you in August, well, we don't really feel like talking about this. Reds 7, Cardinals 2, Bronson Arroyo ends 10-start winless streak. We shall now ingest an entire bottle of Johnny Drama's Propecia pills.

4. Oh, You Phillies. Philadelphia in the wild card hunt? Apparently. Jon Lieber pitched his first shutout in more than five years, Chris Coste hit a two-run homer and the Phillies won their third straight game over the Mets, 3-0.

5. Grudzalinik Gubzookik Brown Leads Royals past White Sox. Mark Grudzielanek celebrated his new $4 million, 1-year contract with a three-run homer as the Royals beat the White Sox 10-4.

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