Saturday’s early MLB games: Four to enjoy

This weekend of MLB action began in exhilarating style last night.  The Red Sox-Yankees 15 inning classic lived up to the series hype (not an easy task), the Padres downed the Mets with a ninth inning grand slam by Everth Cabrera, Ryan Langerhans delivered a walk-off win for the Mariners over the Rays and the Braves recovered from a walk-off loss on Thursday by coming from behind to beat the Dodgers in 12 innings.

We can expect more of the same today, starting with four early games that fans in the UK can enjoy live during the British evening.

Saturday 8 August

18.07. Orioles @ Blue Jays – Tillman (0-0), Cecil (5-1)
21.05. Reds @ Giants – Arroyo (10-10), Zito (7-10)
21.10. Red Sox @ Yankees – Buchholz (1-1), Sabathia (11-7)
21.10. Rangers @ Angels – Millwood (9-7), Weaver (11-3)

All times in BST

We start with a game between the Orioles and Blue Jays, giving us a chance to watch the much-talked-about Chris Tillman making his third Major League start.  The O’s recovered from an 0-3 deficit to win 7-5 last night, despite Alex Rios and Vernon Wells going deep for the Blue Jays.

The Reds-Giants and Rangers-Angels games should both be worth watching.  San Francisco are tied with the Rockies for second place in the NL West and first place in the NL Wild card race.  Getting some good starts from their most expensive pitcher will be a big boost to their postseason chances and Zito has done that much the last four times out.  The Angels lead over the Rangers in the AL West fell to 3.5 games after Texas hammered them 11-6 yesterday.  A series sweep by the Rangers would bring the difference down to 1.5.

For all the appeal of those two games, most people will head towards the latest Red Sox-Yankees encounter.  A late afternoon game after a long extra innings game yesterday could take its toll, although it’s hard to imagine the Yankees will be tired after such an astonishing win.  The Red Sox will be down, yet one of the beauties of the regular season is that they don’t have to wait long to gain revenge.  Add in a great pitching match-up in the young hopeful Clay Buchholz and CC Sabathia and you’ve got all the ingredients for another classic.

All the above games can be followed via various resources on MLB.com (Gameday, Gameday Audio and MLB.tv).  ESPN America will broadcast the Orioles-Blue Jays game live at 18.00, followed by Red Sox-Yankees at 21.00 and then Twins-Tigers at midnight

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