LEADING OFF: Angels-Rangers series starts, Price’s tuneup
A look at what’s happening around the major leagues Thursday:
LET’S SETTLE THIS
The AL West could be decided this weekend when the first-place Rangers host the hard-charging Angels in a four-game series. Los Angeles lost Wednesday and is in third place and three games back of Texas. The Rangers overtook Houston for the division lead earlier in the month and are trying to hold off both teams for the title – the Astros are 2 1/2 back. Rookie Andrew Heaney (6-3, 3.29) goes for L.A. against Derek Holland (3-3, 4.99).
PRICE IS RIGHT
David Price makes his final regular-season tuneup before Toronto heads into the postseason as the AL East champs wrap a four-game series in Baltimore. Toronto has been the AL’s best team in the second half, and Price – 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts since joining the Blue Jays before the non-waiver trade deadline – has been a key reason. Tyler Wilson (2-2, 3.60) makes his fifth career start in a game moved to 12:05 p.m. EDT from 7:05 due to the threat of rain.
Giants starter Tim Hudson will make the final start of his 17-year big league career in the finale of a four-game series against the Dodgers. Hudson enters with 222 victories, the most by any active pitcher, just ahead of Bartolo Colon (218). The undersized Auburn product is a four-time All-Star with three top-four finishes in Cy Young Award balloting. Brett Anderson (9-9, 3.75) pitches for playoff-bound Los Angeles.
Most of the Red Sox don’t have much left to play for, but Rich Hill will make one last tryout for a 2016 contract offer in what’s been a storybook season for the one-time MLB castoff. Hill went from pitching in independent ball to Boston’s rotation this summer and has a 1.17 ERA with 30 strikeouts over his first three starts. The 35-year-old Boston native hadn’t started a big league game since 2009 prior to this season. C.C. Sabathia (5-10, 4.82) goes for the Yankees.
The Twins continue their pursuit of an AL wild-card spot as they wrap a four-game set against the Indians. Minnesota will send out rookie Tyler Duffey, who has been a late-season revelation, winning each of his past five decisions. The Twins are 1 1/2 games behind Houston for the final wild-card spot. The Indians, eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday, will be without OF Michael Brantley, who is done for the year because of a sore right shoulder.