The Baseball Notebook

September 5, 2010 6:19 AM

Giants-Padres Race Tightens Further

Uribe2.jpgAs we turn the corner into the fall, San Diego is one of the few cities with legitimate hopes of sweeping the World Series & Super Bowl. The Notebook's pro football arm will document that later today with a preview of the AFC West, led up by the Chargers. But the baseball team seems to be doing everything it can to kick away their chances, as the Padres dropped their ninth straight and let San Francisco creep to within two games in the NL West. San Diego fell to Colorado, as they couldn't contain Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, who combined to go 7-for-14, and Todd Helton came up behind them to drive in a pair. San Francisco took advantage by rallying late against Los Angeles closer Jonathan Broxton, who blew his sixth save of the season, as the Giants rallied from 4-1 down behind a big home run by Juan Uribe.

Another West leader is having its share of problems lately and that's Texas, who dropped their second straight to Minnesota, this one 12-4 as Colby Lewis was battered for nine runs and didn't get out of the fourth. Texas isn't being challenged in the AL West, but if they were in any other division, their slide would have hit the national radar. Dallas is another city with hopes of the World Series-Super Bowl parlay, but the baseball team needs to get things figured out.

Elsewhere, the White Sox still gained a half-game on the Twins by sweeping a doubleheader in Boston, both games finishing at 3-1. John Danks and Gavin Floyd led up a pitching effort that held to Boston to 13 hits over the two games, with 11 of them being singles. At the top of the AL East, the Yankees kept churning in spite of a poor pitching performance by Javier Vazquez--what's new on either count? Tampa Bay lost in Baltimore, as the Orioles beat up James Shields, who's ERA has risen to 4.92. If Shields played in New York we'd be subjected to several commentaries a week about his struggles and what it portended for the postseason.

Jumping back to the National League, Cincinnati got the one win they needed in St. Louis to keep the Cardinals safely at a distance, grabbing an easy 6-1 triumph behind Travis Wood. The leaders of the NL East rolled along. Atlanta held its lead with a 2-0 win over Florida. Alex Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a double to help get Jair Jurrjen the runs he needed. Philadelphia's Ryan Howard continues to heat up. He's got a four-game hitting streak and last night hit his third home run in that span in a 5-4 win over Milwaukee. The Phils continue to hold the wild-card lead and stay hot on Atlanta's heels for the division title.

Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Notebook Sports Family, published through the Real Clear Sports blog network, offering daily commentary on baseball and previews in college football and the NFL.

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