19 Sep

pitching in

Matt Maloney, the former Ole Miss star, made an emergency start for Cincinnati on Sunday — and wound up needing to call for aid himself. Maloney lasted just 1 2/3 innings against Milwaukee, which rolled to an 8-1 win and inched closer to clinching the National League Central title. That game was one of four involving division leaders and chasers on Sunday in which Mississippi-connected hurlers had a profound impact. Former Jackson Generals ace Freddy Garcia took a loss for the New York Yankees, dropping to 11-8 for the year. The Yanks’ lead over Boston in the AL East is a precarious 4 1/2 games. (And the Red Sox’s lead over Tampa Bay in the wild card is an even more precarious 2.) Ex-Mississippi Braves lefty Matt Harrison won his 13th for Texas, which remained 4 1/2 games up on the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. The Atlanta Braves got a wobbly start from Brandon Beachy and a weak relief effort from Jonny Venters — both M-Braves alums — in a 7-5 loss to the New York Mets. Ex-M-Braves closer Manny Acosta wriggled out of a ninth-inning jam to notch the save for the Mets. The Braves’ lead in the wild card is just 3 1/2 games on St. Louis and 4 on red-hot San Francisco. … Two key games today will be started by former M-Braves: Mike Minor gets the call for Atlanta against Florida and Scott Diamond will start for Minnesota against the Yankees.
P.S. Former Delta State standout Eli Whiteside, who went to the disabled list with a concussion (face-first slide vs. Atlanta) in late August, hasn’t been much of a factor in San Francisco’s recent surge. Whiteside is batting just .130 (3-for-23) in September and has seen more playing time going to the Giants’ other catchers, rookies Chris Stewart and Hector Sanchez.

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