Wakeup call: Say hello to your (tied for) first-place Orioles

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Wakeup call: Say hello to your (tied for) first-place Orioles

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, September 5:

BASEBALL
Derek Jeter describes blowing a 10-game lead in 47 days as "scuffling a little bit". (AP) Yeah, we've been scuffling a little bit up here, too, Jetes.

Meanwhile, the Orioles -- as in, the tied-for-first-place Orioles (yes, it's still okay to shake your head in disbelief) -- are "just having a good time," says Mark Reynolds. (AP)

And now just about everyone in baseball is looking forward to the four-game series between the Yanks and O's this weekend at Camden Yards. (CSN Baltimore)

Pitching in the major leagues at age 50? Even Roger Clemens thinks that's a stretch. (NBC's Hardball Talk) But at 51 . . . ?

Keith Hernandez and his mustache are back in the news. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Stories are seeping out about Billy Gillispie, and none of them are good. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Yo, Steve Sarkasian: It's just their nickname. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Notre Dame isn't done punishing Allen Pinkett just yet. (College Football Talk)

USC didn't cover the 40-point spread against Hawaii -- the Trojans only won by 39 -- so the AP voters promptly replaced them with Alabama at the top of their poll. (AP)

Defending itself in the Jerry Sandusky scandal has cost Penn State 16.8 million . . . and counting. (AP)

GOLF
Now that we know who's on the Ryder Cup team, let's take a guess at the pairings. (golfchannel.com)

HOCKEY
Wayne Gretzky's lifelong dream was to play a game in Russia. Sort of a strange dream if you ask me, but he's finally getting the chance. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

We'll talk, say the players. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Well, talk amongst yourselves then, say the owners. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Dwyane Wade says he's ahead of schedule in his rehab from knee surgery. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
On the day of the season opener, the Patriots are ranked No. 3 in NBC's Pro Football Talk's power rankings.

Having already notched Tom Brady, Wes Welker (sort of) and Rob Gronkowski (also kind of sort of) on his belt, Bernard Pollard is taking aim at A.J. Green. (CSN Baltimore) So much for the kinder, gentler NFL.

Redskins receiver Josh Morgan thinks RGIII is a hybrid of Michael Vick, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. (Pro Football Talk) And just imagine how good he'll be after he actually plays a couple of games, eh, Josh?

The Vikings will decide Saturday whether or not to play Adrian Peterson in the season opener. (AP)

The NFLPA is investigating Drew Rosenhaus. (Pro Football Talk)

And it won't let Bountygate die. (AP)

Yes, that's Chad Ochojohnson refusing to give up the ghost. (Pro Football Talk)

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six


After leaving Thursday night's game in the fifth inning and missing Friday night's game, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to six in a 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pedroia felt pain his left knee Thursday night and was taken out of the game by manager John Farrell as a precaution. The rainy conditions and wet field were also factors in keeping the second baseman out Thursday and Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on the knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked various confrontations between the Orioles and Red Sox.

Left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his second start of the season for Boston and right-handed reliever Ben Taylor was optioned to the PawSox. Right-hander Rob Whalen, 23,  comes up from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season for the Mariners. 

The lineups:

MARINERS
Jean Segura SS
Danny Valencia 1B
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Taylor Motter LF
Guillermo Heredia RF
Mike Zunino C
Jarrod Dyson CF
---
Rob Whalen RHP

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Deven Marrero 3B
---
Brian Johnson LHP 

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

BOSTON -- The Red Sox scored runs in bunches in tallying four consecutive victories. They leaned on pitching and defense to earn their latest.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners for their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third win in a row for Rodriguez (4-1), who gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

"I just go out there and pitch," Rodriguez said. "I'm never really thinking about numbers. I just go out there and throw my pitches and do the best I can do."

That effort is producing one of the best stretches of his three-year career.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span. He hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings and only 11 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings. His ERA is just 2.01 over that same period.

"He was amazing," Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "Put zeroes on the board all night long. And he made the big pitch when he needed to."

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Manager John Farrell said his 24-year-old pitcher is in a "very good place" right now.

"He was powerful tonight," he said. "It's just a matter of his abilities coming together. This has always been an extremely talented young guy. We've talked about his maturity, we've talked about his progression. It's been on display here for a good number of starts consecutively."

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs.

"The whole night obviously wasn't consistent," he said.

Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help defensively. Bradley had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBIs in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

MISSING: OFFENSE

Mariners manager Scott Servais said they are doing everything they can to find production from an offense that has gone missing.

"Offensively, we struggled to put innings together. That's kind of been the story here for the last week or so, we just haven't gotten the line moving at all, for whatever reason," he said. "Guys are frustrated by it, we all are. We know we're better than that, offensively. It's not happening right now."

Seattle was held scoreless for the fourth time this season.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his first major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.