In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday
- Matt Moore earned an important win in his first major league start as the Rays beat the Yankees 15-8 and pulled within two games of the wild card and the idle Red Sox. His signature victory came against a lineup featuring such Yankee luminaries as Chris Dickerson, Austin Romine, Ramiro Pena, Brandon Laird, and Greg Golson. Afterward, Moore asked to keep the game ball, but Laird had already sold it to a fan for six dollars so he could eat his first meal in a week.
- "I hate the Red Sox," Yankees catcher Russell Martin told reporters before Thursday's game. "Anything to get the Red Sox out would be awesome for me." Luckily for Martin, the teams meet this weekend, and he'll have a great chance to contribute to that effort by getting hit with several baseballs.
- Edwin Encarnacion's walk-off home run in the 12th inning gave the Blue Jays a 4-3 win and dealt the Angels what might be a fatal blow to their playoff hopes. Toronto is now the first team in major league history to win 10 extra-inning home games without a loss. "It's almost better than making the playoffs!" said manager John Farrell, grinning wildly. "Right?! Am I right?!" He then threw himself on the clubhouse floor and begged not to be fired.
- After establishing a 6-2 lead, the Cardinals suffered a ninth-inning collapse and fell 8-6 to the Mets. The devastating loss hurt their chance at the wild card, as they now trail by Atlanta by two games with six remaining. "Don't make a mistake and say we're heartbroken," said Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, attempting to stay upbeat. He then considered the poetry of his words and wrote them down in his "potential song" notebook, next to lines like, "a base isn't the only thing a man can steal" and "I think I'm in love with Albert Pujols."
- After suffering a concussion against the Falcons last week, Eagles QB Michael Vick has been cleared to play against the Giants. To avoid further injury, his helmet is being re-fitted with Kevlar padding. Kevlar is a more protective material than the foam used in most helmets. The only NFL personality to use Kevlar before Vick was Rex Ryan, but he used the material to protect his wife's feet.
- Marlins closer Leo Nunez has apparently been playing under an assumed identity. His real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo, and he's a year older (29) than the Marlins media guide indicates. Oviedo returned to the Dominican Republic Thursday to deal with the issue. Faced with one of the strangest stories of the year, thousands of Miami residents were left wondering the same thing: "We have a baseball team?"
- Matt Kemp went 4-5 with a home run and three doubles as the Dodgers topped the Giants 8-2. One more San Francisco loss, and the defending champs will be eliminated from playoff contention. "Everything went wrong this year," said pitcher Madison Bumgarner. He then considered the poetry of his words and called up Tony LaRussa to see if he wanted them for his "potential song" notebook.
- Abby Wambach scored two goals for the U.S. in a 3-0 victory over Canada in a Portland exhibition. The win goes a long way to erasing the bad memories from the World Cup final against Japan, and also goes a long way to erasing the bad memories from that time I tried to buy a gumball with a Canadian quarter.
- Another negotiating session between NBA players and owners ended with no progress, and the league is set to announce Friday that training camp will be postponed. David Stern, attempting to reassure fans, said that training camp shouldn't be postponed for long. "Probably just a few weeks," he said. "Then the season will get canceled and we won't even have to worry about training camp. So cheer up!"
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