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O's face crowded house for AL wild cards

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O's face crowded house for AL wild cards

Lets just suppose the Orioles arent able to make any deal by Tuesdays non-waiver trading deadline. What are their chances of sticking in the wild-card race with their current team?

A large part of the answer to that question has to do with who else is in the race. Within the American League East, the competition is with three flawed teams.

The Red Sox have had their moments this season, but overall, they dont seem to have recovered from last Septembers collapse, playing under .500 since then. Theyve had major issues in the rotation and still arent healthy in the batting lineup. Health also has been a huge problem for the Blue Jays, who lost three-fifths of their starters and now slugger Jose Bautista to injury. Plus, Torontos erstwhile ace, Ricky Romero, has been putting up head-shaking outings in recent months. The Rays have managed to hang in despite continuing struggles to score runs. Theyre getting outstanding seasons from starter David Price and closer Fernando Rodney.

Outside the division, though, there are two pairs of teams who keep leapfrogging each other. The Tigers and White Sox are taking turns leading the Central, with the second-place team often sitting in one of the wild-card spots. The second- and third-place teams in the West, the Angels and As, occupy those berths for the moment. There are also the Indians, just 3 12 games out of the last berth.

Facing those eight teams, the Orioles have to be better than six of them. So its back to the same question: Without adding a starting pitcher, first baseman or outfielder, can the Orioles make the playoffs?

Maybe they can stay ahead of the rest of AL East also-rans, though if the Rays just get a little bit of hitting, the Os would have problems with them. And certainly the As have to cool off soon. But as currently constituted, the Orioles would struggle in such a multi-team race.

Francesco Molinari wins Open Championship for first career major title

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USA TODAY Sports

Francesco Molinari wins Open Championship for first career major title

It was only a mere three weeks ago that Francesco Molinari closed with a final round 62 en route to a dominant eight-shot victory at the 2018 Quicken Loans National. 

On Sunday, his eight-under total was good enough for a two-shot win over Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele.

The 35-year-old played his final round alongside Tiger Woods, who shot a 5-under-par 66 in Saturday's third round that left him at 5 under through 54 holes and four shots back of the leaders. His 66 was his first weekend round in the 60s in the Open since 2007.

The 14-time major winner had to settle for a closing round of 71 on Sunday. It was his first Open since missing the cut at St. Andrews in 2015.

Molinari continues to be one of the world's hottest golfers, notching his third win in the last five starts. 

Some of golf's best weighed in on Sunday: 

When it was all said and done, on a day that featured difficult Carnoustie wind conditions, Francesco Molinari emerged victorious hoisting the Claret Jug. 

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.

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