A Regular Season Slate Which Doubles As A Playoff Preview The two hottest teams in the NL to this point in the season are the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals. Last night the two faced off in a potential preview of the NL Pennant matchup. This time around the Cubs claimed a narrow victory 4-3 by scoring a run in the top of the ninth after the Nationals plated one in the bottom of the eighth to draw even. This game didn’t feature both respective aces (Chris Arrieta and Stephen Strasburg) who also double as some of the leading candidates for the NL Cy Young award but fans are eagerly anticipating a potential matchup between the 10-1 Arrieta and the 10-0 Strasburg. Over in the AL the leaders in the East did battle as well; the Baltimore Orioles pulled out a close one (3-2) against the Boston Red Sox to pull a game ahead in the standings. For his second straight start (and second loss) David Price was undone by the longball – all three runs were plated against him off of a pair of homers meaning an 11-K, 8 inning performance was wasted. Chris Tillman went 7 strong innings with as many strikeouts to move to 9-1 on the season. Zach Britton picked up his 20th save with a clean ninth for the Orioles placing him in sole possession of the saves lead in the AL and placing Baltimore of sole possession of first place – leading by only a single game in the standings. Fortunately for baseball fans, the AL East wasn’t the only division with leaders clashing last night. Over in the AL Central the Royals made up some ground on the Cleveland Indians by picking up a dramatic 3-2 win. Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez was the hero, hitting a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth to give KC the advantage. The Royals are now only a single game behind Cleveland for top spot in the AL Central. If that wasn’t enough AL Central action – the closely following third and fourth place teams also squared off last night. In a game where both starting pitchers (Jordan Zimmerman and Miguel Gonzalez) got rocked the Detroit Tigers claimed an 11-8 victory over the Chicago White Sox. After the dust settled Detroit climb to only 2 games back of the division lead while Chicago sit at 3.5 back. The Al Central is pretty much anyone’s division now – except for the lowly Twins who sit 15 games off of the pace after being dealt a 5-4 defeat at the hand of the LA Angels. Cellar Dwellers aside this will be one of the most fascinating races to watch unfold as four evenly matched teams jockey for positioning.