PITTSBURGH — When St. Amant native Ben Sheets takes the mound in Wednesday’s regular-season finale against the Pirates, he’ll be making the final start of his career.
“I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I’m not playing again,” Sheets said in a story published on MLB.com. “No matter what, there is not enough help or money to pull me out of this one.”
Sheets, who underwent Tommy John surgery midway through the 2010 season and surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow two years earlier, enjoyed a comeback with the Braves, who lured him out of his two-year retirement in July. He went 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA in his first five starts and later began experiencing right shoulder trouble.
ORIOLES 1, RAYS 0: In St. Petersburg, Fla., Chris Davis homered for the sixth straight game and the Baltimore Orioles overcame a club-record 15 strikeouts by James Shields to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 Tuesday night, pushing the AL East race to the final day of the season.
Baltimore began the night one game behind the first-place New York Yankees.
YANKEES 4, RED SOX 3, 12 INNINGS: In New York, Raul Ibanez tied it with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning then had an RBI single in the 12th, helping the Yankees remain a game up on Baltimore in the AL East with one game to go.
The Yankees need a win or Orioles loss on the final day of the season to secure their 13th division title since 1996.
If the teams end up even after Wednesday’s games, they’ll play a tiebreaker Thursday in Baltimore.
ROYALS 4, TIGERS 2: In Kansas City, Mo., Miguel Cabrera had two hits and drove in two runs before leaving in the fifth inning, and the Kansas City Royals rallied to beat his AL Central champion Detroit.
With one game remaining in the regular season, Cabrera leads the American League in average (.331), home runs (44) and RBIs (139), putting him on the brink of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
REDS 3, CARDINALS 1: In St. Louis, Mat Latos won his fourth straight decision to finish the regular season and Scott Rolen homered off Chris Carpenter, helping the Cincinnati Reds keep the St. Louis Cardinals’ postseason plans on hold.
The Cardinals’ magic number for clinching the second NL wild card remained at one with a game to go, and they were left in the uncomfortable position of watching the Dodgers on television and rooting for a loss for the second straight night. e_SClBLos Angeles, which began the day two games back with two remaining, played at home against the Giants later Tuesday.
The 37-year-old Carpenter (0-2) has a wealth of big-game experience and went 4-0 in the postseason last fall for the World Series champions, memorably outdueling Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the NL division series.