Going into the final week of interleague play, the American League is cleaning up on the National League, again

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TheAL, which will likely win the series for the ninth straight year, had an outstanding weekend. The New York Yankees swept three games atWashington, outscoring the Nationals 16-6.Torontodealt a blow to the Philadelphia Phillies by winning all three games.

The Los Angeles Angels shutoutArizonatwice in winning that series, andBaltimoredid the same toAtlanta. In somewhat of a surprise,Kansas Citywon its series againstSt. Louis, whileSeattleupendedSan Francisco.

Bostonwon its series against the Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers swept three straight from the intrastate rival Houston Astros, outscoring them 23-8.

On Monday, the NL had its way with theAL, winning six of nine games, but it trailed the AL 99-80 in total contests this season.

The NL hasn’t always been this bad since interleague play began in 1997, when it won the series 117-97. And the NL won four of the first seven years before its recent drought.

Since the NL’s last overall interleague play win in 2003, the AL has mopped up, going 154-98 in 2006; 149-103 in 2008, and winning 40 more games than the NL in 2009-10. Last season, the NL lost out to theALby 10 games. Overall, theALled 2,038-1,853 in all games through Monday.

The NL can trim its deficit with a good week, but it still lags far behind theAL. Maybe a win in the All-Star Game and another in the World Series will make them feel better.

Dickey stays on a roll: New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey continued his mastery over opposing hitters with his knuckleball, posting another ne-hitter after beatingBaltimore 5-0 on Monday night.

He’s the first major league pitcher since 1988 to throw consecutive one-hitters. Dickey struck out a career-high 13 against the Orioles, and gave up only a single to Wilson Betemit in the fifth inning.

Last Wednesday atTampaBay, Dickey fanned 12, allowing just an infield hit to B.J. Upton in the Mets 9-1 win.

“Yeah, it’s surreal,” Dickey said. “You almost get emotional out there, especially that last hitter. You hear everybody, like one big heartbeat beating. I’m just going to try to be in the moment with it.”

Dickey (11-1 with a 2.00 ERA) has not allowed an earned run in 42 2/3 innings, which is second in club history to Dwight Gooden’s 49-inning streak in 1985. He’s only the 10th pitcher since 1911 to throw consecutive complete games with one hit or less.

Dickey’s next start will be at home on Sunday night against the New York Yankees.

StatsWatch: Matt Cain threw a perfect game last week in the San Francisco Giants 10-0 win overHouston atAT&TPark. Here are some facts from his gem:

  • Cain threw the franchise’s first perfect game, 14th no-hitter in club history and the 22nd perfect game in major league history.
  • He struck out a career-high 14 batters.
  • It was the majors’ fifth no-hitter this season and the second perfect game.
  • The 125 pitches Cain threw were the most ever in a perfect game.
  • It was the Giants first no-hitter since Jonathan Sanchez did it on July 10, 2009 againstSan DiegoatAT&TPark.
  • The 10 runs scored by the Giants are the most ever in a perfect game.
  • Cain’s 14 Ks are tied for the most in a perfect game with Sandy Koufax, who did it in 1965.

Diamond Notes: Reds 3B Scott Rolen was activated on Monday after being on the disabled list since early May with a strained left shoulder…RHP Brad Lidge was designated for assignment this week by the Washington Nationals. He was 0-1 with two saves and a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances this season. Lidge spent the last four seasons with Philadelphia before signing a one-year contract with the Nationals…Atlanta RHP Brandon Beachy was placed on the 15-day DL with a partial tear in his right elbow. He was leading the majors with a 2.00 ERA, in his first big league season…Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster went on the 15-day DL with tightness in his right latissimus dorsi muscle. Dempster, who is expected to be traded by the July 31 trade deadline, has won three straight starts with 22 consecutive scoreless innings. His 2.11 ERA ranked third in the NL…Roger Clemens was acquitted Monday on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used performance-enhancing drugs near the end of his major league career. Clemens’ name will appear on Hall of Fame ballots this fall for the first time, but allegations of drug use could hurt his chances…The Phillies’ Jim Thome hit his 100th home run with the team on Sunday, becoming the fourth player to hit 100 homers with three different teams, joining Reggie Jackson, Alex Rodriguez and Darrell Evans. He hit 337 homers with the Indians and 134 with the White Sox.

Copyright © 2012  Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media. 

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