Baseball races tighten, Mauga’s hurt, fall sports and boxing return | NevadaAppeal.com

Baseball races tighten, Mauga’s hurt, fall sports and boxing return

As football readies for the first weekend of preseason games, the baseball playoff race is starting to take shape.

A comfortable lead at the all-star break vanished completely for a day when the Giants saw their nine-game advantage over the Dodgers disappear this week. But Wednesday’s win over the Marlins – and their first series victory since the break – coupled with an LA loss gave the Giants a slight advantage with six weeks remaining.

The NL West, though, isn’t the only division with some drama developing.

Back east in the American League, Toronto’s back on top followed by Baltimore (one game back) and Boston (2.5) but just placed all-star slugger Jose Bautista on the 15-day disabled list this week. In the central, the Indians are seeing its cushion shrink with the Tigers coming together at the right time while defending World Series champs Kansas City is 10 games back and five under .500. Texas is the only team in the AL with a comfortable lead of 7.5 games over Seattle.

If the season ended today, Baltimore and Boston would take the wild cards. But there’s still a lot of season left.

In the National League, the eastern and central divisions aren’t even close.

The Cubs have been hot since the break and hold a 12-game lead over St. Louis while the Nationals are 7.5 games ahead of Miami, which is tied with St. Louis for the second wild card. The Mets have lost their way from last year’s pennant winning club while Pittsburgh is struggling to stay above .500.

In the west, the Giants can’t hit and continue to waste Madison Bumgarner’s strong outings in the second half. The Dodgers, without Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw, have still managed to fight back. Both teams face each other nine more times, including the season-ending three-game series in San Francisco.

MAUGA OFF TO SLOW START

Fallon’s Josh Mauga is having déjà vu this month.

The ex-Greenwave and Wolf Pack linebacker is nursing a groin injury in training camp with the Chiefs. He participated in Tuesday’s light workout but was inactive on Wednesday as he continues to work on his recovery.

During camp last year, Mauga sat out with an injury and missed several weeks of the regular season before getting back on the field. Everything turned out OK as he helped the defense throughout the year as Kansas City made the playoffs.

The Chiefs host the Seahawks in the first preseason game on Saturday at Arrowhead.

WAVE SPORTS BEGIN PRACTICE

Monday marked the official start of the fall season for the Greenwave.

While it’s still early to make any projections on how Fallon will begin the new school year, the focus will be on the football team again to see how it does in defending its state crown. But what has made Fallon stand out is its collective success from all the sports.

The volleyball team made a giant step forward last year and the tennis and soccer teams gear toward making a run for the postseason. Cross country and girls golf should also be competitive despite coaching changes with Tommy Thomson (cross country) and Phil Pinder (golf) stepping down.

The sports seasons don’t disappoint in the Lahontan Valley as the fall’s first game is in two weeks when the football team travels to Fernley.

RURAL RUMBLE ANNOUNCES TITLE FIGHTS

Fallon’s Rural Rumble, an annual professional boxing event put on by Let’s Get It On Promotions, Top Rank Boxing and the city of Fallon, continues to get better every year.

Reno’s Oscar Vasquez returns and will defend the NABF Light Flyweight title when boxing invades the county fairgrounds on Aug. 27. He will take on Puerto Rico’s Janiel Rivera. Sacramento’s Guy Robb and Columbia’s Miguel Marriaga will battle for the NABO Featherweight title.

Several of the fights will be televised by UniMas, marking the third-straight year Fallon was in the national and global spotlight.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at lvnsports@yahoo.com.