With Hurricane Irene looming, the Red Sox and Athletics took nearly 11 hours to complete a doubleheader Saturday, with Boston sweeping Oakland, 9-3 and 4-0, in between three long rain delays. The opener started at 12:02 p.m. and the nightcap ended at 10:58.

"I remember this one at-bat, I got water dripping out of my helmet. So you have the water, you have the ball coming," David Ortiz said. "You just stick with it."

He managed all right, going 5 for 8 with four RBIs.

Highs and lows

How much does Detroit rely on righthander Justin Verlander, who became the first 20-game winner in the majors this season? Sports Illustrated points out that when he starts, the Tigers are 21-8 this season, and 52-51 otherwise. Detroit skipper Jim Leyland better keep his ace wrapped in cotton for the duration.

On the other hand, there's Houston Astros manager Brad Mills, who may need to take precautions to keep a couple of his starters - namely ex-Phillies J.A. Happ (4-15) and Brett Myers (3-13, 0-7 in his last 13 starts) - from losing 20 games this season.

"Hopefully that's not an issue," he said. "That wouldn't be too cool. We have other issues." (Such as the 'Stros' reaching 90 losses faster than at any time in franchise history - including when they were the Colt .45s in the Jurassic 1960s - with a 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, despite Myers' going seven strong innings.)

Contact staff writer Michael Harrington at mharrington@phillynews.com.
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.