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  • MLB notebook: Nationals acquire closer Melancon
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 30, 2016

    The Washington Nationals addressed their struggling bullpen by acquiring All-Star closer Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the teams announced Saturday.

    • The Pirates received left-handed reliever Felipe Rivero and minor league left-hander Taylor Hearn as part of the trade.

      The 31-year-old, right-handed Melancon is 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 30 saves in 45 appearances this season. He is a three-time All-Star with a 2.65 career ERA and 151 saves in eight seasons with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and Pirates. He saved a league-high 51 games in 2015.

      Melancon is expected to serve as the closer for the Nationals after veteran closer Jonathan Papelbon struggled to close out games in the ninth over the past week.

      Rivero, 25, went 0-3 with one save and a 4.53 ERA in 47 relief appearances this season with the Nationals. He was 2-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 96 career games for Washington.

      Hearn, 21, went a combined 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 games (four starts) between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals and Class A Hagerstown.

      --The San Francisco Giants activated outfielder Hunter Pence from the 15-day disabled list after being out for two months with a torn hamstring.

      Pence tore his right hamstring off the bone while running the bases during a game on June 1 and had surgery a week later. Before going on the disabled list, Pence was batting .298 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.

      The Giants designated infielder Ramiro Pena for assignment to make room for Pence on the active roster.

      --The Seattle Mariners placed right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns on the 15-day disabled list with a low back strain.

      Karns, 28, is 6-2 with a 5.15 ERA over 94 1/3 innings with 101 strikeouts and 45 walks in 22 games this season. Karns was 6-2 with a 4.56 ERA over 81 innings in 15 starts before being demoted to the bullpen. In relief, he has recorded one save while posting an 8.78 ERA over 13 1/3 innings with 17 strikeouts and seven walks in seven appearances.

      The Mariners also recalled right-hander Cody Martin from Triple-A Tacoma.

      Martin, 26, is 9-6 with a 3.95 ERA over 98 innings with 96 strikeouts and 30 walks in 22 games (17 starts) with Tacoma. In one prior stint with Seattle this season, he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA over four innings with two strikeouts and one walk in two games.

      --Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was held out of the starting lineup Saturday after starting the previous 30 games in a row.

      Rizzo has played 99 games this season, which is second on the team to third baseman Kris Bryant.

      "He has really been needing a day (off)," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We rely on him so heavily."

  • MLB roundup: Jays rout Orioles, take AL East lead
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 30, 2016

    TORONTO -- J.A. Happ struck out 11 in seven-plus innings, Kevin Pillar hit a pair of two-run doubles and Toronto Blue Jays moved into first place in the American League East with a 9-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

    • Devon Travis hit a solo homer and Russell Martin and Pillar each hit two-run doubles in the seven-run fifth as the Blue Jays moved a half-game ahead of the Orioles, who have lost five in a row.

      Happ (14-3) held the Orioles to three hits, three walks and one run in winning his eighth straight decision. The left-hander has not lost since June 6.

      Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo (3-3) allowed five hits, five walks and five runs in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five in losing for the first time in his career against the Blue Jays. He was 5-0 against them, including a playoff win last year.

      Mariners 4, Cubs 1

      CHICAGO -- Leonys Martin hit a go-ahead, two-run double against closer Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning to lift Seattle over Chicago.

      The Cubs led 1-0 in the eighth inning when Chapman entered the game with runners on second and third base and two outs. On a 1-1 count, Martin ripped the left-hander's third pitch to left-center field to score Shawn O'Malley and Nori Aoki. Martin later scored on a wild pitch by Chapman to make it 3-1.

      Chapman suffered his first blown save with the Cubs since coming over from the New York Yankees in a blockbuster trade Monday. It was his second blown save of the season.

      Kris Bryant, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist each singled for the Cubs' only hits. Chicago lost for the second time in 58 games when leading after the seventh inning.

  • Giants activate OF Pence from DL
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 30, 2016

    The San Francisco Giants activated outfielder Hunter Pence from the 15-day disabled list Saturday after being out for two months with a torn hamstring.

    • Pence was in Saturday's lineup against the visiting Washington Nationals batting fifth and in right field.

      Pence tore his right hamstring off the bone while running the bases during a game on June 1 and had surgery a week later. Before going on the disabled list, Pence was batting .298 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.

      Pence returns just in time as the Giants (59-44) are 2-11 since the All-Star break and have seen their lead in the National League West shrink to just one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

      "I play the game with a lot of emotion and a lot of energy," Pence said Friday. "Hopefully I can pour much of that vibe out on the field and give them a little boost, so I intend to come ready to help."

      The Giants designated infielder Ramiro Pena for assignment to make room for Pence on the active roster.

      San Francisco also included newly-acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez in the lineup. Nunez led off and played shortstop, giving regular Brandon Crawford a breather.

  • Nationals acquire closer Melancon from Pirates
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 30, 2016

    The Washington Nationals addressed their struggling bullpen by acquiring All-Star closer Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the teams announced Saturday.

    • The Pirates received left-handed reliever Felipe Rivero and minor league left-hander Taylor Hearn as part of the trade.

      The 31-year-old, right-handed Melancon is 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 30 saves in 45 appearances this season. He is a three-time All-Star with a 2.65 career ERA and 151 saves in eight seasons with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and Pirates. He saved a league-high 51 games in 2015.

      Melancon is expected to serve as the closer for the Nationals after veteran closer Jonathan Papelbon struggled to close out games in the ninth over the past week. Papelbon was pulled in the ninth inning of Thursday's game against the San Francisco Giants and took the loss in two other games over the past week. Papelbon, 35, is 2-4 with 19 saves this season and his ERA has ballooned to 4.41 in 35 appearances.

      The Nationals made the trade five days after the Chicago Cubs bolstered their bullpen by acquiring hard-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees.

      Rivero, 25, went 0-3 with one save and a 4.53 ERA in 47 relief appearances this season with the Nationals. He was 2-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 96 career games for Washington.

      Hearn, 21, went a combined 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 games (four starts) between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals and Single-A Hagerstown. He was a fifth-round selection in 2015 out of Oklahoma Baptist University.

  • Mariners place RHP Karns on DL
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 30, 2016

    The Seattle Mariners placed right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a low back strain.

    • Karns, 28, is 6-2 with a 5.15 ERA over 94 1/3 innings with 101 strikeouts and 45 walks in 22 games this season. Karns was 6-2 with a 4.56 ERA over 81 innings in 15 starts before being demoted to the bullpen. In relief, he has recorded one save while posting an 8.78 ERA over 13 1/3 innings with 17 strikeouts and seven walks in seven appearances.

      The Mariners also recalled right-hander Cody Martin from Triple-A Tacoma.

      Martin, 26, is 9-6 with a 3.95 ERA over 98 innings with 96 strikeouts and 30 walks in 22 games (17 starts) with Tacoma. In one prior stint with Seattle this season, he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA over four innings with two strikeouts and one walk in two games.

      Seattle originally claimed Martin off waivers from Oakland on Oct. 29, 2015.

  • MLB roundup: Suzuki goes hitless in Marlins' 11-6 loss
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 30, 2016

    MIAMI -- Ichiro Suzuki remained two hits shy of 3,000 as he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in Miami's 11-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

    • Suzuki lined into a double play, grounded twice and struck out.

      Kolten Wong went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Tommy Pham had three RBIs as St. Louis (56-47) took a one-game lead over the Marlins (55-48) for the second wild card spot in the National League.

      St. Louis right-hander Mike Leake allowed six runs in five innings.

      Jose Urena gave up eight runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, doing so hours after the Marlins acquired starting pitchers Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea in a seven-player trade with the San Diego Padres.

      Blue Jays 6, Orioles 5

      TORONTO -- Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki hit solo home runs in the first inning and Toronto moved within a half-game of first-place Baltimore in the American League East.

      Manny Machado homered for Baltimore, which has dropped four straight.

      Orioles starter Kevin Gausman (2-8) allowed six hits, three walks and six runs in three innings. Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada (6-4) gave up five hits, two walks and four runs (three earned) and had six strikeouts in six innings.

      Indians 5, Athletics 3

      CLEVELAND -- Carlos Santana homered in the sixth inning and Cleveland scored four more in the seventh and rallied past Oakland.

      Abraham Almonte and Jason Kipnis had RBI singles in the seventh for the Indians.

      Josh Reddick and Khris Davis homered for Oakland.

      Cubs 12, Mariners 1

      CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward and David Ross homered as Chicago rolled past Seattle.

      Heyward and Anthony Rizzo had three RBIs apiece for the Cubs, and Jon Lester allowed four hits in six scoreless innings.

      Hisashi Iwakuma allowed five runs and eight hits in three innings for Seattle.

      Rays 5, Yankees 1

      ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jake Odorizzi, the subject of trade rumors, pitched six shutout innings to lead Tampa Bay past New York.

      Logan Forsythe and Corey Dickerson hit solo home runs in the first inning for Tampa Bay.

      Ivan Nova allowed five runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings for the Yankees.

      Tigers 14, Astros 6

      DETROIT -- Tyler Collins and Justin Upton blasted three-run homers and James McCann hit a pinch-homer to help Detroit trounce Houston.

      Matt Boyd allowed four hits in five innings, but two were homers that accounted for three Astros runs.

      Collin McHugh (7-7) lasted only 1 2/3 innings and was roughed up for 10 hits and the Tigers' first eight runs.

      Rockies 6, Mets 1

      NEW YORK -- Carlos Gonzalez finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs as the Colorado remained red-hot.

      Gonzalez opened the scoring and extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI double in the first inning and provided the Rockies plenty of insurance in the ninth with a long three-run homer. The Rockies have won 11 of 15 since the All-Star break to get within a game of .500.

      James Loney went 2-for-4 with a second-inning homer for the Mets, who have lost three straight and four of five, a stretch in which they have scored just 11 runs.

      Braves 2, Phillies 1

      ATLANTA -- Rookie Tyrell Jenkins allowed an unearned run in six innings and picked up his first major league victory in Atlanta's win over Philadelphia.

      Jenkins, the organization's 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, gave up four hits and four walks, one intentional, in his fourth career start.

      The losing pitcher was rookie Vince Velasquez, who allowed two runs, seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings.

      Rangers 8, Royals 3

      ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rougned Odor homered twice as Texas routed struggling Kansas City.

      A.J. Griffin allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings for his first victory in more than three months.

      Edinson Volquez allowed six runs and nine hits in six innings for Kansas City, which has lost eight of 10.

      Red Sox 6, Angels 2

      ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rick Porcello threw his first complete game in nearly two years to lead Boston over Los Angeles.

      Porcello (14-2) gave up two runs and five hits while making an economical 107 pitches to win his sixth consecutive start. He also has won eight decisions in a row, his last loss coming May 17. It was Porcello's first complete game since Aug. 20, 2014, when he shut out Tampa Bay while pitching for Detroit.

      The Red Sox had only seven hits, two of them coming from Xander Bogaerts, who had an RBI double in the third inning and a two-run homer in the seventh, the latter giving Porcello some late-inning breathing room.

      Twins 2, White Sox 1 (12)

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer's pinch-hit, walk-off walk in the 12th inning lifted Minnesota over Chicago at Target Field.

      Eddie Rosario started the inning by getting hit by a pitch before a sacrifice bunt moved him to second. Byron Buxton and Brian Dozier walked to load the bases for Mauer, who received a free pass while batting for Robbie Grossman.

      Adam Eaton homered for Chicago and Melky Cabrera had two hits, including a double.

      Brewers 3, Pirates 1

      MILWAUKEE – Junior Guerra allowed four hits in 8 2/3 innings and Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh.

      Guerra (7-2) allowed a leadoff double to Starling Marte in the second inning and a leadoff single to Jordy Mercer in the sixth. He didn't allow either runner to advance as each time he retired the next three hitters. He was finally touched for a run in the ninth, allowing a single, a walk and two fielder's-choice grounders to bring in the lone run. A single by Marte chased Guerra one out short of the Brewers' first complete game in more than a year.

      Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead on Chris Carter's two-run homer in the first.

  • MLB notebook: Marlins acquire Cashner in seven-player trade
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 29, 2016

    The Miami Marlins acquired right-hander starters Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea from the San Diego Padres in a seven-player trade, the teams announced Friday.

    • The Marlins also will get Double-A right-handed reliever Tayron Guerrero from the Padres, who will receive injured reliever Carter Capps, right-hander Jarred Cosart and two of Miami's top prospects -- first baseman Josh Naylor and right-hander Luis Castillo.

      The Marlins (55-47) were seeking rotation depth in their push for the postseason. Miami entered Friday tied for the second wild-card spot in the National League.

      Cashner, 29, is 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 30 walks over 79 1/3 innings in 16 starts this season. He is eligible for free agency after the season.

      Rea, 26, is 5-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with 76 strikeouts and 44 walks over 99 1/3 innings. He isn't eligible for arbitration until 2019.

      Capps, 25, is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. He is expected to return next year.

      Cosart, 26, is 0-1 with a 5.95 ERA over 19 2/3 innings in four major league starts in 2016.

      --The Kansas City Royals activated standout center fielder Lorenzo Cain from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game against the Texas Rangers.

      Cain has been sidelined since he injured his left hamstring on June 28. He is batting .290 with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 73 games.

      Outfielder Brett Eibner was optioned to Triple-A Omaha to open up the roster spot. Eibner was batting .231 with three homers in 26 games for the Royals.

      --The Seattle Mariners recalled outfielder Guillermo Heredia from Triple-A Tacoma and optioned left-handed relief pitcher David Rollins to the minor league club.

      Heredia, 25, was available for Friday's game at the Chicago Cubs. Heredia defected from Cuba in early 2015. Prior to signing with the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on March 1, he had not played competitive baseball since 2014.

      Rollins, 26, is 1-0 with a 7.04 ERA over 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and seven walks in nine relief appearances over four stints with the Mariners this season.

      --The Chicago Cubs activated outfielder Chris Coglan off the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game and optioned infielder Tommy La Stella to Triple-A Iowa. Coghlan, who hit .155 in 70 games between Oakland and Chicago this season, was placed on the disabled list on July 3 with a right rib cage strain.

      --The Texas Rangers added right-handed pitcher Lucas Harrell to the roster and announced that he will start Sunday against Kansas City. To make room for Harrell, the Rangers optioned right-hander Shawn Tolleson to Triple-A Round Rock.

      --Right-hander Kyle Lohse, who was designated for assignment by Texas on Tuesday, declined an outright assignment and is now a free agent.

  • Royals activate CF Cain
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 29, 2016

    The Kansas City Royals activated standout center fielder Lorenzo Cain from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game against the Texas Rangers.

    • Cain has been sidelined since he injured his left hamstring on June 28. He is batting .290 with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 73 games.

      Cain finished third in the American League MVP balloting last season when he batted .307 with 16 homers, 72 RBIs and 28 stolen bases.

      Outfielder Brett Eibner was optioned to Triple-A Omaha to open up the roster spot. Eibner was batting .231 with three homers in 26 games for the Royals.

  • Marlins acquire RHPs Cashner, Rea from Padres
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 29, 2016

    The Miami Marlins acquired right-hander starters Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea from the San Diego Padres in a seven-player trade, the teams announced Friday.

    • The Marlins also will get Double-A right-handed reliever Tayron Guerrero from the Padres, who will receive injured reliever Carter Capps, right-hander Jarred Cosart and two of Miami's top prospects -- first baseman Josh Naylor and right-hander Luis Castillo.

      The Marlins (55-47) were seeking rotation depth in their push for the postseason. Miami entered Friday tied for the second wild-card spot in the National League.

      Cashner, 29, is 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 30 walks over 79 1/3 innings in 16 starts this season. He is eligible for free agency after the season.

      Rea, 26, is 5-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) with 76 strikeouts and 44 walks over 99 1/3 innings. He isn't eligible for arbitration until 2019.

      Guerrero, 25, has split time this season at Double-A and Triple-A El Paso, with a combined record of 0-3 and a 5.30 ERA over 35 2/3 innings in 32 games.

      Capps, 25, is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. He is expected to return next year.

      Cosart, 26, is 0-1 with a 5.95 ERA over 19 2/3 innings in four major league starts in 2016.

      The 19-year-old Naylor, the Marlins' first-round draft pick in 2015, is hitting .269 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs at Class A Greensboro.

      Castillo, 23, is 7-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) at Class A Jupiter. In 100 innings, he has 84 strikeouts.

  • Mariners recall Cuban OF Heredia
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 29, 2016

    The Seattle Mariners recalled outfielder Guillermo Heredia from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday and optioned left-handed relief pitcher David Rollins to the minor league club.

    • Heredia, 25, was available for Friday's game at the Chicago Cubs.

      Heredia defected from Cuba in early 2015. Prior to signing with the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on March 1, he had not played competitive baseball since 2014.

      Heredia has hit .340 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 26 games with Tacoma this season. He hit safely in 21 of 26 games with Tacoma, including 11 multi-hit games.

      Prior to being transferred to Tacoma on June 23, Heredia hit .293 with two home runs and 34 RBIs in 58 games with Double-A Jackson.

      In six seasons with Matanzas in the Serie Nacional Cuban League, Heredia hit .285 with 23 home runs and 121 RBIs in 374 career games.

      Rollins, 26, is 1-0 with a 7.04 ERA over 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and seven walks in nine relief appearances over four stints with the Mariners this season. Rollins earned his first career major league win on June 18 against the Chicago White Sox.

      Rollins is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA over 30 2/3 innings with 26 strikeouts and one walk in 24 games with Tacoma this season, all in relief. In parts of two major league seasons with Seattle, Rollins is 1-2 with a 7.44 ERA over 32 2/3 innings with 27 strikeouts and 15 walks in 29 career games.

  • White Sox-Twins preview
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 29, 2016

    MINNEAPOLIS -- The Chicago White Sox will look to continue their dominance of the Minnesota Twins when the teams open a three-game series on Friday night at Target Field.

    • The White Sox are 8-1 against the Twins this season, outscoring Minnesota by a 45-24 margin in those games.

      Chicago swept a three-game series here in mid-April and is making its first of two trips to the Twin Cities over the next four weeks.

      After winning five-straight games to get back in the playoff hunt, the White Sox dropped a pair of games to the Cubs on Wednesday and Thursday, dropping to 8 1/2 games back of the Cleveland Indians for first place in the American League Central, and 6 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second wildcard spot.

      "Where we're at, all of them are important," White Sox manager Robin Ventura told MLB.com. "Every game is important. There hasn't been a time where we thought games weren't important."

      Chicago will send Jose Quintana to the mound to open the series. The left-hander is in the middle of a breakout season with an 8-8 record and a 2.97 ERA in 20 starts. With one more win, Quintana would tie his career high of nine, set each of the last three years. His ERA is nearly a half run lower than his career mark.

      Quintana has a 6-5 record in 16 starts against Minnesota, with a 3.92 ERA in those games. He's 2-1 in three starts against the Twins this season, including a six-inning, one-run effort at Target Field on April 11.

      He tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings his last time out against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday but did not figure into the final decision.

      The Twins will look to build on a 6-2 win over the first-place Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

      After the game, the team traded its lone All Star, infielder Eduardo Nunez, to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia.

      It's just the first trade of what could be a busy weekend for the seller Twins, who have the worst record in the American League.

      "He did everything we could have asked of him," said Twins interim general manager Rob Antony. "This was just an opportunity to get a starting pitcher. We need pitching."

      Veteran Ricky Nolasco, another potential trade chip, will get the start on Friday. The right-hander is 4-8 with a 5.40 ERA on the season and was roughed up for six earned runs on six hits and three walks in just two innings his last time out against the Boston Red Sox.

      Nolasco had been solid in three previous July outings, allowing three earned runs or fewer in all three starts. He is 0-2 against the White Sox this season and gave up seven runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched at U.S. Cellular Field on June 29.

  • Giants acquire INF Nunez from Twins
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 29, 2016

    The San Francisco Giants added depth for the stretch run Thursday by acquiring infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for minor league left-hander Adalberto Mejia.

    • Nunez, Minnesota's only All-Star this season, was batting .296 with 12 home runs and 47 RBIs in 91 games. The 29-year-old Dominican, who mostly played shortstop, also appeared at second base and third base.

      San Francisco second baseman Joe Panik came off the disabled list Thursday and with Brandon Crawford a mainstay at shortstop, Nunez is expected to see action at third base at least until Matt Duffy returns from the DL. Duffy has not played since June 19 because of an Achilles injury, but he ran the bases Thursday.

      The Twins' leadoff hitter since mid-May, Nunez went 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts in his final game with Minnesota on Thursday, a 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. He stole his American League-leading 27th base of the season.

      In 65 games atop the Minnesota batting order this year, he hit .298 with a .326 on-base percentage.

      Nunez was a utility infielder for the New York Yankees from 2010-13 before spending the past three seasons with the Twins. In 505 career games, he has a .274 batting average, a .312 on-base percentage, a .401 slugging percentage, 30 homers and 167 RBIs.

      Mejia, a 23-year-old Dominican, was 7-3 with a 2.81 in 18 starts with Triple-A Sacramento and Double-A Richmond this season. He is 41-27 with a 3.27 ERA in 112 minor league games (92 starts) after being signed as an international free agent in 2011.

  • MLB notebook: Marlins' Gordon sorry for failed drug test
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon apologized Thursday before rejoining the team after serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

    • The defending National League batting champion was suspended on April 28 for use of Clostebol and Testosterone. He was reinstated from the restricted list on Thursday afternoon.

      The 5-foot-11 Gordon addressed the situation through a video.

      "You've got to hold yourself accountable for your standards of living and training. I didn't hold myself accountable for any of that," Gordon said in the video. "I thought, being the smallest guy, I would never fail a drug test. I didn't pay attention at all, man, and I didn't meet the standards.

      "That's my fault and no one else's. But don't give up on me. I will earn your trust and your support back with my play and my actions in the community."

      -- The Chicago White Sox reinstated All-Star left-hander Chris Sale from the suspended list and he will start Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

      Sale was suspended for five days last Saturday after tearing up the 1976 throwback uniforms the team was scheduled to wear in that night's game against the Detroit Tigers.

      Sale, who is 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA, has publicly expressed that he has no regrets with his actions.

      -- Former major-league infielder Doug Griffin died after a lengthy illness, the Boston Red Sox announced. He was 69.

      Griffin died Wednesday in Clovis, Calif., near Fresno.

      Griffin played second base for the Red Sox from 1971-77 and won a Gold Glove award in 1972. He batted .248 with seven homers and 161 RBIs in 614 games for Boston.

  • MLB roundup: Cubs slice Sale, Sox
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    CHICAGO -- John Lackey snapped a five-game losing streak with a sharp six-inning effort while reliever Aroldis Chapman picked up his first Chicago Cubs save in a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

    • Lackey out-dueled White Sox ace Chris Sale and picked up his first win since June 8 to end an eight-game run that included three no-decisions. Sale was pitching for the first time since he was suspended for an outburst which included destroying team uniforms Saturday.

      Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 and singled home Dexter Fowler with the go-ahead run in the third inning. Zobrist doubled in the eighth, reached third on an error and scored on Addison Russell's fielder's choice grounder to shortstop off reliever Nate Jones.

      The Cubs won their second straight while the White Sox dropped their second in a row.

      Rangers 3, Royals 2

      ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mitch Moreland hit a pair of solo homers, lifting Texasover Kansas City in support of Cole Hamels.

      Moreland's second homer -- a solo shot off Yordano Ventura -- snapped a 2-2 tie with one out in the eighth inning and was just the fourth hit allowed by the Kansas City right-hander.

      That proved to be enough for Hamels, who set a season high with 12 strikeouts in his eight-inning outing. Hamels allowed two runs on six hits and walked just one while throwing 123 pitches. Sam Dyson closed out the Royals for his 21st save.

      Rockies 2, Mets 1

      NEW YORK -- David Dahl scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the ninth inning afternoon as Colorado came back to beat New York at Citi Field.

      The Rockies scored twice off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in the ninth to snap a 10-game losing streak at Citi Field dating back to Aug. 6, 2013. Colorado has won 10 of 14 since the All-Star break.

      The Mets lost a game in which Familia blew a save opportunity for the second time in 18 hours. Familia converted 52 straight regular-season save chances before giving up two runs in the ninth inning of a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

      Brewers 6, Diamondbacks 4

      MILWAUKEE -- Hernan Perez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered while Zach Davies stuck out five to lead Milwaukee to a victory over Arizona at Miller Park.

      Davies got off to a rocky start, allowing a pair of first-inning runs on ground-rule doubles by Phil Gosselin and Yasmany Tomas.

      He settled in after that, retiring six in a row and facing just one over the minimum through the sixth inning.

      Cardinals 5, Marlins 4

      MIAMI -- Aledmys Diaz homered, doubled and drove in three runs as St. Louis defeated Jose Fernandez and Miami at Marlins Park.

      Fernandez, a two-time All-Star at age 23, lost his second career game at home. He is 26-2 with a 1.62 ERA at Marlins Park. Miami's loss spoiled the return of two-time All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, who missed the previous 80 games after a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

      Diaz's two-run homer and Matt Holliday's solo blast one out later gave St. Louis a 3-0 lead in the third. It was the first time in Fernandez's career that he has allowed two homers in an inning. Michael Wacha earned the win, allowing three runs and four hits while not walking a batter in six innings.

      Twins 6, Orioles 2

      MINNEAPOLIS -- A four-run seventh inning broke open a tie ballgame and lifted Minnesota to a win over Baltimore at Target Field.

      With the game tied at 2, five straight Twins reached base in the seventh, capped by a two-run triple by Eddie Rosario.

      Max Kepler homered, Robbie Grossman reached base four times and Kyle Gibson pitched six solid innings as Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streak.

      Phillies 7, Braves 5

      ATLANTA -- Maikel Franco set the pace by blasting a three-run homer in the first inning, one of three smashed by Philadelphia in a win over Atlanta at Turner Field.

      Franco hit his team-leading 19th homer deep into the seats in left, giving him five homers and 15 RBIs in his last 20 road games. Tommy Joseph Aaron Altherr also homered, leaving the Phillies one homer shy of matching their season high.

      The win broke the Braves' two-game winning streak. Philadelphia improved to 3-4 on its current 10-game road trip.

      Nationals 4, Giants 2

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Tanner Roark combined with four relievers on a five-hitter, leading Washington to a victory over San Francisco.

      Roark (10-6) allowed just four hits and the single run in seven innings. He walked three and struck out three. He also contributed an RBI single to a three-run second inning against Giants starter Johnny Cueto (13-3).

      Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman each had two hits for the Nationals. Conor Gillaspie, who might lose his role as the Giants' third baseman with the team trading for Minnesota All-Star Eduardo Nunez, went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

      Angels 2, Red Sox 1

      ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Boston first baseman Hanley Ramirez's two-run throwing error in the bottom of the ninth inning handed Los Angeles a victory.

      David Price threw eight scoreless innings to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead heading to the ninth. However, Price made 109 pitches to that point, so Red Sox manager John Farrell went to Brad Ziegler to close it out.

      The Angels loaded the bases on three singles. Pinch hitter Daniel Nava struck a sharp grounder right to Ramirez, whose his throw home was high and wide of catcher Sandy Leon, allowing both Mike Trout and pinch runner Ji-Man Choi to score and give Los Angeles an improbable victory.

  • Reds-Padres preview
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    By Jay Paris, The Sports Xchange

    • SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres look to continue their home run spree when opening a nine-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday at Petco Park.

      Or should the Padres' downtown digs be christened "Muscle Beach?"

      While little has gone right for rebuilding San Diego (44-58) this season, it has blasted home runs in 25 straight games. Slugging San Diego joins the 1998 Atlanta Braves (25), and four American League clubs, as the only clubs to reach that mark in major-league history.

      If the Padres go yard on Friday in the first of a three-game series with the Reds, they will set the NL record and inch closer to the 2002 Texas Rangers' standard of homers in 27 straight games.

      San Diego's lineup is matched against a Reds starter who's been torched by big flies. Southpaw Brandon Finnegan (5-8, 4.93 ERA) has absorbed 22 home runs in 20 games.

      The Padres are coming off Wednesday's 8-4 win against the Toronto Blue Jays in which Adam Rosales and Brett Wallace went deep and Alex Dickerson, among the organization's top prospects, stroked a homer for the fourth consecutive game.

      That's a nifty personal feat but it pales to what the Padres are accomplishing.

      What gives for a team which is shedding veterans and trying to construct a brighter future as it careens toward its sixth straight losing season?

      "Our chase percentages are down outside the strike zone, and we're forcing guys into the zone more often, (and) we're walking more than we were early in the season," Padres rookie manager Andy Green told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "Those things you can control.

      "Hitting the ball out of the ballpark 25 straight (games), it's borderline fluke. It's just one of those things that happen. We don't think about it much."

      The Padres' brawn will likely occupy Finnegan's thoughts. He has surrendered a home run in six straight starts and 10 blasts in his last four.

      San Diego hands the ball to veteran Edwin Jackson (1-1, 4.30 overall), hoping he can duplicate his last outing at Petco. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Giants in his Padres' debut on July 17 before settling for the win. Jackson has been keen in two starts after taking Drew Pomeranz's rotation spot when Pomeranz was peddled to the Boston Red Sox.

      With Monday's trading deadline approaching, the Reds continue to field offers for Jay Bruce. The All-Star right fielder has been on a tear, tying a club record with a homer in five straight games; he has six homers in five games. It's possible the All-Star is playing his final games with the Reds.

      "I would expect things to probably over the weekend get a little more engaged," Walt Jocketty, the Reds' director of baseball operations, told mlb.com. "There are clubs that have been engaged in Jay for a while. It's basically the same clubs but no one has really come up and been really aggressive."

      It figures scouts from three West Coast contenting teams, the Giants, Dodgers and Mariners, will be evaluating the left-hand hitting veteran corner outfielder who fills a need.

      Like the Padres, the Reds (40-61) are trying to flip their roster and collect young talent with upside. Surprisingly, San Diego is doing it while hitting the ball outside the ballpark at an historic rate.

  • Former Red Sox 2B Griffin dies
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    Former major-league infielder Doug Griffin died after a lengthy illness, the Boston Red Sox announced Thursday. He was 69.

    • Griffin died Wednesday in Clovis, Calif., near Fresno.

      Griffin played second base for the Red Sox from 1971-77 and won a Gold Glove award in 1972. He batted .248 with seven homers and 161 RBIs in 614 games for Boston.

      Griffin first reached the majors in 1970 as a member of the Angels. He was traded to Boston after the season and finished fourth in American League Rookie of the Year balloting in his first campaign with the Red Sox.

  • White Sox reinstate All-Star LHP Sale
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    The Chicago White Sox reinstated All-Star left-hander Chris Sale from the suspended list and he will start Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

    • Sale was suspended for five days last Saturday after tearing up the 1976 throwback uniforms the team was scheduled to wear in that night's game against the Detroit Tigers.

      Sale, who is 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA, has publicly expressed that he has no regrets with his actions.

      White Sox manager Robin Ventura said on Wednesday that he doesn't anticipate any issues related to Sale's return.

      "I think it's going to be fine," Ventura said. "Players always have their teammates' backs and that's no different with our clubhouse.

      "I think it's going to be fairly normal when he comes in as far as he's going to be prepared to pitch and our guys are going to get prepared to play and it's going to go from there."

      The White Sox optioned pitcher Anthony Ranaudo to Triple-A Charlotte to open up the roster spot.

  • Marlins 2B Gordon apologizes for failed drug test
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon apologized Thursday before rejoining the team after serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

    • The defending National League batting champion was suspended on April 28 for use of Clostebol and Testosterone. He was reinstated from the restricted list on Thursday afternoon.

      The 5-foot-11 Gordon addressed the situation through a video.

      "You've got to hold yourself accountable for your standards of living and training. I didn't hold myself accountable for any of that," Gordon said in the video. "I thought, being the smallest guy, I would never fail a drug test. I didn't pay attention at all, man, and I didn't meet the standards.

      "That's my fault and no one else's. But don't give up on me. I will earn your trust and your support back with my play and my actions in the community."

      Gordon, 28, batted .333 and led the majors in hits (205) and stolen bases (58) last season while winning his first Gold Glove. The big season helped him earn a five-year, $50 million contract.

      The Marlins designated infielder Don Kelly for assignment to open up a roster spot.

      "It is the end of his suspension. He has served it," Marlins president David Samson said of Gordon earlier this week. "He will be welcomed back into the clubhouse."

      Gordon specifically apologized to fans and kids, who often look up to players as role models.

      "I know you guys look up to me. I know, man. I let you down, and I'm sorry," Gordon said. "I'm committed to this game and I will return the support I received from Miami. ... I'm going to continue to smile, though, and I'm going to continue to have fun playing this great game."

      Gordon, a two-time All-Star, was batting .266 in 21 games this season before the suspension. The Marlins have remained in the NL wild-card race despite his absence but Gordon is ineligible to participate in the postgame as part of the suspension.

      He said he learned a major lesion while being sidelined.

      "I worked my behind off this whole suspension, man," Gordon said. "But the silver lining is, it showed me how much I love, respect and miss the game of baseball and my teammates, and it's motivated me to play as hard as I can."

  • Rangers add RHP Harrell in trade with Braves
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    Adding reinforcements for an injury-plagued rotation, the Texas Rangers acquired right-hander Lucas Harrell in a three-player trade with the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

    • Harrell and left-handed reliever Dario Alvarez are headed to Texas in exchange for minor league infield prospect Travis Demeritte.

      "You look at both pitchers we acquired, they can help our ballclub, fill a role and add depth," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "With Lucas, he is a guy who is throwing the ball well. He has been around a little bit, had some experience and he has been on a little bit of a roll."

      In five starts for Atlanta this month since he was called up from the minors, Harrell pitched effectively. He is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA, and he threw six shutout innings in a 2-0 win at Minnesota on Tuesday.

      "He was in trouble a lot but made the pitches," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said after the game. "He just kept battling. He never gives in. Just a really solid outing. He doesn't get caught up in the moment, he stays calm, been there done that. He just continues to pitch. He's got a knack for getting out of trouble."

      Harrell, 31, previously pitched for the Chicago White Sox (2010-11) and the Houston Astros (2011-14). In 93 major league games (67 starts), he is 20-35 with a 4.74 ERA.

      He will join a Texas rotation that has starting pitchers Derek Holland and Colby Lewis on the 60-day disabled list. Another Rangers starter, Yu Darvish, has spent two stretches on the DL.

      According to the Dallas Morning News, Harrell likely will make his first start for Texas on Sunday, replacing Nick Martinez in the rotation.

      Alvarez, 27, was effective in limited action out of the Atlanta bullpen this year. He was 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 16 appearances.

      Demeritte, 21, is viewed as a potential slugger. He had 25 homers and 59 RBIs in 88 games for high Class A High Desert this season. Demeritte was hitting .272 with a .352 on-base percentage and a .583 slugging percentage.

      He was a first-round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2013.

      "We're fired up about it," Braves general manager John Coppolella told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We have talked about trading pitching for hitting, and it's a trade that does that.

      "Obviously, (Demeritte) is not here right now, but he's a kid who's moved pretty quickly. He's 21 years old, he's from (Georgia), he's played very well -- he actually started at second base opposite Dansby Swanson in the Futures Game. Twenty-five home runs: I don't think anybody that's in the Braves minor league system right now is anywhere close to that."

  • Bettman: Concussion-CTE link isn't established
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is not ready to acknowledge a correlation between game-action head trauma and the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

    • While responding to written questions from a United States senator about the effects of concussions in hockey, Bettman denied a link between concussions and CTE, the New York Times reported in a story published Tuesday night.

      "The science regarding CTE, including on the asserted 'link' to concussions that you reference, remains nascent, particularly with respect to what causes CTE and whether it can be diagnosed by specific clinical symptoms," Bettman wrote in a response to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). "A causal link between concussions and CTE has not been demonstrated" and "the relationship between concussion and the asserted clinical symptoms of CTE remains unknown."

      Bettman appears to be trying to discredit the effects of CTE while the NHL is dealing with a class-action lawsuit that includes 105 former players, who say that the league did not warn them of the long-term effects of head injuries.

      According to the Times, CTE has been diagnosed in six deceased former NHL players, as well as around 100 former football players.

      "The relationship between concussions and the asserted clinical symptoms of C.T.E. remains unknown," Bettman wrote.

      The NFL last week took steps to distance itself from Bettman's way of thinking, forcing the retirement of medical adviser Elliot Pellman, who formed a committee in 1994 that spent decades producing studies that portrayed concussions as minor injuries.

      Bettman appears to be taking the opposite approach, accusing the media of fear-mongering regarding the long-term effects of head injuries in contact sports.

      "Ultimately, the most concerning aspect of the current public dialogue about concussions in professional sports (as well as youth sports) is the implicit premise that hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of individuals who have participated in contact sports at the high school, collegiate and/or professional levels are not only at a high level of risk for, but actually more than likely to develop, a degenerative, irreversible brain disease, and that they should be informed as such," Bettman wrote. "The NHL chooses to be guided on this very serious subject by the medical consensus of experts examining the science, not the media hype driven in part by plaintiffs' counsel."

  • Braves
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 28, 2016

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Freddie Freeman had four hits and reached base five times, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 9-7 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night at Target Field.

    • Freeman finished a triple short of the cycle and with five RBIs, tying his career high.

      Jeff Francoeur also homered as Atlanta took both games of a two-game series. The Braves have won their last seven matchups against the Twins and finished a nine-game road trip 3-6.

      Gordon Beckham and Jace Peterson each had two hits and scored three runs. Beckham also drove in a run with an RBI double in the first inning.

      Kurt Suzuki homered and had two hits for Minnesota, which has lost three straight games.

      The teams combined for 29 hits and every starter in both lineups had at least one hit. It was the first time Atlanta accomplished the feat since last Sept. 9.

      Braves right hander Mike Foltynewicz (4-4) cruised early, ran into trouble in the middle innings but got deep enough for the win despite allowing seven runs (six earned) and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking none and striking out three.

      Fill-in closer Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his fourth save and second in as many nights.

      It didn't take long for the Braves to get on the board against Twins starter Tyler Duffey, who walked leadoff man Jace Peterson before surrendering a double off the left-field wall by Gordon Beckham for a 1-0 lead.

      Freeman singled but was erased on a 4-6-3 double play before the Braves continued their onslaught. Adonis Garcia doubled ahead of Francoeur's two-run blast over the center-field fence for a 4-0 lead.

      The Braves poured it on in the second, getting a leadoff double from Peterson before Freeman blooped an RBI single down the right-field line for a 5-0 lead.

      It was the last batter Duffey faced. The right-hander was lifted after just 1 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, eight hits and a walk. It was the shortest outing of his big-league career and second straight that he failed to get out of at least the third inning.

      Freeman's two-run shot to center field in the fourth extended the Braves' lead to 7-0.

      Rosario's RBI double got the Twins on the board in the bottom half of the inning and Suzuki's two-run homer got Minnesota back within 7-3.

      Eduardo Nunez led off the fifth for the Twins with a single and Joe Mauer followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position for Sano, who chopped a two-run single to right to make it 7-5.

      NOTES: The Braves traded RHP Lucas Harrell and LHP Dario Alvarez to the Texas Rangers for INF prospect Travis Demeritte. Harrell was 2-2 in five starts for the Braves and pitched six shutout innings in Tuesday's 2-0 win. Demeritte was hitting .272 with 25 homers and 59 RBIs in Class-A High Desert this season. ... Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe took flips in the batting cage before the game and had his live batting practice session moved up to Friday. On the disabled list since July 4 with a fractured rib, Plouffe could head out on a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. ... Atlanta will return home to open a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday at Turner Field. ... Minnesota will make up a postponed game from May 9 against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night at Target Field.

  • MLB notebook: Nationals place Drew on disabled list
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    The Washington Nationals placed infielder Stephen Drew on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with vertigo-like symptoms.

    • The move is retroactive to July 24. Drew has played just once in the past week, sitting out several days with dizziness.

      The 33-year-old Drew, who signed with the Nationals as a free agent in January, is hitting .262 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 51 games this season. He is 6-for-20 (.300) with a triple, three homers and six RBIs as a pinch hitter.

      The Nationals also recalled infielder Wilmer Difo from Double-A Harrisburg for his first major league assignment of the season.

      --Major League Baseball has threatened to fine Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig if he wears customized cleats again.

      Puig received a letter from Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB's senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, stating that the outfielder will be subject to a fine if he wears the customized Nike shoes on the field again, according to the Orange County Register. The fine could be as much as $5,000 for a violation.

      Puig first wore shoes with an American flag theme on the Fourth of July and later wore shoes, designed by a local artist, with a Cuban flag theme, according to ESPN.com.

      --San Francisco Giants second baseman Ramiro Pena was a late scratch from Bruce Bochy's original starting lineup after reporting continuing soreness from the testicular contusion he suffered in Tuesday's game.

      --The San Diego Padres recalled pitcher Buddy Baumann and utility man Alexi Amarista from Triple-A El Paso. Infielder Yangervis Solarte was put on the family leave list.

      --Detroit Tigers pitcher Drew VerHagen, who started the season in the majors before being optioned to Triple-A Toledo, is out for the season. He is scheduled to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.

  • MLB roundup: Strasburg (14-1) shuts down Indians
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    CLEVELAND -- Stephen Strasburg pitched seven scoreless innings for his 14th win, Trea Turner had three RBIs and Daniel Murphy homered as the Washington Nationals beat the Cleveland Indians 4-1 Wednesday.

    • Strasburg (14-1) bounced back from his only loss of the season to hold the American League Central-leading Indians to three hits. The right-hander also had seven strikeouts and two walks in the victory.

      Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco (7-4) surrendered three runs on as many hits in six innings to take the loss.

      Marlins 11, Phillies 1

      MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton drilled a two-run homer and Don Kelly hit two triples to lead Miami over Philadelphia.

      The Marlins took two out of three games from the Phillies and retained their position as the second and final wild-card team in the National League playoff race.

      Stanton's homer, his 22nd of the season, was part of a three-run first inning for Miami. The blast to left field gave Stanton 525 career RBIs, moving him past former Marlins star Miguel Cabrera for third place on the franchise list.

      Padres 8, Blue Jays 4

      TORONTO -- Adam Rosales, Brett Wallace and Alex Dickerson hit home runs as San Diego defeated Toronto to avoid a sweep in the three-game series.

      The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, a club record, and Dickerson extended his personal homer streak to four games when he hit his sixth of the season in the eighth inning against left-hander Franklin Morales. The 2002 Texas Rangers set the major league record with homers in 27 straight games.

      Luis Perdomo (5-4) allowed five hits, two walks and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out four.

      Tigers 4, Red Sox 3

      BOSTON -- Miguel Cabrera hit a tiebreaking home run in the ninth inning as Detroit completed a three-game series at Fenway Park. Boston had been the only team in the majors yet to suffer a sweep this season.

      Detroit, which went 5-2 on its road trip, squandered a 3-1 lead. However, with two outs in the top of the ninth, Cabrera hit Brad Ziegler's 1-0 offering for a homer and a 4-3 lead. Ziegler (0-1) had not allowed a run in his first six innings for Boston since he was acquired from Arizona in a trade July 9.

      Victor Martinez went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and James McCann hit a home run for the Tigers, who left 10 men on base.

      Rays 3, Dodgers 1

      LOS ANGELES -- Evan Longoria homered and Tampa Bay snapped its four-game slide. The Rays won for first time in five all-time games at Dodger Stadium and halted the Dodgers' three-game winning streak.

      Rays lefty Matt Moore allowed a run on four hits with five strikeouts and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. Moore (7-7) worked at least six innings for a 10th consecutive start. Closer Alex Colome earned his 22nd save in 23 opportunities with a perfect ninth.

      Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy (2-1) lasted four innings, giving up three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. McCarthy was 5-0 in eight previous starts in a Dodger uniform.

      Reds 2, Giants 1

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Jay Bruce belted a solo home run off Madison Bumgarner to snap a tie in the seventh inning to lift Cincinnati to the win.

      Dan Straily limited the Giants to three hits in 7 2/3 innings in his AT&T Park debut, helping Cincinnati record its fourth consecutive series win since the All-Star break.

      Bruce smacked the first pitch of the seventh inning well over the right field wall for his fourth homer of the series and sixth in five games.

      Rockies 3, Orioles 1

      BALTIMORE -- Nick Hundley and David Dahl both homered in the sixth inning, and Jon Gray gave Colorado seven solid innings in a win over Baltimore.

      The Rockies finished with only five hits, but two of them were homers that gave them their three runs. Gray (7-4) allowed one run on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

      Orioles starter Dylan Bundy (3-3) began well in his third major league start. He retired the first 16 Rockies before giving up a walk and the two homers in the sixth, blasts that put Colorado on top for good.

      Pirates 10, Mariners 1

      PITTSBURGH -- Gerrit Cole pitched a three-hitter and singled and scored as Pittsburgh beat Seattle and gain a split of a two-game series.

      Jung Ho Kang hit a bases-clearing double in a four-run seventh inning, and Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer in the eighth after the Pirates built a 3-0 lead in the third.

      Cole (6-6) finished with six strikeouts and no walks in his first career complete game. He had not won since May 20.

      Cardinals 5, Mets 4

      NEW YORK -- Kolten Wong's go-ahead RBI double in the top of the ninth inning capped a two-run rally by St. Louis, which edged New York.

      Jedd Gyorko began the comeback by drawing a one-out walk against Jeurys Familia (2-2). Yadier Molina followed with a game-tying RBI single to score pinch runner Randal Grichuk. Molina was thrown out at third on a comebacker by pinch hitter Jeremy Hazelbaker, who stole second and trotted home on a double down the third base line by Wong.

      The blown save ended a streak of 52 straight regular-season saves by Familia dating back to last Aug. 1. He did blow three saves in the World Series.

      Astros 4, Yankees 1

      HOUSTON -- Lance McCullers posted his fourth double-digit strikeout start on the season, and Colby Rasmus snapped a prolonged slump with a home run as Houston averted a sweep with a win over New York.

      McCullers (6-4) allowed one earned run for a fifth time in six starts. He surrendered five hits and walked two batters while recording 10 strikeouts for the third time in five starts this month. McCullers faced 25 batters, and of his 91 pitches, just 29 were balls.

      Rasmus snapped an 0-for-29 skid with his 12th home run in the third inning off Masahiro Tanaka (7-3). The blast gave the slumping Rasmus just his second multi-RBI game of the month.

      Cubs 8, White Sox 1

      CHICAGO -- Javier Baez snapped a tie with a two-run, seventh-inning homer, and Addison Russell slugged his first career grand slam in the eighth to lead the Chicago Cubs to a victory over the Chicago White Sox.

      Baez's home run spoiled a strong first start by Anthony Ranaudo, who tossed five no-hit innings before giving up home runs in the sixth and seventh.

      The Cubs snapped a two-game losing streak, while the White Sox saw their four-game winning streak end.

      A's 6, Rangers 4

      ARLINGTON, Texas –- A pair of two-run homers in the eighth inning lifted Oakland past Texas in the series finale.

      The A's took two of three from the American League West leaders to extend their series win streak to four. That is the longest run for Oakland since 2014.

      Coco Crisp and Kris Davis both went deep to right in the eighth off Texas reliever Matt Bush, turning a 3-2 deficit into a three-run advantage. Davis, who also homered in the first, leads the team with 25 long balls.

      Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 1

      MILWAUKEE -- Yasmany Tomas hit two home runs and Archie Bradley struck out six to lead Arizona to a victory over Milwaukee.

      Tomas drove in five runs and was one of four Diamondbacks batters to finish with two hits.

      Bradley (4-6) held Milwaukee to one run and four hits with three walks in seven innings. He didn't allow a run until Hernan Perez's sacrifice fly in the seventh.

      Braves 9, Twins 7

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Freddie Freeman had four hits and reached base five times, leading Atlanta over Minnesota at Target Field.

      Freeman finished a triple short of the cycle and with five RBIs, tying his career high.

      Jeff Francoeur also homered as the Braves took both games of a two-game series.

      Royals 7, Angels 5

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Raul Mondesi's first two big league hits led to four runs thanks to a pair of throwing errors, and Kansas City topped Los Angeles.

      The Royals scored four runs in the seventh inning, Mondesi's bunt single starting the key play. Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker committed a throwing error on the bunt, scoring Alex Gordon and Paulo Orlando, who each had three hits.

      Jarrod Dyson tripled home Mondesi and scored on an Alcides Escobar sacrifice fly.

  • Nationals place Drew on DL with vertigo-like symptoms
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    The Washington Nationals placed infielder Stephen Drew on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with vertigo-like symptoms.

    • The move is retroactive to July 24. Drew has played just once in the past week, sitting out several days with dizziness.

      "At first we thought it was the same bug that everybody else had, but theirs was like a two-day bug. This has been like a week now," manager Dusty Baker said. "So we decided we couldn't it play short anymore for the team and also try to find out what's wrong with him, so he can get back because he's a big part of our team."

      The 33-year-old Drew, who signed with the Nationals as a free agent in January, is hitting .262 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 51 games this season. He is 6-for-20 (.300) with a triple, three homers and six RBIs as a pinch hitter.

      On Saturday night against the San Diego Padres, Drew came off the bench after missing several days due to illness and hit a pinch-hit walk-off triple to give Washington a 3-2 victory.

      The Nationals also recalled infielder Wilmer Difo from Double-A Harrisburg for his first major league assignment of the season.

      Difo, 24, is hitting .255 with five home runs and 33 RBIs with Harrisburg. His 26 stolen bases rank fifth in the Eastern League. Of his 96 games played this season, 95 have been at shortstop for the switch-hitting Difo.

  • MLB warns Puig over customized cleats
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    Major League Baseball has threatened to fine Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig if he wears customized cleats again.

    • Puig received a letter from Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB's senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, stating that the outfielder will be subject to a fine if he wears the customized Nike shoes on the field again, according to the Orange County Register. The fine could be as much as $5,000 for a violation.

      Puig first wore shoes with an American flag theme on the Fourth of July and later wore shoes, designed by a local artist, with a Cuban flag theme, according to ESPN.com.

      Puig recently wore shoes that were a tribute to retiring Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. One shoe read "WIN FOR VIN," complete with a superimposed image of Scully's face on the side. The other shoe read "#ITFDB" -- a reference to Scully's famous line to start games: "It's time for Dodger baseball."

      The legendary announcer, who has worked for the team since 1958, announced last August that the 2016 season would be his final year calling games for the Dodgers.

      Puig is currently day-to-day after tweaking his right hamstring running down the first-base line last Thursday at Washington. He did not start for the fifth consecutive game on Tuesday night due to the hamstring strain.

      Puig is hitting .255 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs in 79 games this season.