Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Now with Yankees, McCarthy takes cuts at Diamondbacks
    By The Sports Xchange

    PHOENIX -- Former Arizona right-hander Brandon McCarthy has been exceptional in his first two starts with the New York Yankees, and he told the New York media that he believes a lot of it has to do with greater use of his cut fastball.

    • After throwing about 20 cutters in a 7-1 victory over Cincinnati last Saturday, he said, "I know it is something I need to be successful."

      He cut back on the pitch while with the D-backs this season, intimating the team was against it.

      McCarthy used his cutter about 10 percent of the time, according to FanGraphs, while going 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts with Arizona before being sent to the Yankees for left-hander Vidal Nuno on July 6. McCarthy threw his cutter about 35 percent in his previous three seasons with Oakland (2011-12) and the D-backs (2013). He was 5-11 with a 4.53 ERA his first season in Arizona.

      The decision to curb his use of the cutter "was something I didn't totally agree with," McCarthy said.

      The D-backs did not want to be drawn into the discussion.

      "Yeah, well, I wish him well," manager Kirk Gibson said. "People handle things different ways. The way I'll handle it: Let's just say it was all my fault, OK?

      "We busted our ass with Brandon. We did the best we could, but maybe sometimes it isn't good enough. We certainly gave him full dedication, and we wish him well. I don't know what his goals are. I know what mine are exactly. Hopefully we'll meet again."

      McCarthy said Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild approached him about throwing more cutters soon after he was acquired, and the pitcher added that he already had begun working on the pitch in the bullpen. He is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his two starts with the Yankees.

      Reliever Heath Bell criticized the D-backs when he was traded to Tampa Bay last winter after going 5-2 with 15 saves and a 4.11 ERA in his only season with Arizona. The Rays released him in May.

      "You look at the history of the game at guys that move and change teams. That can happen," Gibson said of pitchers performing better for one team than another. "There are probably guys who move around. ... When Heath Bell left us last year, he had similar comments. Over time, things all shake out."

      After giving up 15 homers in 109 2/3 innings with the D-backs, McCarthy has given up one in 12 2/3 innings with the Yankees: Cincinnati outfielder Chris Heisey hit a cut fastball for a home run in the fourth inning Saturday.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Game roundup: Colon, Mets stymie Mariners
    By The Sports Xchange

    SEATTLE -- Bartolo Colon showed the rookie a thing or two about pitching on Wednesday when the 41-year-old New York Mets right-hander flirted with a perfect game before beating the Seattle Mariners and 21-year-old phenom Taijuan Walker 3-2.

    • Colon came within seven outs of the first perfect game in Mets history after retiring the first 20 batters he faced. Robinson Cano broke up the no-hit bid with a two-out single in the seventh inning.

      New York closer Jenrry Mejia pitched a scoreless ninth, despite giving up two singles, to pick up his second save in a row and his 13th of the season.

      Colon (9-8) was charged with two earned runs and gave up three hits in 7 1/3 innings. In 15 starts at Seattle's Safeco Field, he now has a 13-1 record and a 2.12 ERA.

      Brewers 5, Reds 1

      MILWAUKEE -- Mark Reynolds hit two home runs and Kyle Lohse worked into the seventh as Milwaukee finished off a three-game sweep at Miller Park.

      Reynolds' two homers came as part of a 3-for-4 day and were just his second and third homers since June 2.

      Lohse (11-4), meanwhile, matched Wily Peralta for the team lead with 11 victories by holding Cincinnati to a run and four hits with three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

      Twins 3, Indians 1

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota, behind a terrific spot start from Anthony Swarzak and a three-hit effort from Danny Santana, took the rubber match of a three-game series.

      Swarzak (2-0), starting in place of injured Kyle Gibson, allowed only one run and two hits in five innings.

      Santana's one-out triple in the third inning was Minnesota's first hit. He scored one batter later when Sam Fuld singled to center. Santana also had a one-out single in the fifth inning, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Brian Dozier's bloop double into right field to give Minnesota the lead for good.

      Rockies 6, Nationals 4

      DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa pitched into the eighth inning and Colorado ended its seven-game losing streak.

      He held the Nationals to two runs (one earned) in a season-high 7 1/3 innings with no walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts.

      The loss was just the second in eight games for the Nationals and ended their four-game winning streak. The Rockies won for just the seventh time in 32 games dating from June 16.

      Yankees 2, Rangers 1

      NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the third inning, and David Phelps won his fourth straight decision as New York edged Texas in a rain-shortened game.

      The game was delayed with one out in the fifth. The game appeared set to resume at 10:05 p.m., but umpires and managers seemed to think an area right off the first base bag was not properly dried.

      Twenty-two minutes after the announced re-start time, the tarp was put back on the field. A few minutes later, the game was called.

      Tigers 11, Diamondbacks 5

      PHOENIX -- Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer, and Austin Jackson and Alex Avila added three RBIs apiece as Detroit beat Arizona.

      Avila had a two-run double in the second inning off Trevor Cahill (1-7) and Jackson had a three-run double in a five-run fourth for a 7-0 lead. Cabrera had two hits, and his 15th homer of the season capped a four-run eighth inning for an 11-5 lead after Arizona got within two in the seventh.

      Royals 2, White Sox 1

      CHICAGO -- A strong outing by James Shields, plus another stifling relief performance from the bullpen, gave Kansas City its second straight win over Chicago.

      Shields, who didn't get a decision, allowed one run through seven innings. Wade Davis (6-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and closer Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

      A single to shallow center by Nori Aoki led to Mike Moustakas scoring the deciding run with one out in the ninth, but he would have been out had catcher Tyler Flowers held onto the ball after a great throw by center fielder Adam Eaton. Moustakas' slide at the plate jarred the ball out of Flowers' glove.

      Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4

      TORONTO -- Jose Bautista had two RBIs with a homer and a double, and R.A. Dickey pitched six innings as Toronto defeated Boston.

      Dickey (8-10), a right-handed knuckleballer, allowed nine hits and four runs, including three in the first inning on the fourth home run in three games by David Ortiz.

      Right-hander Aaron Sanchez, a 22-year-old who is rated as the top prospect in the Toronto organization, pitched two clean innings, the seventh and eighth, in his major league debut. He struck out two batters on called third strikes with curveballs.

      Pirates 6, Dodgers 1

      PITTSBURGH -- Francisco Liriano won for just the second time this season in 17 starts, and Josh Harrison's two-run double capped a four-run first inning as Pittsburgh beat Los Angeles.

      Liriano (2-7) allowed only one run and four hits in seven innings. The left-hander's other win this season also came against the Dodgers, when he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings May 30 at Los Angeles.

      An ugly July continued for Dodgers starter Dan Haren (8-8), who allowed five runs in five innings. He lost all four starts this month with an ERA of 9.47.

      Braves 6, Marlins 1

      ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman ended his season-long frustration against Miami with his first home run in nearly a month to lead Atlanta over Miami.

      Freeman, Atlanta's All-Star first baseman, entered the game with a .088 batting average in 11 games against Miami this season. He changed his luck in the second inning with a long three-run home run for a 5-0 lead.

      Ervin Santana (9-6) allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings and has won four of his last five starts. He struck out 10 -- the 13th time in his career he has produced double-digit strikeouts.

      Rays 3, Cardinals 0

      ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Alex Cobb tossed seven shutout innings and knocked in the only run Tampa Bay needed as it swept a two-game interleague series from St. Louis.

      Cobb (6-6) allowed five hits and whiffed 10 with no walks as Tampa Bay swept a two-city road trip for the first time in its 17 seasons. The Rays won three games in Minnesota to start the trip.

      It was the eighth consecutive road victory for Tampa Bay, which also scored on Evan Longoria's sacrifice fly in the seventh and Brandon Guyer's single in the ninth.

      Giants 3, Phillies 1

      PHILADELPHIA -- Madison Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings and Hunter Pence delivered a three-run double in the ninth to lift San Francisco over Philadelphia.

      Pence blooped a double to right field with two outs after Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon (2-2), who blew a save Tuesday, hit a batter and walked two others to load the bases. Marlon Byrd's RBI single in the bottom of the inning gave the Phillies their run.

      Bumgarner (12-7) needed only 93 pitches to breeze through eight shutout innings. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate to raise his average to .261.

      Padres 8, Cubs 3

      CHICAGO -- San Diego's newest arrivals -- Yangervis Solarte and Jeff Francoeur -- went a combined 3-for-7 with three runs scored to lead San Diego over Chicago.

      Solarte, a second baseman acquired in Tuesday's trade with the New York Yankees, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Francouer, a veteran right fielder called up from Triple-A El Paso on Wednesday, was 1-for-3 with a run and RBI.

      Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy (8-9) worked out of a fifth-inning, bases-loaded jam and lasted six innings to pick up the win.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Padres 8, Cubs 3
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- San Diego's newest arrivals -- Yangervis Solarte and Jeff Francoeur -- went a combined 3-for-7 with three runs scored to lead the Padres to a 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

    • Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy (8-9) worked out of a fifth-inning, bases-loaded jam and lasted six innings to pick up the win.

      Cubs left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1) pitched four-plus innings and took the loss in his second major league start and first at Wrigley Field.

      The eight runs were the most by the Padres since an 8-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on July 1. The win evened the series at one game apiece entering Thursday's finale.

      Yangervis, a second baseman acquired in Tuesday's trade with the New York Yankees, went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for San Diego (44-56).

      Francouer, a veteran right fielder called up from Triple-A El Paso on Wednesday, was 1-for-3 with a run and RBI. First baseman Tommy Medica went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

      Third baseman Luis Valbuena's three-run homer in the fourth inning was the big blow for the Cubs (41-57).

      Kennedy allowed three earned runs and three hits, struck out six and walked five for his first win after back-to-back no-decisions.

      The Padres padded the margin with three eighth-inning runs off Cubs reliever Justin Grimm.

      The Padres scored twice off Wada before any outs in the first.

      Leadoff batter Chris Denorfia walked on four pitches and came home on Solarte's triple to the right-field corner. Solarte scored on left fielder Carlos Quentin's sacrifice fly to right to make it 2-0.

      San Diego added a run in the fourth as third baseman Chris Nelson doubled to score Francoeur.

      Valbuena tied the score in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-out homer run to right. Valbuena's sixth home run of the season scored first baseman Anthony Rizzo and left fielder Chris Coghlan.

      In the fifth inning, Medica's double was lost in the center-field ivy, enabling Solarte to score.

      That was it for Wada, who departed after four-plus innings and was ultimately tagged for five earned runs and five hits while striking out four and walking four.

      Right-handed reliever Brian Schlitter walked Francoeur to load the bases for Nelson, who tapped into a fielder's choice that forced Quentin at the plate.

      Schlitter then issued a one-out walk to catcher Rene Rivera, forcing in Medica for a 5-3 lead.

      NOTES: Major League Baseball suspended Padres OF Cameron Maybin for 25 games without pay Wednesday after he tested positive for amphetamine use. Maybin said he accepted the suspension but explained that use of the substance was the result of a medical condition. ... The Padres reportedly held another interview with Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen for their general manager opening on Tuesday. ... The Padres send RHP Tyson Ross (8-10, 2.70 ERA) against Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.61 ERA) in Thursday's series finale. ... The Cubs optioned INF Mike Olt to Triple-A Iowa. Olt, with the Cubs since Opening Day, was batting .139 (26-for-187) with 12 home runs and 30 RBIs in 72 games. ... 1B Anthony Rizzo has hit 35 home runs since the 2013 All-Star break and leads the National League this season with 25. ... LF Chris Coghlan has reached base in 16 of 17 games since June 30, with hits in 15. He's batting .407 in that span.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    White Sox optimistic Garcia can return this year
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia was supposed to be a big part of the White Sox's season until he tore the labrum in his left shoulder in early April.

    • Following surgery to repair the damage, it was thought Garcia would miss the rest of the season and make his return during spring training next year. Now, it looks as if he might be able to return at some point this season.

      Garcia increased his on-field rehab workload the past couple weeks and is now taking full swings in batting practice.

      "He's going with us on the road (this weekend), and he'll do more exerted things when we're in Minnesota," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Wednesday prior to Chicago's 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals at U.S. Cellular Field. "The prognosis is pretty good. When you hear three to six months and they're kind of pushing for the six months, when you watch him run around and do things, he looks pretty good."

      Garcia showed flashes of his potential last season. He earned a starting spot in the outfield following the three-way trade that included the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. While with Detroit, Garcia was starting to draw comparisons to Miguel Cabrera in more than just looks and batting stance.

      He is starting to get people with the White Sox excited yet again with his prowess in the batting cage and work ethic during a frustrating year.

      "How close is he to a rehab assignment? I don't know," Ventura said. "I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going to be able to clear him. But when you watch him do things, you're excited about the recovery."

      The White Sox still want to proceed with caution, but they are no longer saying his return this season is out of the question.

      "Him swinging the bat, running around catching fly balls ... more of the concern is going to be sliding, diving, things like that," Ventura said. "When the doctors clear him, he's going to be 100 percent. Go play. There's not going to be any restrictions on him."

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Rays blank Cardinals, complete 5-0 road trip
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. LOUIS -- Manager Joe Maddon is confident in the Tampa Bay Rays.

    • "The boys have their swagger back," he said Tuesday night after his team beat the St. Louis Cardinals. "We are one of the best teams in the American League."

      Wednesday night's series finale did little to change Maddon's mind.

      Right-hander Alex Cobb tossed seven shutout innings and knocked in the only run Tampa Bay needed as the Rays swept a two-game interleague series with a 3-0 decision at sold-out Busch Stadium.

      Cobb (6-6) allowed five hits and whiffed 10 with no walks as Tampa Bay (49-53) swept a two-city road trip for the first time in its 17 seasons. The Rays won three games in Minnesota to start the trip.

      It was also the eighth consecutive road victory for Tampa Bay, which moved within 4 1/2 games of the Seattle Mariners for the American League's second wild-card spot.

      "Great vibe in the dugout," Maddon said. "We just played well. The only thing we didn't do well was we left too many runners on, but that's going to happen.

      "Cobb had great fastball command, and he worked his changeup off it."

      St. Louis (54-47) got just two runners into scoring position off Cobb, whose best work occurred in the sixth after third baseman Matt Carpenter stroked a leadoff double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Kolten Wong.

      With the infield in, Cobb induced a grounder to third from left fielder Matt Holliday, and Evan Longoria easily threw out Carpenter at home. First baseman Matt Adams bounced back to the mound, and that was it for the Cardinals.

      Cobb closed his 104-pitch outing in style, getting center fielder Jon Jay to look at a called third strike on the inside corner.

      "Hands down, tonight's the most comfortable I've felt," Cobb said. "When my mechanics are right, all my pitches play off each other. The fastball stays down in the zone and the changeup stays on the same plane."

      Jay said of Cobb, "He dominated us tonight."

      Cobb also contributed offensively with the first hit of his major league career, lining a double down the right field line in the top of the second off Lance Lynn (11-7) to score shortstop Yunel Escobar with the game's first run.

      Cobb's second time up was a lot more painful, as he took a fastball off his pitching elbow.

      "Honestly, I thought I had a broken elbow for a moment," he said.

      After a few minutes to regain his bearings, Cobb stayed in the game and kept on dealing until Maddon pinch-hit for him in the eighth. Brad Boxberger fanned two in the eighth, and Jake McGee struck out the side in the ninth for his 15th save.

      Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings went 3-for-5, scoring two runs. Longoria knocked him in with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and left fielder Brandon Guyer singled home Jennings in the ninth.

      Lynn failed in his bid to forge a three-way tie for the National League lead in wins despite pitching a solid game. Lynn allowed six hits and two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings, issuing three walks and striking out seven.

      It was the third consecutive loss for the Cardinals, who fell into a second-place tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central. Both teams are 2 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.

      "It's just baseball," Jay said. "It's just a couple of bad games here and there. We're right where we want to be."

      Among the few lowlights for Tampa Bay was Escobar getting booted in the fourth after arguing a called third strike. The shortstop jumped up and down and then confronted plate umpire Dan Bellino. It was Bellino's major-league-high sixth ejection of the year.

      NOTES: St. Louis activated LHP Kevin Siegrist (left forearm strain) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned LHP Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis. Siegrist was 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 23 games before he was injured May 23 in Cincinnati. ... Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria's ninth-inning homer Tuesday night gave him 593 career RBIs, breaking the franchise record of 592 set by Carl Crawford. Longoria drove in another run Wednesday. ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced that RHP Shelby Miller would return to the rotation Saturday against the Cubs in Chicago, with RHP Carlos Martinez going back to the bullpen. Martinez made seven starts but lasted only four innings in each of his past two outings.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Giants 3, Phillies 1
    By The Sports Xchange

    PHILADELPHIA -- Madison Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings and right fielder Hunter Pence delivered a three-run double in the ninth to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 3-1 win Wednesday night over the Philadelphia Phillies.

    • Pence blooped a double to right field with two outs after Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon (2-2), who blew a save Tuesday, hit a batter and walked two others to load the bases.

      Bumgarner (12-7) was spectacular, needing only 93 pitches to breeze through eight shutout innings in which he yielded just five hits, struck out six and walked none. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate to raise his average to .261.

      It took a little more effort for Philadelphia's A.J. Burnett, but he was equally masterful. The 37-year-old held the Giants scoreless for eight innings while allowing just four hits, striking out six and walking four.

      Burnett threw a season-high 131 pitches -- his most since throwing 132 in a game for the Florida Marlins in 2002.

      Santiago Casilla picked up his seventh save for the Giants (57-44), who have won the first three games of the series and six of seven.

      The Phillies (43-58) have lost seven of eight and are a season-worst 15 games below .500.

      Philadelphia squandered a prime opportunity in the eighth inning when catcher Carlos Ruiz and left fielder Domonic Brown opened with consecutive singles. After a sacrifice bunt, third baseman Andres Blanco struck out and pinch-hitter Grady Sizemore flied out.

      Right fielder Marlon Byrd's RBI single in the ninth inning gave the Phillies their run.

      Both clubs needed their starters to go deep into the game after the previous night's 14-inning marathon. A total of 16 pitchers threw 507 pitches in a game that lasted nearly six hours, leaving several relievers on both sides unavailable.

      Ruiz doubled off the left-center field wall in his first at-bat back after nearly one month on the disabled list with a concussion.

      The game was delayed for 59 minutes with two outs in the top of the fourth inning because of a thunderstorm.

      NOTES: Phillies C Carlos Ruiz (concussion) was activated from the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday night's game. Ruiz played for the first time since June 26 and batted fifth. To make room on the roster, Philadelphia optioned C Cameron Rupp to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Giants 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) left the ballpark almost immediately after arriving because he was not feeling well. "This thing is hanging on a little bit more than we thought," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We do have some concern." Belt was hit in the face with a throw during batting practice last Saturday. ... Philadelphia recalled RHP Phillippe Aumont before the game and designated RHP Jeff Manship for assignment. Manship took the loss in Tuesday's 14-inning affair and owns a 6.65 ERA in 20 games for the Phils. ... 2B Dan Uggla started at second and batted second for San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate Fresno on Wednesday. Uggla hit .162 with two homers this season for the Atlanta Braves before being released last Friday. ... In Thursday's series finale, Giants RHP Tim Hudson (8-6, 2.78 ERA) squares off against Phils LHP Cole Hamels (4-5, 2.83). ... San Francisco has the best road record in the National League at 29-19. Philadelphia has the worst NL home mark at 19-32.

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Liriano gets second win as Pirates top Dodgers
    By The Sports Xchange

    PITTSBURGH -- Francisco Liriano has been nowhere near the ace he was last year, when he won 16 games and helped lead the Pittsburgh Pirates on a magical run to their first winning season and postseason berth since 1992.

    • However, the left-hander got a win Wednesday night, and that has to be considered progress.

      Liriano won for just the second time in 17 starts this season and Josh Harrison's two-run double capped a four-run first inning as the Pirates beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1.

      Liriano (2-7) allowed only one run and four hits in seven innings, with four strikeouts and two walks.

      "I think I just get ahead in the count and go deep into games and get in quick innings and get better location," Liriano said. "I'm not at the point I want to be yet, but everything is getting better and everything is moving forward."

      The left-hander's other win this season also came against the Dodgers, when he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings May 30 at Los Angeles.

      "To me, he's a tough guy to get ready for," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "You know he doesn't throw that many strikes but he throws enough and his offspeed stuff is really, really good. He's all over the place. He's not a good guy to hit off of."

      Harrison, subbing at third base for the injured Pedro Alvarez (discomfort in left knee), had two hits. His double gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead just seven batters into the game against Dodgers right-hander Dan Haren (8-8).

      "We had him in the first inning throw quite a few pitches and had runners in scoring position," Harrison said. "You want to get as many runs early as possible. When we get on base, we know we can make things happen."

      Travis Snider, who started in left field because Starling Marte was placed on the seven-day concussion list before the game, had two hits, including a home run in the second inning that pushed the Pirates' lead to 5-0.

      Catcher Russell Martin also had two hits for the Pirates (54-47), who have won five of six games since the All-Star break. They also won for the 15th straight time when scoring in the first inning.

      Pirates left-hander Justin Wilson and right-hander Jared Hughes each pitched one scoreless inning to complete the five-hitter.

      An ugly July continued for Haren, who allowed five runs and four hits in five innings while striking out six and walking three. He has lost all four starts this month, with an ERA of 9.47.

      "It's just really gotten away from me the last four times out," Haren said. "I was having a great year. I felt great about everything, the way I was throwing the ball, but now everything has snowballed and everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong."

      The Dodgers (56-47) lost two of three in the series while two of their stars -- right fielder Yasiel Puig and shortstop Hanley Ramirez -- were missing because of hand injuries suffered last weekend when they were hit by pitches in St. Louis.

      Puig did pinch-hit in the eighth inning Wednesday and drew a walk. He stayed in the game in center field -- the first time he has played the position this season. Mattingly said Tuesday that he was thinking of making Puig the Dodgers' regular center fielder once he got healthy.

      Third baseman Juan Uribe had two hits for the Dodgers, who dropped 1 1/2 games behind the Giants in the National League West and open a three-game series with them Friday night at San Francisco.

      NOTES: INF Brent Morel was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis as LF Starling Marte went on the seven-day concussion disabled list. ... Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig and SS Hanley Ramirez both were out of the starting lineup with sore left hands. Puig is expected to start Friday night but manager Don Mattingly isn't as certain about Ramirez. ... Los Angeles C A.J. Ellis was rested after starting the first five games after the All-Star break. … Pittsburgh RHP Gerrit Cole, on the disabled list since July 5 with a strained right lat, said he felt good after throwing a 70-pitch simulated game. ... Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (11-6, 2.90 ERA) will face Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (9-6, 3.65) on Friday … The Pirates open a three-game road series at Colorado on Friday night with RHP Charlie Morton (5-9, 3.28) opposing Rockies LHP Brett Anderson (0-3, 4.00).

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Soft, hard throwers lead Blue Jays past Red Sox
    By The Sports Xchange

    TORONTO -- Josh Thole caught pitches from extreme ends of the spectrum Wednesday in the Toronto Blue Jays' 6-4 win over the Boston Red Sox.

    • The Blue Jays catcher handled the fluttering deliveries of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for six innings.

      Then he caught some explosive fastballs for two more innings in the major league debut of rookie right-hander Aaron Sanchez, who can light up a radar gun at 98 mph. Sanchez retired all six batters he faced.

      "The ball looked like 112 coming in after R.A.," Thole said. "I was joking that I felt like I almost missed the first warm-up pitch. It was quite a change."

      Thole also hit a two-run double in the first inning and had two walks in a 2-for-2 game.

      First baseman Jose Bautista had two RBIs with a homer and a double to lead the Toronto offense.

      Dickey (8-10) allowed nine hits and four runs, including three in the first inning on the fourth home run in three games by Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.

      Bautista doubled home a run in the bottom of the first inning and hit his 18th homer of the season in the seventh as the Blue Jays (53-49) beat the Red Sox (47-54) for the second game in a row.

      Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz (5-6) allowed six hits, four walks and five runs (four earned) in six innings.

      Sanchez, a 22-year-old who is rated as the top prospect in the Toronto organization, pitched the seventh and eighth. He struck out two batters on called third strikes with curveballs. He was called up from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday.

      "It really impressed me, I don't know how you can do better than that," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He looked like he belonged.

      "The team needed that because we were pretty beat up down there. He gave us two shutdown innings, and it was huge for the ballclub. He'll always remember it. He was brought here for a reason, not just to debut. He was brought here to help us."

      Casey Janssen pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

      Thole said he was encouraged when Sanchez seemed composed as he entered the game.

      "I tried to calm my nerves," Sanchez said. "My very first outing down in Triple-A coming out of the 'pen, I was a little anxious, a little amped. I was throwing hard, everything was at the thighs. And so I just told myself, just slow everything down. And that was a good learning lesson for going into tonight."

      The Blue Jays took a 5-4 lead with two runs in the sixth inning, one of them unearned.

      Thole took his second walk of the game with one out and scored on the first career major league triple by second baseman Ryan Goins.

      A throwing error by Red Sox third baseman Xander Bogaerts on a chopper by Jose Reyes allowed Goins to score.

      "It seemed like he didn't quite get his feet set to deliver a firm throw," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

      "It was a ball in the dirt, just tried to pick it," first baseman Mike Napoli said. "I'm pretty good at picking the ball. I was kind of falling over a little. "It's a play I've made in the past and one I expect to make. You have to be quick with it, him getting down the line."

      Bautista homered on the first pitch of the seventh inning by Red Sox left-handed reliever Andrew Miller.

      Each team scored three runs in the first inning. Ortiz hit his 24th homer of the season after right fielder Shane Victorino and second baseman Dustin Pedroia singled.

      The Blue Jays tied it on four hits and a walk in the bottom half of the inning. Reyes, Toronto's shortstop, led off with a single, and left fielder Melky Cabrera walked.

      Bautista stroked an RBI double to left. Cabrera was out at home on designated hitter Dioner Navarro's grounder to third. Bautista slid home with the second run on a groundout to first by center fielder Colby Rasmus.

      Third baseman Munenori Kawasaki smashed a one-bouncer that deflected off Buchholz's glove and hit the side of his face for an infield single. After a couple of warm-up pitches, Buchholz allowed an RBI, ground-rule double by Thole that scored Navarro.

      "It dazed me for sure," Buchholz said. "Anytime you get hit with a ball, it's going to take you a second. Once I got up and sort of got my bearings straight, I felt fine."

      The Red Sox took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on successive two-out doubles by left fielder Daniel Nava and Bogaerts.

      NOTES: Red Sox INF/OF Brock Holt did not start Wednesday for the first time since his May 17 recall. ... Boston RHP Jake Peavy, who fell to 1-9 after taking the loss in Toronto's 7-3 win Tuesday, has received an average of 2.76 runs per game in support in his 20 starts this season, the lowest run support of any qualifying starter in the American League. ... Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista started at first base Wednesday for the seventh time this season. ... Toronto RHP Sergio Santos, who was designated for assignment Monday, cleared waivers. He will be assigned to Triple-A Buffalo. ... Boston RHP Rubby De La Rosa (3-2, 2.64 ERA) will start the finale of the four-game series Thursday afternoon against Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman (5-2, 3.58).

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Tigers add Soria to bullpen
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Detroit Tigers bolstered their bullpen by acquiring reliever Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night in exchange for pitching prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, according to multiple reports.

    • Soria served as the Rangers' closer this season and was 1-3 with 17 saves and a 2.70 ERA in 35 games. He walked four batters and and struck out 42 in 33 1/3 innings.

      With veteran Joe Nathan struggling as the Tigers' closer this season, Soria could take over ninth-inning responsibilties.

      The 30-year-old Soria has a $5.5 million contract this year and a $7 million club option for next season.

      The 20-year-old Thompson, a second-round draft pick in 2012, has a 10-9 record with a 2.96 ERA in 200 2/3 career innings split between rookie ball, Class A and Double-A.

      Knebel was drafted in the first round (39th overall) in 2013 and has a 6-2 record 1.26 ERA in 64 1/3 innings in the minor leagues. The 22-year-old former University of Texas pitcher is a combined 4-1 for Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo this year.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Yankees 2, Rangers 1
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the third inning and David Phelps won his fourth straight decision as the New York Yankees edged the Texas Rangers 2-1 in a rain-shortened game Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

    • The game was delayed with one out in the fifth and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli on second following his second double of the game. The game appeared set to resume at 10:05 pm but umpires and managers Joe Girardi (Yankees) and Ron Washington (Rangers) seemed to think an area right off the first base bag was not properly dried.

      Twenty-two minutes after the announced re-start time, the tarp was put back on the field and a few minutes later crew chief Dale Scott and third base umpire Quinn Wolcott went over to the Yankee dugout and the game was called.

      Threatening skies began appearing in the fourth and prior to Gardner's third at-bat, a heavy downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning soaked Yankee Stadium.

      Before the delay, the Yankees scored twice in the third against Texas right-hander Yu Darvish (9-6). They tied it when Darvish slightly moved his shoulder after a 1-0 pitch to Gardner and was charged with a balk and took the lead when Gardner drove a 3-1 fastball into the right field seats for his 10th home run.

      Phelps (5-4) allowed one run and five hits over five innings and was credited with a complete game. He stranded Rangers' left fielder Leonys Martin on third after a one-out triple by retiring catcher Chris Gimenez and striking out second baseman Rougned Odor, whose double-play grounder in the third gave Texas a 1-0 lead.

      Darvish allowed two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He seemed likely to return had play resumed since he was warming up in the outfield once players returned to the field.

      Texas opened the third inning by getting consecutive singles from Martin and Gimenez. The Rangers took the lead when Odor bounced into a double play and Martin scored.

      New York scored twice in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-1 edge.

      NOTES: The Yankees placed INF Kelly Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 1 left groin strain. Since that is less severe, the Yankees do not expect Johnson to miss much time beyond the minimum 15 days. ... RHP Chris Leroux was added to New York's roster after its entire bullpen was used Tuesday. ... New York LHP CC Sabathia had his left knee surgery earlier Wednesday, but the Yankees did not have any updates. ... OF Alex Rios returned to the Texas lineup after missing three games with a sprained right ankle. He also denied a CBS report citing "an unnamed friend" that trade rumors have negatively impacted his production. ... According to the Rangers' game notes, Tuesday was the fifth time a pitcher blew a save in the 13th inning or beyond and first since Jose Cecena allowed tying single to Kelly Gruber in the 13th of an eventual 14-inning victory at Toronto on May 17, 1988.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Freeman homers in Braves' 6-1 win
    By The Sports Xchange

    ATLANTA -- Not many teams have handcuffed Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman like the Miami Marlins have this year. But the slugger finally found a way to make a dent against his biggest nemesis.

    • Freeman ended his season-long frustration against Miami with his first home run in nearly a month to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 6-1 win over the Marlins on Wednesday night at Turner Field.

      Freeman, Atlanta's All-Star first baseman, entered the game with a .045 batting average in 11 games against Miami this season. He changed his luck in the second inning with a long three-run homer to the opposite field in left against Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi (5-6).

      "It's just one of those things. You can't explain it," Freeman said. "Tonight I was able to hit his mistake."

      It was Freeman's first homer against Miami this season and his first long ball since June 26 against the Philadelphia Phillies, a streak of 83 at-bats.

      "That's his stroke," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's a guy who can drive it out to left center. We've seen it. To see that was nice for him to see my stroke is back."

      Freeman broke out of a 2-for-44 slump against the Marlins. It was only his second hit of the homestand, but Gonzalez could see progress.

      "Even yesterday when he didn't get a hit, his stroke was getting better," Gonzalez said.

      Freeman said, "I've been struggling the last couple of weeks. It's nice to hit some balls hard."

      Freeman's home run gave Atlanta a 5-0 lead and benefited right-hander Ervin Santana (9-6), who allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings. Santana, who has won four of his last five starts, allowed six hits, walked three and struck out 10 -- the 13th time in his career he has produced double-digit strikeouts.

      "I threw a lot of strikes and mixed every pitch I had," Santana said. "It feels good anytime you can come out and throw strikes."

      Santana was lifted after allowing two runners to reach with one out in the eighth. Right-hander Jordan Walden ended the threat by striking out right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and third baseman Casey McGehee.

      Rookie left-hander Chasen Shreve pitched a scoreless ninth inning despite allowing a single and walk. He struck out pinch-hitter Reed Johnson to end the game.

      "Every time he goes out there, he's going to get better and better," Gonzalez said.

      Eovaldi allowed five runs in the opening two innings before settling down and pitching well. After Freeman's homer in the second, Eovaldi retired 16 of the next 18 batters without allowing another hit. In seven innings, he allowed six hits and struck out two.

      "After those first two innings, he settled in," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "The location of his fastball was better. Unfortunately, we couldn't overcome that first inning."

      The Braves broke out in front early with a run in the first inning and four in the second to stake Santana to a 5-0 lead. Santana, victimized earlier in the season by lack of support, has now received five or more runs from his teammates four times in his past five starts.

      "In the first two innings, he was missing up in the zone," Redmond said. "They were on his fastball early and he gave up that home run on a breaking ball."

      The first-inning run came courtesy of a sacrifice fly from left fielder Justin Upton, who drove home brother B.J. Upton after the center fielder led off the game with a double.

      In the second, Atlanta got an RBI single from second baseman Tommy La Stella, then Freeman's homer.

      The Marlins got a run in the third inning on a single from left fielder Christian Yelich that drove home catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

      Atlanta catcher Gerald Laird finished the scoring in the eighth, driving in right fielder Jason Heyward with a single.

      NOTES: Miami manager Mike Redmond was ejected by third base umpire Alan Porter for arguing an out call in the eighth inning. ... Atlanta LF Justin Upton's hitting streak ended at seven games, but C Gerald Laird extended his to six games. ... Atlanta placed RHP Anthony Varvaro on paternity leave and recalled RHP Gus Schlosser from Triple-A Gwinnett. Schlosser appeared in 10 games for Atlanta previously this season, going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. ... Atlanta rested C Evan Gattis, but it had nothing to do with back issues. Gattis, who recently came off the disabled list after recovering from a bulging thoracic disk, was simply getting a night off. ... The finale of the four-game series will feature Miami RHP Henderson Alvarez (6-5, 2.64 ERA) against Atlanta RHP Aaron Harang (9-6, 3.36). Alvarez has not beaten the Braves in five previous starts.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Rays' Escobar booted after strikeout
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. LOUIS -- Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was ejected from Wednesday night's game with the St. Louis Cardinals after arguing a called third strike in the top of the fourth inning.

    • Escobar started to first base after taking a 3-2 pitch, but home plate umpire Dan Bellino rung him up. Escobar jumped up and down about 10 feet from the plate and then confronted Bellino, who booted him.

      Escobar was the second Ray to be kicked out in as many nights. Manager Joe Maddon was heaved in Tuesday night's 7-2 win by plate umpire Mark Ripperger in the third inning.

      Bellino leads all MLB umpires in ejections this year with six.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Tigers roll to 11-5 win over Diamondbacks
    By The Sports Xchange

    PHOENIX -- Detroit right-hander Joba Chamberlain has been near-perfect as the Tigers' principal setup man in the eighth inning this season. Nothing changed when he was summoned a little earlier than usual Wednesday.

    • Chamberlain got National League RBI leader Paul Goldschmidt to ground into a double play to end an Arizona rally in the seventh inning and the Tigers opened the game up on third baseman Miguel Cabrera's three-run homer in the eighth for an 11-5 victory at Chase Field.

      "It was the nature of the game today," Ausmas said of going to Chamberlain. "I felt like Joba was the one guy who could kind of stem the tide. Normally, I would like to have him pitch the eighth. I just thought this was a unique situation. This to me was the game."

      Detroit led 7-0 after four innings before the Diamondbacks got within two, the last run coming on singles by shortstop Didi Gregorius, pinch-hitter Alfredo Marte and center field David Peralta. After a popup, Chamberlain entered to face Goldschmidt, who has 65 RBIs this season.

      Chamberlain got Goldschmidt to ground into a double play with a first-pitch curveball. Chamberlain has been scored upon twice since May 14, and his ERA during that span is 1.35.

      "Knowing what 'Goldy' could do with one swing, we just had to try to minimize the damage," said Chamberlain, who had not been used in the seventh inning since May 7. "I knew he was probably going to be a little bit aggressive, and we executed a pitch.

      Ausmus said, "We had to win this game, and he was our best option right there."

      Cabrera's homer, his first of the the month and 15th of the season, capped a four-run eighth inning for an 11-5 lead.

      Center fielder Austin Jackson had two doubles and three RBIs and catcher Alex Avila also had three RBIs for the American League Central-leading Tigers (56-42), who have the best road record in the majors at 30-17.

      Avila had a two-run double in the second inning off Arizona right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-7), and Jackson had a three-run double in a five-run fourth for a 7-0 lead. Cabrera had two hits.

      Right-hander Anibal Sanchez (7-4) gave up 11 hits and five runs in 6 1/3 innings before being rescued by Chamberlain in the seventh. Sanchez has won all four decisions in his eight road starts this season.

      Shortstop Didi Gregorius homered, singled and drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks (44-58), who entered the game in third place in the NL West for the first time this year.

      Right fielder Gerardo Parra had three hits, drove in a run and scored a run as Arizona pushed across three runs in the fifth inning and single runs in the sixth and seventh to make it 7-5.

      "They felt us coming, and we had a good attitude and put up some good at-bats," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "We got into their bullpen, which we wanted to do, then 'Goldy' sat on a slider and hit into a double play."

      Left fielder Rajai Davis had three hits and drove in one run for the Tigers. First baseman Victor Martinez and right fielder Don Kelly had two hits and scored twice.

      Avila doubled in two runs in the second inning and hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the first run in a five-run fourth. Jackson had a three-run double after an error by second baseman Aaron Hill extended the inning. He finished with two doubles and is hitting .382 with 10 doubles and nine RBIs since July 2.

      "Jackson' hit was the big hit to start," Ausmus said. "Of course, Miggy's home run opens the game up for us."

      Cahill gave up eight hits and seven runs (three earned) in four innings in his second start since returning to the rotation after the All-Star break.

      "l felt a little more comfortable today," Cahill said. "I felt that I would execute a couple of pitches and then leave one up and they would make me pay."

      NOTES: Detroit RF Torii Hunter was given a day off while in a hot streak during which is hitting .381 in his last 20 games. "At this point of his career, he needs days," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. Hunter turned 39 last week. ... Arizona RHP Brad Ziegler was sore but available Wednesday, a day after being struck in the right cage by a line drive in the eighth inning that caused him to be removed one day later. ... Detroit LF J.D. Martinez was held out of the lineup because of quad soreness, Ausmus said. Martinez felt pain when he left the batter's box after hitting the ball that struck Ziegler. ... Detroit RHP Max Scherzer will face Angels RHP Garrett Richards is a matchup of two of the best right-handers in the American League on Thursday, the first game of a four game series in Anaheim. ... It was 106 degrees outside when the game started, 79 degrees under the Chase Field roof. ... Sanchez threw a no-hitter against Arizona as a rookie with Miami on Sept. 6, 2006.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Colon perfect into seventh of Mets' win
    By The Sports Xchange

    SEATTLE -- New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon lost his bid for a perfect game two outs into the seventh inning Wednesday afternoon when he was content to settle for another victory at Safeco Field.

    • Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before posting his 13th win in 15 career starts at the Seattle Mariners' home stadium by way of a 3-2 victory.

      The 41-year-old right-hander flirted with a perfect game before Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano singled with two outs in the seventh inning.

      "I knew it was going on, but I didn't really think about it," Colon said through an interpreter of coming within seven outs of what would have been the first perfect game in Mets history. "When you get to the ninth inning, that's when you think about it."

      The Mariners finally started to get to the veteran in the eighth inning when shortstop Brad Miller drilled Colon's final pitch of the afternoon off the top of the right-center field wall for a one-out RBI double. That cut New York's lead to 3-1.

      In the eighth, Mariners pinch-hitter Willie Bloomquist drove in a run with a groundout to pull the Mariners within a run.

      New York closer Jenrry Mejia pitched a scoreless ninth, despite giving up two singles, to pick up his second save in a row and his 13th of the season.

      Colon (9-8) was charged with two earned runs and gave up three hits in 7 1/3 innings. In 15 starts at Seattle's Safeco Field, he now has a 13-1 record and a 2.12 ERA.

      Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon wasn't too surprised with Colon's dominance.

      "This guy knows how to pitch," McClendon said. "Check the resume."

      Seattle starter Taijuan Walker, who was only 20 months old when Colon made his 1994 major league debut, was able to hang with the Mets starter for most of the first five innings, despite some control problems and a 1-0 deficit after just two batters.

      Walker walked leadoff hitter Eric Young Jr. on four pitches, then Young came around to score on a double from Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy.

      That held up as the only run of the game until Walker's wildness caught up with him in the sixth. He gave up a leadoff single and walked two in a row to load the bases before coming out of the game after 94 pitches.

      Reliever Dominic Leone came on and cleaned up the jam, for the most part, but he did give up a sacrifice fly to center fielder Juan Lagares that put New York up 2-0.

      Walker allowed two runs, two hits and six walks in five innings. In six career starts stretching to last season, Walker has secured an out in the sixth inning or beyond just once.

      "His command of his fastball has to get better, and it will get better," McClendon said of Walker, who was sent to Triple-A after the game because the Mariners have an off day on Monday. "One thing you have to remember is this kid's 21 years old. Most 21-year-olds are still in college."

      The Mets padded their lead to 3-0 on a David Wright RBI single in the seventh inning.

      At that point, Colon still had a no-hitter going until Cano broke up history with a liner to left. New York (48-53) has just one no-hitter in franchise history -- by Johan Santana on June 1, 2012 -- and still hasn't had a pitcher throw a perfect game.

      Colon, despite his 425 career starts, has never thrown a no-hitter.

      Seattle caught up with Colon in the seventh inning when Cano drilled a 2-2 pitch into left field for a two-out single.

      "It was a little disappointing when (Cano) got a hit," Colon said, "but that's what happens when you have a chance at a no-hitter."

      One inning later, the Mariners scored on Miller's RBI double and Bloomquist's groundout.

      Bloomquist was originally credited with an infield single, but a challenge by Mets manager Terry Collins resulted in a replay review that revealed the throw from shortstop beat Bloomquist for the second out of the inning.

      Mets reliever Jeurys Familia then struck out Seattle right fielder Endy Chavez to strand Miller on third base and preserve the 3-2 lead.

      Mejia came on in the ninth and gave up a one-out, infield single to Cano and a two-out single to designated hitter Corey Hart, but he struck out Seattle first baseman Logan Morrison to finish off the Mets' victory.

      Wednesday marked the 13th time in a span of 16 games that the Mariners (53-48) have been held to three runs or fewer. Seattle had five hits in the loss.

      The game was interrupted for a few minutes during the fifth inning when Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada was hit on the head with a pitch from Walker. The pitch sailed high and hit Tejada squarely in the helmet, leaving him sprawled face-down in the dirt while trainers from both teams came onto the field.

      After a couple of minutes, Tejada walked off the field while being flanked by a Mets trainer. A baseball-sized red mark could be seen on the left side of his forehead.

      Tejada talked to reporters after the game and was lucid and smiling as he told the media how he had escaped a more serious injury.

      "It scared me," Tejada said. "A high fastball, 93, 94 miles per hour. I saw the ball and tried to get away. That's the one thing you can do in that moment."

      NOTES: Mets CF Curtis Granderson (illness) was not in the lineup for the second consecutive day. ... Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker was making his first start since July 6. Seattle had sent him to Triple-A to get in some work over the All-Star break. He was headed back to Triple-A after the game, as the upcoming off day will allow the Mariners to use a four-man rotation into next week. The Mariners will make a corresponding move before Thursday’s game. ... Walker was officially called up before Wednesday's game, less than 12 hours after Tuesday starter Erasmo Ramirez was optioned back down to Triple-A. ... Both starting catchers -- the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud and Seattle's Mike Zunino -- took the day off. ... New York starter Bartolo Colon was making his 15th start at Safeco Field, where he owned a 12-1 record and 2.10 ERA in his career heading into Wednesday's game. ... Seattle LHP James Paxton (shoulder) made his first rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday and told The Seattle Times on Wednesday that he had "no pain."

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    MLB roundup: Padres' Maybin suspended
    By The Sports Xchange

    San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin was suspended 25 games without pay after testing positive for an amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

    • The suspension was effective immediately and the Padres purchased the contract of outfielder Jeff Francoeur from Triple-A El Paso.

      Maybin is hitting just .247 in 174 at-bats this season, appearing in 62 games. He has one home run and nine RBIs to go with three stolen bases.

      ---The Washington Nationals placed infielder/outfielder Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, the team announced Wednesday.

      Zimmerman, 29, goes on the DL for the second time this season after missing 44 games with a thumb fracture earlier in the year. He is hitting .282 with five homers, 19 doubles and 36 RBIs.

      The Nationals also recalled infielder Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse.

      ---The New York Yankees placed infielder Kelly Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin, the team announced Wednesday.

      Johnson was removed from Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers after suffering the injury. He is hitting .219 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 201 at-bats this season.

      The Yankees also called up right-hander Chris Leroux from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated right-hander Bruce Billings for assignment.

      ---The Cleveland Indians recalled infielder Jose Ramirez and optioned left-hander T.J. House to Triple-A Columbus, the team announced Wednesday.

      Ramirez, 21, has spent the bulk of the 2014 season with Columbus, hitting .302 with 15 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 29 RBIs in 60 games for the Clippers. He has also collected a team-leading 19 stolen bases.

      House, 24, worked five innings, giving up six hits and three runs, in Monday's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. He has gone 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his first nine major league starts (10 appearances) with the Indians this season.

      ---Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Sergio Santos, who was designated for assignment on Monday, has cleared waivers and will be assigned to Triple-A Buffalo.

      ---Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett was out of the lineup and will likely be out the next few games after experiencing tightness in his right quad.

      ---The Minnesota Twins designated reliever Matt Guerrier for release or assignment. Guerrier, in his second stint with the organization in a career that has spanned 11 seasons, is third on the team's all-time list with 488 relief innings pitched.

      Guerrier was 1-0 this season with a 3.86 ERA in 27 appearances but was roughed up for four runs in the ninth inning of his final outing Tuesday in a 8-2 loss.

      Twins first baseman Joe Mauer swung in the cage before the game, another positive step in his return from a strained oblique that has had him on the 15-day disabled list since July 2.

      ---Seattle Mariners left-hander James Paxton (shoulder) made his first rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday and told The Seattle Times on Wednesday that he had "no pain."

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Behind De La Rosa, Rockies end seven-game skid
    By The Sports Xchange

    DENVER -- Jorge De La Rosa gave the Colorado Rockies the strong start they desperately needed Wednesday, and he did nothing to diminish his trade value with scouts from several clubs watching.

    • The 33-year-old left-hander pitched into the eighth inning, and the Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 to end their seven-game losing streak.

      De La Rosa is eligible for free agency at the end of the season and a possible trade candidate for the last-place Rockies at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

      "You hear a lot of rumors," he said, "but I don't put those things in my mind. I just try to go out there and pitch for my team to win every fifth day. If I'm going to get traded, I get traded, but I don't have to think about those things right now."

      He held the Nationals to two runs (one earned) in a season-high 7 1/3 innings with no walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts -- all of them swinging.

      "My command of all my pitches was really good today," he said.

      Trading De La Rosa doesn't preclude his return to the Rockies after the season, given his unusually high comfort level at Coors Field. It can be a chamber of horrors for some pitchers, but not for De La Rosa, whose career record at home is 42-14.

      "I feel I can command pitches really good here," he said. "I think that's why (I have) the success I got here. When we go play away, it's hard to control my pitches. It's a perfect park for me."

      De La Rosa (11-6) was just the fourth Rockies starter since June 25 to pitch into the seventh inning and the first since May 5 to reach the eighth. He threw a season-high 110 pitches, including 73 strikes.

      "He knows how to pitch here," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "Surprising fastball when he needs it, but he relies on his changeup a lot. It's a great strategy here. He's got the ability to throw it for a strike when he needs to and off the zone when he needs to. I've seen that a number of times, unfortunately."

      De La Rosa, who won his fifth consecutive decision, allowed an unearned run in the first inning on a bizarre play.

      After a leadoff single by center fielder Denard Span, who went 4-for-5, left fielder Scott Hairston hit a grounder to third baseman Nolan Arenado, who threw to second. However, there was no play on the speedy Span, and second baseman DJ LeMahieu's low throw bounced past first baseman Ben Paulsen, enabling Span to score.

      The Rockies quickly wiped out that deficit with three runs in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Josh Rutledge and left fielder Corey Dickerson hit back-to-back doubles with one out. Arenado walked, and Paulsen singled home a run. With two outs, Michael McKenry flared a soft, run-scoring single over second baseman Danny Espinosa.

      Arenado also doubled home a run in the seventh after a leadoff walk to Dickerson. Arenado took third on Aaron Barrett's wild pitch and scored to make it 6-2 when Paulsen struck out but reached first base when catcher Jose Lobaton threw wide of first baseman Adam LaRoche.

      The only other run De La Rosa allowed came in the fifth on a two-out single by Span after Espinosa led off the inning with a double. Nationals hitters went 1-for-14 against De La Rosa with runners in scoring position.

      "I just tried to make the hitter put the ball on the ground. That works a lot for me; I'm going to keep doing it," said De La Rosa, who got eight outs on ground balls, six with runners in scoring position.

      The Nationals scored two runs in the ninth with four consecutive two-out singles off LaTroy Hawkins. With runners on first and second, Rutledge muffed LaRoche's grounder to load the bases, but Hawkins struck out shortstop Ian Desmond to end the game.

      "Hawkins has ice water in his veins," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's not like he was getting knocked around. A couple broken-bat hits to start that thing. I felt he was still throwing the ball well, but it got a little too close for comfort there."

      Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg (7-8) pitched 5 1/3 innings and was relieved by left-hander Ross Detwiler with runners on first and second in the sixth. Right fielder Charlie Blackmon greeted Detwiler with a single to short left field, and Michael McKenry just beat the throw home from Hairston, putting the Rockies ahead 4-2.

      The loss was just the second in eight games for the Nationals and ended their four-game winning streak. The Rockies won for just the seventh time in 32 games dating from June 16 and broke a losing streak that was one short of their season worst.

      "It's been a tough go for everybody," Weiss said. "Guys keep showing up and counter-punching. That's all we can do. But it's nice having Jorgy take the ball and doing what he did."

      NOTES: Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman (right hamstring strain) was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He was injured running to first base in the fifth inning Tuesday night and left the game. INF Zach Walters was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. He began his second stint with Washington this season with a pinch hit single in the ninth. ... Rockies RF Carlos Gonzalez did not play. He is 7-for-32 (.219) with one homer, three RBIs and 14 strikeouts since returning from the disabled list July 11 after missing 35 games with a finger injury.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Royals' relief efforts lead to 2-1 win
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- The Kansas City Royals are more than happy to engage in a battle of bullpens.

    • Whether they're protecting leads or trying to keep games close, Royals relievers have become a major asset this season. That was proved again Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, where the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1 in a game that featured a strong outing from starter James Shields and another dominant showing by the bullpen.

      "Any time we're in the late innings of a game and it's a close game, one run is usually good enough with our bullpen," said Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning by jarring the ball out of catcher Tyler Flowers' mitt. "These guys have been phenomenal for us all year. (Wade Davis) is lights out and then you get to (closer Greg Holland). It's a tough combo to get a run off, so if we get one run late in that game or any game, it's a good chance we're coming out with a 'W' that day."

      That's exactly what happened in the series finale between the American League Central rivals.

      Davis (6-2) got the win by keeping it 1-1 with a scoreless eighth and Holland preserved the one-run lead after Moustakas' slide for his 26th save.

      "We all try to help each other in a positive way and we all want to get the job done," said Davis, who hasn't yielded an extra-base hit in 42 2/3 innings. "Nobody wants people to look at us and say it was our fault. We don't want that to happen and I don't think it will."

      Right-hander Zach Putnam (3-2) gave up a run in the ninth and took the loss for Chicago (48-54), which is now 2-12 in its last 14 home games against the Royals.

      A single to shallow center by right fielder Nori Aoki led to the play at the plate that scored Moustakas, who would have been out had Flowers held onto the throw by center fielder Adam Eaton. Moustakas' knee knocked the ball out, which gave Holland all the runs he needed.

      "In all honesty, I thought I had it the whole time," Flowers said. "I wish I would have hung on to it, but there was nothing I could do different. I don't regret anything I did and I'm not going to do anything different next time."

      Neither is Moustakas, who admitted the new rules about collisions at the plate led to him sliding rather than crashing into Flowers.

      "The rules ... you kind of have to obey 'em," he said. "You don't really think about trying to truck anybody, and that's a big boy back there behind home plate, so it's probably not a good idea to go that route (against Flowers). I just tried to slide in hard and tried to jar the ball out."

      Each side manufactured a run in the first inning and it stayed 1-1 for the remaining six innings the starting pitchers were in the game. Shields and White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana matched each other zero for zero on the scoreboard through the next six frames, which led to the bullpen battle.

      Quintana and Shields took different routes to similar results.

      Quintana allowed seven hits and two walks in his seven innings but got out of some sticky situations by forcing three double-play grounders -- including two by Royals designated hitter Danny Valencia.

      "I feel today I threw more strikes," said Quintana, who was saddled with is 36th career no-decision. "I was ahead in the count and it's better for me because you stay longer in the game. Sometimes you have games with more strikeouts. Today I stayed (in) longer because I had contact early."

      Shields escaped a bases-loaded scrape in the second inning by getting second baseman Gordon Beckham to ground out and then turned to the strikeout as his primary weapon. He fanned two each in the third, sixth and seventh and induced his own rally-killing double play ball in the fifth.

      Once it got down to the relievers, the Royals had a distinct advantage.

      "A lot of people look at the arms that are out there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Royals relievers. "They have a very nice bullpen. Our guys, they give up one run, it becomes tough."

      NOTES: Royals 1B Eric Hosmer (right hand contusion) returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing two games, but left early. ... White Sox rookie 1B Jose Abreu was back in the starting lineup after getting an unscheduled day off Tuesday and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Chicago scratched RF Dayan Viciedo from the starting lineup because of tightness in his left hamstring. ... LHP Carlos Rodon, whom the White Sox selected third overall in the June draft, allowed one run and two hits with one strikeout Tuesday in his professional debut in the advanced rookie Arizona League. ... Injured Royals LHP Jason Vargas (appendectomy) will throw another side session Thursday in Kansas City. ... Pitching coach Don Cooper missed his third straight game with complications from vertigo and did not fly with the White Sox to Minnesota. ... OF Avisail Garcia, recovering from shoulder surgery, will make the upcoming road trip with the White Sox to continue his rehab work. ... Wednesday was the five-year anniversary of former White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle's perfect game in Chicago against the Tampa Bay Rays.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Brewers sweep slumping Reds
    By The Sports Xchange

    MILWAUKEE -- All signs are pointing to the Milwaukee Brewers' midseason slide coming to an end.

    • Mark Reynolds hit two home runs and Kyle Lohse worked into the seventh inning as the Brewers finished off a three-game sweep of the Reds with a 5-1 victory Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.

      Reynolds' two home runs came as part of a 3-for-4 day and were just his second and third homers since June 2.

      "It was brutal, man," said Reynolds, who came into the game 3-for-33 (.092) at the plate during July. "That's really all I can say. It was brutal."

      He was the second Brewer to snap out of a monthlong slump with a two-homer game in as many days, following Jonathan Lucroy, whose walk-off home run gave Milwaukee a 4-3 victory Tuesday night.

      "That's what it takes," Reynolds said. "It can't be the same person every night. Luc's done it for so long for us all year, some of us other guys have to step up and help the team out. That was good to see last night."

      Reynolds and Lucroy were two of three Brewers players with multiple hits. Lucroy singled his first two times up and center fielder Carlos Gomez picked up two while also scoring a run.

      "Hopefully, this is the start of one of those good streaks," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We knew it was going to come. Hopefully, this starts it."

      Lohse (11-4), meanwhile, matched Wily Peralta for the team lead with 11 victories by holding the Reds to a run and four hits with three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

      "We played some good ball this series," Lohse said. "We just have to keep it going. It doesn't matter who we are playing.

      "Obviously, it is nice to play well against the guys who are right behind you, but it doesn't matter. We have the Mets coming in and we have to do the same thing there. Take the foot off the pedal and everybody is going to catch up again and make it way more interesting than we want it."

      The Brewers had plenty of chances against Reds starter Mike Leake, who allowed 11 of Milwaukee's 12 hits but limited the damage by holding the Brewers to four runs with a formidable sinker.

      Leake got Brewers batters to ground into inning-ending double plays in the first and third innings and struck out four without walking a batter.

      Leake (7-9) had only thrown 87 pitches when manager Bryan Price opted to pinch-hit for him with two outs in the seventh inning.

      "They hit a few balls hard and a few balls that weren't hard that found holes," Leake said. "The Weeks double and then the Reynolds home run were kind of the two that I'd like to take back."

      The Reds gave him a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on center fielder Billy Hamilton's sacrifice fly, but Milwaukee went ahead in the bottom of the inning when Lohse reached on a one-out single and then scored on center fielder Carlos Gomez's triple to right.

      Gomez put the Brewers ahead, scoring on a two-out single by right fielder Ryan Braun, who narrowly beat the throw from second baseman Skip Schumacher.

      Reynolds broke the game open in the sixth inning, taking Leake to left for his 15th home run of the season and then added an insurance run in the eighth off right-hander Jumbo Diaz.

      The Reds have dropped six in a row and have been swept in two consecutive series.

      "Anybody that watched our six games on this road trip would understand that we're not playing as we were leading into the break," Price said. "We're not scoring a lot of runs. We're not getting terribly efficient starting pitching. We know that we're a better club than we've represented here in the last six games."

      Milwaukee has won four of six since the All-Star break and moved two games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals, who hosted the Tampa Bay Rays later Wednesday, in the National League Central.

      NOTES: Brewers 2B Scooter Gennett was out of the lineup and will likely be out the next few games after experiencing tightness in his right quad. ... The Reds' six-game losing streak to start the second half is their longest since 1991, when they went 0-8 out of the All-Star break. ... The Reds and Brewers meet six more times this season -- in Milwaukee on Sept. 12-14 and in Cincinnati on Sept. 23-25.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Fill-in Swarzak pitches Twins past Indians
    By The Sports Xchange

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins pitcher Anthony Swarzak has made no bones about his desire to become a full-time starting pitcher one day.

    • Wednesday, Swarzak looked like a guy who belongs in a rotation.

      The right-hander, who has appeared in 30 games this season, made his first start of the year and looked the part of an established starter, tossing five innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians at Target Field.

      Making a spot start in place of an injured Kyle Gibson, Swarzak showed his value to the Twins, allowing only two hits and throwing 74 pitches in five frames, improving to 2-0 on the year.

      "It feels good to be able to give your team a chance to win every day," Swarzak said. "It's a little different coming out of the bullpen because most of the time you're coming into the game in a situation where you need a ground ball or you need quick outs. Today I got the opportunity to compete and just throw my stuff up there and compete my way through a lineup once or twice. I missed that. That was fun."

      Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before the game he hoped for 50 or 60 pitches from Swarzak, but left the door open for based on the type of innings he was throwing.

      Through four innings, Swarzak sat at 61 pitches, but had allowed only the two hits and a two walks.

      "They asked me how I was. I said I was doing fine, and that was it," Swarzak said. "Everybody left me alone. I figured after the fifth I was done. I threw too many pitches in the third."

      The Indians scored their only run of the game in that third inning, getting a single and a walk in front of an RBI double by shortstop Jose Ramirez. With runners on second and third, All-Star center fielder Michael Brantley hit a hard liner up the middle that would have easily scored two more, but a diving stop by Twins shortstop Eduardo Nunez ended the inning.

      "That was the play of the game, hands down," Swarzak said. "That was why we won. Great diving play."

      "That's taking two runs right off the board," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "We might still be playing, that was a great play."

      Twins center fielder Danny Santana and right fielder Oswaldo Arcia had multi-hit games to pace the Minnesota offense.

      Santana's one-out triple in the third inning was Minnesota's first hit. He scored one batter later when left fielder Sam Fuld singled to center. Santana also had a one-out single in the fifth inning, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on second baseman Brian Dozier's bloop double into right field to give Minnesota the lead for good.

      Arcia had two hits, including a solo home run in the sixth inning, his sixth of the season.

      Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer (4-5) took the loss despite a quality start, allowing three earned runs over six innings on six hits and two walks. He also struck out seven.

      "It was a fastball and it was right where I wanted to put it," Bauer said of his pitch to Arcia. "Good for him, he hit a good pitch. Sold out for it."

      Following the game, the Twins designated reliever Matt Guerrier for release or assignment. Guerrier, in his second stint with the organization in a career that's spanned 11 seasons, is third on the team's all-time list with 488 relief innings pitched.

      Guerrier was 1-0 this season with a 3.86 ERA in 27 appearances, but was roughed up for four runs in the ninth inning of his final outing Tuesday in a 8-2 loss. Minnesota recalled right-hander Ryan Pressly to take Guerrier's spot on the 25-man roster.

      NOTES: The Indians recalled INF Jose Ramirez from Triple-A Columbus prior to the game. Ramirez started Wednesday at shortstop and batted second. ... To make room for Ramirez, the Indians optioned RHP T.J. House to Columbus. House was the starter in the series opener on Monday, pitching five innings and allowing three earned runs in a no-decision. ... Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who left the game Monday with lower back spasms, is still day-to-day but looked much improved on Wednesday. He could return to the lineup as soon as Thursday against Kansas City. ... Twins 1B Joe Mauer swung in the cage before the game, another positive step in his return from a strained oblique that has had him on the 15-day disabled list since July 2. ... Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco had the day off on Wednesday as he looks recover from an ailing right elbow that has had him on the DL since July 8. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, and if all goes well, he could return to the Twins rotation as soon as next week.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Maybin suspended, Padres call up Francoeur
    By The Sports Xchange

    San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Mayin was suspended 25 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

    • The suspension was effective immediately, and the Padres purchased the contract of outfielder Jeff Francoeur from Triple-A El Paso.

      "I have been undergoing treatment for several years for a medical condition, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), for which I previously had a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)," Maybin said in a statement. "Unfortunately, in my attempts to switch back to a medicine that had been previously ok'd, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested positive. I want to assure everyone that this was a genuine effort to treat my condition and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension. I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Padres organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the success of my club."

      Maybin is hitting just .247 in 174 at-bats this season, appearing in 62 games. He has one home run and nine RBIs to go with three stolen bases.

      Francoeur was in the starting lineup for the Padres' game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, and hit a two-run double in the first inning. The 30-year-old was released by the Cleveland Indians during the final week of spring training and signed a minor-league deal with the Padres on March 25.

      He was hitting .294 with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs in 98 games with El Paso. Francoeur has a .263 career batting average in parts of nine seasons in the majors.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Nationals put Zimmerman on DL
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Washington Nationals placed infielder/outfielder Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, the team announced Wednesday.

    • Zimmerman, 29, goes on the DL for the second time this season after missing 44 games with a right thumb fracture earlier in the year. He is hitting .282 with five home runs, 19 doubles and 36 RBIs.

      In the month of July, Zimmerman collected 21 hits in 58 at-bats (.362), posted a .418 on-base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage with eight extra-base hits (six doubles, two home runs).

      The Nationals also recalled infielder Zach Walters from Syracuse of the Triple-A International League.

      Walters, 24, rejoins the Nationals for his second stint of the season. In 60 games at Triple-A this season, Walters is hitting .300 with a .358 on-base percentage and a .608 slugging percentage. While racking up 38 extra-base hits, Walters has hit 15 home runs with 48 RBIs.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Yankees put Johnson on DL
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Yankees placed infielder Kelly Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin, the team announced Wednesday.

    • Johnson was removed from Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers after suffering the injury.

      Johnson is hitting .219 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 201 at-bats this season.

      The Yankees also called up right-hander Chris Leroux from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated right-hander Bruce Billings for assignment.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Indians recall INF Ramirez
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Cleveland Indians recalled infielder Jose Ramirez and optioned left-hander T.J. House to Triple-A Columbus, the team announced Wednesday.

    • Ramirez, 21, has spent the bulk of the 2014 season with Columbus, hitting .302 with 15 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 29 RBIs in 60 games for the Clippers. He has also collected a team-leading 19 stolen bases.

      Ramirez appeared in 11 games for the Indians earlier this season, getting just two hits in 25 at-bats.

      House, 24, worked five innings, giving up six hits and three runs, in Monday's 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. He has gone 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his first nine major league starts (10 appearances) with the Indians this season.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Game roundup: Headley lifts Yankees past Rangers in 14
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Chase Headley came through in his fourth at-bat as a Yankee, hitting a game-winning single in the 14th inning as New York outlasted the Texas Rangers for a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

    • The switch-hitting third baseman entered the game as a pinch hitter for Zelous Wheeler in the eighth and was hitless in his first three at-bats. With runners at first and third in the 14th, Headley singled into left field against Nick Tepesch (3-6). Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts easily scored, ending the 4-hour, 51-minute marathon.

      After rounding first base, Headley was mobbed by his teammates, whom he met 4 1/2 hours earlier after being acquired from the San Diego Padres and flying in from Chicago. While doing his postgame interview, he was given a Gatorade shower by left fielder Brett Gardner.

      The Yankees won for the 10th time in 16 games and improved to 4-1 on a 10-game homestand thanks to their third walk-off win of the season. They did so after tying the game in the 13th against Texas closer Joakim Soria on a base hit by Carlos Beltran.

      Giants 9, Phillies 6 (14 innings)

      PHILADELPHIA -- Brandon Crawford's three-run, 14th-inning double broke a 5-5 tie and sparked San Francisco past Philadelphia.

      Catcher Hector Sanchez knocked in Crawford with a single.

      The Phillies led 5-4 going into the ninth, but Giants first baseman Buster Posey tied the game with a solo homer to left off closer Jonathan Papelbon. It was Papelbon's third blown save in 26 opportunities this year.

      George Kontos (3-0) won for the second night in a row, pitching 2 1/3 innings and allowing a run in the 14th. Tim Lincecum recorded the last two outs for his first-ever save. He was the ninth pitcher used by the Giants.

      Brewers 4, Reds 3

      MILWAUKEE -- Jonathan Lucroy hit two home runs, including a walk-off, solo shot in the ninth inning, as Milwaukee rallied to beat Cincinnati.

      Lucroy gave Milwaukee a 3-1 lead in the sixth with a two-out homer off right-hander Homer Bailey, but Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson couldn't preserve the lead in the seventh. Nelson hit Zack Cozart with a pitch to load the bases, and then plunked Ramon Santiago to make it 3-2 before giving way to right-hander Brandon Kinztler. Pinch hitter Chris Heisey delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly.

      Lucroy finally broke the deadlock on a 1-1 offering from right-hander Sam LeCure (1-2).

      Cubs 6, Padres 0

      CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo hit two solo home runs, and right-hander Kyle Hendricks worked seven efficient innings for his first major league victory as Chicago snapped a five-game losing streak with a shutout of San Diego.

      Hendricks (1-0), called up from Triple-A Iowa earlier in the day, allowed five hits in seven innings in his second big league start.

      Rizzo made it 2-0 in the third with a leadoff, first-pitch shot to the back of the right-field bleachers. Rizzo homered off right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer in the seventh inning, giving him his seventh career multi-homer game. He leads the National League with 25 homers.

      Pirates 12, Dodgers 7

      PITTSBURGH -- Ike Davis had three hits, including his first home run since June 9, and Gregory Polanco and Neil Walker also homered and drove in three runs each as Pittsburgh outlasted Los Angeles.

      Polanco, a rookie right fielder, delivered the big blow, a two-run single with two outs in the sixth inning off reliever Jamey Wright that snapped a 4-4 tied and keyed a four-run inning. Travis Snider singled in a run and Polanco scored on a wild pitch by Wright.

      Pirates starter Vance Worley (3-1) got the win as he pitched six innings and gave up four runs -- one earned -- and seven hits while striking out five and walking two. It was the right-hander's first career victory against the Dodgers after giving up a combined nine runs in eight innings in his previous two starts.

      Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3

      TORONTO -- Jose Reyes and Dioner Navarro homered in the sixth inning, and J.A. Happ pitched six shutout innings as Toronto snapped Boston's five-game winning streak.

      Happ (8-5) held Boston to seven hits and one walk while striking out four in six innings.

      The Blue Jays used a pair of homers to score three runs in the sixth and take a 4-0 lead. Reyes led off with his eighth homer of the season. Melky Cabrera followed with a double and took third on Jose Bautista's fly out to right. Navarro then hit his seventh homer of the season.

      Marlins 6, Braves 5

      ATLANTA -- Donovan Solano had a career-best four hits, and Jacob Turner, banished to the bullpen in early June, was successful in his return to the rotation as Miami held on to beat Atlanta.

      Solano, a second baseman who came in batting .234, had three singles, a double and a walk in a 4-for-4 game.

      The Braves scored three times in the eighth inning, but Marlins closer Steve Cishek pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 26 opportunities. He was helped by catcher Jeff Mathis throwing out pinch runner Jordan Schafer, who had been successful on 17 of his previous 18 steal attempts.

      Indians 8, Twins 2

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Cleveland got four hits from first baseman Carlos Santana, including a home run, in a win over Minnesota.

      Santana doubled in the second inning and scored the game's first run later in the frame. He bunted for a single against the shift in the third, then hit a mammoth home run in the fifth inning. He doubled again in the ninth to drive in the final two runs of the game for the Indians.

      Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar allowed one run on six hits and three walks in five innings, earning the win and improving to 2-4.

      Rays 7, Cardinals 2

      ST. LOUIS -- Tampa Bay extended its season-high winning streak to six games at the expense of St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright, who was knocked out after just 4 2/3 innings.

      In his first start since the All-Star break, Wainwright (12-5) gave up six hits and six runs, two of which were unearned thanks to his fielding error in the fifth. He walked four, including three in the fifth, struck out four and hit a man in his second-shortest outing of the year.

      Six players knocked in runs for Tampa Bay, with Evan Longoria capping the scoring with a two-out solo homer in the ninth. Left fielder Matt Holliday supplied a solo homer in the sixth to cap St. Louis' scoring.

      Royals 7, White Sox 1

      CHICAGO -- Mike Moustakas celebrated Greek Heritage Night with two home runs, helping Kansas City beat Chicago and snap a four-game losing streak.

      The Royals, who hadn't won since the All-Star break, scored four runs in the sixth inning and amassed 14 hits. Kansas City had scored two combined runs in the previous three games.

      Left-hander Bruce Chen (2-2), filling the rotation spot of injured left-hander Jason Vargas, went five innings and earned his second win against Chicago this season. Moustakas finished 3-for-5, belting his 11th and 12th homers.

      Nationals 7, Rockies 4

      DENVER -- Adam LaRoche's three-run shot in the seventh off Rex Brothers broke a 4-4 tie, and Washington sent Colorado to its seventh consecutive loss.

      Brothers was brought in to face the left-handed-hitting LaRoche, who had not hit a home run in 80 at-bats against left-handers this season and was batting .238 (19-for-80) against southpaws. LaRoche drove a 2-0 fastball to right-center for his 13th homer of the season.

      The Rockies built an early 3-0 lead against starter Jordan Zimmermann and were ahead 4-2 when the right-hander left after the fifth.

      Diamondbacks 5, Tigers 4

      PHOENIX -- Miguel Montero hit a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning, and Aaron Hill homered and had three RBIs as Arizona beat Detroit.

      Ender Inciarte and David Peralta walked with one out in the eighth inning off Phil Coke (1-2) before Al Alburquerque entered and walked Paul Goldschmidt on four pitches with two outs. Montero, who leads major league catchers with 58 RBIs, then delivered his single to knock in Inciarte and Peralta.

      Hill homered in the first inning and followed Peralta triples in the third and sixth innings with RBIs -- a sacrifice fly in the third and a groundout in the sixth.

      Mets 3, Mariners 1

      SEATTLE -- Starter Jacob deGrom scattered five hits over seven innings, and Lucas Duda provided a cushion with an eighth-inning home run that went 446 feet as New York beat Seattle.

      DeGrom (4-5) allowed one earned run while striking out seven to give the Mets their first win at Safeco Field, where New York had lost its previous four games -- including a three-game sweep in 2005.

      This was the third consecutive start in which deGrom has gone seven innings. He has not allowed more than one run in any of the three.

      Orioles 4, Angels 2

      ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and permitted just three hits in leading Baltimore over Los Angeles.

      Gonzalez (5-5), recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Norfolk, did not allow a run until center fielder Mike Trout hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gonzalez finished with five strikeouts and four walks while generating nine groundouts.

      Shortstop J.J. Hardy and second baseman Jonathan Schoop drove in two runs apiece while going 2-for-4. Hardy hit two doubles and Schoop pounded a two-run home run.

      Astros 3, A's 2 (12 innings)

      OAKLAND, Calif. -- L.J. Hoes lined a tie-breaking solo home run with one out in the top of the 12th inning, and Houston held on to beat Oakland.

      Hoes ripped left-handed reliever Fernando Abad's first pitch to left field for his third home run of the season. He entered the game batting .176 and went hitless in his first four at-bats before homering off Abad (2-4), who took the loss,

      Left-hander Darin Downs (2-1) recorded one out to earn the win. Chad Qualls pitched a perfect 12th for his 11th save of the season.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    Astros won't rush Springer back from leg ailment
    By The Sports Xchange

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Houston Astros manager Bo Porter said he hasn't ruled out injured rookie sensation George Springer for the entire series against the Oakland A's, but he made it clear Tuesday that he would take a cautious approach.

    • Springer was out of the lineup Tuesday for the second consecutive game due to an ailing right knee and quadriceps.

      "Still a little sore," Porter said before his team's 3-2, 12-inning victory against the A's. "There's still some discomfort. The training staff, they brought him out, went through some drills, went through some running and just do not feel like he's able to go full speed without having discomfort. And we don't want to take any chances of it getting worse or him ending up blowing his quad or something where we're dealing with an injury that would take much longer to heal than where we're at right now."

      Springer, the No. 11 overall draft pick in 2011, leads the Astros in home runs (20) and RBIs (51) in just 78 games.

      Porter said he hasn't considered putting Springer on the 15-day disabled list -- yet.

      "That's not a thought as we sit here today," Porter said. "As time goes on, I think the information that we get each and every day will allow us to make that decision as we move forward, but when you look at the 15-day DL, you have to say to yourself, 'He's not going to play within the next 15 days.' We're not at that point right now."