Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Luck finally turns for Pirates' Polanco
    By The Sports Xchange

    MINNEAPOLIS -- If anyone were due for a big hit, it was Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco.

    • After scalding balls in each of his first three at-bats and standing at the plate 0-for-4 on the night with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth inning Tuesday, Polanco finally got on the board, scorching a bases-clearing double. The hit helped the Pirates earn an 8-7 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

      "It was good to see because he squared balls up, he squared them up the first three at-bats as good as you can square a ball up," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "But this is the big leagues, some days you do that and you get nothing, but you gotta stay mentally tough, you gotta stay in the game, stay in the fight. ... (To) work the count like he did, hit a breaking ball, real good to see."

      In the first inning, Polanco crushed a ball, but it was right at Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks.

      With a runner on first in the third, Polanco sent another screamer into center, this one over Hicks' head. However, Hicks ran it down, reaching up to rob Polanco of extra bases at the wall.

      With the bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth, Polanco sent a rocket back up the middle that was snagged by diving shortstop Eduardo Escobar, probably taking away a pair of RBIs.

      "I just tried to stay tough and never give up and stay fighting, trying to hit it better," Polanco said. "If you hit it hard, you're going to get results."

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Reds' Votto sizzles in anonymity
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. LOUIS -- Were Joey Votto's current stretch of torrid hitting being conducted in New York, Los Angeles or Boston, he wouldd be plastered across every sports network 24/7/365.

    • Since Votto is 30-for-62 (.484) in the past 17 games for a Cincinnati team that has been out of contention in the National League Central since Memorial Day, hardly anyone has noticed that he is the toughest out going in baseball.

      The Reds' 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night was another exhibition of what makes Votto such a difficult batter to retire. Facing left-hander Jaime Garcia, who entered the game with a 1.69 ERA, Votto wangled a first-inning walk, and he laced a one-out single in the fourth.

      Given a third shot at Garcia after Brandon Phillips extended the sixth inning with a two-out walk, Votto drilled a three-run homer over the center field wall to break a scoreless tie and essentially decide the game.

      Since the All-Star break, Votto is 23-of-41 (.561) with four homers and nine RBIs. However, because Cincinnati is languishing 19 games off the Cardinals' pace, Votto's individual accomplishments don't mean as much.

      "It would be more satisfying if we were winning more games and were in the middle of the hunt, so it's bittersweet," he said.

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Price pitches poorly in Tigers' loss
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Detroit Tigers ace David Price insisted the personal nature of coming home to Tropicana Field had "zero effect" on his performance on the mound.

    • But his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays, tagged him for five earned runs - he had allowed four combined in his last four starts -- in a 10-2 win that drops the Tigers to 48-52 and raises more questions as to whether they'll be sellers at the trade deadline.

      "That's probably the worst I've thrown the baseball in a month and a half or two months," Price said. "Tonight was all on me. I didn't do my job and I'll take that blame."

      Price gave up two home runs to Rays backup catcher Curt Casali -- a close friend who had two home runs against Detroit on Monday as well. And the Rays were a ridiculous 6-for-9 with runners in scoring position, while the Tigers were at the opposite end, going 1-for-7 and stranding seven runners on base.

      Detroit was held to two runs or less for the fifth time in six games -- all Tigers losses, a frustrating run for manager Brad Ausmus.

      "There's been stretches where I've failed to understand why we're not scoring runs," Ausmus said. "We've had stretches like this earlier but we need to get out of it. I wish there was a magical potion, but there's not. Pitch better, hit better."

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Casali does it again for Rays
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have searched for an offensive spark all season, and they found one in two straight wins from Curt Casali, a 26-year-old backup catcher who has hit six home runs in his last seven games.

    • Casali had two home runs Tuesday after hitting two Monday, just the second Rays player ever to do that -- Greg Vaughn did in 2002 -- and just the second rookie catcher in major league history to do that, following Seattle's Kenji Johjima in 2006.

      Casali got his first career curtain call after the second home run, with Tigers ace David Price stepping off the mound as a gesture of respect.

      "Really cool of him to do that for me. I don't really know what I'm doing. Everybody else had to push me to do that," Casali said. "I was very thankful that the fans wanted to acknowledge me like that."

      Casali was drafted by the Tigers in 2011 and acquired by the Rays in a Rule V draft trade in 2013. After a brief stint last season, he joined the Rays six weeks ago as a backup to Rene Rivera, but he's making a case for a much larger role, with five home runs in his current run of four straight starts.

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Indians wave white flag on season
    By The Sports Xchange

    CLEVELAND -- The question of whether the Cleveland Indians will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline has been answered. They are sellers.

    • Less than an hour before the start of what became a 2-1 loss to Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, Indians outfielder David Murphy was removed from the starting lineup.

      Murphy was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for minor league shortstop Eric Stamets. After wavering on whether they still had a chance to climb back into the wildcard race, the Indians in the last week played so poorly general manager Chris Antonetti had no choice. The buy-or-sell question was answered for him.

      Counting their loss Tuesday, the Indians have lost six games in a row and are firmly entrenched in last place in the AL Central. At 45-54 the Indians are nine games below .500, their low water mark of the season. They have also lost eight home games in a row, their longest home losing streak in 40 years.

      In the first six games of a seven-game homestand that will end on Wednesday, the Indians are 0-6 and have not held a lead at any time in those six games. With such overwhelming evidence, Antonetti has become a seller.

      "It's really disappointing," he said. "None of us expected to be in this spot, but we are where we are. A week ago we were looking to add players, but at this point our focus is more on the long term."

      The Indians inventory of available players probably doesn't include any game changers for a contending team. Murphy was the best of the expendable parts. He is hitting .296 with five home runs and 27 RBIs in 206 at-bats.

      With three days left before the trade deadline, the Indians probably won't trade any of their core group, which includes starting pitchers Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar, plus position players Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes and Francisco Lindor.

      The Indians would probably listen to offers for first baseman Carlos Santana and outfielder Brandon Moss. Others who could draw some interest are outfielder Ryan Raburn, and perhaps a reliever such as Zach McAllister, Jeff Manship or Ryan Webb.

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Nationals move to strengthen team, hold off Mets
    By The Sports Xchange

    MIAMI -- The Washington Nationals feel the New York Mets coming, and that helps to explain the moves made Tuesday.

    • The Nationals acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon from the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations and Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta.

      Washington general manager Mike Rizzo called Papelbon before the deal was consummated and got him to waive his no-trade clause. The Nationals will also pick up Papelbon's 2016 contract, but the team and the closer agreed to lower the amount of salary owed next year from $13 million to $11 million.

      "He's a proven, elite closer," Rizzo said of Papelbon.

      Papelbon stated he would not waive his no-trade deal to go to a team where he would not be the closer. Because of that, the Nationals will make current closer Drew Closer their set-up man.

      Storen is 29 for 31 in save situations this year. Papelbon is 17 for 17.

      Rizzo said he also talked to Storen before the trade was made.

      "He took it like a professional," Rizzo said. "We've had frank discussions throughout his whole career. We have a great rapport, but that news is difficult to take."

      In addition to the trade, the Nationals also activated two of their top hitters off the disabled list, putting first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and left fielder Jayson Werth in their lineup for the first time in well over one month.

      Zimmerman, who had plantar fasciitis, had not played since June 9. He is hitting .209 with five homers and 34 RBIs. But he hit a total of 51 homers from 2012-13.

      Werth, who had a fractured left wrist, had not played since May 15. He is hitting .208 with two homers and 12 RBIs. But he totaled 41 homers in his two previous seasons.

      "It's nice to have them back," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "They're healthy. They feel good. We'll have to monitor as we go -- day games after night games, back to back, three (games) in a row, stuff like that.

      "But they are both ready. They were here yesterday working out. They feel ready to go, and that's important for us."

      The Nationals still have two key players on the disabled list -- center fielder Denard Span and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

      But even with the activations of Zimmerman and Werth and the addition of Papelbon, do the Nationals have enough to hold off the Mets and their impressive pitching staff?

      The Mets added four players in the past five days, calling up their top rookie hitting prospect Michael Conforto and trading for third baseman Juan Uribe, second baseman Kelly Johnson and set-up reliever Tyler Clippard.

      A former Nationals pitcher, Clippard was quoted in the New York newspapers on Tuesday as saying that Washington was "beatable" and adding that the Mets' rotation is just as good if not better than that of his former team and current rival.

      One thing for sure: The Mets, who host the Nationals for three games this weekend, are a threat to Washington.

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Nationals move to strengthen team, hold off Mets
    By The Sports Xchange

    MIAMI -- The Washington Nationals feel the New York Mets coming, and that helps to explain the moves made Tuesday.

    • The Nationals acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon from the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations and Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta.

      Washington general manager Mike Rizzo called Papelbon before the deal was consummated and got him to waive his no-trade clause. The Nationals will also pick up Papelbon's 2016 contract, but the team and the closer agreed to lower the amount of salary owed next year from $13 million to $11 million.

      "He's a proven, elite closer," Rizzo said of Papelbon.

      Papelbon stated he would not waive his no-trade deal to go to a team where he would not be the closer. Because of that, the Nationals will make current closer Drew Closer their set-up man.

      Storen is 29 for 31 in save situations this year. Papelbon is 17 for 17.

      Rizzo said he also talked to Storen before the trade was made.

      "He took it like a professional," Rizzo said. "We've had frank discussions throughout his whole career. We have a great rapport, but that news is difficult to take."

      In addition to the trade, the Nationals also activated two of their top hitters off the disabled list, putting first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and left fielder Jayson Werth in their lineup for the first time in well over one month.

      Zimmerman, who had plantar fasciitis, had not played since June 9. He is hitting .209 with five homers and 34 RBIs. But he hit a total of 51 homers from 2012-13.

      Werth, who had a fractured left wrist, had not played since May 15. He is hitting .208 with two homers and 12 RBIs. But he totaled 41 homers in his two previous seasons.

      "It's nice to have them back," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "They're healthy. They feel good. We'll have to monitor as we go -- day games after night games, back to back, three (games) in a row, stuff like that.

      "But they are both ready. They were here yesterday working out. They feel ready to go, and that's important for us."

      The Nationals still have two key players on the disabled list -- center fielder Denard Span and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

      But even with the activations of Zimmerman and Werth and the addition of Papelbon, do the Nationals have enough to hold off the Mets and their impressive pitching staff?

      The Mets added four players in the past five days, calling up their top rookie hitting prospect Michael Conforto and trading for third baseman Juan Uribe, second baseman Kelly Johnson and set-up reliever Tyler Clippard.

      A former Nationals pitcher, Clippard was quoted in the New York newspapers on Tuesday as saying that Washington was "beatable" and adding that the Mets' rotation is just as good if not better than that of his former team and current rival.

      One thing for sure: The Mets, who host the Nationals for three games this weekend, are a threat to Washington.

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Orioles' Davis getting hot at the right time
    By The Sports Xchange

    BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis is heating up at the plate, and that could give the Baltimore Orioles a big lift in the season's final two months.

    • Davis blasted two home runs and drove in five runs in Tuesday's 7-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves. That continued a recent power surge in which the right fielder has hit five home runs in the last seven games.

      The Orioles have made their money off of home runs the past few years but stumbled there throughout the month of July. Davis is a streaky hitter who can easily carry a team for a while if he gets on a roll.

      "I think any time you're swinging the bat well, you're encouraged to do it again and continue to work," Davis said. "My job is to go out there and play as hard as I can for this team, whether it's at first, in right, (as a DH), whatever it may be, and that's been my focus all year."

      Davis hit homers at Yankee Stadium on July 22 and 23 before belting a grand slam in a road win versus the Rays last Saturday. His three-run homer gave the Orioles the lead in the first inning of Tuesday's game, and Davis then hit a two-run shot one inning after that to give him five RBIs in the first two innings.

      The power Davis can bring to the lineup is well known. He hit 53 homers two years ago but hasn't quite returned to that level since, and if he can light it up in the second half, it will help the Orioles.

      "I talked a little bit about it earlier about slowing down and being a little bit more selective, a little bit more patient," Davis said. "I think that's really been big for me the last few weeks, not trying to go out there and do too much, just trying to put a good swing on the ball."

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Braves put Banuelos on disabled list
    By The Sports Xchange

    BALTIMORE -- The Atlanta Braves put left-hander Manny Banuelos, who was scheduled to start on Wednesday, on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to left elbow inflammation.

    • The move is retroactive to July 25. Atlanta is watching Banuelos closely as he's making his way back from Tommy John surgery -- he sat out 2013 -- and has him on an innings limit of somewhere around 120-130 this year. So far, he's thrown 21 2/3 innings with the Braves but also threw 82 2/3 innings with Triple-A Gwinnett before that.

      The Braves acquired him from the Yankees in an offseason trade after he began working his way back in the New York minor league system in 2014.

      Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said Banuelos began feeling uncomfortable after his last start in St. Louis last weekend, so the team decided to play it safe.

      "I don't think it's too serious," Gonzalez said. "We felt like we needed to take a look at it a little more in depth (after his last start). After a couple days, our medical team said, 'Let's back him off here.'"

      Banuelos is 1-2 with a 2.49 ERA in five games, four of them starts. He struck out 16 and walked 10 in his 21 2/3 innings.

      The Braves called up right-handed relief pitcher David Carpenter for the Tuesday game. They then designated him for assignment afterward and are going to give Banuelos' Wednesday start to right-hander Mike Foltynewicz after he's called up from Triple-A Gwinnett.

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Marlins lose Alvarez for season
    By The Sports Xchange

    MIAMI -- Tuesday was indicative of the Miami Marlins' entire 2015 season.

    • They activated All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon off the disabled list but also announced that a 2014 All-Star has been lost for the season.

      Right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who pitched a no-hitter in 2013 and made the All-Star Game last season, had shoulder surgery on Tuesday.

      So much had been expected of Alvarez this season. Yet, he finished his year with an 0-4 record and a bloated 6.45 ERA. He has not pitched since May 22, and Marlins manager Dan Jennings would not say if Alvarez would be ready for spring training.

      "He's a definite after-the-season candidate now," said Jennings, who described Alvarez's injury as a "tear" in the shoulder area but did not have more specifics on the exact nature of the surgery.

      The bad news with Alvarez overshadowed the expected return of Gordon, who has not played since dislocating his left thumb on July 11. He entered Tuesday ranked second in the National League in batting average (.338) and steals (33).

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Betts on concussion watch after tumbling over wall
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- It was a split second from being one of the best catches ever seen.

    • Instead, it was a home run.

      More important to the Red Sox, though, Mookie Betts' head-over-heels tumble over the short right-field fence and into the bullpen in the sixth inning Tuesday night resulted in the 22-year-old center fielder suffering from concussion symptoms that might land him on the disabled list.

      "It's an odd play, certainly," manager John Farrell said after the Red Sox lost for the 11th time in 13 games, 9-4, to the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. "I think at this point the concern is just about how he comes out of the imaging and the testing here. But as far as the freak play, there's been a number of them this year."

      To recap: Betts tracked first baseman Jose Abreu's drive to the warning track in right-center field. After catching the ball on the run, Betts leaped to brace himself from a collision with the wall and wound up somersaulting over the fence and into the bullpen.

      As Betts fell to the ground, he hit his head. The force of the fall jarred the ball out of his glove.

      After initially ruling that Betts made the catch, the umpires reviewed the play and overturned the call based on Rule 5.09(a). Farrell agreed with the umpires' interpretation.

      "He's got to hold onto the ball, that's the bottom line," Farrell said. "Once the ball came loose, it's ruled a home run."

      The Red Sox' larger concern is for Betts' health.

      After climbing back over the wall, Betts ran almost all the way off the field before sitting down on the grass in front of the Red Sox' dugout and complaining of "light-headedness," according to Farrell.

      Betts underwent additional testing after the game. While a decision has not been made yet, it seems likely he will have to go on the 7-day concussion disabled list, in which case center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. would be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, according to the Boston Herald.

      "It's an unbelievable effort Mookie gave to try to run that ball down," pitcher Wade Miley said. "That's how he plays. He's going to give you everything he's got every out. Unfortunately, it didn't go for us. Whatever the rule states, it is what it is. Hats off to Mookie for the effort."

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    'Shark' takes bite out of Bosox, but will Samardzija stay?
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- For a pitcher who could be traded at any moment, White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija didn't look distracted Tuesday night.

    • Making his final start before Friday's non-waiver trade deadline, Samardzija came within three outs of a complete game in a 9-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. At this rate, though, the big right-hander isn't going anywhere. The White Sox have won six consecutive games and are back in the thick of the AL wild-card race.

      "He's done a great job," manager Robin Ventura said. "I know there's a lot of speculation, and there is probably a 'Shark Watch' somewhere. He's done a great job of just staying focused on what he's doing."

      Samardzija, nicknamed "Shark," was staked to a 5-0 lead even before he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning. He pitched into the ninth, allowing four runs on seven hits and one walk.

      Because Samardzija will be a free agent after the season, he represents the White Sox' most tradable commodity. But Chicago is suddenly four games off the pace in the wild-card race and two games below .500, with right-hander Jose Quintana and ace lefty Chris Sale scheduled to pitch the final two games of the series against last-place Boston.

      Samardzija is as big a reason as any for the turnaround. He's 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts in July.

      Of course, Samardzija has plenty of practice with trade-deadline distractions. Last year, he was dealt from the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland A's in early July. After finishing the season in Oakland, he was traded again in the offseason to the White Sox.

      "After the last couple of years, I'm pretty confident in what I'm concentrating on and what's important to me, and like I said, things are not in my control and there's really no reason to worry about them," Samardzija said. "As long as we can keep playing the way we play and up to our standards, it's going to be hard to break anyone up. We have a great group here, and I think we expect a lot of great things out of ourselves."

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- It was a split second from being one of the best catches ever seen.

    • Instead, it was a home run.

      More important to the Red Sox, though, Mookie Betts' head-over-heels tumble over the short right-field fence and into the bullpen in the sixth inning Tuesday night resulted in the 22-year-old center fielder suffering from concussion symptoms that might land him on the disabled list.

      "It's an odd play, certainly," manager John Farrell said after the Red Sox lost for the 11th time in 13 games, 9-4, to the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. "I think at this point the concern is just about how he comes out of the imaging and the testing here. But as far as the freak play, there's been a number of them this year."

      To recap: Betts tracked first baseman Jose Abreu's drive to the warning track in right-center field. After catching the ball on the run, Betts leaped to brace himself from a collision with the wall and wound up somersaulting over the fence and into the bullpen.

      As Betts fell to the ground, he hit his head. The force of the fall jarred the ball out of his glove.

      After initially ruling that Betts made the catch, the umpires reviewed the play and overturned the call based on Rule 5.09(a). Farrell agreed with the umpires' interpretation.

      "He's got to hold onto the ball, that's the bottom line," Farrell said. "Once the ball came loose, it's ruled a home run."

      The Red Sox' larger concern is for Betts' health.

      After climbing back over the wall, Betts ran almost all the way off the field before sitting down on the grass in front of the Red Sox' dugout and complaining of "light-headedness," according to Farrell.

      Betts underwent additional testing after the game. While a decision has not been made yet, it seems likely he will have to go on the 7-day concussion disabled list, in which case center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. would be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, according to the Boston Herald.

      "It's an unbelievable effort Mookie gave to try to run that ball down," pitcher Wade Miley said. "That's how he plays. He's going to give you everything he's got every out. Unfortunately, it didn't go for us. Whatever the rule states, it is what it is. Hats off to Mookie for the effort."

  • Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    Dodgers' Mattingly downplays rumors of possible Puig trade
    By The Sports Xchange

    LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly reiterated Tuesday that the club has no immediate plans to trade right fielder Yasiel Puig.

    • Puig has been the subject of published reports and speculation that the Dodgers would deal the Cuban right fielder for the right price, a front-line starting pitcher being one of the team's biggest needs.

      "There hasn't been any kind of talk between me and (the front office) about him being available," Mattingly said before the Dodgers opened a two-game series with the Oakland A's at Dodger Stadium. "I don't know if it's speculation; I don't know whatever that would be. I kind of feel like everybody's always available when you really look at it. But there's been no talk from the front office to me saying we're looking to do this or trying to do this (with Puig).

      "I've read a little bit of it, (but) it hasn't really filtered down to us. I didn't hear about it until a day ago or a couple days ago in New York. That was the first I heard about it."

      Despite the rumors, Mattingly downplayed the possibility of the 24-year-old Puig going anywhere. Mattingly added that Puig's colorful personality and his penchant for showing off skills might contribute to the trade speculation.

      "I think Yasiel, obviously, is pretty much a lightning rod in all areas," Mattingly said. "It doesn't matter if he's doing good or doing bad or makes a good throw or makes a bad throw or he gets a hit or doesn't get a hit. He's pretty much a lightning rod.

      "I really looked at it like this time of year there are so many rumors about guys going everywhere."

      Puig was batting .253 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 53 games heading into Tuesday's contest. Though he has homered twice in the previous seven games, he batted .095. In the previous 15 games, Puig hit .173.

      An All-Star last season, Puig batted .296 with 16 homers and 69 RBIs in 148 games.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    MLB roundup: Mets, Syndergaard blank Padres
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Rookie Noah Syndergaard retired the first 18 batters he faced Tuesday night and ended up allowing three hits over eight shutout innings as the New York Mets beat the San Diego Padres 4-0.

    • The win was the third straight for the Mets, while the Padres had a three-game winning streak snapped.

      Syndergaard (5-5) struck out nine in lowering his ERA to 2.70. He walked one batter or fewer in eight of his 13 career starts, including zero on Tuesday, and threw eight innings in three of his last five starts.

      Lucas Duda provided Syndergaard all the offense he needed with a two-run homer in the first inning. Curtis Granderson added some insurance with a two-run homer in the eighth.

      Phillies 3, Blue Jays 2

      TORONTO -- Andres Blanco drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, and Adam Morgan pitched six innings as Philadelphia defeated Toronto.

      It was the fifth win in a row for the Phillies and the second loss in a row for the Blue Jays, who got a home run from Devon Travis before Travis left the game in the third inning with a shoulder injury.

      Morgan (2-2) allowed five hits, two walks and two runs while striking out two. Ken Giles earned his first save after the Phillies traded closer Jonathan Papelbon earlier in the day.

      Marlins 4, Nationals 1

      MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez improved his career home record to 15-0, leading Miami past Washington.

      Fernandez (4-0) struck out five batters and allowed four hits and one run in six innings. He pitched around four walks, which tied his career high.

      In 23 career home starts, Fernandez has a 1.19 ERA. His streak of unbeaten home starts to start a career is the longest in the majors since 1914. His mark of 15 consecutive home wins to start a career is one short of the major league record.

      Royals 2, Indians 1

      CLEVELAND -- Eric Hosmer's home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning broke a 1-1 tie and lifted streaking Kansas City to a win over fading Cleveland.

      The Royals won their fourth in a row. The Indians lost their sixth in a row, getting outscored 37-10 in those games.

      Hosmer connected off right-hander Trevor Bauer (8-8), who pitched a five-hit complete game. Five of Hosmer's 11 home runs have come against Cleveland.

      Orioles 7, Braves 3

      BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis homered twice and drove in five runs -- all in the first two innings -- as Baltimore extended its winning streak to four games with a victory over Atlanta.

      Davis belted a three-run homer in the first that gave the Orioles the lead for good. He hit a two-run shot the following inning, both off Braves starter Julio Teheran.

      It was the 10th multi-homer game of Davis' career and his third this season.

      White Sox 9, Red Sox 4

      BOSTON -- A decision overturned by replay resulted in a two-run home run for Jose Abreu, helping Chicago beat Boston.

      Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts tumbled into Boston's bullpen and the ball fell out of his glove on the sixth inning ball hit by Abreu. Betts was hurt on the play and left with a possible concussion.

      Chicago's Melky Cabrera went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple and single, Abreu had three hits, and Geovany Soto added a solo homer, a single and three walks.

      Rays 10, Tigers 2

      ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Curt Casali hit two home runs for the second consecutive night, leading Tampa Bay past Detroit.

      Casali, just the second player in Rays history with back-to-back multi-home run games, has six home runs in a span of 19 at-bats, more homers than all Rays catchers totaled last season. Tuesday's long balls came against former Rays ace David Price, who gave up five runs on seven hits for just his fourth loss of the season.

      Tampa Bay had gone 13 straight games without scoring more than four runs, and now it topped four runs two nights in a row.

      Reds 4, Cardinals 0

      ST. LOUIS -- Joey Votto busted a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning with a three-run homer, giving Mike Leake and Cincinnati all the support they required to post a victory over St. Louis.

      Votto, who has 23 hits in 41 at-bats since the All-Star break, jumped on a 1-0 fastball from Jaime Garcia (3-4) and walloped it 418 feet over the center field wall for his 19th homer of the year.

      Leake (9-5) gave up four hits over eight shutout innings, walking one and fanning three. One of many Cincinnati players who could be moved by Friday's trading deadline, Leake threw only 95 pitches in winning his fourth consecutive start.

      Rockies 7, Cubs 2

      CHICAGO -- DJ LeMahieu went 3-for-4 and scored twice, leading Colorado to a victory over Chicago.

      LeMahieu, who also drew a walk, kicked off a four-run first with an RBI double, and the Rockies jumped to a quick lead never trailed on the way to their second win in three games.

      Rockies starter Yohan Flande (1-1) allowed one run on four hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked three.

      Pirates 8, Twins 7

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Jung Ho Kang's solo homer in the top of the ninth inning lifted Pittsburgh to a win over Minnesota.

      Kang's blast, which travelled 411 feet into the second deck in left field, came off All-Star closer Glen Perkins, who entered with the game tied in the ninth following a crazy eighth inning in which each team scored four runs.

      Perkins (0-3) lost a second consecutive outing. He has allowed six runs in four appearances since the All-Star break, with his ERA jumping from 1.21 to 2.41 over that span.

      Astros 10, Angels 5

      HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve recorded a career-high five RBIs as Houston erased a three-run deficit en route to a win over Los Angeles.

      Altuve posted run-scoring hits in three consecutive at-bats and finished 3-for-5 with a double and a run. He hit a game-tying single in the second inning, a go-ahead single in the fourth and a two-run double in the sixth inning that provided the Astros) some needed insurance.

      Hank Conger went 2-for-3 and scored three runs, and Carlos Correa reached base four times, including his ninth home run, as Houston pulled even with the Angels atop the American League West. The Astros extended their home winning streak to five consecutive games.

      Yankees 21, Rangers 5

      ARLINGTON, Texas -- Buoyed by an 11-run second inning, the Yankees stormed back from a 5-0 deficit and pummeled Texas.

      Didi Gregorius collected a career-high four hits to go along three RBIs and two runs. Chris Young went 3-for-6 with a grand slam, two doubles and career-high five RBIs, and Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer and scored a career-best five runs.

      Yankees right-hander Diego Moreno, called up from the minors before the game, came on with two outs in the first inning and didn't give up a hit in 5 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first major league win.

      Brewers 5, Giants 2

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Gerardo Parra had a single, double and triple, and Wily Peralta came off the disabled list to win for the first time since May 6, lifting Milwaukee to a victory over San Francisco.

      Adam Lind returned to the Milwaukee lineup after a two-game absence to drive in two runs, helping the Brewers end the Giants' seven-game winning streak. Milwaukee also beat San Francisco for the first time in eight tries dating back to last season.

      In extending his hitting streak to 12 games, Parra scored three times. His double came in the first inning off Giants starter Matt Cain and improved Parra's average when leading off a game to .500 (13-for-26).

      Diamondbacks 8, Mariners 4

      SEATTLE -- David Peralta, Chris Owings, Ender Inciarte and Nick Ahmed each drove in a pair of runs as Arizona beat Seattle for its fifth win in six games.

      Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Godley (2-0) earned the win in his second career start despite giving up a pair of mammoth home runs to Seattle designated hitter Nelson Cruz (440 feet) and catcher Mike Zunino (452 foot). Godley allowed three runs off seven hits over six innings.

      Peralta went 3-for-3 while driving in runs in the first and third innings. Inciarte went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and an RBI single in the eighth.

      A's 2, Dodgers 0

      LOS ANGELES -- Sonny Gray tossed a two-hit shutout, leading Oakland past Los Angeles.

      Right fielder Josh Reddick homered as the A's snapped a four-game losing streak. The Dodgers lost their third in a row.

      Gray (11-4) struck out nine, walked one and allowed just one runner to reach second base. He retired the first 11 batters before giving up a two-out double to Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth inning. After Howie Kendrick singled to open the seventh, Gray retired nine of the final 10 hitters. Kendrick's two-out base hit in the ninth was the only hit in that span.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    A's armed by return for Zobrist
    By The Sports Xchange

    LOS ANGELES -- Newly-acquired right-hander Aaron Brooks will make his Oakland Athletics debut when he starts Saturday's contest against the Cleveland Indians in Oakland.

    • Brooks and minor league left-hander Sean Manaea were acquired Tuesday by the A's, who sent infielder Ben Zobrist and cash to the Kansas City Royals.

      "I spent a little time looking at both those guys today and it looks like we got two really good arms," A's manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday night before his club opened a two-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. "One's a little closer to the big-league level and will be with us in Brooks on Saturday, but we like both of them. It's a great opportunity for a guy (Brooks) pitching in the minor leagues to now come up and pitch in the big leagues.

      "Looks like he commands the baseball pretty well, and he's got a mix of pitches. Based on what I was told today, we like him a lot."

      The 25-year-old Brooks appeared in two games in relief with the Royals this season, posting a 6.23 ERA in 4 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

      Brooks was 6-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) at Triple-A Omaha.

      Manaea, who will begin his A's career at Double-A Midland, was 1-1 with a 3.69 ERA in three minor league appearances this year.

      Melvin also announced Tuesday that right-handed reliever Edward Mujica would inherit the closer's role left by Monday's trade of right-hander Tyler Clippard to the New York Mets.

      "He's got experience doing it," said Melvin, who also considered left-hander Drew Pomeranz. "It's just as much about experience as anything."

      Mujica, who was obtained from the Boston Red Sox in May, was 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA in 27 games this season entering Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. Mujica has 49 career saves in his 13 seasons in the majors.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Red Sox CF Betts leaves game with injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts left Tuesday's game against the Chicago White Sox in the sixth inning with a possible concussion suffered when he fell over the wall trying to make a catch.

    • Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu hit a ball that Betts caught on the field. Betts then ran into the right-field wall and tumbled into Boston's bullpen. He fell backward, and the ball fell out of his glove when he hit the ground hard.

      Abreu was initially called out, but the White Sox challenged the play and it was overturned and ruled a home run. It was a two-run shot that gave Chicago a 7-2 lead.

      Betts was being evaluated for a possible concussion.

      He was replaced by Rusney Castillo.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    MLB notebook: Mets' Meija suspended 162 games
    By The Sports Xchange

    Major League Baseball suspended New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia for 162 games on Tuesday after a second failed drug test this season.

    • Mejia returned July 7 from an 80-game suspension that began in April for using a performance-enhancing drug. The latest suspension involved a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone, which are both considered PEDs, and begins immediately.

      The ban is the longest for performance-enhancing substances in MLB history, matching Alex Rodriguez's 162-game suspension last season. Meija is the first major leagueer to fail two PED tests.

      The 25-year-old Mejia had pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings of relief this season in a setup role, allowing four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

      ---The Los Angeles Angels bolstered their roster on Tuesday, acquiring outfielders David DeJesus from the Tampa Bay Rays and David Murphy from the Cleveland Indians, according to reports.

      The veterans join Shane Victorino, who came to the Angels from the Boston Red Sox in Monday.

      The deal for DeJesus included minor league right-hander Eduar Lopez going to the Rays. The Angels sent 23-year-old minor league infielder Eric Stamets to the Indians in exchange for Murphy. All three are expected to compete for the left-field job, with Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun manning center and field, respectively.

      ---Angels right-hander Jered Weaver will make a rehab start at Class A Inland Empire on Thursday night.

      Weaver has been on the disabled list for five weeks. He went 4-8 with a 4.75 ERA in 15 starts before his inflamed left hip forced the Angels to act. Tests revealed no structural damage, but the team said it would take its time bringing Weaver back.

      ---While the Philadelphia Phillies would like to receive offers from other teams for starting pitcher Cole Hamels by Wednesday, they reportedly traded closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals.

      The deal for Papelbon had yet to be announced by the teams, but according to a MLB.com, the Nationals would include right-hander Nick Pivetta.

      Papelbon said he wanted to leave Philadelphia but hinted that he was only willing to be a closer and not a setup man for another team. The Nationals have a solid closer with Drew Storen, who has 29 saves and a 1.73 ERA this season, but it appears he would move to the setup role to make way for Papelbon, who has 17 saves and a 1.59 ERA this season.

      Hamels was scheduled to start Thursday, but the team is planning to push him back at least one day while mulling his future.

      ---Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was a huge acquisition for the Blue Jays, but Toronto isn't bowing out of the arms race before Friday's non-waiver deadline. After acquiring Tulowitzki early in a five-player deal with the Colorado Rockies, the Blue Jays are setting their sights on starting pitching.

      Multiple outlets reported a primary target was Chicago White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija.

      The Blue Jays, who pasted their new shortstop's photo on the team's official Twitter feed on Tuesday, landed Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins in exchange for shortstop Jose Reyes and minor league prospects. Right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman, Toronto's first-round pick in 2014, was the key to the deal for the Rockies. Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco, both right-handed pitchers, also head to Colorado.

      ---Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore pulled off his second major trade of the month Tuesday, acquiring Ben Zobrist from the Oakland Athletics.

      The Royals landed the 34-year-old by giving up one of their top prospects, left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea. The 34th overall pick in 2013 has 39 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings in 2015 and 185 strikeouts in 153 1/3 total minor league innings.

      Kansas City entered play Tuesday with the best record in the American League and bolstered a 2014 World Series roster with additions of right-handed ace Johnny Cueto and Zobrist. Cueto will debut for the Royals on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

      Zobrist can play almost any position, and primarily was used at second base and left field with the A's.

      ---The St. Louis Cardinals activated left-hander Jaime Garcia from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Sam Tuivailala to Triple-A on Tuesday.

      Gracia, who was sidelined with a left groin strain, was the starter for Tuesday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds.

      The 29-year-old missed 20 games after going on the DL on July 4. This season in seven starts before the injury, Garcia had a 3-3 record with a 1.69 ERA. He last pitched on June 24 in Miami.

      Tuivailala is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA for the Cardinals this season. He had not allowed a run and had seven strikeouts in his last eight outings spanning eight innings.

      ---The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Board of Directors made a change in its voting eligibility on Tuesday.

      To be eligible for the Hall of Fame vote, Baseball Writers Association of America members must be covering the game for at least 10 years or be no more than 10 years removed from active involvement.

      BBWAA members previously holding Hall of Fame voting privileges who are no longer active in the game and are more than 10 years removed from active status will have the opportunity for annual reinstatement, based on their coverage of the game in the preceding year.

      There are about 650 BBWAA members eligible to vote as 10-year BBWAA members.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Angels swing deals for OFs DeJesus, Murphy
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Angels bolstered their roster on Tuesday, acquiring outfielders David DeJesus from the Tampa Bay Rays and David Murphy from the Cleveland Indians, according to reports.

    • The veterans join Shane Victorino, who came to the Angels from the Boston Red Sox in a Monday deal.

      The trade for DeJesus included minor league right-hander Eduar Lopez going to the Rays, and the Angels sent 23-year-old minor league infielder Eric Stamets to the Indians in exchange for Murphy.

      The three newcomers are expected to compete for the left-field job, with Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun manning center and field, respectively.

      The 33-year-old Murphy is hitting .296 with five home runs and 27 RBIs in 84 game this season. The 10-year veteran has a .274 career batting average with 99 homers and 449 RBIs with the Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Indians.

      The 35-year-old DeJesus, 35, is batting .259 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 82 games this season, starting 44 of 65 games in left field. His career totals include a .276 average with 99 homers and 569 RBIs in 13 years with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay.

      The 20-year-old Lopez has a 2-2 record with a 4.32 ERA in eight starts in rookie league ball this season. Stamets is batting .248 in 62 games in Double-A this year.

      To make room for DeJesus on the 40-man roster, the Angels designated right-hander Jeremy McBryde for assignment.

      The Angels (55-43) entered Tuesday's action with a one-game lead in the American League West.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Yost thrilled about Royals' upgrades
    By The Sports Xchange

    CLEVELAND -- Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost is enjoying Christmas in July.

    • The Royals made another trade Tuesday, bringing in versatile utility man Ben Zobrist from the Oakland A's. Two days earlier, Kansas City acquired ace right-hander Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds.

      Both moves were made to bolster the Royals' roster for another run deep into the postseason. Deeper even, they hope, than they got last year, which was the seventh game of the World Series.

      "Very seldom does an organization get into the position we're in, with the chance to do something special," Yost said. "So you want to take advantage of this opportunity. It's nice to be able to add pieces to what is already a dynamic team."

      Yost said the Royals' top priority this year is no secret.

      "Our whole goal," he said, "is to get back to the World Series and win it. It's great that we are able to bring in quality players like this to help us achieve something special like that."

      Cueto joined the Royals on Tuesday, and Yost admitted he was easy on the eyes.

      "He looks good in blue," the manager said.

      So will Zobrist, when he arrives. Yost nearly ran out of breath when asked what Zobrist brings to the table.

      "Versatility, a two-time All-Star, a switch hitter who is a good runner from both sides, he can play multiple positions, and he has a winner's attitude," Yost said.

      When Zobrist joins the team, Yost said he will mostly play left field, until the return of Alex Gordon, who is on the disabled list with a left groin strain.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Tulowitzki trade blindsides Rockies players
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu didn’t see this coming.

    • Tuesday's trade of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto left LeMahieu and other now-former Colorado teammates in shock and wondering what comes next as the Rockies embark on an apparent rebuilding effort.

      "Obviously, shocked like everyone else, disappointed," LeMahieu said in front of his locker in the Wrigley Field visitors clubhouse on Tuesday. "We all thought someone might get dealt, but a deal like that I don'’t think anyone really planned."

      The six-player transaction sent Tulowitzki and 42-year-old journeyman right-handed pitcher LaTroy Hawkins to the Blue Jays in exchange for All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and young right-handed pitchers Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco.

      Colorado entered Tuesday last in the National League West at 42-55, 12 1/2 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

      Tulowitzki departed Colorado with a .300 average, including 12 homers and 53 RBIs though 87 games. He was 0-for-5 in his final Rockies game on Monday and saw a hitless streak reach 20 at-bats. Hawkins was 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA and two saves.

      "He's going to help that team a lot, he's the best shortstop in baseball," LeMahieu said. "I think he's going to take his game to another level being in the playoff push."

      Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez also expressed surprise at the trade of one of the faces of the franchise.

      "It's tough, it’s sad became I played with the guy for seven years," he said. "Whenever you build a relationship like we had it makes it even harder."

      Published reports on Tuesday suggested that Gonzalez could be next.

      He's currently on a hot streak that includes National League Player of the Week honors and a 4-for-5 performance with two homers in Monday's 9-8 loss to the Cubs.

      Gonzalez was circumspect about his own status.

      "I've been traded twice before so whatever happens doesn't surprise me," he said. "Nobody was looking for Tulo's trade yesterday, so I'm not waiting for my name to be out there. But if it happens, it happens. ... My motivation is to play good for this team and whatever happens in the future is up to them."

      Reyes, Colorado's new shortstop, made his Major League debut in 2003 for the New York Mets (2003-11) . A four-time All-Star, he played one season for Miami and parts of three seasons with the Blue Jays. He is second among active big league players in triple (115) and steals (471).

      Castro, 20, made his major league debut during Toronto's opening day game and is 0-2 in 13 relief appearances. Hoffman, 22, was a first-round (No. 9 overall) pick by the Blue Jays in the 2014 draft and was a collective 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 13 starts between Class A and Double-A. Tinoco, 20, is 2-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 15 starts for Class A Lansing (Mich.).

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Mets' Meija receives 162-game suspension
    By The Sports Xchange

    Major League Baseball suspended New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia for 162 games on Tuesday after a second failed drug test this season.

    • Mejia returned July 7 from an 80-game suspension that began in April for using a performance-enhancing drug. The latest suspension involved a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone, which are both considered PEDs, and begins immediately.

      The ban is the longest for performance-enhancing substances in MLB history, matching Alex Rodriguez's 162-game suspension last season. Meija is the first major leagueer to fail two PED tests.

      The 25-year-old Mejia had pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings of relief this season in a setup role, allowing four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

      Last year, Meija posted 28 saves and had a 3.65 ERA for the Mets.

      "We were extremely disappointed when informed of Jenrry's second suspension for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Mets said in a statement. "We fully support MLB's policy toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the sport."

      On Monday, the Mets acquired reliever Tyler Clippard from the Oakland Athletics to help their bullpen.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Blue Jays' deal for Tulowitzki not spur of the moment
    By The Sports Xchange

    TORONTO -- The trade for Troy Tulowitzki was not a typical deadline transaction.

    • The deal that brought the All-Star shortstop to the Blue Jays and sent shortstop Jose Reyes to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday just happened to take place four days before the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers. The Blue Jays wanted it to happen earlier, like in the offseason.

      The Blue Jays also received 42-year-old right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins while sending right-handed pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco to the Rockies.

      While Tulowitzki provides an upgrade offensively and defensively at a key position, Hawkins brings experience to a young bullpen and likely will be a seventh-inning man.

      A trade like this usually happens in the offseason and that is when general manager Alex Anthopoulos first tried to do it. The teams tried again in May and talks heated up again this month.

      "This is a long-term acquisition," Anthopoulos said. "We think we got better now. We would have taken Troy Tulowitzki in the offseason; we just couldn't get the deal done. This wasn't a July move, this happened to be the time we could get him."

      The Blue Jays need pitching help and will still pursue it until Friday's deadline and beyond if necessary.

      It could be argued that Tulowitzki helps the pitching because he is superior defensively to Reyes, who has made frequent costly mistakes with his glove, including eight errors in his past 19 games. Tulowitzki also is a better overall hitter and makes the highest-scoring team in the majors even more potent.

      "I just think we got better, for the short and for the long term," Anthopoulos said. "Ideally, you don't shop in the rental market; that doesn't mean we'll rule it out, we're open to it, but our preference is always for guys who are under control and will be here for a while."

      Anthopoulos said the key to the deal was including Hoffman, taken ninth overall in the 2014 draft even though he had just undergone Tommy John surgery. He was expected to go higher in the draft but for the injury. He has progressed to Double-A this season.

      "We weren't too thrilled about trading some of our better prospects -- as we did in this deal -- for rentals," Anthopoulos said. "That’s not to say we're out of the rental market, but it's a rare opportunity to get better.

      "We’re getting the best shortstop in baseball in our minds, and those opportunities just don’t present themselves."

      In 87 games this season, Tulowitzki is batting .300/.348/.471 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs.

      Reyes is batting .285/.322/.385 with four homers, 34 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 69 games this season and has made 13 errors.

      Hawkins is 2-1 with two saves and a 3.63 ERA this season.

      Reyes was popular with his teammates. Right fielder Jose Bautista referred to him as "part of my family."

      "I love the guy," Blue jays manager John Gibbons said. "He brought a lot of energy."

      Second baseman Devon Travis, who has filled in as the leadoff hitter when Reyes was not playing, batted first for the Blue Jays on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.

      Gibbons would not say that would be permanent. He did say the Blue Jays' lineup after the trade is the most potent he has managed.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Hall of Fame to change voting eligibility
    By The Sports Xchange

    The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Board of Directors made a change in its voting eligibility on Tuesday.

    • To be eligible for the Hall of Fame vote, Baseball Writers Association of America members must be covering the game for at least 10 years or be no more than 10 years removed from active involvement.

      "BBWAA members previously holding Hall of Fame voting privileges who are no longer active in the game and are more than 10 years removed from active status will have the opportunity for annual reinstatement, based on their coverage of the game in the preceding year," the Hall of Fame said in a statement.

      There are about 650 BBWAA members eligible to vote as 10-year BBWAA members. A voter registration system and survey will determine eligibility going forward.

      "The Board of Directors strongly believes the BBWAA has done an excellent job at reviewing candidates for election each year since 1936," said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "The Board feels that the changes enacted over the last two years ensure that the highest levels of integrity are maintained in the voting process, with the most active electorate possible considering candidates for Hall of Fame election."

      After an online registration starting in August, each member will be notified of their status for 2016 voting by early November.

  • Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Report: Phillies trade Papelbon to Nationals, push for Hamels offers
    By The Sports Xchange

    While the Philadelphia Phillies would like to receive offers from other teams for starting pitcher Cole Hamels by Wednesday, they reportedly traded closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.

    • The deal for Papelbon had yet to be announced by the teams, but according to a MLB.com, the Nationals would include right-hander Nick Pivetta.

      Papelbon said he wanted to leave Philadelphia but hinted that he was only willing to be a closer and not a setup man for another team. The Nationals have a solid closer with Drew Storen, who has 29 saves and a 1.73 ERA this season, but it appears he would move to the setup role to make way for Papelbon.

      Papelbon has 17 saves and a 1.59 ERA this season for the Phillies.

      Hamels was scheduled to start Thursday, but the team is planning to push him back at least one day while mulling his future.

      ESPN reported that the Phillies are hoping to have some time to sift through potential trade options with suitors before parting with Hamels, who pitched a no-hitter on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field.

      The trade deadline is at 4 p.m. ET Friday.

      Among the teams reported to be interested in the left-hander include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.