Thursday, June 30, 2016

MLB Recap: Baltimore Orioles (3) vs. Seattle Mariners (5) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Baltimore Orioles (3) vs. Seattle Mariners (5) - Date: 6/30/2016 Taijuan Walker held the powerful Orioles to just four hits over 6 1/3 innings, Seth Smith hit a two-run home run and the Seattle Mariners beat Baltimore 5-3 on Thursday night. Walker (4-6) gave up a solo home run to Hyun Soo Kim in the seventh but otherwise did not allow a runner past first base. He struck out five and walked no one. With Kim's homer, the Orioles set the major league record for most home runs in June with 56. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The 1996 Oakland A's had held the record of 55. Chris Tillman (10-2) took the loss, ending his nine-game winning streak. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, his second shortest outing in 17 starts this season, and gave up four runs on six hits, walking three and striking out three. Steve Cishek got four outs for his 19th save.  

MLB Recap: Miami Marlins (5) vs. Atlanta Braves (8) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Miami Marlins (5) vs. Atlanta Braves (8) - Date: 6/30/2016 Pinch-hitter Brandon Snyder had two RBIs in a four-run sixth inning and the Atlanta Braves rallied for an 8-5 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night. Miami, which began the day a half-game ahead of two teams in the NL wild-card race, has allowed 25 runs in losing its last three games. Winning Sports Handicappers. The Marlins dropped to 2-7 against Atlanta this year. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Braves improved to just 12-32 at Turner Field. Best Sports Handicappers Free Picks. They have the NL's worst overall record, the majors' worst home record and the least productive offense in the big leagues, but they took a 6-3 lead in the sixth. Jeff Francoeur's double ch ased Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen, and Mike Dunn gave up Erick Aybar's RBI infield single, Snyder's two-run go-ahead triple and Chase d'Arnaud's RBI single. Chen (4-3) allowed eight hits, four runs, two walks and struck out two in 5 1/3 innings. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The left-hander has a 7.27 ERA over his last five starts. Best Sports Picks Today. Tyler Flowers' RBI double in the seventh pushed the lead to 7-3. Ichiro Suzuki's pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 7-4, and d'Arnaud's RBI double in the eighth put Atlanta up 8-4. Dario Alvarez (2-1) earned the win after walking one, striking out one and throwing a wild pitch in two-thirds of the sixth. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Marlins went ahead 3- 0 in the second on Justin Bour's 15th homer, a three-run shot off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz. Following a 1-hour, 8-minute rain delay in the third, the Braves cut the lead to 3-2 on Freddie Freeman's RBI triple and Nick Markakis' RBI single. Tyrell Jenkins, the second Atlanta pitcher, walked the bases loaded but struck out J. T. Realmuto to keep the Marlins scoreless in the fifth. Foltynewicz, in his first start since May 30 after going on the disabled list with right elbow soreness, gave up two hits, two walks, three runs - two earned - and struck out two in three innings. RODNEY ON THE WAYMarlins manager Don Mattingly will wait until Friday to announce how he will use newly acquired closer Fernando Rodney. Making a push to stay near the top of the NL wild-card race, the Marlins traded a minor league pitcher to get Rodney from San Diego. Current Marlins closer A. J. Ramos has converted straight 33 saves opportunities since last season, but Mattingly wouldn& #39;t say for sure who will have the role. Rodney, whose 253 career saves are fifth-most among active pitchers, is expected to join the team Friday. PAIRING TOP PROSPECTSBraves 2B Ozzie Albies has been demoted to Double-A Mississippi from Triple-A Gwinnett, where he will play alongside SS Dansby Swanson. General manager John Coppolella gave no timetable for their arrival in Atlanta, but this year hasn't been ruled out. The team also might wait until it moves into a new suburban ballpark next year. Swanson is Atlanta's top prospect and was baseball's No. 1 overall draft pick last year. Albies ranks among the 25 top overall prospects. Both began their professional career as shortstops. Albies made the switch to second base this year at Gwinnett. Albies batted .248 in 56 games at Triple-A after hitting .369 in 22 games at Double-A to open the season. STREAK ENDSThird baseman Martin Prado's fielding error in the eighth snapped a 28-game streak without a miscue by the Marlins' infield. According to STATS LLC, it was the longest such streak since 1913. TRADE AND SIGNAtlanta dealt RHP Bud Norris, its No. 2 starter, to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two prospects. The Braves also signed veteran utility man Omar Infante to a minor league contract. Infante, 34, will be assigned to Class A Danville next week. OUTTA HEREAfter Arodys Vizcaino issued a pair of two-out walks in the ninth, Braves catcher Tyler Flowers was ejected by home plate umpire Larry Vanover for arguing balls and strikes and was replaced by A. J. Pierzynski. Adeiny Hechavarria's RBI single chased Vizcaino, and Mauricio Cabrera retired pinch-hitter Cole Gillespie on a flyout for his first career save. UP NEXTMarlins: Mattingly said before the game that he wasn't sure who will start Friday. Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (3-7) has a 2.46 ERA, seventh-best in the NL. He is 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 career starts against the Marlins.  

MLB Recap: Kansas City Royals (4) vs. St Louis Cardinals (2) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Kansas City Royals (4) vs. St Louis Cardinals (2) - Date: 6/30/2016 Kendrys Morales homered and recorded his sixth straight multi-hit game to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night. Kansas City won for the fourth time in five games and took the two-city, four-game series three games to one. Brandon Moss and Jhonny Peralta homered for the Cardinals who have lost their last seven home games - their longest losing streak since Aug. 2-15, 1983. Wade Davis recorded his 19th save in 21 opportunities. Morales, a designated hitter playing right field for the second straight night, doubled in the sixth inning off Mike Leake (5-6) to push the lead to 3-1. Morales, who went 3 for 4, has 16 hits in 24 at-bats over the six-game run. He went 12 for 16 in the series and started in the outfield for the first time since 2008. His six-game multi-hit streak ties him for the lo ngest this season along with J. D. Martinez (Detroit), Jackie Bradley Jr. (Boston) and Xander Bogaerts (Boston). Kansas City reliever Dillon Gee (3-2) picked up the win allowing one run in two innings. Moss ripped his 17th homer of the season off Royals starter Chris Young, who gave up one run and one hit over four innings, but walked six. Documented Handicappers. The drive, which went 477 feet according to the Cardinals, is the longest in the history of Busch Stadium. It is the second-longest this season behind Giancarlo Stanton's 490-foot blast for Miami on May 6, in a 6-4 win over Philadelphia. Leake gave up three runs, two earned, in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one. Kansas City pushed across an unearned run in the first before Jarrod Dyson doubled in Alcides Escobar in the second. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Mike Everitt. It was Matheny's first ejection of the season. GOLD GLOVE MORALESMorales' last appearance in the field before Wednesday came on Sept. 27, 2008, while with the Angels. He handled all four chances on Wednesday and one on Thursday. MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMRoyals: RHP Kris Medlen made a rehab start for Triple-A Omaha on Thursday night against Memphis. Medlen was placed on the DL with right rotator cuff inflammation on May 11. Cardinals: OF Stephen Piscotty was given the night off after he tweaked his left ankle in the 12th inning of Wednesday's 3-2 loss. He is listed as day-to-day. INF Aledmys Diaz was held out of the lineup for the third straight game. He fouled a pitch off the area around his right eye on Monday. UP NEXTRoyals: RHP Ian Kennedy (6-6, 3.96) will face RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-6, 4.23) in the first of a thr ee-game series in Philadelphia on Friday. Kennedy stuck out 11 in seven innings in a 6-1 win over Houston on Sunday. Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (5-6, 4.09) takes on Milwaukee RHP Matt Garza (1-0, 2.81) in the opener a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday. Garcia is 10-5 with 2.71 ERA in 19 appearances against the Brewers.  

MLB Recap: Detroit Tigers (10) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Detroit Tigers (10) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7) - Date: 6/30/2016 Cameron Maybin capped a dramatic eight-run ninth inning with a tiebreaking three-run double, and the Detroit Tigers overcame a five-run deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-7 on Thursday night. Detroit trailed 7-2 entering the ninth and opened the inning with four consecutive hits off Ryan Garton, including Victor Martinez's RBI single. Erasmo Ramirez (7-7) replaced Garton and allowed Justin Upton's run-scoring single, Steven Moya's sacrifice fly and an RBI single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia that made it 7-6. Jose Iglesias drew a walk to load the bases, and Ian Kinsler got another free pass on a 3-2 pitch to tie it 7-7. Maybin's drive to left-center cleared the bases to put Detroit up 10-7. Garton entered after reliever Matt Andriese went three scoreless innings. Winner Anibal Sanchez (5-8) gave up two runs in two innings. Fra ncisco Rodriguez got the final three outs for his 22nd save. Nick Franklin had a three-run pinch-hit double during a four-run third inning for the Rays, who had won two of three after an 11-game losing streak. Franklin pinch hit for Desmond Jennings with the bases loaded and put the Rays up 5-0 on an opposite-field flare to left that landed in front of Upton and took a strange bounce past the outfielder. Top Rated Sports Handicappers. Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi gave up two runs, three hits, three walks and struck out seven in five-plus innings. Jordan Zimmermann allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings for the Tigers. He has given 12 runs over 9 2/3 innings in his last two starts. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMRays: Jennings departed with left hamstring tightness. ... LF Corey Dickerson was back after missing t hree games with a sore left thumb. ... OF Oswaldo Arcia was the DH after missing Wednesday's game due to flu-like symptoms. ... RHP Alex Colome (right biceps tendinitis) played catch at 90 feet. ... RHP Brad Boxberger (left oblique) threw 15 fastballs during his first bullpen session. SIMULATED POWERRays RF Steven Souza Jr. (strained left hip) hit two long homers and went 5 for 9 in a simulated game Thursday. Souza, scheduled to start a rehab assignment Friday with Class A Charlotte, went deep off Alex Cobb and Chase Whitley, who are both coming back from Tommy John surgery. ''Feel bad for them,'' Souza said with a smile. ''They'll be all right.'' Souza and Franklin had back-to-back homers during a one-inning stint against Whitley, who did make a nice play in catching Souza's foul pop-up. Cobb threw 36 pitches over two innings and could start a rehab assignment next week. UP NEXTTigers: RHP Michael Fu lmer (7-2) looks to extend his stretch of allowing one run or fewer over eight consecutive starts Friday night against the Rays. His current seven-game run ties Justin Verlander (2011) and Al Benton (1945) for the longest by a Tigers pitcher since 1913. Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (2-8) seeks to end a seven-start winless streak.  

MLB Recap: Cleveland Indians (4) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (1) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Cleveland Indians (4) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (1) - Date: 6/30/2016 A dominant performance from Carlos Carrasco gave the Cleveland Indians their longest winning streak in nearly 65 years. Carrasco struck out a season-high 14, Jason Kipnis and Rajai Davis hit solo home runs and the Indians matched a franchise record by winning their 13th consecutive game Thursday night, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1. Manager Terry Francona said Carrasco ''pitched his heart out.'' ''That's a good lineup and he really pitched well,'' Francona said. Cleveland's streak is the longest by any team this season, and the longest for the Indians since they won 13 straight in August 1951. Cleveland also won 13 in a row in 1942. It's the longest streak by an AL team since Oakland won 20 straight in 2002. Free Sports Handicappers. The Indians went 22-6 in June, the best single month in team history.'' It feels great,'' Carrasco said. ''We've played really hard and we need to continue that. Everything is coming together.'' Indians starting pitchers are 10-0 during the streak, and Cleveland has outscored its opponents 80-26.'' We expect to win every night we step on the field,'' Davis said. ''We've just got to keep that mindset and not worry about everything else.'' Still, Francona doesn't want his players getting too excited.'' You turn the page pretty quick,'' he said. ''If you start taking time to sit back and evaluate (what happened) two weeks ago, then tomorrow might not be so good.'' Coming off a four-hit shutout victory at Detroit, Carrasco (4-2) allowed one run and three hits in 7 1/3 innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time since April 13 and 19. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The right-hander was sidelined from April 25 to June 2 with a strained left hamstring.'' No doubt about it, it was Carrasco's night,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ''He was on.'' Carrasco's career-high in strikeouts is 15, set last Sept. 25 at Kansas City. Against Toronto, he struck out four straight in the third and fourth innings, then fanned six straight in the sixth, seventh and eighth. Bryan Shaw replaced Carrasco after Darwin Barney ended the strikeout streak with a double. Shaw struck out pinch hitter Russell Martin, walked Ezequiel Carrera, then fanned Josh Donaldson to end the inning. Cody Allen got the last three outs for his 17th save. Davis hit a leadoff shot off R. A. Dickey in the second and Kipnis hit a one-out drive in the third.'' They ran into a few that didn't do much,'' Dickey said. Dickey (5-9) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. Sports Handicapper Picks. The knuckleballer has allowed six home runs in his past two starts, all of them solo shots. He is 0-6 with a 5.14 ERA in eight home starts. Donaldson provided Toronto's only offense with a two-out solo homer off Carrasco in the fourth. FAN CLUBToronto struck out 10 or more times for the 24th time this season. Free MLB Baseball Picks. They did it 28 times in all of 2015. Winning Sports Gambling. The Blue Jays finished with 17 strikeouts, their most since fanning 17 times against Texas on July 18, 2014. STILL STREAKINGKipnis extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games. FAMILIAR FACESCleveland and Toronto met for the first time since longtime Indians employee Mark Shapiro took over as president of the Blue Jays last Nove mber. Shapiro also hired former Cleveland colleague Ross Atkins to serve as Toronto's GM. Shapiro was with the Indians for 24 years before joining Toronto. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMIndians: OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder) continues to hit in the cage and do soft toss drills without pain, manager Terry Francona said. Brantley, who is not with the team, resumed hitting drills earlier this week after setbacks in May and June. Blue Jays: Prior to the game, LHP Brett Cecil was activated off the 15-day DL and RHP Ryan Tepera was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Cecil missed 42 games with sore left triceps. Cecil relieved Dickey and pitched a perfect eighth. ... SS Troy Tulowitzki got the day off. UP NEXTIndians: RHP Josh Tomlin (9-1, 3.32) starts for Cleveland in a Canada Day matinee on Friday. Tomlin is 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA in three career starts against Toronto. Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (6-4, 5.33) has allowed 38 earned runs in his past eight starts and has lost three of his past four decisions.  

MLB Recap: Chicago Cubs (3) vs. New York Mets (4) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Chicago Cubs (3) vs. New York Mets (4) - Date: 6/30/2016 Yoenis Cespedes socked a colossal home run, Jeurys Familia pitched out of a huge jam in the ninth inning and rookie replacement Brandon Nimmo keyed a three-run rally in the seventh that sent the New York Mets past the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Thursday night in their first meeting since last year's NL Championship Series. Chicago put runners on second and third with no outs against Familia, who got two strikeouts and a bases-loaded popup for his 27th save, most in the majors. He screamed and pumped his arms repeatedly after Javier Baez popped up to end it. Baez's throwing error at second base allowed Nimmo to score the go-ahead run, and the Mets overcame a 3-0 deficit to stop their four-game slide. New York, which swept Chicago last October to reach the World Series, had lost nine straight regular-season games to the Cubs dating to August 2014. Both banged-up te ams came in depleted by injuries as they began a four-game series, the start of an 11-game homestand for the Mets that marks their longest of the season and takes them all the way into the All-Star break. Kris Bryant's two-run homer and Baez's solo shot off rookie Steven Matz gave the major league-best Cubs a 3-0 lead before a scuffling Mets lineup finally pushed back. Cespedes launched a solo drive off John Lackey in the sixth that soared into the third deck in left field, two or three rows deep. It was thought to be the first home run to reach the third deck at Citi Field, which opened in 2009. It wasn't unfamiliar territory to Cespedes, however. He sent several shots up there three years ago - while winning the All-Star Home Run Derby. Profitable Handicappers. Travis d'Arnaud singled with one out in the seventh, chasing Lackey. Joel Peralta (0-1) walked slumping pinch-hitter Alejandro D e Aza before Nimmo, starting for injured outfielder Curtis Granderson, singled on the ninth pitch of a gritty at-bat for his first career RBI. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The throw to third allowed Nimmo to reach second, and the Mets had two runners in scoring position. With the Cubs playing their infield in, Neil Walker hit a chopper toward the middle against reliever Pedro Strop. Figuring he had no play at the plate, Baez threw to third in an attempt to get Nimmo. But the wide throw ticked off Bryant's glove and rolled into foul territory, letting Nimmo cross the plate with a big smile on his face. Erik Goeddel (1-0) struck out two in 1 2/3 hitless innings for the win. Sports Betting Handicapping. TRAINER'S ROOMCubs: RF Jason Heyward was rested against the left-hander with Chicago in the middle of playing 24 straight days. He has a little soreness on his left side but certainly could have started, manager Joe Maddon said. Heyward entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and shattered his bat on a grounder back to the mound against lefty Jerry Blevins, stranding two runners. Heyward is expected to play Friday night. ... INF Tommy La Stella (strained right hamstring) went 1 for 4 in his third rehab game for Triple-A Iowa and is getting close to coming off the DL. RHP Adam Warren started that game for Iowa against Round Rock and threw 73 pitches over five innings, his second Triple-A tuneup as he gets stretched out in the minors to make a spot start for Chicago next Tuesday or Wednesday at home against Cincinnati. Mets: Granderson was out of the lineup again after an MRI revealed a mild strain of his right calf, general manager Sandy Alderson said. Granderson was unavailable off the bench and is expected to miss at least a couple of games. A reinforcement could arrive Friday in Gol d Glove outfielder Juan Lagares (sprained left thumb), nearly ready to come off the 15-day DL. Lagares was scheduled to play his third rehab game with Double-A Binghamton on Thursday night. ... New York added a fresh arm to its bullpen by calling up RHP Seth Lugo from Triple-A Las Vegas. LHP Sean Gilmartin was optioned to the 51s. ... INF Jose Reyes, also getting ready at Binghamton, is probably three to six days from joining the big league club, Alderson said. UP NEXTCubs RHP Jason Hammel (7-4, 2.58 ERA) starts Friday night against RHP Jacob deGrom (3-4, 2.67), who won Game 3 of the NLCS last year at Wrigley Field. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The 2015 All-Star is 0-4 in 10 starts since beating San Francisco on April 30. Chicago has lost Hammel's last four outings after going 9-2 in his first 11. He is 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in five career starts against the Mets, but all those losses ca me before 2013.  

MLB Recap: Cincinnati Reds (4) vs. Washington Nationals (13) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Cincinnati Reds (4) vs. Washington Nationals (13) - Date: 6/30/2016 Danny Espinosa hit a grand slam and a three-run homer to finish with a career-high seven RBIs, and the Washington Nationals cruised past the Cincinnati Reds 13-4 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory. Espinosa's second career slam put Washington up 8-1 in the third inning, and his next drive made it 13-1 in the fourth. Espinosa ranks second on the team with 15 homers despite usually batting eighth. Leading Handicappers. The switch-hitting shortstop connected off Brandon Finnegan (3-7) batting right-handed, then went deep from the left side against Josh Smith. Espinosa's previous career high for RBIs was six, and his only other grand slam came in his fifth major league game on Sept. 6, 2010. Gio Gonzalez (4-7) gave up four runs and struck out nine over s ix innings for the NL East-leading Nationals, whose current winning streak comes on the heels of a seven-game skid. Gonzalez was 0-6 with an 8.44 ERA in his previous seven starts. Ryan Zimmerman got the rout started with a three-run homer in the first inning against the lowly Reds, who have lost eight of nine. Joey Votto homered for Cincinnati, which has yielded 40 runs in its last four games - all of them defeats. Espinosa's slam chased Finnegan, who surrendered eight runs, five hits and five walks in 2 1/3 innings. Smith provided little relief, giving up five runs and four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Washington tied a season high for runs in a game without receiving a contribution from reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, who was given the night off by manager Dusty Baker.'' His legs are a little tired,'' Baker said, noting that Harper twisted his ankle earlier in the week. ''He's been playing through things the last couple days.'' TRAINER'S ROOMReds: RHP Caleb Cotham (right shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday night at Class-AA Pensacola against Chattanooga. Manager Bryan Price said the plan is to have Cotham pitch around five times in the minors, ''and then we'll reassess.'' Cotham has been on the DL since May 31. ... OF Billy Hamilton passed concussion protocol and was in the starting lineup after being struck in the face by a deflected line drive Wednesday. Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (back, ribs) is eligible to return from the DL on Friday, but that almost certainly will not happen. ''I'm more inclined not to rush him,'' Baker said. UP NEXTReds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-0, 1.52 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season, bringing a 13-inning scoreless streak into Friday night's game against Washington. Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (7-5, 2.96) is 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA over his last four starts.  

MLB Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (8) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (1) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (8) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (1) - Date: 6/30/2016 Trayce Thompson, Yasmani Grandal and Corey Seager hit home runs, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 8-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. Kenta Maeda (7-5) held the Brewers to one run over six innings as the Dodgers won the season series from the Brewers, five games to two. NFL Handicappers. The strong start by Maeda was needed by the Dodgers, who announced before the game that they were placing ace Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury. Los Angeles also acquired veteran pitcher Bud Norris from the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. MLB Baseball Handicappers. Thompson put the Dodgers in front in the second with a two-run homer into the second deck in left field off Zach Davies (5-4). Gra ndal extended the Dodgers' lead to 3-1 in the fourth with a solo blast over the left-field bullpen. Seager's shot to straightaway center in the fifth accounted for two of the Dodgers' three runs in the inning. Los Angeles added a pair of runs in the sixth, including one on a run-scoring double by Adrian Gonzalez. Maeda gave up three hits, struck out six and walked two. He allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings against the Brewers in Los Angeles on June 19. Davies, who had been 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA over his last 10 starts, gave up a season-high six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He surrendered eight hits, walked two and struck out three. Free Guaranteed Sports Picks. The three home runs allowed were the most allowed by Davies in 20 career starts in the majors. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Brewers grabbed the lead in the first on Aaron Hill 9;s sacrifice fly. Winning Sports Gambling. TRAINER'S ROOMDodgers: CF Joc Pederson was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day after suffering a bruised AC joint when he crashed into the outfield wall while making a spectacular catch in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game. ''I think we'll make a decision with what we do with Joc, as far as the roster, in the next day or two,'' manager Dave Roberts said. Brewers: RHP Taylor Jungmann, who began the season in the starting rotation before being demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs after posting a 0-4 record and an ERA of 9.15 in five starts, has been reassigned to Double-A Biloxi after a period of mental rest. Jungmann also struggled at Colorado Springs, going 1-3 with a 9.87 ERA in eight starts. He was scheduled to start for Biloxi on Thursday at Birmingham. UP NEXTDodgers: Los Angeles begins as season-long, 10-game homestand on Fr iday against Colorado. Kershaw had been scheduled to start. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The newly acquired Norris, who last pitched on Sunday, could start in Kershaw's place. Brewers: Matt Garza (1-0, 2.81), who recorded his first win of the season on Saturday, will take the mound as Milwaukee opens a three-game series at St. Louis on Friday. Garza is 4-4 with a 4.07 ERA in 12 career starts against the Cardinals.  

MLB Recap: Minnesota Twins (5) vs. Chicago White Sox (6) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Minnesota Twins (5) vs. Chicago White Sox (6) - Date: 6/30/2016 J. B. Shuck's two-out single scored the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, Todd Frazier hit his 23rd home run and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5 Thursday. Fernando Abad (1-2) got the first two batters in the eight before consecutive walks. Shuck's career high-tying third hit of the game scored Avisail Garcia from second. Nate Jones (4-2) allowed a hit while getting four outs and David Robertson worked around a single in the ninth for his 21st save in 23 tries as the White Sox won their third straight series for the first time this season. Sports Picks Today. Tim Anderson added three hits and Matt Davidson had an RBI single in his White Sox debut before leaving with a sore right foot. Brian Dozier homered and drove in two runs and Eduardo Nunez had RBI singles in the sixth and seventh innings as the Twins rallied from a 5-2 deficit to tie it. White Sox starter Carlos Rodon retired the first 11 batters before giving up consecutive home runs to Robbie Grossman and Dozier. Rodon's day was over after Dozier's RBI single with one out in the sixth. He allowed four runs and five hits. Frazier, who entered the day one homer behind major league leader Mark Trumbo of Baltimore, pulled a changeup from Tommy Milone into the bullpen to lead off the second inning. It was the 14th consecutive solo homer by Chicago, one shy of the team record set in 1965. Milone didn't get out of the fourth for a second straight start. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The lefty was charged with five runs and nine hits while getting 10 outs. He also served up the first walk to the free-swinging Anderson in his 86th big league plate appearance. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The Twins fell to 1-8 against the White Sox, with Minnesota manager Paul Molitor acknowledging his lineup was ''a little strange.'' Joe Mauer had the day off against a lefty, Grossman moved to DH, Danny Santana was in left for his first start in four days and hot catcher Kurt Suzuki batted a season-best sixth. Dozier extended his hitting streak to 12 games and his team record streak of games with an extra-base hit to 11. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMTwins: RHP Trevor May (back) is scheduled to throw in consecutive games for Triple-A Rochester beginning Friday. White Sox: LF Melky Cabrera (sprained right wrist) missed his second straight game. He's expected to sit out at least one more day. SCARY MOMENTA woman sitting in the second deck along the first base side took Nunez's line d rive off the left side of her head in the sixth inning. A lens from her sunglasses flew backward into the press box. Las Vegas Handicappers. The woman stayed in her seat, holding an ice pack to her head, after being checked by medics. UP NEXTTwins: RHP Tyler Duffey (3-6, 5.59 ERA) starts Friday night at home against AL-leading Texas and RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-0, 9.00). White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-3, 5.17) starts Friday night at Houston against RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.41).  

MLB Recap: Texas Rangers (1) vs. New York Yankees (2) - 6/30/2016

MLB Recap: Texas Rangers (1) vs. New York Yankees (2) - Date: 6/30/2016 Chase Headley scored on a passed ball with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees won in their final at-bat for the second straight game to beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Thursday afternoon. Four New York pitchers combined to strike out 16 Rangers as the teams split the four-game series. Didi Gregorius, who had the winning home run Wednesday night, hit a solo shot in the fifth to tie the score after Shin-Soo Choo homered to lead off the game. Sports Monitor. Tony Barnette (5-3), the third Rangers reliever of the afternoon, walked Headley to lead off the bottom of the ninth. With runners on second and third and two outs, his pitch got through catcher Robinson Chirinos and Headley just beat the throw. Aroldis Chapman (2-0) earned the win after pitching a scoreless ninth . Michael Pineda struck out 12 in six innings, allowing two hits and the one run with three walks. He did not allow a hit after the first, when Choo crushed the fourth pitch of the game for his 18th career leadoff homer. Pineda struck out Rougned Odor with two runners on to prevent further damage. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. Then Mark Teixeira struck out with two on to end the bottom of the inning against A. J. Griffin. But after both pitchers labored through shaky first innings, each struck out the side in the second and cruised from there. Nine straight batters struck out from the bottom of the first through the top of the third before Nomar Mazara grounded out sharply to short. Griffin retired 12 in a row before Gregorius' solo shot to right in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game 1-1. Griffin departed after throwing 88 pitches in five innings. He allowed the one run on two hits with t wo walks and eight strikeouts. Sport Handicapping. The Yankees hard-throwing bullpen trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman took it from there. After Headley walked in the bottom of the ninth, Gregorius came up again with a chance to win it - but this time he sacrificed, bunting Headley to second with one out. Aaron Hicks then walked. Starlin Castro, who hit a walk-off home run of his own eight days earlier, grounded out to first to put the runners on second and third with two outs. MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMYankees: Carlos Beltran didn't start for the second straight game because of right hamstring tightness but pinch-hit for No. 9 hitter Ronald Torreyes in the seventh. He walked, then Castro, who didn't start with a day game after a night game, pinch-ran for him. Manager Joe Girardi was concerned over his ability to pl ay the field during this weekend's interleague series at San Diego. ... 1B Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup after getting the night off to rest his balky knee. ... C Brian McCann played a day game after a night game even though tendinitis in his knee flared up Wednesday night, when he homered twice. Rangers: Manager Jeff Banister hadn't decided before the game what the next step would be in Yu Darvish's return from shoulder discomfort. Darvish threw a simulated game Wednesday. UP NEXTRangers: Texas continues its 10-game road trip with a three-game series at Minnesota, with LHP Martin Perez (7-4) seeking his seventh straight victory when he faces RHP Ervin Santana (2-7) on Friday. Yankees: New York opens a 10-game road trip with an interleague series at San Diego, when RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-5) looks for his first win in more than a month in a matchup against RHP Colin Rea (4-3).  

MLB Preview: Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves - 6/30/2016 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Preview: Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 07:10 P.M. EST Venue: Turner Field   ATLANTA -- A team coming off a two-game sweep in which it was outscored 17-6 would normally love to be facing an opponent next with the worst record in the National League. Sports Experts. The Miami Marlins, though, are the one team the Atlanta Braves have a winning record against this season. Atlanta (26-52) started the season 4-17 and three of those victories were against the Marlins, who would eventually lose two more games to the Braves before winning two of the past three. MLB Baseball Handicappers. That is almost as bad as the Marlins (41-37) have done against the Tigers, who won 10-3 Wednesday in Detroit to finish the interleague matchup 0-4. Fox Sports Picks. The Tigers also swept a two-game series in Miami to open the season. At least Miami won't have to face Braves ace Julio Teheran on Thursday night in the opener of the four-game series that will move from Turner Field to Fort Bragg in North Carolina for Sunday's patriotic finale. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Teheran, who has a streak of 23 consecutive scoreless innings, will get an extra day of rest before facing the Marlins on Friday." We've been extending him pretty good, so it's good to give him an extra day any time we can," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. Sports Handicappers Rankings. Teheran pitched a one-hit shutout in New York, then followed that up with eight scoreless innings in a no-decision against the same Mets in Atlanta last Saturday. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The right-hander is just 3-7, but has a 2.46 ERA. Mike Foltynew icz will cut short his minor league rehab with Triple-A Gwinnett after one outing and start the series opener against the Marlins." He's healthy and feeling good," Snitker said. The right-hander has been on the disabled list June 4 because of what was later diagnosed as bone spurs in his pitching elbow. Foltynewicz allowed just one hit, walked none and struck out five over five scoreless innings Saturday against Charlotte, throwing 65 pitches." It felt better than I thought it would," Foltynewicz said of his elbow. "All the doctors say it is no structural damage in there. That puts me at ease of mind." Foltynewicz has made six major league starts this season, going 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA. Marlins manager Don Mattingly juggled his rotation Wednesday in Detroit and it didn't pay off. Right-hander Tom Kohler started instead of left-hander Wei-Yin Chen against the Tigers, but gave up four runs in a 46-pitch first inning and was gone after the t hird inning." It's really a chance to give (Chen) a little bit of a breather, but Atlanta is just stacked with lefties and these guys (the Tigers) are stacked with righties," Mattingly had told reporters in explaining the switch. Chen was the Marlins' Opening Day starter at home against Detroit, but has struggled to live up to expectations after getting a five-year deal worth $80 million as a free agent. Chen, who is 4-2 with a 5.00 ERA, couldn't get out of the third inning two starts ago against Colorado, but bounced back with seven innings against the Chicago Cubs in his most recent outing. The native of Taiwan will be making his third start of the season against the Braves after posting a 2.38 ERA in a pair of no-decisions in games the Marlins lost. Chen faced the Braves once in interleague play while with Baltimore, pitching seven scoreless innings in a victory. Miami outfielder Ichiro Suzuki comes into the series 12 hits sh ort of 3,000 in the majors after getting two singles in each of the games at Detroit. The 42-year-old former star in Japan is batting .342. The Marlins lost by seven runs Wednesday despite getting 14 hits. Third baseman Martin Prado had four of them to lift his average to .316." I'm disappointed," Mattingly told reporters after the sweep in Detroit. "But there is no time for that. We have to go play. That's basically how we have to look at it, get moving." Atlanta swept in a three-game interleague series by Cleveland, which ran its winning streak to 12 games Wednesday night. The Braves are 11-32 at home this season.

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MLB Preview: Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees - 6/30/2016 - 1:05 PM EST

MLB Preview: Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 01:05 P.M. EST Venue: Yankee Stadium   NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers have achieved numerous things this season. One thing they were not able to get due to a large bullpen collapse Wednesday was tie a club record with their 21st win in June. Picks and Parlays. The Rangers will look to set that mark and rebound from their major league-leading eighth walk-off loss of the season Thursday afternoon when they conclude a four-game series with the New York Yankees. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Texas was two outs away from being able to play for its record-setting 22nd win of June and its first four-game sweep in New York but let a 7-2 lead slip away and wound up with a 9-7 loss. Cesar Ramos gave up Brian McCann's first home run in the eighth and Sam Dyson allowed McCann's three-run home run in the ninth and Didi Gregorius' game-winner." Obviously when you have your closer on the mound in a save situation, they're very challenging," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Four-run lead there in the 9th, and we've been really good at closing those games out." Even though the bullpen now has a 4.84 ERA, this has still been a good month for the Rangers. Money Cappers. They are 20-7 this month and can equal the record for wins in a month set in Sept. 1978 (21-10) and matched in June 2010 (21-6). Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Rangers also will be looking to go unbeaten in their last 13 series (13-0-1) and improved to 14-1-1 in its last 16. Sports Handicapper Leads. The only series loss was a three-game sweep by Oakland in mid-May but since then Texas is 29-9. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Yankees will be hoping the late dramatics can finally springboard them into marking a run as they will try to reach .500 for the seventh time since May 22." Probably the biggest win of the year," Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez said. New York has never been more than two games over and since getting to 31-30 June 10, the Yankees are 8-9. A win on Thursday will mean the Yankees don't head into July with a losing record for the first time since 2007. A win also means the Yankees will not face a double-digit through the end of June for the seventh time since divisional play began in 1969." There's a sense of urgency," Girardi said. "As days tick away, you start to run out of time, and you don't want to bury yourself. Baltimore is playing extremely well. Boston has run into a few bumps here, but they've played well. Toronto's played well. And so you can't mess around too lon g and expect to be there.'A. J Griffin is 3-0 with a 3.08 ERA in seven starts this season and will be on the mound Thursday for Texas. Griffin made his first start off the disabled list and took a no-decision after allowing two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings of Saturday's 10-3 win over the Boston Red Sox. He has held opponents to .200 average and allowed three earned runs or less in each start. The right-hander has had similar success in his career against the Yankees. He is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four starts against New York, including April 26 in Arlington when he allowed one run and four hits in eight innings of a 10-1 victory. The Yankees will hope Michael Pineda can continue his decent stretch. Although Pineda is 3-7 with a 5.51 ERA, he is 1-1 with a 3.00 in four starts this month. Pineda leads the Yankees with 96 strikeouts and has at least eight strikeouts in four of five starts this month. The latest instance was Saturday when he took a no-decision and a llowed one run and two hits in six innings against Minnesota. Pineda is 0-3 with a 5.04 ERA in four starts against Texas. The last time he faced the Rangers at home was May 22, 2015 when he allowed seven runs (four earned) and eight hits over six innings of a 10-9 loss.

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MLB Preview: Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets - 6/30/2016 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Preview: Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 07:10 P.M. EST Venue: Citi Field   NEW YORK -- A sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series last fall sent the New York Mets to the World Series for the first time in 15 seasons. But the Cubs are the team that looks ready to return to the NLCS -- and perhaps end a far longer drought -- as the two teams prepare for a four-game series that begins Thursday night at Citi Field. Sports Handicapper Scams. The Cubs arrived in New York fresh off a 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds that capped a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The sweep snapped the longest skid of the season for Chicago, which lost six of seven prior to facing the Reds." This was a good series for us," said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who hit a three-run inside-the-park homer Wednesday. Football Predictions. The Cubs have had a lot of good series this year. Chicago, which is looking to reach the World Series for the first time since 1945 and win it all for the first time since 1908, is now a baseball-best 51-26, with a mammoth run differential -- plus-170 -- that suggests ot should have five or six more wins. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Mets, meanwhile, continued to spiral downward Wednesday with a 4-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. Sports Handicapper King. The loss capped a three-game sweep at the hands of the Nationals, who extended their lead over the Mets from three to six games. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The loss ended a 2-5 road trip for the Mets, who were outscored 35-20 by the Nationals and Atlanta Braves. New Y ork, which blew an early 4-0 lead in Monday's opener against the Nationals, went 23 straight innings without scoring until James Loney hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday." We're just not giving ourselves chances," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We just can't give our pitchers any room to work." At 40-37, New York is the closest it has been to .500 since April 24, though it is still only a half-game behind the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals in the race for the NL's second wild card." They're struggling lately and they're banged up," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It is different (than last year) for both teams." The series opener Thursday begins an 11-game homestand for the Mets that could dictate the direction the rest of their season takes. After the Cubs exit Sunday, the Mets host the Marlins for three games and the Nationals for four games." We've still got 11 befor e the All-Star Break," Collins said. "We've just got to go play them." Mets left-hander Steven Matz is scheduled to start Thursday against Cubs right-hander John Lackey. Matz is pitching through a bone chip in his right elbow and got an extra day of rest after struggling last Friday, when he was staked to an eight-run lead but allowed six runs over 4 1/3 innings and was lifted before he could qualify for the win in the Mets' 8-6 victory over the Braves. Lackey will be looking to bounce back from his worst start of the season. He took the loss last Saturday, when he gave up seven runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Cubs fell to the Marlins, 9-6.

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MLB Preview: Baltimore Orioles vs. Seattle Mariners - 6/30/2016 - 10:10 PM EST

MLB Preview: Baltimore Orioles vs. Seattle Mariners - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 10:10 P.M. EST Venue: Safeco Field   SEATTLE -- The Baltimore Orioles come sweeping into Safeco Field with a seven-game winning streak and a powerful sense of momentum. Handicapper Return on Investment. The Orioles (47-30) have already hit 55 home runs this month, matching the major league record for June. Mark Trumbo matched the record when he hit his league-leading 23rd homer of the season in Wednesday's 12-6 win over San Diego. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. That victory opened up a 5 1/2-game lead over Boston atop the American League East standings. No team in the AL has as much power as the Orioles, but the Seattle Mariners, who host Baltimore on Thursday, are one of the few teams that are close. Seattle's 113 home runs this season rank third in the AL, 11 behind the league-leading Orioles. Professional Handicappers. The primary home-run hitter for each team is familiar to the other. Baltimore's Trumbo finished last season with the Mariners before being dealt for backup catcher Steve Clevenger in an offseason deal designed to get rid of Trumbo's salary. Leading the Mariners with 20 home runs is former Oriole Nelson Cruz, who signed a free-agent deal with Seattle before the 2015 season and has been everything the Mariners could have hoped he'd be. Cruz matched his 2014 total of 40 home runs in his first season with the Mariners and is on pace to get there again this season. Unlike last season, when the Mariners fell out of the playoff race early with a horrific start to a year that began with promise, this campaign has seen the offense come alive as Seattle started strong before injuries to the starting rotation derailed things. Cruz is one of six different Seattle players who have already hit 10 homers, and yet the Mariners ( ;39-39) are more than just a power-hitting team." We have a good team," Cruz said after hitting his 20th home run of the season Tuesday night. "We can do a lot of things, not just the long ball." The Orioles are also much more than just a home-run hitting team, but it's hard to ignore the numbers they've been putting up in that category. MLB Baseball Handicappers. Trumbo leads four players who have hit at least 16 home runs, and it's not out of the question that all four will have 20 bombs by the All-Star break. It all adds up to a league-best 124 home runs, with 55 of them coming in June. Sports Picks. The Orioles will close out the month with a shot at breaking the June record on Thursday." Obviously, it's a special thing, but it's not something that anyone is going to gloat about or spend too much time th inking about," Trumbo told MLB.com after Wednesday's win over Detroit. "It just goes to show that we are on a nice little run." The Orioles will start right-hander Chris Tillman, who is 10-1 this season and has dominated the franchise that included him in a big trade for Erik Bedard a few years ago. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Tillman is 7-0 with a 2.96 ERA in his career against the Mariners. Seattle will start right-hander Taijuan Walker, a former top prospect who has battled nagging injuries this season. Walker skipped his last start due to a sore foot and was limited to five innings the last time he was able to pitch.

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MLB Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. St Louis Cardinals - 6/30/2016 - 7:15 PM EST

MLB Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. St Louis Cardinals - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 07:15 P.M. EST Venue: Busch Stadium   ST. LOUIS -- Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the scalding-hot bat of Kendrys Morales in the starting lineup. Proof of that came Wednesday night in St. Louis, when Morales started in right field, the first time in eight years he opened a game as an outfielder. Usually a designated hitter, Morales handled four chances flawlessly, including a catch of Matt Carpenter's fourth-inning drive on which he banged into the wall. Expert Sports Picks. That, coupled with three more hits that upped Morales' average to .650 (13-for-20) in the past five games, leaves little doubt that Morales will roam right field again Thursday night when Kansas City ends its four-game interleague series with the Cardinals." I felt like he would be able to handle it, and his play tonight verifies it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He did a nice job. His play go ing back to the wall was fantastic." With third baseman Mike Moustakas gone for the year and center fielder Lorenzo Cain out for at least a couple of weeks, Kansas City (41-36) needs every bat it can get in the lineup as it tries to stay within sight of streaking the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The presence of Morales, who can tie a major league high this year if he collects multiple hits in a sixth straight game Thursday, should help the Royals as they try to capture three of four from their enigmatic in-state rivals. Owners of one of baseball's best road records at 25-15, St. Louis has been mop water at home. A 3-2, 12-inning defeat to Kansas City on Wednesday night was the Cardinals' sixth consecutive setback at Busch Stadium, dropping them to 15-22 at home for the year. By contrast, the Cardinals were a major-league-best 55-26 last year, when they were baseball's first 100-win team since 2011." I didn't know until just now what the record was," Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty said after the Wednesday game of the team's home struggles. "It's game-to-game for myself and a lot of guys on the team." To break the home losing streak, St. Louis (40-37) turns to right-hander Mike Leake, who is making his first career start against Kansas City. Leake (5-5, 4.25 ERA) is coming off a 5-4 loss Saturday night at Seattle, where he lasted only 3 1/3 innings and gave up all five runs. Winning Sports Handicappers. The Cardinals will need a long start from Leake after using eight pitchers Wednesday night. New closer Seung Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist and Jonathan Broxton could be unavailable after working the past two games. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Royals trot out veteran right-hander Chris Young, who has been pummeled most of the year. A 13-5 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday night saw Young last only 2 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and seven runs with four walks and two strikeouts in his shortest start since Sept. 1, 2014. Young (2-7, 6.54) is just 1-4 with a 3.74 ERA in seven career starts against St. Louis, and he has permitted a homer in his first 11 starts this year. Young might not have to worry about Piscotty, who injured his ankle in the 12th inning diving for Alcides Escobar's game-winning double and had to ice the joint after the game. Piscotty, who cracked a game-tying homer in the 10th, has played in all but four games this year.

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MLB Preview: Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox - 6/30/2016 - 2:10 PM EST

MLB Preview: Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 02:10 P.M. EST Venue: U. S. Cellular Field   CHICAGO -- Finding ways to win in the American League's Central Division has been an issue for both the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins this season. But as the White Sox look to return to their winning ways and the Twins hope to build on what's been their most successful month to date, reversing course against divisional opponents moving forward will be key. Sports Handicapping Service Winning Streaks. The White Sox and Twins wrap up their three game series at U. S. Cellular Field Thursday before both teams venture outside the Central this weekend. For the White Sox, in-division competition of late has been especially painful even after the White Sox won for only the fourth time in their last 20 divisional games with Wednesday's 9-6 victory. Although the White Sox will clinch their third consecutive series with a win on Thursday, they haven't been nearly as successful against their Cent ral Division neighbors -- and the teams they face the most each season." You have to pick it up a little bit in your division," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said this week. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. Thursday's game will mark the ninth time the Twins and White Sox have faced one another this season. Sports Touts. The White Sox won the first six games and outscored Minnesota 30-9 before being shut out 4-0 in Tuesday's series opener. Chicago regained some of their form Wednesday behind James Shields' first win for Chicago since coming over in a trade with San Diego. But the Twins are about the only division opponent the White Sox have had success against during their recent troubling stretch. Chicago is 1-6 against Cleveland, 2-7 against Kansas City and 2-4 against Detroit. And even after improving to 7-1 against Minnesota, Ventura knows things have to improve against other divisional opponents. White Sox third baseman said familiarity with one another may play a factor in Chicago's troubles. Maybe they know us a little bit," Frazier said. "They may know our tendencies a little more. MLB Baseball Handicappers. There is no real rhyme or reason." Twins manager Paul Molitor is hoping his players have taken their struggles against divisional opponents personally. Free Soccer Picks. Teams like the White Sox had their way with the Twins earlier this season. And yet after coming within a win of earning their first series victory over the White Sox since last September, Molitor said his team has to find ways to build off wins like Tuesday's 4-0 shutout. Wednesday's loss -- which included a five-run, ninth-inning Twins' rally that saw the tying run come to the plate -- was the latest example of the Twins being unable to string together multiple wins." It's not like you're expecting to go out and reel off a long winning streak -- it would be great if you were able to do that," Molitor said. "You just want to see more consistency. We don't make a tough play (Wednesday), we have a base-running mistake that I thought it was costly -- those can be momentum-changers -- and you go from being in a pretty close game to trailing by eight runs."

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MLB Preview: Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 6/30/2016 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Preview: Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 07:10 P.M. EST Venue: Tropicana Field   ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays, three days removed from an 11-game losing streak, bounced back by taking two of three games from the Boston Red Sox, but, starting Thursday, they will face another surging team in a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers, who open an 11-game road trip that goes right up to the All-Star break." Especially against teams that we're familiar with, we should go in with a lot of confidence," Tigers outfielder Cameron Maybin said after Wednesday's 10-3 win over the Marlins. "The biggest thing is, going into the break, we want to bring as much energy and effort as we can, not take any day too lightly and make sure we finish strong going into the break." Detroit (40-38) is coming off a 6-3 homestand, one that included a three-game sweep at the hands of the Indians, but they will get another shot at them immediately after the Rays series. Professional Sports Handicappers. The Tigers had 15 hits in Wednesday's win, and home runs from Miguel Cabrera, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and 24-year-old Steven Moya, who has four home runs in his last six games. Moya, huge at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, has always had power potential -- he has 10 extra-base hits in 63 at-bats this season -- but manager Brad Ausmus said his key is lowering the swing-and-miss factor and keeping control of his at-bats. Detroit took two of three games from the Rays in May, and Thursday's starter is Jordan Zimmermann, who won one of those games, holding the Rays to two runs in 5 2/3 innings. He is now 9-4 with a 3.81 ERA, and will face the Rays' Jake Odorizzi, who has a comparable ERA at 3.93 ERA but a hard-luck 3-3 record. Odorizzi has pitched well in his career against the Tigers, with a 2-1 record and 1.93 career ERA. He hopes to build off a strong start Wednesday by Tampa Bay's Matt Moore, who threw seven shutou t innings and took a no-hitter into the sixth. It's the kind of starting pitching the Rays expected going into 2016, but haven't seen much of in a disappointing first half of the season. Moore outpitched former Rays ace David Price to pick up the win against Boston." I think everybody in this building has admiration for David Price and what he means to the organization," Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday. "Any time you get to compete against him, it is special. Matt Moore was a young pitcher when he was here. MLB Baseball Handicappers. They follow him, they listen to him and to go toe-to-toe with that guy has to be special for Matt. He was outstanding." While Detroit has a week and a half on the road, the Rays are in the middle of an 11-game homestand, needing more consistent success at Tropicana Field as they try to scrap their way back to .500.

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MLB Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays - 6/30/2016 - 7:07 PM EST

MLB Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 07:07 P.M. EST Venue: Rogers Centre   TORONTO -- Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins will have a chance to see the results of their hard work over the past few years. Number #1 Sports Handicapping Service. Their former team, the Cleveland Indians, will be riding a 12-game winning streak when it visits the Rogers Centre for a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays that starts Thursday. Shapiro, the Blue Jays president and CEO, and Atkins, the club's general manager, joined Toronto late last season after previously working for the Indians." I'm deeply invested in them and their performance and I'm pulling for them," Shapiro told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "The only time I'm not pulling for them are the seven or eight times we play them. I'll absolutely be pulling against them in those games." I'd sign up right now to play them in the playoffs and beat them in the playoffs. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. That'd be fine with me because they're a group I believe in and care about." Shapiro was with the Indians for 24 years and rose to president and CEO before moving to the Blue Jays last November, bringing with him Atkins, who was vice president of player personnel with Cleveland. Sports Handicapping Service Leads. They will watch Thursday when knuckleballer R. A. Dickey (5-8, 4.23 ERA) takes the mound for Toronto and right-hander Carlos Carrasco (3-2, 2.73 ERA) starts for Cleveland. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Blue Jays finished a six-game trip at 3-3 after winning the final two games against the Colorado Rockies, including a 5-3 decision Wednesday." If you finish .500 on a road trip, that's a pretty good road trip," said Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who hit his 18th homer of the season Wednesday. "Obviously, you want to win more than that, but we salvaged it today." The Indians defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-0 Wednesday to extend their winning streak to 12 games. It is the club's longest since a 13-game winning string in 1951, which equaled the franchise record set in 1942. Picks and Parlays. The Indians' starting staff is 9-0 with a 1.91 ERA during the streak, having outscored the opposition 76-25." You always have to turn the page," Indians manager Terry Francona said after the game Wednesday. "If we don't, Toronto will turn it for us. We've got another game in about 18 hours. We've got to get up there and get prepared. It should be a fun weekend." Dickey allowed four home runs against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday but picked up the win in Toronto's 10-8 victory. He i s 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA in June. In 13 career games against Cleveland, including seven starts, he is 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA. Carrasco pitched his third career shutout and the seventh complete game of his career Saturday against the Detroit Tigers. He is 1-1 with a 7.98 ERA in three career starts against Toronto. It will be his first start at Rogers Centre. He allowed two runs on three hits in one inning of relief on May 14, 2014, at Toronto. He will be facing some hot hitters. Donaldson is one an eight-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 19 of his past 20 games, batting .423 (33-for-78) with six doubles, four triples, five home runs and 22 RBIs in that span. Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with an RBI on Wednesday, and his 70 RBIs lead the majors. He has 30 RBIs in June. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis had a two-run single Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Blue Jays' bullpen is also expected to be reinforced Thursday with the return of left-handed reliever Brett Cecil (triceps) from the disabled list. Another left-handed reliever, Franklin Morales (shoulder) is also close to a return. Toronto had no left-handed relievers available for the series in Colorado. The Indians' bullpen was needed for just two innings Wednesday as Danny Salazar struck out eight without walking a batter in his seven-inning start. He earned his 10th win of the season, and he was happy to keep the team's streak alive." It's been great," Salazar said. "We've been pitching good, and the hitting has been amazing. We're competing and having fun out there. That's really important for us."

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MLB Preview: Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals - 6/30/2016 - 7:05 PM EST

MLB Preview: Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 07:05 P.M. EST Venue: Nationals Park   WASHINGTON -- Left-hander Gio Gonzalez may be pitching for his spot in the Washington rotation when the first-place Nationals begin a four-game home series Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds. Gonzalez will get the start opposite left-hander Brandon Finnegan of the Reds, who are last in the National League Central by a wide margin. Good Return on Investment. The game comes two days after the major league debut of Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito, 21, who showed that he is ready for the bigs by throwing four scoreless innings and allowing just one hit to the New York Mets. Giolito did not return after a fourth-inning rain delay in a game the Nationals won 5-0. When ace Stephen Strasburg (10-0) returns from the disabled list, the Nationals could be faced with a pleasant quandary: send Giolito back to the minors, mostly likely to Triple-A Syracuse, or keep him in the rotation and send Gonzalez to the bullpen. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. That may be a long shot since the Nationals already have three lefties in the bullpen and general manager Mike Rizzo may want to keep Giolito fresh for a September appearance -- perhaps as a bullpen stopper or spot starter because he is on a innings limit. How would Nationals manager Dusty Baker compare Giolito to other pitchers?"Four innings is not enough to judge," Baker said. "I don't really like to make comparisons because it is not really fair." Gonzalez was acquired by the Nationals in a deal with the Oakland A's after the 2011 season. Sports Handicapping Service Leads. The veteran from suburban Miami won 21 games in 2012 and helped Washington win the National League East title. However, he couldn't keep the lead in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, and long-time fans of the Nationals have not forgotten that game. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The next three years, Gonzalez went 11-8, 10-10 and 11-8 with ERAs between 3.36 and 3.79. Free Picks for Today. This season he is 3-7 with a 4.73 ERA in 15 starts. He has lasted less than six innings per start and has reached the 100-pitch mark by the fifth inning on occasion. He has given up 89 hits (nine homers) and 28 walks with 88 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Nationals have lost his last seven starts, and Gonzalez is 0-6 in that stretch. Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera was teammates with Gonzalez in Washington for part of the 2014 season." He knows what he has to do. He enjoys this game a lot," Cabrera s aid. Finnegan, who came up through the Kansas City system, pitched against the Nationals last September at Nationals Park when Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. That was the day after reliever Jonathan Papelbon went for the throat of teammate Bryce Harper in the Washington dugout late in the game. In 16 starts this year, Finnegan is 3-6 with a 3.83 ERA. He held the Nationals to one run in 6 1/3 innings June 3 at Cincinnati in a 7-2 victory. The Reds are 29-50 after a loss on Wednesday afternoon to the Chicago Cubs. To make matters worse, center fielder Billy Hamilton was banged up while going for a ball hit by Anthony Rizzo that became an inside-the-park homer. Hamilton left the game in the first inning, and he was diagnosed with a facial contusion. He is in concussion protocol for the second time in 2016." It didn't get him in the eye or the nose. It was more on the cheek," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I saw him in the fourth or fif th inning, and he was in pretty good spirits. He wanted to stay in the game, but in that situation, we made the best decision." Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who was Cincinnati's manager from 2008-13, said late Wednesday it will not be hard to be ready for the Reds." That is no problem, keeping them motivated," he said of his Washington players. "You can't overlook anybody. The Reds almost swept us in Cincinnati." The Reds won the first two games June 3-4 before the Nationals won the finale 10-9 on June 5.

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MLB Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers - 6/30/2016 - 2:10 PM EST

MLB Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers - Date: 6/30/2016 Time: 02:10 P.M. EST Venue: Miller Park   MILWAUKEE -- Zach Davies will go for his sixth victory of the season when he takes the mound Thursday as the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park. Davies has been on an absolute tear the last two months, going 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA in his last 10 starts -- after posting an 8.78 ERA in his first three outings. He set a career high with nine strikeouts his last time out, but took a no-decision after allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings of work." They fouled off a bunch of pitches, and he had a bunch of strikeouts, too, which ran up his pitch count," manager Craig Counsell said after that outing. "That's a tough middle of the lineup to get through, a challenging middle of the lineup. I thought Zach threw the ball as well as he has in his previous starts." Davies has faced the Dodgers only once before in his career, taking no decision after holding Los Angeles to a run on fi ve hits and a walk with six strikeouts in seven innings at Dodger Stadium earlier this month. Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda has done well on the road this season, going 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA while holding opponents to a .188 batting average. Documented Handicappers. The MLB rookie -- Maeda spent eight seasons with Hiroshima of the Japanese Central League prior to signing with the Dodgers this season -- is looking to rebound after allowing a season-high-tying four runs in five innings of a 6-1 loss at Pittsburgh." My job is to go deep into the game and give the team the best shot to win," Maeda told the Los Angeles Times. "Yes, it is frustrating to not be able to do the job." Prior to that, he'd been locked in; going 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA over a five-start stretch, including a stellar showing against the Brewers on June 19, when he allowed just a run on six hits while striking out eight over 6 1/3 innings but didn't factor into the decision of the Dodgers' 2-1 victory." I'm proud of him for the way he battled," Dodgers catcher A. J. Ellis said after that game. ""I know he got some insight in the dugout about trying to change some things up mechanically and it showed right away. It speaks to how talented he is, how athletic he is. His fastball command was dominant the rest of the game. MLB Baseball Handicappers. That's huge for us, because Kenta can use his off-speed at will -- and that's really good -- but teams can sit on that." Maeda allowed two hits including a double to Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun in that contest. Braun has terrorized Dodgers pitching this season, going 10-for-25 with five runs, four doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs and a stolen base in six games this season. Overall, he has hits in his last 11 meetings with Los Angele s.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

MLB Recap: San Francisco Giants (1) vs. Oakland Athletics (7) - 6/29/2016

MLB Recap: San Francisco Giants (1) vs. Oakland Athletics (7) - Date: 6/29/2016 The Bay Bridge series has brought out the best of the Oakland Athletics and the worst of the San Francisco Giants. Jed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso each hit two-run homers and the A's took advantage of sloppy play from the Giants to win their third straight game in the series, 7-1 on Wednesday night.'' We always have this series marked on the calendar,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''There's always a different intensity to it so you can kind of throw things out when these two teams play.'' Sean Manaea (3-4) came off the disabled list to throw pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and Billy Burns drove in two runs for the A's, who have won six of seven and will go for a sweep in the two-city series against their cross-bay rivals on Thursday night. Sports T outs. The Giants committed three errors that led to four unearned runs and botched a few other plays in the field that left starting pitcher Jake Peavy (4-7) fuming on the mound. Peavy allowed seven runs - three earned - and five hits in 3 1/3 innings, but could have had a better fate with more support from his fielders.'' We just have to clean it up,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''That's the one thing we were doing very well, is catching the ball. You deal with the streaks where you have trouble scoring runs but the one thing we should be consistent at is catching the ball.'' The problems started early for the Giants, who have three starters on the disabled list with second baseman Joe Panik (concussion) joining right fielder Hunter Pence and third baseman Matt Duffy there earlier in the day. Marcus Semien's popup in the third inning turned into a three-base error on second baseman Ramiro Pena, who collided with right fielder Mac Williamson on the play. Pena ended up leaving the game with an ankle injury that will sideline him for up to a week. Semien then scored on Billy Burns' bunt. After Coco Crisp tripled, Lowrie hit a high fly to right field that Williamson tried to catch at the wall. But the ball hit his glove and fell over the fence for a two-run homer that put Oakland up 3-0.'' They certainly didn't play a very tight defensive game today and we took advantage of it,'' Lowrie said. MLB Baseball Handicappers. That was part of a rough night for Williamson. He was called for interference when he slid past second base in the second inning, turning a potential rally into an inning-ending double play. Williamson then hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fourth and Manaea cruised from there.'' It's the best we've seen him,'' catcher Stephen V ogt said. ''He was hitting 96, throwing change-ups for strikes, bouncing them. Same with his slider. I thought he was very, very, very good, especially coming back from a DL stint. He stepped up for us big.'' Things unraveled for the Giants in the bottom half after Alonso's homer made it 5-0. Semien hit a drive to left-center that Angel Pagan dropped at the wall for another three-base error. Burns followed with an RBI hit that Pagan misplayed into a double, leading Peavy to curse on the mound. Coco Crisp followed with an RBI single that made it 7-0 and ended Peavy's night.'' It was certainly a frustrating night just on all fronts,'' Peavy said. ''We didn't play our best. Just one of those nights. Not fun to endure.'' TRAINER'S ROOMGiants: RHP Sergio Romo will (flexor strain) will make rehab appearances Thursday and Friday at Sacramento and then would be scheduled to be activated Sunday. Athletics: OF K hris Davis was scratched from the lineup with a bruised left shoulder after running into the wall Tuesday. SLUGGING A'SOakland has scored at least six runs in six straight games and homered in a season-high eight straight. UP NEXTGiants: After winning 10 straight games started by Madison Bumgarner (8-4), San Francisco has dropped the last two. Bumgarner gave up three last Saturday to the Phillies, marking the first time since April 15 he allowed more than two earned runs in a start. Athletics: Dillon Overton (1-0) is looking to follow up a win in his major league debut when he pitches the series finale.  

MLB Recap: Kansas City Royals (3) vs. St Louis Cardinals (2) - 6/29/2016

MLB Recap: Kansas City Royals (3) vs. St Louis Cardinals (2) - Date: 6/29/2016 Overcoming two blown saves gave the Kansas City Royals reason to believe this trip would be better.'' It's hard to come in here and not only once but twice take the lead and have them answer back,'' Eric Hosmer said after a 3-2, 12-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. ''I think the guys realize our bullpen doesn't do that too often, so when it does happen we do whatever we can to pick them up.'' The Royals are just 14-25 on the road, one of the worst records in the majors. Best Bets of the Day. They're the best at home at 27-11.'' We've just got to continue to play our game,'' Hosmer said. ''There's still a lot of season left.'' Alcides Escobar hit a go-ahead RBI double just inside th e right-field line in the 12th after driving in the first run of the game with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the eighth. His fly to shallow right off Seth Maness (0-2) fell just in front of Stephen Piscotty, whose homer leading off the 10th tied it at 2.'' They scratched one, we scratched one,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''It was one of those nights where pitching was really, really good.'' Chien-Ming Wang (5-0) worked two scoreless innings for Kansas City, which survived blown saves by Wade Davis and Joakim Soria, stranded 19 runners and used all of its bench players. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Royals are 39-50 in the I-70 interleague series but 14-12 at 11-year-old Busch Stadium. Whit Merrifield put Kansas City ahead in the 10th when a potential double-play grounder was booted by second baseman Matt Carpenter and Merrifield got an RBI. He also doubled with one out in the 12th. Piscotty had believed Escobar's double would drop foul with runners on first and third. He ended up twisting his ankle diving to make the play and wasn't sure whether he could play Thursday.'' I didn't want to catch it. If I catch that ball he tags and scores,'' Piscotty said. ''Unfortunately for me and the team, it was fair.'' Jhonny Peralta's two-out single tied it at 1 in the ninth against Davis, the second blown save in 20 chances for the Royals closer. Edinson Volquez worked 6 2-3 innings of six-hit ball in a strong bounce-back effort for Kansas City. He gave up 11 earned runs in one inning his last start. Carlos Martinez allowed eight hits in six-plus scoreless innings for St. Louis, just 15-22 at home. Winning Sports Handicappers. The three-time defending NL Central champions were 55-26 at home last season and have lost the ope ner of five consecutive homestands. Martinez has allowed two earned runs in 28 1-3 innings in his last four starts. He was limited to 89 pitches because of worries about cumulative fatigue.'' It actually was a really good idea, because I've been a little tired,'' Martinez said through an interpreter. ''I had pitched many innings in previous games.'' NICE DKendrys Morales made his first start in the outfield since 2008 a non-issue, tracking down Carpenter's drive to the wall in right field in the third. Plus, he had three hits. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMRoyals: CF Lorenzo Cain (left hamstring) was placed on the 15-day DL. Sports Handicapping Software. The team is optimistic he'll back right after the All-Star break. Cardinals: SS Aledmys Diaz (right eye) w as the lone bench player not used. He's missed two games but could be back soon after getting a positive checkup from the team ophthalmologist. UP NEXTRoyals: Chris Young (2-7, 6.54) is coming off his shortest start since Sept. 1, 2014, allowing seven runs in 2 1-3 innings in a loss to Houston. He's given up a major league-high 21 homers, with at least one in all 11 starts plus he's 0-5 with a 9.70 ERA in five road starts. Cardinals: Mike Leake (5-5, 4.25) lasted just 3 1-3 innings his last start, allowing five runs at Seattle. He's 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA in 38 June starts.  

MLB Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (8) vs. Seattle Mariners (1) - 6/29/2016

MLB Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (8) vs. Seattle Mariners (1) - Date: 6/29/2016 Clint Hurdle speaks with great appreciation for what Sean Rodriguez brings defensively, playing wherever Pittsburgh needs him to be in the field. It was his bat, though, that carried the Pirates on Wednesday night.'' He's as good a defender as I've run across wherever you put him. ... He's a gifted defender and he's having one of his better offensive seasons so far this half,'' Hurdle said. Rodriguez doubled in consecutive at-bats and drove in four runs, David Freese hit a solo home run and Pittsburgh beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1 to split a two-game interleague series. Rodriguez was responsible for breaking the game open in the fifth inning with a three-run double into the left-field corner off Seattle reliever Donn Roach. Rodriguez doubled an inning earlier off starter Wade Miley (6-4) to score Starling Marte. F reese got it all started with a solo home run on the first pitch of the second inning. It was a three-run inning for Pittsburgh, capped by a two-run double from Josh Harrison. All that offense backed a strong start from rookie right-hander Jameson Taillon, who pitched six innings, giving up just one run and six hits. Making his fifth career start, Taillon (2-1) overcame a shaky first inning and retired 10 straight at one point. He struck out six and didn't allow a walk. Free Picks for Today. Taillon made some adjustments from his last start against the Dodgers when he was knocked out after four innings and giving up eight hits and four runs. His curveball was sharp, and Taillon relied more on his sinking fastball that had a number of Seattle hitters swinging over the top. Hurdle thought Taillon's final four pitches to get Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager to finish off the sixth inning with two runners on might have been his best.'' Even though the game is 8-1, I don't want to give up those runs,'' Taillon said. ''I wanted to really put the foot on the gas there and set the tone still. I knew I was close to being done so I let them eat and was aggressive with them.'' Miley was making his first start since June 12 after a brief stint on the disabled list due to an impingement in his left shoulder. He was lucky to make it through the fourth, leaving pitches up in the strike zone and watching them get hit hard.'' A lot of mistakes up over the plate and he had a hard time getting in rhythm with any of his pitches,'' Seattle manager Scott Servais said. Freese's opposite-field home run into the first row down the right-field line was just the start. Rodriguez's double in the fourth gave Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead, and he scored on Jordy Mercer's sharp single. Roach took over in the fifth and was greeted by consecutive on e-out singles by Freese and Jung Ho Kang. Marte walked and Rodriguez's hard shot just inside third base bounced into the corner and allowed all three runners to score. Rodriguez doubled his RBI output for the entire month of June entering the game. Between June 1 and June 23, Rodriguez appeared in 21 games without an RBI. BROKEN HANDIf the pitching performances from Miley and Roach weren't bad news enough, the Mariners lost catcher Steve Clevenger in the third inning to a broken bone in his right hand after taking a foul ball square on the exposed hand off the bat of Andrew McCutchen. Clevenger fractured the third metacarpal, and Seattle will require a roster move to fill the backup catcher role. Free MLB Baseball Picks. TRAINER'S ROOMPirates: RHP Ryan Vogelsong will throw a simulated game this weekend in Oakland after throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday. Vogelsong suffered facial fractures when he was hit in the left eye with a pitch in late May. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on July 23. Mariners: Seattle placed reliever Nick Vincent on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain to clear a spot for Miley. Vincent said he's been dealing with the discomfort for about two weeks and finally decided rest was the best course. Vincent has made a team-high 35 appearances. UP NEXTPirates: After an off day on Thursday, the Pirates open a series on Friday against Oakland with Jeff Locke (7-5) getting the start. Mariners: Seattle opens a four-game series with Baltimore on Thursday and Taijuan Walker (3-6) on the mound after missing his last start due to a sore ankle.  

MLB Recap: Minnesota Twins (6) vs. Chicago White Sox (9) - 6/29/2016

MLB Recap: Minnesota Twins (6) vs. Chicago White Sox (9) - Date: 6/29/2016 James Shields broke out of a slump with 6 2/3 innings against one of baseball's worst lineups, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 9-6 on Wednesday night. Shields (3-9) allowed one run and eight hits in his first win since he tossed seven scoreless innings for San Diego at Milwaukee on May 12. Football Picks. The right-hander got hit hard after he was acquired by Chicago in a trade June 4, going 0-2 with a 15.80 ERA in his first four starts. Free MLB Baseball Picks. Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie and Tyler Saladino homered for the White Sox, who improved to 7-1 against the Twins after losing 4-0 in the series opener on Tuesday. Saladino and Tim Anderson each had two hits and two RBIs. Chic ago carried a 9-1 lead into the ninth, but Max Kepler's two-run double got Minnesota within three with two out. Nate Jones then came in with runners on second and third and retired Eduardo Escobar on a fly ball to left for his second save. Eduardo Nunez homered on Shields' second pitch of the game, but it was a mostly frustrating night for Minnesota at the plate. Sports Handicappers Rankings. The Twins, who rank near the bottom of the majors in several offensive categories, went 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Nunez finished with three hits and Brian Dozier extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a double in the sixth. Dozier also has at least one extra-base hit in a franchise-record 10 straight games. Minnesota had a chance to tie it at 2 in the fifth, but Kurt Suzuki was cut down by Adam Eaton's major league-best 11th assist when he tried to score on Nunez's double to the wall in right. Suzuki was basically forced to head home when Nunez nearly ran him over near third. Saladino belted a solo shot against Ricky Nolasco in the bottom half, and the White Sox broke it open with five runs in the sixth. Frazier led off with his 22nd homer and Anderson contributed a two-run single. Nolasco (3-6) was charged with seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings in his second straight loss. MISSING MELKYWhite Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera had an MRI on his ailing right wrist and will miss a couple of days with a mild sprain. Cabrera originally hurt his wrist when he tried for a diving catch during a 13-2 loss at Cleveland on June 18. He tweaked it again on a swing in the series opener against the Twins and hit his wrist against the wall while going after Dozier's second homer of the game.'' It's difficult because I want to play, but the doctors said the best for me right now is just to take a rest for a couple of days because I have inflammation there,'' Cabrera said through a translator. D'OHThere were laughs in Minnesota's clubhouse as players watched video of third baseman Miguel Sano losing a popup in the sun and having it bounce off his head before first baseman James Beresford made a diving catch in Sano's rehab game for Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday afternoon. Sano, recovering from a strained left hamstring, was uninjured. ''The other guy caught it, too, somehow,'' manager Paul Molitor said in disbelief. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. TRAINER'S ROOMTwins: Molitor said RHP Phil Hughes has ''peace of mind'' after learning he needs season-ending shoulder surgery, explaining his fatigue and loss of velocity. ''It spoke to the fact that he had trouble sustaining himself and stiffening,'' Molitor said. Hughes, already sidelined with a kne e injury, is scheduled for surgery next Wednesday. White Sox: RHP Zach Putnam is working out while he rests his ailing right elbow. Season-ending surgery is a possibility. ''Obviously the goal is to avoid that if possible,'' he said. ''I think we are going to give it the old college try and try to see if we can get through the rest of the season without having to do a procedure.'' UP NEXTLeft-handers Tommy Milone of the Twins and Carlos Rodon of the White Sox face off in the series finale on Thursday. Milone (0-2, 5.33 ERA) is 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA in his career against the White Sox. Rodon (2-6, 4.09 ERA) is winless in his last five starts despite a 3.41 ERA for that stretch.---Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap  

MLB Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (0) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7) - 6/29/2016

MLB Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (0) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7) - Date: 6/29/2016 Junior Guerra allowed two hits over eight innings, Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer and a two-run double and Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a two-run shot to carry the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, spoiling the major league debut of Brock Stewart. Braun's two-run homer off Chris Hatcher in the seventh inning gave Guerra some extra cushion, but the 31-year-old rookie right-hander didn't need it. Guerra (5-1) allowed Corey Seager's double in the first and Yasiel Puig's single in the fifth. After he walked Adrian Gonzalez in the first, Guerra retired 21 of the next 23 batters, striking out seven. Guerra received a no-decision at Dodger Stadium on June 16 in his previous start against the Dodgers. He allowed five runs and five hits over 5 1/3 innings then. Los Angeles selected Stewart's contract before the game, making him the ninth pitcher to start for the Dodgers this season and fourth to make his major league debut. He is the first Dodger to begin in Class-A and start a major league game in the same season since Hideo Nomo in 1995. Stewart (0-1) retired the side in order in the first, but the Brewers scored five times on six hits in the second, highlighted by Nieuwenhuis' two-run homer and Braun's two-run double. After intentionally walking Jonathan Lucroy to load the bases with two outs, Stewart struck out Chris Carter to end the inning. Football Predictions. The 24-year-old right-hander regrouped and held the Brewers scoreless for the next three innings. He struck out seven and walked two, throwing 95 pitches. Stewart last pitched June 24 in the Pacific Coast League when he beat Triple-A Round Rock 8-2, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings. He struck 1 0 and walked one. It's been a phenomenal season for Stewart. He started it at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga (2-0, 0.82 ERA in two starts), jumped to Double-A Tulsa (3-3, 1.12 ERA in nine starts) on April 15 and was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City (3-0, 2.89 in three starts) on June 10. GUERRA TO THE RESCUEGuerra has become a surprise workhorse for the Brewers. Milwaukee claimed him off waivers from the Chicago White Sox in October. Atlanta and the New York Mets each had him in their systems. He spent several years in unaffiliated baseball, including stints in Mexico, Italy, Venezuela and with Wichita of the independent American Association. He also received a 50-game suspension from MLB on Jan. 16, 2008 for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. GONZALEZ TOSSEDDodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez was ejected in the top of the fourth after striking out. Walking back to the dugout, he flicked his wrist and apparently said somet hing to third base umpire Dan Bellino who tossed him out of the game. Gonzalez was upset with Bellino for calling a strike on a checked swing one pitch earlier. It was Gonzalez's fifth career ejection in 1,724 gamesSAVE THAT BALLAfter Stewart struck out the Brewers leadoff batter Jonathan Villar, catcher A. J. Ellis rolled the ball into the Dodgers' dugout where it was safely stowed away. PETERSON UNAVAILABLEDodgers CF Joc Pederson did not play. ''He's better than he was yesterday,'' manager Dave Roberts said. ''It's going to be a two, three-day thing and at that point in time, we'll make a decision (on a move to the disabled list).'' In Tuesday night's game, Pederson crashed face first into the wall in deep center after catching Carter' sacrifice fly in the eighth. Pederson crumpled onto the warning track. After a few minutes, he got up with assistance of several teammates and head trainer Neil Rampe. Pe derson walked off holding his chest. KERSHAW UPDATEDodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 1.79 ERA) is back in Los Angeles and headed for scans on his sore back. Roberts remained cautiously hopeful that the three-time NL Cy Young winner could make his next scheduled start Friday night at Dodger Stadium against Colorado. Free MLB Baseball Picks. TRAINER'S ROOMDodgers: The Dodgers placed INF/OF Kike Hernandez on the 15-day DL with left rib cage inflammation retroactive to June 28 to make room for Stewart. ''He's tried to play through it,'' Roberts said of Hernandez. ''Where he's at right now, he doesn't feel he can contribute and play.'' ... LHP Alex Wood (left posterior elbow soreness) was transferred to the 60-day DL. Brewers: Manager Craig Counsell said that RF Domingo Santana, who is on the 15-day DL with right elbow soreness, would not pl ay before the All-Star Break. ''You've got to get pain-free before he can move to the next step,'' Counsell said. UP NEXTDodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (6-5, 2.91) is 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA in seven road starts this season. He took a no-decision facing the Brewers June 19 at Dodger Stadium, allowing one run and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out eight and walked three in the 2-1 win. Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (5-3, 3.74) received a no-decision in his only start against the Dodgers June 17 at Dodger Stadium. He allowed one run and five hits in seven innings and left the game with a 2-1 lead, but the Brewers lost 3-2 in 10 innings.