Monday, July 31, 2017

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (5) vs. Oakland Athletics (8) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (5) vs. Oakland Athletics (8) - Date: 7/31/2017 Semien's grand slam helps lift Athletics past Giants, 8-5 25m ago. 2 min read OAKLAND, Calif. Marcus Semien hit a grand slam off reliever George Kontos in the sixth inning, and the Oakland Athletics held on to beat the San Francisco Giants 8-5 on Monday night, hours after trading ace Sonny Gray.Jed Lowrie had three hits and an RBI, Ryon Healy added a two-run single and Matt Joyce reached base four times and scored twice to help the A's get the upper hand in the Bay Bridge Series.Bruce Maxwell drew a leadoff walk from Josh Osich (3-2) to begin the sixth. Pinch-hitter Rajai Davis followed with a one-out single before Osich walked Joyce to load the bases. Kontos replaced Osich to face Semien, who powered a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left-center for his second career grand slam.Paul Blackburn (2-1), making the start after Gray was dealt to t he New York Yankees, allowed five runs over five innings. Blake Treinen retired three batters for his first save in the AL this season.Buster Posey and Brandon Belt had two hits apiece for the Giants. Posey struck out to end the seventh with the tying run at third.Three years after winning its third World Series in a five-year span, San Francisco fell to 40-67, the worst record in baseball. Football Predictions. The Giants dropped 35 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West - the most they've been behind since the final day of the 1946 season.Earlier in the day the A's shook up their roster with a pair of trades. Gray was shipped to the Yankees in exchange for three minor leaguers, and infielder Adam Rosales was sent to Arizona for minor league pitcher Jeferson Mejia.TRAINER'S ROOMGiants: RHP Johnny Cueto was shut down after three scoreless innings of his rehab start with Class-A San Jose. Cu eto (blisters) had been scheduled to throw about 70 pitches but was removed after 34. He allowed two hits, struck out four and walked one. ... Closer Mark Melancon (right pronator strain) threw 15 pitches in one scoreless inning of work for Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday. Sports Betting Profit. The team has yet to decide when Melancon will throw again.Athletics: IF/OF Chad Pinder was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list after being out more than a month with a strained left hamstring.UP NEXTGiants RHP Jeff Samardzija (5-11, 4.85 ERA) will attempt to win consecutive starts for only the second time this season, while the A's will counter with LHP Sean Manaea (8-5, 3.82 ERA) in the finale of the two-game series Tuesday at the Coliseum. Manaea has won seven of his last nine decisions.

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (7) vs. Houston Astros (14) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (7) vs. Houston Astros (14) - Date: 7/31/2017 Marisnick's 2 homers, 5 RBIs power Astros past Rays 14-7 30m ago. 1 min read HOUSTON Jake Marisnick had three hits, including two homers, and a career-high five RBIs and the Houston Astros coasted to a 14-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.The Rays cut the lead to one after a two-run homer by Corey Dickerson in the third inning before an RBI single by Tyler White made it 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the inning.Marisnick's first shot - a three-run homer which bounced off the wall above the seats in left field - came next to push the lead to 7-2.Two pitches later Derek Fisher, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, connected off Alex Cobb (9-7) on a home run to right field to make it 8-2.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (6) vs. Chicago White Sox (7) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (6) vs. Chicago White Sox (7) - Date: 7/31/2017 White Sox lose Moncada to injury, rally past Blue Jays 7-6 12m ago. 3 min read CHICAGO Matt Davidson singled in Leury Garcia with two outs in the ninth inning for his second game-ending hit in as many days, and the Chicago White Sox rallied to beat Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 on Monday night after losing top prospect Yoan Moncada to a right knee injury.Adam Engel sparked the winning rally with a one-out single against Roberto Osuna (3-2). Garcia then was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second.After Tyler Saladino struck out swinging, Jose Abreu tied it at 6 with a single to right. Davidson followed with another base hit, and then was mobbed by his teammates as he ran around the infield.The White Sox trailed 6-1 before they scored four times in the eighth, capped by consecutive homers for Davidson and Yolmer Sanchez. Davidson also hit a game- ending, two-run homer in Sunday's 3-1 victory over Cleveland.Chris Beck (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win, helped by right fielder Alen Hanson bringing in a foul popup tipped into the air by first baseman Abreu.Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin and Justin Smoak homered for Toronto, which lost for the third time in four games. Darwin Barney got a three-run double on a frightening play in the sixth, and Marco Estrada pitched seven sparkling innings.With two outs and the bases loaded, Barney hit a fly ball into shallow right field. A sprinting Moncada tried to pull up as Willy Garcia went for the sliding catch, but he kneed the right fielder in the head and the ball trickled out of Garcia's glove.The crowd groaned as the replay was shown on the videoboard in center field. Moncada, who is widely regarded as one of baseball's top prospects, put no pressure on his right leg while he was helped to a cart by Abreu. Sports Handicap. The Cuban slugger patted his countryman on the back of his head before he was zipped away.The team said X-rays on Moncada were negative, and the second baseman is day to day with a bruised knee. Garcia, who walked off under his own power, has a head contusion and will be evaluated again Tuesday morning.The Blue Jays (49-57) were coming off a dramatic 11-10 victory against the Angels on Steve Pearce's second game-ending grand slam in four days. But they remain in last place in the AL East, on the fringe of the wild-card race, and left-hander Francisco Liriano and reliever Joe Smith were shipped out in a pair of trades ahead of the non-waiver deadline.''It's like having a couple friends changing schools, so hopefully they pitch well where they are at and they're happy,'' Martin said. ''But we're definitely going to miss those guys, that's for sure.'' Toronto sent Liriano and cash to AL-leading Hous ton for outfielders Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez. Smith was traded to Cleveland for two minor leaguers.The White Sox (41-62) had lost 17 of 20. After trading several veterans for more prospects in July, they were quiet on the final day of the month.MAKING MOVESThe Blue Jays also reinstated left-hander J. P. Howell from the 15-day disabled list and brought up left-hander Brett Oberholtzer from Triple-A Buffalo. Howell was sidelined by a left shoulder injury.Aoki is expected to join Toronto before Tuesday's game.TRAINER'S ROOMBlue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez, who is on the disabled list because of a recurrence of a blister on the middle finger of his right hand, is nearing a return. ''He's feeling a lot better,'' manager John Gibbons said. ''He said he's going to go out and play some catch today, and obviously that's a good thing.'' Sanchez could take Liriano's spot in the rotation.White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (strained lef t oblique) was placed on an injury rehab assignment with the Arizona Rookie League White Sox.UP NEXTBlue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (9-5, 3.08 ERA) faces White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-8, 4.73 ERA) in the second game of the series on Tuesday night. Stroman is winless in his last three starts despite a 1.89 ERA over that stretch. Pelfrey is 0-3 with a 7.07 ERA in his last seven games, six starts.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball---Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

MLB Game Recap: Seattle Mariners (6) vs. Texas Rangers (4) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Seattle Mariners (6) vs. Texas Rangers (4) - Date: 7/31/2017 After Yu: Rangers lose 6-4 to Mariners after dealing ace 3m ago. 3 min read ARLINGTON, Texas Robinson Cano had a two-run single in the ninth and the Seattle Mariners won 6-4 at Texas on Monday night, only hours after the Rangers traded pitcher Yu Darvish.The Mariners trailed 4-0 after two innings before getting even against Cole Hamels, the remaining ace for Texas now that Darvish is with the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.Cano lined a ball over the head of right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, getting two runs home before he was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double. NFL Handicappers. The hit came right after pitching coach Doug Brocail was ejected for arguing a balk called against Alex Claudio (2-1) that put runners at second and third with Cano at the plate.David Phelps (1-1) struck out five in 1 2/3 innings before Edwin Diaz pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.Rougned Odor and Carlos Gomez homered for the Rangers, who had five hits in the first two innings against Felix Hernandez and then one the rest of the game. Hockey Picks. They struck out 13 times against four pitchers.A day after becoming the first Dominican player and 31st overall in the majors with 3,000 hits, Adrian Beltre added to his total in the first with a solid single up the middle against Hernandez, his good friend.Odor had just hit his 23rd homer overall and 10th of July, a two-run homer measured at 437 feet, when Hernandez walked toward the plate for a brief word with his catcher.Hernandez then hugged Beltre before going back to the mound and giving up the hit. They were teammates during Beltre's five seasons in Seattle (2005-09) and are still close.Darvish was dealt to the Dodgers within m inutes of the non-waiver trade deadline earlier Monday for three minor league players. Best Sports Picks Today. Texas also traded reliever Jeremy Jeffress back to Milwaukee for a Double-A pitcher, and had sent catcher Johnathan Lucroy to Colorado after Sunday's game for a player to be named.After three trades the previous week, the Mariners made no additional deals before the deadline.Hamels struck out seven and walked one while going six innings. Hernandez was erratic despite five strikeouts, walking three and hitting two batters in his 5 13 innings.Seattle got even at 4 with an unearned run in the sixth. Guillermo Heredia reached on a two-out error by Beltre and scored on a triple by Leonys Martin.It was the third straight game that Beltre had a throwing error. He had gone 62 consecutive games without an error before that, a franchise record and career best for the five-time Gold Glove winner.TRAINER'S RO OMMariners: Martin, a .145 hitter, was recalled from Triple-A after RF Mitch Haniger got hit in the face by a fastball on Saturday. Haniger is expected to be out about two weeks.Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross made a rehab start for Double-A Frisco, a week after going on the 10-day Dl with a blister on his right index finger.UP NEXTMariners: RHP Erasmo Ramirez will start three days after being reacquired by the Mariners in a trade with Tampa Bay. Since his last start June 21, Ramirez has pitched only 10 innings in six relief appearances. Manager Scott Servais said he will be limited to 60-80 pitches and that a reliever will be ready to go.Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez is likely to start in what was Darvish's scheduled spot Tuesday. Martinez was recalled after being activated Monday from the disabled list (right forearm soreness) at Triple-A Round Rock.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Detroit Tigers (3) vs. New York Yankees (7) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Detroit Tigers (3) vs. New York Yankees (7) - Date: 7/31/2017 Judge snaps slump with 34th HR, Yankees top Tigers 7-3 5m ago. 1 min read NEW YORK Aaron Judge broke out of a slump with his 34th home run, regaining sole possession of the major league lead, and Chase Headley sparked the New York Yankees at the plate Monday night in their 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.Luis Severino beat Michael Fulmer in a matchup of young All-Stars on the mound, though neither was at his best. Hours after acquiring Sonny Gray from Oakland at the trade deadline, Headley put the AL East leaders ahead to stay with a two-run double in a four-run fourth inning.Todd Frazier followed with a two-run single, and Judge hit a solo shot in the fifth. Headley finished with three hits as New York won for the ninth time in 11 games.Severino (8-4) needed a career-high 116 pitches to get through five innings.Aroldis Chapman entered with the bas es loaded in the ninth and got two outs for his 13th save.Fulmer (10-9) gave up seven runs and seven hits over six-plus innings.

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (2) vs. Boston Red Sox (6) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (2) vs. Boston Red Sox (6) - Date: 7/31/2017 Dever's 4 hits back Fister as Red Sox beat Indians, 6-2 20m ago. 2 min read BOSTON Doug Fister took a shutout into the eighth inning, rookie Rafael Devers went 4 for 4 and drove in a run and the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Monday night.Mookie Betts stopped his mini-slump by driving in three runs with two singles, and Eduardo Nunez added three hits and two RBIs for the Red Sox, who won for the third time in nine games.Bradley Zimmer hit a two-run homer for AL Central-leading Cleveland, which lost its second straight after a season-high nine-game winning streak.Fister (1-5), claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on June 23, was pulled after giving up Zimmer's homer with two outs in the eighth. He allowed two runs and five hits, walking two and striking out five.Brandon Workman got the final four outs.Mike Clevinger (5-4) gave up five runs on seven hits in three innings.Betts, the runner-up for last season's AL MVP award, flied out with the bases loaded to end a loss Sunday and was 3 for his last 27 without an RBI.Before the game, both clubs beat the non-waiver trade deadline and added bullpen help. Soccer Picks. The Red Sox picked up right-hander Addison Reed from the Mets for three 22-year-old right-handed pitching prospects.The Indians acquired righty Joe Smith from Toronto for two minor leaguers.Betts' two-run single sparked a three-run second. He scored on Nunez's double.In the fourth, Betts added another RBI single, and Nunez added a run-scoring single.Devers' RBI single made it 6-0 in the seventh.TRAINER'S ROOMIndians: 2B Jason Kipnis (hamstring) and OF Lonnie Chisenhall (calf) are both working back from injuries so the club concentrated on bullpen help. ''We're in a little bit of a unique spot where we have a couple of guys coming back,'' manager Terry Francona said.Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia missed his third straight game because of a sore left knee. Manager John Farrell said the improvement has been ''slight'' and he's scheduled to see a specialist Tuesday. GM Dave Dombrowski said: ''The problem with Dustin is he has a bad knee. He's had it for years and he's had to have to deal with that.'' LINEUP SHIFTThe Red Sox moved 3B Devers from the bottom of the order to sixth. ''Slot him up two, three spots to take a different look,'' Farrell said.Xander Bogaerts was dropped to seventh and Mitch Moreland eighth.DIFFERENT DIRECTIONSThe Indians finished July 15-11 for their seventh straight month over .500.Boston, though, went 13-14 for its first under .500 this season.ROSTER MOVESThe Indians placed RHP Josh Tomlin on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalle d LHP Tyler Olson from Triple-A Columbus.Tomlin (7-9, 5.38 ERA) was injured in his start Sunday against the White Sox.The 27-year-old Olson is up for the second time this season.UP NEXTIndians: Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 3.58) is set to start the second game of the series. He's 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 11 road starts this season.Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (13-4, 2.37) takes his major-league leading 211 strikeouts and a 12-2 record into his last 16 starts to the mound Tuesday. He hasn't allowed a run in his last three games.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Kansas City Royals (1) vs. Baltimore Orioles (2) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Kansas City Royals (1) vs. Baltimore Orioles (2) - Date: 7/31/2017 Gentry hits game-winner as Orioles beat Royals 2-1 14m ago. 2 min read BALTIMORE Craig Gentry singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles cooled off the Kansas City Royals with a 2-1 victory Monday night.Manny Machado had two hits and scored a run for the Orioles, who have won three straight.Caleb Joseph got Baltimore going in the ninth with a one-out single off Joakim Soria (4-3). Ruben Tejada singled with two outs before Gentry hit a grounder up the middle that sent Joseph home from second base without a throw.It was the second loss in 12 games for the Royals, who managed only five hits off three Baltimore pitchers.Zach Britton (1-0) - the subject of many rumors before the non-waiver trade deadline ended on Monday afternoon - worked the ninth for the Orioles.Baltimore started the day with a 50-54 rec ord, but executive vice president Dan Duquette believes the team can be a contender. He beat the deadline by obtaining infielder Tim Beckham from Tampa Bay, three days after snagging right-hander Jeremy Hellickson from Philadelphia.''We still have some hope that we can make the playoffs,'' Duquette said, hours before the Orioles extended their modest winning streak.The first seven innings featured a pitching duel between Kansas City's Danny Duffy and Ubaldo Jimenez, both of whom allowed one run and struck out six.Kansas City used first-inning doubles by Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer to jump to a 1-0 lead.Jimenez settled down after that, and Baltimore pulled even in the fifth when Machado doubled and scored on a two-out single by Jonathan Schoop.Though quiet on the final day of the trade deadline, the Royals welcomed back Melky Cabrera, who made his 2017 debut with Kansas City after being acquired from the White Sox on Sunday.Playing right field and batting third, Cabrera went 0 for 4.HOLE IN ONEOrioles first baseman Chris Davis was charged with an error when he failed to handle a throw in the ninth inning from Machado at third. Fixed Games. Turns out, the ball went right through the faulty webbing of Davis' glove. He immediately got a new glove.HPY HOMECOMINGCabrera said he's ''really happy'' to return to the pennant-contending Royals, whom he played for in 2011. ''What I love to do is play postseason baseball,'' the 13-year veteran said through an interpreter. Manager Ned Yost said Cabrera, a switch-hitter, ''brings a great personality to a locker room filed with great personalities. He's going to mesh perfectly with our group.'' TRAINER'S ROOMRoyals: Yost is optimistic third-baseman Cheslor Cuthbert (wrist) can return to his rehab assignment sometime this week after fouling a ball off his foot.Orioles : DH Mark Trumbo was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an oblique injury. He played in Baltimore's first 103 games before sitting on Sunday. ... SS J. J. Hardy (wrist) was transferred to the 60-day DL.UP NEXTRoyals: Ian Kennedy (4-6, 4.43 ERA) seeks his fifth straight victory in the second game of the series Tuesday night.Orioles: Dylan Bundy (9-8, 4.53 ERA) can match his win total of last season with a victory.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Washington Nationals (1) vs. Miami Marlins (0) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Washington Nationals (1) vs. Miami Marlins (0) - Date: 7/31/2017 Gonzalez loses no-hit bid in 9th, Nationals beat Marlins 1-0 24m ago. 2 min read MIAMI Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez lost his no-hit bid in the ninth inning when Dee Gordon led off with a clean single, and the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 1-0 Monday night.Gonzalez was pulled after Gordon hit a soft liner the opposite way to left-center field. He threw 106 pitches.Gonzalez (9-5), who grew up in nearby Hialeah, walked three, hit a batter and struck out five. He retired 14 in a row during one stretch.Sean Doolittle relieved and got NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton to ground into a double play. After Christian Yelich beat out an infield single, Marcell Ozuna popped out, giving Doolittle his fourth save since being acquired from Oakland and seventh this season.The game was the Nationals' first at Marlins Park since ace Max Scherzer took a no- hitter into the eighth but lost on June 21. Free Sports Picks. There has been only one no-hitter in the majors this year - Miami's Edinson Volquez threw it at this ballpark last month against Arizona.Jose Urena (9-5) matched zeroes with Gonzalez until the sixth, when Bryce Harper's RBI single put the Nationals ahead. Urena allowed just three hits in eight innings.The closest Miami came to a hit before the ninth came when shortstop Wilmer Difo made a diving backhanded grab of Miguel Rojas' soft line drive in the sixth.Gonzalez made the Marlins look bad at times. Sports Handicapping Service Winning Streaks. To end the sixth he struck out Gordon, who badly missed a breaking pitch while throwing his bat at the ball. Gonzalez picked up the bat and handed it back to Gordon as he walked to the dugout.Doolittle is part of a bullpen further fortified w hen the Nationals acquired Minnesota Twins All-Star right-hander Brandon Kintzler earlier in the day.The game matched the top teams in the NL East - but the Nationals began the week with a 13-game lead.NO DEALThe Marlins made no deals at the trade deadline, to the relief of some players - but perhaps not all.''I guess it depends on whether you want to go somewhere else or you want to be here,'' manager Don Mattingly said.TRAINER'S ROOMNationals: OF Michael A. Sports Handicapper Reviews. Taylor (oblique) began a rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac.Marlins: The team is hoping Volquez (left knee) and LHP Wei-Yin Chen (left arm) will pitch before the end of the season, said Michael Hill, president of baseball operations.UP NEXTScherzer (12-5, 2.23) is scheduled to start Tuesday against LHP Chris O'Grady (2-1, 3.68).---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (6) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7) - 7/31/2017

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (6) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7) - Date: 7/31/2017 Phillies beat Braves 7-6 win, complete 4-game sweep 2h ago. 2 min read PHILADELPHIA Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco hit homers, Nick Pivetta threw six sharp innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 on Monday afternoon to complete a four-game sweep.Pivetta (4-6) gave up one run and three hits, striking out five.Kurt Suzuki and Freddie Freeman went deep for Atlanta. Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz (9-6) allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings.Philadelphia has won five in a row and is 10-6 since the All-Star break, but still owns the worst record (39-64) in the majors.The Phillies are 7-0 against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park this season. Basketball Predictions. They posted their first four-game sweep of the Braves at home since September 1949, This was the Phillies' first four-game sweep against anyone since July 2014 at Milwaukee and first at home since June 2011 vs. the Marlins.Atlanta, which trailed 5-0 through four innings, was down 7-5 and had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth when Luis Garcia struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Flowers swinging at a 99 mph fastball.Hector Neris allowed an RBI single to Nick Markakis in the ninth, but retired Suzuki on a fly ball with runners at first and third to end it, earning his 10th save in 13 tries.Herrera drove a 3-2 pitch into the second deck in right field for his 11th homer, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead in the third inning.Cesar Hernandez led off the inning with a triple to right-center. After Tommy Joseph lined an RBI single to right-center and Franco singled, Herrera hit a three-run shot.Joseph had another RBI single in the fourth to make it 5-0. Hernandez scored on a groundout in the sixth for a 6-1 lead.Suzuki hit a two-run shot off reliever Jessen T herrien in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Lane Adams had an RBI single to cut it to 6-4.Franco launched his 16th homer into the second deck in left field in the seventh off Sam Freeman.Freeman connected off Adam Morgan in the eighth.TRUST THE PROCESSPhiladelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, threw out the first pitch while fans chanted: ''Trust the process.'' ''Anywhere you go in Philly, you're going to hear that,'' Fultz said.Fultz also predicted the 76ers will make the playoffs this season.''I believe in the team. I believe in what I can do, what the coaching staff can do,'' he said.UP NEXTBraves: RHP Lucas Sims is expected to be called up from Triple-A to make his major league debut when they return home to start a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (8-6, 3.17 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game interleague series against the Lo s Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.---More Baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros - 7/31/2017 - 8:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros - Date: 7/31/2017 Astros, grinding through dog days, host Rays 5h ago. 2 min read HOUSTON -- After surviving a rash of injuries to their rotation earlier this season, the Houston Astros are now facing roster fluctuations courtesy of maladies to frontline position players.By virtue of a 13-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, the Astros (68-36) dropped just their second road series of the season. Houston is a pedestrian 8-7 since the All-Star break, and with a pair of All-Stars sidelined -- shortstop Carlos Correa (thumb) and outfielder George Springer (quad) -- the Astros are trudging through the dog days of the season short-handed.The Astros hope that a return to Minute Maid Park, where they will open a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, will provide a bit of an emotional boost."We had a winning road trip, there's a lot of positives to come out of it," Astros manager A. J. Hinch said after Houston went 5-4 through Baltimore, Philadelphia and Detroit. "But we're ready to get home."We're not in a good spot right now, we're beat up. We're having to wear it a little bit. Free Winning Sports Picks. There's a lot of guys in there that are battling through a lot of different things. We've got to push our way through this rut." Astros right-hander Charlie Morton (8-4, 3.83 ERA) will open the series and seven-game homestand. Morton produced his best start of the season in his previous outing, allowing three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over seven shutout innings in a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on July 25.He is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA in two career starts against the Rays, including a 6-3 loss at Tropicana Field on April 22 when he allowed five runs over five innings.The Rays (54-52) will counter with r ight-hander Alex Cobb (9-6, 3.46 ERA), who has produced eight quality starts over his past nine appearances. He has logging 64 1/3 innings while compiling a 5-1 record and a 2.24 ERA during that workhorse stretch.Cobb is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in two career starts against the Astros. He lost to Houston on April 21 after surrendering four runs on nine hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over six innings. Hot Sports Handicappers. The Astros won 6-3 at Tropicana Field.With their 5-3 road win over the New York Yankees on Sunday, the Rays not only snapped a three-game skid but ended a run of eight losses in 10 games after they climbed to a season-high seven games over .500 on July 18. During the slump, Tampa Bay executed a series of trades to fortify the lineup (first baseman Lucas Duda), strengthen the bullpen (right-handers Sergio Romo and Steve Cishek plus lefty Dan Jennings), and underscore their commitment to purs uing a playoff berth."We've done good, and now it's up to us to go win ballgames with these guys and see what happens," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "If there's more (acquisitions at the Monday trading deadline) to come, great. If not, this team is good enough to make a push for playing postseason baseball."

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MLB Game Preview: San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland Athletics - 7/31/2017 - 10:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland Athletics - Date: 7/31/2017 Giants, A's set for annual Bay Bridge Series 4h ago. 3 min read OAKLAND, Calif. -- Not much is going right for the Oakland Athletics or the San Francisco Giants this season.The A's are buried in last place in the American League West, while the Giants dwell in the cellar of the National League West.That doesn't mean A's manager Bob Melvin is any less excited about the upcoming four-game, home-and-home interleague series between Oakland and San Francisco, which opens Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum.As a Bay Area native who played three years for the San Francisco Giants and has managed the A's for seven seasons, Melvin loves the annual Bay Bridge Series."I'm lucky enough to be in this multiple times, and you don't know how long you're going to be able to be part of this," Melvin said Sunday. "And when y ou grow up here, these four days, the whole baseball world, at least baseball fans in this area, the spotlight is on that."Both teams aren't doing too terribly well this year, but that changes for this series because it's a passionate fan base here in the Bay Area. Free Sports Picks Forum. They love both their teams and it is always spirited, not only in the field but in the stands. So it takes on a little different dynamic than the other games we play during the course of the season." A's rookie third baseman Matt Chapman grew up in Southern California watching the Angels and Dodgers play their annual interleague series. Profitable Sports Handicappers. This will be his first regular-season taste of the A's-Giants rivalry."It's definitely always a heated battle between (the Angels and Dodgers), kind of just like the Bay series with the Giants and A's, kind of fighting for the home turf in a sense," he said. "For me I'm just looking forward to kind of seeing the atmosphere."I think Southern California is a little more laid back with their sports. Soccer Handicappers. There's a rivalry there, but the one up here is definitely a little more intense." The A's list right-hander Sonny Gray (6-5, 3.43 ERA) as their probable pitcher for Monday, but he might be traded before the 4 p.m. EDT non-waiver trade deadline. Multiple teams, including the New York Yankees, reportedly have expressed interest in acquiring Gray.If Gray is traded, then rookie Paul Blackburn (1-1, 2.25 ERA), a Bay Area native born in Antioch, Calif., likely would start.Gray is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts against the Giants.Veteran Matt Cain (3-9, 5.45 ERA) is slated to make his 20th start and 21st appearance of the season fo r the Giants.Cain is no stranger to the Bay Area baseball rivalry. He is 4-5 with a 2.34 ERA in 12 games, including 11 starts, against the A's. In six games, including five starts, at the Coliseum, he is 1-2 with a 1.60 ERA.In his most recent start, on July 24 at AT&T Park, he gave up six runs, but only two earned, on six hits over four innings in a 10-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He struck out one, walked one and gave up a three-run homer to Andrew McCutchen in the second inning.Cain has lost eight straight decisions, matching his career high.The A's will come into the game with some momentum after back-to-back walk-off wins against the Minnesota Twins at the Coliseum. Rajai Davis hit a two-run, game-ending homer in the ninth inning Saturday in a 5-4 victory, and Yonder Alonso hit a solo homer in the 12th inning Sunday to produce a 6-5 win.The Giants were swept three games by the Dodgers, who managed a 3-2, 11-inning walk-off win Sunday night in Los Angeles . Pinch hitter Kyle Farmer, making his major league debut, hit a two-run double down the right field line off Giants right-hander Albert Suarez to end it. San Francisco wasted a gem by Madison Bumgarner, who pitched seven shutout innings."So many good things happened tonight, which is what makes it so tough," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "This team really fought. It is unbelievable the way things have gone for us. We play hard and to lose like this."Guy in his first major league at-bat hits it down the line. Everything goes right for the Dodgers and everything goes bad for us."

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MLB Game Preview: Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers - 7/31/2017 - 8:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers - Date: 7/31/2017 Mariners begin pivotal road trip against Rangers 2h ago. 4 min read Now comes the hard part for the Seattle Mariners.After returning to the .500 mark with a 9-1 victory against the New York Mets on Sunday, the Mariners hit the road, beginning with a game Monday night in Texas. Seattle plays 21 of its next 28 games away from Safeco Field.After three games against the Rangers, Seattle heads to Kansas City for a four-game series with the Royals, the team the Mariners are chasing for the second American League wild-card position.Seattle finishes a nine-game trip with two in Oakland before its only August homestand, against the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles.The Mariners (53-53) are 3 1/2 games behind Kansas City."We need to play at the top of our game and everybody has to be contributing up and down that lineup, the rotation, the bullpen," Marin ers manager Scott Servais said. "We know what's ahead of us. We will embrace what's ahead of us. We are not going to shy away from it."You looked at the schedule way back in January when I first got asked about it, well, it is what it is. We have an interesting August ahead of us. It will be very challenging. We'll find out a lot about our club. But we finished up on a high note at home." Despite playing 19 games at home in June and 17 more in July, the Mariners have only spent three days above .500 this season.They can take heart that they went 5-1 on their last trip, against the Chicago White Sox and AL West-leading Houston Astros, coming out of the All-Star break."We've played pretty good on the road," said Nelson Cruz, whose three-run homer in the first inning Sunday provided all the offense left-hander James Paxton needed. "Hopefully, we can keep doing what we are doing. We live on the road most of the time. It's nothing new. It's part of who we are as a team. We travel the most and have the farthest flights of anyone. It doesn't come easy, but we are used to it." The Mariners have won four of their five series since the break, taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox and Mets after opening their recent 10-game homestand by losing three of four to the New York Yankees."You were hoping to win all the series, but we stubbed our toe a bit against the Yankees," Servais said. "We've responded." The Rangers (50-54) are just two games behind the Mariners, but they have been shopping right-hander Yu Darvish as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches Monday.The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the Rangers are "more sold than ever" that they will trade Darvish.The Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have been linked to Darvish, while the Cleveland Indians reportedly also have strong interest.Darvish's batterymate exited Sunday night when the Rangers dealt catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named.The series opener at Globe Life Park on Monday will feature two veteran starters with multiple All-Star appearances.Right-hander Felix Hernandez (5-4, 4.08 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Mariners against Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.97).Hernandez is 3-2 with a 3.67 ERA since returning from the disabled list June 23 following nearly two months off because of inflammation in his right shoulder.In his last outing, Hernandez gave up four runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings against Boston, a game the Mariners won 6-5 in 13 innings. Hernandez allowed just one run on two hits through five innings before running into trouble.Hamels is 4-1 with a 4.78 ERA in six starts since his own stint on the DL caused by a right oblique strain. He is coming off a 10-4 victory against Miami on Tuesday, when he gave up four runs in six innings.Hernandez will be making his 52nd career start against Texas. He is 19-23 with a 3.89 ERA vs. the Rangers. In his only start against them this season, Hernandez gave up six hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings during a win on April 14.Hamels is 5-3 with a 5.12 ERA in 11 career starts against Seattle. He gave up six hits and four runs (three earned) over five innings in his only start against the Mariners this season, on April 16.The Rangers lost 10-6 Sunday to visiting Baltimore, but the highlight was a double by Adrian Beltre in the fourth inning off the Orioles' Wade Miley. It was Beltre's 3,000th career hit, making him the 31st player in major league history to reach the milestone and the first Dominican-born player to do so."When I got my second at-bat, I thought, 'This has to be it. I don't want to have the fans waiting, my family is waiting for it. I don't want to drag it one more day,'" Beltre said. "When I got the 3-0 (count), I was doubting myself. 'Should I swing, or should I ju st take?' The way Miley was pitching, I thought, 'This is going to be the best pitch he will throw me.' And I decided, if it's going to be on the plate, I'm going to swing. And I did."

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MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox - 7/31/2017 - 8:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox - Date: 7/31/2017 Skidding White Sox host Blue Jays 1h ago. 3 min read CHICAGO -- Veteran right-hander James Shields occupies the locker closest to the entrance of the Chicago White Sox's clubhouse at Guaranteed Rate Field.As Chicago continues to trade for prospects to enrich its farm system amid a franchise rebuild, Shields gets to be the first on the team to greet newcomers.While he may be understandably mum before starting Monday in the series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays, Shields remains up front with new teammates about staying the course and remaining committed toward development for the future."Some of these young kids, I mean, it's tough losing," Shields said. "When I got called up in Tampa in 2006, we lost 99 games. But we knew that eventually it was going to turn around, and two years later we were in the World Series. You know, thes e guys have to understand that this is a process. And you keep grinding, you keep getting better on the field, and things will turn around." The White Sox (40-62) have lost 15 of their past 17 games and 18 of 21, but players realize they must stay diligent, even if the standings might appear more harrowing by the day.It may be a difficult reality to face with two months remaining in the season, but the White Sox figure a constant mindset can only help them in the rebuild."You know, guys coming in and out, it's always tough to see guys go, and it's always good to see new faces," left-hander David Holmberg said. "We just try to keep our heads down here and do our job and keep playing baseball." The Blue Jays (49-56) will be Chicago's final opponent in an eight-game homestand. Sports Picks Free. Toronto's visit will complete a stretch in which Chicago has faced the four League Championship Series qualifiers from 2016 in four successive home series.The Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep in spectacular fashion on Sunday, getting a walk-off grand slam from Steve Pearce to cap a seven-run rally in the bottom of the ninth for an 11-10 win over the Los Angeles Angels.Toronto has won five of seven, with the last three victories coming in walk-off fashion."Feels great," said Pearce, who joined Cy Williams and Jim Presley as the only players in major league history with two game-ending grand slams in the same season. "Really hasn't sunk in yet." "It was pretty fun to watch," Toronto manager John Gibbons added.Shields (2-3, 5.86 ERA) is set to oppose Toronto right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.43 ERA) on Monday.Shields is 12-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 career starts against the Blue Jays, while Estrada is 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox.Shields earned a no-decision in a June 18 start at Toronto w hen he spaced seven hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out three.Chicago fell to 31-37 after losing that game, and its roster now looks vastly different. Best Sports Picks Today. This month, the White Sox have dealt away left-hander Jose Quintana, third baseman Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson, Dan Jennings, Tommy Kahnle and Anthony Swarzak.Before the Sunday game, the White Sox sent left fielder Melky Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals for minor league pitchers A. J. Puckett and Andre Davis. Chicago general manager Rick Hahn said the team would entertain conversations about further trades until the deadline passes Monday at 4 p.m. EDT."At the end of the day, everyone wants to win here, you know. We don't want to lose," Shields said. "We're going to compete no matter what team, in and out, gets brought up in here. And we've got a good group of guys in here. It's unfortunate we're not winning right now. We're doing everything we possibly can, and things aren't going our way. But we're going to keep grinding this thing out and finish the season strong."

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MLB Game Preview: Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins - 7/31/2017 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins - Date: 7/31/2017 Marlins look to take advantage of tired Nationals 2h ago. 2 min read MIAMI -- The Washington Nationals will arrive in South Florida on Monday a very talented and tired team.The talent part is obvious. Best Sports Handicappers in the World. The pitching staff is led by two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, and four .300 hitters populate the middle of the lineup: Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon.However, the Nationals (62-41) split a doubleheader with the visiting Colorado Rockies on Sunday, and they will surely be dragging a bit when they report to Marlins Park on Monday for the start of a three-game series with the Miami Marlins.After Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde was lasted only five innings in his major league debut while losing the first game 10-6, vetera n Edwin Jackson saved the Washington bullpen by pitching seven innings as Washington won the nightcap 3-1."Not only we won the game, but it put my bullpen back into relative shape tomorrow and the ensuing days," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "That was big. Now we can pitch and play three days to the next off day on Thursday." Another issue is the trade deadline Monday afternoon. Free Sports Picks. The Nationals, who lead the National League East by 13 games over the second-place Marlins, are looking for bullpen help with their eyes on the playoffs."The ultimate goal as players is to win a World Series," utility man Howie Kendrick said after joining Washington in a trade with Philadelphia over the weekend. "That's what we live for." Meanwhile, the Marlins (49-54) are looking to be sellers before the deadline arrives. Starting pitcher Dan Straily is probably the most valuable asset Miami is dangling with the hopes of hooking premium prospects in return.Straily (7-7, 3.79 ERA) took a 6-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, then said after the game that he is aware of the rumors."I'd be lying if I said it wasn't in my thoughts ever," Straily said. "You are always aware whether you see it yourself or get asked about it by you guys. It's one of those things as a ballplayer that you just handle." The Monday pitching matchup features Washington left-hander Gio Gonzalez (8-5, 2.81 ERA) and Marlins right-hander Jose Urena (9-4, 4.04 ERA).Gonzalez, a left-hander from Miami, has been exceptional in his 13 career games against the Marlins, going 7-3 with a 2.19 ERA. In five games at Marlins Park, though, Gonzalez is just 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA.This will be Urena's first game against Washington in 2017. Last year, he went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA against Washington in three relief appearances covering five innings.In terms of the offenses on the field on Monday, Washington is not the only team with heavy hitters.Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton leads the National League with 33 homers. Left fielder Marcell Ozuna hit his 24th homer of the season on Sunday, setting a career high. He also has 81 RBIs this season, 27 of them this month, a franchise record for July.Stanton and Marlins catcher J. Winning Sports Handicappers. T. Realmuto were held out of the starting lineup Sunday in an effort to rest them. Realmuto hit his 12th homer of the season on Saturday, breaking his previous career high of 11 set last year.Realmuto is fourth in the NL and eighth in the majors in homers by a catcher this year. He grounded out as a pinch hitter Sunday.

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MLB Game Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox - 7/31/2017 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox - Date: 7/31/2017 Red Sox, Indians meet for first time in 2017 3h ago. 2 min read BOSTON -- The Cleveland Indians' last visit to Fenway Park is one the Boston Red Sox would like to forget.After locking up its first American League East title since 2013 last fall, Boston was matched up with AL Central champion Cleveland in the AL Division Series.However, the Red Sox barely resembled a team that had won 93 regular-season games, promptly getting swept by the Indians, losing 4-3 in a decisive Game 3 at Fenway on Oct. 10.Boston will have its first chance at revenge against Cleveland on Monday night as the Red Sox host the Indians for the first of three games at Fenway.Cleveland (57-46) was the victim of a walk-off homer from White Sox first baseman Matt Davidson in the ninth inning Sunday in a 3-1 loss at Chicago.The defeat snapped the Indians' season-high nine-game winning streak, but Cleveland still owns a two-game lead over the Kansas City Royals atop the AL Central."We've got to turn the page regardless, whether we win or lose," Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor said, "because we understand we've got a very good team tomorrow. Every game counts. It's tough to swallow when you lose, but you've got to turn the page immediately." Kansas City gained a game on the Indians after scoring four runs in the eighth to beat the Red Sox 5-3 on Sunday to take two of three games in the series.Boston (57-49) lost for the seventh time in 10 games but remained a half-game behind the AL East-leading Yankees after New York's 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes gave up all four eighth-inning runs (three earned) without retiring a batter, furthering the narrative that Boston could use bullpen help before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday afternoon."I think whatever the front office thinks that we need and whatever's going to make us a better team, I think everybody in here will welcome that," Barnes said.It seems the Red Sox have the right man on the mound for the series opener as veteran right-hander Doug Fister has a track record of success against Cleveland.A former member of Cleveland's AL Central rival Detroit Tigers, Fister has had plenty of experience against the Indians, going 5-4 with a 3.13 ERA in 16 starts against the Tribe.However, Fister's tenure in Boston has been anything but successful. He is 0-5 with a 7.46 ERA in seven games (four starts) this season.Michael Brantley is a healthy 11-for-30 (.367) with two homers and five RBIs versus Fister, and Yan Gomes (1-for-5) also has a solo home run against him.Mike Clevinger (5-3, 3.20 ERA) takes the ball for the Indians after giving up six runs (five earned) in a 4 1/3-inning no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels last Tuesday.Clevinger has never pitched at Fenway Park or against the Red Sox, but Boston's Eduardo Nunez (1-for-3) and Mitch Moreland (0-for-1) have faced him with previous teams.Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia missed his second consecutive game on Sunday. He is day-to-day."The left knee gets irritated with some volume, extensive volume I should say," manager John Farrell told the Boston Herald. "And as that flares up, we've got to monitor it, expose him to additional treatment and just be cautious of recovery time, and that's where we are."

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MLB Game Preview: Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees - 7/31/2017 - 7:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees - Date: 7/31/2017 Deadline looms as Yanks, Tigers begin series 4h ago. 3 min read NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers may make some changes to their rosters by the time the non-waiver trade deadline comes and goes on Monday afternoon.Two players not changing teams are young pitchers Luis Severino and Michael Fulmer.Severino will pitch for the Yankees while Fulmer starts for the Tigers in the opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Monday.Severino will deliver his first pitch a little over three hours after the deadline passes at 4 p.m. EDT. He will be looking to extend the best three-start stretch of his career.The right-hander has not allowed an earned run in career-high 18 innings. He has surrendered only one earned run in his past 27 innings since giving up a three-run homer to Milwaukee's Domingo Santana in the first inning on July 8.Severino (7-4, 3.03 ERA) began the second half by pitching well against two aces, Boston's Chris Sale and Seattle's Felix Hernandez. Expert Sports Picks. Then he generated some ace talk of his own by allowing two runs, both unearned, on three hits and striking out nine in seven innings last Wednesday in a win over the Cincinnati Reds."(The term 'ace' is) thrown around loosely these days, but for our team, he is," said CC Sabathia, who added he was not surprised and referred to Severino's stuff as "electric." Severino's recent success is occurring after he was 0-8 as a starting pitcher last season as he dealt with a demotion to the minors and triceps injury.The right-hander is fifth in the American League with 145 strikeouts.Severino's only start against the Tigers was April 8, 2016, in Detroit. He allowed three runs and 10 hits in five innings and threw 95 pitches in a game wh ere the temperature at first pitch was 38 degrees.Fulmer knows something about the significance of pitching on July 31. Money Cappers. Two years ago, he was acquired by Detroit shortly before the deadline for Yoenis Cespedes.He won the 2016 Rookie of the Year award by going 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 26 starts, spanning 159 innings. After becoming Detroit's first Rookie of the Year since Verlander in 2006, he is 10-8 with a 3.35 ERA this year.On Tuesday, he recorded a 17th quality start by allowing three runs and eight hits in eight innings of a 3-1 loss over the Kansas City Royals.Fulmer lost his second consecutive start, and he owns a 4.34 ERA in three starts since the break. Despite the defeat, Fulmer felt great about his stuff."That's probably the most swings and misses I've had all year," Fulmer said. "I feel like ... I finally had all three pitches working together in the same game.&qu ot; Everything was working for Fulmer in his only previous appearance against the Yankees. On June 12, 2016, in New York, he allowed two hits in six scoreless innings of a 4-1 win. Only Austin Romine and Aaron Hicks managed hits against him.Detroit took two of three from the Yankees last season, marking the first time it won a series in New York since sweeping three games in 2008.The Yankees saw their six-game winning streak end with a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. Sports Bettors Phone Leads. They added left-hander Jaime Garcia before losing for the sixth time in 17 games since the All-Star break.Detroit began the second half with four wins in five games, but since July 18, the Tigers are 4-7. The slump pushed Detroit into becoming sellers and possibly trading Justin Verlander.Verlander is not scheduled to pitch in the New York series as he pitched in Sunday and threw six shutout innings in a 13-1 win ove r the Houston Astros."Honestly, I don't know what's going to happen," Verlander said.Verlander will make the trip to New York and see if Justin Upton can follow up his six-RBI game with another strong showing or if Fulmer can retire Aaron Judge.Upton was 4-for-5 Sunday and is hitting .361 (22-for-61) since the All-Star break.Judge was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts and is batting .156 (9-for-57) since the All-Star break."He's just not as hot as he was before," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Judge, "but that's normal in this game. I think the expectations are so high. For a while, people were talking Triple Crown, and that's really unfair because how often does that happen? But I think it's just part of the game."

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MLB Game Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles - 7/31/2017 - 7:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles - Date: 7/31/2017 Orioles host red-hot Royals 3h ago. 2 min read BALTIMORE -- The Kansas City Royals arrive at Camden Yards as one of the hottest teams in baseball.The Royals, who had a nine-game winning streak ended Saturday, are 9-1 in their last 10 games as they start a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.Kansas City (55-48) bounced back Sunday, scoring four runs in the eighth inning for a 5-3 victory at Boston. Alcides Escobar's two-run single tied the game, and Alex Gordon's two-run triple proved to be the difference."Just kind of typical of our success, you know, the big guys are getting on base and then Esky and Gordy ... come up with huge hits," Royals manager Ned Yost said.The Orioles are returning home after splitting six games on a road trip to Tampa Bay and Texas. Baltimore (50-54) won the final two games of the trip, the last victory a 10-6 decision over the Rangers on Sunday."We won a tough series," Orioles manager Buck Showalter told MASN after the series finale in Texas.Even bigger for the Orioles might have been the fact that closer Zach Britton pitched in consecutive games for the first time since mid-April.The left-hander looked sharp Sunday after the bullpen struggled at times, recording the game's final two outs for his eighth save of the season."He's fine (now)," Showalter said of Britton, who spent several weeks on the disabled list with a strained forearm. "It's exciting to see him throw the ball like that." For Kansas City on Monday, Danny Duffy (7-6, 3.56 ERA) will try to win a third consecutive start. He allowed one run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 3-1 victory at Detroit last Tuesday.The left-hander has a 2-2 career mark with a 2.41 ERA against the Orioles.Baltimore will counter with Ubaldo Jimenez (4-7, 6.93). Handicapper Return on Investment. The right-hander turned in one of his best performances of the season in his last start. He allowed two runs on just three hits in six innings but took the loss as the Rays beat the Orioles 5-1 last Wednesday.Jimenez has a 5-5 career record with a 4.58 ERA versus the Royals.The Orioles are expected to activate pitcher Jeremy Hellickson on Monday. Sports Bettor Leads. They acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, and he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday,Baltimore called up outfielder Craig Gentry on Sunday as Hellickson was not yet on the roster, so the team needs to make another move Monday. Gentry replaced Hyun Soo Kim, who was traded to the Phillies in the Hellickson deal.Another question for the Orioles on Monday could involve Mark Trumbo, a late scratch Sunday in Texas after tweaking his back while lifting weights. Sports Predictions. The Orioles hope he is day-to-day.Kansas City made its own deal on Sunday, bringing back outfielder Melky Cabrera -- he played there before -- in a trade with the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitchers Andre Davis and A. J. Puckett.Cabrera will play in the outfield or be used as a designated hitter as the Royals fight for a playoff berth."He's going to help our team a lot," Gordon said. "He's having a great year. We all know his personality -- smiling, happy-go-lucky guy. Brings a lot of energy to the clubhouse."He's going to be comfortable in this situation. We know what he can do."

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MLB Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies - 7/31/2017 - 12:35 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Date: 7/31/2017 Braves look to avoid sweep at Philadelphia 4h ago. 2 min read PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Foltynewicz has been unbeatable since early June.The Atlanta Braves have won each of Foltynewicz's past nine starts. It is a trend the Braves hope continues Monday afternoon as they try to snap a four-game losing skid and salvage a win in the finale of a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.The Phillies (38-64) have won four consecutive games, beating the Braves (48-55) in walk-off fashion on Saturday and Sunday. NBC Sports Picks. The four-game winning streak is their second-longest of the year, topped only by six straight wins in April. Philadelphia still has the fewest wins in the majors, but the team is 9-4 in its past 13 games."For sure we're taking a step forward," Phillies sho rtstop Freddy Galvis said. "The team is just playing baseball. Sometimes it's hard. We were losing games and there was some frustration, but the team is together right now." The most recent Braves victory came in Foltynewicz's last start. On Tuesday, the 25-year-old righty struck out nine batters and allowed only two runs on five hits in six innings at Arizona."The goal this year was to be consistent and go from there," Foltynewicz, who is in his fourth season, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I think I'm putting together a lot of good quality starts back to back, giving the team a good chance to win, having a little winning streak when I'm out there. So it's all fun, and that was the plan coming out of spring training, keep pushing and keep attacking hitters. Keep going out there and pitching the way I am." Foltynewicz (9-5, 3.82 ERA) is 6-0 with a 3.74 ERA during his nine-start run.The Braves have been outstanding at the plate with Foltynewicz on the mound lately, posting 7.2 runs of support per game during the unbeaten streak. Top Rated Sports Handicappers. That includes a 14-run outburst against the Phillies on June 7 when the streak began.Atlanta enters the Monday finale struggling offensively. Soccer Tipsters. The Braves have scored just 10 runs in their past four games, including a 2-1 defeat on Sunday.Phillies rookie Nick Pivetta will try to keep the Braves' bats quiet Monday. Pivetta is 3-6 with a 5.73 ERA in the first 14 starts of his career. The 24-year-old has had a tough start to the second half.In three starts since the All-Star break, Pivetta has given up 17 runs in 16 1/3 innings (9.37 ERA). Opposing batters are hitting .281 against him in that stretch with an .871 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. Pivetta struck out seven but gave up five runs on six hits in six innings against the Houston Astros on Tuesday in his most recent outing."I fell behind a little bit, but I was able to battle back," Pivetta said to MLB.com after the start. "They hit some pitches. That's a good hitting team. There's a reason why they have 60-plus wins. I've got to be better. No excuses. Work on it for next time." Pivetta beat the Braves in his only appearance against them, allowing three runs in five innings on June 5 at Atlanta.Foltynewicz has been superb in two starts against the Phillies this year, going 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA. He is 3-1 with a 3.66 ERA in six games (five starts) against Philadelphia.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (3) - Date: 7/30/2017 Farmer's 2-run double in 11th lifts Dodgers past Giants 5m ago. 1 min read LOS ANGELES Kyle Farmer's two-run double in the 11th inning in his first major league at-bat lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to their eighth straight win, 3-2 over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night.Corey Seager doubled down the right-field line with one out for his third hit of the game and Justin Turner was walked intentionally. Farmer then lined a 3-2 pitch from Luis Suarez (0-1) down the right-field line, scoring both runners for the Dodgers' 31st comeback victory.Joe Panik had given the Giants a 2-1 lead in the top of the inning with a single up the middle through a drawn-in infield that scored Kelby Tomlinson from third.The Dodgers won for the 39th time in 45 games, and completed their 14th sweep this season. Los Angeles turned a season-high five double plays as they improved to 26-3 at home since June 7.Pedro Baez (3-1) got the last two outs in the top of the 11th.

MLB Game Recap: Minnesota Twins (5) vs. Oakland Athletics (6) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Minnesota Twins (5) vs. Oakland Athletics (6) - Date: 7/30/2017 Alonso's HR in 12th powers A's past Twins, 6-5 14m ago. 1 min read OAKLAND, Calif. Yonder Alonso homered in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Oakland Athletics to a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.Alonzo's 22nd homer of the season came on the first pitch he saw from Tyler Duffey (0-3) and was his second game-ending home run of his career.Oakland, which won its second straight after a six-game skid, came in tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the major league lead with eight game-ending hits.Josh Smith (1-0) pitched two innings to pick up the win.The Twins lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 1-5 on a disastrous West Coast road trip in which they've blown leads in every game.

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (1) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (2) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (1) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (2) - Date: 7/30/2017 Galvis' single in 9th lifts Phillies to 2-1 win over Braves 2h ago. 4 min read PHILADELPHIA ?? Freddy Galvis boosted the Phillies with his bat and glove.Galvis hit a bases-loaded single to right field in the ninth inning to give Philadelphia a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, its second straight walk-off win.The shortstop also made three excellent plays in the field, including a run-saving gem in the first inning."I try to catch the ball and do the job for my pitchers and for the team," Galvis said.Andrew Knapp led off the ninth with a double to left off Rex Brothers (1-2), who was replaced by Akeel Morris.Morris walked pinch-hitter Ty Kelly. Cesar Hernandez was trying to advance the runners with a sacrifice, but his bunt stayed just inside the third-base line and Freddie Freeman's throw was not in time, loading the bases with no outs.Galvis pulled Morris' second pitch into right to score Knapp and lift the Phillies to their fourth straight victory and eighth in the last 11."We're taking a step forward," Galvis said. "We were losing games and there was some frustration. We're playing hard and with a lot of energy." Kelly's RBI single in the 11th on Saturday night gave Philadelphia a 4-3 win.Hector Neris (4-4) pitched a scoreless ninth.Odubel Herrera and Hernandez each had a pair of hits for the Phillies.Nick Markakis had two hits for the Braves to move within three hits of reaching 2,000. Atlanta has lost seven of eight overall and eight of 10 to the Phillies this season - including all six in Philadelphia."It's one of those ups and downs of the seasons," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We'll keep fighting and we'll bounce back. It's tough and hard to go through it, but you have to come out and try to win the ballgam e tomorrow." Both starters had outstanding outings.Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez matched his season high with seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits with six strikeouts and two walks."That's the best I've seen him look as far as mound presence is concerned," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "That's a really big step for him." R. A. Dickey also tied his season best by going seven innings for the eighth time, giving up one unearned run on six hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Herrera singled, went to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball.Dickey's knuckleball was moving all over the place, resulting in a career high-tying four wild pitches and two passed balls. But as challenging as it was for Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki, Dickey's specialty pitch also gave the Phillies fits."I just had a good feel for it," Dic key said. "I had a swing-and-miss knuckleball today." The Braves tied it in the eighth off Luis Garcia, snapping his career-best scoreless innings streak at 21 2/3.The Phillies nearly took the lead in the sixth, but Dickey tagged out Herrera, who was trying to come home from third after another ball got away from Suzuki.GOLD GLOVE?Third-base coach Ron Washington initially waved Ender Inciarte home as he rounded third in the first inning before pointing back to the bag after Galvis made an excellent play to keep the ball in the infield. It was one of three outstanding defensive plays by Galvis."I was disappointed he didn't win the Gold Glove last year," Mackanin said. "I think he deserved it. I still think he's a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop." NEW CLOSERSnitker pitched Jim Johnson in the eighth inning and indicated afterward that he would try others in the closer's role. Johnson blew his eighth save in Saturday's loss. Arodys Vizc aino would've gotten the nod on Sunday."We'll mix and match a little bit, see where we're at in the lineups and things like that and give some guys a chance," Snitker said.STREAKINGSince June 1, Herrera is batting .340. ... Phillips is hitting .373 since the All-Star break.TRAINER'S ROOMBraves: RHP Jason Motte (back strain), on the 10-day DL since July 14, threw a perfect inning on Saturday night during a rehab appearance with Single-A Rome.Phillies: RHP Pedro Beato (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day DL after injuring himself breaking toward first base on a groundout during Saturday night's game. Sports Handicapper King. The Phillies recalled RHP Mark Leiter Jr. from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace Beato. ... Knapp was hit in the throat by a bouncing Velasquez pitch in the sixth inning, but he remained in the game.UP NEXTBraves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (9-5, 3.82) takes th e mound for Atlanta to conclude the four-game series on Monday afternoon.Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (3-6, 5.73) gets the start for Philadelphia.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (7) vs. San Diego Padres (1) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (7) vs. San Diego Padres (1) - Date: 7/30/2017 McCutchen's 3 homers carry Cole, Bucs to 7-1 win vs Padres 29m ago. 2 min read SAN DIEGO Andrew McCutchen hit three home runs for the third time in his career to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.McCutchen's big day backed Gerrit Cole, who pitched seven innings of five-hit ball for the Pirates.It was just the second win in eight games for the Pirates, who ended the Padres' four-game winning streak.McCutchen has 22 homers. He connected with two outs in the first off left-hander Clayton Richard, with the ball clearing the fence just out of the reach of center fielder Manuel Margot. He went deep again in the eighth off rookie Jose Torres and then homered off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the ninth.It was McCutchen's third multi-homer game of the season and 15th of his career. He a lso made a nice diving catch in center field to end the eighth.Pinch-hitter Josh Bell homered in the ninth, his 19th.Cole (9-7), who lives in Santa Ana and played at UCLA, won his second straight start and third straight decision. His only big mistake was allowing a home run by rookie Dusty Coleman to center field with one out in the seventh, his second. Cole struck out eight and walked two.The Pirates scored three runs in the sixth when the first four batters reached. Jose Osuna hit a two-run triple to right-center and Jordy Mercer followed with an RBI single to center.Richard (5-12) gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings, struck out five and walked two.Richard notched his MLB-leading seventh pickoff when he caught Cole too far off the bag after reaching on a single in the third.San Diego first baseman Jose Pirela made an impressive catch of a foul ball by Chris Stewart while diving into the stands to end the top of the eighth.TRAINER'S ROOMPirates: Josh Harris on suffered discomfort in his lower left leg while stretching for the bag on a grounder in the third inning. He reached on a throwing error by shortstop Dusty Coleman and was replaced by Max Moroff. Moroff stayed in the game at second base.Padres: C Austin Hedges (concussion) and 3B Yangervis Solarte (side) came off the DL and started.UP NEXTPirates: After an off day, RHP Jameson Taillon (6-4, 4.03 ERA) is scheduled to open a home series Tuesday night against the Cincinnati reds and RHP Homer Bailey (2-5, 8.37)Padres: After an off day, RHP Jhoulys Chacin (10-7, 4.22) is set to start the opener of a two-game series against Minnesota, with RHP Berrios (94, 3.76).

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (1) vs. Seattle Mariners (9) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (1) vs. Seattle Mariners (9) - Date: 7/30/2017 Paxton, Cruz pace Mariners past Mets, 9-1 1h ago. 3 min read SEATTLE James Paxton tossed six scoreless innings, becoming the first Mariners pitcher to win six games in a single month, and Nelson Cruz had a three-run homer to pace Seattle to a 9-1 win over the New York Mets on Sunday.Cruz provided Paxton with an early cushion with a three-run shot in the first inning and Leonys Martin, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A, homered in his first at-bat and saved a possible run with a diving catch in right field.Paxton (11-3) had runners aboard in each of his six innings. Hockey Picks. The lefthander scattered six hits, striking out eight and walking none, with two hit batters in a 108-pitch outing. Paxton, sidelined most of May with a left forearm strain, was 6-0 in six July start s, allowing six earned runs in 39 1/3 innings with no home runs.Emilio Pagan retired all six batters he faced before James Pazos allowed a run in the ninth on three consecutive two-out singles.Seth Lugo (5-3) allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings, striking out five and walking none.Cruz put the Mariners up 3-0 with his 21st homer, giving him an AL-best 79 RBI. Jean Segura and Robinson Cano had consecutive one-out singles and Cruz launched a 1-2 pitch into the second deck in left for his first home run since July 17.The Mariners added two runs in the second. Martin, sent down after hitting .111 in 15 games to start the season, hit his first homer to right with one out. Ben Gamel then extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a triple when leftfielder Yoenis Cespedes lost his opposite-field fly ball in the sun. Gamel scored on Robinson Cano's two-out double.Seattle scored a run in the sixth on Gamel's RBI single, and made it 7-0 in the seventh on Danny Va lencia's sacrifice fly.The Mariners added two more in the eighth on a run-scoring throwing error by second baseman Neil Walker, and a pinch-hit RBI single by Danny Espinosa.The Mets threatened in the second when Wilmer Flores singled with one out and Walker was hit by a pitch. Martin, the Mariners regular centerfielder in 2016, prevented a run with a diving grab of Curtis Granderson's sinking liner to right.MARINERS MOVES:OF Leonys Martin was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday to replace OF Mitch Haniger, who was placed on the 10-day DL after being hit in the face with a pitch on Saturday. Martin, who hit .247 last season as the Mariners regular centerfielder, was sent down in late April after hitting .111 in 15 games. ''It only took a little bit of time to get my confidence back, to get my feel back at home plate. So, I'm good to go,'' Martin said. Martin hit .312 in 84 games at Tacoma. He started Sunday for Seattle, playing right field an d batting ninth. . RHP Erasomo Ramirez, acquired from Tampa on Friday, was added to the active roster. . RHP Cody Martin was optioned to Tacoma after Saturday's game. . INF D. J. Peterson, hitting .264 with 12 homers and 54 RBI at Tacoma, was designated for assignment.RAMOS DEBUTS:RHP AJ Ramos, acquired by the Mets on Friday in a trade with Miami, pitched the eighth inning , allowing two runs on two hits, with a walk and two wild pitches.UP NEXT:Mets: After an off day Monday, LHP Steven Matz (2-4, 5.51) opens a three-game series at Colorado as New York wraps up a 10-game road swing. Matz is 0-3 with a 14.18 ERA over his last four starts, allowing 21 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4, 4.08) opens a three-game series at Texas, kicking off a nine-game road trip. Seattle has a seven-game homestand in mid-August, then back on the road for the final 12 games in August. Hernandez is 3-2 with a 3.67 ERA in seven starts since coming off the DL. Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.97 starts for the Rangers.TRAINER'S ROOM:Mets: SS Jose Reyes left the game after getting hit in the left arm with a 98 mph fastball from Paxton with two outs in the fifth inning.Mariners: OF Mitch Haniger, placed on the 10-day DL, is expected to miss at least a couple weeks after suffering a mouth laceration when he was hit by a 95 mph fastball from the Mets Jacob deGrom on Saturday. ''He looks like pretty rough, like he went about 10 rounds with Mike Tyson,'' manager Scott Servais said. ''He's doing OK. His spirits are good. He knows he's lucky. It could have been a lot worse.''

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (10) vs. Texas Rangers (6) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (10) vs. Texas Rangers (6) - Date: 7/30/2017 Beltre gets 3,000th hit in Rangers' 10-6 loss to Orioles 1h ago. 3 min read ARLINGTON, Texas Adrian Beltre doubled for his 3,000th career hit Sunday, reaching the milestone in the Texas Rangers' 10-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.The Rangers already were down 4-0 when the 38-year-old third baseman, who went 1 for 5 in his 2,771st game, had a hard hit down the line past third base in the fourth inning.Beltre became the first player from the Dominican Republic, and 31st overall, to join the 3,000-hit club in the major leagues.Jonathan Schoop and Welington Castillo homered in a five-run fifth for a 9-2 Orioles lead. Castillo also had the last of three consecutive RBI singles off lefty Martin Perez (5-9) in the fourth.Wade Miley (5-9) went five innings and one of the four hits he allowed being to Beltre, who grounded a 3-0 pitch that went past the bag and then ricocheted off the side wall into left field.The Orioles lefty also got one of his five strikeouts when Beltre went down swinging in the second inning.Rougned Odor homered twice and drove in five runs for Texas. His two-run single in the fourth scored Beltre, who reached on a wild pitch after striking out in the eighth before Odor's second homer. Nomar Mazara also went deep.Orioles closer Zach Britton came on with two on in the ninth, striking out Mazara and getting Beltre on a grounder to end the game. Britton has converted an AL-record 57 consecutive save opportunities, eight this season.When Beltre got his 3,000th hit, a banner was unfurled high above straightaway center field congratulating him. His teammates, who had crowded on the rail of the first-base dugout to be as close as possible to the historic moment, flooded onto the field to celebrate with him.Beltre's two daughters and 10-year-old son Adrian Jr. left their front-row seats near the dugo ut they had shared with other family members and ran to right-center field. Top Rated Sports Services. The kids helped unveil a logo commemorating the accomplishment on the wall in front of the Rangers bullpen, then went and hugged their father on the infield dirt.Now in his 20th big league season, he is only the third player who is primarily a third baseman in the 3,000-hit club, joining Hall of Famers George Brett and Wade Boggs.The only other current active player in the 3,000-hit club is Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who is tied with Hall of Fame player Craig Biggio for 22nd all-time at 3,060 hits.Beltre is now tied for 30th place on the hits list with Roberto Clemente. Al Kaline (3,007) and Boggs (3,010) are next up on the list.It was Beltre's 605th career double, matching Paul Molitor for 14th all-time. Fighting Predictions. Th at also matched Mel Ott for 20th with 5,041 total bases; and Beltre's 454 homers are 38th on that list.Along with his 3,000 hits, Beltre is a five-time Gold Glover. He had a career-best and franchise-record 62-game streak without at error at third base before a throwing error Saturday night's game.TRAINER'S ROOMOrioles: DH Mark Trumbo was scratched from the lineup after tweaking his back while stretching in the weight room before the game.Rangers: RHP A. J. Griffin (oblique strain) threw 40 pitches in two innings in his rehab start on Saturday night at Triple-A Round Rock. He could rejoin the Rangers this week.UP NEXTOrioles: After finishing their season series 6-1 against Texas, the Orioles play their next seven games at home. Sports Handicapper Leaderboard. They play Kansas City on Monday.Rangers: Two years to the day after being acquired by Texas in a trade, lefty Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.97) pitches in t he series opener against Seattle and Felix Hernandez.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Arizona Diamondbacks (2) vs. St Louis Cardinals (3) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Arizona Diamondbacks (2) vs. St Louis Cardinals (3) - Date: 7/30/2017 Lynn, Martinez lead Cardinals over Diamondbacks 3-2 1h ago. 3 min read ST. LOUIS Lance Lynn made it clear he wants to stay in St. Louis. With his words - and his performance.The subject of numerous trade rumors, Lynn threw six strong innings and Jose Martinez homered and drove in three runs as the Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 Sunday for their fifth win in seven games.Lynn (9-6) gave up two runs and four hits. He has allowed no more than two earned runs in each of his last six starts.''I told you guys all along, I'm not going anywhere,'' Lynn said. ''So, I'm not worried about anything. What's there to worry about? I don't control it.'' Lynn retired the last eight batters he faced in improving to 5-0 lifetime against Arizona.St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was impressed with Lynn's ability to push the speculation aside.''I think you have to attribute that to his toughness,'' Matheny said. ''You know he's been around a little while, and he's been around other people who have been through it.'' Lynn recorded his 70th career victory.''He's got a ton of experience, nothing seems to faze him,'' Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his sixth save in eight opportunities.Martinez hit a two-run drive in the fourth to tie it, then had a sacrifice fly in the sixth that scored Jedd Gyorko with the go-ahead run.The home run was his seventh of the season.''I saw a pretty good cutter in my first at-bat and I was (visualizing) that,'' Martinez said. ''I got it elevated and put a pretty good swing on it and it went out.'' Taijuan Walker (6-5) allowed three runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out 10.'' ;I felt like I threw some pretty good pitches,'' Walker said. ''But, I didn't do my job. Winning Sports Handicappers. The offense gave me a lead, I didn't hold it.'' Arizona, in prime position for an NL wild-card spot, is 2-2 on its 10-game road trip.Yadier Molina singled Gyorko to third base in the sixth. Molina also singled ahead of Martinez's home run.Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman induced Paul Goldschmidt to ground out with a runner on second to end the seventh.Ketel Marte doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Iannetta in Arizona's two-run second.Arizona second baseman Chris Owings fractured the middle finger on his right hand during a bunt attempt in the second inning. NFL Handicappers. The ball appeared to hit his bat as well as his finger.Owings is returning to Phoenix to be examined by the medical sta ff, but is likely to miss considerable time.''It's tough,'' Lovullo said. ''He's one of the guys we turn to for leadership. He's helped us get to where we are now.'' Pinch-hitter A. J. Pollock was ejected in the ninth after arguing a called strike.MAKING HISTORYThe Diamondbacks' 60-45 record is the second-best in franchise history through 105 games. Fox Sports Picks. They went 64-41 in 2002 on the way to a 98-64 mark and a first-place finish in the NL West.TRAINER'S ROOMDiamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray remains on the seven-day concussion disabled list after he was hit by a line drive in Friday's 10-5 loss.Cardinals: OF Stephen Piscotty is expected to return to the team on Tuesday after a short rehab stint in Single-A Peoria. He was put on the 10-day disabled list on July 15 with a groin issue.UP NEXTDiamondbacks: Open a three-game series at Chicago on Tuesday agai nst the Cubs. Arizona has yet to announce a starter. LHP Jon Lester (8-6, 3.88) will start for the Cubs.Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (7-8. 3.52) begins a three-game series at Milwaukee on Tuesday. He will be opposed by RHP Jimmy Nelson (8-5, 3.38). The Cardinals are 1-5 in Martinez's last six starts.

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (1) vs. Chicago White Sox (3) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (1) vs. Chicago White Sox (3) - Date: 7/30/2017 Davidson HR in 9th, Chisox win 3-1, end Indians' streak at 9 1h ago. 4 min read CHICAGO After the Chicago White Sox continued their tear-down on Sunday, two players they hope will be part of the eventual rebuild led them to a much-needed win.Matt Davidson hit his first career walk-off home run, Carlos Rodon had his longest start of the season and the White Sox beat Cleveland 3-1 to end the Indians' nine-game winning streak.The White Sox snapped a seven-game home losing streak and won for just the second time in 16 games. Fox Sports Picks. The team also traded fan favorite Melky Cabrera to Kansas City shortly before the first pitch as part of a roster overhaul.Jose Abreu got the ninth-inning rally started with a double off Bryan Shaw (4-5) to set up Davidson's heroics, his 21st home run of his rookie season.''It's been a rough go for us, so to get that feeling and get that win was huge for us,'' Davidson said. ''We needed it really bad. We're working hard, but it's been a tough go. Sports Handicapping Service Winning Streaks. That's why these things probably mean more than just a normal win.'' Tyler Clippard (2-6) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win, the first for the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field since July 2. Good Sports Handicappers. That game featured strong pitching from Jose Quintana and David Robertson, both of whom have since been traded.Rodon allowed one run and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. He has 20 strikeouts over his last two starts.''The outing that he had today, based on the skill set that he has, is what we're hoping that he will continue t o become,'' White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. ''Obviously, everybody knows what he can do with the baseball. A very strong man with great life on his pitches.'' Francisco Lindor extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a third-inning homer, his 16th, giving first-place Cleveland a 1-0 lead. The Indians were 1 for 14 with runners on base.Josh Tomlin threw four innings of no-hit ball before being removed from the game because of left hamstring tightness. He allowed two baserunners. It was Tomlin's first scoreless start since Sept. 20, 2015 against the White Sox, and it was the third game in five days where the opposition took a no-hitter into the fifth inning against Chicago.Indians manager Terry Francona said Tomlin hurt himself fielding a ground ball in the fourth.''On that ground ball, I don't know if he hit the rubber but it grabbed him a little bit,'' Francona said. ''When we were watching him warm up, it did n't look good. ... He'll fight you tooth and nail to stay in a game, part of why we like him so much. But we also can't let him hurt himself.'' Tomlin did lobby to stay in.''I understand we're short-handed in the pen. You never want to put them in a bind. You also don't want to cost them a game by trying to compensate either,'' Tomlin said. ''It's kind of a tough situation. They made a decision that was probably the right one.'' Nick Goody relieved Tomlin and struck out the first five batters he faced until allowing a home run to Leury Garcia with two outs in the sixth, tying the game at 1.With two runners on and two out in the seventh, Rodon gave way to Jake Petricka, who retired Lindor on a flyout. Petricka has stranded all eight runners he's inherited this season.STARTING STRONGCleveland starting pitchers are 8-0 with a 3.13 ERA over the last 10 starts.THE SALE CONTINUESThe White Sox continued to replenis h their farm system on Sunday, trading Cabrera to Kansas City for pitchers A. J. Puckett and Andre Davis.''I will go there try to help the team win games,'' Cabrera said after he was pulled from the lineup because of the trade. ''They acquired me for a reason. I hope to help them.'' Cabrera played for the Royals in 2011.In the past year, the White Sox have also traded starting pitchers Chris Sale and Quintana, OF Adam Eaton, 3B Todd Frazier, and relievers Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings.The non-waiver trade deadline is Monday afternoon.TRAINER'S ROOMIndians: INF Jason Kipnis (right hamstring strain) started his rehab assignment Sunday with Triple-A Columbus, playing second base in the opener of a doubleheader. Francona said a timetable for Kipnis' return has not been finalized. ''There's got to be a little bit of progression or I think you're asking for guys to maybe hurt something else if you don't,'' Francona said.White Sox: OF Leury Garcia (sprained left finger) was reinstated from the disabled list before the game, taking Cabrera's roster spot. Garcia took part in a rehab assignment last week at the Arizona Rookie League and Triple-A Charlotte.UP NEXTIndians: RHP Mike Clevinger (5-3, 3.20) will start as Cleveland opens a three-game set in Boston against RHP Doug Fister (0-5, 7.46). Clevinger's road ERA of 2.15 is lowest in the AL for pitchers with at least seven road starts.White Sox: RHP James Shields (2-3, 5.86) will pitch against Toronto in the opener of a three-game series against RHP Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.43). Chicago is 20-10 against the Blue Jays since 2013.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (4) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (2) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (4) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (2) - Date: 7/30/2017 Caratini connects on 1st career HR, Cubs beat Brewers 4-2 2h ago. 3 min read MILWAUKEE Two levels up at Miller Park, two Chicago Cubs fans held up a ''W'' banner to signify another win for the one of the hottest teams in the majors since the All-Star break.The Cubs are rolling with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching Monday, having surged into first place over the last two weeks thanks to effective starting pitching and just enough timely hitting.Victor Caratini hit his first career home run, a solo shot that broke a 2-all tie in the seventh and backed John Lackey's solid six-inning start in 4-2 win on Sunday over the Milwaukee Brewers.Kris Bryant added an insurance run in the eighth with a solo homer off the left-field pole for the Cubs, who took two of three games in an important road series. Now 13-3 since the break, Chicago increased its lead in the National League Central over the second-place Brewers to 2 1/2 games.''Hitting is always sporadic, it's tough to string together things sometimes,'' Bryant said. ''But our pitching has been really consistent, giving us a chance every day.'' Lackey (8-9) struck out seven and allowed five hits over six innings, including Domingo Santana's game-tying, two-run homer in the sixth that just landed beyond outfielder Jason Heyward's outstretched glove in the right-field corner.Caratini gave the Cubs the lead for good an inning later after homering off a 1-2 fastball from Zach Davies (12-5) with one out in the seventh for a 3-2 lead. A bevy of Cubs fans who made the trek north from Chicago celebrated in the stands as if they were home at Wrigley Field.Chicago starters are 11-1 with a 2.53 ERA since the All-Star break.''We always knew there was talent in the room,'' Lackey said. ''We've done a pretty good job of that since the break, but we have a long way to go too.'' Davies allowed seven hits and three runs over an otherwise effective seven innings. NBA Handicappers. The right-hander struck out seven and gave up his first earned run since July 14 on Willson Contreras' infield single with two outs to open the scoring in a two-run sixth.''Nobody feels good after you lose a game,'' Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ''But there's a big chunk of the schedule left. ... We have a tremendous opportunity still. I know we recognize that.'' Wade Davis pitched a scoreless ninth for his 22nd save.NOT CLUTCHThe Brewers are now hitless over their last 31 at-bats with runners in scoring position, a franchise record set when Davies flied out with the bases loaded in the ninth.''A week without a hit with runners in scoring position, that's not really ac ceptable. We have to find a way to cash in on those opportunities,'' said cleanup hitter Travis Shaw.QUOTABLE''Not only was it my first career homer, but it helped the team win. I feel amazing right now.'' Caratini, through an interpreter, about his homer.ROSTER MOVEThe Brewers optioned opening day starter Junior Guerra to Triple-A Colorado Springs and selected the contract of left-handed reliever Wei-Chung Wang, who was 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA at Triple-A. Guerra has struggled after leaving his opening day start with a calf injury. Free Pick. The right-hander was 1-4 with a 4.96 ERA after returning from the disabled list on May 26.TRAINER'S ROOMCubs: Caratini started at first for Anthony Rizzo, who had back soreness following the Cubs' 2-1 win in 11 innings on Saturday night. Sports Handicapper Tracker. The team is off on Mon day, so manager Joe Maddon was hopeful that a two-day break would help Rizzo. ''We'll call it day-to-day right now. There's no reason to push him right now,'' the skipper said.Brewers: The demotion of Guerra, along with injuries to right-handers Chase Anderson (oblique) and Matt Garza (right leg strain), has left holes in the rotation. Anderson is due to throw another bullpen session on Tuesday or Wednesday, while Counsell hoped to have a better idea on Garza's timeline in the next couple days.UP NEXTCubs: After a day off, LHP Jon Lester (8-6) opens a three-game series at home on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lester is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break.Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (8-5) takes the mound on Tuesday to open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander is 0-8 with a 7.01 ERA in 11 career games against St. Louis.---More baseball: apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Colorado Rockies (10) vs. Washington Nationals (6) - 7/30/2017

MLB Game Recap: Colorado Rockies (10) vs. Washington Nationals (6) - Date: 7/30/2017 Blackmon, Rockies spoil Fedde's debut, beat Nationals 10-6 1h ago. 3 min read WASHINGTON Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black called the top of his lineup ''three of the best hitters'' in baseball.He wasn't kidding.Charlie Blackmon had four hits and scored four runs and the Rockies roughed up Erick Fedde in his major league debut, beating the Washington Nationals 10-6 on Sunday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.Blackmon had four singles, while DJ LeMahieu had three hits, including two doubles, and scored twice. Nolan Arenado added three hits and two RBIs. Winning Sports Handicappers. The trio combined for 10 of the Rockies' 16 hits.''They had a big day, for sure,'' Black said. ''We got some ribbies and we got extra-base hits and got some big knocks. Sports Betting Leads. Those guys at the top had a really good day.'' Fedde (0-1) allowed 10 hits and seven runs - five earned - in four innings while striking out three.The 2014 first-round selection loaded the bases in the first inning before recording his first out on Gerardo Parra's double-play groundout that scored Blackmon. Ramiel Tapia's single scored LeMahieu one batter later and Colorado led 2-0 after the first inning.''It was too much at the top of the order,'' said Nationals manager Dusty Baker. ''That's who really hurt him.'' Kyle Freeland (11-7) went five innings, allowing nine hits and four runs while striking out four.Ryan Zimmerman had two home runs and Wilmer Difo also homered for Washington. Both finished with three hits.Fedde settled down in the second by striking out the side but struggled with the top of the Rockies' ord er in the third and fourth innings before exiting the game with the Nationals trailing 7-4. Colorado scored at least two runs in three of the four innings Fedde pitched.''Those guys are obviously the best in the world for a reason and I think I can do a better job executing two-strike pitches and it's something that hurt me today,'' Fedde said.Zimmerman has 24 homers this season and his four RBIs left him tied for the most in franchise history with Tim Wallach, who played with the Montreal Expos from 1980-92.Arenado tripled in Blackmon in the eighth while Ryan Hanigan had an RBI double in the ninth.Colorado was swept in St. Louis before arriving in Washington.''We had a tough series in St. Louis, and to win a series in Washington against a really good team, it feels good,'' said Arenado.Greg Holland picked up his 33rd save.ZIMMERMAN STANDS ALONEZimmerman's two home runs pushed his career total to 239, passing Frank Howard for most in W ashington baseball history. Howard played with the Senators from 1965-71. Howard released a statement through the Nationals, saying: ''You want to know how I feel about? Nobody is happier than me.'' Zimmerman never figured he'd be in this position. ''I never expected it to be honest with you,'' he said. ''Never really hit home runs in high school or college or anywhere.'' ROSTER MOVEAfter selecting the contract of Fedde from Triple-A Syracuse, the Nationals granted OF Chris Heisey his release. ''It was very difficult,'' Baker said. ''He's been a very productive player for me.'' Heisey also played for Baker from 2010-13 in Cincinnati. . C Pedro Severino was optioned to Triple A-Syracuse but recalled as Washington's 26th man for the doubleheader. Severino singled in the fourth inning of Game 1 as a pinch hitter.TRAINER'S ROOMRockies: LHP Jake McGee (mid-back strain) was placed on t he 10-day DL retroactive to July 27. ''Jake's been feeling it for a few days. In St. Louis it started bothering him a little bit. When he was warming up yesterday he felt it again,'' Black said. Colorado recalled LHP Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Albuquerque. He has allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings this season for the Rockies and Chicago Cubs.UP NEXTRockies: RHP Jon Gray (3-1, 5.84) is 1-1 with a 7.65 ERA in five starts on the road this season.Nationals: RHP Edwin Jackson (1-1, 4.76) makes his second home start since returning to Washington. Jackson is 1-4 with a 10.80 ERA against the Rockies.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball