Thursday, May 31, 2018

MLB Game Recap: Texas Rangers (1) vs. Seattle Mariners (6) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Texas Rangers (1) vs. Seattle Mariners (6) - Date: 5/31/2018 Cruz homer sparks Mariners to 6-1 win over Rangers3m ago. 2 min read SEATTLE Nelson Cruz hit a two-run home run to back another effective start by Wade LeBlanc, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers to a 6-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.Dee Gordon, back from a stay on the 10-day DL caused by a fractured right big toe, led off the game against Rangers starter Mike Minor with a triple and scored on Jean Segura's sacrifice fly.Cruz then padded the Mariners' lead in the third. After Segura hit a one-out double and moved to third on Mitch Haniger's grounder, Cruz hit his 10th homer of the season to left-center field, a 399-foot shot that gave Seattle a 3-0 cushion.LeBlanc, the journeyman left-hander filling in for injured Erasmo Ramirez, continued his brilliant early season work, giving up one run and four hits in fi ve innings. He struck out four and walked two.The only blemish against him was a solo homer by Nomar Mazara, the Rangers' outfielder's 13th of the season, which led off the fourth.James Pazos, Juan Nicasio and Chasen Bradford combined to finish with four scoreless innings.The Mariners scored twice in the fifth on a throwing error by Texas third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa on a fielder's choice by Haniger., and Cruz's sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.Ryon Healy added an RBI single in the seventh to cap the scoring.Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre returned from the disabled list and singled twice to move past Cap Anson for 22nd place on baseball's all-time hits list with 3,082.TRAINER'S ROOMRangers: Manager Jeff Banister said Beltre would split time between DH and third base for the time being. Beltre batted in the cleanup spot on Thursday.Mariners: With the return of Gordon, the Mariners decided to option infielder Gordon Beckham to Triple-A Tacoma and k eep utility man Andrew Romine on the active roster. Manager Scott Servais said Romine's versatility and experience at more positions in the field gave Romine the nod.UP NEXT:Rangers: Texas heads to Anaheim for a weekend series vs. the Angels. Veteran RHP Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.55 ERA) starts Friday's game against Angels RHP Jaime Barria (4-1, 2.97 ERA).Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (5-3, 4.93 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday's opener for against Tampa Bay RHP Sergio Romo (1-1, 6.33 ERA).---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Miami Marlins (3) vs. San Diego Padres (8) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Miami Marlins (3) vs. San Diego Padres (8) - Date: 5/31/2018 Villanueva homers, Lyles stymies Marlins in Padres' 8-3 win7m ago. 2 min read SAN DIEGO Christian Villanueva hit his 15th home run, Jordan Lyles pitched seven solid innings and the San Diego Padres beat the Miami Marlins 8-3 on Thursday night.Villanueva's homer total before June 1 is the most by a National League rookie since St. Louis' Albert Pujols hit 16 in 2001. His power surge has helped the Padres win three straight and four of their last six games.After taking a perfect game into the eighth inning in his last start at Petco Park, Lyles (2-1) wasn't as dominate against the Marlins. But he limited them to two runs and six hits while walking one and striking out seven in his fifth start after 13 appearances out of the bullpen.Brad Hand got the last out with the bases loaded for his 17th save after newly acquired Phil Hughes struggled in the ninth. Derek Dietrich homered off Kirby Yates in the eighth.Wei-Yin Chen (1-3) got just five outs in his shortest stint of the season. He allowed four runs and four hits, and walked two and struck out four.San Diego pulled away with a three-run, fifth inning against former Padre Odrisamer Despaigne to build a 7-2 cushion. Hunter Renfroe hit an RBI double, A. J. Ellis got a run in on a fielder's choice and Renfroe scored on a grounder, thanks to an earlier error by Starlin Castro which extended the inning.The Padres struck early against Chen as they seized a 2-0 lead three batters into the game. Jose Pirela opened with a single and Villanueva followed with his homer, a blast off the Western Metal Supply building's second deck in left.Miami tied it at 2 in the second thanks to an unlikely offensive source in Chen. After not collecting an RBI in his first 68 career at-bats, Chen sent a one-out, slow grounder through the middle that scored Brian Anderson and JT R iddle. Both had reached on singles.But San Diego chased Chen and grabbed a 4-2 advantage in the second inning when Eric Hosmer, who had three RBIs and three hits, sent a sinking line drive toward center field, with Ellis and Lyles aboard. Lewis Brinson attempted a diving, back-handed catch, but the ball trickled off his glove with both runners scoring.TRAINER'S ROOMPadres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (strained right hip) is close to throwing a simulated game. If that goes well, next would be a minor league rehabilitation start.UP NEXTReds: RHP Tyler Mahle (3-6, 4.76) looks to rebound against the Padres on Friday night after escaping with a no-decision when allowing four runs, four hits and four walks in six innings against the Rockies in his last time out.Padres: RHP Walker Lockett (0-0) will start the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Reds as he makes his big league debut after seven years in the minors. Winning Sports Handicappers. The 24-year-old was 2-5 with a 5.31 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A El Paso.---For more baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

NBA Game Recap: Cleveland Cavaliers (114) vs. Golden State Warriors (124) - 5/31/2018

NBA Game Recap: Cleveland Cavaliers (114) vs. Golden State Warriors (124) - Date: 5/31/2018 Jun 01, 2018 OAKLAND, Calif. Stephen Curry scored 29 points and the Golden State Warriors capitalized on a Cavaliers blunder that sent the game into overtime, withstanding a brilliant 51-point performance by LeBron James to beat Cleveland 124-114 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.The game nearly over, James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact. After replay review, Tristan Thompson received a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection with 2.6 seconds left.James was in utter disbelief as regulation ended in stunning fashion: George Hill made the first of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left after being fouled by Klay Thompson, but when J. R. Smith secured the rebound of the second, he dribbled back toward halfcourt instead of shooting, apparently thinking the Cavs had a lead.''He thought it was over. He thought we were up one,'' coach Tyronn Lue said.Instead, OT.And why not? Both these teams were pushed to their limits in seven-game conference finals they each had to win on the road.Game 2 is Sunday night back at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have won 18 of their last 19 postseason games. In 2015, when the Golden State beat the Cavs to capture the franchise's first title in 40 years, the first two games of the series went to OT - Golden State winning the opener and Cleveland Game 2.James shot 19 for 32 to go with eight assists and eight rebounds in the opener of his eighth straight NBA Finals and ninth overall, as well as Cavs-Warriors Take IV. James notched his eighth 40-point game during this playoff run to tie Hall of Famer Jerry West's feat in 1965 for most in a single postseason.James drove past Curry for a three-point play with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. But James was given a foul following a review with 36.4 seconds left and Kevin Durant converted a pair of free throws to tie it at 104. Professional Sports Handicappers. The call had initially been a charge on 2017 Finals MVP Durant and James protested the change.Lue was disgusted to lose this way, saying of the call being overturned with James outside the restricted area, ''It's never been done, ever in the history of the game.'' ''It was great, it was epic and he did enough to carry this team to a victory,'' Lue said. ''... NBC Sports Picks. To do what he did tonight and to come up robbed, it's just not right.'' Durant struggled with his shot but wound up with 26 points on 8-for-22 shooting and nine rebounds.Golden State got a serious scare when Thompson went down after Smith slid hard into the Splash Brot her's left leg at the 6:17 mark of the first quarter. Profitable Handicappers. Thompson lay grimacing in pain then went to the locker room with what was called a bruised left leg that needed re-taping. He returned for the start of the second quarter to huge roars from the yellow-clad sellout crowd and scored 24 points. He and Curry each connected on five 3s.Curry drained one of those way-out-there 3-pointers that have been hard to come by this postseason to beat the halftime buzzer and Golden State shot 13 for 36 from deep.Kevin Love returned from a concussion to provide a big boost for Cleveland with 21 points and 13 rebounds.The Warriors missed the defensive presence of 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who missed his fifth straight postseason game dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee.TIP-INSCavaliers: James has 109 career 30-point games in the playoffs, tying Michael Jordan for most ever. ... Clevel and held a 19-4 advantage on the offensive glass, getting seven offensive rebounds in the first half to the Warriors' none. ... James' first quarter: 4 for 4 with a 3-pointer, 12 points, three assists, a steal and turnover.Warriors: Curry's early three-point play gave him the free throw he needed for 379 to pass Rick Barry (378) for first place on the Warriors' career list. ... With his 293rd career 3 in the playoffs, made in the second quarter, Thompson passed Kobe Bryant (292) for sixth place on the NBA's list for postseason 3s. ... Kevon Looney started again in place of Iguodala, but coach Steve Kerr went to McGee after the break. ... Home run king Barry Bonds was in attendance.LUE'S ANXIETYLue is being treated for anxiety, saying before Game 1 that the pressure-packed playoffs bring him so much joy.Lue took a leave of absence on March 19 for health reasons and when he returned April 5 acknowledged he experienced ''piercing'' chest pains during two games this season.''A lot of people are going through a lot of different things. Just being able to cope with it and understand that there's a lot of different people that have reached out since yesterday, I guess, and told me they experienced some of the same things,'' Lue said. ''The biggest thing is that I feel good and talking to my doctor one of my happy places is the playoffs. That's a good thing. So I do feel great, though.'' ---More NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (9) vs. Minnesota Twins (8) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Cleveland Indians (9) vs. Minnesota Twins (8) - Date: 5/31/2018 Lindor's pair of homers leads Indians past Twins 9-811m ago. 3 min read MINNEOLIS Francisco Lindor's second home run of the game for Cleveland snapped an eighth-inning tie after Minnesota erased an eight-run deficit, and the Indians held on to top the Twins 9-8 on Thursday night.Lindor also hit two doubles and drove in four runs for the Indians, who stretched their winning streak to a season-best six straight games despite another wobbly performance by their bullpen until Cody Allen finished by getting the final four outs - his ninth save in 10 opportunities.Indians starter Shane Bieber, the first player in franchise history to make his major league debut on his birthday, took an 8-0 lead into the fifth inning but couldn't complete the sixth. Robbie Grossman and Ryan LaMarre had RBI singles in the fifth, and Logan Morrison and Eduardo Esc obar hit consecutive homers in the sixth.In the seventh, reliever Dan Otero left two runners on with one out. Eddie Rosario hit an RBI single off Jeff Believeau. Free Picks and Parlays. Then Miguel Sano smashed a three-run home run into the right-field flower box against Zach McAllister to tie it. Sano emerged from a round of hard hand slaps in the dugout to tip his helmet to the crowd.Tyler Olson (1-1) came in for the last two outs. In the next inning, Lindor straightened the Indians out with his one-out drive off Addison Reed (1-4). Profitable Handicappers. The star shortstop became the first player in the major leagues since Adrian Beltre for Seattle in 2007 to hit two doubles and two homers in two different games in one season.The Twins lost for the seventh time in their last eight games. Professional Handicappers. They're 14-25 since leaving Puerto Rico on April 18 with a 16-inning win over the Indians.Bieber, who turned 23 on Thursday for his spot start, will be sent back to the minors. He has been dominant there this season, including seven no-hit innings on Friday for Triple-A Columbus.Twins starter Jake Odorizzi looked more like the rookie, with a three-run first inning and a five-run fourth on his ledger before being removed. Odorizzi helped end Michael Brantley's 19-game hitting streak, the longest in the major leagues this year, but he allowed more than his share of hard contact highlighted by Edwin Encarnacion's RBI double and Jose Ramirez's solo homer.REINFORCEMENTS ALMOST READYThe Indians have four outfielders on the disabled list, but they're about to be nearly at full strength. Bradley Zimmer will be activated before the game on Friday, manager Terry Francona said, to take Bieber's roster spot. Zimmer has misse d the last 19 games with a bruised left rib.Then on Tuesday, before the start of a two-game series against Milwaukee, Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer are due back. Chisenhall played in only seven games before suffering a right calf strain. Guyer strained the left side of his neck on May 19. Tyler Naquin remains out with a strained left hamstring.TRAINER'S ROOMIndians: LHP Andrew Miller's hope is to resume throwing off a mound as soon as this weekend, as the two-time All-Star reliever continues to try to overcome the bedeviling inflammation in the right knee that he pushes off during his delivery. ''He's really upbeat about how good his arm feels,'' Francona said.Twins: About one-third of the way through a season already headlined by the integral players who've been unavailable, the Twins have been dealt another round of injury setbacks this week. 1B Joe Mauer had to back off his workout before the game with the persistence of concussion sy mptoms, the day after CF Byron Buxton went back to the DL with a broken toe on his left foot that's not healing. RHP Ervin Santana is scheduled for a visit on Monday with the surgeon who operated on the middle finger of his pitching hand, with his rehab assignment halted by recurring swelling and limited velocity. ''No excuses,'' manager Paul Molitor said. ''There's no sympathy being thrown our way. You've got to go out and try to find a way to play better.'' UP NEXTIndians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (6-3, 3.98 ERA) pitches on Friday night, taking his 12th turn of the season. He threw seven scoreless innings with just three hits and one walk allowed against the Twins on April 18 in a 2-1 loss in a 16-inning game in Puerto Rico.Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (5-5, 3.67 ERA) takes the mound in the second game of the series, having pitched into the eighth inning in each of his last three appearances with a total of only five runs surrendered. Berr ios opposed Carrasco on April 18 and matched his seven scoreless innings.---For more baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (8) vs. St Louis Cardinals (10) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (8) vs. St Louis Cardinals (10) - Date: 5/31/2018 Munoz's 3-run HR caps 5-run 9th, Cardinals beat Pirates 10-84m ago. 2 min read ST. LOUIS Yairo Munoz hit a three-run, game-ending homer to cap St. Louis' five-run ninth inning and rally the Cardinals to a 10-8 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.Munoz ripped the first pitch from closer Felipe Vazquez (2-2) over the wall in center field to give St. Louis its sixth walk-off win of the season.Francisco Cervelli hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the eighth to give the Pirates an 8-5 lead. However, Pittsburgh couldn't hold on and lost in St. Louis for the fifth straight time and 12th in the last 14.Josh Bell also homered for the PiratesMunoz, who drove in five runs, had a two-run single in the first inning.Luke Voit, called up from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day, started the ninth-inning rally with a two-run single with the bases loaded to pull St. Louis to 8-7. Munoz followed with his homer.Mike Mayers (2-0), also recalled earlier in the day, picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.Greg Garcia broke a 4-4 tie with a run-scoring hit in the fifth off Trevor Williams, who allowed five runs and nine hits over five innings.Dexter Fowler also drove in two runs in the four-run first.St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty gave up four runs and seven hits over five innings.TRAINER'S ROOMPirates: RHP Ivan Nova, placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right ring finger on Monday, will likely pitch in a simulated game before returning to the rotation. RHP Nick Kingham (2-1, 3.75) will start in Nova's spot on Sunday.Cardinals: RHP Alex Reyes was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a right latissimus dorsi strain after tossing four scoreless innings on Wednesday in Milwaukee. Cardinals vice president and general manager Michael Girsch indicated Reyes will m iss at least two starts and likely more. ''It is significant,'' Girsch said. ... Money Cappers. The Cardinals recalled LHP Austin Gomber, RHP Mayers and INF Voit from Triple-A Memphis on Thursday. RHP John Gant and OF Tyler O'Neill were optioned to Memphis.REHAB CENTRALSt. Louis C Yadier Molina will make a rehab start for Double-A Springfield on Saturday. Molina suffered a pelvic injury with a traumatic hematoma on May 5. ... Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez gave up two runs and five hits in four innings for Springfield in a rehab start against Corpus Christi on Thursday. He stuck out four and threw 63 pitches.UP NEXTPirates RHP Jameson Taillon (2-4, 4.53) will face the Cardinals' Miles Mikolas (6-0, 2.58) in the second game of the four-game series on Friday. Sports Bettors Phone Leads. Taillon is 1-1 with a 4.45 ERA in six career start s against St. Louis. Mikolas is 4-0 with a 3.13 ERA in four starts against Central Division foes this season.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Boston Red Sox (2) vs. Houston Astros (4) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Boston Red Sox (2) vs. Houston Astros (4) - Date: 5/31/2018 Correa's 2-run shot helps Astros over Red Sox 4-29m ago. 3 min read HOUSTON Carlos Correa snapped an 0 for 10 slump with a two-run homer in the first and Tony Kemp and Jake Marisnick had an RBI each to help the Houston Astros to a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.Houston starter Lance McCullers (7-3) allowed four hits and two runs in six innings to help the Astros to the victory in this rematch of last year's ALDS, which Houston won in four games.Ken Giles gave up a single to Sandy Leon with two outs in the ninth before walking Jackie Bradley Jr., but Marisnick grabbed a fly ball hit by Blake Swihart to end it and give Giles his 10th save.The game was tied at 2-all when J. D. Davis singled to start Houston's fourth. Fighting Predictions. Tim Federowicz hit a ground-rule double with one out before Davis barely beat the throw home to score on a single by Kemp to put Houston up 3-2.The Red Sox challenged the play but it was upheld. Marisnick followed with a bunt that allowed Federowicz to score and the Astros to push the lead to 4-2.The victory snapped a three-game winning streak for the Red Sox, who at 39-18 have baseball's best record.Boston's Drew Pomeranz (1-4) allowed six hits and four runs in five innings after failing to pitch longer than four innings in his past three starts.The Red Sox were without Mookie Betts, who missed his fifth straight game with soreness on his left side, and Dustin Pedroia, who was scratched just before the game with a sore left knee. Pedroia has played just three games this season while recovering from knee surgery in October and is listed as day-to-day.Alex Bregman walked with one out before Correa's shot to left field made it 2-0 in the first inning.McCullers was shaken up in the s econd inning when he and Rafael Devers had a collision when the pitcher went to cover first base after Devers hit a ground ball.Devers tripped over the foot of McCullers and went tumbling to the ground in a crash that also sent McCullers falling into the dirt.Both players got up after a couple of minutes and McCullers remained in the game after a couple of warmup pitches.Bradley got Boston's first hit with a double to start the third inning. Andrew Benintendi walked with one out before the double by Xander Bogaerts scored them both to tie it at 2.TRAINER'S ROOMRed Sox: Manager Alex Cora doesn't think Betts will need to go on the disabled list. He said he was doing better on Thursday and thinks he'll be able to return sometime during this series which ends on Sunday.Astros: OF Josh Reddick, who is on the disabled list with an infection in his left knee, took early batting practice on Thursday, but isn't expected to return during this series. Manager A. J. Hinch said Reddick could be back for the start of Tuesday's series against Seattle, but he could need a few more days to recover. ''I like where he's at,'' Hinch said. ''I like the fact that he's starting to do baseball activities ... and he sounds like he's feeling better.'' UP NEXTBoston's Chris Sale (5-2, 2.76 ERA) looks to bounce back from his previous start where he allowed a season-high six runs in 4 1/3 innings when he opposes Gerrit Cole (5-1, 2.05) on Saturday night. Cole, who leads the American League with 109 strikeouts, did not factor into the decision in his previous start after the Astros blew the lead late in a 10-9 loss to Cleveland in 14 innings.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1) - Date: 5/31/2018 Nola shuts down Dodgers as Phillies spoil Kershaws return4m ago. 3 min read LOS ANGELES Jorge Alfaro drove in two runs, Aaron Nola pitched seven innings of two-hit ball and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Thursday, spoiling Clayton Kershaw's first start in almost a month.Hitting out of the No. 8 spot in the Phillies' lineup, Alfaro delivered an RBI single in the second inning against Kershaw and had an RBI double off reliever Josh Fields in the seventh.Nola (7-2) struck out seven, including five of the last seven batters he faced. He walked one and allowed just two runners to reach as far as second base. Seranthony Dominguez held the Dodgers scoreless over the final two innings for his second save.Nola allowed one run or fewer in five of his six starts in May and posted a 1.80 ERA in the month. Free Predictions. The right-hander has allowed just three hits over his last two outings combined, after holding the Toronto Blue Jays to one hit and one run over 6 2/3 innings Saturday.Kershaw pitched in his first game since May 1, spending time on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis. He gave up one run and four hits over five innings, throwing 62 pitches. He had five strikeouts and a walk.Kershaw's first in-game pitch in 30 days was a 90-mph fastball that Phillies leadoff man Cesar Hernandez hit into center field for a single.Alfaro's RBI single to center in the second inning brought home Maikel Franco from second base. Joc Pederson's throw home appeared to beat Franco to the plate, but catcher Yasmani Grandal couldn't handle the short hop. Replays appeared to show that Franco never touched home plate, but the Dodgers never appealed.The Dodgers tied the score in the fifth when Yasiel Puig doubled and Enrique Hernandez followed two batters later with a run-scoring single to right field against a drawn-in infield.Alfaro broke the 1-1 tie in the seventh inning when he doubled to the wall in right-center field off Fields (2-2). He was thrown out at third base trying to extend the hit to a triple.The Phillies earned a split in the four-game series and are now 2-5 at Dodger Stadium over the past two years after getting swept in a three-game series in Los Angeles in April 2017.The Dodgers have won 10 of their last 14 games but have lost three of their last five. Make Money Betting Sports. They finished their season-high 10-game homestand with a 6-4 record.Nola held the Dodgers hitless until Puig's leadoff double in the fifth.TRAINER'S ROOMPhillies: OF Rhys Hoskins will not need surgery to recover from his fractured jaw and manager Gabe Kapler said that means Hoskins' recovery should take weeks instead of months. .Dodgers: RHP Tom Koehler (shoulder), who has not pitched this season, threw a bullpen session but remains uncertain when he will begin a rehab assignment. ... LHP Alex Wood had his upcoming start at Colorado moved from Friday to Sunday in part because of lingering cramps in his left hamstring that have affected him in two starts this season. ... RHP Kenta Maeda (hip strain) is set to resume baseball activity Saturday.MOVING DAYThe Dodgers optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte back to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster for Kershaw.The Phillies recalled OF Dylan Cozens and RHP Mark Leiter Jr., and RHP Drew Hutchison was designated for assignment.UP NEXTPhillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (4-3, 3.26 ERA) will start in the opener of a three-game series at San Francisco having allowed just three earned runs combined over his last four starts.Dodgers: No starter announced yet for Friday's series opener at Colorado. Rookie Dennis Santana is a candidate for w hat would be his major league debut.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (5) vs. New York Mets (1) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Chicago Cubs (5) vs. New York Mets (1) - Date: 5/31/2018 Quintana, Zobrist lead Cubs to 5-1 win over banged-up Mets7m ago. 3 min read NEW YORK Jose Quintana pitched six shutout innings, Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer and the Chicago Cubs beat the banged-up New York Mets 5-1 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.Zobrist also doubled and singled in the leadoff spot as the Cubs won for the fourth time in five games. Chicago improved to 2-8 at Citi Field since the 2015 NL Championship Series.An inconsistent Quintana (6-4) continued his run of strong starts following poor ones. Make Money Betting Sports. The left-hander allowed three hits and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third when he threw a called third strike past Jose Bautista and retired cleanup man Michael Conforto on a grounder.Quintana struck out six and walked two on a foggy, m isty night in Queens. Brandon Morrow, the fourth Chicago reliever, needed only two pitches to earn his 13th save. With two runners aboard, he retired Amed Rosario on a grounder to finish the four-hitter.Brandon Nimmo hit his career-high sixth home run in the eighth for the Mets, off Brian Duensing.New York got four scoreless innings from Seth Lugo in his first start of the season. Lugo, who made his first 20 appearances out of the bullpen this year, pitched in place of injured Noah Syndergaard.The Mets have lost eight of 11 since a four-game winning streak.Zobrist went deep against Hansel Robles (2-2) with two outs in the fifth. Chicago caught a break earlier in the inning when a foul popup dropped outside third base because the Mets' infield was shifted to the right side.Javier Baez doubled with two outs in the sixth and scored on Kyle Schwarber's single. Zobrist's double in the seventh set up Jason Heyward's RBI groundout. Willson Contreras added a sacrific e fly in the ninth - just before Baez drew his first unintentional walk in 183 plate appearances.TALK IT OVERCubs manager Joe Maddon received a pregame visit from Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre, and the two chatted about Anthony Rizzo's slide that upended Pittsburgh catcher Elias Diaz at home plate Monday, breaking up a potential double play. Handicapping Sports. The play angered the Pirates, and Torre informed both teams Tuesday that Rizzo should have been called for interference - but Maddon still disagreed. ''Nothing new. We just talked about what had transpired,'' Maddon said. ''Rearview mirror kind of stuff, and it's time to move on. ... He encourages me to continue to say what I think, which I really appreciate.'' DANGER ZONEOne day after a display case caught fire in a main entrance to Citi Field, leaking water poured out of the ceiling during Mets manager Mic key Callaway's pregame news conference in the interview room. Hockey Picks. The fire that broke out in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda while the team was out of town Wednesday was extinguished by the automatic sprinkler system before the fire department arrived. Nobody was hurt and there was minimal damage, the Mets said.NEW VOICEMarysol Castro made her debut as Mets public address announcer, becoming the first woman to hold the job. Castro and Colin Cosell, who will work his first game Saturday, were hired to replace Alex Anthony and his interim fill-in this season, Rob Rush. Cosell's late grandfather was ABC broadcaster Howard Cosell.TRAINER'S ROOMCubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) plans to begin a throwing program this weekend or early next week, depending on how he feels.Mets: LHP Steven Matz (mild finger strain) felt good playing catch and plans to throw a bullpen Friday. If all goes well, he could make his next scheduled start Sunday without missing a turn. ... Syndergaard, on the 10-day disabled list with a strained ligament in his right index finger, said he'll probably miss one or two starts. ... 3B Todd Frazier (strained left hamstring) was scheduled to play five innings in a rehab game with Triple-A Las Vegas. ... RHP Anthony Swarzak (strained left oblique) was set to pitch an inning for Las Vegas. His final rehab outing is expected to be Sunday, according to Callaway. ... Sandy Alderson said he's ''a little surprised'' by how long it's taking LF Yoenis Cespedes to come back from his strained right hip flexor, an injury the GM said is ''somewhat chronic.'' UP NEXTCubs RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-4, 4.10 ERA) pitches Friday night against RHP Zack Wheeler (2-4, 5.40). Chatwood has lasted only 2 2/3 innings in each of his last two starts. He has walked 45 batters and struck out 44 this season. Wheeler was ham mered by Chicago for eight earned runs in 1 2/3 innings on June 13 last year, the shortest outing of his career.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Washington Nationals (2) vs. Atlanta Braves (4) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Washington Nationals (2) vs. Atlanta Braves (4) - Date: 5/31/2018 Newcomb dazzles for another win, Braves beat Nats 4-26m ago. 3 min read ATLANTA Sean Newcomb pitched seven strong innings for his sixth straight win, leading the Atlanta Braves back into first place with a 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.In the start of a four-game series between the top teams in the NL East, the Braves snapped Washington's six-game winning streak and reclaimed first place by a half-game over the Nationals.Newcomb (6-1) was roughed up by the Nationals in his season debut April 2. Since then, he's 6-0 with a sparkling 2.16 ERA in 10 starts.Anthony Rendon drove in in both Washington runs with a sacrifice fly in the first and an RBI single in the third. Newcomb was dominant the rest of the way , retiring 14 of 15 hitters before he was lifted for a pinch hitter after a 1-2-3 seventh. He threw 93 pitc hes - 61 for strikes.Rendon, who led off the sixth with a double, was the only Nationals hitter to reach base off Newcomb after the third. He also made a sparkling defensive play at third base to rob Tyler Flowers of a hit , diving to his left to field a hard-hit grounder that took a wicked hop.The Braves went ahead for good in the bottom of the third off Tanner Roark (2-5). Ozzie Albies led off with a single and Freddie Freeman followed with a double into the right-field corner, giving him a 13-game hitting streak. Bryce Harper's throw back to the infield short-hopped Trea Turner, an error that allowed Albies to race home after he initially stopped at third .Atlanta tacked on an insurance run in the seventh . With two outs, Ender Inciarte singled to left and came all the way around to score when Albies yanked another double down the right-field line.Dan Winkler and Arodys Vizcaino finished up for the Braves, each throwing a scoreless inning. Vizcaino earned his 10th sav e in 12 chances.Roark went 6 2/3 innings, giving up all four Atlanta runs and struggling a bit with his command. He walked five (two intentionally) and plunked a batter.Turner extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games.TRAINER'S ROOMNationals: RHP Ryan Madson was activated from the disabled list after missing 12 games with a pectoral strain. Best Sports Picks Today. The 37-year-old reliever is 1-2 with three saves and a 4.19 ERA in 21 appearances. Number #1 Sports Handicapping Service. The team gave Madson the option of going to the minor leagues for a rehab stint. He decided to rejoin the Nationals as soon as he was healthy. ''He wanted to save his bullets'' for big league hitters, manager Dave Martinez said.Braves: OF Ronald Acuna Jr. seems to be recovering quickly after injuring his left knee and lower back during a game la st Sunday at Boston. Sports Picking Services. The 20-year-old rookie phenom would be eligible to come off the DL on June 8 when Atlanta is on a West Coast road trip, but the Braves are in no rush to get their top prospect back on the field. ''He's going to heal quick,'' manager Brian Snitker said. ''He'll probably tell you, `I can go out there and play right now.' But we're going to be careful to get rid of all the pain, make sure everything is tightened up and solid.'' UP NEXTNationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-4, 3.13) probably hates to see the calendar change. He went 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA in five May starts, allowing just 26 hits while striking out 40 in 32 1/3 innings.Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (4-3, 2.55) will be facing Washington for the third time this season. He is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings against the Nationals.---Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry---For more baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (3) vs. Oakland Athletics (7) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (3) vs. Oakland Athletics (7) - Date: 5/31/2018 Mengden dominates Rays to help A's avoid four-game sweep6m ago. 2 min read OAKLAND, Calif. Daniel Mengden allowed three runs over eight innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 on Thursday to avoid a four-game sweep.Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Matt Joyce all homered, providing some much-needed punch to an offense that had sputtered since their leading home run hitter Khris Davis went on the disabled list 10 days earlier.Davis was activated before the game and doubled and scored as part of a three-run second inning to help Oakland end a three-game losing streak.Joey Wendle had three hits for Tampa Bay.A's shortstop Chad Pinder preserved the win when he made an over-the-shoulder catch on Johnny Field's pop-up in the ninth. Winning Sports Handicappers. The ball b ounced out of Pinder's glove, but he caught it bare-handed for the final out.The Rays had won five straight and outscored the A's 11-3 through the first three games of the series before getting shut down by Mengden.Coming off his second career shutout, Mengden (6-4) was dominant most of the game against Tampa Bay. He gave up six hits, struck out five and extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 25 innings before giving up three straight hits, including a two-run double by Wilson Ramos in the ninth.It's the longest scoreless streak by any A's pitcher since former closer Sean Doolittle went 26 1/3 innings in 2014. Mengden's run is also the best by an Oakland starting pitcher since Cory Lidle's 32-inning streak in 2002.Josh Lucas replaced Mengden and retired two hitters. Blake Treinen got Field to pop out to shortstop for his 13th save.Olson and Chapman hit solo home runs in the seventh off Ryan Yarbrough. Joyce added a two-run shot in the eighth o ff Vidal Nuno.Ryne Stanek (1-1) started for Tampa Bay and retired four batters in his second major league start. Stanek earned his first career win Monday in relief.TRAINER'S ROOMRays: Right fielder Carlos Gomez (groin) was held out of the starting lineup. Gomez tweaked the injury legging out a triple Wednesday night. ... CBS Sports Picks. Third baseman Matt Duffy was given the day off.Athletics: Right-hander Santiago Casilla (shoulder strain) has been playing catch and the team expects to make a decision in the next few days when to send the veteran reliever on a rehab assignment. ... RHP Carlos Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.UP NEXTRays: The team hasn't announced who will start Friday's series opener in Seattle, although manager Kevin Cash is leaning toward having reliever Sergio Romo go. Romo made four starts in a nine-day period from May 19-27.Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (1-0, 1.50 ERA ) makes his second start for Oakland in Kansas City on Friday. Montas set career highs for innings pitched (six) and strikeouts (seven) in his A's debut against Arizona last Sunday.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Angels (2) vs. Detroit Tigers (6) - 5/31/2018

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Angels (2) vs. Detroit Tigers (6) - Date: 5/31/2018 Reyes' 3-run triple helps Tigers beat Angels 6-25m ago. 1 min read DETROIT Victor Reyes hit a three-run triple in the five-run first to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angles 6-2 on Thursday.Detroit starter Ryan Carpenter was on pace to pick up his first career victory, but left the game after four innings with an oblique strain.Warwick Saupold (3-1) replaced Carpenter and pitched two perfect innings. Carpenter gave up one run and five hits.Andrew Heaney (2-4) allowed five runs and eight hits over five innings. He had given up a total of six runs over his previous six starts.The Tigers set themselves up to win the four-game series by roughing up Heaney in the first inning.Jeimer Candelario hit an RBI double, John Hicks drove in a run with a single and Reyes' triple later cleared the bases to make it 5-0. Reyes finished with three hits.Detroit's Ronny Rodriguez had two hits and scored a run in his major league debut.Jose Briceno hit a solo homer in the fifth and Mike Trout hit an RBI single in the eighth, pulling the Angels within four.TRAINER'S ROOMAngels: Zack Cozart (forearm tightness) was a late scratch from the lineup on Wednesday and manager Mike Sciosica said the infielder felt a little better Thursday morning.''I hope it's not serious,'' Sciosica said.Tigers: Slugger Miguel Cabrera may play Friday night at home against Toronto after missing nearly a month with a strained right hamstring.''If he's good, he'll go right in the lineup,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said.UP NEXTAngels RHP Jaime Barria (4-1) and Texas RHP Bartolo Colon (2-2) are scheduled to be on the mound Friday night when Los Angeles returns home.Tigers LHP Blaine Hardy (1-0) and Blue Jays LHP Jaime Garcia (2-3) are the probable pitchers Friday night in Detroit.---More baseball: ht tps://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Preview: Miami Marlins vs. San Diego Padres - 5/31/2018 - 9:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Miami Marlins vs. San Diego Padres - Date: 5/31/2018 Padres try for series victory vs. Marlins 7m ago. 2 min read SAN DIEGO -- When the Padres opened their homestand Monday, the goal was simple: Win all three series to get back on track at Petco Park.They go into Thursday night's finale of a four-game set with the Miami Marlins needed a win to complete the first stage.The Padres positioned themselves to take three of four from the Marlins by winning Wednesday night's game on a walk-off error by third baseman Miguel Rojas.San Diego sends out right-hander Jordan Lyles (1-1, 3.83 ERA) in the finale against Marlins' lefty Wei-Yin Chen (1-2, 5.22).Lyles, 27, will be making his fifth straight start after opening the season in the Padres bullpen, where he had a 3.66 ERA in 13 appearances totaling 19 2/3 innings. Lyles held the opposition scoreless in 10 of his outings out of the bullpen.As a starter, Lyles i s 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA. In his four starts, Lyles has given up 10 runs on 20 hits and eight walks with 24 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings.The highlight of his season was his second start May 15 against the Rockies at Petco Park. He was perfect for 7 1/3 innings -- the second-longest perfect-game bid in franchise history. In his two starts since, however, Lyles has given up nine runs on 14 hits and six walks with eight strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.Lyles will be making his sixth career appearance and fourth start against the Marlins on Thursday. Free Sports Picks of the Day. Thus far, he has not had great success against Miami, going 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP and a .292 opponents' batting average against the Marlins. He has given up 14 runs on 21 hits and 10 walks with 14 strikeouts in 18 innings.Chen, 32, a 6-foot, 193-pound native of Taiwan, will be making his seventh start of the season for the Marlins afte r starting the year on the disabled list with an elbow strain. He was activated April 28.Chen has worked 29 1/3 innings this season, giving up 17 runs on 27 hits and 14 walks with 20 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP.But Chen's numbers have improved drastically over his last three starts. He has a 1.59 ERA over 17 innings in those starts, giving up 11 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts. Opposing hitters have batted .188 against Chen in those starts with two extra-base hits.However, in his two starts before his recent three-start run, Chen gave up 13 earned runs in seven innings. Best Sports Picks Service. Ten of the 12 hits he gave up went for extra bases. NFL Handicappers. The opposing hitters in those two games batted .400 with four doubles, a triple and five homers for a 1.100 slugging percentage.Chen will be making his second career start against the Pa dres. On June 13, 2016, Chen earned the victory against San Diego, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over six innings. All four runs came on solo homers.Eric Hosmer has two home runs among his seven hits in 23 at-bats versus Chen while Jose Pirela is 6-for-10.

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MLB Game Preview: Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners - 5/31/2018 - 10:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners - Date: 5/31/2018 Rangers' Beltre, Mariners' Gordon hope to return Thursday 8m ago. 2 min read It's not often a team gets to add an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner to its lineup.The Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners hope to do that for the finale of their four-game series Thursday night at Safeco Field.Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (strained left hamstring) and Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon (fractured right big toe) are both eligible to be activated off the 10-day disabled list."Right now, it is a day-to-day proposition with Adrian," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We need to sit down as a staff with Adrian, discuss where he's at, how he feels, how he recovers. Every situation is different. Handicappers Free Picks. To give you a slam-dunk day ... can't do it." T he 39-year-old Beltre, in his 21st major league season, has been sidelined twice this season with a left hamstring injury. Sports Handicapper King. The Rangers have said they likely will give Beltre more days off and more starts at designated hitter."There will be DH days, he will play third base, there will be days off," Banister said. "We'll look at the travel schedule, we'll look at night games after day games, we'll look at his workload within the game." Beltre admitted he isn't looking forward to a reduced workload or serving as the designated hitter."I like to be out there, and I like to compete," Beltre told MLB.com. "I understand I have to be more careful. It's something I have to get used to. We'll try it for the first 10 days or so, and see what happens." Beltre went through an extended workout before Wednesday's game, but wasn't sure if he would be activated Thursday."I just work here," Beltre said. "There are a lot of conversations to be had." Gordon is expected to be activated by the Mariners and return to the leadoff spot. Despite the stint on the DL, he still leads the American League with 16 stolen bases."I think probably (what we've missed most) on the offensive side, we've had trouble creating a lot of rallies and keeping them going," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Dee is a big part of that. Bat-to-ball skills, he's always making contact and creating something. And when he does get on base, it's a whole other dynamic that he brings to our offense." When Gordon was asked Wednesday if he would back for the series finale, he said "I don't know," while emphatically nodding his head in the affirmative.Thursday's game will feature a matchup of veteran left-handers in the Rangers' Mike Minor (4-3, 5.63 ERA) and the Mari ners' Wade LeBlanc (0-0, 2.70).Minor is 1-1 with a 4.12 ERA in six career appearances (three starts) against the Mariners. He's made two starts against Seattle already this season without a decision. He allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-2 loss April 20 in Arlington and six runs in 3 1/3 innings of a 9-8 setback in 11 innings May 15 at Seattle.LeBlanc has faced the Rangers once in his career, making a relief appearance Aug. 19, 2013 while with the Houston Astros. In 2 2/3 innings, LeBlanc gave up five runs (one earned) on five hits in a 16-5 loss.

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MLB Game Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins - 5/31/2018 - 8:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins - Date: 5/31/2018 Indians' Bieber to make debut vs. Number #1 Sports Handicapping Service. Twins 1h ago. 3 min read MINNEAPOLIS -- Nobody particularly enjoys having to go to work on their birthday, but it is doubtful that Shane Bieber will mind being at the office Thursday when he turns 23.The Cleveland Indians plan to call up Bieber from Triple-A Columbus for his first career big league start when the Indians open a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.The Indians' No. 3 prospect has made 10 starts at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season, posting a 5-1 record and 1.10 ERA with 61 strikeouts and only three walks in 65 1/3 innings.He threw a seven-inning no-hitter in his last minor league start and a few days later, he learned he was being called up to the show."I got called in to look at some video of pitchers with changeups, just because we weren't really pounding with our changeups," Bieber told MLB.com. "At the end of the meeting, 1/8Columbus manager Chris 3/8 Tremie walks over and says, 'They didn't tell you? Oh yeah, you're starting in Minnesota on Thursday.'"It was kind of cool, them blindsiding me," Bieber said, smirking. "I was surprised, and it's a fun little story to tell. Now that I'm telling the story I realize that all of the clips happened to be against the Twins." He's already made an impression on Indians manager Terry Francona, who plans to use Bieber's start to give his regular starters an extra day of rest."Every time someone talks about him they just rave about his routine, his work ethic, his strike-throwing ability," Francona said of Bieber's stuff. "But he's not the finished product -- his breaking ball is still a work in progress, b ut he fills in the strike zone, which is a good way to start." The Indians should have Francisco Lindor back in the lineup Thursday. Francona gave him a day off Wednesday against the White Sox after he started each of Cleveland's first 53 games this season.The workload wasn't an issue for the shortstop, who is batting .300 this season, but Francona said he thought it was time for Lindor to take a break."I give the man credit, he takes a lot of pride," Francona said. "I just thought the last few days -- and he ended up getting a couple of hits -- just looked a little tired. It didn't look like his legs were under him as much as they needed to." Minnesota will be playing short-handed again after center fielder Byron Buxton went back on the disabled list Wednesday because of a fractured big toe that still hasn't fully healed. He first suffered the injury April 23 while on rehab assignment from a bout of migraines.Buxton returned May 10 b ut has gone 6-for-49 with two RBIs, two doubles and a stolen base."He's been trying to play through something that's been very problematic, in terms of mechanics, being able to swing properly and all those types of things," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's taken away some of his aggressiveness as a baserunner. If we're going to get going in the right direction, he's going to be part of it. We want to make sure we get him back on track." After losing six of their last seven, the Twins will try to get back on track behind right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.34).He's been the victim of some bad luck lately, posting a 2.63 ERA in five May starts but having only one victory to show for it.Odorizzi took a no-decision his last time out, when he held the Mariners to three runs over 5 1/3 innings.In five career starts against Cleveland, Odorizzi is 1-2 with a 4.63 ERA.

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MLB Game Preview: Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros - 5/31/2018 - 8:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros - Date: 5/31/2018 Back home, Astros brace for surging Red Sox 2h ago. 2 min read HOUSTON -- What had the makings of a terrific road trip turned sour for the Houston Astros when their bullpen blew a pair of ninth-inning leads that resulted in two extra-inning losses and a sudden reversal of the positive momentum the club built heading out to play the Indians and Yankees.With their 5-3 loss at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, the Astros (35-22) closed their seven-game road trip with four losses in five games. Previously, Houston had won 13 of 16 with the losses coming by one run each.The Astros could have maintained that streak had the bullpen not coughed up a five-run, ninth-inning lead in the series finale at Cleveland on Sunday, and a two-run, ninth-inning lead in the middle game of their three-game set against New York on Tuesday."We had some tough games and these are really g ood teams," Astros manager A. J. Hinch said. "Obviously, we fell short of the number of wins we wanted to have on the trip but we'll be excited to go home and continue the schedule. We saw some really good things; we saw some things that we need to address, some close losses that we feel like we should have won, but that's going to happen during the year." The schedule won't ease up for the Astros, who will host the Boston Red Sox for a four-game set at Minute Maid Park beginning on Thursday. Make Money Betting Sports. The Seattle Mariners, in hot pursuit of the Astros and first place in the American League West, will follow Boston for a brief two-game set.Right-hander Lance McCullers (6-3, 3.98 ERA) will start the opener for the Astros. He is 0-1 with a 6.16 ERA over four career starts against the Red Sox. McCullers worked out of the bullpen in Game 3 of the AL Division Series last seaso n, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts over three innings in a 10-3 loss at Fenway Park.Boston will counter with left-hander Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 6.75 ERA) on Thursday. Pomeranz is 2-2 with a 3.69 ERA over 12 career appearances (seven starts) against the Astros, and in his previous start at Minute Maid Park, he allowed four runs on five hits (including two home runs) and one walk with one strikeout over two innings in an 8-2 loss in Game 2 of the 2017 ALDS.The torrid Red Sox (39-17) will enter the series with the best record in baseball, coming off their first series sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park since 2009 following their 6-4 win on Wednesday. Sport Handicapping. The Red Sox have won nine of 11 games, and their record after 56 games matches those of the 2017 Astros and '16 Chicago Cubs, both of which won the World Series.Boston slugger J. D. Martinez, who spent his f irst three seasons with the Astros, bashed his 18th home run on Wednesday to lead the charge for the Mookie Betts-less Red Sox. Martinez has belted 13 homers this month, the most by a Red Sox hitter in May since Hall of Famer Jim Rice produced that same total in 1978 en route to claiming AL Most Valuable Player honors.Betts, second in the majors in fWAR (4.1), missed the entire series against Toronto with tightness in his left side but is expected to return against the Astros.

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NBA Game Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors - 5/31/2018 - 8:08 PM EST

NBA Game Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors - Date: 5/31/2018 May 30, 2018 OAKLAND, Calif. -- LeBron James and Kevin Durant go head-to-head for the third time in seven years while the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors square off for the fourth straight season when the NBA Finals open Thursday night on the court of the defending champions.The Warriors, by virtue of a 58-50 edge in wins during the regular season, will have the home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series.Golden State won its three home games by a total of 50 points in last year's Finals, avenging a dramatic 4-3 loss the previous year with a 4-1 romp past the Cavaliers for its second championship in three seasons.The 2017 Finals mano-a-mano was the first for James and Durant with the Cavaliers and Warriors, respectively. Leading Handicappers. They afforded Durant a s hot at individual revenge for a 2012 championship showdown in which James led Miami to a 4-1 triumph over Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder.James' superior all-around skills were on center stage in the 2012 meeting. He was outscored 30.6 to 28.6 points per game by Durant in the series, but more than made up for it with a series-leading 51 rebounds and 37 assists.Durant, who left Oklahoma City for Golden State on the eve of the 2016-17 season, had a much more well-rounded approach to last year's Finals. He outscored James again (35.2-33.6) while also contributing 41 rebounds and 27 assists to the Warriors' dominance, and at the same time playing a role defensively in James' series-high 21 turnovers.Surely, both rivals, as well as both teams in general, respect each other on the eve of the fourth consecutive showdown."They've got four Hall of Famers on their team," James said of Durant, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. "And I didn't even mention their head coach (Steve Kerr). Handicapper Directory. Their head coach is the one who kind of puts it all together, makes it all flow. When it comes to team sports, that's something that you would hope that you could be a part of." Kerr recalled mentor Gregg Popovich's approach when the San Antonio Spurs encountered James and the Heat in the 2013 Finals."The Spurs were going underneath on every screen just daring him to shoot," Kerr said. "Contrast that to now where he's shooting fadeaway threes from 30 feet to close games out. It is pretty remarkable when you've got a guy who is already considered one of the top few players ever to play the game can make that much improvement late in his career." The Warriors and Cavaliers met twice in the regular season, but it might not be wise to read too much into the results.For one thing, the games came within a 21-day span in the first half of the season, with Golden State winning both.But, perhaps more significantly, both teams' road to the Finals were paved with impressive wins over rivals that had held a regular-season advantage.The Cavaliers, seeded just fourth in the Eastern Conference, had been thumped by 34 points in their only regular-season visit to top-seeded Toronto. But in the playoffs, Cleveland used consecutive wins in Canada to begin a shockingly easy four-game sweep in the Eastern semifinals.That earlier loss at Toronto, by the way, came just four days before Golden State's win at Cleveland in January, at a time when the Cavaliers were mapping in-season changes.The Warriors, meanwhile, lost two of three to Houston in the regular season and were relegated to second seeding behind the Rockets in the Western finals, before winning twice in Texas -- including Game 7 on Monday -- to eke out a narrow advancement.Golden State will be seeing Cleveland for the first time since the Cavaliers jettisoned almost half their roster at the trade deadline in order to bring in four Western imports -- George Hill from Sacramento, Rodney Hood from Utah and Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers.Only Hill played a significant role in Cleveland's seven-game dismissal of Boston in the Eastern finals, but it should be noted that three of the four enjoyed a measure of success against Golden State for their previous teams.Hill contributed 16 points to arguably Sacramento's most impressive win of the season, a 110-106 triumph at Golden State in November; Clarkson burned the Warriors for 21 points two days later for the Lakers; and Hood bombed in 26 for Utah in his only meeting with Golden State this season.

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MLB Game Preview: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - 5/31/2018 - 7:35 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - Date: 5/31/2018 Dodgers' ace Kershaw returns versus Phillies 4m ago. 2 min read LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw will not get any breaks in his return from nearly a month away with left biceps tendonitis.The Los Angeles Dodgers' staff ace will be back in action Thursday and will have to face off with Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola, who has already pitched five times in May and has given up one earned run or fewer in four of those outings."Kershaw, Noles, getaway day in Los Angeles, that's kind of cool," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, according to MLB.com. "I had a couple people text me, 'Hey, I'm coming to the game on Thursday.' I'm like, 'Awesome, you get to see Nola vs. Kershaw.'"Kershaw's start to the season was a mixed bag as he did not look as sharp as usual but he posted a 2.86 ERA ov er seven starts. Yet despite the limited runs allowed, the Dodgers were 2-5 in Kershaw's starts and the left-hander himself was 1-4.In trying to predict how Kershaw might perform Thursday after his month-long layoff, he went six scoreless innings against the Padres last year after missing five weeks with lower back tightness. And in 2016, he gave up two runs in three innings while throwing 66 pitches after missing more than two months with a back issue."Being on the DL is no fun," Kershaw said. "I'm thankful it wasn't too incredibly long. ... You don't feel a part of the team a whole lot when you're on the DL. It'll feel good to be out there and hopefully help a little bit." Kershaw is 3-5 lifetime against the Phillies with a 3.16 ERA in 12 starts.Even without Corey Seager, who is lost for the season after Tommy John surgery, the May version of the Dodgers' offense has improved on the one that was not helping Kershaw all that m uch in the early going.Yet it will be a challenge to get anything going against Nola, who is in line for National League Pitcher of the Month honors if he throws another gem against the Dodgers.Nola has allowed only one run in starts against the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays this month. He began May with a scoreless outing against the Miami Marlins. Only the St, Louis Cardinals got to him May 20 as he gave up four runs over six innings and took his only loss since April 16.In his only career start against the Dodgers last season, Nola gave up two runs on five hIts over seven innings and picked up the victory.Adding to the issues for both offenses is a 4:30 p.m. local start, when shadows are expected to be stretched across the field in the early innings.The Dodgers are 6-3 on their season-long 10-day homestand that concludes Thursday. Professional Sports Handicappers. They w ill head on a six-game road trip to Colorado and Pittsburgh.The Phillies are 1-2 on their 10-game, 11-day trip to L. A., San Francisco and Chicago to face the Cubs.

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MLB Game Preview: Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves - 5/31/2018 - 7:35 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves - Date: 5/31/2018 Nationals, Braves set for NL East showdown 2h ago. 2 min read The streaking Washington Nationals will look to put some distance between themselves and the Braves in the National League East when the two front-running clubs open a four-game series Thursday at SunTrust Park in Atlanta.The Nationals (32-22) have won six straight games and took over first place by a half-game when they beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 on Wednesday. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The Braves (32-23) are 4-6 over their last 10 games and dropped a 4-1 decision to the New York Mets on Wednesday night."It'll be fun," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "It's always tough games when you play that team. Sports Handicapper Scams. They 9;ll have somebody on the mound that's good and you know about their offense. It's going to be tough games." The clubs haven't met since early April. Washington took two of three in Atlanta, but the Braves won two of three games at Nationals Park a week later.The Nationals will start right-hander Tanner Roark (2-4, 3.17 ERA) against Atlanta left-hander Sean Newcomb (5-1, 2.75).Roark will be making his 11th start and has pitched six innings in nine of them. He's given the Nationals seven innings in his last three starts. Roark picked up a win in his last start Saturday when he limited the Marlins to one run over seven innings. It was the eighth start in which he's allowed three or fewer runs.Roark beat the Braves -- and Newcomb -- on April 2, an 8-1 Washington win. He gave up one run on four hits in seven innings. In his career against Atlanta, Roark is 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 20 games (14 starts).Newcomb will try to bounce back from his last start, wh en he gave up three runs in three innings -- his shortest outing of the season -- and left after allowing six hits and four walks. He did not receive a decision. Newcomb is 0-2 with a 9.72 ERA in two career starts against Washington.The Braves will need to deal with Washington right fielder Bryce Harper, who hit his league-leading 18th homer on Wednesday. Harper has homered in three of the last four games and is 4-for-9 in the past two contests after a 3-for-20 stretch in his previous five games.Harper has been a nemesis for Atlanta since he broke into the league. In 100 career games against the Braves, he's hitting .282 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs. He has two homers in six games against the Braves this season.The Nationals said outfielder Adam Eaton is on track to return to the club possibly as soon as June 8, when he is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list. He will begin a rehab stint with Double-A Harrisburg on Friday. Eaton had surgery May 10 to relieve pain in his ankle.The Nationals must determine how to utilize Eaton in their crowded outfield."We haven't really thought about it yet, just because he's not back," Washington manager Dave Martinez said. "But as it gets closer we'll start playing around with it a little bit and see what's best for us." The Braves made a roster move Wednesday. Best Free Sports Picks. They promoted right-handed reliever Miguel Socolovich from Triple-A Gwinnett and sent right-hander Matt Wisler back to the Stripers. It will be the third trip to the major league roster for Socolovich.

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MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St Louis Cardinals - 5/31/2018 - 7:15 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St Louis Cardinals - Date: 5/31/2018 Cardinals, Pirates stalled entering 4-game series 2h ago. 2 min read When St. Louis and Pittsburgh opened a series last weekend, the Cardinals were in third place in the National League Central, the Pirates in second.As the teams launch into a four-game series Thursday, this time switching venues to Busch Stadium, things have changed. St. Louis (29-24) has dropped to third, Pittsburgh (29-26) to fourth.Neither club has taken great advantage of a stretch of games against other contenders in the division.The Cardinals took two of three in Pittsburgh, but then dropped two of three at first-place Milwaukee, including a 3-2 loss Wednesday when they blew a one-run lead in the seventh."We had a momentum shift, and then we had to change gears," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "When you don't win games like this, they come back to haunt yo u." The Pirates broke a four-game losing streak Wednesday with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, but they still have lost nine of 12 games and dropped back-to-back series against divisional rivals during a six-game homestand."You need the (win), but you've got to go meet the demands of the game," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's a lot of people who want to win. You've got to play to win. You've got to figure out how to win."Strong win for us." The pitching matchup in the series opener Thursday -- St. Louis right-hander Jack Flaherty (2-1, 2.15 ERA) against Pittsburgh righty Trevor Williams (5-3, 3.43 ERA) -- will be a rematch from Saturday, a 4-1 Cardinals win.Flaherty, 22, won his second straight start in that game, going 5 2/3 scoreless innings after giving up a first-inning homer to Starling Marte.Perhaps more important, Flaherty made a case to remain in the St. Louis rotation with Alex Reyes (who was pulled after four innings during Wednesday's loss to the Brewers) just back from the disabled list and Carlos Martinez due back soon."He didn't necessarily need to show us anything," Matheny said of Flaherty's win over Pittsburgh. "We knew he could pitch. ... He's making the right moves in the right direction." Flaherty has held opponents to three earned runs over his past 19 1/3 innings since he replaced another injured starter, Adam Wainwright."It's good to get in a routine and stay in a groove, and help the ball club win every five days," Flaherty said.Williams gave up four runs and seven hits in just four innings Saturday."I think I just had too much plate with all my pitches," Williams said. "We were going for the edges and stuff was leaking out over the plate. ... It was one of those days where my stuff had to be on and, unfortunately, it wasn't." Williams has given up 15 earned runs over his most recent fiv e starts, and his May ERA is 4.88, with six home runs hit against him."He'll bounce back fine," Hurdle said. "This is just part of a major league season." Williams is 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA in five road starts. He is 2-3 with a 7.16 ERA in eight appearances (five starts) against the Cardinals.

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MLB Game Preview: Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets - 5/31/2018 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets - Date: 5/31/2018 Mets try to stretch it with Lugo vs. Cubs 1h ago. 2 min read NEW YORK -- The New York Mets are planning for a short outing from starter Seth Lugo on Thursday night. Top Rated Sports Services. The Chicago Cubs are probably doing the same, but not feeling nearly as matter-of-fact about itwith Jose Quintana.The bullpens could be busy Thursday night when the Mets host the Cubs in the opener of a four-game series at Citi Field.Both teams played Wednesday night as the Mets beat the host Atlanta Braves 4-1 and the visiting Cubs fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1.Lugo (1-1, 2.48 ERA), whose first 20 appearances this season came as a reliever, is scheduled to make his first start of 2018 when he takes the mound against Quintana (5-4, 4.78).The start will continue an unusual week for Lugo, who last pitched Monday whe n he took the loss after allowing three runs in 1 1/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Braves 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader. Handicappers Free Picks. The runs were the first allowed in 11 appearances this month by Lugo, who squandered the lead for Jacob deGrom in the eighth before the Mets regained the lead in the top of the ninth.Instead of going to closer Jeurys Familia, manager Mickey Callaway stayed with Lugo, who issued a leadoff walk to Johan Camargo and gave up the one-out, walk-off two-run homer to Charlie Culberson.On Tuesday, Lugo learned he would move into the rotation in place of ace right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained ligament in his right index finger. Lugo, who is expected to be limited to between 50 and 60 pitches in his first start since Sept. 30, said he will apply the aggressiveness he's learned in the bullpen."That's som ething that's been working for me this year and I'm going to stick with it," Lugo told reporters Tuesday. "I just want to make my best pitches." Making his best pitches has been a challenge this season for Quintana, who took the loss in his most recent start Saturday after giving up four runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Cubs fell to the San Francisco Giants 5-4. It was the third time in five starts this month in which Quintana did not complete five innings.Quintana allowed one hit over seven scoreless innings on May 19 against Cincinnati and appeared headed for another strong start Saturday, when he when he struck out six batters over the first three scoreless innings. But Quintana allowed four of the next eight batters he faced to reach base before manager Joe Maddon finally pulled him."I wanted to get one or two more innings," Quintana told reporters afterward. "It was a tough game. I respect his decision." Lugo is 0-1 with a 9.00 E RA in three games (one start) against the Cubs. Quintana is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against the Mets.

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MLB Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles - 5/31/2018 - 7:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles - Date: 5/31/2018 Yankees take momentum into Baltimore 2h ago. 2 min read BALTIMORE -- The New York Yankees are coming to Baltimore to start a four-game series Thursday night after a strong performance against the World Series champion Houston Astros.New York took two of three from Houston, including a 5-3 victory in the series finale Wednesday.The Yankees scored 11 runs in the last two games of the series and won Tuesday night despite making five errors.In Wednesday's game, struggling Giancarlo Stanton went 1-for-2 and told the New York Post that he's not going to make any monster changes in his swing.He is hitting .248 with 11 homers and 29 RBIs but hasn't yet found the right kind of consistency."It's too much of an adjustment to make in the middle of a season," Stanton told the paper. "To reverse everything now wouldn't be good. Not with all the other news things around and new surroundings." Sonny Gray (3-4, 5.98 ERA) will start for the Yankees against Baltimore's Andrew Cashner (2-6, 5.07 ERA) in Thursday's series opener.Gray is 2-3 in his last five starts and inconsistent at times during the first part of 2018. During his career, the right-hander has a 3-4 record against the Orioles with a 5.15 ERA.New York (35-17) comes into the series two games behind Boston in the American League East battle for first place.Cashner also has been up and down this year, his first since Baltimore signed him in the offseason. He is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his career versus New York.His biggest problem so far has been the home runs, having allowed 11 in his first 11 starts. Best Sports Picks Service. The ball does fly out of Camden Yards when the weather gets warm, so that's an issue Cashner will have to deal with but now, the Orioles need as much good pitching as they can get.The reason for that is their offense just is not getting the job done. Sports Handicapper Leads. That's a big reason the team has now dropped five straight games.Baltimore has scored six runs during the slide and the lineup was hurt again Wednesday with Danny Valencia leaving for a few days to go on paternity leave.One of the biggest things that could help the Orioles would be the return of closer Zach Britton. He's missed the whole season after tearing his Achilles tendon in the offseason and then having surgery.Britton made his first rehab appearance Wednesday, pitching in Class A ball and doing well and moving closer to a return."It was a lot further ahead than it would normally be traditionally in spring, for the first outing," he told The Baltimore Sun. "This was more like a back-end-of-spring game where you're pretty close to starting the season." T he Orioles will be facing a number of questions regarding players such as Britton, Manny Machado, Adam Jones and others in the weeks ahead as the trade deadline draws closer -- who to keep and who to let go.The team had said Memorial Day would be the point where they wouldn't even think about making moves until. But now the team is past that, with a record of 17-39, and slowly going downhill.

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MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics - 5/31/2018 - 3:35 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics - Date: 5/31/2018 Davis, A's look to avoid sweep vs. Rays 12m ago. 2 min read OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics expect home run leader Khris Davis back in the lineup Thursday afternoon when they try to snap a three-game losing streak and salvage the finale of a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.The A's have struggled offensively on their 10-game homestand that came on the heels of a four-game sweep at Toronto.Davis suffered a strained groin in the finale at Toronto, and the A's have totaled 15 runs in the nine games since he went on the disabled list.The slump has reached its low point in the three losses to Tampa Bay, which hadn't recorded a shutout this season before blanking the A's 1-0 in 13 innings on Monday and 6-0 on a combined one-hitter Wednesday.The A's have totaled five home runs on the homestand, all solo shots. Sports Handicapping Service Leads. They haven't hit one since Sunday against Arizona.Davis has 13 home runs. He belted four on Oakland's 10-game trip to New York, Boston and Toronto, when the team scored 60 runs and won seven times."We're struggling, and it gets contagious," A's manager Bob Melvin said after Wednesday's loss. "We'll get K. D. (Davis) back (Thursday). Best Sports Handicappers Free Picks. That's a nice boost for us." The A's also were without shortstop Marcus Semien in Wednesday's loss. He stepped away from the team on a paternity leave and won't play in the series finale, either.Chad Pinder, who had two of Oakland's four errors in the 6-0 defeat, likely will get a second consecutive start Thursday.The A's will send right-hander Daniel Mengden (5-4, 2.85) to the mound in search of a four th consecutive win.He's coming off a 3-0, complete-game victory over Arizona on Saturday, increasing his string of consecutive scoreless innings to 17.Mengden has never faced Tampa Bay.The 25-year-old will be opposed by right-hander Ryne Stanek (1-0, 3.24) in what could be another parade of pitchers for the Rays.They have used 12 pitchers in the three-game series in Oakland despite having allowed only three runs.Remarkably, the pitchers have included a guy who recorded his first save since 2011 (Jonny Venters), a guy who pitched consecutive days in relief after having started two of the previous three days (Sergio Romo), a guy who faced three batters and struck them all out in his major-league debut (Jaime Schultz), and a guy who threw six no-hit innings in his first start since 2016, having undergone two elbow surgeries in the meantime (Nathan Eovaldi).Eovaldi walked one while throwing 70 pitches in Wednesday's victory."It felt great being out there," Eova ldi told the Tampa Bay Tribune. "I was so focused on getting that first out I think after I got it after emotions kind of got to me I was a little nervous out there I walked 1/8No. 2 hitter Matt Chapman 3/8 on four straight and then I was able to regroup and settle back down." Stanek got the win in Monday's 1-0, 13-inning victory with 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief.He's made one previous start this season, facing five batters and retiring them all in a 5-1 victory over Baltimore on Saturday.Stanek has faced the A's twice in his career, both times in relief, and has a 1-0 record despite a 7.36 ERA.The Rays will be going for a sixth straight win. Make Money Betting Sports. They also had a six-game streak from May 14-19, giving them 12 wins in their last 16 contests.

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MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers - 5/31/2018 - 1:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers - Date: 5/31/2018 Rotation in tatters as Tigers wrap up series vs. Angels 2h ago. 2 min read Under normal circumstances, Francisco Liriano would take the mound for the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon.There's nothing normal right now regarding the Tigers' rotation. Liriano was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday night with a sore right hamstring. Another rotation member, Jordan Zimmermann, was already on the DL with a shoulder issue. A potential starter, Daniel Norris, is on the 60-day DL with a groin injury.Ryan Carpenter was called up from Triple-A Toledo and will start the finale of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Carpenter, a 27-year-old rookie, has made two spot starts for the Tigers this season with little success but options are limited due to Liriano's injury."He had a sore hammy after his last start," Detroit manage r Ron Gardenhire said of Liriano. "He thought he was getting better and obviously, he's not getting better. He's having a hard time with it, so we put him on the DL and let him get well. Sports Handicapping Service Winning Streaks. That's all we can do." Liriano (3-2, 3.90 ERA) gave up a season-high three homers to the Chicago White Sox in his last outing but has generally been solid in his first season with the Tigers."He's had a history of leg problems, as violent as he is with his windup and coming off of it, but he's always been able to (get) through it," Gardenhire said. "This time, he's pretty sore,"Carpenter's last major league appearance was May 16, when he gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits in five innings against Cleveland. His last two outings for the Mud Hens were at opposite ends of the spectrum. Columbus hammered him for nine runs on 14 hits in just three innings on May 21, but Carpenter (0-1, 8.31 ERA with Detroit) bounced back to limit Norfolk to one unearned run in six innings on May 26.Another left-hander, Andrew Heaney (3-2, 3.09 ERA), will start for the Angels. He's coming off one of his best outings this season, holding the New York Yankees to one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings on May 25."It's a good feeling to give the team a chance to win," Heaney told MLB.com after that start. "Obviously, we didn't come out on the right side, but I kept us in it and that's all they can ask for, that's all I can ask for." Heaney will be making his first appearance against the Tigers. He'll try to cool off right fielder Nicholas Castellanos, who has at least one hit in nine of his last 10 games and six multi-hit games in that span. Castellanos smacked three hits in Detroit's 6-1 victory on Wednesday night.Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons has also been red-hot a t the plate. He carries an eight-game hitting streak into Thursday's matinee.Simmons is batting .333 to complement his usual Gold Glove defense. He made a diving catch to rob Victor Martinez of a hit on Wednesday."Whether he gets picked or not, he's an All-Star," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com. "I think he's been an All-Star for a number of years." Angels third baseman Zack Cozart was out of Wednesday's lineup due to left forearm tightness. Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias left the game after the sixth inning with a right hip contusion.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (8) - 5/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Philadelphia Phillies (2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (8) - Date: 5/30/2018 Stripling, Kemp lead Dodgers to 8-2 win over Phillies7m ago. 3 min read LOS ANGELES Ross Stripling struck out nine over seven strong innings, Matt Kemp homered and drove in four runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 on Wednesday night.Stripling did not even join the Dodgers' rotation until April 30 as he worked out of the bullpen for the first month of the season. His place among the Dodgers' starters seems secure now with 28 strikeouts and two earned runs allowed over his last three outings.Stripling (3-1), who gave up a run and four hits, has won each of his last three starts and lowered his ERA as a starter to 2.18, with a 1.68 mark overall.Kemp had an RBI double in the first inning, a two-run home run in the third and a sacrifice fly in the eighth as he recorded his team-leading 16th multi-hit game a nd second in two nights. His two hits moved him into the National League lead with a .345 batting average.Phillies starter Zach Eflin (1-2) lasted just four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits. Nick Williams homered for Philadelphia, his sixth of the season and second in two games.Max Muncy also hit a home run for the Dodgers, his seventh, just two batters before Kemp also went deep against Eflin.The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw, coming off the disabled list, to the mound Thursday as they attempt to win their fourth consecutive series. Winning Sports Picks Who You Should Follow. The Dodgers had not won more than two consecutive series before this current run.Kershaw is making his first start in nearly a month after being sidelined with left biceps tendonitis.Stripling got his chance to start after a bevy of injuries in the rotation. In addition to Kershaw, Rich Hill (blister), Hyun-Jin Ryu (groin) and Kenta Maeda (hip) are all currently on the DL.Stripling gave up four runs over four innings in a start at Arizona on April 30, but since then he has not given up more than two earned runs in any outing. He even helped himself on offense in this game, delivering an RBI single in the fifth inning. It was just his second career RBI after also recording one in 2016.The Dodgers have won five of their last six games against the Phillies at Dodger Stadium, going back to April of last season. Since the start of 2015, the Dodgers have won 10 of 13 against the Phillies in Los Angeles.Cody Bellinger had two hits for the Dodgers, his first multi-hit game since May 8.TRAINER'S ROOMPhillies: A further examination on the jaw of OF Rhys Hoskins revealed a fracture, after he was hit in the face by his own foul ball Monday. Hoskins is expected to go on the DL. ... Pedro Florimon, who was placed on the DL with a fracture in his left foot, will need to undergo a surgical procedure, manager Gabe Kapler said.Dodgers: LHP Hill participated in his second simulated game since Saturday, pitching three innings with a protective covering over the blister on his left middle finger. Football Tipsters. There remains no timetable for Hill's return. ... A day after leaving his outing in the second inning, RHP Maeda was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a mild hip strain. ... INF Chase Utley also went on the 10-day disabled list with a left thumb sprain.ROSTER SHUFFLEWith Maeda and Utley each going on the disabled list, the Dodgers recalled RHP Dennis Santana and ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte. It is Santana's first time on a major league roster. He will be available out of the bullpen for now, but could start in the upcoming weekend series at Colorado.The Phillies also added to their roster, recalling infielder Mitch Walding. He replaced Florimon, who fractured his foot in Tuesday's game.UP NEX TLHP Kershaw (1-4, 2.86 ERA) is expected to return from the disabled list and start in the series finale. RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.27), who has given up one earned run of less in four of his five May starts, is set to make his second career start against the Dodgers.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Texas Rangers (7) vs. Seattle Mariners (6) - 5/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Texas Rangers (7) vs. Seattle Mariners (6) - Date: 5/30/2018 Chirinos' two-run single completes Rangers' rally in 7-6 win7m ago. 4 min read SEATTLE Robinson Chirinos' tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning capped another late-inning rally, and the Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 7-6 on Wednesday night.The Rangers did damage in back-to-back nights against a wild and ineffective Seattle bullpen, which surrendered five runs in the sixth and seventh innings.Delino DeShields (walk) and Shin-Soo Choo (single) reached base for Texas to open the seventh against right-hander Ryan Cook.Two batters later, Nomar Mazara greeted left-hander Marc Rzepczynski with a sharp two-run single to center field to tie the game at 5-all. Rzepczynski (0-1) walked Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo before he was pulled.Against Juan Nicasio, Seattle's third pitcher of the inning, Chirinos lined a hit off Ryon H ealy's glove at first base, easily scoring the go-ahead runs.A night after walking eight Rangers hitters, Seattle pitchers issued seven walks Wednesday night.It was the Rangers' first back-to-back wins on the road since taking the first two games of a series in Toronto, April 27-28. Right-hander Tony Barnette (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in relief of Matt Moore. Keone Kela earned his 12th save, giving up an RBI single in the ninth to Nelson Cruz.KELA SETTLING IN AS CLOSERKela, who graduated from nearby Chief Sealth High School in Seattle, had registered four consecutive scoreless outings in the past week before Wednesday. He has become the team's primary ninth-inning option.''I had to grow into it,'' Kela said. ''I've always enjoyed pitching in high-pressure situations - the defining moments.'' Fellow relievers rave about Kela's explosive fastball and dancing curveball.''His heater, I feel like jumps . or hops,'' Texas left-hander Jake Diekman said. ''His curveball is 12-6 (in direction) and super hard. He's always had a killer instinct.'' Kela was drafted in the 29th round by his hometown Mariners in 2011, but did not sign. Instead, he spent one season at Everett Community College before the Rangers drafted him in the 12th round a year later.''I like coming to Seattle, but I don't ever get to be here during the times I enjoy it,'' said Kela, whose mother and sister still live in the area. ''The best time is when I am playing ball, so I don't get to enjoy the city as much as I'd like to.'' FIRST BASE FOR GAMEL?After the Mariners acquired left fielder Denard Span in a trade with Tampa Bay on Friday, manager Scott Servais noted that outfielder Ben Gamel could see action at first base with Healy.Gamel played one game at first base last season.''I took a lot of early work there last year,' 9; Gamel said. ''But nothing this year. It is something I obviously need to get work in at.'' As the fourth outfielder, Gamel said he is willing to try anything to stay in the lineup.ROSTER RESHUFFLERangers: To clear room for Moore on Wednesday, the team optioned Austin Bibens-Dirkx to Triple-A Round Rock. . Despite being 8 for 22 (.364) in his past five games and hitting a bases-clearing double in the ninth inning Tuesday, second baseman Rougned Odor was out of the starting lineup Wednesday. Manager Kevin Banister said it was just a planned rest day.Mariners: After taking his second loss Tuesday, closer Edwin Diaz was unavailable to pitch Wednesday. He has pitched in six of the team's past eight games. Recently acquired Alex Colome would have pitched in a save situation, Servais said.TRAINER'S ROOMRangers: Third-baseman Adrian Beltre (hamstring) took extended batting practice and running sprints Wednesday, as well as fielding ground balls as he gets closer to coming off the 10-day disabled list. Banister would not give a definitive date on when he would return to the lineup. Beltre did disclose that the plan once he's back is in the first few weeks, he would play one game in the field, then serve as the designated hitter or take the next day off. ''It makes sense,'' Beltre said. ''The last couple of times I got injured were in day games (after a night game).'' Mariners: Backup catcher Chris Herrmann tweaked his rib cage during batting practice Tuesday, and was placed on the 10-day DL an hour before first pitch Wednesday. David Freitas, who was in Triple-A Tacoma, was already with the team, just in case a move was made. . Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder) had his batting-practice throwing session delayed yet another day Wednesday with a stiff neck.UP NEXTRangers: Left-hander Mike Minor (4-3, 5.63 ERA) has a team-high four wins. And even though he has had an awful May (2-2, 6.91 E RA this month), he won his last start in Kansas City on Friday. He has two no-decisions already against the Mariners this season.Mariners: What a roll left-hander Wade LeBlanc (0-0, 2.70 ERA) has been on since he joined the rotation. In his five starts, he has given up just five runs in 26 1/3 innings pitched (1.71 ERA). NHL Handicappers. The most he's given up in any start is two runs. Baseball Picks. This will be his first career start against Texas.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (6) vs. Oakland Athletics (0) - 5/30/2018

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (6) vs. Oakland Athletics (0) - Date: 5/30/2018 Rays' Eovaldi stellar in return from Tommy John surgery8m ago. 2 min read OAKLAND, Calif. Nathan Eovaldi pitched six innings of no-hit ball in his return to the majors following a second Tommy John surgery, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.Eovaldi (1-0) faced one over the minimum through six innings in his Tampa Bay debut. He threw 70 pitches and had four strikeouts. Free Guaranteed Sports Picks. The only runner to reach base against him was Matt Chapman, who drew a one-out walk in the first.Wilmer Font, acquired by the Rays from the A's last Friday, gave up Jed Lowrie's one-out single in the seventh for Oakland's only hit of the game. Vidal Nuno got the last three outs to finish the one-hitter.Rob Refsnyder hit a three -run home run off A's starter Sean Manaea (5-6), and Johnny Field also homered for the Rays.The game drew an announced crowd of 6,295, the smallest at the Coliseum since April 3, 2003.Eovaldi last pitched in the majors on Aug. 10, 2016, for the Yankees. Nine days later, he underwent a second elbow surgery. Eovaldi also had Tommy John surgery in 2007 when he was a junior in high school.The 28-year-old missed the first month of this season after undergoing surgery March 30 to remove loose bodies in his elbow. Eovaldi made four rehab starts in the minors before being activated off the disabled list prior to Wednesday's game.Eovaldi, the 12th pitcher in major league history to start in the majors after having two Tommy John surgeries, induced seven groundouts and retired the final 17 batters he faced following the walk to Chapman.Font then came in and retired Matt Chapman on a liner to shortstop in the seventh before Lowrie pushed a single up the middle.Nuno replaced Fon t in the ninth and gave up a leadoff walk to Chad Pinder then retired the next three batters.That was all the offense the A's could muster while being shut out by the Rays for the second time in three games.Oakland went into the game batting .216 in May, the second-lowest average in the majors.TRAINER'S ROOMAthletics: INF Marcus Semien was placed on the paternity leave list before the game. Chad Pinder started at shortstop in Semien's absence. RHP Josh Lucas was called up from Triple-A Nashville. ... RHP Liam Hendriks began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville.UP NEXTTampa Bay RHP Ryne Stanek (1-0, 3.24 ERA) will make his second career start, three days after getting a win coming out of the bullpen. RHP Daniel Mengden (5-4, 2.85) goes for Oakland.---More baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball