Wednesday, July 31, 2019

MLB Game Recap: Milwaukee Brewers (4) vs. Oakland Athletics (2) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Milwaukee Brewers (4) vs. Oakland Athletics (2) - Date: 7/31/2019 Cain gets Brewers off to fast start in 4-2 win over A'sOAKLAND, Calif. Lorenzo Cain hit a leadoff homer and Jordan Lyles pitched well in his Milwaukee debut to win for the first time in more than two months as the Brewers beat the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Wednesday night.Christian Yelich added an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, matching a career high. Orlando Arcia singled twice and scored.Jurickon Profar had two hits and an RBI for Oakland.Hours after completing a pair of trades that sent slumping slugger Jesus Aguilar to Tampa Bay and added lefty Drew Pomeranz to Milwaukee's bullpen, the Brewers grabbed an early lead against A's starter Brett Anderson and held on behind Lyles and four relievers.Acquired from Pittsburgh on Monday for pitching prospect Cody Ponce, Lyles (6-7) tossed three-hit ball over five innings. He worked out of an early jam in the second, allowed a run in the third and then retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced. Free Sports Picks Daily. The right-hander struck out four and walked two.Lyles was a reliever for the NL Central champion Brewers late last year, going 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 appearances. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The win was his first since May 23.Matt Albers, Jeremy Jeffress and Junior Guerra each pitched a scoreless inning. Josh Hader allowed a two-out single to Profar in the ninth, then got Marcus Semien to pop up for his 24th save.Cain homered on Anderson's second pitch. Yelich doubled home Arcia in the third, and Mike Moustakas hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth to make it 3-1.Anderson (9-7) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings.NOT BAD FOR AN MVPYelich is batting .370 with five home runs and 14 RBIs during his 18-game hitting streak.DEALING AT THE DEADLINEAs expected, both teams made moves to bolster their pitching staffs before the trade deadline Wednesday afternoon.Oakland landed starter Tanner Roark from Cincinnati in a deal that sent outfield prospect Jameson Hannah to the Reds. Roark is likely to start Sunday against St. Louis.BRAUN TO FIRST?The Brewers are toying with the idea of using outfielder Ryan Braun at first base to fill in now that Aguilar is gone, although Eric Thames will continue to get the bulk of the playing time there. Braun played a handful of games at first base in spring training 2018. ''It's not going to happen overnight,'' manager Craig Counsell said. ''It's not a perfect fit, necessarily. Soccer Tipsters. The Braun at first base thing is something we'll work on, but we're not going to see it this weekend.'' TRAINER'S ROOMBrewers: Gio Gonzalez avoided the injured list and will throw a bullpen Thursday morning. If all goes well, the left-hander will start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Gonzalez left his previous outing last Friday against the Cubs with tightness in his pitching shoulder.Athletics: Sean Manaea struck out eight in six innings of a rehab start with Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday night. The lefty is likely to get one more rehab start before being activated. He had shoulder surgery last September. .. CF Ramon Laureano was placed on the injured list with a stress reaction in his right calf. ... A's catcher Josh Phegley also went on the IL, retroactive to Monday, with a bruised left thumb.UP NEXTRHP Homer Bailey (8-7, 5.42 ERA) has won two of his three starts for Oakland since being acquired in a trade from Kansas City on July 14. RHP Chase Anderson (5-2, 3.89) makes his 17th start this season for Milwaukee.---More MLB:?https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and?https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (4) vs. Chicago White Sox (2) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: New York Mets (4) vs. Chicago White Sox (2) - Date: 7/31/2019 Mets score 3 in 9th, beat White Sox 4-2 for 6th straight winCHICAGO Todd Frazier hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning, Michael Conforto added a two-run single and the New York Mets beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 Wednesday night for their season-best sixth straight victory.Mets ace Jacob deGrom struck out 11 in a tight pitching duel with Lucas Giolito. Both 2019 All-Stars allowed just one run in seven innings.After winning for the 12th time in 16 games, New York (52-55) has its longest winning streak since a nine-game run in early April 2018. Sports Predictions. The latest victory came only hours after the front office decided to hang onto potential trade candidates Frazier, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Edwin Diaz at the deadline.Justin Wilson (2-1) pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to get the win. Diaz gave up a solo homer to Leury Garcia but got three outs for his 24th save in 29 chances.White Sox closer Alex Colome (3-2) took the loss. Chicago has dropped seven of eight.With the score tied at 1, Wilson Ramos led off the Mets ninth and reached on an error by shortstop Tim Anderson. Ramos advanced to second on a single by J. D. Davis before pinch-runner Aaron Altherr scored easily on a single to right field by Frazier.Colome struck out Amed Rosario before walking Adeiny Hechavarria to load the bases. Jeff McNeil also struck out, but Conforto lined a single into right to make it 4-1. All three runs in the inning were unearned.DeGrom gave up five hits in the 39th double-digit strikeout game of his career.Giolito allowed just three hits after being roughed up for seven runs on seven hits last week against Minnesota. Giolito, though, went winless in five July starts.Chicago took advantage of rare control problems by deGrom to go ahead 1-0 in the third. After Yolmer Sanchez and Garcia had back-to-back singles with one out, Ryan Goins drew a walk to load the bases. Jose Abreu drove in Sanchez with a sacrifice fly.The Mets scratched out a run against Giolito in the sixth to tie it. Conforto led off with a walk and one out later advanced to third on a single by Robinson Cano. Ramos followed with a slow grounder to third and Conforto slid headfirst - touching the back of the plate with his left hand - to avoid the tag of catcher James McCann.DEADLINE DEALThe White Sox acquired minor league right-handers Ray Castro and Joseph Jarneski from the Texas Rangers for RHP Nate Jones, international signing bonus pool money and cash. Jones is out for the year following surgery on his right forearm.TRAINER'S ROOMMets: Frazier was the DH after getting spiked on the right leg Tuesday.White Sox: 3B Yoan Moncada is headed to the 10-day injured list with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain. He left Tuesday's series opener a fter fielding a grounder to end the top of the first. ''I started feeling some discomfort during BP when I was taking ground balls,'' he said through a translator. ''But it wasn't like a big deal and I thought it would be fine for the game, but that first play I felt it.'' UP NEXTWheeler (7-6, 4.71 ERA) faces White Sox rookie Dylan Cease (1-3, 6.86) in the finale of the three-game series Thursday afternoon. Wheeler beat the Pirates last time out after returning from the injured list. Cease dropped his third straight start last Friday against Minnesota.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Seattle Mariners (7) vs. Texas Rangers (9) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Seattle Mariners (7) vs. Texas Rangers (9) - Date: 7/31/2019 Minor stays with Rangers and stops Mariners' win streak, 9-7ARLINGTON, Texas All-Star lefty Mike Minor won for the first time in more than a month, with the Texas Rangers going ahead to stay after he had thrown his last pitch in a 9-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.After weeks of speculation that Minor could be traded, the deadline passed earlier in the day with him still in Texas. He trailed 5-3 when he left the mound after the top of the fifth, but Willie Calhoun's three-run homer in the bottom of the inning put the Rangers in front before they went to the bullpen.Austin Nola and Keon Broxton homered for the Mariners, who saw the end of a six-game winning streak that had matched their longest of the season.Minor (9-6) needed 103 pitches to get through five innings for his first win since June 26. He had five strikeouts wh ile matching a season high in allowing 11 baserunners (seven hits, three walks and a hit batter). Minor, signed with Texas through the 2020 season, was 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his previous four starts.Jesse Chavez, the fourth Texas reliever, worked the ninth for his first save this season.Wade LeBlanc (6-4) was gone after 4 1/3 innings, leaving a batter after allowing the homer to Calhoun that just cleared the 8-foot wall in the right field corner.LeBlanc had entered after an opener in nine of his previous 10 appearances, but started this game after the Mariners traded relievers Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland to the Washington Nationals earlier in the day.Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth before leadoff hitter Mallex Smith's high infield chopper just over Minor's outstretched glove for an RBI infield single. J. P. Crawford followed with a two-run single.Calhoun's seventh homer came with two outs, after Danny Santana hit his third single of th e game and Hunter Pence doubled.Shin-Soo Choo had a two-out solo homer, his 18th, for a 3-2 lead in the second.Pence, who was elected by fans as the American League's starting DH but couldn't play in the All-Star Game because of a right groin strain, had an RBI single in the first and finished with three hits. Sports Tipsters. The Rangers had trade offers for Pence until the final minutes before the deadline.MORE RUNSThe Rangers went ahead 9-5 in the seventh when Logan Forsythe hit a two-run single and eventually scored on an error. Broxton's homer was a two-run shot in the eighth, in his second game for Seattle since being claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Saturday.TRAINER'S ROOMMariners: LF Tim Beckham left after the first inning because of oblique tightness and will be re-evaluated Thursday. ... RHP Felix Hernandez is scheduled to make a rehab start Friday night for the Everett AquaSox, the sho rt-season Class A team for which the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner started his pro career in 2003 when he was only 17. He has been out since May 12 because of a right shoulder strain.Rangers: All-Star slugger Joey Gallo is at least two or three weeks from swinging a bat after surgery to remove the hamate bone from his right wrist. Gallo had surgery July 25. Gallo, who has 22 homers in 70 games this season, said the wrist had been bothering him for about two months before he had surgery.UP NEXTMariners: After a day off, the Mariners open a three-game series at AL West-leading Houston on Friday night.Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn looks to match the major league lead with his 14th victory when Texas plays at home Friday night against the Detroit Tigers.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (8) vs. Boston Red Sox (5) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Tampa Bay Rays (8) vs. Boston Red Sox (5) - Date: 7/31/2019 Kiermaier (HR, 3B) returns to lead Rays past Red Sox 8-5BOSTON Kevin Kiermaier felt he had something to prove to the Charlotte Stone Crabs, where he played in two games while working his way back from a left thumb sprain.It took him all of one pitch.''I'm sure they're thinking, `Man, where was this a couple days ago?''' Kiermaier said, smiling, after homering on the first pitch he saw since returning to the majors and leading Tampa Bay to an 8-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.''To be a fly on the wall in that room,'' said Kiermaier, who went 1 for 8 with the Class A Florida State League team. ''I know how baseball players are.'' Austin Meadows hit a three-run homer and Willy Adames also went deep for the Rays, who didn't even need their trade deadline reinforcements to wi n for the fifth time in six games.After closing three deals in the minutes before the 4 p.m. cutoff, the Rays jumped to a 5-0 lead against Boston starter Rick Porcello (9-8). NFL Handicappers. The defending World Series champions made no moves, then went out and lost their third straight game at home.''Your front office is trying to win, and that gives us a message: They've got our backs,'' Kiermaier said. ''It makes us all excited. It gives you that second wind you need in the dog days of summer.'' Ryan Yarbrough (10-3) came on for opener Andrew Kittredge in the third and went 4 1/3 innings for the win, allowing four runs and six hits with three strikeouts.Kiermaier also tripled home a run and scored in the seventh, when the Rays made it 8-2.Michael Chavis homered and Boston scored three in the bottom half before Colin Poche struck out Andrew Benintendi with runners on first and t hird to end the inning. Chaz Roe fanned Benintendi looking with two on to earn his first save.Tampa Bay began the night a half-game behind Oakland in the AL wild-card race; the Athletics hosted Milwaukee later Wednesday night. Selections. The Rays remained 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East, with the Red Sox another 2 1/2 games further back.''It's August now. We know where we're at - we're in a big hole,'' Boston manager Alex Cora said. ''We have to play a lot better.'' J. D. Martinez had three hits, including his 23rd homer of the season, and Mookie Betts also had three hits. Boston has homered in 16 straight games at Fenway Park, the longest Red Sox streak since they did it in 17 in a row in 1969.Porcello allowed six runs on nine hits and one walk, striking out seven in 5 2/3 innings before leaving with a 6-2 deficit and taking out two TV monitors in the dugout.''I kind of wish I did that without cameras being on me,'' he said. ''I apologize to everyone that had to see that. It's not a behavior that I feel like is representative to me and my personality. Good Return on Investment. The frustration got the best of me.'' The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner had been the beneficiary of the best run support in the majors over his last four starts, with the Red Sox scoring 49 runs while he was in the game. He was 4-0 in those starts despite allowing 19 runs in 22 2/3 innings.TRADING TIMEThe Rays acquired slugger Jesus Aguilar from Milwaukee and also picked up right-handers Trevor Richards and Nick Anderson from Miami. They sent right-hander Ryne Stanek and minor league outfielder Jesus Sanchez to the Marlins and also traded reliever Adam Kolarek to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Class A outfielder Niko Hulsizer.NO BIG DEALThe Red Sox made no trades at the deadline. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he didn't want to give up too much for what was realistically only a chance at a one-game wild-card playoff that is essentially a coin flip.''It's easy to say to switch people (around),'' he said. ''Sometimes you need to fix the people you have.'' TRAINER'S ROOMRays: Placed INF Joey Wendle on the 10-day injured list with right wrist inflammation. Manager Kevin Cash said Wendle felt it on a swing in Toronto and waited a few days before telling the team. ''He's a pretty tough guy. For him to acknowledge that two or three days later, just know the way his mind works,'' Cash said. ''Hopefully this is close to a minimum stint. Four, five days of no swinging and get some treatment.'' . Cash also said OF Tommy Pham hurt his hand on a slide recently and was available off the bench.Red Sox: C Christian Vazquez took a w ild pitch off his right knee in the seventh inning and seemed to be having trouble with it in the ninth. He fell to the dirt and needed to walk it off, then the training staff came out to check on him a few pitches later. He stayed in but limped back to the dugout after the inning.UP NEXTRays: LHP Brendan McKay (1-1, 3.72 ERA) was recalled from Triple-A Durham before the game and is slated to start the series finale Thursday.Red Sox: RHP Andrew Cashner (10-5, 4.18) is set to make his fourth start for Boston since being acquired in a trade from Baltimore. He picked up his first win with the Red Sox last Friday against the Yankees.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Houston Astros (4) vs. Cleveland Indians (10) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Houston Astros (4) vs. Cleveland Indians (10) - Date: 7/31/2019 Perez homers twice, Indians power past Astros 10-4CLEVELAND While waiting for their two new sluggers to arrive, the Indians swung for the fences.Roberto Perez homered twice, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis each hit a three-run shot and Cleveland capped a power-packed day with a 10-4 win Wednesday night over the Houston Astros, who added another ace before the trade deadline.Perez hit a three-run homer in the second inning off rookie Jose Urquidy (1-1) and a solo shot in the sixth as the Indians stayed on Minnesota's heels in the AL Central.Santana connected for his 23rd homer in the fifth and Kipnis hit his ninth - accented by a bat flip - in the sixth as the Indians improved to 34-14 since June 4, when they trailed the Twins by 10 1/2 games.Rookie right-hander Zach Plesac (6-3) recovered after a rough few innings and won his third start in a ro w.The Indians' homer barrage came a few hours after the team acquired sluggers Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes in a three-team trade that sent starter Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati.''There aren't a whole lot of nights you get three three-run homers, especially against Houston,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. ''I thought all of our guys played a good game tonight. When we beat Houston, we've played a really good game because they're a really good team.'' Cleveland has been without a prototypical cleanup hitter all season, but Puig and Reyes will make it easier for Francona to fill out his lineup card.''Those two guys are having a good season, you know hitting home runs and I'm looking forward to meeting them, man,'' said Perez, who has been playing the past month on a sore right ankle. ''It's this time of the year when you get new guys in and you hope they contribute to the team because we got o ne goal and that's to win a championship.'' Despite just their third loss in 13 games, it was quite a day for the Astros.They arrived at Progressive Field as news broke that the AL West leaders had pulled off the biggest deadline deal, acquiring right-hander Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks for four prospects.The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, Greinke adds more star power to an already stellar Houston rotation that includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. With a ''Big Three'' unrivaled in baseball, Houston has positioned itself to perhaps win a second World Series title in three years.Cole said players were going about their pregame routines when manager AJ Hinch walked in with a beaming smile.''There was some hooting and hollering,'' Cole said. ''We were very excited.'' Even afterward, the Astros were feeling great about what transpired. Greinke will join the team Friday in Houston.''It's a long day and an exciting day for us on the front end,'' Hinch said. ''Still a big day for us, just not on the field tonight. Couldn't find a win.'' The Indians were equally fired up. Best Sports Handicapping Services. They completed their own blockbuster, picking up Puig and Reyes along with left-handers Scott Moss and Logan Allen and 19-year-old infield prospect Victor Nova.Puig could be facing a suspension for his involvement in another Reds brawl with Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, but his arrival with Reyes has the Indians thinking big.''It's going to be fun,'' All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor said. ''It's two power guys and two good hitters. I'm looking forward to the whole thing.'' JULY SURGEThe Indians went 18-6 in July, the club's most wins in the month since going 18-9 in 1995.BUSY BODIESGreinke wasn't the only addition for Ho uston, which also acquired right-handers Aaron Sanchez, Joe Bianini and outfielder Cal Stevenson from Toronto. Sports Handicappers. They also brought back catcher Martin Maldonado from the Chicago Cubs. He played with them last season, and was recently traded to Chicago from Kansas City.Maldonado was surprised about winding up with Houston. He learned about the Greinke trade as he boarded his flight to Cleveland from St. Louis where the Cubs were playing.''I know what kind of pitcher he is,'' Maldonado said. ''I caught him before in Milwaukee. He will go out there and compete for us. He's going to be a Hall of Famer.'' BOMBS AWAYIt was the first time Cleveland hit three three-run homers in a game since Aug. 27, 2010.TRAINER'S ROOMAstros: RHP Ryan Pressly (sore right knee) was placed on the 10-day injured list. He was struck by a comebacker on July 18. RHP Bryan Abreu was called up from Double-A Corpus Christi and made his major league debut.Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (broken right forearm) could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment next week. He will throw a simulated game Saturday in Cleveland against a group of Indians minor leaguers. Kluber was struck by a line drive May 1 against Miami.UP NEXTAstros: Cole (12-5, 2.94 ERA) looks to continue his dominant stretch in the series finale. He's 7-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 11 starts since June 1, piling up 100 strikeouts in 72 innings.Indians: RHP Danny Salazar makes his first major league appearance since Game 4 of the 2017 Division Series. An All-Star in 2016, he missed last season because of arm trouble and had shoulder surgery.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (5) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: San Francisco Giants (5) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1) - Date: 7/31/2019 Samardzija tosses 6 scoreless, Giants beat Phillies 5-1PHILADELPHIA Jeff Samardzija saved a depleted bullpen.The right-hander tossed three-hit ball over six scoreless innings, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Kevin Pillar homered in a five-run fifth and the short-handed San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Wednesday night.The Giants were down three relievers after a flurry of moves before the trade deadline but Samardzija (8-8) handcuffed Philadelphia for his fifth straight road win.''He did a terrific job,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''He had great command, life on the fastball, a cutter. He gave us what we needed. It couldn't work out better.'' San Francisco finished July 19-6, the best record in the majors, and gained ground in the NL wild-card standings after entering 2 1/2 ga mes behind.''We're playing winning baseball,'' Samardzija said. ''I like our mentality right now and how we're approaching each day.'' The Phillies fell a half-game back of Washington for the top spot in the wild-card race and were a half-game behind the Cubs, who could move ahead of the Nationals into the top spot with a win at St. Louis.Vince Velasquez (3-6) took a three-hitter into the sixth before walking Mike Yastrzemski. Posey then ripped a 2-1 fastball out to left field for only his sixth homer in 273 at-bats this season.Adam Morgan replaced Velasquez, and Sandoval went deep to right for his 14th homer. Brandon Crawford followed with a single and then Pillar connected, sending his 13th homer out to left to make it 5-0.''I don't think Morgan had his best stuff,'' Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.Tony Watson replaced Samardzija to start the seventh and walked Bryce Harper before J. CBS Sports Picks. T. Realmuto hit a double. But the Phillies only managed one run on Adam Haseley's RBI groundout.Reyes Moronta worked the eighth and Will Smith pitched the ninth.The Giants traded former closer Mark Melancon to Atlanta, left-hander Drew Pomeranz and minor league righty Ray Black to Milwaukee, and righty Sam Dyson to the Twins.''It was a busy day, had to say a lot of byes, but they kept their focus and won a game,'' Bochy said.Bochy joked before the game that Sandoval was available to pitch a couple of innings. Leading Handicappers. The cleanup hitter hasn't allowed a run in two innings of mop-up duty over the past two seasons.Velasquez pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third by striking out Yastrzemski and Posey, but they got to him in the sixth.''I fell behind in the count and that led to the homer,'' Velasque z said. ''That's where you tip your cap to a great hitter.'' PEAL DROPPEDPhillies closer Hector Neris plans to drop his appeal of a three-game suspension for intentionally throwing a pitch at David Freese on July 16. He'll begin serving Thursday.MAD BUM STAYSThe Giants kept 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner even though he'll be a free agent after the season. Following a recent run of success, the team is contending in Bochy's final season before retirement.''He means so much to me,'' Bochy said. ''To have him here the rest of my tenure here, it's pretty cool. It makes me feel really good to have him beside me.'' NEW ARRIVALSGiants: Acquired 2018 All-Star 2B Scooter Gennett from the Reds, INF Mauricio Dubon from the Brewers, OF Joseph McCarthy from the Rays, RHPs Daniel Winkler and Tristan Beck from the Braves and OF Jaylin Davis, RHPs Prelander Berroa and Kai-Wei Teng from the Twins.Phillies: Acquired OF Corey Dickerson from the Pirates for a player to be named and $250,000 in international signing money, and RHP Dan Straily from Baltimore for cash. Straily was assigned him to Triple-A. Dickerson is hitting .317 this season.TRAINER'S ROOMPhillies: RHP David Robertson said he needs season-ending surgery to repair a flexor strain and he's getting a second opinion to determine if he needs Tommy John surgery for the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.UP NEXTRHP Dereck Rodriguez (4-5, 4.99 ERA) starts for the Giants, and Jake Arrieta (8-8, 4.51) goes for the Phillies in the series finale Thursday.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Minnesota Twins (7) vs. Miami Marlins (4) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Minnesota Twins (7) vs. Miami Marlins (4) - Date: 7/31/2019 Berrios fans 11, Twins hit 3 homers in 7-4 win over MarlinsMIAMI Jose Berrios struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings and the Minnesota Twins hit three homers in a 7-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.Max Kepler hit his 29th homer of the season, Mitch Garver added a three-run shot and Eddie Rosario had a two-run home run as the Twins won for the fifth time in six games. Minnesota leads the majors with 209 home runs, 16 shy of the club record set in 1963. It was the 32nd time this season the Twins hit at least three homers in a game.Berrios (10-5) retired the first 12 batters he faced, including six on strikeouts, before Neil Walker led off the fifth inning with a dribbler down the third-base line. Starlin Castro followed with a base hit to center. Hockey Picks. The 2 5-year-old right-hander settled in and retired the next nine batters before being lifted with a big lead. He allowed just two hits and didn't walk a batter while lowering his ERA to 2.80.Miami's Brian Anderson hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to cut the Marlins' deficit to 7-4.Taylor Rogers came on to strike out the final two batters, earning his 17th save in 22 chances.Garver's three-run homer, his 20th, gave the Twins a 3-0 lead in the third.The Twins added four runs on five hits in the fifth inning. Kepler led off with a homer. After Garver singled, Rosario connected for a two-run homer to right field. Marwin Gonzalez doubled to give Minnesota a 7-0 lead.Anderson's slam, his second of the season, came off Sean Poppen after the Marlins opened the inning with three straight singles.Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara (4-10) allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.UP NEXTTwins: RHP Michael Pineda (7-5, 4.30 ERA) will pitch Thursday's series finale, lookin g to stay hot with a 3-2 record and 2.87 ERA over his last eight starts.Marlins: RHP Jordan Yamamoto (4-2, 3.64) allowed a career-high six runs on two hits over four innings in a loss against Arizona.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (5) vs. Colorado Rockies (1) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (5) vs. Colorado Rockies (1) - Date: 7/31/2019 Smith's 3-run homer lifts Dodgers over Rockies 5-1DENVER The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't make a lot of noise at the trading deadline, but they made plenty in their final turn at the plate on Wednesday.Will Smith hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to break open a scoreless game and lead the Dodgers to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.Kristopher Negron also went deep during the rally and Alex Verdugo had four hits. Joe Kelly (5-3) pitched the eighth inning to earn the win.This was the third time at Coors Field the game was scoreless through eight innings, according to Elias. Sports Illustrated Picks. The Rockies won the previous two, the last a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers in 10 innings on Sept. 14, 2008.The trade deadline hit during the fourth inning with each team mak ing two deals. Sports Betting Profit. The Dodgers acquired infielder Jedd Gyorko from St. Louis for reliever Tony Cingrani and minor league right-hander Jeffry Abreu. Sports Handicapper Leads. They also traded for Tampa Bay reliever Adam Kolarek, sending minor league pitcher Niko Hulsizer to the Rays.Gyorko, who is recovering from wrist surgery and hasn't played since June 7, was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Tuesday. He is eligible to come off late next week.''We've got to get him to health but he's a heck of a baseball player and a good right-handed bat,'' manager Dave Roberts said of Gyorko. ''Now that this has passed we can focus on how we can deploy our guys and roles. The expectations, the goal hasn't changed, to win a championship.'' The Dodgers, who lead the majors with 71 wins, didn't deal anyone off of their 25-man roster.''Everyone here believes in everyone in this clubhouse,'' Smith said. ''Best team in baseball for a reason.'' The Rockies traded for right-handed reliever Joe Harvey from the New York Yankees for minor league pitcher Alfredo Garcia. They also received minor league outfielder Joe Herron from the Chicago Cubs for international cap money, general manager Jeff Bridich said.''Nothing major,'' Bridich said. ''There were conversations. Due to the last month of play, we were not looking to add to our team. We never got a point where it made sense to trade any of our team.'' Colorado starter German Marquez was helped off the field at the start of the seventh inning with what the team said was full-body cramping. The right-hander fanned 10 through six innings, the ninth time in his career with double-digit strikeouts.''It started in my back in the sixth and at the start of th e seventh it was all over,'' Marquez said. ''I got an IV and had it iced. I feel better.'' The Rockies lost because of a bad ninth inning on Wednesday. Closer Wade Davis (1-5) walked Cody Bellinger and gave up a single to Corey Seager with one out. Smith followed with a homer to center, his fifth of the season. Verdugo then singled and Negron homered for the second straight game.''Wade had a tough one,'' manager Bud Black said.Nolan Arenado had an RBI single in the bottom of the inning before Kenley Jansen came on to earn his 26th save.TRAINER'S ROOMDodgers: RHP Dylan Floro was activated from the injured list on Wednesday. Floro missed 10 games with neck inflammation. RHP Tony Gonsolin, who pitched four innings on Tuesday for his first career save, was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma.Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon (back tightness) returned to the lineup after missing three games. Black said Blackmon was available as a pinch-hitter on T uesday if needed but didn't get into the 9-4 loss.UP NEXTDodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-2, 2.85) will start Thursday against San Diego to open a 10-game, 11-day homestand for Los Angeles.Rockies: Rookie RHP Peter Lambert (2-2, 5.67) will go for his first win since June 11 when the Rockies open a series against San Francisco on Friday. Colorado has lost seven straight games in which Lambert has started.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Arizona Diamondbacks (5) vs. New York Yankees (7) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Arizona Diamondbacks (5) vs. New York Yankees (7) - Date: 7/31/2019 Romine HR lifts Yanks over D-backs as Greinke goes to AstrosNEW YORK Austin Romine hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning and the New York Yankees beat Arizona 7-5 Wednesday while the Diamondbacks completed a deal to send ace Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros.The Yankees had been shopping for pitching and may have eyed Greinke ahead of the 4 p.m. trade deadline. Point Shaving. The veteran right-hander gave them an impressive first-hand look, striking out seven and pitching five innings of two-run ball. He was in line for the win before Romine's shot off Yoshihisa Hirano (3-5).Instead, the 35-year-old Greinke is off to Houston, where he'll play for a rival AL pennant contender. Best Sports Handicapping Services . The Diamondbacks got a quartet of prospects in return: right-handers Corbin Martin and J. B. Bukauskas, outfielder Seth Beer, and utilityman Joshua Rojas.Romine's homer brought a spark to the Bronx on a gray, rainy day that started with the AL East leaders placing slugger Luke Voit on the injured list with a sports hernia that could require surgery. New York had lost four of five, and its only deadline move was to acquire Class A left-hander Alfredo Garcia from the Rockies for reliever Joseph Harvey. What is Sports Handicapping. The rival Boston Red Sox come to town for a four-game series starting Friday.Greinke allowed a two-run homer to Mike Tauchman in the second inning but settled after that. He got slick when rain began coming down in the fifth, throwing a 64 mph eephus curveball to Aaron Judge before striking him out with a 92 mph slider. A 36-minute rain delay followed, and that was Greinke's la st batter faced for the Diamondbacks.Arizona took a 3-2 lead when Jake Lamb hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off reliever Chad Green in the fifth and center fielder Aaron Hicks airmailed his throw to third base. The ball bounced into the visiting dugout, allowing a second run to score. Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela was shaken up on the play but remained in the game.Green ended the inning when Nick Ahmed hit a ball to the warning track in left.Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka made his first start since allowing 12 runs in 3 1/3 innings against Boston last Thursday. He said he would tweak the grip on his splitfinger fastball, and that pitch was more effective against Arizona. The rest of his repertoire fell flat, though, and he was charged with three runs in four-plus innings. He allowed two singles to start the fifth before handing off to Green.Judge struck out three times in three plate appearances against Greinke. He was 1 for 25 since the start of a series at Fenwa y Park last week before lining a single off Hirano to lead off the eighth. That started a three-run inning for the Yankees that included an RBI double by Gleyber Torres and a run-scoring single for Cameron Maybin.Arizona's Tim Locastro hit his first major league homer leading off the ninth against Nestor Cortes Jr. Aroldis Chapman replaced Cortes, allowed another run and brought the go-ahead run to the plate before finishing out his 27th save. All-Star Ketel Marte grounded into a fielder's choice with two on to ended it.Adam Ottavino (4-3) got the win with a scoreless inning.DEADLINE DEALINGArizona also acquired veteran starter Mike Leake from Seattle for minor league infielder Jose Caballero, got young right-hander Zac Gallen from Miami for shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm, and sold minor league catcher John Ryan Murphy to Atlanta.Leake is 9-8 with a 4.40 ERA in 22 starts and recently came within three outs of a perfect game against Seattle.The 23-year-old Gallen is 1-3 with a 2.72 ERA over his first seven major league starts this season. He's struck out 43 in 36 1/3 innings.Chisholm was rated as the Diamondbacks' top prospect by MLB.com. He is hitting .204 with 18 homers and 13 stolen bases at Double-A.TRAINER'S ROOMDiamondbacks: OF/C Blake Swihart (strained right oblique) was 0 for 4 with four strikeouts and a walk in a rehab game with Triple-A Reno on Tuesday night. He was transferred to the 60-day IL Wednesday.Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone said the club will re-evaluate Voit over the next day or two before making a decision regarding surgery. If he needs an operation, Voit is expected to miss six weeks. Otherwise, Boone said it will be a ''day to day scenario.'' ... INF DJ LeMahieu was held out of the lineup for the fourth straight game with a sore groin. Boone said LeMahieu was available to pinch hit and is expected to start Friday against Boston. ... SS Didi Gregorius got a visit from trainer Steve Don ahue after rolling over his left wrist fielding a grounder in the third, but he remained in the game. ... RHP David Hale (lumbar spine strain) was placed on the IL, retroactive to Sunday. He's the 24th Yankees player on the IL this year. ... INF Breyvic Valera and RHP Jonathan Holder were recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.UP NEXTDiamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ross (9-7, 3.91), the subject of trade talks ahead of the deadline, is scheduled to start against Washington on Friday night against RHP Joe Ross (0-3, 9.85).Yankees: The Yankees haven't announced a scheduled starter for Friday. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (13-4, 4.13) is in line to start for the Red Sox.---Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake-Seiner---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (4) vs. Kansas City Royals (1) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (4) vs. Kansas City Royals (1) - Date: 7/31/2019 Galvis, Bichette lead Blue Jays over Royals 4-1 for sweepKANSAS CITY, Mo. Freddy Galvis and rookie Bo Bichette hit solo home runs to lead the Toronto Blue Jays over the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Wednesday for a three-game sweep.Bichette hit his first career homer to open the eighth inning against Royals starter Jakob Junis, a drive to left field. Galvis cleared the center field wall with his 16th to open the seventh.Cavan Biggio followed Bichette's homer with a double, ending Junis' outing. Reliever Kevin McCarthy surrendered a run-scoring double to Teoscar Hernandez.Rookie Jacob Waguespack (2-1) went six innings for his second win in his fourth big-league start. He held the Royals to three hits and one run. Cam Gallagher barely cleared the left-field bullpen fence for his second homer, drilling a 2-2 pitch from Waguespack to open the third i nning.Junis (6-10) was cruising for much of the game, retiring the side on eight pitches each in the second, third and fourth innings. But the Jays got even 1-1 in the sixth as Biggio walked, stole second and scored on Justin Smoak's single.Waguespack got exceptional defensive help early. Deep outfield catches by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left and Randal Grichuk in center prevented extra-base hits by Jorge Soler in the first inning and Hunter Dozier in the third. Smoak speared Ryan O'Hearn's hot shot to start a double play in the fourth and Gurriel charged in for a shoetop grab of Nicky Lopez's weak liner to end the inning.Right after that play, however, Gurriel left the game with a sore right knee.Rookie right-hander Justin Shafer worked a perfect ninth for his first career save.JAYS ROOKIES CAN LEADWith the Blue Jays shedding veterans, they have the second youngest team in the majors and manager Charlie Montoyo is encouraging the kids, including Biggio and Bic hette, to take leadership roles.''What I've been telling Biggio and Bo when they got here: `This is your clubhouse, here we go. You guys were leaders in the minor leagues, it's the same thing here. Just because you're a rookie, don't (avoid being) a leader in the big leagues. Go ahead and start now,''' Montoyo said. ''And they have been doing that.'' BORUCKI GOES ON ILToronto placed LHP Ryan Borucki (0-1, 10.80 ERA) on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday with inflammation of the left elbow. His roster spot was filled by LHP Buddy Boshers, called up from Triple-A Buffalo (0-2, five saves, 2.78 ERA). Boshers has big league experience with the Angels and Twins.UP NEXTBlue Jays: Toronto travels to Baltimore where RHP Trent Thornton (3-7, 5.45 ERA) will come off the injured list to start Thursday night. Sports Handicapper Tracker. The Orioles will start RHP Asher Wojc iechowski (2-3, 3.60 ERA).Royals: After an open date Thursday, Kansas City will open a 10-game trip at Minnesota on Friday night. RHP Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.25 ERA) will be opposed by Twins LHP Martin Perez (8-4, 4.38 ERA).---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB (backslash)and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (1) vs. Cincinnati Reds (4) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Pittsburgh Pirates (1) vs. Cincinnati Reds (4) - Date: 7/31/2019 Reds beat Pirates 4-1, both teams behave day after brawlCINCINNATI Clint Hurdle and David Bell had little interaction while exchanging lineup cards one day after their teams fought on the field, and the Pirates and Reds were on good behavior Wednesday during Cincinnati's 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh behind a strong performance from Luis Castillo.Bell and three Reds, including now-traded Yasiel Puig, were ejected for a ninth-inning brawl during the Pirates' 11-4 win on Tuesday night. Four Pirates also were ejected. Major League Baseball was reviewing video of the fight Wednesday and was expected to hand down suspensions over the second fracas between the NL Central rivals this season.Bell went after Hurdle during the fight and was restrained in a headlock by batting coach Rick Eckstein. Bell repeatedly cursed Hurdle as he left the field. A day later, the two managers didn't say much while handing lineup cards to the umpires.They're not done with each other. Best Sports Picks Today. They meet again at PNC Park on Aug. 23, and wrap up the season together with three games in Pittsburgh Sept. 27-29.The series matched two teams that have faded from the NL Central race, but only one of them is already looking to next year.Puig went to Cleveland as part of a three-team deal for pitcher Trevor Bauer even though Cincinnati had slid to 7 1/2 games out. Puig can be a free agent at the end of the season, while Bauer is under contract control for another year. NBA Handicappers. The Reds also dealt starter Tanner Roark to Oakland on Wednesday for an outfield prospect.The Pirates have gone 3-16 since the All-Star break, prompting them to deal starter Jordan Lyles to Milwaukee at the start of the series . Sports Free Picks. They couldn't muster much against Castillo (10-4), who recovered from his worst start of the season. The All-Star allowed a career-high six runs in a 12-2 loss to the Rockies on Friday.Castillo gave up six hits and a run while pitching into the eighth inning on Wednesday. Raisel Iglesias retired the side in the ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances.Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez homered off rookie Dario Agrazal (2-2), who lasted only 3 2/3 innings. Agrazal hit Tucker Barnhart on the foot with a breaking ball, and got Winker on the arm with a fastball, drawing boos from the crowd of 20,886. The umpires huddled after Winker was hit, but didn't eject Agrazal.TRAINER'S ROOMPirates: Hurdle said none of his players was hurt in the brawl.Reds: Reliever David Hernandez was activated off the injured list and took Puig's roster spot. Hernandez had been sidelined by shoulder fatigue.UP NE XTPirates: After a day off, Pittsburgh opens a six-game homestand against the Mets on Friday.Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (6-5) opens a four-game series in Atlanta. Bauer is expected to join the Reds there, although he hasn't yet been slotted into the rotation.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (5) vs. Washington Nationals (4) - 7/31/2019

MLB Game Recap: Atlanta Braves (5) vs. Washington Nationals (4) - Date: 7/31/2019 Donaldson's HR lifts Braves over Nationals 5-4 in 10 inningsWASHINGTON Josh Donaldson homered against Sean Doolittle in the top of the 10th inning, and the Atlanta Braves pulled out a 5-4 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday to take two of three in the series and pad their NL East lead to 6 1/2 games.After the Nationals scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, Donaldson swatted a fastball from Doolittle (6-3) over the center-field wall for his 25th homer of the season.Adam Duvall homered for the fourth time in five games. Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies and Tyler Flowers also drove in runs for the Braves, who won consecutive series in Washington for the first time since 2013. Soccer Tipsters. They also won two of three in late June.Atlanta got another qualit y road start from Mike Soroka, who pitched seven innings and allowed just three hits, including a leadoff homer to Juan Soto in the second.That caused his road ERA to climb to 1.20 in 11 starts this season. Fox Sports Picks. That's still the best by a Braves pitcher since Greg Maddux posted a 1.12 mark over 15 starts in 1995.Washington starter Anibal Sanchez allowed four runs on 10 hits in five innings.The Nationals rallied against the Braves' bullpen. Matt Adams hit a pinch-hit home run against Anthony Swarzak in the eighth to pull within 4-2. In the ninth, Kurt Suzuki singled in a run off Sean Newcomb, who replaced Luke Jackson with no outs and two runners on. Newcomb (5-1) limited the damage from there, getting a double-play grounder from Gerardo Parra that tied the game at 4.Josh Tomlin worked a scoreless 10th for his second save.Duvall homered off Sanchez with one out in the second to continue a torrid stretch.Since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on July 27 after Nick Markakis broke his left wrist, Duvall is batting .578 with four homers and six RBIs over five games.Soto's home run to lead off the second was his 20th, making him the third player in major league history with two 20-homer seasons before his 21st birthday. It was also the sixth consecutive game he has driven in a run, the longest such streak of his career.TRAINER'S ROOMNationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis) took 15-20 swings in the batting cage Tuesday and could return soon, manager Dave Martinez said.UP NEXTBraves: LHP Max Fried (11-4, 4.21 ERA) aims for his third straight victory as Atlanta opens a four-game home series against Cincinnati.Nationals: RHP Joe Ross (0-3, 9.85) will make his first career start in Arizona on Friday, as the Nationals begin a nine-game trip with the first of three against the Diamondbacks.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sport s

MLB Game Preview: Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers - 7/31/2019 - 8:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers - Date: 7/31/2019 Facing M's, Rangers turn to Minor ... for nowFLMMike Minor is scheduled to start for the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas.If, that is, he's still a member of the team.The Rangers opted not to start Minor on regular rest Tuesday in an 8-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners, in part because he had said the trade talk had become a distraction. Winning Sports Handicappers. The major league trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET Wednesday."It could happen, it could not," Minor told MLB.com of potentially being traded. "I don't know. Really don't." The left-hander is 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA this season, though he's 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA over his past four starts.Minor has a partial no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he can block a deal to 10 teams.He said he might wa ive that clause, but it depends on the situation."I have that right, that's why it's in there. Sometimes players get bashed for it," Minor told MLB.com. "Fans or media might say something about it, but I played long enough, I have the right to exercise it if it comes up. If it's not a good fit for me or my family, yeah." The New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves (the team Minor started his career with) reportedly have shown interest in the 31-year-old."I'm not convinced, but I'm ready if it does happen," Minor told MLB.com. "We have been talking about it forever so it wouldn't be surprising to me. It wouldn't blindside me." Minor is 3-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 11 career appearances against Seattle, including eight starts. He's 2-1 versus the Mariners this season, the loss coming last Wednesday on the road when he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in six innings in a 5-3 defeat. He w alked one and struck out five.The Mariners, who have a six-game winning streak to match their season-high, plan to use a reliever as an opener in the series finale before turning over the ball to left-hander Wade LeBlanc (6-3, 4.79 ERA). He's 2-1 with a 4.34 ERA in six career games against the Rangers with five starts. He got a no-decision against them May 29 in Seattle, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings, with no walks and five strikeouts.Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, who until recently was struggling to get his batting average above .200, went 3-for-5 with a triple, home run and four RBIs in Tuesday's victory.Seager's solo shot in the second inning, his ninth, bounced off the heel of Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields' glove and over the fence as DeShields made a leaping attempt at a catch."It ended up working out," Seager said. "I saw him go up and I thought it hit his glove, but I couldn't see any more than that. I was just looking at the umpire, seeing if he'd give me good news." Seager added a tiebreaking, two-run triple in the seventh inning. He had a chance to hit for the cycle in the ninth, but he flied out."It's not usually something that I have to think about too much," Seager told MLB.com of hitting for the cycle. "It was a new experience for me (Tuesday) to be close." --Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox - 7/31/2019 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox - Date: 7/31/2019 Red Sox looking to find right tune with deadline nearFLMBoston Red Sox manager Alex Cora says his team just wants to dance in October.But if it can't shore up its bullpen in August and September, Boston will have to sit this October out, after dancing longer than anyone last fall.Tuesday night's 6-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was another example of the defending champion's bullpen being unable to get the job done. After David Price lasted only 4 1/3 innings, Boston's relievers were unable to hang onto a 5-4 lead, hacking up two sixth-inning runs.That makes Wednesday night's rematch with Tampa Bay at Fenway Park a little more critical for Boston, which now trails the Rays by 1 1/2 games and has fallen two games off the AL wild-card pace behind Oakland. Soccer Handicappers. That's t wo teams in front of the Red Sox with two-thirds of the season done.Boston general manager Dave Dombrowski is expected to target relievers before Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. Rumors have tied the Red Sox to closers Edwin Diaz (Mets), Shane Greene (Tigers) and Raisel Iglesias (Reds), although indications as of Tuesday night are that Boston might pivot towards lesser names.Regardless, Cora is hoping to get some reinforcements."I've been saying all along that there's different situations," he told MLB.com. "Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. It's going to happen in the next 48 hours and it will happen next year and in the upcoming years. Game Fixing. That's just the nature of baseball. It happens." What happened Tuesday night was that Tampa Bay again proved its staying power. Money Cappers. The Ra ys got a home run and three RBIs from Avisail Garcia, who drilled a two-run double in the sixth that put them ahead to stay.Tampa Bay also got the outs from the bullpen that Boston's couldn't. Six relievers combined to pick up the last 13 outs for the Rays, with Emilio Pagan working his way through the last 1 1/3 innings to garner his eighth save.Even better news for the Rays is that they figure to activate center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (sprained thumb) from the 10-day injured list on Wednesday. Kiermaier, who's batting .248 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs, came through two rehab games in Single-A over the weekend with flying colors."Feels great being back, and I certainly feel good enough to go," he told MLB.com. "I know it's not going to be totally 100 percent for a little bit, but good enough to go. I tested it out every way possible in my two (rehab) games in Clearwater. I feel ready." Tampa Bay will use an opener on Wednesday, right-hande r Andrew Kittredge (1-0, 3.05 ERA). His last outing was Saturday at Toronto, where he fanned seven over three innings in an opening role, allowing five hits and two runs in a 10-9 loss.The Red Sox counter with veteran righty Rick Porcello (9-7, 5.55), who enjoyed a quality start Thursday night in a 19-3 pummeling of the New York Yankees. He worked six innings, scattering six hits and three runs with a walk and five strikeouts. He is 4-0 with a 7.54 ERA in four starts this month.Porcello is 14-11 in 30 career starts against the Rays with a 3.50 earned run average, although he suffered a 5-1 loss to them on June 7.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Oakland Athletics - 7/31/2019 - 10:07 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Oakland Athletics - Date: 7/31/2019 Lyles makes first start with Brewers since tradeFLMRight-hander Jordan Lyles is scheduled to make his first start for the Milwaukee Brewers when the National League Central contenders visit the Oakland Athletics for a second consecutive night Wednesday.The 28-year-old Lyles (5-7, 5.36 ERA) was acquired by the Brewers on Monday just hours before he was supposed to start for the Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati.He has arrived in California in time to step in for Gio Gonzalez, who had to be scratched Wednesday because of tightness in his left shoulder.By pitching on the final day of the month, Lyles gets a chance to avoid a distinction of which he'd surely want no part. He's allowed a .444 batting average in four July starts.The last time a pitcher made four or more starts in July and allowed a .444 or higher average was 30 years ago, when Charlie Lei brandt served up a .474 average in 1989.It's happened just four times in baseball history."Look, he's had some success this year," Brewers manager Craig Counsell explained of the acquisition. "His last couple of starts have not been good. Best Bets of the Day. There are a couple of things that we see. Other than that, it's just going to be, 'Go out and make pitches.' We need guys right now." Lyles made 17 starts for the Pirates and, as Counsell indicated, some were outstanding. He was great in March/April, going 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA and .228 average allowed, and even better in May in terms of average allowed (.194) while going 3-1 with a 3.68 ERA.But since then, he went 0-2 in June with a 6.00 ERA and .290 average allowed, and now 0-3 with a 15.00 ERA in four July starts.Lyles has pitched well in two previous starts against the A's, going 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA. He threw seve n innings of five-hit ball in his only previous outing at Oakland, a 5-4 Houston Astros win in 2013.Six years later, Lyles will be facing an A's lineup that was held to seven hits over 10 innings by Brewers pitchers in the series opener Tuesday. Unfortunately for the visitors, two of those hits were home runs, including a walk-off blast by Matt Olson in the 10th inning.The A's used six pitchers, including recently acquired left-hander Jake Diekman, to limit the Brewers to two runs and set the stage for Olson's heroics.Diekman gushed before the game about the thrill of joining a contender, then went out and aided in the narrow win with a shutout inning."I know how good this team is," he assured reporters. "Just coming into an environment where you're in the hunt and every day matters is super-exciting." A's lefty Brett Anderson (9-6, 4.05) will be seeking his first win in four outings when he gets Wednesday's start. He's gone 0- 1 with a 5.19 ERA in his last three games.Anderson has faced the Brewers three times in his career, but never for the A's. He started against them in 2015 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and twice in 2017 for the Chicago Cubs, accumulating a 0-1 record and 5.51 ERA.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: New York Mets vs. Chicago White Sox - 7/31/2019 - 8:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: New York Mets vs. Chicago White Sox - Date: 7/31/2019 Giolito, deGrom face off as Mets visit White SoxFLMRight-handers Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets both are more than halfway through their respective 2019 seasons, but their link to 2018 remains.Giolito posted the worst ERA in the major leagues last season, at 6.13, while deGrom compiled a 1.70 ERA, good for best in the majors and the backbone supporting deGrom's National League Cy Young Award.On Wednesday, the pitchers are set to oppose one another as New York and Chicago continue an interleague series at Guaranteed Rate Field in the Windy City. While Giolito (11-5, 3.52 ERA) has improved his trajectory, deGrom (6-7, 2.86) has stayed on a solid track."He's our leader. He's our ace. He sets the tone," Mets manager Mickey Callaway recently told reporters. "He has for a long time in this orga nization now." As with last season, when he earned just 10 victories -- same as Giolito -- deGrom isn't challenging the NL leaderboard for wins. Still, the Mets are playing well lately. New York extended its winning streak to five games with Tuesday's 5-2 win in 11 innings in the series opener. Best Free Sports Picks. The surge started Thursday, when deGrom pitched seven shutout innings of an eventual 4-0 home victory against the San Diego Padres."His stuff is just straight-up nasty," Callaway said. "It's a devastating weapon when he's got it going on." Giolito also last pitched on Thursday, with decidedly different results. Sports Monitor. The Minnesota Twins reached Giolito for four home runs as he yielded seven runs in five innings of a 10-3 home loss."I got shelled," Giolito said. "Gave up homers and didn't give the team a chance. Sports Handicapping Sites. That's it." After working at least 7 1/3 innings in four successive starts from May 23 to June 8, Giolito has pitched no longer than 6 2/3 innings in eight starts since. Giolito hasn't won since defeating the Twins on June 30, as Minnesota adjusted upon seeing him less than one month later."You're facing a club that is very aggressive at the plate, has been for most of the season. They come in swinging the bat very well," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "You have to execute and if you leave pitches out over the plate for these guys, they will put good swings on and hammer them, and (Thursday) they did."Lucas tried to battle, tried to get through it, obviously gave up a couple long balls. But you have to turn the page and move on. As you look past that, Lucas will be fine." Giolito is 0-0 with a 4.70 ERA in two career starts against the Mets, scattering four runs and five strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. He has not faced New York this season.Wednesday will mark deGrom's second career appearance against the White Sox and first of 2019. Pitching on June 1, 2016, at Citi Field, he took a no-decision after spacing one run on five hits -- including a solo home run -- in seven innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts.White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada left Tuesday's game in the first inning with hamstring tightness.Chicago was optimistic about having the left side of its infield intact for the first time in more than a month. Shortstop Tim Anderson returned from the injured list Tuesday, appearing in the Chicago lineup for the first time since suffering a high right ankle sprain June 26 in Boston.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Minnesota Twins vs. Miami Marlins - 7/31/2019 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Minnesota Twins vs. Miami Marlins - Date: 7/31/2019 Alcantara aims for 5th win in facing TwinsFLMA dubious rule -- the one that requires every major league team to have at least one player at the annual All-Star Game -- has certainly benefitted Miami Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara.The Marlins' lone representative at the game in Cleveland earlier this month, Alcantara is set to face the visiting Minnesota Twins on Wednesday sporting a 4-9 record and a 4.18 ERA.In addition to those mediocre numbers, he seems to be getting worse as this season drags on for the Marlins.Alcantara is 1-4 with a 4.75 ERA in his past eight starts. Since the All-Star Game, he has a 6.35 ERA in three starts, walking eight batters in 17 innings.In his four wins this season, Alcantara has a brilliant 0.57 ERA. In his nine losses, his ERA is 6.52.Meanwhile, the Twins, who lead the American League Central and beat the Marlins 2-1 in Tuesday's opener of this three-game series, are set to start right-hander Jose Berrios on Wednesday.Berrios (9-5, 2.94), a 25-year-old native of Puerto Rico, was Minnesota's first-round pick in 2012 and has proven to be worth the investment.He is one victory away from his third straight season with double figures in wins. In the past three seasons, he has a 35-24 record. His fastball touches 95 mph, and he has an excellent slow curve that misses bats and frustrates batters.Berrios, a two-time All-Star (2018, 2019), has never faced the Marlins. Free Guaranteed Sports Picks. Then again, Alcantara has never faced the Twins.Road games have been a bit problematic for Berrios this season. He is 5-2 with a 2.10 ERA in nine home starts. But on the road, he is a mediocre 4-3 with a 3.62 ERA.The Twins got great bullpen work on Tuesday and are looking for more of that on Wednesday, assuming Berrios does not get a comp lete game. On Tuesday, the Twins relievers pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, including Tyler Duffey, who got four outs. Sergio Romo, acquired from the Marlins on Saturday, made his Twins debut by pitching a scoreless eighth inning. And Taylor Rogers pitched the ninth for his 16th save.As for the offenses set to compete on Wednesday, Twins third baseman Miguel Sano -- who had what turned out to be the game-winning RBI on Tuesday with a 112-mph double to the gap in left-center -- continues his improved play. He was hitting .195 on June 27, but he has nine homers and 23 RBIs in his past 26 games."I find the pitches I want to hit," Sano said when asked about his success. "That's the mentality I have at the plate." The Marlins, meanwhile, may be without first baseman Garrett Cooper, who leads the team in batting average (.294) and has 11 homers and 38 RBIs. He left the game in the third inning due to tight left hamstring and was replaced at first by Neil Wa lker."It's been bothering (Cooper) for a while it seems like," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.Miami, which has the worst record in the National League, is just 21-34 at home.Conversely, the Twins lead the majors in road wins (34-20). Overall, the Twins have won four of their past five games.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians - 7/31/2019 - 7:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians - Date: 7/31/2019 Altuve, Gurriel streaking as Astros take on IndiansFLMJose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel likely will be sorry to see the month of July come to an end.Altuve and Gurriel aim to continue their torrid hitting on Wednesday night as the visiting Houston Astros vie for a series victory over the Cleveland Indians.Altuve recorded his second straight three-hit performance and ninth of the season on Tuesday as the Astros posted a 2-0 victory over Cleveland in the opener of a three-game set.The 2017 American League Most Valuable Player has elevated his season average to .300 after batting a robust 18-for-35 with four homers, eight RBIs and seven runs scored in his last nine games."It means a lot, especially on this team," Altuve said of batting .300. "I've been working really hard every day to get to this point. I just want to be part of this process. I kno w we have a great opportunity and we have to go out there and make it happen. I want to be part of it." Altuve doesn't have to sell his team-first attitude to manager A. J. Hinch, who has seen his diminutive star come up big throughout his career."The number's big for him and everybody's used to it, but Jose Altuve is a really good player," Hinch said. "That's not really breaking news around July 31." Gurriel carries a 17-game hitting streak into Wednesday's contest for the Astros, who have won three in a row and 10 of their last 12.Cleveland mustered just two hits in the series opener en route to being shut out for the ninth time this season as Astros right-hander Justin Verlander struck out 13 in seven innings."It was one of those nights as a manager, you're sitting there rooting your guys on, but you're also glad you're not in the batter's box," Indians manager Terry Francona said.Cleveland, however, r eportedly bolstered its lineup after the game as multiple outlets reported that the club acquired outfielders Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes as part of a three-team trade with Cincinnati and San Diego. Puig and Reyes have combined for 49 homers this season.The Indians also received left-handers Logan Allen and Scott Moss and infielder/outfielder Victor Nova while mercurial right-handed starter Trevor Bauer will head to the Reds, per reports.Cleveland rookie right-hander Zach Plesac (5-3, 3.10 ERA) will be tasked with keeping Altuve, Gurriel and the rest of the high-octane Astros in check.Plesac, who is vying for his third straight win, permitted an unearned run on six hits in seven innings in an 8-3 victory at Kansas City on Friday.The 24-year-old Plesac has yet to face the Astros in his brief career.Houston rookie right-hander Jose Urquidy (1-0, 4.26) will provide the opposition on Wednesday as he looks to build off a pair of strong outings.Urquidy allowed one run for the se cond straight outing on Friday and scattered four hits over six innings in a no-decision at St. Louis.The 24-year-old Urquidy, who has surrendered just six hits while striking out 15 in his last two contests, will be making his fifth career start and first versus Cleveland.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals - 7/31/2019 - 1:15 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals - Date: 7/31/2019 Jays target series sweep against RoyalsFLMWhen the Toronto Blue Jays and the host Kansas City Royals get together for a Wednesday matinee at Kauffman Stadium, they will be battling for more than just position in next year's MLB draft -- though they are separated by two games for the third-worst record in baseball.The starting pitchers are also playing for bragging rights over the proper way to spell their name. Namely, the K or the C.Right-hander Jacob Waguespack (1-1, 5.63 ERA) will take the mound for the Blue Jays, while RHP Jakob Junis (6-9, 5.03) will get the honors for the Royals.That covers the alphabet. As for the scoreboard, the Blue Jays will be looking for a three-game sweep as they claimed a 9-2 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday night. Soccer Tipsters. The outcome was very much un decided until the Jays plated five unearned runs in the ninth inning, including a grand slam by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Both starting pitchers don't offer much when it comes to major league experience. For the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Waguespack, his 2019 stats also are his career numbers. He has appeared in five games, with three starts. He's faced the Red Sox twice, earning his first win in relief, and the Rays twice, picking up his first career loss in his last start on Friday.Waguespack was acquired at the trade deadline in 2018 as the Blue Jays began their roster overhaul. He was picked up from Philadelphia in a trade that sent reliever Aaron Loup to the Phillies.Waguespack has pitched an average of five innings in all three starts with a WHIP of 1.80. He has a career minor league ERA of 4.04 with just over a third of his 133 appearances coming in starts.He'll be facing the Royals for the first time, something he believes will be to his advantage."I think it 9;s helpful because they haven't seen you yet," Waguespack said Tuesday. "A lot of guys get comfortable when they've seen you a couple of times. Football Predictions. They can relay information. I think it's beneficial if it's your first time seeing them, for sure." Junis, also a big man at 6-2, 225 pounds, is a "seasoned veteran" compared to Waguespack, though he's not yet been completely around the block three times.He made his debut in 2017 and quickly made a name for himself. He finished that season 9-3 with a 4.30 ERA. He made 16 starts among his 20 appearances, and he was 7-3 with a 4.16 ERA in the starting role.It earned him a spot in the rotation for 2018 and he has not pitched out of the pen in the last two years.His struggles this season have been because of walks and the long ball. His home runs per nine innings spiked from 1.4 in 2017 to 1.6 in 20 18 and so far in 2019. His walks per nine innings in 2019 is up a full point, from 2.2 last season to career-worst 3.2 in 2019.True to his first name, his "Ks" are up, too. Junis is up to 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings (120 punchouts in 125 1/3 innings)."My command early wasn't the greatest, but it got better," Junis said after getting a career-high 10 strikeouts on July 15."Fastball command got better as the game went on," Junis said after that outing. "Probably the sharpest my slider has been all year. Sports Betting Profit. That was pretty nice to have that going." Both pitchers are part of their teams' pitching futures. Wednesday may just be the first of many spelling bees to come.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies - 7/31/2019 - 3:10 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies - Date: 7/31/2019 Colorado's Marquez looks to stay hot vs. Dodgers, RyuFLMGerman Marquez has emerged as the Colorado Rockies' most reliable starter, so it was a little surprising when he was rocked by the San Francisco Giants two weeks ago.But while that start -- 11 runs surrendered in 2 2/3 innings -- could have been a start that sent his season on a downward spiral, the right-hander has instead responded with two strong, seven-inning outings.He will try for three in a row when the Rockies host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a getaway game on Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field.The Dodgers will send Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound to try to get L. A. its 10th win in 13 games against Colorado this season. Sports Bettors Phone Leads. The Dodgers used four home runs to beat the Rockies 9-4 on Tuesday night to end a two-game skid and become the first team this season to reach 70 wins.Marquez (10-5, 4.88 ERA) has joined Jon Gray as one of Colorado's truly reliable starters. He got two of the three wins on the Rockies' recent 10-game road trip, allowing just four runs over 14 innings following his forgettable outing against San Francisco."I just shook it off," Marquez told reporters after his first start following the blowout, an 8-4 win against the Yankees in New York on July 21. "I just concentrated on my momentum toward the mound and making pitches. I think it was a good start." He hopes for another one against L. A., against whom he is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven career starts.The Rockies are clinging to evaporating playoff hopes thanks to a 6-18 record in July so far. Handicappers Free Picks. The trade deadline is at 2 p.m. Mountain Time -- which falls during Wednesday's game -- and there has been little talk about possible trades for Colorado.The Dodgers have generated plenty of talk heading into the deadline, though none has to do with shaking up their current roster. Most of the rumors involve the club adding a reliable reliever -- but not at the cost of a top prospect.For his part, manager Dave Roberts said he's not focusing on possible deals."Whichever way this thing goes, starter, reliever, left, right or nothing I really just feel we're in a good spot," he said before Tuesday's game. "The 25's our 25 (man roster) and I don't anticipate anything happening, but stranger things have obviously happened. Our guys have done a good job focusing on the job at hand." The Dodgers' starting rotation, outside the biceps injury to right-hander Ross Stripling, seems strong. Ryu has become one of the best starters in the National League with an 11-2 record to go along with his 1.74 ERA, which is the lowest in t he majors.He hasn't fared well against Colorado in his career, though, going 4-7 with a 5.34 ERA in 12 starts. His numbers are worse at Coors Field where he is 1-4 with a 9.15 ERA in five starts. He gave up seven runs on nine hits (his worst marks of the season) in four innings in his June 28 start in Denver.But he rebounded from that outing and is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in July.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees - 7/31/2019 - 1:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees - Date: 7/31/2019 D-backs, Yankees ready for end of deadline daysFLMTime is running out for teams to make trades and that means front offices will be hunkered down and engaged in various trade scenarios, likely up to the final minutes before Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.And yes, it is even possible some late moves could go down while the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees are in the late innings of the finale of a two-game series at Yankee Stadium.Arizona opened the series with a 4-2 win Tuesday when Christian Walker and Carson Kelly homered while Archie Bradley recorded a four-out save. Arizona rebounded nicely from dropping three of four in Miami.Arizona also did so on a day in which rumors swirled about the Yankees acquiring D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray in an attempt to bolster their rotation."We talk about making statements here each and ever y time we go out and play the baseball game," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo told reporters. "I want them to block that out and take care of our business. At the end of the day, I put it in the hands of our general manager and our front office. Good Return on Investment. They do an exceptional job of understanding what direction we're going in."This is a good team, a special team in there. I want to obviously keep it intact, but we can't control that. We can control the controllables and take care of our business." The Diamondbacks are only three games out of the second wild-card spot despite going 5-7 in their last 12 games since a 19-4 win in Texas on July 17.The Yankees won seven of their first nine games coming out of the All-Star break but have dropped six of nine since July 21 as fans clamor for the addition of a starting pitcher by the deadline. So far of those linked to the Yankee s, Marcus Stroman and Trevor Bauer are off the board after being dealt to the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds respectively.The Yankees are also playing shorthanded with DJ LeMahieu (groin) and Luke Voit (core muscle injury) day-to-day."Whatever happens over the next 24 hours will be," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I know in our room, we know what we're capable of. We know what the expectation is. Whether or not something happens doesn't change that. We know we're capable of something really special with all the guys we have in that room right now." One of those Boone is referring to is Aaron Judge, who is in a 1-for-23 slump."You can't help but think about it," Judge said. "I think we're all going to be happy once this trade deadline's passed." Zack Greinke (10-4, 2.87 ERA) will start for Arizona. Greinke is three wins shy of reaching 200 for his career and 0-1 with a 3.79 ERA in his last three starts and took a no-decision in Arizona's 3-2 loss at Miami after pitching six innings of one-run ball.Greinke has completed six innings in 20 of his 22 starts, including April 30 against the Yankees when he allowed one run on five hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings.The right-hander is 4-4 with a 5.16 ERA in 14 career appearances (11 starts) against the Yankees.Masahiro Tanaka (7-6, 4.79) is hoping to rebound from the worst of his 153 career starts. Best Sports Handicappers. The righty is taking the mound after allowing career highs of 12 runs and 12 hits in 3 1/3 innings Thursday in Boston.Tanaka has a 9.55 ERA in his last four starts and a 7.02 ERA in his last nine starts.Tanaka faced Arizona May 1 and allowed three runs on five hits in four innings of New York's 3-2 loss.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals - 7/31/2019 - 12:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals - Date: 7/31/2019 Braves' Soroka goes for series win vs. NationalsFLMThe Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals will each host a series against the other in September.But until then the two National League East contenders will meet for the last time for more than a month when the Nationals host the Braves for a day game Wednesday."We have an early start tomorrow," Washington manager Dave Martinez told reporters late Tuesday, after his team's rally from an 11-1 deficit fell short in an 11-8 loss.In the finale of the three-game series, Atlanta will start Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.44 ERA) against the Nats' Anibal Sanchez (6-6, 3.63) in a battle of right-handers.Soroka is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts this season against the Nationals. He started in Washington one June 23 and went just two innings after he was hit by a pitch while batting in the top of the third."It was an easy decision. He got hit pretty good," Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters following Atlanta's 4-3 victory in 10 innings about lifting Soroka.In his last start, Soroka gave up one run on eights in 4 2/3 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies last Friday but left with the bases loaded and a 5-1 lead. Sean Newcomb got the win as he got out of the fifth inning."I understood completely," Soroka told reporters about leaving the game. "I threw 37 pitches in the inning. I had full confidence in (the bullpen)." Sanchez, who pitched for Atlanta last season, is 7-11 with ERA of 4.81 in 21 career starts against the Braves.His two former catchers on the Braves have hit well against Sanchez. Brian McCann is 13-for-41 with three homers while Tyler Flowers is four-for-12 with two homers.Freddie Freeman, the Atlanta first baseman, continues to torment the Nationals. He had three hits Monday and one more on Tuesday. Freeman is h itting .327 in his career against the Nationals in 145 games. He has 18 homers and 93 RBI in his career against Washington.Ozzie Albies, the Atlanta second baseman, is also a thorn in the side of the Nationals. He had three hits on Tuesday in the win over Washington while Adam Duvall had four hits, including two homers.The Nationals will try to win the series Wednesday and gain a game on the Braves in the NL East race.Washington batters are 10-for-31 (.323) against Soroka with one homer. Adam Easton and Juan Soto, a pair of lefty hitters, are 2-for-4 against the All-Star rookie while Matt Adams is 1-for-4 with a homer.The Nationals have been playing at less than full strength as first baseman Adams missed the game Monday after he was hit on the foot with a pitch Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Washington manager Dave Martinez told reporters Tuesday that Adams most likely was not available to pinch-hit Monday."He is doing better," Martinez said of Adams on Tu esday. "We don't want to push it. He is feeling better than last night. He was pretty sure yesterday." Howie Kendrick made the start at first base again Tuesday for the Nationals.The trade deadline ends Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST and both teams have been linked to deals."Our veteran guys understand what transpires this time of year," Martinez said. "We will know tomorrow." --Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies - 7/31/2019 - 7:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Date: 7/31/2019 Phillies aim to steal Giants' momentumFLMThe Philadelphia Phillies will be looking for their third consecutive victory when they host the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.The Phillies won the series finale against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday and now they'll be attempting to clinch a series win over the Giants.Rhys Hoskins ripped his team-best 23rd home run in Tuesday's 4-2 win while Jean Segura added three hits. J. Sports Monitor. T. Realmuto had two hits and improved his average to .270. Realmuto also has three home runs in his last five games as both he and the club (7-3 in its last 10) seem to be heating up."I've hit the ball just as hard as I ever have," Realmuto told reporters. "I have some numbers to show I've been a little unlucky. Obviously, I f eel like I can produce more at the plate -- maybe simplify my approach a little bit. I feel like it's coming around." If the Phillies are to extend their winning streak, they'll need another strong outing from right-hander Vince Velasquez. In Velasquez's last start, he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a 4-0 win against the Detroit Tigers last Wednesday. Velasquez gave up four hits, struck out nine and walked two to get his third win.Velasquez is 3-5 with a 4.46 earned run average, but has been very inconsistent all season locating his pitches."When he commands his fastball over the plate, no one hits," backup catcher Andrew Knapp said. "For the most part, he was throwing his heater by every single person in that (Tigers) lineup." The Phillies got their 56th victory on Tuesday and remain in the hunt for a wild-card berth as the calendar is about to flip to August.Despite Tuesday's loss, the Giants have still won 19 of their last 25 ga mes to become one of the hottest teams in the National League.Trailing 4-0 late on Tuesday, Brandon Belt and Stephen Vogt each laced pinch-hit home runs to keep the game close. Belt's homer snapped a maddening 0-for-17 skid."He's been playing the game a long time," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters of Belt. "I don't see where he's changed his thinking or philosophy on hitting. If it was a young kid, maybe, but not with Brandon." Even in their losses, the Giants continue to compete until the game is complete."This is over a longer period that we've been playing good ball," Bochy told reporters. "Really, it's been five or six weeks." San Francisco's bullpen threw three scoreless innings on Tuesday. Its bullpen has been a major reason why the team has ripped off so many wins in the month of July."Man, this bullpen is unbelievable," infielder Pablo Sandoval said. "They're doing a great job. Baseball Handicappers. They never complain. Free Sports Picks. They're doing everything well." The Giants will hand the ball to Jeff Samardzija, who's 7-8 with a 3.95 ERA. Through five starts in July, Samardzija has been stellar, going 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA.Last Friday, Samardzija earned a no-decision in a 2-1 win on the road against the San Diego Padres. He threw six strong innings and allowed four hits and one run while striking out six and walking three.--Field Level Media

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MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds - 7/31/2019 - 12:35 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds - Date: 7/31/2019 Dust settles as Pirates, Reds set for rematchFLMThe Cincinnati Reds and visiting Pittsburgh Pirates will try to dust themselves off, regroup in a hurry and win the rubber match of their three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.Corey Dickerson had a career-high five RBIs and the Pirates ended a nine-game losing streak with an 11-4 win on Tuesday, but the game will long be remembered for a wild benches-clearing brawl.First, both teams were warned in the seventh inning after Pirates reliever Keone Kela threw a pitch over the head of Derek Dietrich. Handicapping Sports. Then, Cincinnati reliever Jared Hughes was ejected after hitting Starling Marte in the leg with the first pitch of the ninth. Amir Garrett then replaced Hughes and continued to have words with the Pirates bench. Four batters later he cha rged Pittsburgh's dugout during a meeting at the mound with coach Jeff Pickler.Garrett was met by a half dozen Pirates and a long brawl ensued.And all of this came as reports were surfacing that the Reds had acquired starting pitcher Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians as part of a three-team trade that also involved the San Diego Padres and saw the Reds send, among others, outfielder Yasiel Puig back to the Indians.The rivalry between the Reds and Pirates grew heated early this season as they played six of their first eight games against each other.Dietrich admired a long home run off Chris Archer on April 7, and Archer threw behind Dietrich's back his next time up. Dietrich has continued hitting home runs against the Pirates, seven in all, leading to Kela's brushback pitch on Tuesday."When you have a friend, someone you care about, have a 90-whatever (mph) ball thrown at his head and nobody will do anything about it, we have to do something about it,&q uot; Reds manager David Bell told reporters. "We have to be able to go out there and know that we're protected, and it hasn't happened." Bell was referring to the lack of discipline from the major league front office as the ongoing feud has escalated.Bell had been ejected in the eighth inning for arguing with the home plate umpire, but ran on the field at the start of the brawl and shoved Pirates manager Clint Hurdle against the dugout railing."We don't take lightly to what happened (Tuesday) night and the way that they acted," Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove said. "The guy that's running their team over there is the ringleader. You saw him come out and go right after our manager after being ejected." Bell said the main focus on Wednesday will be winning the series finale, but he added that the Reds will be prepared to defend themselves again."Someone else is going to have to step in and do something about it and, hopefully, th ey get to the core of why this continues to happen," he said. "Why it's OK and who's teaching it and who's making it acceptable for their players to do this." The Reds plan to send right-hander Luis Castillo to the mound.Castillo (9-4, 2.71 ERA) is coming off his worst outing of the season, allowing six earned runs and eight hits in five innings of a 12-2 loss to the visiting Colorado Rockies on Friday.Castillo has faced the Pirates twice this season and did not receive a decision either time.Castillo made his season debut against the Pirates on March 28, allowing one run and two hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-3 win. He went up against them again on May 27 and allowed three runs (one earned) and six hits in an 8-5 loss.The right-hander is 1-3 in seven career starts against Pittsburgh with a 3.32 ERA.Pirates rookie Dario Agrazal (2-1, 3.24) is set to make his seventh major league start. He didn't allow more than two earned runs in his first five o utings this season before giving up five in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-3 loss at the New York Mets on Friday.--Field Level Media

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (9) vs. Colorado Rockies (4) - 7/30/2019

MLB Game Recap: Los Angeles Dodgers (9) vs. Colorado Rockies (4) - Date: 7/30/2019 Negron homers in 1st LA at-bat, Dodgers beat Rockies 9-4DENVER Kristopher Negron homered in his first at-bat with Los Angeles, one of four connections by the Dodgers in a 9-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.A. J. Pollock, Russell Martin and Justin Turner also went deep for Los Angeles. What is Sports Handicapping. The Dodgers became the first team in the majors to reach 70 wins and increased their lead in the NL West to 15 games over San Francisco.Rockies starter Kyle Freeland struggled again. Fixed Games. The left-hander, who was fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting last season after winning 17 games, is 2-9 with a 7.48 ERA. He set a club record with a 2.84 ERA in 2018.Colorado fell to 6-18 in July and has lost 24 o f 34 since late June to fall eight games below .500.Pollock led off the game with a homer as part of a three-run first inning. Negron, who was acquired from Seattle on Sunday, hit his first home run of the season leading off the second, and Martin hit Freeland's next pitch into the Colorado bullpen.Tyler White gave Los Angeles a 7-0 lead with a two-run single in the third and Turner's two-run homer off Chad Bettis in the fourth made it 9-3.Colorado scored three runs in the third on RBI doubles by Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond and a run-scoring single by Daniel Murphy.Casey Sadler (1-0) tossed 2 1/3 innings in relief of Julio Urias to get the win. Rookie Tony Gonsolin pitched the last four innings for his first save after being called up from Triple-A.TRAINER'S ROOMDodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (biceps tendinitis) played catch from about 90 feet Tuesday, and manager Dave Roberts said he didn't experience any pain. Roberts said Stripling will likely miss his next turn in the rotation.Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon (back tightness) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. Blackmon hurt himself working out in Cincinnati on Saturday night and pinch-hit Sunday.Up NextDodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-2, 1.74) faces Rockies RHP German Marquez (10-5, 4.88) to wrap up the three-game series. Ryu has allowed just four runs over his last four starts while Marquez has won his last two outings after giving up 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings against San Francisco.---More MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (9) vs. Kansas City Royals (2) - 7/30/2019

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (9) vs. Kansas City Royals (2) - Date: 7/30/2019 Guerrero belts slam to cap Blue Jays' 9-2 rout of RoyalsKANSAS CITY, Mo. Blue Jays skipper Charlie Montoya has been waiting all season for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to get hot.Two grand slams in the last 10 days hot enough?The budding young star hit the latest in the ninth inning Tuesday night, giving him a career-high five RBIs and punctuating Toronto's 9-1 rout of the Kansas City Royals. Best Sports Picks of the Day. The 20-year-old Guerrero is the fourth-youngest American League player ever to drive in five runs in a game.''He's getting hot now and I knew that was going to happen,'' Montoya said. ''He's seeing the ball better. He's having good at-bats. He wasn't doing that and still getting hits because he's just that good, but now he 9;s having good at-bats.'' Freddy Galvis drove in a pair of runs with a broken-bat single, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also had an RBI for the Blue Jays, who clinched their first winning series at Kauffman Stadium since April 2013.Meanwhile, the Royals stranded 14 while going 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.Sean Reid-Foley (1-1), making just his third start of the season, dominated the Royals much as he did in late June. Top Rated Sports Services. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed four hits and walked four while striking out four, and if not for a pitch count that had already reached 92, he might have gone farther.''Whatever they need, I don't care,'' Foley said. ''I could throw tomorrow.'' No need for more. Free Sports Picks Forum. The Blue Jays' bullpen - and Guerrero's big blow - took care of t he rest.''We won 9-2,'' Montoyoa said, ''but it was a lot closer game.'' The Royals' Mike Montgomery (1-4) failed to build off a solid start against Cleveland his last time out, getting tagged for two runs in the first and never getting in a groove. The recently acquired left-hander allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk while failing to escape the fifth.His trouble began with the very first batter, Bo Bichette, who ripped a clean single. Four of the first five Toronto batters wound up reaching base, putting the Royals in a 2-0 hole.Montgomery dodged more trouble in the third before Galvis, scratched from the series opener with back tightness, cracked his bat while dumping a pitch into left field for a two-run single in the fifth.''It was a frustrating night all around,'' Montgomery said. ''I thought I made so many good pitches, no results to show for it. That's baseball. I felt good.'' The Royals wo uld have loved such timely hitting.They left the bags loaded in the first when Cheslor Cuthbert flied out, then stranded runners each of the next five frames. And when Hunter Dozier led off the seventh with a single, Jorge Soler popped out and Ryan O'Hearn grounded into a double play - so at least they didn't strand anyone.''We just couldn't get the big hit,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''The game had the feel that, you know, we were going to be kind of out of it the whole game. Battle, battle, battle, but nothing to show for it, then boom, we were going to be right there.'' AND STREAKSThe Blue Jays had lost five straight series at the K. ... Foley earned his first win since Sept. 15 against the Yankees. ... Galvis made his first career start at DH. ... The Royals have committed at least two errors twice during this homestand. ... Montgomery is winless in his last 18 appearances.BLUE JAYS MOVESThe Blue Jays traded right-hander David Phelps to the Cubs along with cash to offset a portion of the reliever's salary. They got Double-A pitcher Thomas Hatch in return. ... Outfielder Dalton Pompey, who was designated for assignment, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo.TRAINER'S ROOMBlue closer Ken Giles, the subject of rampant trade speculation, got a cortisone shot in his right elbow to treat what the club called mild inflammation. Head trainer Nikki Huffman said an MRI exam showed no structural problems, and Giles is expected to begin throwing in a couple days.Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (left shoulder subluxation) continues to take groundballs and took 40 swings each way off the tee. ''We go day to day,'' Yost said. ''Making progress.'' UP NEXTThe Royals send right-hander Jakob Junis (6-9, 5.03) to the mound to cap their miserable homestand Wednesday afternoon. Jacob Waguespack (1-1, 5.63) is getting the ball for the Blue Jays.---More M LB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/-Sports