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  1. BOSTON — Brian Flynn Jersey , Justin Verlander won two games for the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, one as a starter and one in relief.Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale was the loser in both of those games — also one as a starter and the other in relief.The two aces, former foes in the American League Central, match up again when their teams square off in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night at Fenway Park.Article continues below ...“This is a rematch of last year,” Sale said Friday. “Obviously, the winner of this one goes to the World Series. So like I’ve been saying the whole time, just keep playing the same game, not trying to reach for more, not trying to be better than I am. We shouldn’t play as a team like that, either.”As far as making up for last year, Sale said, “It’s one of those things that you learn more from your mistakes than you do sometimes your successes. You try to flip the script and be better from it, and try to keep the momentum rolling forward.”Sale went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA during the 2018 regular season, and he is 1-2 with a 6.19 ERA in the postseason in his career.Verlander, who was 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA in the regular season, is 12-6 with a 3.08 ERA lifetime in the postseason, including 12-2 in the LDS and LCS.The Astros, who swept the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS, are seeking to become the first repeat World Series champions since the 2000 New York Yankees.“The fun part about this team is that the bar is so high for these guys,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, “and they continue to try to work toward exceeding expectations Abraham Almonte Jersey , either personally or as a team. It’s a great attribute for these guys to continue to reach for it.”The Red Sox have home field advantage for this best-of-seven series but the Astros had a major league-best 57-24 road record this season. They had the lowest ERA in baseball for both their starters (3.16) and relievers (3.03).This will be the eighth time Sale and Verlander will faces each other as starters — and Verlander has the clear advantage over the first seven.In this postseason, both won Game 1 of his respective series.Sale, who had pitched only 17 innings since July 27 thanks to shoulder trouble, went 5 1/3 innings, yielding two runs on five hits and striking out eight to beat the Yankees. He also pitched a perfect eighth inning in the Game 4 finale.Verlander beat the Indians in his team’s Game 1, going 5 1/3 inning and allowing two runs on two hits, striking out seven and taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning.According to STATS, in those seven previous games, Verlander is 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA, an 0.98 WHIP and .207 opponents’ batting average against Sale’s teams. Sale is 1-3 with a 3.97 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and .261 batting average against when pitching against Verlander’s teams.Sale is 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in seven career regular season starts against the Astros. Verlander is 5-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 18 career regular season starts against the Red Sox – including 3-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 10 starts at Fenway. Both have pitched once against the Saturday night opponent this season.June 1 at Houston, Sale was the loser, allowing four runs on six hits in six innings. The next night, Verlander didn’t get a decision against Boston, going six innings and yielding two runs on three hits in a solid start. The Astros won the game, part of their 4-3 season series win over the Red Sox.Boston’s J.D. Martinez, happy to no longer have to face Sale, squares off against his former team in this series. Martinez, like David Ortiz a decade before, was released, only to wind up a hero in Boston.“My failures in Houston made me who I am http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-justin-grimm-jersey ,” Martinez said Friday, adding he has “no animosity” towards the Astros.For the record, Martinez is 9-for-38 (.237) with 16 strikeouts, three homers and six RBIs lifetime against Sale.George Springer, who is fast turning into the new Mr. October, is 5-for-14 (.357) with a homer and Jose Altuve 8-for-24 (.333) lifetime against Sale. But Jake Marisnick is 1-for-11 (.091), Marwin Gonzalez 1-for-9 (.111), Evan Gattis 2-for-12 (.167), Josh Reddick 3-for-14 (.214) and Carlos Correa 3-for-13 (.231).Eduardo Nunez leads the Red Sox against Verlander, going 6-for-18 (.333), while Mitch Moreland is 10-for-32 (.313) and Brock Holt 3-for-10 (.300). But Mookie Betts is 0-for-13 (.000), Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. are both 1-for-9 (.111), Ian Kinsler 6-for-38 (.158), Sandy Leon 2-for-9 (.222) and Xander Bogaerts 4-for-17 (.235).Moreland, who sustained a hamstring injury in the ALDS, went through a full workout Friday and his spot on the LCS roster will be determined Saturday.For the Astros, Hector Rondon and Joe Smith have replaced Will Harris and Myles Straw on the roster.Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright, out with a knee injury, will undergo the same arthroscopic procedure that Dustin Pedroia had in July (from the same doctor) and still hopes to be available for a potential World Series. Pedroia was not able to make it back. Michael Kopech might be nervous to check the weather forecast Wednesday night.The 22-year-old’s reluctance would be understandable. His first two starts on Chicago’s South Side have been interrupted because of rain — after two innings against the Minnesota Twins and after three against the Boston Red Sox.“I’m going to say a little prayer to Mother Nature and see if we can figure things out,” Kopech joked after his last start.Article continues below ...Chicago (56-83) will hope for dry skies in the rubber match of a three-game series against Detroit (56-83). The finale’s winner will move into sole possession of third place in the American League Central.Kopech (1-0, 0.82 ERA) is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season for the White Sox. He has allowed one run in his first 11 innings while walking one and striking out nine.This marks Kopech’s second career start against Detroit. He limited the Tigers to one run on seven hits in six innings when he faced them Aug. 26 in Detroit. The performance yielded his first big-league victory.The Tigers will counter with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (6-6 Burch Smith Jersey , 4.22 ERA), who is slated to make his 21st start of the year. The 32-year-old has thrown four quality starts in his last six outings, going 2-3 with a 3.79 ERA during that time.In 12 career starts against the White Sox, Zimmermann is 5-4 with a 6.26 ERA. He has given up 45 earned runs in 64 2/3 innings, allowing 12 walks and striking out 43. That includes 20 earned runs allowed in 20 1/3 innings this year.Zimmermann took a no-hitter through five innings against the New York Yankees in his most recent performance, but he surrendered three home runs in the sixth.“It’s a tough situation to be in,” Zimmermann said to the Detroit News after a recent start. “My mentality my whole career has been to fill up the zone and get guys out in three pitches or less.“But it seems like on a lot of guys, I get 0-2 and 1-2, and I tell myself, ‘All right, let’s get this over with and make a quality pitch here.’ But there will be a broken bat and or a jam shot and, boom — two bloops and a blast.”The White Sox have tagged Zimmermann for 30 hits in his 20 1/3 innings.“It’s not like I’ve pitched horribly,” Zimmermann said to the Detroit News. “I am just around the zone too much and they swing at everything.”Outfielder Daniel Palka, who has homered in each of his past two contests, is one of the White Sox’ most confident hitters. The slugger has 21 home runs in his rookie campaign.Chicago has won eight of 12 and 14 of 21.“I think we’re all pulling in the same direction, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of right now,” Kopech said. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve been a winning team, and hopefully it stays that way for a long time.”
  2. for BryantandGuerrero. Jimenez's representatives are speaking out on his behalf Devin Mesoraco Jersey , just as agent Scott Boras once did for Bryant. And this is only the latest in a line of articles (see also: Baseball America, The Athletic and CBSSports.com)decrying service-time manipulation.Momentum for changeis building at an opportune time. With baseball's collective bargaining agreement due to expire in 2021, it won't be long before negotiations over a new CBA get serious.The union is certain to pursue an overhaul of MLB's free-agency ruleshich could involve simply redefining a season or a more drastic measure to base free agency on agehat would allow for players to reach the majors and hit the open market sooner. The goal will be to funnel more money to players, who have been getting a smaller slice of the pie lately.With stakes this big, the conflict between the MLBPA and MLB could get ugly. The possibility of a work stoppage is real.Yet the league knows it has to make every effort to appeal to younger fans, so that's one reason to bend the rules in favor of young players. Doing so could also lead to the death of MLB's sudden tanking epidemic. If clubs call on their young players sooner and become more willing to invest in free agency, the number of competitive teams could increase. That's good for business.For now, there's only outrage. But out of outrage must come hope for positive change. Maybe, justmaybe http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-jason-vargas-jersey , that's what will happen. CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs are closing in on the NL Central championship and have their sights set on another deep playoff run.It sure would help if Kyle Hendricks keeps pitching like this. They’ll take a few more big home runs from Kris Bryant, too.Hendricks went eight innings in another strong start, Bryant connected and the Cubs moved closer to the division title while dealing another hit to St. Louis’ playoff hopes, beating the Cardinals 8-4 on Friday.“This is what you look for,” Hendricks said. “These are the games you want to play in, games that have meaning like this. That’s why we play the game. Hopefully, we’ve got a lot of these left.”The Cubs came into the final weekend of the regular season with a franchise-record fourth straight trip to the postseason assured and their third division title in a row in sight. They remained one game ahead of Milwaukee, which beat Detroit 6-5 on Friday night.The Cubs can clinch the NL Central on Saturday — and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs — with a win and a Brewers loss.St. Louis matched a season high with its fourth straight loss, after being swept by Milwaukee this week. The Cardinals trail Los Angeles by two games for the second NL wild card after the Dodgers won 3-1 in San Francisco late Friday night.With two games remaining http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-pedro-martinez-jersey , one more St. Louis loss or Los Angeles win would eliminate the Cardinals from postseason contention.“Clearly the back is completely against the wall,” manager Mike Shildt said.Hendricks (14-11) gave up two runs and seven hits . The right-hander is 5-1 with a 1.52 ERA in his past seven outings and has thrown a career-high 199 innings.“He’s pitched with his best stuff since I’ve known him,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “There’s not many strikeouts, not a lot of swing-and-misses. But the velocity on the fastball, he’s back to the weaker contact in general. He looks strong. … I just see a stronger version of Kyle.”Bryant made it 3-0 with a long solo drive to center against Adam Wainwright in the fourth.That gave the 2016 NL MVP just two homers in 27 games and 13 total in a season marked by injuries. Bryant missed the previous two games because of a bruised left wrist after getting hit by a pitch and was on the disabled list two times this year because of left shoulder inflammation.Daniel Murphy had two hits, two runs and an RBI. He singled and scored in a two-run first, doubled and came around in the fifth, and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.Anthony Rizzo had an RBI single and sacrifice fly.Albert Almora drove in two with a single against Dominic Leone to cap a three-run eighth, making it 8-2 Giancarlo Stanton Jersey , and the Cubs won their third in a row after losing four of six.“We’ve been here before,” Bryant said, referring to three straight appearances in the NLCS and a World Series championship in 2016 that ended a drought dating to 1908. “We’ve been under pressure situations. I think we know how to handle it.”Wainwright (2-4) is now 11-3 lifetime at Wrigley Field. He lasted five innings, allowing four runs and five hits, in what could be his final start for the Cardinals. Though he didn’t sound like a player ready to walk away, the three-time All-Star has an expiring contract and was on the disabled list three times this season because of hamstring and elbow injuries.“If you had asked me that question about two months ago, I would have already checked out on you,” Wainwright said. “But the way I’m feeling right now, if that is my last start http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-derek-jeter-jersey , it would be kind of hard to walk away knowing the way I’m feeling right now.”TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: Manager Joe Maddon said he wasn’t sure if reliever Pedro Strop (strained left hamstring) will pitch this weekend. The right-hander still feels some discomfort on the landing throwing off the mound. Strop has been sidelined since Sept. 13, when he was hurt running to first on a double-play grounder at Washington. … The Cubs activated C Bobby Wilson, who was acquired Aug. 30 from Minnesota on Friday. The Twins placed him on the 10-day disabled list Aug. 24 because of a sprained right ankle.UP NEXTCardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (17-4, 2.94 ERA) looks to win his fifth straight start, after holding San Francisco to two runs and two hits in seven innings on Sunday.Cubs: LHP Cole Hamels (4-2, 2.47) tries to shake off back-to-back losses after going 4-0 in his first nine starts for Chicago following a trade from Texas. He homered against Pittsburgh on Monday but got outpitched by Jameson Taillon.
  3. NEW YORK (AP) — Kennys Vargas Jersey , the New York Mets were getting closer to completing a deal with high-profile agent Brodie Van Wagenen, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday.The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing.The 44-year-old Van Wagenen has been co-head of CAA Baseball since 2010 and emerged as the team’s top choice for GM from a list of 10-12 original candidates. He appears set to switch sides at the bargaining table after representing several Mets stars including Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier.Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom also was a finalist and remains a possibility, according to the person. An announcement is expected shortly after the World Series — but no sooner than Tuesday.Doug Melvin also had a second interview with ownership this week, but the former Texas and Milwaukee general manager was told he is no longer in the running.With the Mets seeking a replacement for Sandy Alderson, the finalists met during the week with owner Fred Wilpon and his son, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.Alderson was hired as Mets general manager in October 2010 but took a leave of absence in late June after a recurrence of cancer. He said the team’s poor record did not merit him returning.Baseball decisions have since been made by the trio of assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistants Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi, all reporting to the Wilpons.Players and rival agents around the majors have expressed concern about a potential conflict of interest if Van Wagenen flips roles Bert Blyleven Jersey , though the move is not unprecedented. Former big league pitcher Dave Stewart made the switch from agent to front-office executive with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and a couple of GMs in the NBA did the same.“In my role as an agent, my solution is to create opportunities for players to be successful both on and off the field,” Van Wagenen said Monday in a statement released by the Mets after his second interview. “My conversations with the Mets continue to be organic. I believe baseball is better when the Mets are competitive and successful.”Following the team’s second consecutive losing season, Jeff Wilpon has been looking for a progressive thinker from outside the organization to take over as GM. He said he was open to “untraditional candidates,” an approach that has support from his father, and would like to have someone in place by the Nov. 5-8 general managers’ meetings.Jeff Wilpon also said he would like Ricco, Ricciardi and Minaya to return — but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll be retained.“As Jeff and Fred continue their search for a new head of baseball operations http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-paul-o_neill-jersey , the players, fans and entire organization will be motivated to have a leader with the skills and commitment to win,” Van Wagenen said in his statement. “If the Wilpons believe I am that person, we will have that conversation.”Van Wagenen also represents Mets minor leaguer Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback.If he takes the GM job, Van Wagenen would need to give up his career as an agent.Van Wagenen played college baseball at Stanford with current Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch, and the two became good friends. A potential National League playoff preview will continue at Chavez Ravine on Tuesday when the Los Angeles Dodgers (59-48) host the Milwaukee Brewers (62-47) as large home favorites at the sportsbooks.The Dodgers lost the series opener 5-2 on Monday as favorites, giving the Brewers the most wins in the NL.MLB betting line: The Dodgers opened as -167 favorites (wager $167 to win $100); the total is at eight runs Jacoby Ellsbury Jersey , according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 3.1-3.0, Dodgers (MLB picks on every game)Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.Why the Brewers can pay on the MLB linesMilwaukee remains one of the most underrated teams in baseball, as they have gone 6-3 since suffering through a season-worst seven-game losing streak. The Brewers ended that skid with a 4-2 home win against Los Angeles on July 21 but still lost two of three to the Dodgers right after the MLB All-Star break.The Brewers are hoping to catch the Chicago Cubs for the lead in the NL Central and wrap up an eight-game West Coast road trip with four in Los Angeles. Wade Miley (1-1, 2.01 ERA) will toe the rubber here, and he is coming off a solid start at the beginning of the trip at San Francisco, allowing two runs and six hits in five innings of an eventual 7-5 Milwaukee victory last Thursday. Why the Dodgers can pay on the MLB linesThe Dodgers are involved in an equally competitive divisional race with the Arizona Diamondbacks http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-don-mattingly-jersey , so they cannot afford to lose two in a row to the Brewers. Los Angeles has dropped consecutive games only once since the end of June, and one of those losses was a 16-inning road affair a week ago at the Philadelphia Phillies.Countering Miley on the mound will be Walker Buehler (4-3, 3.92 ERA), who has pitched much better at home than on the road. The 24-year-old has gone 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA at Dodger Stadium, limiting opposing hitters to a .209 batting average there compared to 2-1 with a 5.26 ERA away from home. He has never faced Milwaukee in 20 career games. Smart betting pickLos Angeles is 10-6 in the past 16 meetings, according to the OddsShark MLB Database, but a disappointing 3-5 in the last eight after posting a 7-1 mark in the previous eight. During this recent stretch, the Brewers have beaten the Dodgers three straight times at home Aroldis Chapman Jersey , and they will make it four in a row with another upset victory.MLB betting trendsMilwaukee is 4-1 in its last five games.Milwaukee is 4-1 in its last five games on the road.LA Dodgers is 2-4 in its last six games when playing Milwaukee.All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.
  4. on the New York Mets from the moment he walked into their winter meetings suite in Las Vegas last week.“It was his handshake Bryan Holaday Jersey ,” new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen recalled Tuesday at the catcher’s introductory news conference. “As some of you may get to know, this guy has really big, strong, strong mitts here for hands.”Ramos agreed to a $19 million, two-year contract, the fourth All-Star to join the Mets since Van Wagenen was hired in late October. New York acquired second baseman Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz from Seattle and brought back former closer Jeurys Familia as a setup man.“Internally, we would argue that we’re the favorites in the division right now,” Van Wagenen told the team’s SNY network.Ramos commanded the room, according to Van Wagenen Brad Ziegler Jersey , when he met with the GM, manager Mickey Callaway and other New York executives. Ramos looked at home during the Citi Field news conference, wearing a sports shirt and sneakers as he slipped on a Mets jersey with his No. 40 — pitcher Jason Vargas agreed to switch to No. 44. Ramos maintained he has completely recovered from a tore right ACL in September 2016, which delayed his first game of the following season until late June.“Right now I feel 100 percent,” he said. “I’ve been working really hard, training really good in Florida. That made me feel confident to work in every part of my body, not only my knee.”Ramos has a lengthy injury history. His 2012 season ended May 12 when he tore the medial meniscus in his right knee while running after a passed ball. He went on the disabled list twice the following year after straining his left hamstring while running out a grounder. He broke the hamate bone in his left hand when hit by a foul tip on opening day in 2014, which sidelined him until May 7, then missed two weeks that June due to a strained right hamstring.He tore his ACL in 2016 when he landed awkwardly while catching a throw. He missed another month last summer after straining his right hamstring while running on a grounder.“We did a lot of research on his medical file http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-rod-carew-jersey ,” Van Wagenen said. “We obviously did a physical examination of him, and we were able to get really good detailed video of some of his workouts that he was doing this offseason.”Ramos’ arrival could lead New York to giving Travis d’Arnaud some time at first or third base or in left field. New York also may carry three catchers — Kevin Plawecki is out of options.Ramos’ deal includes a $2 million signing bonus payable next July 1, $6.25 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. The Mets have a $10 million option for 2021 with a $1.5 million buyout. Ramos would earn a $500,000 bonus in each season he has 100 starts at catcher.New York was seeking offense from the right side of the plate in the absence of Yoenis Cespedes, expected to be sidelined for a significant part of the season while recovering from surgery on both heels. Van Wagenen called the 31-year-old Ramos a “guy that can keep us a little bit above water on that side of the plate until Cespedes comes back.”Ramos hit .306 with 15 home runs and an .845 OPS last season for Tampa Bay and Philadelphia.While back in his home nation of Venezuela, Ramos was kidnapped in November 2011 and rescued after two days. He sidestepped a question about whether he and his family needed special security.“I feel comfortable living here in the States,” he said. “My family’s happy and I’m not putting too much attention on that because. … I want to concentrate on my game, on my job.”Van Wagenen said New York still had the flexibility to add payroll. He made an effort to project confidence, reading from prepared remarks.“We haven’t been shy and we haven’t been bashful Brian Dozier Jersey ,” he said. “And this action rather than our inaction should demonstrate to the fans that we say what we do and we do what we say.”Notes: OF Brandon Nimmo attended the news conference. Nimmo, who was in New York for a meeting, said he wasn’t bothered by his name being mentioned as trade bait and didn’t call the Mets to inquire. “There’s so many scenarios that come up in the trade talks that it’s really hard to know what’s fact and what’s fiction,” he said. G Fiume/Getty ImagesThe Washington Nationals announced Wednesday that relief pitcher Shawn Kelley was designated for assignment following an outburst in Tuesday's 25-4 win over the New York Mets at Nationals Park.Kelley, who threw his glove to the ground after allowing a home run to Mets outfielder Austin Jackson, said he "acted like a baby," per Daniel Kramer of MLB.com. Nationals manager Dave Martinez called the reliever's actions "disrespectful to the organization.""You're either in or you're in the way. I thought he was in the way," general manager Mike Rizzo said, adding the incident was "selfish."Kelley was enjoying a strong season for Washington out of the bullpen. He compiled a 3.34 ERA and 0.96 WHIP with 32 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. His 35 pitching appearances were tied for the fourth-most on the team.The 34-year-old Kentucky native struggled in 2017 en route to a 7.27 ERA in 33 games http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-justin-morneau-jersey , but he finished with a sub-2.65 ERA in each of the previous two years. He owns a 3.73 career ERA across nine-plus seasons.He previously played for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres.The Nationals must decide whether to place Kelley on waivers, trade him or release him within the next seven days if they don't return him to the active 40-man roster. Since the non-waiver trade deadline passed Tuesday, he would need to clear waivers before Washington could deal him.Sammy Solis and Justin Miller will take on more prominent roles in the Nats pen in front of closer Kelvin Herrera and setup man Ryan Madson.Kelley should generate interest either via trade or free agency given his track record.
  5. ST. PETERSBURG Whitey Herzog Jersey , Fla. (AP) — poor outing in his final start before the playoffs.Tanaka gave up four runs and six hits over four-plus innings in in the New York Yankees‘ 8-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night.“It just comes down to the mechanics,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I wasn’t able to locate my pitches the way I wanted to.”New York’s lead over Oakland for home-field advantage in the AL wild-card game on Oct. 3 was cut to 1½ games, with the Yankees holding the tiebreaker.Yankees manager Aaron Boone hasn’t decided whether Tanaka, J.A. Happ or Luis Severino will start against the A’s.“A lot of people ask me that, friends, family, all that, and honestly I have no idea,” Boone said before the game.New York rallied for four runs in the ninth against Sergio Romo, who struggled to get four outs for his 24th save.“They’re tough. They’re talented,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.Aaron Judge hit a bases-loaded RBI single before Luke Voit hit a two-run off the center-field wall that Mallex Smith nearly caught. Judge held up http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-vince-coleman-jersey , forcing Voit to only reach first. After Giancarlo Stanton had a run-scoring infield single, Romo retired Tyler Wade on a flyout and Miguel Andujar on a popout.“I’m proud of the way the guys were fighting,” Judge said. “Games like that will help us down the stretch and the postseason.”Tanaka (12-6) was coming off a four-inning start last Thursday in which he allowed five runs and eight hits during an 11-6 loss to Boston.“Regardless of how I pitched the last two games, it’s something that’s out of my control, so I guess I don’t really have an opinion on that,” Tanaka said of the wild-card game.Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier was hit by Tanaka’s pitch in the first and left two innings later with what X-rays determined was a hairline fracture of the right foot. The center fielder made a running catch on Brett Gardner’s drive during the second.Kiermaier missed 57 games this season with a torn right thumb ligament.“What a way for my year to end,” Kiermaier said. “That’s my 2018 in a nutshell.”After falling behind by three, the Rays went up 4-3 on Tommy Pham’s third-inning solo homer off Tanaka. Pham extended his career-best, on-base streak to 28 games, the longest active run in the AL. He has a hit in 27 of them.Reliever Yonny Chirinos (5-5) went four scoreless innings and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth when Stanton grounded into a double play.Both teams scored three times in a first inning that lasted 40 minutes and saw Tampa Bay’s Ryne Stanek (30) and Tanaka (36) combine for 66 pitches.Neil Walker hit a three-run homer Orlando Cepeda Jersey , while Tanaka walked one, hit a batter, allowed three hits and was charged with an error on an errant throw to second base after fielding C.J. Cron’s grounder between the mound and the first-base line.Walker was hit on the shin by pitched ball in the eighth and was replaced by Wade. X-rays were negative.Matt Duffy, who scored on Tanaka’s error, left after the inning with right quadriceps tightness.Cron had an RBI double in a four-run eighth off David Robertson. The inning included Gary Sanchez’s major league-leading 18th passed ball, which raised his two-year total to 34.Robertson joined Mariano Rivera (1,115) and Dave Righetti (522) as the only pitchers to make 500 appearances with the Yankees.It was the eighth time the Yankees have lost when scoring seven or more runs.TRAINER’S ROOMYankees: SS Didi Gregorius (right wrist) resumed baseball activities and might return this weekend. … CF Aaron Hicks (left hamstring) will likely start Friday. … INF Gleyber Torres (hip/groin) struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth.Rays: 1B/DH Ji-Man Choi sat out after experiencing concussion-like symptoms and cutting his left ear during a play at the plate Tuesday. “Nothing more than stitches in his ear,” Cash said.UP NEXTLHP CC Sabathia (8-7) could be making his final regular-season start for the Yankees on Thursday. He needs seven innings to reach 155 and earn a $500,000 bonus. The Rays will use relievers. PITTSBURGH (AP) — Before he took the mound Tuesday night, Pirates starter Joe Musgrove just didn’t feel right while warming up in the bullpen.In his quest to get things straightened out, he made a quick change to his approach.That tactic seemed to work http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-keith-hernandez-jersey , as Musgrove took a shutout into the seventh inning for Pittsburgh in a 7-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Starling Marte hit a two-run homer and Gregory Polanco had a two-run double for the Pirates.Musgrove (6-8) allowed two runs and struck out eight. He gave up five hits — four singles — over 6 1/3 innings. The key for him was trusting catcher Francisco Cervelli to make a change to the game plan because Musgrove didn’t have his best stuff.“I learned a lot from him tonight about how to disguise pitches,” Musgrove said. “That was the earliest in the game I’ve gone to my changeup. Usually, the first inning or two, I’ve gone fastball heavy.”That’s what this September is going to be all about for Musgrove, who has yet to finish a season as a starter in the majors. Last year with World Series champion Houston, he was moved to the bullpen as the Astros entered their stretch run.“This is something that I haven’t really gone through, ever, where I feel so inconsistent with my delivery,” Musgrove said. “I feel like you never stop learning.”Scooter Gennett homered twice for Cincinnati.Marte’s homer in the fourth scored Pablo Reyes, who reached on his first major league hit. Polanco drove in Marte and Adam Frazier with a double in the third. Frazier doubled and scored on Francisco Cervelli’s single in the first.Marte’s homer was the first for a Pirates player other than Frazier or Polanco since Aug. 15.The top four batters in Pittsburgh’s lineup went a combined 8 for 17 and drove in five runs.“You’re looking for contagions,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Hopefully Bob Gibson Jersey , this was a contagion to get us going in a direction. We haven’t had a lot of consistency.”Reds starter Cody Reed (0-2) permitted six runs and nine hits in a season-high five innings. It was Reed’s third start of the season for Cincinnati. He’s made 10 relief appearances.Gennett hit solo shots in the seventh and eighth, giving him 22 homers this season. It was his second multihomer game of the year.“The only positives we take from it are Scooter’s performance, really, and Cody finished up with a good fifth inning,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. “We’re trying to stretch him out a little bit. Hopefully we can get him sixth and further, eventually. I think the big blow of the game was Marte adding two more.”Cincinnati chased Musgrove in the seventh and loaded the bases. Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez hit Phillip Ervin with a pitch, allowing one run to score, but struck out Dilson Herrera and got Mason Williams to ground out to end the threat.SMOOTH DEBUTMaking his first career start, Reyes hit an infield single in his second at-bat. He drove in his first career run with a double in the eighth to finish 2 for 4. The 24-year-old started the season at Double-A Altoona. “I’m so excited,” Reyes said. “This is something that I’ve dreamed since I was a kid.”ROSTER MOVESAfter the Triple-A season ended Monday, both teams added players from the minor leagues. Pittsburgh recalled RHP Tanner Anderson http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-willie-mcgee-jersey , RHP Michael Feliz, RHP Clay Holmes and OF Jordan Luplow, and selected the contracts of INF Kevin Kramer and C Ryan Lavarnway. The Pirates designated LHP Buddy Boshers for assignment. Cincinnati recalled RHP Tyler Mahle and RHP Keury Mella, and selected the contracts of C Tim Federowicz and OF Gabriel Guerrero.TRAINER’S ROOMReds: Mella was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, ending his season. He last pitched for Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 24.Pirates: C Elias Diaz (right hamstring discomfort) is expected to miss at least 10 days and might not return at all this season, according to Hurdle. Diaz hasn’t played since he was removed from Friday’s game.UP NEXTReds: In the series finale Wednesday, RHP Homer Bailey (1-13, 6.13 ERA) will attempt to avoid becoming the first Reds pitcher to lose 14 games in a season since Mat Latos in 2013.Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (11-9, 3.45 ERA) is scheduled to start. He is 2-0 and is holding opponents to a .217 batting average over his last three starts.
  6. ARLINGTON ttp://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-brad-boxberger-jersey , Texas (AP) — whomever that may be, will have a talented group of 20-something position players who got a lot of experience during a 95-loss season.After deciding who will replace Jeff Banister, general manager Jon Daniels has to find some starting pitchers.The Rangers also go into the offseason awaiting a final decision from future Hall of Fame third baseman Adrian Beltre on if he has indeed played his last game after 21 seasons in the majors with 3,166 hits and 477 home runs. He hit a team-best .273 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs in 119 games this year. Beltre got huge ovations from fans, teammates and opposing players when taken out midway through games the past two Sundays — in the home finale Sept. 23 and then Sunday in Seattle, where he played five seasons before one year in Boston and the last eight in Texas. His wife and 12-year-old son, who has his own locker next to his dad in the home clubhouse, were in the front row for the season finale.“I don’t know if this is going to be it Daniel Descalso Jersey , but I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Beltre, who turns 40 next April. He is expected to take a week or more to think things over.Shortstop Elvis Andrus, at 30 the team’s longest-tenured player with 10 seasons in Texas, also has a decision to make. He is halfway through a $120 million, eight-year contract that offers him the opportunity to opt out this offseason, or next, and become a free agent.“I’ll go into the offseason and decide what’s best. I love being here. I want to retire as a Ranger. That’s my motivation,” said Andrus http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-ketel-marte-jerse , the only current Rangers player to be part of both of their World Series appearances. “Hopefully the big boy will come back. That will make it a lot easier.”As for the manager, bench coach Don Wakamatsu served in the interim role after Banister was fired with 10 games left and is considered a candidate for the job.The Rangers won the AL West in each of Banister’s first two years (2015-16). They now have consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 2005-08, though Daniels said that wasn’t necessarily the manager’s fault when the focus switched to the development of younger players.Seven position players 25 or younger played at least 106 games this season.That includes Jurickson Profar, the likely starting third baseman if Beltre retires. Profar, who at age 19 in 2012 homered in his first big-league at-bat before shoulder issues forced him to miss two full seasons, hit .254 with 20 homers and 77 RBIS in 146 games while playing all four infield positions. Joey Gallo, the 24-year-old slugger, had his second 40-homer season in a row.MINOR ACHIEVEMENTWhen Mike Minor signed a three-year contract last offseason, he was coming off a season as a full-time reliever after missing two years because of left shoulder surgery. The 30-year-old lefty went 12-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 28 starts. He was the only pitcher to start and finish the season in the Rangers rotation. His 157 innings more than doubled his 77 2-3 in Kansas City last season.REST OF ROTATIONLefty Cole Hamels was traded in July to the Chicago Cubs David Peralta Jersey , and inconsistent lefty Martin Perez likely won’t be brought back. Bartolo Colon, the 45-year-old right hander who became the winningest pitcher born in Latin America, isn’t coming back. Yovani Gallardo was 8-8 with a 5.77 ERA in 18 starts after rejoining Texas in June, right after injured Doug Fister (1-7, 4.50) made his final start.THUMB DOWNNomar Mazara missed a month on the disabled list because a sprained right thumb that still bothered him after returning to the lineup in mid-August. The 23-year-old right-fielder didn’t homer in his last 22 games, and hit 258 overall in 128 games with 20 homers for the third year in a row. He will see hand specialist this week and could have surgery.BALLPARK FAREWELLThe Rangers’ ballpark turns 25 next year, which will be the final season there before moving in 2020 to the new stadium being built across the street. The 2019 farewell season for the current ballpark opens March 28 against the Chicago Cubs — maybe against Hamels or Yu Darvish. PITTSBURGH (AP) — Neal Huntington raised eyebrows last winter when the Pittsburgh Pirates general manager said the club’s decision to trade franchise cornerstones Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole wouldn’t affect the team’s ability to win the World Series in 2018.The message Huntington was trying to send was lost in his unwieldy delivery: that flipping Cole and McCutchen for younger major league talent would help the Pirates contend into 2019 and beyond.While Huntington’s short-term version was spot on — the Pirates were out of the playoff picture by late August — whether his long-term vision pans out remains uncertain.Yet he and manager Clint Hurdle are confident Pittsburgh took a significant step forward in 2018. The Pirates won 82 games — just the franchise’s fourth winning season in a quarter century — and head into 2019 with far fewer question marks than a year ago.The starting rotation, led by breakout seasons by Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams and an uncharacteristically aggressive move at the trade deadline to acquire Chris Archer from Tampa Bay, morphed from a question mark into an exclamation point. The catching tandem of Francisco Cervelli and Elias Diaz was among the most offensively potent in the National League. Third baseman Colin Moran — part of the deal that sent Cole to Houston — was steady if not always spectacular in his first full season. Left fielder Corey Dickerson hit .300 and proved more than capable of playing above-average defense at spacious PNC Park. Closer Felipe Vazquez was an All-Star again and received help when the Pirates acquired reliever Keone Kela from Texas.“We had ups and we had downs http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-deven-marrero-jersey ,” Taillon said. “I think you saw a lot of growth from young guys. I think this group is going to be together for a long time. That’s exciting to me.”The key over the next six months is finding a way to carry that momentum forward. Having the front office splurge for some offensive help for a group that finished in the bottom half of the major leagues in runs, home runs, slugging and OPS would help. So would consistency. The team took a step toward addressing the problem Monday, announcing that hitting coach Jeff Branson and assistant hitting coach Jeff Livesey will not return next season.The Pirates in 2018 were equal parts promising and problematic. How else to explain a year that included a 26-17 stretch, an 11-31 free fall, an 11-game winning streak, a 10-17 August and a 16-10 September?“The best players, the best teams in our game find a way to keep the good stretches longer and the bad stretches shorter,” Huntington said. “We need to find a way to do that collectively and individually.”A look back and forward at a team that believes it is poised to be a legitimate factor next summer.YOUNG GUNSTaillon looked every bit the staff ace Pittsburgh expected when it drafted him in the first round nearly a decade ago. The 26-year-old won 14 games overall and posted a 2.33 ERA after the All-Star break Clay Buchholz Jersey , a mark that was only good enough for second on the team after Williams shook off a bumpy stretch to go 7-3 with a 1.38 ERA in his final 12 starts.The only real question mark for the rotation in 2019 is if Ivan Nova returns. The veteran turns 32 in January, is due $9.1 million and went 9-9 with a 4.19 ERA, making him an expensive luxury for a fourth starter.MIDDLE MENThe last links to Pittsburgh’s run of three straight playoff berths from 2013-15 could be moving on. Shortstop Jordy Mercer will become a free agent and the Pirates are unlikely to exercise their $10 million club option on second baseman Josh Harrison.Adam Frazier showed he’s capable of taking over for Harrison after hitting .306 with seven home runs in the second half. Kevin Newman will be given an extended look in spring training to replacing Mercer.POWER OUTAGEFirst baseman Josh Bell hit just 12 home runs this season — 14 less than he hit in 2017 — and Bell is well aware that total needs to go up in 2019.“If I can do damage to the opposite gap and kind of put some pressure on the pitcher, especially in (PNC Park), pitchers will start making mistakes and I can start putting the balls in the seats,” Bell said. “That’s just for me personally. I have some growing to do this offseason.”GOING, GOING, KANG?Third baseman Jung Ho Kang’s long climb back to the majors ended when he played in the season-ending series in Cincinnati. The Pirates won’t exercise their option on Kang for 2019 but could bring him back at a lower price provided Kang’s visa issues and the drunk driving problems that plagued him in his native Korea are finally behind him.
  7. when they go for the sweep of their three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday at The Trop.Diego Castillo was the reliever starting Saturday’s game as Ryan Yarbrough winning his 14th game of the season in relief. Sunday Rollie Fingers Jersey , it will be Ryne Stanek, who faced one batter in relief Saturday and Yonny Chirinos is set up to work the long “relief” stint.Whatever manager Kevin Cash does these days seems to be working.Article continues below ...The Rays are 13 games over .500 for the first time in five years. They have won six of their last seven and 15 of their last 18 overall, have won 10 straight at home and are keeping their long shot wild card hopes alive.“We’re enjoying coming to the field each and every day,” a sizzling Kevin Kiermaier, who had two more hits Saturday, told Rays radio after the 10-5 victory that sent the Orioles to their 101st loss of this dreadful season. “We know that we’re on the outside looking in right now but if we just coming to the field each and every day and playing the way we have been of late, we can make things really interesting if other teams scuffle down the road.“All we can control is us and what we do every day and that’s what we’re focused on right now – and that’s why the results have been so good as of late.”The Rays have outscored the Orioles 24-7 and struck out 25 Baltimore hitters in the first two games of the series.The Rays (77-64) were supposed to have faced former teammate Alex Cobb, who has come on following a 2-14 start (after signing late). But the veteran right-hander has a blister, pushing him back until Tuesday. Instead, left-hander Josh Rogers (1-1, 4.35 ERA), one of three young pitchers acquired from the New York Yankees in the Zach Britton deal http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-randy-jones-jersey , will make his third major league start.Rogers has worked 10 1/3 innings in two starts and has his first big league win under his belt. There had been talk he would be shut down having reached 150 innings for the season, but he will work Sunday.The Orioles, who had been 8-8 against the Rays heading into this series, are steaming toward the club record of 107 losses and sit at 41-101 with 20 games remaining.David Hess, who was hit in the eye with a football prior to Friday night’s game and was seen in the dugout wearing an LSU football helmet after returning from the doctor, worked five innings and took the loss Saturday. He allowed seven hits and six runs — two earned — in falling to 3-10 (two of his wins are against Tampa Bay).A nightmarish first inning in the field – four unearned runs – put the Orioles in the hole Saturday and they never made it back.“I like the way he finished,” manager Buck Showalter told MASN’s post-game show. “We didn’t help him very much. I counted four or five errors – only one on the board – it took him a while to find his step and gain his confidence but I like the way he finished.“He dug himself a pretty good hole but didn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself.”Showalter added, “You can always take something from it but you just gotta not make the same mistakes. It’s a problem that a lot of our guys are having – it’s command of the fastball in the strike zone. You’re trying to go in you leak it out over the middle of the plate, you try and go away and you jerk it middle in. You pay for those things – but we didn’t help him either.” DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander knew this would be one of the most emotional games of his major league career.He still wasn’t prepared.In his return to Detroit, Verlander received three standing ovations while pitching the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers on Monday night.Verlander (15-9) made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2005 and ranks among the top 10 on several of the team’s career lists. He struck out 10 over seven innings in his first time on the Comerica Park mound since being traded to Houston in August 2017.“Our hotel is right near my old house, so I got to spend some time in the neighborhood today,” he said. “I was trying to keep my routine as much as possible.”That hope ended early Johnny Manziel Jersey , as the scoreboard played a tribute video as Verlander was walking in from the bullpen after his pregame warmups. He stopped, alone in shallow right-center field, and watched the entire show.“It was almost normal until the tribute video, but that really got to me,” he said. “I had a lot of great memories in my 13 years here, and that brought it all back. I wanted to get to the dugout before it started, but once it started playing, I had to watch.”Verlander received his first ovation at the end of the video, and another when he came out for the first inning. Each time, he tipped his cap and waved to the fans.The longest cheer, though, came when he walked off the mound after the seventh http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-wil-myers-jersey , having thrown 104 pitches.“The one after the seventh really meant the world to me,” he said. “The fans here were always great to be here, and they showed that again tonight. That was a really emotional moment.”The crowd was announced at 19,711 — the Detroit Lions opened their season next door Monday night against the New York Jets.“Tonight mattered a lot to him,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “It is important to him that he pitched here and succeeded here, so it was special for him to get back on that mound.”The World Series champion Astros opened a three-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West despite a sloppy game that came after a Sunday night loss in Boston.“I’m proud of our guys, because there was a lot going on today, and we didn’t play our best game, but we still found a way to pull out a win,” Hinch said.Verlander allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, improving to 98-50 at Comerica Park. Max Scherzer is second in career wins at the stadium with 46, while Jordan Zimmermann leads current Tigers with 14.“He got exactly the response he deserved from our fans Rickey Henderson Jersey ,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was a great pitcher here for a long time, and he did a lot of great things for this city.”The Tigers put two runners on in the seventh, but Verlander struck out JaCoby Jones and Jeimer Candelario to escape with a 3-2 lead. He tipped his cap again as the fans came to their feet after the final pitch to Candelario.“This was a special night,” Verlander said.Roberto Osuna worked the ninth for his 16th save, including seven with Houston.Francisco Liriano (4-10) allowed three unearned runs on four hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out seven in his longest outing since pitching six innings on July 4.The Tigers took the lead in the second. Niko Goodrum doubled and later scored on a single by Dawel Lugo.Liriano’s wild pitch and an error by shortstop Ronny Rodriguez allowed the Astros to score three unearned runs in the third. Tyler White and Marwin Gonzalez hit RBI singles, while the Tigers failed to turn two potential double plays.“You have to make plays,” Gardenhire said. “When you miss plays, that’s what always happens. We had a chance to get some outs, didn’t do it, and it cost us runs.”Verlander settled down after the second, retiring the next nine batters. Candelario walked to start the sixth, Christin Stewart followed with his first major league hit and Nicholas Castellanos had a sacrifice fly.“If someone had told me that I was going to get my first hit off Justin Verlander in my first major league start . geez http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-ozzie-smith-jersey ,” Stewart said. “It was a pretty out-of-body experience.”Castellanos made a leaping catch at the right field fence to take an extra-base hit away from Gonzalez in the eighth.Josh Reddick, in the game for Houston as a defensive replacement, started an inning-ending double play in the eighth with a sliding catch in left field.EARLY STARTThe game started at 6:10 p.m., an hour earlier than originally scheduled, to try to ease traffic congestion with the Lions playing at Ford Field. A day game wasn’t possible because of the Astros playing on Sunday night in Boston.UP NEXTThe teams continue their three-game series Tuesday night with Zimmermann (7-6, 4.03 ERA) facing Houston’s Framber Valdez (3-1, 1.37).
  8. HOUSTON — http://www.dodgersfanproshop.com/authentic-yasiel-puig-jersey , Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch has worked the line between managing the workload of his starters while letting his veteran pitchers do what they’ve always done, which is take pride in their ability to make their turn in the rotation on schedule.As a result of optimal health, the Astros (97-57) feature three pitchers ranked in the top 10 in the majors in innings: right-hander Justin Verlander, who worked six strong in a 10-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday to run his season total to 208 innings; left-hander Dallas Keuchel (196 2/3 innings), and right-hander Gerrit Cole (194 1/3). Only four pitchers besides Verlander have worked 200 innings this season. The Astros could finish with three.“There’s something compelling for the starters to get to 200 innings,” Hinch said. “So while it seems like that’s fatigue there’s also a great accomplishment that comes with that. There’s great pride in those guys so they’re as strong as they’ve been the entire season.Article continues below ...“Certainly, I’d like to have that time off if we win the division quickly and be able to set it up properly Hyun-Jin Ryu Jersey , but I don’t have a lot of concern with those guys. Everybody else is pretty fine when it comes to inning totals, but I think everybody’s sightline has changed over the last five to 10 years to where there are so few guys that can last deep into games or that are allowed to last in games to get to the 200-inning mark. They look a little more like a unique pitcher than the norm.”Right-hander Charlie Morton (15-3, 3.15 ERA) will start the regular-season home finale for the Astros on Sunday. He is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA across two starts this month following a stint on the 10-day disabled list. Morton is five strikeouts shy of his first 200-strikeout season and nine innings from eclipsing his previous high of 171 2/3 pitched in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. With his 29th start, Morton will match the number he achieved with Pittsburgh seven years ago.Morton did not factor into the decision in his lone start against the Angels this season, allowing four runs, five hits and two walks with five strikeouts in four innings of an 8-7 home loss on April 24. He is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA against the Angels in six career starts.Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (8-8, 3.69 ERA) will start seeking to help the Angels snap their four-game skid. He is 4-3 with a 2.96 ERA in nine career starts against the Astros Jose Fernandez Jersey , including 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts in 2018. Skaggs’ four wins are his most against any opponent.Rookie designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit cleanup for a fourth consecutive game, the 11th time this month and 18th time overall this season for the Angels (75-80). Ohtani entered Saturday with an .860 OPS batting fourth behind MVP candidate Mike Trout and, after going 1-for-4, is hitting .266 with three homers and 10 RBIs occupying that spot in the order.“Right now, we’re going with him behind Mike and he’s fine,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Mike is getting pitched to and that’s important. And Shohei adjusted and hopefully we’re going to see guys on base or whatever Mike can create and that will help us to be productive.” NEW YORK (AP) New York Mets left-hander Steven Matz was diagnosed with a mild flexor pronator strain in his left forearm on Thursday and could be placed on the disabled list.Matz didn’t get out of the first inning of his most recent start. He allowed seven runs on eight hits in what became a 25-4 loss at Washington on Tuesday, the most lopsided defeat in Mets history.Matz complained of tightness in his left forearm after the game. An MRI on Thursday showed mild inflammation but did not reveal any structural damage.Matz is still listed as the starter for Sunday against Atlanta http://www.marlinsfanproshop.com/authentic-martin-prado-jersey , but the Mets are expected to decide Friday whether to put him on the DL.”I just think we need to see how he comes in tomorrow,” manager Mickey Callaway said Thursday. ”He came in today a lot better than he was before.”Even if Matz is feeling better, he still could get skipped. Matz has thrown 107 2/3 innings, 25 shy of his career high, and his workload could also be a consideration.”He’s getting up there in innings this year,” Callaway said. ”So we have to keep that in consideration, whether or not it’s better to give him a little bit of a break.”Matz is 5-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 21 starts this season. Since the All-Star break Andre Dawson Jersey , he has a 12.34 ERA in three starts.If Matz does not pitch against the Braves, Corey Oswalt would likely start. Oswalt is 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA in six appearances for the Mets.—
  9. Reference Kyle Seager Jersey , Machado is one of only 32 hittersto accumulate as many as 30 wins above replacement through his age-25 season. He's also one of only 17 hitters to launch as many as 175 home runs over that same span.Meanwhile, Machado's misdeeds haven't kept him from being one of the Dodgers' best players in October. He's put up a solid .813 OPS with three homers through 11 games. And despite all the hand-wringing over his lack of hustle in Game 2, he did show off his wheels on Cody Bellinger's game-winning hit in Game 4 and on a rally-starting bunt hit in Game 7.The biggest concern regarding Machado's long-term value has to do with his defense. His Gold Glove shine at third base had been fading before he moved back to his natural shortstop for 2018. According to his metrics, he was even worse there.Still, Machado's waning defensive skills won't be a fatal flaw so long as his bat keeps humming. To this end, it's a good sign that he finished 2018 with a career-high .905 OPS and a career-high-tying 37 homers. If he can do that in his mid-20s, better things may be in store for his late-20s and/or early-30s.Between his youth and his talent, Machado can hope to beatGiancarlo Stanton's $325 million contract on the open market. In an offseason in which the Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies and San Francisco Giants won't have luxury-tax penalties to worry about http://www.marinersfanproshop.com/authentic-nelson-cruz-jersey , that's a real possibility despite his baggage.Would teams prefer it if Machado didn't come with any baggage? Absolutely. But the ones that can afford him and need him are going to be enamored with his ability above all else. They can also convince themselves that he might mature into a responsible leader as he grows older.If not, whichever team ends up with Machado can always reason that he may be a villain, but at least he'sour villain. Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference. SEATTLE (AP) — Dee Gordon says it’s too early for the Seattle Mariners to be worried about the wild-card math. He thinks they should just concentrate on winning games.Nelson Cruz and Denard Span hit back-to-back home runs, and Seattle overcame sloppy infield defense to beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 on Wednesday night.Despite winning a home series for the first time since July 22, the Mariners failed to gain ground on Oakland in the race for the second AL wild card. They still trail by 5½ games with 22 remaining.“We’ve got to play,” Gordon said. “We can’t look at the scoreboard. We can’t look at other people.”Mike Leake (9-9) gave up two unearned runs in six innings to earn his first victory since June 23. Edwin Diaz locked down his major league-leading 53rd save, tied for fifth-most in a season.Taking advantage of three Seattle errors, the Orioles grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fifth.First baseman Robinson Cano couldn’t dig out shortstop Jean Segura’s throw on Jonathan Villar’s grounder for the first miscue. Cedric Mullins scored on the play to tie it 1-all.Two batters later, Adam Jones’ grounder glanced off Segura’s glove and into left field. Villar raced around and beat Span’s throw home to put Baltimore ahead.But leave it to Cruz to supply much-needed power at the right time.With two outs in the fifth, Cruz hammered a 411-foot home run off Andrew Cashner to straightaway center field to tie the game at 2. It was Cruz’s 34th home run of the season.“We needed that Carlos Ruiz Jersey ,” Span said. “Even though it was a one-run lead they had, it felt like we were down by three or four. (Cruz’s home run) sparked us a little bit, and gave us a little bit more momentum.”Span took Cashner (4-14) deep in the next at-bat, sending a drive to right field, and the Mariners regained the lead. That also ended Cashner’s outing.“Andrew had a lot of counts in his favor,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “He just couldn’t finish off some guys.”Span’s RBI single in the seventh scored Cruz, boosting Seattle’s lead to 4-2. Span later scored on Guillermo Heredia’s sacrifice bunt.Mitch Haniger gave Seattle a 1-0 lead with a home run in the third, extending his hitting streak to 17 games — the longest active run in the majors.Since taking two of three games from the Chicago White Sox in late July at Safeco Field, the Mariners were 0-4-1 in their past five home series before the Orioles rolled into town.“It was nice for us to kick it into gear a little bit in the second half of that game,” manager Scott Servais said. “That is how we need to play.”YANKEE REUNIONAfter spending six-plus seasons with the New York Yankees http://www.marinersfanproshop.com/authentic-randy-johnson-jersey , reliever Adam Warren knows it will be a little weird facing his former team in a pivotal three-game series starting Friday.Seattle acquired Warren in a trade July 30 for $1.25 million in international signing bonus money.“I was probably the seventh guy in that bullpen. It was so deep,” Warren said. “Pitching in a little bit more important situations (in Seattle) has been nice.”Which of his ex-teammates is likeliest to give him a hard time this weekend? Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner would be in the conversation.“I am sure he will try and get in my head,” Warren said.QUIET CLUBHOUSEA day after a fracas reportedly broke out between Gordon and Segura in the Seattle clubhouse, all was calm around the team.Segura pitched a wiffle ball to his son on the field, and had him around the squad leading up to first pitch. Gordon also seemed in good spirits — but still in no mood to rehash what transpired.“We’re all good,” Gordon said. “We get to play baseball.”ROSTER RESHUFFLINGOrioles: OF Craig Gentry was released and the team recalled INF Steve Wilkerson. He will be a bench player who can cover six different positions. . LHP Josh Rogers is the scheduled starter Sunday in Tampa Bay but could be bumped for RHP Alex Cobb, Showalter said.Mariners: After clearing waivers, RHP Rob Whalen was sent outright to Triple-A Tacoma.TRAINER’S ROOMOrioles: OF-DH Mark Trumbo will have surgery on his right knee Thursday or Friday in Baltimore, Showalter said.Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (right shoulder) pitched for Class A Everett in a playoff game, giving up three earned runs in two innings. He will be re-evaluated Thursday to determine his next step.UP NEXTOrioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (7-13 Jean Segura Jersey , 5.36 ERA) faces All-Star lefty Blake Snell (17-5, 2.02) and the Rays in the opener of a three-game series Friday night. Snell, the AL pitcher of the month for August, has won five straight starts.Mariners: LHP James Paxton (11-5, 3.74 ERA) pitches Friday against RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-5, 3.83) and the Yankees. Paxton had a successful return from the disabled list Saturday in beating Oakland. He struck out 10 in five innings. Tanaka is 6-0 with a 2.34 ERA in eight starts against Seattle — and 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA at Safeco Field.
  10. about Yonder Alonso’s trade to the Chicago White Sox http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-kyle-gibson-jersey , The Associated Press reported erroneously that Alonso is married to the sister of star slugger Manny Machado. Machado is married to Alonso’s sister.A corrected version of the story is below:AP source: White Sox acquire 1B Alonso in trade with IndiansAP source: Chicago White Sox acquire first baseman Yonder Alonso in trade with Cleveland IndiansBy JAY COHENAP Sports WriterCHICAGO (AP) — First baseman Yonder Alonso was traded to the Chicago White Sox by the Cleveland Indians on Friday in a deal between AL Central rivals that could have broad implications for both teams the rest of the offseason.A person familiar with the trade confirmed it on condition of anonymity because the clubs had not yet announced the swap. Stadium first reported Alonso was headed to the White Sox.Chicago sent minor league outfielder Alex Call to Cleveland for Alonso, who hit .250 with 23 homers and 83 RBIs in 145 games this year during his only season with the Indians.Cleveland reacquired first baseman and designated hitter Carlos Santana from Philadelphia in a three-team trade on Thursday, making Alonso expendable. The White Sox deal moves Alonso’s $8 million salary for 2019 off the Indians’ payroll, giving them more flexibility if they want to keep their deep rotation intact.Chicago already has Jose Abreu at first base, but he played in just 128 games last season due to injuries and could see more time at DH with the addition of Alonso. Alonso’s sister is married to star slugger Manny Machado Logan Morrison Jersey , a rumored target for the White Sox in free agency.Alonso was selected by Cincinnati in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft and broke into the majors with the Reds in 2010. He is a .265 hitter with 90 homers and 389 RBIs in 951 games with Cincinnati, San Diego, Oakland, Seattle and Cleveland.Alonso’s contract includes a 2020 club option at $9 million with a $1 million buyout. The option becomes guaranteed if Alonso has 550 plate appearances next year or 1,100 in 2018 and ’19 combined Tim Tebow Jersey , and he passes a physical at the end of next season.The 24-year-old Call played for Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham last season, batting .248 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs in 123 games. He was selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2016 draft out of Ball State University. NEW YORK (AP) — The price of qualifying offers for Major League Baseball free agents will be $17.9 million this year.That figure is up from $17.2 million last year and $15.8 million the year before. It was determined by the average of the top 125 major league contracts this year by average annual value.This year’s anticipated free agent class could include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Brian Dozier Jay Bruce Jersey , Daniel Murphy, Michael Brantley, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, A.J. Pollock http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-fernando-rodney-jersey , Nelson Cruz, Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Craig Kimbrel. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could also decide to opt out of the remaining two years on his contract.A qualifying offer can be made through the fifth day after the World Series, and a player has a week after that to accept. If a team makes a qualifying offer to a player who signs a major league contract with another club before the June amateur draft http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-todd-frazier-jersey , his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round.A free agent can be made a qualifying offer only if he has been with the same team continuously since opening day and has never received a qualifying offer before.Qualifying offers began after the 2012 season, and only two of 53 offers have been accepted, including none of 34 in the first three years and none of nine last year. Two of 10 accepted $17.2 million offers after the 2016 season: New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker and Philadelphia pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.Top free agents prefer to seek multiyear contracts.
  11. First off Bo Jackson Jersey ,The stats and eyeball test confirm as much.Second off, what exactly are you implying? Should he grow out his sideburns and become "Hollywood Mike Trout"? Should he start flipping his bat and getting into it with opposing pitchers?Or is it merely that he's passing on marketing opportunities that would line the pockets of MLB?Trout wore a mic on the field during the 2018 All-Star Game. He engaged a young fan in super-cool fashion at the All-Star Game in D.C., per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.He makes himself available. As USA Today's Ted Berg put it, "This is Mike Trout: Extraordinarily talented, friendly and patient with fans and media, and unlikely to generate any hotly contested sound bytes."Then again, maybe Trout finally is.OK, sure, we're referring to a statement issued by the Angels on behalf of Trout in the wake of Manfred's comments. Still, it features some pointed Paulo Orlando Jersey , if implied, barbs:"Mike Trout is an exceptional ambassador for the game. Combinedwith his talent, his solid character creates a perfect role model for young people everywhere. Each year, Mike devotes a tremendous amount of his time and effort contributing to our Organization, and marketing Major League Baseball. He continually chooses to participate in the community, visiting hospitals, schools, and countless other charities."The statement goes on to mention Trout's "humility" and to note that the Angels"applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion."Added Halos communications director Eric Kay:Eric Kay EKay2121Bottom line, Mike Trout doesnt self promote and he gets criticized for it. Everyone else thinks they know what is best for Mike. No one takes more time to engage with fans than Trout. THE GAME IS ABOUT THE FANS. He represents the #Angels better than anyone has. EVER.Clearly, Manfred's words reached the ears of the best player in the game and the franchise that employs him.Trout isn't about to take the heat for baseball's wavering popularity or Manfred's possible insecurity over a dearth of marketable stars.Trout isn't the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, for example http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-danny-duffy-jersey , with his brash antics and "Make Baseball Fun Again"schtick.Inan interviewwith Fox Sports' Alex Rodriguez,Trout did say players should be able to express themselves. He's not a killjoy. Just an unassuming guy with a generational gift.Maybe Manfred wishes Harper was the face of the sport. Unfortunately, despite winning the Home Run Derby and clubbing 23 first-half dingers, Harper owns a .214 average and has had an up-and-down season in D.C.Trout, meanwhile, keeps chugging along. He produces at historic levels. He doesn't foment discord or spout off in ways that damage the game. He hits, he runs, he catches, he smiles. He does good work on and off the field. Isn't that enough?Stephen Brashear/Getty ImagesMaybe not for the future of MLB, as it competes for clicks and attention and eyeballs in a crowded sports marketplace.That problem is on Manfred, however Frank White Jersey , and the rest of his braintrust.Trout, by all accounts, is a decent, accessible dude who also happens to be really, really good at baseball."In general, baseball does not do as good a job as other major sports in the U.S. as far as promoting their stars nationwide, especially compared to NFL and NBA," Henry Schafer of Q Scores, a firm that measures the appeal and recognition of sports figures, said, per Kilgore.According to Q Scores http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-joakim-soria-jersey , reserve NBA forward Kenneth Faried has a similar Q Score to Trout. Faried averaged 14.4 minutes and 5.9 points per game last season.For that to be possible, Manfred should be asking himself, "What's wrong with baseball?" That's the right question.Here's another question: Does Michael Nelson Trout owe MLB a damn thing?Here's the answer: Nope. All statistics current as of Wednesday and courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs. Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesNew York Yankees pitcher Lance Lynn couldn't have envisioned a better way to start his time in the Big Apple.Lynn went 7.1 innings in a 7-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday, striking out nine and allowing just two hits. According to ESPN StatsInfo, the right-hander is one of five Yankees starters since 1990 to throw seven scoreless innings in his first start for the team.After allowing an infield single to Daniel Palka in the first inning, Lynn sat down 19 batters in order:YES Network YESNetworkLance Lynn has now retired a new career-high 1锔忊儯9锔忊儯 straight White Sox.Hes allowed just 1 hit amp;amp; struck out 9 batters over 7 scoreless innings so far.#YANKSonYES LIVE stream:6ALL6SzYRQ sE24dXM0NKLynn's excellent start came after he pitched 4.1 scoreless innings in relief of Sonny Gray in the Yankees' 7-5 defeat to the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 1.The team subsequently demoted Gray to the bullpen, which moved Lynn into the starting rotation.New York left some fans scratching their heads when it acquired Lynn from the Minnesota Twins. The 31-year-old had a 5.10 ERA in 20 starts for the Minnesota Twins and generally didn't look like the same pitcher since undergoing Tommy John surgery in November 2015.Of course, it's important to keep Monday's start in perspective. The White Sox are fourth in the American League Central (41-71) and rank 23rd in weighted on-base average (.308), per FanGraphs. Chicago is one of MLB's worst teams and owns a bottom-half offense.Still, the starting rotation is the Yankees' biggest weakness. Fans can be forgiven if they're ready to jump aboard the Lynn bandwagon in the hope he can solve the problem.
  12. since May 13 because of right elbow inflammation Kole Calhoun Jersey , but he is set to rejoin the rotation in next Monday's home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to David Adler of MLB.com.The veteran discussed his readiness Monday after his latest rehab start, via Fox Sports Midwest:FOX Sports Midwest FSMidwestWaino is excited to rejoin the #STLCards rotation next Monday: quot;I feel like I got called up for September. I finished my minor league season strong and got called up for September.quot; MYHtjb3kJ1The 37-year-old has made just four starts this season, producing a 4.00 ERA in 18 innings.This was better than what we have seen lately from the veteran, who is in the midst of a downward trend since missing most of the 2015 season. Wainwright produced just a 4.62 ERA in 2016 and a 5.11 ERA last campaign Garrett Richards Jersey , and both marks were the worst of his career in any full season.Meanwhile, the Cardinals pitching staff has thrived without him in 2018.Even with a relatively inexperienced rotation, St. Louis entered Monday with a 3.35 ERA from its starters, good for third-best in the majors.Miles Mikolas has been one of the biggest bright spots with a 13-4 record and a 2.96 ERA, while Jack Flaherty (2.87 ERA) Andrew Heaney Jersey , Carlos Martinez (3.32 ERA) and others have also shone. This has helped put the Cardinals in position to make the playoffs if the season ended today, as they are holding the second wild-card spot for the National League.Still, Wainwright can bring depth as well as plenty of experience for the stretch run as someone who has been in the majors for 13 seasons. With 24 career postseason appearances, including 12 starts, he could be valuable in September and possibly October. The Los Angeles Dodgers got help for their ailing bullpen by acquiring Ryan Madson on Friday.Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the Washington Nationals traded Madson to the Dodgers.Per Jon Heyman of Fancred Huston Street Jersey , the Nationals will receive a prospect in the deal.The Dodgers' bullpen has become a liability as the season has gone on, especially in the month of August. Closer Kenley Jansen was initiallyexpectedto miss a month with an irregular heartbeat prior to an Aug. 9 game against the Colorado Rockies.Since the Dodgers activated Jansen off the disabled list on Aug. 20, he's allowed 10 hits, seven earned runs and four homers in four innings.John Axford, Ross Stripling http://www.angelsfanproshop.com/authentic-rod-carew-jersey , Tony Cingrani, Daniel Hudson,JT Chargoisand Erik Goeddel are currently on the disabled list.Los Angeles'entire relief corpshas a 4.73 ERA with 14 homers allowed over 85.2 innings in August.Madson has struggled in 2018 with a 5.28 ERA in 49 games, but Los Angeles is at a point where it needs healthy arms that can help it get through the season's final month.A change of scenery could help get Madson back on track. The Dodgers will need him to be effective as they try to make up a two-game deficit in the National League West.
  13. A look at what’s happening around the majors today:Matt Holliday takes aim at getting his first hit of the season. The 38-year-old outfielder returned to the Rockies on Thursday for the first time in a decade and went 0 for 3 against San Diego. The seven-time All-Star signed a minor league deal last month after hitting .231 with 19 home runs for the Yankees last year. Colorado hosts St. Louis this weekend.“I’m grateful to be back http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-joe-mauer-jersey ,” said Holliday, who hit .319 with 128 homers for the Rockies from 2004-08.CHECK HIMThe Red Sox will see how first baseman Mitch Moreland is feeling, a day after he bruised his left knee sliding near a photo pit chasing a foul popup at Fenway Park. Moreland left the game soon after that.Moreland, who had knee trouble earlier this year, is hitting .259 with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs for the team with the best record in the majors. He was an All-Star for the first time this season. Boston plays at Tampa Bay over the weekend.EASY, ROOKSan Francisco right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (6-1 Glen Perkins Jersey , 2.25 ERA) is set to come off the disabled list to face Texas at home. The son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez recently strained his hamstring when he ran out of the dugout during a dustup between the Giants and Dodgers. He’s won five straight decisions and his name is now in the NL Rookie of the Year conversation.STUCKFormer home run champ Chris Davis is trying to avoid having the worst batting average for a full-time player since 1900. The Baltimore slugger is hitting .163 heading into this weekend at Camden Yards against the Yankees. Davis is in jeopardy of finishing below the .179 mark by Rob Deer in 1991 and Dan Uggla in 2013. At 32, Davis still has four more seasons left on a $161 million, seven-year contract. He has 15 homers and 41 RBIs, and has struck out 158 times in 386 at-bats this year.“For me, I want to finish up strong. I want to work on some things and go into the offseason with a head of steam,” he said.SLUMPINGTigers rookie Mike Gerber is in an 0-for-30 slump Harmon Killebrew Jersey , striking out 17 times in that span. The 26-year-old outfielder got four hits in his first 12 at-bats after making his major league debut this season, but nothing since. Detroit continues its home series this weekend against the White Sox. Stephen Brashear/Getty ImagesHouston Astros closer Roberto Osuna spoke publicly about his domestic violence charge for the first time Wednesday."No one knows what happened but obviously me," Osuna said in an interview with USA Today's Bob Nightengale. "Everybody is quick to judge me and say all kinds of things about it. I'm just waiting for everything to come out so people can really wait to see what happened. I would really like the fans, and everybody else, [to] learn what the media says is not true."In June, MLBsuspendedOsuna for 75 games retroactive to May 8 after he was arrested in Toronto for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.At the time Paul Molitor Jersey , Osuna was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays traded him to the Astros on July 31.The full detailsof the allegations against Osuna remain unknown. A Toronto-based defense attorney told Nightengale that it's typical under Canadian law to keep that information away from the public until it's revealed in court.Domenic Basile, the lawyer representing Osuna,told reportersearlier this month the 2017 All-Star will plead not guilty to the assault charge. His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 5.Nightengale noted a conviction for Osuna could result in a prison sentence of up to six months and a $5,000 fine.
  14. pitcher being moved to the bullpen.According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-jeff-bagwell-jersey , manager Scott Servais informed the pitcher of the move ahead of Thursday's game against the Houston Astros."I got nothing to say," he said after the game, perDivish.Hernandez has never pitched in relief in 398 career appearances over his 14 years in the majors.Unfortunately, this season has been historically bad for the former Cy Young award winner. His current 5.73 ERA is not only the worst of his career, it's thesecond worst in the majors among qualified pitchers.Only Chicago White Sox starter Lucas Giolito (6.23) has a worse mark.While Hernandez has six All-Star selections in his career, he took a step back last season with a 4.36 ERA while a back injury limited him to just 16 starts. He hasn't been able to regain his form in 2018 and is coming off his worst start Tuesday.The right-hander gave up 11runs (seven earned) in a loss to the Texas Rangers and hasn't earned a win since June.Seattle simply couldn't wait any longer, especially in the hunt for a playoff spot. The latest win over the Astros put the team 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, giving the team a chance at reaching the postseason for the first time since 2001.Erasmo Ramirez could potentially take Hernandez's spot in the rotation when he returns from the disabled list. MILWAUKEE (AP) — Clayton Kershaw pounded his glove over and over, yelling “Let’s go!” as he walked off the mound.Pretty soon Lance McCullers Jersey , he was gone.Kershaw was hit hard in the shortest start of his spotty playoff career, and the shaky Los Angeles Dodgers lost 6-5 to the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Friday night.“Got to do a better of keeping the score close for our guys to have a chance there at the end,” Kershaw said.Los Angeles committed four errors, including two by catcher Yasmani Grandal in Milwaukee’s two-run third inning. But another playoff flop for its ace left-hander might be its biggest concern as it tries to cool off streaking Milwaukee.“He’s been in the playoffs for a really long time,” Grandal said. “He knows what he needs to do to win games and that’s all that matters. Game 5 comes around, then he’ll be the guy on the mound and he’ll be the guy who will get us a win.”Game 2 is Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.Kershaw holds the team records for playoff wins (eight), starts (21), innings (133) and strikeouts (144), but is just 8-8 with a 4.26 ERA in 26 career postseason appearances. The Dodgers dropped to 13-13 when the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner takes the mound in the playoffs.The 30-year-old Kershaw quieted some of those October questions when the Dodgers won the NL pennant last year for the first time since 1988 http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-mike-scott-jersey , going 3-0 with a 3.82 ERA in six appearances. He pitched six sparkling innings in the NLCS-clinching victory at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, and worked four scoreless innings in relief in Los Angeles’ Game 7 loss to Houston in the World Series.After he was passed over for Los Angeles’ Game 1 start in the NL Division Series this year, the 2014 NL MVP responded with eight innings of two-hit ball in a 3-0 victory over Atlanta.The victory against the Baby Braves was one of his best playoff performances. The loss against the Brewers was one of his worst.“It was a tough one,” he said. “Obviously you don’t want to get your team off to that start.”The night started to get away from Kershaw and the Dodgers when Brandon Woodruff led off the third inning with a massive drive to right-center , becoming the third reliever in major league history to homer in a postseason game.Kershaw glanced back with an incredulous look as Woodruff’s ball soared over the wall, tying it at 1 and sending a charge through the sellout crowd of 43,615.It was the first time in postseason history that a lefty-batting pitcher went deep off a left-hander. Woodruff joined the Cubs’ Travis Wood (2016 NLDS) and the New York Giants’ Rosy Ryan (1924 World Series) as relievers to homer in the postseason.“I knew he could swing the bat a little bit, for sure,” Kershaw said. “I didn’t know he could do that Alex Bregman Jersey , but I knew he could hit a little bit.”A passed ball and an interference call on Grandal helped set up Hernan Perez’s sacrifice fly. Kershaw minimized the damage by striking out Mike Moustakas, stranding two runners in scoring position and leading to his emotional display as he headed toward the dugout.Whatever he was trying to do, it didn’t work.Los Angeles went down in order in the fourth and Milwaukee’s first three batters reached in the bottom half, chasing Kershaw and producing two more runs on Domingo Santana’s pinch-hit single. Santana swiped second and scored on Ryan Braun’s two-out single against Ryan Madson.Braun’s clutch swing closed the book on Kershaw, who was charged with five runs, four earned, and six hits. He dropped to 2-5 with a 5.24 ERA in 11 career NLCS games.Kershaw’s shortest playoff start before the loss to Milwaukee was four-plus innings in a 9-0 loss at St. Louis in Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS, ending Los Angeles’ season.“We gave up too many bases. We didn’t play clean when he was in the game,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The errors affected the game. But as far as Clayton Carlos Beltran Jersey , I just think it was poor execution. And I thought the stuff was good, but he just made mistakes in the strike zone and defensively, again, we didn’t do him any favors.”
  15. The Diamondbacks could do a little something about it this week.The Dodgers knocked Arizona out of first place in the NL West with three consecutive comeback victories on the first weekend of September Domingo Santana Jersey , winning all three on their final at-bat by the same score, 3-2.Article continues below ...The Diamondbacks are 5-17 since as they prepare to host the division-leading Dodgers in a three-game series that begins Monday at Chase Field.“I feel like that was an extremely tough series … to give everything you have … this team was invested and we were in first place, talking about good things happening at the end of this road,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.“It definitely staggered us. Have we recovered? I would like to say we did, but our play has told us that we have not.”The Diamondbacks left that series in third place, and the Dodgers climbed back into first with a three-game sweep of Colorado last week. The Dodgers (87-69) will bring a 1 1/2-game lead over the Rockies into final week of the season and also are only one game behind Atlanta for possible home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.“There were a couple more gut punches in that Atlanta series that may have been some key blows,” said Lovullo referring a series in which the Diamondbacks lost three of four the weekend after playing the Dodgers.“It was a lot to absorb. The L.A. series is one that maybe a lot of people will see as a target.”Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (8-5, 2.45) is scheduled to oppose Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray (6-2, 3.92) in the first game of the series. Kershaw has made 14 straight quality starts.While the Dodgers are contending for a playoff spot, there will be no lack of motivation on the Arizona side.“It is hard to say you are going to pay people back in sports, because they are gifted athletes, too,” Lovullo said. “But we should make it as hard on them as possible to do what they are trying to do. “That will be my message to the guys. I certainly don’t want to see any team celebrate on our turf. I watched it last year and it was painful, and I don’t want to watch it again. We’ll make sure we give everything we have the next several days.”The Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks in the NLDS last season, finishing if off in Arizona.The Dodgers have won 15 of 22 games and have won nine of their last 11.They have a franchise season record 225 homers, setting the mark on newcomer Manny Machado’s homer Saturday night.“We have great hitters here,” Machado told reporters Saturday. “We’re all confident. We know the team we have.”Machado, who had another homer Sunday, had one of the Dodgers’ four homers in the critical series against Arizona at the first of the month. Matt Kemp won the third game of the series with a three-run homer in the eighth inning Sept. 1, and his two-run walkoff double ended the Sept. 2 game.Kershaw will have one more start remaining after this unless the Dodgers have clinched a playoff berth by next weekend and opt to juggle the rotation to prepare for the playoffs. If Kershaw does make two starts Eric Sogard Jersey , he could put himself high on the ERA leaderboard because he is only 11 2/3 innings short of qualifying. The Mets’ Jacob deGrom has a 1.77 ERA and will win the title, but Kershaw could nose out Aaron Nola (2.45) and Max Scherzer (2.57) for second.Kershaw has won his last five decisions and has not lost since July 21, when Milwaukee scored three unearned runs in a 4-2 victory. He has a 2.22 ERA during his string of 14 quality start and has faced the Diamondbacks four times this season, going 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA.Ray has won his last three decisions over 12 starts and has not lost since July 12. He has given up three runs or less in each of his last nine starts and two runs or less in eight of them. He is coming off a 9-0 victory over the Cubs in which he gave up one hit and struck out eight in six innings.Ray has faced the Dodgers once this season, a 3-1 victory on Aug. 30 in the first game of that series in Los Angeles. He is 7-3 with a 2.63 ERA against them in 14 career starts, the most he has faced any opponent. Just when thought we knew who would advance to the 2018 World Series, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers flipped their respective league championship series on their heads Tuesday.Entering Wednesday's action, the Dodgers are tied 2-2 with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS, while the Red Sox hold a 2-1 ALCS advantage over the Houston Astros.The direction of the series can change in an instant, which makes predicting the two World Series participants a difficult task.Although a World Series rematch between the Astros and Dodgers is still in play, it's far from a guarantee with less than a week before the start of the Fall Classic.2018 World Series ScheduleGame 1:Tuesday, October 23 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 2:Wednesday, October 24 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 3:Friday, October 26 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 4:Saturday, October 27 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 5:Sunday, October 28 (Time TBD Keon Broxton Jersey , Fox)Game 6:Tuesday, October 30 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 7:Wednesday, October 31 (Time TBD, Fox)LCS PredictionsDodgers in 6The Dodgers carry a few valuable things heading into Wednesday's Game 5, including home-field advantage and the momentum gained from Tuesday's 13-inning victory.Matt Slocum/Associated PressThe quick turnaround to Game 5 won't be kind to either side, but the Dodgers appear to have a distinct advantage with Clayton Kershaw toeing the rubber.Neither lineup has been particularly impressive, as the Brewers are hitting .231 and the Dodgers have a .201 series average, which leads us to believe another low-scoring affair is in the cards for at least Game 5.In his first start of the NLCS, Kershaw gave up four earned runs in three innings, but the Brewers haven't been able to score five runs in a game since their opening triumph at Miller Park.Milwaukee has received some unlikely production from Orlando Arcia while Ryan Braun is continuing his strong postseason with five hits and three RBI, but for the most part, the Brewers lineup hasn't done much.The same can be said about the Los Angeles lineup with the exception of Manny Machado, who leads the series with six hits.With Los Angeles' starters and Milwaukee's bullpen keeping hitters off-balance, neither lineup will put up astronomical numbers for the remainder of the season.The NLCS will come down to pitching, where the Dodgers have an upper hand with three reliable starters available in Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Walker Buehler.Milwaukee's bullpen-first strategy has produced mixed results, but even with a day off between Games 5 and 6, the volume of innings pitched will weigh them down.Expect to see two tight games to finish off the series, with the Dodgers emerging victorious thanks to clutch hits from Machado and Justin Turner http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-zach-davies-jersey , who will shine in Game 6 just like he did during Game 2 in Milwaukee. Red Sox in 7No one knows which direction the ALCS will turn after Boston took control of the series with an 8-2 victory in Game 3.Frank Franklin II/Associated PressThe series we thought would be dominated by pitching has seen 31 runs cross the plate in 27 innings, and it looks like the bats on both sides are just getting warmed up.Seven of the nine players who started Game 3 in Boston's lineup recorded a hit, including Jackie Bradley Jr., who busted the contest open with an eighth-inning grand slam.Although the Astros only recorded two runs on seven hits in their first home game of the ALCS, the production from the top of the lineup showed promise.George Springer, who extended his postseason hitting streak to 12 games, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman combined for five of Houston's seven hits in Game 3, but now the other two-thirds of the order have to break through at the plate.If the Astros are able to get production up and down the lineup, like the Red Sox did in Game 3, the series will continue to be dominated by the bats.While Game 4 may witness another winner scoring seven or more runs, the experienced starters in both rotations will emerge as the dominant figures of the series, starting in Game 5.Surprising performances from David Price and Nathan Eovaldi, combined with some type of Chris Sale relief appearance in Game 7, will hand the Red Sox the slightest of edges over the experienced Astros.Although the Red Sox will close out the series at Fenway Park, it could come down to the final inning of Game 7, which is why Sale will be available in some capacity. 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  16. staff the Washington Nationals have assembled.A person familiar with the deal said the left-handed Corbin has agreed to a six-year contract with the Nationals Carlos Baerga Jersey , pending a physical exam. Another person familiar with the terms said the contract is for $140 million.The people confirmed the details of the agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because nothing had been announced by the team.Corbin’s contract would include $10 million in deferred money, one of the people said.Corbin, who has played his entire major league career for the Arizona Diamondbacks, joins a rotation in Washington that already includes three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Corbin was an NL All-Star selection in 2013 and this year; Scherzer has been picked for each of the past six Midsummer Classics; Strasburg has made it three times.The 29-year-old Corbin is coming off his best season in the majors, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA while pitching 200 innings for the second time in his career.He finished fifth in voting for NL Cy Young honors; Scherzer was second as he came up just shy of a third consecutive prize.Corbin was considered the top starter available in an elite free-agent class and became the first player among them to sign a big money Yonder Alonso Jersey , multiyear deal this offseason.Still on the market is right fielder Bryce Harper, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and 2015 NL MVP for the Nationals. Washington made a late-season offer to Harper in a bid to keep him, but that was not accepted.Corbin recently made the rounds of free-agent suitors, including meeting with Nationals owner Mark Lerner and general manager Mike Rizzo.The signing of Corbin — who had drawn interest from the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, among other clubs http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-ramirez-jersey , and was expected to draw offers of at least $20 million a year — could be a signal that the Nationals are moving on from Harper.After going 82-80 and failing to make the playoffs after two NL East titles in a row, Washington has been busy this offseason.In addition to the agreement with Corbin, the Nationals already have added two catchers — Yan Gomes via trade, Kurt Suzuki in free agency — and two back-end-of-the-bullpen relievers — Kyle Barraclough via trade, Trevor Rosenthal in free agency.Because Corbin declined a $17.9 million qualifying offer by Arizona and the Nationals will pay luxury tax this year Bradley Zimmer Jersey , Washington would forfeit its second- and fifth-highest picks in next June’s amateur draft and lose $1 million in international signing bonus allocation for 2019-20. Arizona would gain an extra pick after the first round as compensation. Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price suffered a wrist injury during Wednesday's game against the Miami Marlins.According toChris Cotillo of Mass Live, Austin Dean drilled a 102.6 mph line drive off Price's wrist that forced his exit. Cotillo noted the Red Sox called the setback a left wrist contusion, although the southpaw will undergo further evaluation.The 33-year-old missed time earlier in the season with a case of carpal tunnel syndrome, and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe noted:"Price first mentioned the issue April 11 after he allowed four runs in one inning against the Yankees at Fenway Park, saying his hands have long had a circulation problem and that the cold weather exacerbated the issue and made it difficult to grip the ball."The southpaw also dealt with an elbow issue during the 2017 campaign and made just 11 starts http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-brandon-guyer-jersey , the lowest total of his career since he made just one as a rookie in 2008.The Vanderbilt product has an impressive resume that includes the 2012 American League Cy Young Award when he was on the Tampa Bay Rays and five All-Star Game appearances. He also led the American League in ERA in 2012 for Tampa and 2015 for the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers.However, he has struggled to replicate his dominant form since he signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season. Price finished 2016 with a 3.99 ERA, dealt with injuries last year and has a 3.50 ERAin the 2018 campaign.This is also worrisome for the Red Sox because ace Chris Sale is already on the 10-day disabled list.
  17. ANAHEIM Luis Severino Jersey , Calif. (AP) — the Oakland Athletics‘ Jed Lowrie would be the first to confirm that winning ugly is way better than losing.Lowrie homered and moved over 1,000 hits for his career, and the Oakland Athletics held on for an 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, their ninth win in 11 games.Lowrie took no issue with a potential blowout turning into a nail-biter, a rare occurrence for Oakland’s bullpen.“Who cares?” Lowrie said. “We won.”The A’s took the series against the Angels by winning the last two games. Oakland, which currently occupies the second AL wild-card spot, moved within 2 ½ games of first-place Houston in the AL West. The Astros have lost four straight.Oakland is now 36-12 over its last 48 games, the second-best record in baseball over that stretch, behind the Boston Red Sox. The A’s have taken 13 of their past 16 series.Angels manager Mike Scioscia went with a bullpen day, but the strategy backfired when reliever Taylor Cole (0-3), making his first career start, allowed three runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.“It becomes more of a ‘Who’s fresh?’ game than a matchup game with the bullpen http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-aaron-hicks-jersey ,” Scioscia said. “You try to do your best to put guys in good spots, but right now we’re not there. We’re looking at whoever’s available to give us innings. We try to line ’em up as best we can, but we’re not as efficient as it is if you have the functionality of having starters get to a certain point in the game, which right now we just don’t have.”Lowrie doubled to left field in Oakland’s three-run first inning, giving him 1,000 hits over 11 seasons. It was also the 250th double of his career. Lowrie’s 1001st career hit was his 18th homer this season, a two-run shot during a four-run fourth for the A’s.“It was a lot of hard work that has gone into (1,000 hits),” said Lowrie, who took a grounder off his hand early in Sunday’s game and has spent the last month recovering from a bone bruise in his left leg. “It’s one of those big round numbers that is exciting and memorable, so it’s a pretty special moment.”Marcus Semien had three hits for the A’s and reached base four times, a day after hitting a pair of home runs. Lowrie also had a walk as he reached base three times.Los Angeles trailed by as many as four but pulled within a run in the eighth inning on Shohei Ohtani’s two-run single off Jeurys Familia. Blake Treinen struck out the side in the ninth for his 30th save in 34 opportunities. A’s pitchers matched a season high with 16 strikeouts.Rookie Francisco Arcia homered for the Angels. The homer, his third Aaron Judge Jersey , came one day after Arcia pitched a scoreless mop-up inning. Justin Upton had two hits for the Angels, including an eighth-inning double that gave him an extra-base hit in five consecutive games.A’s starter Trevor Cahill allowed four runs on seven hits with a walk over 4 2/3 innings.“I think it was the first game this year when I didn’t have my changeup, which has been kind of my go-to and my savoir, especially if the fastball command isn’t there,” Cahill said.Fernando Rodney (4-2) pitched a scoreless inning in relief to earn his first victory for the A’s. Rodney has two scoreless innings with Oakland after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.“Today is a day when you need a guy like him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We feel like we have a deep ‘pen, but on days like this is when you need an extended bullpen with that kind of depth.”OHTANI ON TRACKScioscia reiterated Sunday that he expects Ohtani to pitch again this season. While the two-way rookie from Japan has returned to designated-hitter duties, he has not pitched since June 6 because of a sprained right elbow ligament.Ohtani will have what will amount to a medium-intensity bullpen session Monday in San Diego, where the Angels will open a three-game series. He would then work higher-intensity bullpens, followed by pitching to hitters, before his return.Scioscia would not specify when he expects Ohtani to pitch again, but the likelihood is mid-to-late September.“The goal is pitching again this year and we feel that is attainable,” Scioscia said.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (left adductor strain) returned to the 10-day disabled list following his rough outing Saturday Gleyber Torres Jersey , when he gave up seven runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings against the A’s. … SS Andrelton Simmons was a late scratch from the lineup with left knee soreness and is day-to-day. … C Rene Rivera (arthroscopic knee surgery) was expected to play in a game at Single-A Inland Empire on Sunday and Monday, with the Angels hoping he can return to the active roster during the upcoming road trip to San Diego, Texas and Arizona.UP NEXTA’s: LHP Sean Manaea (10-8, 3.50 ERA) will take the mound Monday at home against the Seattle Mariners, having lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a start against the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (7-7, 3.96 ERA) will start Monday at San Diego, his first career appearance against the Padres. OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Khris Davis would enjoy nothing more than leading the big leagues in home runs and carrying the Oakland Athletics on a deep postseason run.“It would be a nice achievement but first and foremost I want to get deep in the playoffs and get there,” he said. “That means a lot more.”For now, he is slugging the A’s one step closer to a playoff berth.Davis hit his second homer of the night leading off the bottom of the 10th inning for his career-high and majors-leading 45th, sending the Oakland Athletics past the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Friday night.Davis hit a 1-1 pitch from Matt Magill (3-3) over the fence in right-center for his fourth career walkoff homer. It was his 22nd multihomer game and seventh this season.“Can’t explain it. There’s not a better feeling in the world,” Davis said. “I’m happy that we got the job done.”He hit a two-run homer in the first, then connected again to end it Tyler Austin Jersey , lowering the A’s magic number of three to clinch a wild card.“It’s pretty dramatic how he started the game and ended the game,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s as good a power hitter as anyone in the game. . He has one-of-a-kind power.”Pinch-hitter Mark Canha hit a tying two-run homer in the sixth after Minnesota went ahead in the top of the inning.The Twins lost in walkoff fashion for the 14th time in 2018, 10th via the home run. Minnesota had its four-game winning streak snapped.Oakland remained 3 1/2 games back of the first-place Astros in the AL West, 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top wild card and 6 1/2 ahead of the Rays for the second wild card.Blake Treinen (8-3) pitched the ninth for the A’s, coming off a 21-3 win against the Angels and 31 runs the past two games as they rebounded from a rare three-game losing streak.“Davis, a guy you kind of want to avoid beating you, hits a couple of homers,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.Canha connected for his second career pinch homer, also done July 14 at San Francisco, and that chased Gabriel Moya.Jorge Polanco hit a go-ahead, three-run double in Minnesota’s six-run sixth and Robbie Grossman had a two-run homer in the inning.Jonathan Lucroy added a sacrifice fly as the A’s won a third straight game following a rare three-game skid.Minnesota starter Jose Berrios struck out eight with three walks over 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits.Right-hander Liam Hendriks began as the A’s “opener” to throw an inning before Chris Bassitt followed with four innings.SWINGING A’SThe A’s have scored seven or more runs in each of their last eight home games and 76 runs total — the longest in Oakland history and matching the longest in franchise history along with May 30-June 7, 1913 Clint Frazier Jersey , and July 14-20, 1932.TOUGH VENUEThe Twins are 4-17 in Oakland since the start of the 2012 season — Minnesota’s most in a city outside the AL Central stops and topping 16 defeats at Yankee Stadium during that stretch. The Twins haven’t won a series at the Coliseum since May 18-19, 2011.STATE OF THE A’SPresident Dave Kaval told a “State of the A’s” gathering that the club will announce a site for a new ballpark, as well as a design for the privately funded venue. General manager David Forst also said it would be a priority to re-sign the club’s top players.TRAINER’S ROOMTwins: 3B Miguel Sano went from Detroit home to Minneapolis for further tests as he continues to deal with discomfort behind his left knee from a hard slide Sept. 4. … 2B Logan Forsythe woke up with inflammation in his left knee and it’s “not functioning,” according to Molitor. “The hills of San Francisco is our best guess,” Molitor said. … An MRI on LF Eddie Rosario’s right quadriceps muscle showed inflammation. He might return this season, though the Twins will see him Tuesday to determine if there has been progress. … RHP Addison Reed is away from the team as he and his wife prepare to welcome a baby.Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill, scratched from his scheduled start last Saturday at Tampa Bay with a strain in his upper back before getting trigger-point injections, is slated to start Sunday as long as he has no further issues.UP NEXTTwins: RHP Chase De Jong (0-1, 3.68 ERA) makes his third start of the season and second of his career vs. the A’s seeking his first decision against Oakland.Athletics: RHP Mike Fiers (12-7, 3.38) will match his career high with his 30th start of the year, also done in 2015 and ’16. He is 5-1 with a 3.09 ERA since being traded to the A’s by the Tigers on Aug. 6 and won at Minnesota on Aug. 25.
  18. CHICAGO (AP) — http://www.denverbroncosteamonline.com/bradley-chubb-jersey , and this one was particularly painful.Slugger Kris Bryant exited with a bruised left wrist, Mike Montgomery got hit hard over four-plus innings and the Cubs stumbled to a 6-0 defeat against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.For the second time in as many nights, the Cubs missed a chance to clinch a franchise-record fourth straight trip to the postseason. And their lead in the NL Central over Milwaukee shrunk to a half-game, with the Brewers beating St. Louis 12-4.Chicago needed a win plus a loss by Colorado to Philadelphia to secure a playoff spot and extend a run that includes a drought-ending World Series championship in 2016. But the Cubs lost for the fourth time in sixth games while the Rockies won 10-3 to move a half-game ahead of St. Louis for the second wild-card.Bryant got struck by a pitch from Chris Archer (3-3) in the fourth inning and was replaced at third base in the sixth by Ian Happ, who had pinch hit in the fifth. Manager Joe Maddon expects the 2016 National League MVP to miss at least one game, though X-rays showed no fractures.“It was sore. I knew it was going to bother him. He was hit pretty good,” Maddon said.The last thing the Cubs need is to be without Bryant even if it’s only a game or two. He’s still trying to round into form after being on the disabled list from July 26 to Sept. 1 with left shoulder inflammation. He missed time earlier in the season with the same issue, and if the Cubs are going to advance in the playoffs, they obviously need him.Montgomery (5-6) gave up five runs and seven hits, and the Cubs got shut out for the 11th time this season.“Every game matters from this point on,” he said. “Eventually, our goal is the playoffs. I think our guys are equipped for that. Mentally, this kind of gives us a chance to really come together as a group.”Archer struck out nine and walked two while pitching four-hit ball over six innings . He has won his past two starts and has a 2.70 ERA in five outings in September.“Everything started to shift when I stopped shaking (catcher Francisco Cervelli),” he said. “It’s him knowing the hitters, knowing the league Womens Bradley Chubb Jersey , and it allows me not to think too much, go with what he puts down. I’ve been pitching much more like myself.”Rookie Pablo Reyes homered for the second straight game, a three-run drive in the second. Cervelli drove in two runs, and Pittsburgh won for the eighth time in 10 games.The Cubs managed just five hits and went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position while stranding seven runners.Chicago got shut down this time after managing just one run — all on homers — in each of their previous five meetings with the Pirates. That was a first for Major League Baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.“I think that what this club has done a really good job of is to kind of wash … off a poor performance, which is unfortunately what we’ve had these past two nights,” said Daniel Murphy, acquired from Washington on Aug. 21.TRAINER’S ROOMPirates: CF Starling Marte (left calf) was back in the lineup after sitting out Monday’s game.Cubs: Maddon said RHP Pedro Strop (strained left hamstring) is “trending in the right direction,” though he wasn’t sure what the next step would be after the reliever played catch on Monday. “He keeps telling me how great he feels,” Maddon said. Strop has been sidelined since Sept. 13, when he was hurt running to first on a double-play grounder at Washington.UP NEXTPirates: RHP Ivan Nova (9-9, 4.01 ERA) has allowed two runs in 16 1/3 innings over his past three startsCubs: LHP José Quintana (13-11, 4.11) tries to shake off a loss to the Chicago White Sox. He got tagged for five runs in five innings by his former team after giving up two runs or less in six straight starts. CHICAGO (AP) — At one point during Anthony Rizzo’s tough start, the big first baseman visited Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon in his office.Rizzo and Maddon talked hitting, and Maddon wrote down what he thought Rizzo’s numbers would look like by the end of the season. Fast forward to the last days of August Authentic Phillip Lindsay Jersey , and Rizzo’s statistics are beginning to approach his usual numbers — where Maddon thought they would go eventually.Only Rizzo might have to just trust his manager on that one.“I wrote the numbers down a couple months ago. I just have to remember where I put them,” a grinning Maddon said.At the end of perhaps his most challenging season in Chicago, the 64-year-old Maddon remains as comfortable with himself as the day he took over four years ago, when he boldly talked about the playoffs at a bar in the shadow in the Wrigley Field.Maddon’s personality — his steady hand, and perhaps more importantly, his subtle changes over the years — is a major reason why the Cubs just keep winning through the kind of adversity that knocks some contenders out of the playoff race.Playing without 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant, closer Brandon Morrow and shortstop Addison Russell due to injuries, Chicago had won six in a row heading into Tuesday night’s game against the New York Mets, running the NL’s best record to 77-53. Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood, who were expected to help solidify the rotation after signing big free-agent deals, struggled all summer, but nothing has derailed the Cubs so far.Credit Javier Baez for turning into one of baseball’s biggest stars. Credit rookies David Bote and Randy Rosario for their unexpected contributions, and Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop for their consistent performances all year out of the bullpen.And credit Maddon, who is working with a largely new coaching staff compared to last year, and still has the Cubs on track for their third straight division title and fourth consecutive playoff appearance.“Every year Authentic Todd Gurley Jersey , it’s kind of just let us be ourselves,” outfielder Kyle Schwarber said. “I think that he has full trust in us and I think that says a lot. We back him up, too. I think that’s kind of how, it’s a give and take. He gives us the rein and we always have his back at the end of the day.”Chicago’s latest win streak coincides with Maddon’s annual “American Legion Week,” where he has his players come in later than usual — harkening back to when they were kids and hit the field when they arrived for the game. The Cubs still have themed road trips — dress like the flamboyant Strop was a big hit this year — but Maddon has largely stayed away from anything like his more famous stunts.No petting zoos. No magicians. No Mariachi bands. The Cubs are no longer the wide-eyed group of kids Maddon had in 2015. They have grown up, and their manager has tweaked his style to fit his playoff-tested group that ended the team’s infamous World Series championship drought.“If you pick your spots more separately or not so close together, I think they have a greater impact, so I just think, I’m ashamed to say I might be maturing a bit,” Maddon deadpanned. “That would be awful. But if that’s true, I would really be disappointed in myself.”While that whole maturity thing is still in question, Maddon has made a couple decisions this year that helped keep the Cubs on top of the NL.The three-time manager of the year has smartly picked his spots for Ben Zobrist, and the 37-year-old utilityman has responded with a more typical performance after struggling last season. Rizzo’s resurgence was jump-started by a productive stint in the leadoff slot. He has let Baez be Baez, shrugging off the occasional baserunning blunder while the infielder repeatedly turns in electric plays in the field and at the plate.The bullpen, a disaster in the playoffs last year Todd Gurley Jersey Elite , has been one of NL’s best, helping the Cubs to a major league-best 41 come-from-behind wins.“I think Joe does a good job of not hammering the little things, even when we’re not playing well,” left-hander Jon Lester said after Monday night’s 7-4 victory over the Mets. “I think a lot of teams and organizations, when they don’t play well, they run to the early (batting practices) … and maybe you’ll see a (pitchers’ fielding practice) thrown in there, whatever, but Joe goes the other way.”Maddon’s deft touch will be tested when Bryant and Russell come off the DL, creating a logjam in the infield after the Cubs acquired second baseman Daniel Murphy last week in a trade with Washington. Of course, Maddon knows it’s a problem many other teams would welcome.And if anyone wants to talk it over, his door is always open.“It’s been a really interesting year,” Maddon said. “A lot of great conversations. When they have issues, they come and talk to me about them. It’s been really good.”
  19. a third consecutive series for the first time this season.Kansas City (43-91) is playing another team struggling as much — the Baltimore Orioles — and the Royals posted a 9-2 victory in the opener to three-game Friday night at home. They banged out three homers in the win.That win stopped the Orioles (40-95) from tying a season high for consecutive victories (four).Article continues below ...They’ll meet again Saturday at Kauffman Stadium when Dylan Bundy (7-13 Miguel Gonzalez Jersey , 5.37 ERA) starts for the Orioles against Heath Fillmyer (2-1, 4.21) in a battle of right-handers.The Royals’ recent streak started when they took two of three from Cleveland last weekend and swept a two-game set from Detroit after that. Now, Kansas City has won six of its last seven games, the team’s best stretch this season.Power helped the Royals in Friday’s win. They belted out three homers in the victory http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-tim-anderson-jersey , including one from Cam Gallagher, who had just been called up earlier in the day. That was his first home run this season and the second of his brief major league career.Home runs have been a problem for Bundy recently and all season, in fact. Bundy has given up the most homers in the majors this year (34) and allowed eight in July and eight in August.He has a combined record of 1-6 in the past two months after going 3-0 in June.Bundy has left the ball too close to the plate too many times and is working on correcting that issue. When the right-hander’s pitches stay on the corner, he finds much more success.“It’s frustrating for Dylan because he doesn’t want to be giving up anything http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-yoan-moncada-jersey ,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the media earlier this season. “I’ve talked to him about it.”Bundy has a 1-1 career record with a 5.87 ERA against Kansas City.For the Royals, Fillmyer is a rookie who will be making his ninth career start — and 13th appearance in the major leagues. He never has faced the Orioles.Both teams made some moves before the game. The Royals acquired pitcher Jerry Vasto from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for catcher Drew Butera, a popular player who was with the team during its World Series run three years ago.Butera was a backup catcher, and it was clear the Royals were sad about losing him.“He was perfect for this team and knowing his role Welington Castillo Jersey ,” Royals manager Ned Yost told the media Friday. “He was always ready to play when he was called upon. He was just the perfect backup catcher, especially for our situation.”Kansas City also recalled Gallagher from Triple-A Omaha and returned outfielder Brian Goodwin from his rehab assignment and reinstated him from the disabled list.Baltimore recalled outfielder Joey Rickard from Triple-A Norfolk and reinstated pitcher Jhan Marinez from the disabled list (right hamstring strain). After clearing waivers, the Orioles assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk.The Orioles also designated outfielder Craig Gentry for assignment. The New York Yankees have offered prospects within the top 10 of their system in trade talks with the Baltimore Orioles for star shortstop Manny Machado.George King III of theNew York Post reported the news but did not name any specific players. The Orioles are expected to trade Machado by the July 31 deadline before he hits the unrestricted free-agent market this winter.The Orioles pulled Machado from their game Sunday against the Texas Rangers after rain made the field potentially unsafe.鈥淭hat's part of it,鈥?Orioles manager Buck Showaltertold reporters. 鈥淲e know what's going on http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-cliff-pennington-jersey , the potential. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that was all it. My thought on that is, what are you telling the other eight people? Obviously, there's a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that. That had a lot to do with it. 鈥?A month ago, he wouldn't have come out of the game. We know that. You know it. You're smart. I think you know what's going on.鈥滶SPN'sBuster Olneyreported the Orioles are on the "10-yard line" in trade discussions. The Los Angeles Dodgers Joey Votto Jersey , Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers are seen as the favorites at the moment.The Yankees are interested in Machado but have a more immediate need in their starting pitching staff.Luis Severino has been their only reliable All-Star-caliber starter all season, and they've been forced to trot out the strugglingSonny GrayandDomingo Germanevery fifth day. Finding a starter is more pressing than adding another bat to what's already one of the best lineups in baseball.Jim Bowdenof The Athleticalso reported the Yankees have refused to include top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield in any negotiations, so that may rule them out altogether.
  20. on Saturday by becoming the sixth team in Major League Baseball history to club 250 home runs in a single season http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-kevin-long-jersey , per MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.New York center fielder Aaron Hicks provided the historic swing when he sent the 0-2 offering from Baltimore Orioles right-hander David Hess in the bottom of the second into the seats in right:New York Yankees YankeesRound and round they go. B1YO1ypZ8rOf course, many believed the Yankees could challenge the all-time record this year after acquiring reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins last offseason.Stanton (59) and 2017 American League MVP runner-up Aaron Judge (52) hit the most round-trippers in all of baseball last year. Putting them in the same lineupith half of their games at the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium eant there would be no shortage of souvenirs at Yankees games this season.However, they are not the only ones who have been mashing. The Yankees have set an MLB record by having 12 players with double-digit home runs in a single-season. In other words, there's a reason they call them the Bronx Bombers.According to theYES Network, New York has also tied a franchise record by having five players with 25-plus dingers.MLB's Daren Willman tweeted out a detailed chart of all of the Yankees' homers to that point:Daren Willman darenw.Yankees have hit 245 home runs this season.27 more than the next closest team and tied with their franchise record. Thats a lot of dingers wkOLpNanaNThis year's squad already owns the franchise record for most long balls in a single-season, already topping last year's club (241). Now, its sights are set on the MLB record.Luke Voit added another dinger on Saturday later in the second inning to give New York 251 home runs in 2018. The Bronx Bombers will need 13 homers in their final eight-plus games to tie the 1997 Seattle Mariners and 14 to make the record their own, according to Hoch:Bryan Hoch BryanHochThe Bronx Bombers are mashing toward a record.1997 Mariners - 264 HR2005 Rangers - 260 HR2010 Blue Jays - 257 HR1996 Orioles - 257 HR2018 #Yankees - 251 HRThe scary part? Judge recently missed more than a month due to a wrist injury, with Gary Sanchez having appeared in just 83 games due to injury as well. Imagine what the Yankees' home run total would look like if those two sluggers had been healthy all season. The two sets of Wild Card Game participants took different paths to reach the first two games of the Major League Baseball postseason.The Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs suffered defeats in divisional tiebreakers Monday to set up a winner-takes-all game at Wrigley Field Tuesday.In the American League, the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics put together tremendous seasons, but neither team came close to challenging Boston and Houston for their respective divisional crowns.The winner of Tuesday's National LeagueWild Card Game begins the NLDS Thursday against Milwaukee, while Wednesday's victorious side in the American League heads to Boston to begin the ALDS Friday.Wild Card Game ScheduleTuesday http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-joaquin-benoit-jersey , October 2Colorado at Chicago Cubs (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, live stream on WatchESPN or ESPN app)Wednesday, October 3Oakland at New York Yankees (8 p.m. ET, TBS, live stream on Watch TBS app)Rockies, Cubs Face Difficult TurnaroundThe Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs enter Tuesday's NLWild Card Gamein less-than-ideal positions.Both teams lost in divisional tiebreak games Monday to force them to play for their respective playoff lives Tuesday at Wrigley.The Rockies appear to be in a worse situation than the Cubs because they had to travel to Los Angeles Monday for the NL West tiebreaker with the Dodgers and then hop on a plane east to Chicago after their loss.The Rockies and Cubs split their six-game series, but it's hard to use those games as indicators for what will occur Tuesday since they were played in April and May.In addition to holding home-field advantage, the Cubs possess the upper hand in the pitching matchup on paper, as Jon Lester is set to make his 22nd postseason start, while Rockies starter Kyle Freeland will make his first-ever postseason appearance.Chris Coduto/Getty ImagesWhile Freeland isn't as experienced as Lester, he enters the NLWild Card Game with victories in six of his last seven starts.During that stretch Ryan Zimmerman Jersey , Freeland has allowed fewer than seven hits in six starts, with the outlier coming Friday in a 5-2 win over the Washington Nationals.Although he's one of the most experienced players entering the 2018 postseason, Lester hasn't gotten past the sixth inning in his last four postseason starts.The Cubs might ask Lester to get them through the seventh inning against the Rockies since six relievers appeared in Monday's NL Central tiebreaker.Nick Wass/Associated PressConversely, four Rockies relievers trotted out to the mound after starter German Marquez in Monday's loss to the Dodgers, but with a day off for the winner ahead of the NLDS, every measure will be taken by each coaching staff to have the right pitchers on the mound in certain moments.The X-factor at the plate for the Rockies could be outfielder Matt Holliday, who is 10-for-27 in his career against Lester.Even though he'll be facing a left-handed starter, Anthony Rizzo will be the X-factor for the Cubs, as he's recorded seven hits in his last four games and has nine multihit games in September.Yankees Looking To Set Up Heated ALDS With Red SoxThe 100-win New York Yankees weren't good enough to beat out the 108-win Boston Red Sox for the AL East title, but they do have a chance to set up a best-of-five series with their rival.Michael Dwyer/Associated PressIn order for that to occur, the Yankees must conquer the one-game challenge presented by the Oakland Athletics.The Yankees captured three of their last four regular-season games, with two of those wins coming against the Red Sox.On the other hand http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-jayson-werth-jersey , the Athletics alternated between a win and loss in their final seven games and fell in their regular-season finale to the Seattle Mariners.With two days between the end of the regular season and the AL Wild Card Game, both teams are taking their time naming a starting pitcher.Regardless of who starts on the mound for the Yankees and A's, they'll face a difficult test against each batter.The Yankees led the majors in home runs with 267, while Oakland ranked third with 227.Five different Yankees hit 27 or more home runs, with Giancarlo Stanton leading the way with 38 dingers. Oakland had five players reach 23 home runs, led by major league leader Khris Davis' 48.Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated PressSince both teams will be well-rested, almost every player on the two rosters will be available in some capacity, with the potential ALDS Game 1 starters being the only exception.The Yankees have a slight edge because of their home-field advantage and experience from winning the ALWild Card Game over Minnesota a year ago, but that's about all that separates the two ballclubs from each other.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.
  21. in the biggest way possible.Schoop hit a grand slam after Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-tom-seaver-jersey , and Milwaukee beat the San Francisco Giants 6-3 on Sunday, completing a series sweep and preserving the Brewers‘ lead in the NL wild-card race.Milwaukee moved within two games of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central heading into a three-game series at Chicago.In the sixth, Madison Bumgarner hit Braun with his third of three consecutive pitches inside to load the bases with two outs. Brewers players came a couple of steps out of the dugout, and manager Craig Counsell was ejected by plate umpire Tom Hallion.Schoop, who had struck out in his first-two at-bats, then drove a 2-1 pitch from Bumgarner (5-6) over the wall in left to make it 5-2. It was Schoop’s fourth homer since being acquired from Baltimore on July 31.“I was a little bit mad, but I calmed myself down a little bit, don’t let the moment get me,” said Schoop, who had a slow start after his trade to Milwaukee but now has 10 RBIs in his last four games. “Just focus http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , breathe and calm myself down, so I could get a good pitch and put a good swing on it.”Bumgarner allowed a first-inning RBI double to Braun and then retired 15 straight before a two-out walk to Christian Yelich in the sixth. Jesus Aguliar singled to left, bringing up Braun. Bumgarner’s first pitch was high and inside, spinning Braun off the plate, and then he threw inside again, triggering a stare-down between batter and pitcher. He then plunked Braun with his third pitch.“I don’t know if he thought I was trying to throw at him or what,” Bumgarner said. “The second pitch was right over the middle of the plate but just up, too much. He looked at me. I don’t know what he is thinking or not thinking, but that didn’t have any kind effect on what I’m trying to do out there.”Milwaukee remained 2½ games ahead of St. Louis for the top wild card spot. The Brewers, who play their next 15 games within the division http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-omar-vizquel-jersey , completed a 5-1 homestand, including taking two of three from the Cubs.“We’re looking forward to a fun series,” Counsell said. “We’re still behind. We’ve still got to try to put a dent in it and that’s what we’ll try to do.”The Giants, who have lost a season-high eight straight, pulled within 5-3 in the eighth on Austin Slater’s RBI triple. Schoop added an RBI fielder’s choice for the Brewers in the bottom half.Rookie reliever Corbin Burnes (4-0) struck out two of the four batters he faced in the sixth. Corey Knebel retired all four hitters he faced for his 15th save in 18 opportunities.Bumgarner allowed five runs on six hits in six innings, striking out four and walking one.San Francisco took a 2-1 lead in the fifth against Zach Davies on Gregor Blanco’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Davies allowed two runs on six hits in five innings.Blanco opened the game with his second homer, sending a 1-2 pitch over the right-field wall. Braun answered with a two-out RBI double off the top of the wall in left-center.“Obviously, it was a good way for us to respond as a team,” Braun said of the sixth-inning rally. “For Schoopie to hit that grand slam was pretty cool, a cool moment for us. The intensity of the game was fun. I think it’s a good learning experience for everybody Jason Kipnis Jersey , to kind of control your emotions in a big situation and find a way to win the game.”BREWHAHAIn addition to Counsell, Brewers left-hander Wade Miley and reserve catcher Jacob Nottingham were ejected from the dugout in the sixth after warnings were issued to both benches.MILWAUKEE MOVESThe Brewers recalled RHP Freddy Peralta and RHP Taylor Williams from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Both Peralta and Wiliams had been sent down on Aug. 30. Williams is 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 50 relief appearances with the Brewers this season. Peralta, who opened the season at Triple-A, is 6-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 starts with Milwaukee.TRAINER’S ROOMGiants: 1B Brandon Belt, scratched from Saturday’s game with a sore right knee, was not in the starting lineup Sunday, but pinch-hit in the fifth after Ryder Jones injured his left knee while fouling off a pitch. Jones suffered a patellar dislocation, the Giants said. “Bizarre, trust me,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It is unbelievable. … I’ve seen it twice Lonnie Chisenhall Jersey , and both times here. It is a freak accident. It is a shame. A kid getting the chance to play up here, takes a swing and does that.” Bochy said he assumed Jones was done for the year. Jones will get an MRI on Monday.UP NEXTGiants: Rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (6-2, 2.41 ERA) makes his 16th start as San Francisco kicks off a six-game homestand on Monday against the Braves. Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in 12 of his starts.Brewers: Miley (3-2, 2.12) opens the three-game series on Monday against the Cubs. Since coming off the disabled list on July 12, Miley has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of 10 starts. He is 1-1 with a 5.21 ERA in three career starts at Wrigley Field. MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson is leaving the team, the third departure on manager Craig Counsell’s staff since the end of the season.General manager David Stearns said on Wednesday that Johnson was leaving the NL Central champions. Johnson wrapped up his third season with the Brewers, overseeing a staff that was fifth in the majors with a 3.73 ERA.The Brewers’ bullpen was fifth in the majors with a 3.47 ERA, but even better in September with a 1.98 ERA.Hitting coach Darnell Coles resigned last week, while bullpen coach Lee Tunnell was fired. The Brewers also fired head athletic trainer Dan Wright last week.Also Thursday, Milwaukee declined the $3.5 million club option on Jordan Lyles http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-larry-doby-jersey , making the right-handed pitcher a free agent. Lyles instead gets a $250,000 buyout.The Brewers selected Lyles off waivers on Aug. 5 from the San Diego Padres. He was 1-0 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 games, all in relief, with Milwaukee.Lyles went 3-4 with a 4.11 ERA in 35 games overall, including eight starts with San Diego.
  22. after the Chicago White Sox promoted theright-handed pitcherfrom Triple-A.The team announced Kopech will make his MLB debut Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins:Chicago White Sox whitesoxITS HAPPENING: MichaelKopech5 is coming to Chicago!Tuesday night vs. Minnesota Jesus Aguilar Jersey , #NextSox becomes #WhiteSox. Get your now: oZQDCOjWFz JWTnilYuYQKopech, 22, was originally a first-round draft pick (No. 33 overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2014.The White Sox acquiredKopechin December 2016, along withYoanMoncada,Luis AlexanderBasabeand VictorDiaz http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-ryan-braun-jersey , in exchange for Chris Sale.ESPN.com'sKeith LawhadKopechas the No. 9 overall prospect in MLB when he updated his rankings in July, writing there is "[Noah]Syndergaard-Justin Verlander upside" if he can find more consistency with his off-speed pitches and improve his control.In 24 starts at Triple-A Charlotte this season,Kopechhas a 3.70 ERA with 170 strikeouts, 101 hits allowed and 60 walks in 126.1 innings. BALTIMORE–The defending World Series champion Houston Astros close the 2018 season with a trip to Baltimore this weekend, and the first game of their four-game series with the Orioles is set for Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards.Houston already has clinched the American League West and will play the Indians in the Division Series. That starts on Oct. 5 Travis Shaw Jersey , and the Astros get home-field advantage there.The only time Houston would not hold the home-field advantage is if it meets Boston in the AL Championship Series as the Red Sox already have that locked up.Article continues below ...David Hess (3-10, 5.14 ERA) will start for the Orioles versus Houston right-hander Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.92) on Thursday.Cole has given an already-strong Astros’ starting staff even more punch this season. He has won five in a row and last lost on Aug. 10. This will be the first time Cole has pitched against the Orioles this season — and in fact, he’s never gone against Baltimore in his career.Hess has been up and down during this rookie season. The right-hander has gone 1-5 in the past two months but pitched effectively on several occasions.This will be the first time he’s ever pitched against the Astros.Houston (100-58) is coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday in a game that really meant nothing. The Astros actually clinched the division total very early Wednesday morning when Oakland lost to Seattle.However, Houston officially celebrated in the locker room after the loss in Toronto Paul Molitor Jersey , and now will prepare for this four-game series in Baltimore that really holds little meaning except that the Astros want to go into the playoffs on a good note.“We’re the only team that can repeat, and our team needs to know that,” Houston manager AJ Hinch told reporters. “It’s important for us to have our moment and lock back in. In a week, we’re going to play real baseball.”Baltimore is starting the final series of an historically poor season. To make matters worse, the Orioles have run out of pitchers at times http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-robin-yount-jersey , especially in the starting rotation, which is a big reason they went with a committee approach in Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader in Boston.Plus, most of the pitchers Baltimore is using do not have a lot of major league experience and are being hit hard as they get used to life at this level.“There are better days ahead for those guys,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the young pitchers. “But it’s a tough learning curve. (However) it’s never as bad as it seems or as good as it seems.”The Orioles are coming into this series after splitting a day-night doubleheader in Boston on Wednesday. Boston crushed Baltimore 19-3 in the first game — the biggest margin of defeat the Orioles (46-112) have suffered in this forgetful season.However, Baltimore bounced back and pulled out a 10-3 victory in the nightcap Matt Garza Jersey , thanks to seven runs in the final three innings.
  23. CARLSBAD Giancarlo Stanton Jersey , Calif. (AP) — in the season in an attempt to reach a deal before he became a free agent.Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo disclosed the talks with agent Scott Boras at the general managers’ meetings on Tuesday.“We’ve had conversations and we utilized our exclusivity to negotiate with him late in the season through when he became eligible to sign with a team,” Rizzo said. “We didn’t get anything done, but he’s a guy that is near and dear to us and we are not closing any doors.”Harper, who turned 26 last month, is expected to receive the largest contract among the 164 free agents. He is a six-time All-Star with 184 homers, 521 RBIs and a .900 OPS.“He’s shown the type of player he is and now he’s a grizzled veteran,” Rizzo said. “He has done a lot in the game already, and he is just scratching the surface.”Harper was dressed in his full Nats uniform more than 3½ hours before the team’s final home game in September and was unsure of his future.“I can’t really stand here and say it’s going to be ‘farewell’ or anything like that, because nobody knows. Nobody knows what this offseason holds,” he said.Boras is known for extending talks with his free agents past the holiday break. His clients include Nationals pitchers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and former Nats outfielder Jayson Werth.“It’s going to be a challenge to put the best product on the field, and that could include Harper and it could be doing things without Harper http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-derek-jeter-jersey ,” Rizzo said. “There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not. We have to have a strategy and plan put together to win baseball games, not only for 2019 but beyond. I think we have a good strategy in place, a good plan in place, and we have started to begin that process and we will see where it takes us.” NEW YORK (AP) — As he jogged from the bullpen, Tampa Bay rookie left-hander Adam Kolarek reminded himself that he’s pitched out of bases-loaded, no-out situations before.In the minors, at least.“It just hasn’t been at this level,” he said. “And certainly not in a stadium like Yankee Stadium.”Or in the majors, period.Kolarek escaped a critical jam in the ninth inning Thursday for his first career save, lifting the Rays over New York 3-1 to win their first series at Yankee Stadium since 2014. Tampa Bay had lost 12 straight series in the Bronx, a record since the ballpark opened in 2009.“This can be an intimidating Alex Rodriguez Jersey , daunting place to play,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “But I don’t think these guys really concern themselves with that too much.”Kolarek got his moment in the Bronx spotlight after Sergio Romo struggled in the ninth. Romo allowed consecutive singles to Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres — Torres’ bloop ended his 0-for-17 skid — then walked Neil Walker on four pitches.Cash then called for the side-arming Kolarek. Lefty-hitting Greg Bird popped out in foul territory on his first pitch, and then the 29-year-old Kolarek — who entered with a 6.00 ERA — struck out veterans Brett Gardner and Austin Romine. Romine chased a high fastball clocked at 95 mph.It was the first time Kolarek had faced bases loaded with no outs in his big league career. He escaped in nine pitches.“Getting Bird out on that first pitch was huge,” Kolarek said. “Because once you get one out, you’re like, ‘OK, I’m one pitch away.’ To get the strikeouts was just a little bit more special.”The struggling Yankees lineup, still without injured sluggers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, scored just six runs during the three-game series.“We have people more than capable of putting runs on the board,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “You obviously take two star-level players out, that’s certainly a big deal.”Tommy Pham returned from the disabled list and helped the Rays jump on Masahiro Tanaka (9-3) with an RBI double during a two-run first inning, and Blake Snell (14-5) and the bullpen took over from there.The left-handed All-Star made his third start since a DL stint for left shoulder fatigue and struck out six over five innings of two-hit ball. He was coming off five perfect innings against Toronto Mariano Rivera Jersey , though he was pulled from that start after just 47 pitches. He threw 76 pitches Thursday.The Rays got to Tanaka with four straight hits to open the game. Mallex Smith lined a single the other way, stole second, then scored on Joey Wendle’s double to the right-center gap. After Jake Bauers’ single, Pham got his first hit with the Rays, driving a double off the wall in the left-field corner.Pham was placed on the DL by Tampa Bay with a broken right foot two games after being acquired from St. Louis on July 31 for a trio of minor leaguers. Pham played one minor league rehab game, homering and getting three hits for Class A Hudson Valley on Wednesday night. He pleaded with Cash to get in the lineup and play his first career game at Yankee Stadium.Pham added a single in the third, then hit a drive to the warning track in left-center that was caught by center fielder Aaron Hicks leading off the sixth.Tanaka recovered after his shaky first, pitching scoreless ball for the next five innings before handing off to Zach Britton. Tanaka allowed nine hits, struck out six and also picked off a pair of baserunners.Bauers squeezed home Smith against David Robertson in the eighth. Bauers’ bunt hugged the first-base line and gave Robertson no chance at a play at the plate.Smith had two hits from the leadoff spot. He entered the game batting .353 with a .450 on-base percentage since being moved atop the order Aug. 5.WATCH IT AGAINGiancarlo Stanton hit a ball in the eighth off the wall in the right-field corner that was originally ruled a home run by first base umpire Greg Gibson, but overturned to an RBI double after a video review . The ball hit about halfway up the wall, right on the foul stripe, and was nearly touched by a fan.“Originally Greg thought it was a home run and then he said http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-babe-ruth-jersey , ‘I think it was foul because it hit the wall in foul,” crew chief Jerry Layne told a pool reporter. “He goes, ‘I’m trying to get some help here.’ So he didn’t clearly see it. We weren’t a 100 percent.”PUNCHING UPThe Rays improved to 8-2 in their past 10 against New York and 8-7 overall this season. Tampa Bay hasn’t won the season series since 2014. The teams still have a four-game set at Tropicana Field in late September.R-E-S-P-E-C-TThe first thing Judge did after arriving at Yankee Stadium was put Aretha Franklin on the clubhouse sound system, starting with her version of “I Say A Little Prayer.” The Queen of Soul died Thursday at the age of 76. Judge said his mom was a fan of Franklin’s, and he heard a lot of her music around the house as a kid.“Good music,” he said. “Perfect for a day game.”The Yankees played Franklin’s iconic performance from the movie “Blues Brothers” on the video board during the sixth inning.TRAINER’S ROOMRays: RHP Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room for Pham.Yankees: Hicks was visited by a trainer after reaching on an error in the eighth. He remained in the game. Hicks turned his right ankle slightly on first base but thinks he’ll be fine. … Sanchez did sprints and worked on popping out of the squat in the outfield before the game. It was the first outdoor running for Sanchez since going on the disabled list July 24 with a strained right groin. Sanchez could begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. … Boone is hopeful that LHP CC Sabathia (right knee) will return from the DL to start the next time through the rotation. … RHP Tommy Kahnle was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the spot vacated when RHP Luis Cessa was optioned to the RailRiders on Wednesday night. Kahnle pitched a scoreless inning.UP NEXTRays: RHP Stanek (1-3, 2.45) is the scheduled opener against Boston LHP Brian Johnson (3-3, 3.95) at Fenway Park on Friday night.Yankees: RHP Lance Lynn (8-8, 4.46) faces Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman (4-8, 5.03) on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Lynn has a 0.54 ERA in three appearances (two starts) since being acquired from Minnesota.
  24. Tyler Glasnow figured some things out amid a nightmarish first inning at Fenway Park last Saturday night.The other members of the Rays staff certainly have.The 6-foot-8 Glasnow Dalton Pompey Jersey , acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Chris Archer trade, gave up four runs in that fateful first inning against the Red Sox, but yielded just one run — on a J.D. Martinez home run — after that.Article continues below ...Since that night, the Rays haven’t lost, and Glasnow now tries to finish off a four-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at The Trop in St. Petersburg, Fla.The Rays have won four straight to move a season-high five games over .500 (66-61), partially thanks to going 6-0 against the lowly Royals, who lost their 89th game of the season Wednesday night.Danny Duffy comes off the 10-day disabled list (shoulder impingement) to pitch for the Royals on Thursday.Glasnow is 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA on the season and 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts with the Rays. He is 3-12 with a 5.51 ERA in his young career.The Tampa Bay pitching staff notched 27 straight scoreless innings, tying a club record, before yielding one run Tuesday after two straight shutouts and giving up three more runs Wednesday night.Glasnow retired the last 12 batters he faced and 17 of the last 18 to end Saturday night on a positive.Brandon Lowe and Mallex Smith drove in two runs apiece and the Rays won another game with an “opener” starting pitcher on Wednesday night. Ryne Stanek started and worked two hitless innings before Yonny Chirinos pitched five innings in relief. Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his 18th save.The Rays stroked 10 two-out hits as their offense woke up Wednesday. The 10 two-out hits were the most by the team in a game in two years.“That’s really, really impressive, especially for an offense that has been scuffling so much,” Cash said. “There were some great hits by Mallex, by Brandon Lowe, against a really tough left-hander (Tim Hill). We pieced together, and we needed to separate the game a little bit. It allowed us to line up the bullpen a little bit. … A lot of good offensive numbers that we kind of needed.”Duffy (7-11, 4.90) struggled in the two starts before hitting the DL, yielding 12 earned runs on 16 hits in just 11 1/3 innings. He is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in four career starts against the Rays http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-roberto-osuna-jersey , all in Kansas City.For the Royals, the misery of the 2018 season continues. They have dropped 16 of their last 20 and lost six straight series.Jakob Junis fell to 6-12 with the loss Wednesday night, giving up two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.“He’s been consistently sharp, especially the last four outings,” said Kansas City manager Ned Yost. “I expect him to go out and make starts like this, give us a chance to win like he did.”Tommy Pham, who dislocated his right ring finger diving into a base Tuesday night, reported he felt better but that the finger was still swollen. He’s shooting for Thursday but Friday appeared more likely.“I think we avoided a pretty big scare,” Cash said.Rookie first baseman Jake Bauers, in a 1-for-33 tailspin, was rested Wednesday, Cash saying, “He’s been pressing, there’s no denying it. He’s frustrated with himself.”Jorge Bonifacio, scratched Tuesday with lower back stiffness, rested Wednesday but was on Kansas City’s bench and available.The current Rays roster is just a cumulative 4-for-24 (.167) with no RBIs against Duffy. Carlos Gomez is 3-for-7 (.429) but the rest of the players are a combined 1-for-17 (.059). MIAMI (AP) — Strobe party lights flashed from the far end of the Philadelphia Phillies‘ postgame clubhouse, and a large beer cooler stood in the middle of the room as manager Gabe Kapler stepped outside for a conversation.“It’s a little loud in there right now,” he said.The sound was one big sigh of relief from the Phillies.Carlos Santana homered to start a four-run first inning Roberto Alomar Jersey , giving the Phils a much-need jump start, and they snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Miami 9-4 Tuesday.“We feel a lot more confidence now having had that game,” Kapler said.The Phillies closed to within three games of NL East leader Atlanta, which lost to Boston 5-1. Philadelphia lost to last-place Miami on Monday but now has a chance to win a series for the first time in a month on Wednesday.Jake Arrieta (10-9) struck out a season-high 11 and earned his first win since July 31. He allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings and improved to 5-1 in eight career starts against the Marlins.“We got him the lead, and he knew exactly what to do with it,” Kapler said. “Right when we needed it, he stepped up.”J.T. Realmuto hit two solo homers off Arrieta, increasing his season total to 20.Asdrubal Cabrera drove in three runs for the Phils with his 23rd homer and a double. Santana drove in a two runs and scored twice, while Cesar Hernandez hit a bases-loaded triple.“Our offense is capable of having these breakout games, and not just one out of 10,” Arrieta said. “We’ve got a nice cavalry of bats. We can really swing it. It just hasn’t been clicking for us of late.”After totaling five runs in the previous four games, the Phils received a spark from Santana, who led off for only the fifth time this season. After he hit his 21st homer, Hernandez’s three-run triple later in the inning made it 4-0. By the fifth it was 8-1.“It’s big giving my team energy, especially early in the game,” Santana said. “Everybody’s happy.”Seven Miami pitchers combined to allow nine hits and 10 walks while hitting two batters. The Phils drew no walks in Monday’s listless loss.“We got back to our Phillies style of offense,” Kapler said. “We saw a lot of pitches. We worked a lot of walks and had some extra-base hits at the end of deep counts.”Rhys Hoskins earned a painful RBI in the ninth when he was hit on the shoulder with the bases loaded. He left the game for a pinch runner, but after the game Kapler said Hoskins was fine.Newly engaged Marlins starter Trevor Richards (3-8) lasted only 1 1/3 innings in his shortest outing yet. The rookie gave up four walks http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-paul-molitor-jersey , four hits and six runs, and remained winless since July 14.“I was just falling behind,” Richards said. “I didn’t have command of my fastball.”The Marlins need an 8-15 finish to avoid their first 100-loss season since 2013.EXPERT COUNSELFormer Phillies star Jimmy Rollins joined the team at Kapler’s invitation to offer playoff-race encouragement.ELBOW ROOMAnnounced attendance at Marlins Park was 7,131. There were 1,396 fans actually in the stands for the first inning, according to a head count.ROSTER MOVESMarlins: INF Martin Prado (abdominal strain) went on the 60-day DL, ending another injury-plagued season in which he batted .244 in 54 games. Prado, who is under contract next season for $15 million, was limited to 37 games in 2017.“It has been a rough couple of years for Martin,” manager Don Mattingly said.The Marlins reinstated LHP Jarlin Garcia and RHP Elieser Hernandez from the 10-day DL, recalled INF-OF Chris Bostick from Triple-A New Orleans, and selected the contracts of RHP Tyler Kinley and 1B-OF Peter O’Brien from New Orleans.TRAINER’S ROOMMarlins: SS JT Riddle was scratched from the starting lineup because of a sore left wrist.UP NEXTRHP Nick Pivetta (7-10, 4.66) is scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday night against Miami RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-0, 1.80), making his second start of the season.
  25. Series victory with their fans in a parade that begins at Fenway Park on Wednesday.After 86 years of misery Early Wynn Jersey , Red Sox fans have been spoiled with four world championships since 2004. Their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers this year was nearly a sweep, with the National League champs needing 18 innings in Game 3 to earn their lone win of the series.With 119 combined victories between the regular season and playoffs, the 2018 Red Sox had the second-most wins in MLB history of any team that won a World Series. Only the 1998 New York Yankees (125) were better.Per Kevin Slane of Boston.com, the parade will start 11 a.m. ET Wednesday at Fenway Park and end onStaniford Street near the Government Center. Red Sox Parade Viewing ScheduleDate: Wednesday, Oct. 31Network: MLB NetworkStreaming: MLB.com PredictionsHarry How/Getty ImagesIf someone had told you coming into this MLB season that David Price would end up being the biggest fan favorite during a Red Sox World Series parade, they would have been laughed out of the room.At this time last year, Price seemed like someone the Red Sox were stuck with but really had no fit with the organization. He was getting into heated arguments with the Boston media and told Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globehe wouldn't be talking to the media on days he wasn't pitching."I don't talk to the media every day like I did last year and I guess I get blown up for that," Price told Shaughnessy in June 2017. "But I was honest with everything they asked me last year, and I get blown up for that. So they did this to themselves. Talk to me on the day I pitch and that's it. There are no more personal interviews. There are no more asking me questions on a personal level. That's done."Just 12 months later, Price became one of the biggest playoff heroes in Boston sports history:MLB Stat of the Day MLBStatoftheDayWhat a turnaround for DAVIDprice24. ir0AKgPU4YPrice tossed a combined 13 innings with six hits allowed and one earned run with 14 strikeouts in series-clinching wins over the Houston Astros and Dodgers.Given Price's standing with Sox fans when 2018 started and compared to where it is now, don't be surprised to see him receive the loudest ovation from the crowd if he stands up to speak.Every World Series winner also has the one player who becomes a cult icon for the rest of time. Boston fans have two they can pick from: Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce. Both players were with the team for less than half of the season, but they left an indelible mark.Pearce has the extra hardware on his mantle after winning the World Series MVP award thanks to hitting three homers in the final two games against Los Angeles.FOX Sports: MLB MLBONFOXMiiiiight be time to get those M-V-P chants going.Steve Pearce goes yard AGAIN! g4p96eK2EDEovaldi, who was tentatively set to start Game 4 Avisail Garcia Jersey , tossed six innings out of the bullpen in Game 3's 18-inning marathon. The right-hander took a hard-luck loss after giving up Max Muncy's walk-off homer, but all of his teammates showered his performance with praise."Effortwise, I don't know, World Series, that was one of the best performances probably in the history of the World Series," Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters about Eovaldi after Game 3. "I told him how proud I was of him. The effort was amazing...probably one of the best, if not the best, game I've ever been a part of. The effort from both sides. What Nate did tonight, that was amazing. That was amazing."It was an impressive outing on its own, but it looks even more incredible if you factor in that Eovaldi pitched one inning in each of the first two games against the Dodgers. He also recorded four outs in Game 5 against the Astros two days after giving up two runs in a six-inning outing.Both players will be beloved figures in Boston for the rest of their lives, but if you are picking one who will inspire a more rousing round of applause, Pearce gets the slight edge because of his family's connection to the franchise.Per WEEI's Rob Bradford, Pearce spent some of his formative years at the Red Sox's spring training facility watching the team after his family moved to Florida in 1996."I was out there getting all the foul balls http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-frank-thomas-jersey ," Pearce said. "I would bring them on the bus. I went over to Winter Haven all the time. I used to have so many autographs but then we ended up playing with the balls."MLB history will always remember star players like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Chris Sale.But the once-unheralded studs like Pearce and Eovaldi took this Red Sox team from a dominant regular-season group to a World Series title. DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander knew this would be one of the most emotional games of his major league career.He still wasn’t prepared.In his return to Detroit, Verlander received three standing ovations while pitching the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers on Monday night.Verlander (15-9) made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2005 and ranks among the top 10 on several of the team’s career lists. He struck out 10 over seven innings in his first time on the Comerica Park mound since being traded to Houston in August 2017.“Our hotel is right near my old house, so I got to spend some time in the neighborhood today,” he said. “I was trying to keep my routine as much as possible.”That hope ended early, as the scoreboard played a tribute video as Verlander was walking in from the bullpen after his pregame warmups. He stopped, alone in shallow right-center field, and watched the entire show.“It was almost normal until the tribute video, but that really got to me,” he said. “I had a lot of great memories in my 13 years here, and that brought it all back. I wanted to get to the dugout before it started Bobby Jenks Jersey , but once it started playing, I had to watch.”Verlander received his first ovation at the end of the video, and another when he came out for the first inning. Each time, he tipped his cap and waved to the fans.The longest cheer, though, came when he walked off the mound after the seventh, having thrown 104 pitches.“The one after the seventh really meant the world to me,” he said. “The fans here were always great to be here, and they showed that again tonight. That was a really emotional moment.”The crowd was announced at 19,711 — the Detroit Lions opened their season next door Monday night against the New York Jets.“Tonight mattered a lot to him,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “It is important to him that he pitched here and succeeded here, so it was special for him to get back on that mound.”The World Series champion Astros opened a three-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West despite a sloppy game that came after a Sunday night loss in Boston.“I’m proud of our guys, because there was a lot going on today http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-michael-jordan-jersey , and we didn’t play our best game, but we still found a way to pull out a win,” Hinch said.Verlander allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, improving to 98-50 at Comerica Park. Max Scherzer is second in career wins at the stadium with 46, while Jordan Zimmermann leads current Tigers with 14.“He got exactly the response he deserved from our fans,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was a great pitcher here for a long time, and he did a lot of great things for this city.”The Tigers put two runners on in the seventh, but Verlander struck out JaCoby Jones and Jeimer Candelario to escape with a 3-2 lead. He tipped his cap again as the fans came to their feet after the final pitch to Candelario.“This was a special night,” Verlander said.Roberto Osuna worked the ninth for his 16th save, including seven with Houston.Francisco Liriano (4-10) allowed three unearned runs on four hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out seven in his longest outing since pitching six innings on July 4.The Tigers took the lead in the second. Niko Goodrum doubled and later scored on a single by Dawel Lugo.Liriano’s wild pitch and an error by shortstop Ronny Rodriguez allowed the Astros to score three unearned runs in the third. Tyler White and Marwin Gonzalez hit RBI singles, while the Tigers failed to turn two potential double plays.“You have to make plays,” Gardenhire said. “When you miss plays, that’s what always happens. We had a chance to get some outs Carlton Fisk Jersey , didn’t do it, and it cost us runs.”Verlander settled down after the second, retiring the next nine batters. Candelario walked to start the sixth, Christin Stewart followed with his first major league hit and Nicholas Castellanos had a sacrifice fly.“If someone had told me that I was going to get my first hit off Justin Verlander in my first major league start . geez,” Stewart said. “It was a pretty out-of-body experience.”Castellanos made a leaping catch at the right field fence to take an extra-base hit away from Gonzalez in the eighth.Josh Reddick, in the game for Houston as a defensive replacement, started an inning-ending double play in the eighth with a sliding catch in left field.EARLY STARTThe game started at 6:10 p.m., an hour earlier than originally scheduled, to try to ease traffic congestion with the Lions playing at Ford Field. A day game wasn’t possible because of the Astros playing on Sunday night in Boston.UP NEXTThe teams continue their three-game series Tuesday night with Zimmermann (7-6, 4.03 ERA) facing Houston’s Framber Valdez (3-1, 1.37).
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