Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Selig: A's need new park
    By The Sports Xchange

    As part of the 10-year lease extension the Oakland Athletics signed in July to remain at O.Co Coliseum, owner Lew Wolff vowed to continue seeking a new ballpark for the franchise.

    • The extension was not expected. The team reached agreement on a 10-year lease extension to remain in a facility that has experienced sewage and lighting problems in recent seasons.

      Outgoing commissioner Bud Selig said a new ballpark must be on the frontburner for the Athletics to remain competitive. The A's have played in the Coliseum since 1968 and are in contention for the American League West division title.

      "This is always something I wanted to get resolved before I leave office, which is another 5 1/2 or six months," Selig said during a vist to Oakland and fraternity brother Wolff on Tuesday. "I've always said the local club, they know their market best."

      Following threats that the team could move from Oakland concessions were made for the team to pay reduced rent. The A's considered San Jose, and the city is appealing a judge's decision that the San Francisco Giants own the territorial rights to that city, preventing the Athletics from relocating there -- for now.

      "They've done a remarkable job under the circumstances," Selig said. "One of the reasons for the resurgence of this sport, there are multiple reasons, are the new stadiums. ... I wish it had been resolved. I understand people's frustrations, I do understand. There's a lot of history here."

      The Athletics are co-tenants with the Oakland Raiders, who are on a one-year lease and looking at other cities as options due to a stalemate in regional stadium project plans.

      The NFL's San Francisco 49ers last opened new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Schilling: Chewing caused cancer
    By The Sports Xchange

    Curt Schilling, who won 216 games in 20 major league seasons, announced Wednesday on WEEI radio in Boston his belief that a recent bout with cancer was caused by chewing tobacco.

    • Schilling, who declared victory over cancer in February, had not disclosed the type of cancer until this week. Schilling's wife Shonda was diagnosed with stage-2 melanoma in 2001.

      Schilling said he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, cancer of the mouth, during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon.

      "I didn't talk about it for two reasons: No. 1, I didn't want to get into the chewing tobacco debate, which I knew was going to come about, which to me, I'll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got," he said. "Absolutely, no question in my mind about that. And the second thing was I didn't want people to feel sorry for me. I didn't want the pity or any of that stuff because early on... I ended up spending about six months in the hospital because I had a bad reaction. I had a staph infection. I had what's called C. diff. I had a couple different problems and there was a week there, there's a week of my life I don't remember while I was in the hospital going through this."

      In his career, Schilling, 47, pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Red Sox. He went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA. His 3,116 strikeouts rank 15th all-time in the majors. Schilling was a key pitcher on three World Series-winning teams -- 2001 with the Diamondbacks and 2004 and 2007 with the Red Sox. He was at Fenway Park for the 2004 World Series team's 10-year celebration recently and the effects of chemotherapy were evident.

      Last year, Schilling revealed that he had a heart attack in November 2011 and had surgery to place a stent in one of his arteries.

      Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died in June after a bout with cancer of the salivary glands. Gwynn used smokeless tobacco, though his cancer was never directly linked to chewing.

      "I did (chewing tobacco) for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit," Schilling said. "I can think of so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever, and I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit. The pain that I was in going through this treatment, the second or third day it was the only thing in my life that had that I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once. It was so painful."

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    A's push back Hammel's next start
    By The Sports Xchange

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Struggling right-hander Jason Hammel's turn in the rotation will be skipped Friday when the A's open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.

    • The A's have an off day Thursday, which allowed manager Bob Melvin to skip his No. 5 starter and line up Sonny Gray, Jon Lester and Scott Kazmir for the weekend.

      Hammel said he will make the most out of his brief time out of the rotation.

      "I see a lot of positives," Hammel said Tuesday before the Athletics' 6-2 victory against the New York Mets. "Hey, I could take it as a negative thing, but I'm not going to. That's not what I do. I'm a positive guy. It's maybe a little mental break for me, and it's an opportunity to maybe work some kinks out."

      Hammel will rejoin the rotation next week during Oakland's three-game series at Houston, which begins Monday.

      "We still know that this is a guy that's very important to us, and we've got to get him going," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

      Hammel is 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts for the A's since being acquired July 5 in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. He lost his first four starts for Oakland before pitching seven scoreless innings in a 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 5. In his next start, he allowed just one run over 6 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins, getting a no-decision. Hammel appeared to be back on track, but at Atlanta on Friday he lasted just three innings, allowing six runs on five hits, including three home runs.

      "It's a very minor fix," Hammel said. "Even in my last (bullpen session), I saw a big difference. The two (starts before), things were moving in the right direction, and then the last one was an abbreviated start where three balls got hit out of the yard. ... It's a matter of just sticking with the game plan and continue to stay the course, not try to reinvent the wheel."

      According to Melvin, Hammel will be available out of the bullpen throughout most of this homestand.

      "I know he's going to do some things in the bullpen, throw some bullpens a little bit harder than when you're on schedule for your fifth day to keep yourself ready," Melvin said. "So there will be certain days he'll be available in the bullpen and certain days not."

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Struggling Jimenez moving to Orioles bullpen
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- Ubaldo Jimenez hasn't been able to figure things out as a starter for the Baltimore Orioles, so now he'll continue the search for his best stuff as a reliever.

    • Orioles manager Buck Showalter made the switch public Tuesday, prior to a 5-1 win against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will take over Jimenez's starting spot for the time being and face the Chicago Cubs on Sunday in a series finale at Wrigley Field.

      Gonzalez, 30, is currently in the minors after being optioned Aug. 9 to make room for Jimenez to return from the 15-day disabled list. He'll be recalled at some point this week.

      Showalter informed Jimenez of the change Tuesday and said it was difficult.

      "Sure it was, but 'you have your reasons, he said.' He doesn't have to agree with them, but he's been a great teammate, a great professional. He's got a good heart, and he wants to do well. It's not like he's pitched poorly all year."

      Jimenez has pitched poorly of late. In two starts since coming off the disabled list, he's 1-1 with a 7.84 ERA. He has also allowed 11 hits, six walks and three home runs combined in 10 1/3 innings of those starts.

      Through his 20 starts this season, Jimenez is 4-9 with a 4.83 ERA after signing a four-year, $50 million contract in February. Gonzalez, 30, is 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts) for the Orioles this season.

      "It's just with what, 39 games left, let's see how Gonzo does," Showalter said. "We don't have any limitations now on anybody, so there'll be a need that Ubaldo can serve this team. It could be as a starter, and it could be as a reliever, but right now, for the next five games ... we know where we're going."

      Jimenez, for now, is going to the bullpen. Only one of his 232 major league appearances was in relief and it was his debut performance with the Colorado Rockies in 2006 as a rookie.

      "It will be (a learning process)," Showalter said. "Hopefully we can get him back a little bit to pitching like he has at times this year. It's going to be tough because you're not going to sit there and take a lot of work days. That's a very valuable job that he's going to have to do something every now and then."

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    McLouth to miss rest of Nationals season
    By The Sports Xchange

    WASHINGTON -- When the Washington Nationals signed Nate McLouth prior to this season, they envisioned a fourth outfielder who could provide both power and speed when needed.

    • But a disappointing season is over for McLouth, who spent the past two years with the Baltimore Orioles.

      McClouth has been on the disabled list since Aug. 4, retroactive to Aug. 2, and he will have surgery on Thursday and will be done for the year, according to manager Matt Williams. "He has a torn labrum," Williams said Tuesday.

      Williams said McLouth hasn't been the same since he dove for a ball in Miami against the Marlins in late July. "That dive really hurt him. It hasn't gotten better. That is the time frame when it got a lot worse," Williams said.

      McLouth hit .258 with 12 homers last year for the Orioles. He was an All-Star in 2008 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and he has also played for the Atlanta Braves.

      He entered this season with an average of .250 with 56 homers. This year, he is hitting .173 in 139 at-bats.

      McLouth should be ready for spring training, according to Williams. "Get it fixed and be ready for next spring," Williams said.

      On Monday, the Nationals signed veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a minor league contract. He had 19 extra-base hits in 99 games earlier this season with the Chicago Cubs.

      Right now, whatever general manager Mike Rizzo does seems to be working, as the Nationals won their eighth game in a row on Tuesday with an 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks as shortstop Ian Desmond had three hits and four RBIs and Stephen Strasburg allowed just one run in eight innings and lowered his ERA to 3.41.

      "They have put together a streak where they have played well," said Williams.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Brewers reliever Henderson's year comes to an end after shoulder surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    MILWAUKEE -- Jim Henderson's frustrating season came to a disappointing end Tuesday morning on an operating table in Florida.

    • The right-handed reliever underwent surgery on his right shoulder and will not return in 2014, manager Ron Roenicke said.

      Henderson emerged as the Brewers' closer last season, racking up 28 saves in 32 opportunities but had problems with command and velocity during spring training and was replaced by veteran Francisco Rodriguez on Opening Day.

      He got off to a slow start and had a 2-1 record and a 7.15 ERA in 14 appearances before landing on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder on May 2.

      Twice, Henderson went out on a minor league rehab assignment but the results weren't there and finally, the decision was made to operate on his shoulder for the second time in his career.

      With an expected four-month recovery time, the 31-year-old's future is uncertain.

      "It's a tough road," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Rehabbing is always tough. I'm sure he's got questions about whether he's going to come back or not. That's a tough thing to go through. Not a good year for it.

      "Mentally, you get through it, and hopefully you heal up physically and are able to get back out there."

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Indians look past Atchison's age, give him new deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Beyond all the old man jokes on social media and in the clubhouse, the Cleveland Indians have a deep respect for 38-year-old reliever Scott Atchison.

    • Respect doesn't pay the bills, though. On Tuesday, the Indians made sure to show their gratitude with a new one-year contract for Atchison with a club option for 2016.

      Atchison has been a valuable member of the Indians bullpen this season, going 6-0 with a 2.91 ERA in 54 games. The six victories are second among all American League relievers. His splits against both righties and lefties make him extremely useful for manager Terry Francona.

      "It's allowed us to really put guys where we think they can get people out," Francona said. "And then we have guys that complement (each other), so if we have baserunners, we can go get them."

      Francona said having the veteran Atchison has been invaluable for the other members of the bullpen as well. Despite being 38, Atchison has appeared in only 258 major league games, but his experience in the minors as well as overseas allows him to be a sounding board for the younger pitchers.

      "The guys look up to him. He's just a really good influence, and he gets people out," Francona said. "He's been pitching for so long. He may not have the most time in the big leagues, but he's been to Japan, he's been up and down, he's been through it all. He's always had a really good attitude. I think our guys are smart enough to listen."

      Atchison takes the good-natured ribbing from teammates in stride, and he said he is not afraid to give it back from time to time. A passion for the game keeps him coming back, and it will have him back in a Cleveland uniform for at least the next year.

      "My arm, my body, everything feels great right now. I'm going to play until I can't play or my family says no," Atchison said. "You hope to play this long, and I've been lucky to and I've been fortunate."

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Cubs win shortened game thanks to unplayable field
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs claimed a rain-shortened, 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants early Wednesday morning.

    • The Giants might protest to get the game restarted.

      A surprise storm that hit in the fifth inning Tuesday night and difficulty by the grounds crews to fully cover portions of the infield created soggy and dangerous conditions.

      The umpires finally called the game after 4 1/2 innings and a 4-hour, 34-minute delay.

      "We did everything we could, we waited a long time," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "There was a lot of moisture in there, and the one thing everybody has to be cognizant of is that you don't want any of those guys to get hurt, period."

      Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the first inning that stood up as the game-winner.

      An intense 15-minute downpour halfway through the fifth inning led to the lengthy delay, and repeated attempts were made to restore the field before the contest was finally called at 1:16 a.m. CT and declared an official game.

      "It's a long, frustrating night," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, who added that the Giants likely will protest the game to Major League Baseball. "I don't know what other recourse we can take. It's a tough night for everybody."

      The Cubs' grounds crews had difficultly covering the left side of the infield, leading to drenched dirt and more extensive work in an unsuccessful attempt to make it playable.

      "The field was in bad shape here. It wasn't quite playable," Bochy said. "A 15-minute rain there and we couldn't get the tarp on in time, and in this day and time, that's something should have been done a little bit more."

      Renteria and Bochy inspected conditions with umpires at 10:25 p.m. They were back out an hour later checking out an improved infield that apparently was still soggy in spots.

      Little work was done over the next 90 minutes, and the infield tarp remained open in right field while Bochy reappeared to check the infield just before 1 a.m.

      Umpires emerged at 1:10 a.m. to probe various infield spots and finally called the game.

      The Cubs (55-70) won their third consecutive game while the Giants (65-59) saw a two-game winning streak snapped. San Francisco slipped 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

      Cubs left-handed starter Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) worked five shutout innings and allowed six hits and no walks while striking out three.

      Giants right-handed starter Ryan Vogelsong (7-9) gave up two runs on three hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out four.

      Rizzo gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a home run to right than landed on Sheffield Avenue. Rizzo's team-leading 29th homer came on a 2-0 pitch and drove in second baseman Javier Baez, who was on base after a walk.

      Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said he expects the field should be back in playable condition for Wednesday night's second game of the three-game series.

      NOTES: Giants manager Bruce Bochy confirmed that C Hector Sanchez sustained another concussion Saturday during a rehab assignment at Triple-A Fresno and is out for the foreseeable future. ... San Francisco OF Michael Morse saw his streak of recording a hit in seven consecutive at-bats and reaching base in each of his last nine end when he struck out to open the second inning. He finished 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. ... Giants RHP Jake Peavy (1-3, 3.86 ERA) will face Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson (6-13, 5.74 ERA) Wednesday. ... Cubs SS Starlin Castro is one homer away from matching his single-season career high. He hit his 13th on Sunday against the New York Mets, a game-winning solo shot. ... Sunday's 4-1 victory over the Mets was the fourth consecutive game in which the Cubs allowed four hits. The Giants managed six hits against Chicago on Tuesday. In the past 100 years, the Cubs have not allowed four or fewer hits in five straight games.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Red Sox won't demote slumping Bogaerts
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- No, the Boston Red Sox never expected that Xander Bogaerts would struggle as much as he has this season, especially at the plate.

    • But no, they also aren't ready to send him back to the minors to work out his problems.

      One day after the Sox shipped light-hitting rookie center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Triple-A to shorten his swing, general manager Ben Cherinton reiterated that Bogaerts won't follow. Instead, the Red Sox are committed to keeping Bogaerts in the majors as their everyday shortstop, even as his batting average dipped to .224 after he went 0-for-3 Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park.

      "Every player's different," Cherington said before the Red Sox lost 4-3 to the Angels. "I can just tell you, in our minds, this is where (Bogaerts) needs to be. We want him to be our shortstop for the rest of this season and allow him to work through what he's working through. Every player has different circumstances. We just feel this is where Xander needs to be right now."

      Tuesday marked the first anniversary of Bogaerts' hotly anticipated call-up. At that time, he was the Red Sox's most highly touted prospect since Nomar Garciaparra, and his cool-under-pressure performance in the playoffs and World Series only heightened expectations for his first full big league season.

      Even Cherington expressed surprise at the 21-year-old's inability to overcome challenges this season. Since June 7, the end of a 33-game hot streak in which Bogaerts batted .318 with a .385 on-base percentage and an .896 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, he is batting only .147 with almost inconceivable .183 OBP and .399 OPS. At times he has seemed distracted. He recently lost track of the number of outs, and after striking out, walked off the field as though the inning was over.

      Through it all, though, the Red Sox's faith wasn't shaken. The organization still believes he will fulfill his potential of someday becoming an All-Star.

      "It's not uncommon for a young player -- and a really talented young player like Xander -- to go through struggles," Cherington said. "Frankly, we did not expect him to go through struggles to this extent, because we've seen him be so good, including at the major league level (last October). Sure enough, it's happened. He's battling through that, and we're trying to help him in any way we can. It hasn't changed at all what we think of him or what we feel he's going to be. He's in the middle of some challenges right now that he's trying to work through.

      "I think there have been some days where things have happened that haven't gone the way he wanted them to. He's been able to consistently come in the next day with the exact same attitude and focus and work, and he's been accountable. I don't want to get into every last detail.

      "We just feel that this is where he needs to be right now. We're confident that no matter what happens the rest of the season, that the experience of being here will help him and ... will provide a step forward as we go into next year."

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Crisp, A's get back on track in win over Mets
    By The Sports Xchange

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coco Crisp entered Tuesday night's game mired in a hitting slump and hoping to bust loose.

    • The Oakland center fielder warmed up with a sharp single in the third inning, then lined a bases-loaded triple in the fourth, sparking the Athletics to a 6-2 victory over the New York Mets at the Coliseum.

      The A's snapped their season-worst, five-game losing streak.

      "It's been tough," said Crisp, who had six hits in his previous 46 at-bats before Tuesday. "I haven't been hitting well at all. I'm trying to figure out some things to try to be successful with whatever I'm dealing with."

      Left-hander Scott Kazmir pitched six strong innings for his career-high 14th victory, and right fielder Josh Reddick launched a two-run homer for Oakland.

      The A's (74-51) remained a half-game behind the first-place Los Angeles Angels in the American League West and six games ahead of the Detroit Tigers and the Seattle Mariners for the top spot in the wild-card race. Oakland won for just the second time in the past nine games, and it was in desperate need of a huge hit to get untracked.

      With the bases loaded and the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth, Crisp delivered, drilling a triple down the right field line off Mets right-hander Dillon Gee.

      "That was big," A's closer Sean Doolittle said. "It seems like over the last week or so, we were a hit like that away from winning some ballgames and having some better outcomes. Hopefully that's one of those things that can kind of jumpstart everybody."

      Kazmir (14-5) allowed one run and four hits over six innings, striking out six and walking three. Kazmir avenged a loss he took against the Mets at Citi Field on June 24 when he gave up eight hits and a season-high seven runs in only three innings.

      He threw 25 pitches in the first inning Tuesday and 105 for the game.

      "I had to change my game plan a little bit," Kazmir said. "I had to get them off the fastball a little bit. Threw a lot of off-speed early in the counts. If I had a little bit better feel for it, I think maybe I would have cut down the pitches a little bit."

      Reddick made it 6-2 in the eighth with his ninth home run of the season, sending right-hander Gonzalez Germen's first pitch over the right field fence after Norris walked. Norris went 2-for-4 with a double and scored twice. First baseman Stephen Vogt and second baseman Alberto Callaspo each had two hits for the A's.

      Gee (4-6) lost his career-high fifth consecutive decision, giving up four runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.

      "I lost command of my breaking ball for a couple of innings," Gee said. "That really hurt me. It's difficult and it's frustrating. All I can do is try and take the positives out of this, keep working hard and try to turn it around."

      Designated hitter Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run for the Mets (59-68), who totaled seven hits and snapped their franchise-high-tying streak of five games with four or fewer.

      Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless eighth and Doolittle a scoreless ninth for the A's. The Oakland closer allowed a hit but struck out three.

      In the top of the fourth inning, d'Arnaud blasted a leadoff home run off Kazmir over the right-center-field wall, going the opposite way and giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The home run was d'Arnaud's 11th of the season and fourth in his past 11 games. He has eight home runs since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on June 24, including a three-run shot that night off Kazmir in a 10-1 Mets victory at Citi Field.

      "D'Arnaud going to right field, that was nice to see," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We've talked about that. He has power that way."

      The A's answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Vogt started the rally by grounding an opposite-field single to left with one out. Norris lined Gee's first pitch down the left field line for a double, moving Vogt to third, and Reddick walked, loading the bases. Gee gave up a sacrifice fly to Callaspo, as the A's pulled even, then walked shortstop Eric Sogard, reloading the bases.

      Crisp drilled Gee's belt-high, 90 mph fastball into the right field corner, clearing the bases.

      NOTES: Struggling RHP Jason Hammel's turn in the rotation will be skipped Friday when the A's open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. The A's have an off day Thursday, which allows manager Bob Melvin to skip Hammel and line up RHP Sonny Gray, LHP Jon Lester and LHP Scott Kazmir for the series. Hammel will rejoin the rotation during the three-game series at Houston that begins Monday. ... Mets RHP Bartolo Colon was placed on the bereavement list before Tuesday's game against Oakland. Colon was a late scratch Monday against the Cubs when he returned to the Dominican Republic to be with his ailing mother, Adriana, who died that night. RHP Gonzalez Germen was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Colon's roster spot. ... Bud Selig, who is in his final season as baseball's commissioner, made a stop Tuesday night at the Coliseum during his farewell tour. Selig said he is frustrated that the A's, unlike 22 other major league teams during his tenure, weren't able to build a new stadium. "I'd like to resolve the issue like we did everywhere else," Selig said. "This is unique in that you have two teams that have dissimilar opinions," he said of Oakland and the San Francisco Giants, who are using their territorial rights to block the A's from moving to San Jose.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Crawford leads Dodgers to win over Padres
    By The Sports Xchange

    LOS ANGELES -- After being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend, the San Diego Padres were a welcomed sight for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    • Carl Crawford homered and drove in three runs, and the Dodgers rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat the San Diego Padres 8-6 at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.

      Crawford, who went 3-for-3, scored three runs and stole a base, drilled a two-run shot off Padres reliever Alex Torres in the seventh inning to help the Dodgers (71-56) end a three-game slide. The Padres (58-66) lost for the eighth time in their past 11 meetings, including six of their last seven with Los Angeles.

      An off-day Monday couldn't have come at a better time for the Dodgers, particularly after Sunday's 7-2 spanking by the Brewers capped their sweep.

      "I think that day off was big for us," Crawford said. "A lot of guys were talking about it and how they felt good today coming back from an off-day. It felt good to get that rest in and (coming) out strong today."

      Crawford said a team meeting before the game didn't hurt either.

      "Not to air it out," Crawford said. "We had just lost three straight games, so we just wanted to try to get back on track."

      Los Angeles starting pitcher Kevin Correia (2-0) allowed four runs and scattered eight hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out six. Correia, though, survived a rocky first inning, giving up a three-run homer to Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko, before settling down.

      "It was pretty much that one pitch," said Correia, a former Padre. "Everything else that inning went the way it should. I just fell behind to Gyorko, and I didn't want to go 3-1 on him in the first inning with one out. So I wasn't as fine as I could have been with the pitch, and I just ended up running it back to the middle."

      Closer Kenley Jansen gave up a run in the ninth before recording his 35th save. He was bailed out when the Padres threatened to score more as center fielder Abraham Almonte was thrown out at third by Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Padres manager Bud Black challenged the call, but the call was upheld.

      The Dodgers tagged San Diego's Ian Kennedy for six runs (five earned) and seven hits in five innings. Kennedy (9-11) fanned five and walked two. Before Tuesday's loss, Kennedy had gone 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his last seven starts.

      "From my perspective, he didn't really have consistent secondary pitches," Black said. "The curve, the slider and the change, overall all night weren't as good all night as we've seen from Ian."

      After Almonte hit a one-out double in the first inning and left fielder Seth Smith drew a walk, Gyorko clubbed a three-run homer off Correia to give San Diego an early lead.

      Three consecutive hits off Kennedy in the second inning plated two runs for the Dodgers. Third baseman Justin Turner had an RBI double, scoring left fielder Crawford, who reached on a base hit. Shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena drove home Turner with a single, cutting San Diego's lead to 3-2.

      Turner delivered again in the fourth, driving a double over the head of Almonte to score right fielder Matt Kemp and tie the game. A sacrifice fly by catcher A.J. Ellis gave Los Angeles the lead.

      Turner scored on a throwing error by first baseman Jake Goebbert, who fielded a sacrifice by Correia but threw wildly to third as the ball bounced past Yangervis Solarte. The rally gave the Dodgers a 5-3 advantage.

      "The mistakes really can back to hurt us," Black said. "A couple of ill-advised walks, a couple of missed plays, both in the outfield and the infield, and those plays came back to haunt us."

      Smith's RBI single in the fifth scored Solarte with two outs to pull San Diego to within a run.

      However, the Dodgers scored again in the fifth when Crawford drove in Kemp with a single for a 6-4 lead.

      NOTES: The Dodgers recalled INF Erisbel Arruebarrena from Triple-A Albuquerque. To make room, INF Carlos Triunfel was optioned to Albuquerque. ... Padres RHP Jesse Hahn was sent to Double-A San Antonio. San Diego selected the contract of LHP Frank Garces from San Antonio and designated INF Brooks Conrad for assignment. ... San Diego RHP Andrew Cashner is scheduled to return to the mound this weekend when the Padres visit the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game series. Cashner went on the 15-day disabled list June 23 due to right shoulder soreness. ... The game drew a crowd of 45,459.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Game roundup: Unplayable field helps Cubs win
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 2-0 in a game that was delayed due to poor field conditions and finally called after 4 1/2 innings.

    • An intense 15-minute downpour halfway through the fifth inning led to a 4-hour, 34-minute weather delay before the contest was finally called at 1:16 a.m. CT and declared an official game.

      The Cubs' grounds crews had difficultly covering the left side of the infield, leading to drenched dirt and more extensive work in an unsuccessful attempt to make it playable.

      Cubs left-handed starter Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) worked five shutout innings and allowed six hits and no walks while striking out three.

      Nationals 8, Diamondbacks 1

      WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg allowed one run in eight innings, and Ian Desmond had three hits and four RBIs as Washington earned its eighth consecutive win.

      After three straight walk-off wins, with two coming in the 11th inning, the Nationals got a breather as they erupted for six runs in the third, including a bases-loaded double by Asdrubal Cabrera that made it 6-1.

      Strasburg (10-10) improved to 8-2 at home. He allowed three hits with four strikeouts, giving him a league-high 198 this season and setting a career high in that category.

      Braves 11, Pirates 3

      PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Harang pitched into the ninth inning for his first win in five weeks, and Justin Upton hit a three-run home run and drove in five runs as streaking Atlanta routed sliding Pittsburgh.

      Harang (10-7) helped the Braves win their fifth straight game and send the Pirates to their seventh consecutive loss. The right-hander worked 8 1/3 innings before being pulled after Ike Davis hit an RBI single. The Braves had lost in each of Harang's last six starts, though his personal record was 0-1 in that span.

      Upton's homer in the third inning, his 24th of the season, put the Braves ahead 4-0 and ran his hitting streak to 10 games.

      Mariners 5, Phillies 2

      PHILADELPHIA -- Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight shutout innings to win his third straight start for Seattle.

      Kyle Seager hit a solo homer and Mike Zunino added a two-run single for the Mariners, who won for the 11th time in 14 games. Philadelphia, which scored twice in the ninth on a wild pitch and a double by Domonic Brown, lost for the eighth time in 11 games.

      Iwakuma (12-6) struck out 11 without walking a batter. It was the fourth career double-digit strikeout performance and second this season for Iwakuma, who retired the last 11 hitters he faced.

      Angels 4, Red Sox 3

      BOSTON -- Chris Iannetta hit a tie-breaking double off Boston closer Koji Uehara in the ninth inning to lead Los Angeles to victory.

      The Angels hadn't recorded a hit since the fourth inning before Brennan Boesch smacked a double off Uehara (5-3) with two outs in the ninth. Iannetta drove in Boesch with a shot off the Green Monster in left.

      Huston Street surrendered a leadoff single to Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the inning, and intentionally walked David Ortiz before striking out Mike Napoli for his 34th save of the season.

      Astros 7, Yankees 4

      NEW YORK -- Chris Carter hit a three-run home run with one out in the top of the ninth inning, lifting Houston over New York.

      After striking out four times for the seventh time in his career, Carter rebounded by crushing a 3-0 cutter from New York closer David Robertson (1-4) into the left field bleachers. It was Carter's 30th home run of the season and 17th since July 1, the most in the majors since then.

      The Astros beat the Yankees for the third time in four meetings this season by pounding out 13 hits. Jose Altuve reached base three times, including coming back from an 0-2 count against Robertson to draw a walk in the ninth ahead of Carter.

      Brewers 6, Blue Jays 1

      MILWAUKEE -- Mike Fiers struck out six, and Milwaukee got two doubles each from Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez in a victory over Toronto.

      Fiers went seven innings and held the Blue Jays to a run on two hits and a walk while retiring his final 18 batters. Fiers (3-1) has won three in a row since joining the Brewers' rotation Aug. 8, when Matt Garza went to the disabled list with a strained oblique.

      With Fiers dealing, his offense offered plenty of support, collecting 10 hits off four Toronto pitchers. Seven of those hits were doubles, which was the most by a Milwaukee team since 2010.

      Orioles 5, White Sox 1

      CHICAGO -- Chris Tillman gave Baltimore another stellar outing on the mound to pick up his third win in his past four starts.

      Tillman (10-5), who hasn't taken a loss since July 12, went eight innings and allowed just one run off a solo homer in the first by Jose Abreu. Tillman struck out nine, walked one and allowed only three hits, none after the third inning.

      The Orioles took control of the game in the sixth by breaking a 1-1 tie with three runs on four hits, all off Chicago starter Jose Quintana (6-10). A two-run double by Chris Davis highlighted the inning.

      Marlins 4, Rangers 3 (10 innings)

      MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning to lead Miami past Texas.

      The rally started when pinch hitter Jeff Baker reached on an error by first baseman Mike Carp and advanced on an infield single by Donovan Solano. Stanton lined his hit to right field off reliever Neftali Feliz. It was the Marlins' 11th walk-off hit this season -- tops in the majors -- and Stanton's second.

      Miami won its third game in a row and rose above .500 for the first time since June 20. Texas, which tied the game at 3 with two runs in the seventh, is just 9-42 since June 17.

      Indians 7, Twins 5

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Cleveland allowed five runs before recording an out but picked away at Minnesota's advantage until finally taking the lead with a three-run sixth inning.

      The Indians used eight pitchers in the win after starter Trevor Bauer was yanked in the fourth. Kyle Crockett (3-0), who entered for Bauer, was credited with the win, despite throwing only two-thirds of an inning.

      The crucial hit in the sixth came from pinch hitter Tyler Holt, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day. Holt's two-run double turned a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 lead, giving him the first two RBIs of his big league career. Holt scored on Michael Bourn's single to left field, providing the final margin.

      Tigers 8, Rays 6 (11 innings)

      ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Detroit completed a crucial comeback to beat Tampa Bay and keep pace in the American League wild card chase.

      Ian Kinsler began the decisive 11th with a triple off the glove of diving right fielder Kevin Kiermaier and waited as reliever Grant Balfour walked Torii Hunter and then Miguel Cabrera intentionally to load the bases. The right-hander forced in a run with a walk to Victor Martinez, giving Detroit a 6-5 lead.

      Jeff Beliveau's one-out wild pitch made the score 7-5, and Bryan Holaday's sacrifice fly finished the scoring for Detroit. Joe Nathan recorded his 26th save despite allowing a run on two singles and a walk, all with two out.

      Cardinals 5, Reds 4

      ST. LOUIS -- Jon Jay was hit by a first-pitch fastball with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, completing St. Louis' rally past Cincinnati.

      Matt Holliday led off with a walk off reliever J.J. Hoover (1-10) and Matt Adams lined a first-pitch single to right, sending Holliday to third. Jhonny Peralta walked to load the bases in front of Jay.

      Reliever Pat Neshek (6-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win as St. Louis reached 11 games north of .500 for the first time this year with its sixth win in seven games.

      Royals 7, Rockies 4

      DENVER -- Omar Infante keyed two late two-out rallies for Kansas City, which came from behind to beat Colorado for its 22nd win in the past 27 games.

      The Royals scored three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Infante, who went 4-for-5 with four RBIs, doubled home two runs in the seventh, putting Kansas City on top 3-2, then scored on Salvador Perez's double.

      The Royals added three runs in the eighth to extend the margin to 7-2. Christian Colon drew a bases-loaded walk, and Infante followed with a two-run double to left.

      Athletics 6, Mets 2

      OAKLAND, Calif. -- Scott Kazmir pitched six strong innings for his career-high 14th victory, Josh Reddick launched a two-run homer, and Coco Crisp hit a bases-loaded triple as Oakland snapped its season-high five-game losing streak with a win over New York.

      Kazmir (14-5) allowed just one run and four hits over six innings, striking out six and walking three.

      Crisp went 6-for-46 (.130) in his previous 13 games, but he finished Tuesday's game 2-for-5.

      Dodgers 8, Padres 6

      LOS ANGELES -- Carl Crawford homered and drove in three runs, and Los Angeles rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat San Diego.

      Crawford, who went 3-for-3, scored three runs and stole a base, drilled a two-run shot off Padres reliever Alex Torres in the seventh inning to help the Dodgers end a three-game losing streak.

      Los Angeles starting pitcher Kevin Correia (2-0) allowed four runs and scattered eight hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out six. Closer Kenley Jansen gave up a run in the ninth before recording his 35th save.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Cardinals scoring game-winner on hit batter
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. LOUIS -- As a hitter, Jon Jay has been pretty hot lately.

    • As far as getting hit, no one in the majors does it better than the St. Louis Cardinals center fielder.

      Jay was plunked for a major league-high 15th time with the bases loaded and none out in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, forcing pinch-runner Peter Bourjos home with the tie-breaking run as the Cardinals rallied past the sliding Cincinnati Reds 5-4 at Busch Stadium.

      Jay, whose second-inning single extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games, took a 93-mile per hour fastball from J.J. Hoover (1-10) on the leg for the first game-winning RBI of his five-year major league career.

      "It's not like I'm going up there looking to get hit by a pitch," Jay said. "But any way you can win a game, you'll take it."

      Left fielder Matt Holliday led off the inning with a walk against reliever J.J. Hoover (1-10), and first baseman Matt Adams lined a first-pitch single to right, sending Holliday to third. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta walked on a 3-2 pitch to fill the bases.

      After Bourjos was inserted for Holliday, Jay wore Hoover's first pitch, the second time this year St. Louis has had a walk-off hit batter. Infielder Greg Garcia was nailed by a Justin Grimm fastball May 13 in the 12th inning to force home the game-winning run against the Chicago Cubs.

      It was the sixth win in seven games for the Cardinals (68-57), who climbed to 11 games north of .500 for the first time this year. They stayed 2 1/2 games back of first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central and upped their lead for the NL's first wild-card spot to 2 1/2 games over San Francisco.

      "Terrific job by our guys of fighting back," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "Guys are coming through with big at-bats at big times."

      Trailing 4-1 after Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick cashed in two errors and a walk with a two-run double in the sixth off St. Louis starter John Lackey, the Cardinals went to work. They chased starter Alfredo Simon after Peralta's 17th homer with one out in their half of the sixth and a single by Jay, then went to work on the shaky Cincinnati bullpen.

      Pinch-hitter Shane Robinson rifled a two-out RBI single off Sam LeCure to chop the lead to 4-3. In the eighth, pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski delivered a two-out single to move Jay to third. Another pinch-hitter, Daniel Descalso, doubled down the left-field line off Jumbo Diaz for the equalizer.

      It was the second straight night that Descalso bagged a game-tying pinch-double.

      "I've been in bigger spots before," he said. "You're just trying to go up there and have a good at-bat."

      While the Reds' bullpen fell to 0-10 with an earned run average of nearly 5.00 since the All-Star break, St. Louis relievers pitched three scoreless innings. Pat Neshek (6-0) worked around a one-out single by shortstop Zack Cozart in the ninth for the win.

      Cincinnati (61-65) lost for the ninth time in 11 games and dropped to 18-31 in one-run games. It was its third walk-off loss in four games.

      "I've never been around something like that," third baseman Todd Frazier said of the recent stretch of tough losses. "I never want to see it again."

      Frazier did his part to prevent it, giving the Reds a 2-1 lead in the fourth with a 424-foot, two-run homer to the grassy hill behind the center field wall. It was his 21st homer of the year.

      Simon, who hasn't won since July 9, left after 5 1/3 innings and 109 pitches, allowing eight hits and three runs with a walk and two strikeouts.

      "Short starts have bit us on the tail this road trip," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It blows up the bullpen."

      Lackey departed after six innings, allowing four hits and four runs, two of them earned. He issued a walk and whiffed seven.

      St. Louis scored the game's first run in the bottom of the third when Holliday lined a two-out RBI single to center. It drove in Lackey, whose one-out single was his first hit since being traded from Boston on July 31 and only the fifth hit in his 13-year major league career.

      NOTES: St. Louis placed 2B Mark Ellis (left oblique) on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday and called up INF Greg Garcia from Triple-A Memphis. Garcia was hitting .275 with eight homers and 40 RBIs but was batting a robust .367 in August before earning his second promotion to the big club. ... Cincinnati LHP Aroldis Chapman was unavailable Monday night and walked around the clubhouse after the game with ice strapped to his shoulder. Chapman walked all four batters he faced in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader loss at Colorado. ... Cardinals RHP Jason Motte (lower back) made 15 throws Tuesday from 90 feet, the first time he has thrown since going on the disabled list Aug. 2. Motte hasn't decided if he will go on an upcoming road trip that starts Friday in Philadelphia or stay behind to rehab at home.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Infante's 4 hits, 4 RBIs help Royals dump Rockies
    By The Sports Xchange

    DENVER -- Omar Infante provided Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost with a nice 60th birthday present.

    • The second baseman keyed two late two-out rallies for the torrid Royals, who came from behind Tuesday night to beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4.

      The Royals, who have won 22 of their past 27 games, remain two games ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. The Rockies (49-76) were trying to win a third consecutive game for the first time since July 26.

      Kansas City (70-55) scored three runs in both the seventh and eighth innings.

      Infante went 4-for-5 with four RBIs. He doubled home two runs in the seventh inning, putting Kansas City on top 3-2, then scored on catcher Salvador Perez's double.

      "Omar's swing is so simple, it's not a lot of moving parts," said Yost, who received a birthday cake from first base coach Rusty Kuntz after the game. "He can get on a streak in a hurry."

      Infante, the first batter Adam Ottavino faced in relief of starter Tyler Matzek, doubled down the right field line on a 1-2 fastball in the seventh. The ball kicked off the stands in foul territory and shot back into play.

      "I had thrown him two fastballs and a slider, and I was kind of split on what to throw," Ottavino said. "I felt like I had a good heater, and I was going to go up high with it. He did a good job, but I could have thrown a better pitch."

      Referring to Perez's double over the head of center fielder Drew Stubbs on a 1-2 slider, Ottavino said, "I was trying to bounce a breaking ball there. I had thrown him some sideways ones. I tried to throw him an up-and-down one. The idea was to throw it in the dirt. It didn't quite get there. I give him more credit, because he really hammered a decent pitch."

      The Royals added three more runs in the eighth to extend the margin to 7-2. Pinch hitter Christian Colon drew a bases-loaded walk from Rex Brothers, and Infante followed with a two-run double to left off Nick Masset.

      Royals starter James Shields (12-6) gave up two runs on nine hits in six innings. In his past nine starts, he is 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA.

      "It was a grind day," Shields said. "It was one of those days where I didn't have my good stuff at all. You're going to go through days like that, and you battle through it."

      Center fielder Drew Stubbs made it 7-4 in the ninth with a two-run homer off Francisley Bueno, who had hit right fielder Charlie Blackmon with a pitch.

      Third baseman Nolan Arenado, who homered off Shields in the fifth to give the Rockies a 2-1 lead, reached on an infield hit and took second when Perez pounced on his tapper about 20 feet in front of the plate but threw the ball up the right field line.

      Closer Greg Holland then replaced Bueno and got left fielder Corey Dickerson to fly out, earning his major-league-leading 39th save.

      "I took a good swing," Dickerson said. "It was a two-seamer, moved a little bit out, right as I was swinging. I caught it OK but kind of towards the end of my bat and just kind of popped it up instead of driving it."

      Matzek (2-9) lost his fourth start in a row but pitched at least six innings for the ninth time in 13 career starts. He yielded three runs on six hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. He got 13 outs on ground balls and retired the first two batters he faced in the seventh before giving up a single to pinch hitter Josh Willingham and walking right fielder Nori Aoki, the final batter he faced.

      "He did a nice job tonight, getting deep into the game, so he's making strides," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We're seeing him develop in front of our eyes."

      Infante, the Royals' No. 2 hitter, tied his career high with three doubles, which he did once before, 10 years ago. He went 1-for-18 in the weekend series at Minnesota, finishing with nine hitless at-bats, but he stepped up Tuesday, as someone always seems to do for the Royals during their hot streak.

      "It's not going to happen every night," Kansas City first baseman Billy Butler said, "We realize that, but we're going to fight to the last out. That's the way this team's always been, even when we weren't going good. We have guys with a lot of heart in here that prepare well. We're not going to do it every night, but we should ride it while we can."

      NOTES: Colorado RF Michael Cuddyer was scratched from the lineup due to left hamstring soreness. ... The Rockies selected the contract of OF/1B Matt McBride from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned LHP Yohan Flande. To make room on the 40-man roster for McBride, the Rockies transferred SS Troy Tulowitzki to the 60-day disabled list. Tulowitzki underwent season-ending surgery Friday to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. ... Rockies 1B Justin Morneau returned the lineup after missing both games of Sunday's doubleheader due to stiff neck. He went 0-for-4. ... Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu was back in the lineup and went hitless in four at-bats after not playing in the doubleheader after rolling his left ankle Saturday. ... C Salvador Perez was back in the Royals' lineup despite tweaking his right patellar tendon during Monday's game at Minnesota. He finished 1-for-5.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Tigers bounce back, top Rays in 11 innings
    By The Sports Xchange

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Brad Ausmus would love to believe in the theory of the carryover win or momentum.

    • All the Detroit Tigers manager could verify Tuesday was that his club came from four runs down to a complete a massive 8-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

      That Detroit required 11 innings to do so and had to rally twice was irrelevant. For the second time in 11 games, the Tigers posted a victory after falling four runs down.

      "We definitely needed a win," Ausmus said after Detroit (67-56) remained tied with the Seattle Mariners for the second American League wild card. "We need to win every day. To come back, take the lead, take it twice, it's nice."

      Even nicer was that one of Detroit's missing offensive contributors was key in two scoring innings, including in the decisive 11th.

      Second baseman Ian Kinsler began the 11th with a triple off the glove of diving right fielder Kevin Kiermaier. Reliever Grant Balfour then walked Torii Hunter and then Miguel Cabrera intentionally to load the bases.

      The right-hander forced in a run with a walk to designated hitter Victor Martinez, giving Detroit a 6-5 lead and forcing manager Joe Maddon to insert Jeff Beliveau. The left-hander's one-out wild pitch improved the lead to 7-5, and catcher Bryan Holaday's sacrifice fly added the Tigers' final run.

      "I wouldn't have dove if I wasn't 100 percent," Kiermaier said. "I'm still trying to figure out how I missed it. I had a good read on it and I dove and I thought for sure I had it. Once a runner's on third with no outs, it's really hard to pitch because the odds are in their favor. I put the loss on my shoulders."

      Kinsler, the leadoff hitter who is batting just .221 since the All-Star break, finished 2-for-5 with a triple, two runs and an RBI.

      Balfour (1-5) allowed three runs on three walks and a hit without recording an out.

      "That's the story of my season," Balfour said. "I see guys go out and make the same pitch and a play gets made, and I feel like it's frustration for me because time in and time out that play hasn't been made (for me). It's been tough. You don't expect a guy to make that play. Definitely aggressive, a great dive at it.

      "Obviously, (if) he comes up with it, I'm sitting one out, nobody on, or stay back and it's a runner on first. You can pitch a little more when I have a runner on first, as opposed to a runner on third."

      Jim Johnson (5-2) threw a scoreless 10th inning to earn the win in his second outing for the Tigers. Closer Joe Nathan recorded his 26th save despite allowing a run in the bottom of the 11th on two singles and a walk, all with two outs.

      Tampa Bay (61-64) lost its third consecutive game.

      Left fielder J.D. Martinez's 17th homer of the season in the eighth off right-hander Joel Peralta gave Detroit its first lead at 5-4, and capping a comeback from an early four-run deficit.

      Tampa Bay tied the game, 5-5, in the bottom of the eighth on the first big-league RBI by rookie designated hitter Vince Belnome. Tigers reliever Joba Chamberlain was roughed up for two hits and a walk in the inning, but he escaped a bases-loaded situation to avoid further damage.

      "We can't look ahead. We can't worry about what everybody else is doing," Chamberlain said. "We've got to focus on what we do."

      Separate video reviews cost the Rays, one erasing a Tampa Bay homer, another correcting an out call that cost Cabrera a two-out RBI.

      Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer allowed four runs -- three on a first-inning homer by James Loney -- on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts in seven innings. Chamberlain cost him his chance to beat the Rays for a fifth straight start and become the first AL pitcher to 15 wins.

      "We've definitely seen better from him," Ausmus said, "but it wasn't a terrible outing."

      Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer was charged with four runs (one earned) on five hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He lasted six innings in each of his previous five starts.

      NOTES: Tigers LHP David Price, who won the American League Cy Young Award with Tampa Bay in 2012, will face his former team Thursday. He was dealt to Detroit at the July 31 trade deadline. ... RHP Kevin Whelan accepted his assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Whelan was outrighted by the Tigers on Sunday. ... Rays RF Wil Myers could soon return to major league club, manager Joe Maddon said. Myers (broken right wrist) is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. ... Rays OF David DeJesus (broken left hand) and C Ryan Hanigan (left oblique) took pregame batting practice and are expected to begin rehab assignments soon.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Stanton's clutch hit pushes Marlins past Rangers in extras
    By The Sports Xchange

    MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton's day started with ice-water on his head and it ended the same way.

    • Stanton hit a walk-off single to right in the 10th inning to lead the Miami Marlins to a 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

      "We had the right guy at the plate," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Stanton, a candidate for National League MVP. "He had a heck of an at-bat -- a bullet to right."

      The rally started when pinch hitter Jeff Baker reached on an error by first baseman Mike Carp and advanced on an infield single by second baseman Donovan Solano.

      Stanton lined his hit off of reliever Neftali Feliz. It was the Marlins' 11th walk-off hit this season -- tops in the majors -- and Stanton's second. The Marlins also lead the majors with 32 one-run wins and 21 victories in their final at-bat.

      "I left the ball a little up," Feliz said. "It was a fastball off the plate. I tried to go away."

      Earlier in the day, Stanton took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in which a fan named Andrew Mendez poured ice on the Marlins' star in the name of charity. Mendez was the highest bidder, giving $4,551 to the ALS Recovery Fund, raising awareness for Lou Gehrig's Disease.

      Once he got dry, Stanton had an eventful day, including a two-base error in right field that allowed Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor to circle the bases.

      Stanton made up for that miscue in the 10th, however.

      "I knew we were in extra innings because of me," Stanton said, alluding to his error. "So I was fired up about that."

      Stanton, who hit a 1-2 pitch, said he was also "fired up" about two strikes that were called on him during his final at-bat.

      "I didn't like those sliders that were called," Stanton said. "(I told myself), 'You put us in this situation. Make sure you get us out.'

      "(Feliz) tried to sneak a fastball away. I put a good swing on it to right field."

      After Baker scored the winning run, Stanton was mobbed by his teammates, who again doused him with ice water.

      "I get a water shower before the game and after," Stanton said. "Showers all around.

      "If the game hadn't ended like this, I would be more (upset because of the error). My upper body wasn't working with my lower body. You can't do anything now but laugh at that."

      Miami (63-62) won its third game in a row and rose above .500 for the first time since June 20. The Marlins started the day in fifth place in the National League wild-card race, 3 1/2 games out.

      Texas (48-77) has the worst record in the majors and is just 9-42 since June 17.

      Marlins starter Jarred Cosart, who is from Texas, earned a no-decision, allowing one run in six innings.

      Rangers starter Miles Mikolas, who is from South Florida and made his debut at Marlins Park, also got a no-decision. He allowed three runs in five-plus innings.

      Texas opened the scoring in the fourth. Third baseman Adrian Beltre hit a one-out double to center, advanced to third on a single by center fielder Leonys Martin and scored on a groundout by catcher Robinson Chirinos.

      Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna tied the score with his solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. The blast, his 17th of the season, traveled an estimated 427 feet to left field.

      Miami scored twice in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. The rally started when first baseman Garrett Jones doubled and Ozuna singled. The RBI went to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (single) and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (sacrifice fly).

      Texas tied the score in the seventh. Odor led off by circling the bases on what was ruled a double and a two-base error on Stanton, who bobbled the ball after it banged off the wall and then slipped twice.

      The Rangers capped the odd rally with a bases-loaded walk by pinch-hitter Daniel Robertson off of reliever Mike Dunn. The inning featured three walks, including one intentional.

      Texas, though, went just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

      "That's what we have to get better on -- driving in runs when they're there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We put ourselves in position, but we didn't cash in."

      NOTES: Rangers RF Alex Rios was scratched an hour before Tuesday's game because of a bruised right thumb. He was replaced by OF Jim Adduci. ... In terms of fewest homers allowed per nine innings, Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez ranks second in the majors and Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart is sixth. ... Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre is one of eight players in history to homer in at least 40 different MLB stadiums. Tuesday was his first game at Marlins Park. ... Marlins 2B Donovan Solano started Tuesday for the fourth time in the past five games, taking the job from Jordany Valdespin. ... Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who starts Wednesday, has a 3.09 road ERA this year but a 4.66 ERA at home.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Indians' Holt arrives in time to get key hit
    By The Sports Xchange

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Cleveland Indians outfielder Tyler Holt will sleep well Tuesday night.

    • The rookie didn't arrive at Target Field until minutes before first pitch, but entered in the sixth inning and delivered the game-winning hit in a 7-5 Indians win over the Minnesota Twins.

      Holt was told of his call-up to the bigs at 2:30 p.m. ET, climbed on a flight from Columbus to Minneapolis and landed at 6:15 local time -- less than an hour before first pitch. After deplaning and finding a cab, Holt was dealt another obstacle by the cab driver.

      "He didn't know where Target Field was," Holt said. "But he got me here."

      Cleveland overcame a nightmare first inning in which it allowed five runs before recording an out. The Indians then picked away at Minnesota's advantage until finally taking the lead with a three-run sixth inning, highlighted by Holt's pinch-hit double to center field that turned a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 lead.

      Holt said he was taking cuts in the batting cages near the clubhouse when someone came up the tunnel and told him to get ready.

      "He slams through the doors and says, 'You're up,'" Holt said. "I didn't really have any time to think or get ready so I just threw on some gloves. Luckily I didn't have any time to think or I probably would have struck out or something."

      The RBIs were the first of Holt's big-league career in his 15th plate appearance and seventh major league game.

      "Being ready and being into the game is not an issue for him. It's one of the things we really like about him," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "That was a huge hit."

      The Twins' first five hitters of the game scored against Indians starter Trevor Bauer. A leadoff double by center fielder Danny Santana and a walk by second baseman Brian Dozier put two on for first baseman Joe Mauer, who cracked a ground-rule double over the wall in left-center field for a 1-0 lead.

      Designated hitter Kennys Vargas followed with a single to right that scored Dozier before the big hammer, a long home run over the wall in right by right fielder Oswaldo Arcia, his 13th of the season and third in as many games.

      After that, Bauer settled down, retiring the next 14 batters he faced while Cleveland's bats came alive.

      "You can't shut down on a team like that," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

      The Indians got one back in the second on a solo home run by catcher Yan Gomes, two more in the fourth on a two-run single by designated hitter Zach Walters and one in the fifth, when center fielder Michael Bourn led off the inning with a double and later scored on a wild pitch.

      "You gotta pitch and you gotta stop them and we didn't do a good job of that," Gardenhire said. "They kept scoring one here, two there, one here and the next thing you know, they're in it."

      Bauer was lifted after a two-out walk in the fifth. His line was ugly -- 4 2/3 innings, five runs on four hits and two walks -- but his ability to recover from the poor start was crucial for Cleveland.

      "I just threw strikes and got ahead," Bauer said of his strategy after the early struggles. "I did the same things I did to the first five guys, tried to throw strikes, locate pitches and get guys out. It worked better."

      The Indians used eight pitchers in the win with Bauer was being yanked in the fourth. Left-hander Kyle Crockett, who entered for Bauer, was credited with the win (3-0), despite throwing only two-thirds of an inning.

      Cody Allen worked around a one-out single in the ninth for his 16th save of the year.

      Twins starter Kyle Gibson was done after 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk. Lefty Brian Duensing relieved him in the sixth and allowed two runs on three hits over two-thirds of an inning, taking the loss (3-3).

      "There were times when I definitely didn't feel as comfortable, and I didn't have my best stuff tonight," Gibson said. "I don't know if it was, I just wasn't as aggressive or what, but I definitely didn't do a good job of pitching with a lead tonight."

      NOTES: The Indians signed RHP Scott Atchison to a one-year extension with a club option for 2016. Atchison entered Tuesday with a 6-0 record and a 2.95 ERA in 53 appearances this season. ... The Indians placed UT Ryan Raburn on the 15-day disabled list due to right wrist soreness. Raburn is hitting .191 with three homers and 21 RBIs this season. ... Cleveland recalled OF Tyler Holt from Triple-A Columbus to take Raburn's spot on the roster. Holt batted .385 in 13 at-bats with the Indians earlier this season. ... Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey is playing catch from 100 feet as he tries to return from surgery on his right elbow, but GM Terry Ryan confirmed that Pelfrey will not pitch again this season.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Fiers pitches Brewers past Blue Jays
    By The Sports Xchange

    MILWAUKEE -- While some teams bet the farm at the trade deadline to acquire a front-line starter for the stretch run, the Milwaukee Brewers didn't have to look far to bolster their rotation when right-hander Matt Garza landed on the disabled list earlier this month.

    • Right-hander Mike Fiers has been dominant since joining Milwaukee's starting rotation on Aug. 8, and he offered up another gem Tuesday, holding the Toronto Blue Jays to a run on two hits over six innings as the Brewers beat Toronto 6-1 at Miller Park.

      "He came and did the same thing [he's been doing]; he attacked the zone," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He was able to locate [his fastball] well and throw in enough breaking balls and change-ups to keep them off-balance. He keeps doing it. Hopefully it continues."

      Fiers, who struck out 14 in six innings last Thursday in Chicago, fanned six Tuesday. In 21 innings (as a starter), has 25 strikeouts.

      "I feel like I can compete at this level, and compete well at this level," Fiers said. "If I'm doing what I'm doing and focusing on what I need to do on the mound -- throwing strikes and spotting the ball up -- I feel like I can pitch like this and help this team out."

      He gave up a first-inning walk to Toronto right fielder Edwin Encarnacion, then, in the second inning, he allowed a leadoff single to catcher Dioner Navarro and a double to center fielder Cobly Rasmus, who later scored on a groundout. Fiers set down the next 18 batters in a row to close out his day.

      "Awesome effort," said Jonathan Lucroy, who played first base and made a diving stab in the sixth to rob shortstop Jose Reyes of a base hit. "I didn't expect anything less the way he's been pitching. He's really been contributing and stepped up and gave us a chance to win."

      Lucroy and the Brewers' offense gave Fiers plenty of support.

      Still riding high after a three-game sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles over the weekend, Milwaukee pounded out 10 hits -- including a season-high eight doubles.

      Lucroy and third baseman Aramis Ramirez had two doubles each, including one apiece in the first as Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead.

      Center fielder Carlos Gomez opened the inning with a double off Toronto right-hander J.A. Happ and scored when Lucroy followed with a two-base hit to the gap in right.

      Right fielder Ryan Braun flew out to left, for the first out, but Ramirez kept the inning going when he ripped one up the middle to score Lucroy.

      Happ followed by walking left fielder Khris Davis before recording two straight strikeouts to end the inning.

      Happ worked a perfect second, but the Brewers struck again in the third. Lucroy led off with his second double of the game and scored on a Braun single to right. Davis made it a 4-1 game with a sacrifice fly before Happ again settled in and stranded runners at first and second.

      The offensive onslaught would bring Happ's day to an early end. He was pulled with two on and one out in the fourth, having already thrown 70 pitches.

      "With Lucroy and those guys coming up, I mean, they've been barreling him all night," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "With first and second, you've got to try to keep the team in the game. We were able to do that, but then they came out and got Red [Todd Redmond] early, too, for a couple."

      Happ was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three in his third consecutive loss.

      "We got outplayed and it started with me," Happ said. "I got us in a hole early, behind early. And it's tough against anybody, let alone a first-place team. Everybody's got to do their part and I came up short tonight."

      Milwaukee has won five in a row and maintained a 2 1/2-game lead over the second-place Cardinals, who beat Cincinnati 5-4 Tuesday night.

      NOTES: With no designated hitter against the Brewers, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons sat 1B Adam Lind and started INF Edwin Encarnacion at first Tuesday. Encarnacion began the night 2-for-12 with a home run since coming off the disabled list last Friday. ... Brewers RHP Jim Henderson underwent season-ending right shoulder surgery Tuesday. Henderson was out since May 2 due to inflammation in the shoulder. ... The Blue Jays were the first team to sweep the Brewers this season, taking both games of a two-game set last month in Toronto. All time, The Blue Jays are 118-161 against the Brewers, who played in the AL East from 1972-93.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Tillman's strong outing leads Orioles over White Sox
    By The Sports Xchange

    CHICAGO -- Baltimore continues to get good pitching from all facets of its staff, helping to keep the Orioles rolling along a winning path.

    • It was no different Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, where the Orioles (72-52) beat the Chicago White Sox 5-1 for the second straight night to win the three-game series.

      Right-hander Chris Tillman (10-5) tied a career high with nine strikeouts and allowed just one run in eight innings for the win, which was Baltimore's third straight. It was Tillman's third win in his past four starts and 10th quality start in his past 12.

      "I think this time of year it's a big deal for every pitcher," Tillman said. "To get to where we want to be, we're going to have to do that and keep doing it. We know that as a pitching staff. You've just got to go out and execute. That's what it's all about."

      The series win is the Orioles' ninth in the past 10. They also keep piling up road wins. The Orioles are 11-5 in their past 16 road games, and their 38-26 road record trails only the Los Angeles Dodgers (40-26).

      Tillman, who hasn't taken a loss since July 12, allowed just one run off a solo homer in the first by Jose Abreu. He walked just one and allowed only three hits, none after the third.

      "I thought we started to get just a little feathery towards the eighth, but he's got some pitches in his repertoire that can get him through there," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "He was carrying a solid fastball early in the game, and when you see him come out with that type of velocity early on, it usually bodes well. Then he doesn't have to figure out a way to trick 'em."

      Center fielder Adam Jones went 2-for-4 with an RBI and third baseman Chris Davis went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to lead the way offensively.

      The Orioles took control of the game in the sixth by breaking a 1-1 tie with three runs on four hits, all off Chicago starter Jose Quintana (6-10). A two-run double by Davis highlighted the inning, which was the last Quintana worked after throwing 97 pitches.

      The White Sox starter allowed eight hits and four runs.

      Coming into the game, Quintana had a 1.71 ERA in his previous three outings against the Orioles and held a 3.28 ERA against them in four career starts.

      "He had a couple pitches he didn't locate very well (in the sixth) and he paid for it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Quintana. "This is a team that, offensively, they can grind you out. That was the inning. They got a guy on and they ended up scoring a run and those add-on runs, you go through a tough part of the lineup and if you don't make a pitch they're going to make you pay for it."

      Baltimore tacked on a run in the seventh to make it 5-1 on a solo homer by catcher Nick Hundley. The White Sox didn't threaten the rest of the way.

      Chicago had a tough time against Tillman for the duration of his performance. After allowing the homer to Abreu in the first, Tillman blanked the White Sox for seven more innings before yielding to right-hander Tommy Hunter to pitch the ninth.

      The White Sox (59-67) have lost two in a row and are 5-11 in their past 16 games. They have also dropped nine of their past 12 games at home and are struggling to create scoring situations with lead-off hitter Adam Eaton on the disabled list (strained oblique).

      "I don't know if it's a wall (we're hitting), but we are hitting a stretch where, if you don't have Eaton at the top ... we were scoring runs when he was there," Ventura said. "It was just enough of a spark of getting on. He was pretty hot at the time. We have to find somebody else to get on there and get something going."

      The Orioles scored a run on three hits to start the game, including an RBI single by Jones, and Abreu answered for Chicago with his solo homer.

      It was Abreu's 32nd homer of the season, but his first since July 29 in Detroit, a season-high homerless stretch of 18 games. It was his first at home since July 4 against the Seattle Mariners.

      Neither team scored again until left fielder Delmon Young gave the Orioles a 2-1 lead with a two-out RBI single off Quintana in the sixth.

      NOTES: Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez will be moved to a bullpen role, according to manager Buck Showalter. Taking his spot in the starting rotation will be RHP Miguel Gonzalez, who will be recalled from the minors later this week and start a game Sunday at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Showalter said he broke the news to Jimenez prior to the game Tuesday against the White Sox. ... Showalter said that RHP Bud Norris, who only needed 82 pitches Monday to get through seven innings in a win against the White Sox, will start Saturday against the Cubs. RHP Kevin Gausman will start the series-opener against the Cubs on Friday. ... White Sox 1B Jose Abreu came into the game Tuesday without a home run in the month of August. His last homer was July 29 in Detroit, a season-high span of 18 straight games. "The power stuff will be there," manager Robin Ventura said. "Watching him take batting practice, you know he still has power. It's not like it disappeared. People are pitching him different. There could be a few things going on there. I like him in our lineup and I still want him on our team."

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Calhoun's catch sparks Angels past Red Sox
    By The Sports Xchange

    BOSTON -- It was only the second inning, but Kole Calhoun's home-run-robbing catch sparked the surging Los Angeles Angels to another big victory.

    • Calhoun's leaping grab saved a three-run homer and ignited a three-run third inning, and then catcher Chris Iannetta delivered a tie-breaking double in the ninth to lead the Angels to a 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

      "This game's a lot about momentum swings and that's a big one right there," Calhoun said. "So that's taking away three from them and we put three on them."

      The Angels were trailing 1-0 when Calhoun tracked down a deep fly ball hit by right fielder Brock Holt, eventually leaping high above the right-field bullpen wall to rob Holt of a three-run homer.

      "I got hops," he joked.

      Los Angeles, which leads the American League West, answered with a three-run third and went on to win for the sixth time in seven games.

      "Game-changer; it was awesome," Iannetta said. "We go from being potentially down three or four runs to having the opportunity to take the lead."

      Iannetta then gave them the lead for good.

      The Angels hadn't recorded a hit since the fourth inning before designated hitter Brennan Boesch smacked a double off Boston closer Koji Uehara (5-3) with two outs in the ninth. Iannetta, who doubled earlier in the game, drove in Boesch with another double off the Green Monster in left.

      "Chris has been doing a great job in the batter's box," said Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia. "It seems like every game he's hitting a double. He's getting some clutch hits for us."

      Huston Street surrendered a leadoff single to pinch hitter Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the inning, and intentionally walked designated hitter David Ortiz before striking out first baseman Mike Napoli for his 34th save of the season.

      Joe Smith (5-1) earned the win with a perfect eighth.

      Center fielder Mike Trout had an RBI triple for the Angels.

      Los Angeles left fielder Josh Hamilton returned to the lineup after a two-game absence and went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch. The slumping slugger had been 5-for-38 over his previous 10 games before removing himself from Sunday's lineup to take a mental break.

      Ortiz hit his 29th homer for the Red Sox, who have lost four of five.

      Boston has left 22 men on base and is 1-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the last two games against the Angels.

      "A number of opportunities offensively that we did create for ourselves," said Boston manager John Farrell.

      Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision.

      Los Angeles right-hander Jered Weaver allowed three runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings, walking four and tying his season-low with one strikeout.

      Boston's Allen Webster surrendered three runs and seven hits in six innings. The right-hander walked two, fanned three and retired eight of the final 10 batters he faced.

      Alex Wilson tossed two perfect innings of relief for Boston.

      Ortiz's solo shot in the first gave Boston the early lead, but Los Angeles answered with three runs in the third.

      Iannetta doubled and scored on Calhoun's single, and Trout's triple plated Calhoun for a 2-1 lead. First baseman Albert Pujols then made it 3-1 when he barely beat out an infield single after a sensational diving stop by third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Pujols originally was called out, but the play was challenged and overturned.

      Boston crept within 3-2 in the fifth when second baseman Dustin Pedroia singled and later scored on Napoli's groundout. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts walked to begin the sixth, moved to third on catcher Christian Vazquez's single that ended Weaver's night, and scored to tie the game on Holt's sacrifice fly.

      NOTES: Boston RHP Allen Webster and Los Angeles RHP Jered Weaver faced off Aug. 8 in a 4-2 Red Sox win. Webster allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings, while Weaver yielded four runs in six innings. ... Boston CF Mookie Betts made a great catch reaching over the short bullpen wall in deep center field on a ball hit by 2B David Freese in the second inning, jump-starting an inning-ending 8-4-3 double play. Angels SS Erick Aybar had singled and already was approaching third base when Betts caught the ball and easily doubled him up at first. … Angels RHP Garrett Richards (13-4, 2.53 ERA) will oppose Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.79 ERA) on Wednesday.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Carter's homer lifts Astros
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Even through Chris Carter's first four at-bats ended in strikeouts, there was little hesitation about giving the green light on a 3-0 count.

    • With the way that Carter is hitting recently, it would be hard to disagree.

      Carter got to green light with one out in the top of the ninth inning and blasted a three-run home run that lifted the Houston Astros to a 7-4 victory over the New York Yankees Tuesday night.

      "This guy can change the game with one swing and he changed the game tonight with one swing," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "He got the green light on 3-0 and he didn't miss that ball."

      Carter struck out four times in a game for the seventh time in his career as he fanned three times against New York left-hander Chris Capuano and then again in the seventh against reliever Shawn Kelley. He was able to get a chance to atone for the strikeouts when New York closer David Robertson (1-4) issued walks to right fielder Robbie Grossman and second baseman Jose Altuve.

      After Robertson threw four straight out of the strike zone to Altuve, Carter got ahead 3-0 and then crushed a cutter into the left-field bleachers, sending many in the crowd to the exits. It was Carter's 30th home run, making him the first Astro to reach that mark since Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee in 2007.

      "I was just trying to hit it and put it in play," said Carter, who was getting good-natured teasing from teammates before his postgame interview. "My first four at-bats, I didn't do anything."

      It also continued a torrid stretch for the designated hitter, who was named AL Player of the Week Monday. The home run gave him a major-league-leading 17 homers and a major-league-leading 42 RBIs since July 1, a stretch that follows a 12-game period when Carter had three hits in 38 at-bats while striking out 18 times. That slump might not have led Porter to believe such a turnaround was possible.

      "At that stage the way he was at, I would say I would probably be leaning more towards no, but I've seen him hot before," Porter said. "I've always said this when this guy gets hot, it can come in bunches and he can carry a team."

      While Carter continued his hot stretch, it was a rare letdown for Robertson. He had not allowed a home run in his previous 27 games, since June 1 against Minnesota. He also allowed more than two runs for the second time and issued at least two walks for the third time.

      "I tried to make a good pitch down and away," Robertson said. "Instead I threw it right into his bat path and he put it 30 rows deep. It stinks when 3-0 that happens but make a good quality pitch and maybe I get a ground ball double play. . . When you're not making quality pitches and you're not throwing the ball where you want to you're not going to get outs. I struggled out there tonight and I blew it for our team."

      Added manager Joe Girardi: "You know that he's swinging there and you can't just groove one. I'm sure if he had it back he wouldn't. He wasn't trying to throw it there but that's just kind of the way the night went for him."

      It sent the Yankees (63-60) to their sixth loss in eight games, although Robertson could have been pitching in a save situation if things had gone differently in the eighth for New York. New York was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and did not score despite having center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury at third with one out in the eighth, and having two on with two outs later in the inning.

      Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate on a fielder's choice when the Astros brought in their infield. Designated hitter Carlos Beltran and second baseman Martin Prado were stranded when catcher Brian McCann flied out.

      The Astros beat the Yankees for the third time in four games this season as they had 13 hits despite striking out 15 times. Before Carter's home run, the Astros scored three times in the sixth on a groundout by catcher Jason Castro and a two-run single by pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez.

      Houston blew a 4-2 lead when Prado hit a two-run double in the sixth inning, but then its bullpen stepped up.

      Left-hander Tony Sipp retired all five batters he faced, including McCann with a runner in scoring position. Josh Fields (3-6) worked through trouble in the eighth for the win and Chad Qualls pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 17 opportunities.

      Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, while Capuano allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

      NOTES: New York RHP David Phelps (right elbow) made 50 throws from 60 feet Monday and reported no problems. ... New York RHP Masahiro Tanaka will throw a bullpen session before Wednesday's game. ... The Astros activated INF/OF Jesus Guzman (back spasms) from the 15-day disabled list and placed LHP Darin Downs on the DL due to an oblique injury. ... Houston manager Bo Porter spent Monday's off-day participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at MLB Network studios, where he challenged team president Reid Ryan as well as broadcasters Cliff Floyd and Harold Reynolds.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Iwakuma pitches Mariners past Phillies
    By The Sports Xchange

    PHILADELPHIA -- For eight innings, Seattle Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma crafted a masterpiece. Then he watched on a clubhouse television as the Mariners' bullpen nearly made a mess of it.

    • Iwakuma pitched shutout ball Tuesday night against Philadelphia, but the Phillies scored twice in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate.

      Closer Fernando Rodney, the third Seattle reliever to work in the ninth, finally secured the Mariners' 5-2 victory by striking out third baseman Cody Asche.

      Iwakuma, a 33-year-old native of Japan, claimed he was not nervous as he sat in Citizen Bank Park's visiting clubhouse.

      "We have a strong belief in our bullpen," he said through an interpreter, "so I was able to watch the TV very calmly."

      He might have been the only one.

      "It's not how I would want to close it out," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Those things happen. A very dangerous ballpark. That club can be dangerous. They have a lot of guys who can hit it out of the ballpark."

      Iwakuma (12-6) cruised through his outing en route to his third consecutive victory, allowing four hits and striking out a season-high 11 without walking a batter. He threw 96 pitches, 74 of them strikes, while extending his scoreless-innings streak to 17 2/3.

      It was the fourth career double-digit strikeout performance and second this season for Iwakuma, who retired the last 11 hitters he faced. He has yet to give up a run in three career interleague starts on the road, a span of 22 innings.

      "He was outstanding," McClendon said. "He commanded all of his pitches. He was in and out, up and down. ... He's just got quality stuff. He throws from the same arm slot with all of his pitches. He's got command of all of them. When you have command of three or four different pitches, it's kind of tough hitting any one thing."

      McClendon nonetheless said he did not plan to run Iwakuma out there for the ninth.

      Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush walked shortstop Jimmy Rollins to start that inning, then retired the next two hitters. Yoervis Medina entered and surrendered a single to right fielder Marlon Byrd, wild-pitched a run home and then gave up an RBI double to left fielder Domonic Brown.

      After Medina hit catcher Carlos Ruiz with a pitch, Rodney came on to fan Asche and earn his 36th save.

      Third baseman Kyle Seager hit a solo homer and catcher Mike Zunino added a two-run single for the Mariners, who won for the 11th time in 14 games.

      The Phillies lost for the eighth time in 11 games. They also fell to 5-11 in interleague play this season.

      Philadelphia starter A.J. Burnett (6-14) dropped his sixth straight decision. He went 7 2/3 innings and yielded five runs and six hits while striking out nine and walking four. He last won July 11, when he defeated the Washington Nationals.

      Burnett walked center fielder Austin Jackson on four pitches to start the game. Jackson stole second as left fielder Dustin Ackley also drew a four-pitch walk, and the two of them engineered a double steal.

      Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano drove in Jackson with an infield bouncer, and with two outs, first baseman Logan Morrison grounded an RBI single up the middle, making it 2-0.

      "It took a while to get loose, much more than normal," Burnett said.

      Seager, leading off the sixth, hit a 3-0 fastball from Burnett into the seats in right field for his 19th homer of the season.

      Zunino's two-run single in the eighth made it 5-0 and ended Burnett's night.

      The 37-year-old right-hander acknowledged that it has been a rough stretch for him.

      "But," he added, "I'll still come in and try to do my job."

      The future is another question. When asked if he would return to the Phillies in 2015, Burnett said, "Probably not. We'll see."

      NOTES: Seattle RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is 7-2 over his past 10 starts, with 65 strikeouts and four walks. .... With his victory over Seattle on Monday night, Philadelphia RHP Jerome Williams became the fifth pitcher in the last 60 years to win at least one game for three teams in the same season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Williams, who recorded victories for the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers earlier this year, joined Ray Sadecki (1975), Dock Ellis (1977), Steve Carlton (1986) and David Weathers (2004) on that list. ... The Mariners, who Monday lost their first game in Citizens Bank Park, are 16-32 in their history in initial visits to a stadium.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Strasburg paces Nationals to eighth win in row
    By The Sports Xchange

    WASHINGTON -- After four one-run games in a row, the Washington Nationals needed a mental breather.

    • And after two consecutive 11-inning games, the Washington bullpen also was looking for relief.

      Washington got "what the doctor ordered," according to pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who allowed just one run in eight innings to save the bullpen while the Nationals erupted for six runs in the third inning en route to an 8-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

      "He certainly could have gone out for the ninth, which is great," Washington manager Matt Williams said of Strasburg. "He stepped up."

      It was the eighth win a row for the Nationals, whose previous three games ended in walk-off fashion, part of a stretch of four such wins in five games at Nationals Park. Before Tuesday, the Nationals' prior four wins were by one run.

      Washington (71-53) remains six games ahead of the Atlanta Braves while improving to a season-high 18 games over .500.

      "We are kind of coming together," said Washington shortstop Ian Desmond, who had three hits and four RBIs and stole his 100th career base. "We know there is a lot of work to be done. It was good to see Stephen pitch as well as he did. It seemed like he threw all strikes. He put the ball in play; that helps the offense."

      Arizona left fielder Mark Trumbo, who fanned twice against Strasburg, said of the right-hander, "He has all of the pitches."

      Strasburg (10-10) improved to 8-2 at home. He allowed three hits and one walk while striking out four. He has a league-high 198 strikeouts, setting a career high in that category while throwing 95 pitches, 61 for strikes.

      "They are going to put the ball in play," Strasburg said of Arizona.

      He would have liked to have had a chance to pitch the ninth but understood that reliever Jerry Blevins, who hadn't pitched since Friday, needed some work. Blevins retired all three men he faced, striking out two of them, to close out the win.

      "Down the stretch, we are going to need all 25 guys," Strasburg said.

      Arizona manager Kirk Gibson saw an improved Strasburg.

      "Just more of a pitcher, more of a polished pitcher definitely. All of his pitches, his location, his composure, he's cleaned up out of the stretch a lot too," Gibson said.

      Diamondbacks right-hander Chase Anderson (7-5) allowed six runs in two innings, ending his streak of six quality starts in a row.

      "His last starts we've been talking about how he needs to have better command," Gibson said. "He'd been getting out of a lot of these messes in his prior starts, but today, Washington, they got on base and they were 7-for-15 ... with runners in scoring position. They capitalized on their opportunities. He got frustrated a little bit, I think, and was just not able to contain them today -- six runs -- and I could see he didn't have it, so I got him out of there early."

      The Diamondbacks (53-73) lost their fourth game in a row to fall 20 games under .500 for the first time this year.

      Desmond hit a two-run single in the third and also drove in two runs with a line single in the sixth to make it 8-1. He has a team-leading 77 RBIs.

      Right fielder Jayson Werth also had three hits and scored twice, and third baseman Anthony Rendon had two hits for the Nationals. Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera contributed a three-run double in the third inning.

      Arizona right fielder David Peralta, who entered the game hitting .111 in his last eight games, hit a solo homer in the first inning.

      NOTES: Washington OF Nate McLouth, on the disabled list since Aug. 4 due to right shoulder inflammation, will have season-ending surgery Thursday, according to manager Matt Williams. "He has a torn labrum," said Williams, who added McLouth should be ready for spring training. ... Washington RHP Tanner Roark (12-7, 2.93 ERA) will face Arizona RHP Trevor Cahill (3-8, 4.68 ERA) on Wednesday. ... Arizona CF Ender Inciarte entered Tuesday with an 18-game hitting streak, the longest by a rookie in team history. The streak ended Tuesday when he went 0-for-4. ... Williams played on Arizona's World Series title team in 2001 and was a Diamondbacks coach last season under manager Kirk Gibson. Washington GM Mike Rizzo also has a World Series ring from that 2001 team. He was the assistant general manager/vice president of baseball operations for the Diamondbacks before he joined the Nationals front office in July 2006.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    Harang helps Braves win fifth straight
    By The Sports Xchange

    PITTSBURGH -- It is rare in these days of pitch counts and relief specialists to see a pitcher work into the ninth inning.

    • Atlanta right-hander Aaron Harang did that Tuesday night, though, and left fielder Justin Upton hit a three-run home run and drove in five runs as the streaking Braves routed the sliding Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3.

      "He navigates through the lineup," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Harang, a 13-year veteran. "He doesn't give you anything good to hit in the middle of the plate."

      Harang (10-7) helped the Braves win their fifth straight game and send the Pirates to their seventh consecutive loss. He worked 8 1/3 innings before being pulled after Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis hit an RBI single on his 114th pitch.

      "We were trying to get him a complete game, but you get to the point where you don't want to put him at risk," Gonzalez said.

      Harang allowed three runs while walking none and striking out four as he won for the first time since July 10 against the Mets at New York. The Braves had lost in each of Harang's last six starts, though his personal record was 0-1 in that span.

      "I was locating, getting ahead early, not deep into counts a lot," Harang said. "They were being really aggressive and swinging at pitches out of the zone."

      Upton's homer in the third inning, his 24th of the season, put the Braves ahead 4-0 and ran his hitting streak to 10 games. The left fielder added a two-run single in a five-run fifth that extended the lead to 10-1.

      "I'm still doing the same things I've been doing all season," Upton said. "I'm just trying to prepare myself and help any way I can."

      The loss spoiled the return of Pirates center fielder and 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, who went 0-for-4. He was activated from the disabled list before the game after being out since Aug. 4 with a fracture in his lower left ribcage.

      "I feel good and that's a big thing," McCutchen said. "It was good to be in the swing of things again. It'll all come around sooner rather than later and I'll be back to my old self. I'm confident of that."

      Upton was one of five Braves with two hits along with right fielder Jason Heyward, first baseman Freddie Freeman, catcher Evan Gattis and center fielder B.J. Upton.

      Heyward also drove in three runs. Gattis hit his 19th homer, a solo shot off rookie reliever Brandon Cumpton in the ninth inning.

      Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano (3-10) was tagged for nine runs (seven earned) and seven hits in four-plus innings. He had three walks and four strikeouts.

      "It was one of those nights where everything I threw was going to get hit hard," Liriano said.

      Pirates right fielder Travis Snider extended his hitting streak to 10 games as he had two hits, as did catcher Russell Martin and left fielder Starling Marte.

      Harang helped his own cause by driving in the game's first run with a first-inning single.

      After Justin Upton homered, the Braves increased their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning when B.J. Upton led off with a double and scored on Heyward's single.

      The Pirates got a run in the bottom of the fourth as Snider hit a leadoff double and scored on second baseman Neil Walker's ground out.

      The Braves turned the game into a rout with a five-run fifth in which they sent 10 men to the plate, chased Liriano and upped their lead to 10-1 as they remained six games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East.

      The Pirates dropped seven games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

      NOTES: Pirates INF/OF Michael Martinez was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to open a roster spot for CF Andrew McCutchen, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list after being out since Aug. 4 with a fracture in his lower left ribcage. ... Pittsburgh SS Jordy Mercer returned to the lineup after being limited to pinch-hitting duty in the previous four games because of a strained right forearm. ... Braves RHP Shae Simmons, who has been on the DL since July 27 with a strained right shoulder, will make a third rehab appearance Wednesday for Triple-A Gwinnett then be evaluated. ... Atlanta LHP Alex Wood (9-9, 3.07 ERA) will start Wednesday night against Pittsburgh RHP Gerrit Cole (7-4, 3.78 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series.

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    La Russa: Report of Gibson's return 'inaccurate'
    By The Sports Xchange

    Struggling through a disappointing season, there was a report the Arizona Diamondbacks were expected to retain Kirk Gibson as manager next year.

    • Not so fast, says Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa.

      Through a spokesperson Tuesday, La Russa said the USA Today report was inaccurate and that no decisions had been made.

      La Russa cited comments made Monday, when he said, "I just think that at this point, we're at Aug. 18, I've been around three months, I've observed a lot, talked to and met with a lot of people in the organization. I have a much better idea. I just think the official comment is, we're at Aug. 18, the season is a month and 10 days from being over. So it won't be long until you have to trot out your plan officially."

      The Diamondbacks have the fourth-worst record in baseball at 53-72 entering Tuesday's games, but USA Today reported La Russa, brought in three months ago to oversee baseball operations, is leaning toward giving Gibson another year in the dugout.

      There was no indication about whether general manager Kevin Towers' job might be in jeopardy. He received criticism for some of the moves he made in the past and for the club's lack of success on the field.

      Gibson took over as Diamondbacks manager in 2010 and has a 343-351 overall record. After winning the National League West title in 2011 with a 94-68 regular-season record, the Diamondbacks finished .500 each of the next two seasons before this year's slide. Gibson was National League manager of the year in 2011.