LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ curious starting pitching decision to open the National League Division Series suddenly looks like a load of trouble for the Atlanta Braves.Clayton Kershaw Rollie Fingers Jersey , who did not start Game 1 on Thursday despite being on regular rest, is scheduled to start Game 2 on Friday at Dodger Stadium, one day after Hyun-Jin Ryu set the tone with seven strong innings in a 6-0 victory over the Braves.It remains very early in the 2018 postseason, but the Dodgers’ decision to be less reliant on Kershaw for October glory already seems to be paying dividends.Article continues below ...And even though Kershaw is less overpowering than he has been in the past, with a strikeout total lower than his innings pitched for the first time since 2013, he has been a handful when getting an extra day of rest like he will have Friday.When the left-hander gets five days of rest or more this season, he has a 2.48 ERA and 9.2 strikeouts per inning. On a regular four days of rest, he has a 3.21 ERA and 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings.Kershaw (9-5 http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-terry-steinbach-jersey , 2.73 ERA), who said he accepts the Dodgers’ pitching decision, downplayed the concept that he will have extra incentive this postseason because he was not named the Game 1 starter.“I don’t really need to prove myself to anybody,” Kershaw said. “I think I just … I want my teammates to want me out there. I think that’s the biggest thing. Hyun-Jin has had a great season and he’s pitched really well for us … and I’ll get my turn (Friday).”Tasked with matching Kershaw pitch for pitch is Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 2.83), who has given up two earned runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts, including six scoreless innings in his regular-season finale Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies.Friday’s outing will be Sanchez’s first in the postseason since 2014 with the Detroit Tigers. In seven postseason appearances, he is 2-4 with a 2.79 ERA.It is the Dodgers hitters that Sanchez said he is most concerned with facing Dave Henderson Jersey , not pitching against Kershaw.“You know what, most of the time I don’t think too much about the pitchers that I’m going to face,” Sanchez said. “I just try to keep my mind on the hitters that I’m going to face against the Dodgers. I think they got a pretty good lineup. It’s no doubt how good Kershaw is and what he’s been doing for his whole career. But at the end, I don’t want to put that impression in my mind.”In Game 1 of the series, the Dodgers looked similar to what they have been all season. They hit three home runs in Game 1 after a season when they hit a club-record and NL-most 235. Two of the home runs came from left-handed hitters Joc Pederson and Max Muncy.The Dodgers also led the NL in walks this season and earned eight free passes Thursday.The Braves outhit the Dodgers 6-5 in Game 1, but were never in the contest. Now Sanchez has to face the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy lineup in Game 2. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi is the new president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants.The Giants announced the hiring Tuesday night and planned a formal introduction at AT&T Park on Wednesday, a day before they hold a public celebration of life for late Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.Baseball executives are meeting this week for the GM meetings in Carlsbad, California http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-dennis-eckersley-jersey , and Giants CEO Larry Baer knew it might take this long to find the right person to push the department in a fresh direction.Zaidi just completed his fourth year as GM for Los Angeles. His Dodgers won a sixth straight NL West title and lost in the World Series each of the past two seasons.“We set out to find one of the best minds in baseball and Farhan’s many accomplishments and expertise exceeded our expectations,” Baer said. “Farhan is widely viewed as one of the top executives in our industry and we are thrilled to have him lead the next chapter of Giants baseball.”In November 2014, the Canadian-born Zaidi departed his job as assistant GM of the Oakland Athletics to lead the Dodgers under Andrew Friedman. Zaidi earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 and a PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2011.So, Zaidi brings more of an analytical emphasis and strength. The Giants sought to upgrade their baseball operations department and take a “fresh approach,” as Baer put it.“I am delighted to return to the Bay Area and to join one of the most storied franchises in the game,” said Zaidi, who turns 42 this coming Sunday. “I have watched the Giants from afar and I have great respect for the organization’s culture and many accomplishments. I am excited about this new opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting right to work.”Zaidi is expected to have the flexibility to hire someone as GM under him. He spent 10 seasons with Oakland and received plenty of responsibility on Billy Beane’s staff, such as playing a key role in the acquisition of Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes before the 2012 season.The Giants dismissed GM Bobby Evans in September. San Francisco — which won World Series championships in 2010 Santiago Casilla Jersey , ’12 and ’14 — went 73-89 in 2018 and went a majors-worst 5-21 in September to miss the playoffs for a second straight year and third in four seasons.With the A’s, Zaidi’s areas of expertise included providing statistical analysis for evaluating and targeting players in the amateur draft, free agent and trade markets. He also worked on arbitration cases, minor league contracts and worked closely with coaches to analyze data from advance scouting reports.Zaidi previously served as business development associate for Small World Media, the fantasy sports division of The Sporting News, and also worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the hiring Tuesday night.
DENVER — Left-hander Kyle Freeland http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/adrian-peterson-jersey , the most consistent Colorado starter, will take the mound Thursday as the Rockies attempt to win their four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.Colorado second baseman DJ LeMahieu belted a two-run homer with one out in the ninth Wednesday — his first career walk-off hit — to give the Rockies a 5-4 victory, their second in this series.The Rockies (80-65) lead the National League West by 1 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers and 3 1/2 over the Diamondbacks. Arizona (77-69), losers of nine of its past 12 games, is four games back in the scramble for the second NL wild-card spot.Article continues below ...The Rockies, winners of eight of their past 11 games, are 20-9 in games started by Freeland (14-7, 2.91 ERA), who will be opposed by Clay Buchholz (7-2, 2.01) — a vital addition since joining the Arizona rotation in late May. He will be making his Coors Field debut.Freeland has been dominant there this season, going 8-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 13 starts. Freeland is 5-0, 2.03 in his past seven turns, all of which the Rockies have won.Freeland, a 25-year-old Denver native in his second full season in the majors, is 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA in three starts this season against the Diamondbacks, the last July 21, and 1-2, 4.60 against them in six career starts.“Kyle’s game stays pretty consistent,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Command of the fastball (to) both sides of the plate. When he goes in, I think he’s got to elevate it a little bit with the fastball — belt high to the hands. Down and away with the fastball. The slider down underneath the right-handed swing. Mix in the change, keep them off balance with the change of velocities with the changeup. Preferably down and away with some action, which he’s very capable (of doing). Mix in a couple curveballs, which Kyle’s done a really good job this year of bringing that into his game. “Kyle’s game has become pretty consistent. It’s something Kyle should be proud of, the step that he made last year to where we are now.”Buchholz Authentic D.J. Swearinger SR Jersey , 34, unable to find a big league job after last season, signed a minor league deal with Kansas City. He went 1-0, 1.59 with the Royals’ Triple-A Omaha affiliate and excercised the May 1 opt-out date in his contract and signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks.Arizona general manager Mike Hazen and several of his assistants were in the Red Sox front office when Buchholz signed with Boston after being drafted in the first round in 2005, and Arizona manager Torey Lovullo was a Boston coach when Buchholz pitched for the Red Sox.Buchholz threw a no-hitter Sept. 1, 2007, in his second major league start, went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA in 2010 and made the Amerian League All-Star team. He was an all-star again in 2013 before enduring a succession of injuries.Buchholz made three minor league starts for the Diamondbacks before joining their rotation May 20. He missed a month with a left oblique strain but returned to the rotation July 24 and has gone 5-1, 1.66 in his past nine starts.Asked whether it’s more rewarding to be pitching as well as he has now as opposed to the outset of his career, Buchholz said, “Yeah, probably just for the simple fact that there were a lot of people that wrote me off, and I wasn’t ready to be done playing.”Said Hazen: “He’s been healthy, and I think you’re seeing the true pitcher emerge. He’s not the guy he used to be with pitches that everyone oohed and awed over at the time. Now you’re watching this guy really pitch. It’s fun to watch. He’s obviously shot above and beyond anything we could’ve hoped. I give a lot of credit to him. He’s one of the leaders of our clubhouse, and you just see the maturity every day with him.”Buchholz’s one career start against Colorado came in 2016, when he allowed six runs in five innings and took the loss. Rob Carr/Getty ImagesHome-field advantage was thrown out the window in the Major League Baseball postseason Saturday, as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros picked up road victories to alter the balance of power in their respective series.Los Angeles heads home tied at one game apiece with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS, while Houston has an opportunity to take a two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox with a victory in Game 2 of the ALCS at Fenway Park.During the first three games of the league championship round, we have witnessed plenty of bizarre events, which have produced some odd stats we never thought we'd be digging up at this juncture of the postseason.Updated Playoff Schedule*If needed. All Times ET.Sunday, October 14ALCS Game 2:Houston at Boston (7:09 p.m., TBS)Monday, October 15NLCS Game 3:Milwaukee at Los Angeles (7:39 p.m., FS1) Tuesday D.J. Swearinger SR Jersey Elite , October 16ALCS Game 3:Boston at Houston (5:05 p.m., TBS)NLCS Game 4:Milwaukee at Los Angeles (9:09 p.m., FS1)Wednesday, October 17NLCS Game 5:Milwaukee at Los Angeles (5:05 p.m., FS1)ALCS Game 4:Boston at Houston (8:39 p.m., TBS)Thursday, October 18ALCS Game 5*:Boston at Houston (8:09 p.m., TBS) Friday, October 19NLCS Game 6*:Los Angeles at Milwaukee (8:39 p.m., FS1)Saturday, October 20ALCS Game 6*:Houston at Boston (5:09 p.m., TBS)NLCS Game 7*:Los Angeles at Milwaukee (9:09 p.m., FS1) Sunday, October 21ALCS Game 7*:Houston at Boston (7:39 p.m., TBS) Top Highlights and StatsThe Astros and Dodgers are using familiar formulas to grind their ways back to the World Series.Justin Turner, who hit a home run and produced four RBI in Game 2 of the 2017 NLCS, provided the game-winning hit in the Dodgers' 4-3 win in Game 2 of the 2018 NLCS.MLB MLBGame 1: Game-ending strikeout. Game 2: Go-ahead HR.Redturn2 gets redemption. #NLCS vDcyhc0QrPThe eighth-inning two-run homer from Turner was his fourth go-ahead home run in the postseason since 2014, which means he is tied with Daniel Murphy for the most during that span, per ESPN StatsInfo:ESPN Stats amp; Info ESPNStatsInfoThe Dodgers defeat the Brewers 4-3 to even the #NLCS at 1-1.Justin Turner鈥檚 8th inning 2-run HR was his 4th postseason go-ahead HR since joining the Dodgers in 2014. That鈥檚 tied with Daniel Murphy for the most such postseason HR in that span. TikE66Y011Turner's home run came at the expense of the Milwaukee bullpen, a positional unit that entered the postseason as the most feared in baseball.Through two games, the Brewers' relievers have put up pedestrian stats, giving up all but one of the nine runs the Dodgers have scored and conceded 14 hits.Before the bullpen took over, Wade Miley produced a strong start for Milwaukee, and he also thrived at the platewith two hits in two plate appearances.Miley became the first pitcher to record two hits http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/d.j.-swearinger-jersey , one of which was an extra-base hit, in a postseason game since Chris Carpenter in 2012, per MLB.com's Andrew Simon:Andrew Simon AndrewSimonMLBWade Miley is the first pitcher to have a multi-hit game, with at least one XBH, in the postseason since:Chris Carpenter (STL) in Game 3 of the 2012 NLDS.Over in the American League, Houston's hitters were the difference-makers once again, as the Astros managed to get a few clutch hits in the final few innings of their Game 1 win in Boston.Carlos Correa produced the game-winning base knock, as he drove in Alex Bregman with an RBI single in the sixth inning off Joe Kelly.MLB MLB.TeamCJCorrea can handle the high heat. #ALCS YgrNSsKSp4In the ninth inning, the Astros created separation from the home side, with Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel blasting home runs off Brandon Workman.The pair of round-trippers extended Houston's streak of postseason games with a home run to 13, which tied the MLB record held by the ball club when it was in the National League, per ESPN's Sarah Langs:Sarah Langs SlangsOnSportsThe Astros have hit a HR in 13 straight postseason games, tied for the longest such streak in postseason history. Its also the LONGEST such streak by an AL team in postseason historyTheyre tied with...the NL Astros, in 2001-04, who also homered in 13 straight postseason gamesAlthough he didn't hit a home run, George Springer contributed two hits at the top of the order to extend his playoff hitting streak to 10 games, which ties Lance Berkman's franchise record, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:Mark Feinsand FeinsandGeorge Springer now has a 10-game postseason hitting streak, matching Lance Berkman for the longest in Astros history. #ALCSJustin Verlander twirled a gem on the mound to pick up his 13th career postseason victory. Verlander has the second-most playoff wins by an American League pitcher, per MLB Stat of the Day:MLB Stat of the Day MLBStatoftheDay.JustinVerlander gets his 13th #postseason win. That is the 2nd most EVER by an AL pitcher (Andy Pettitte, 19). JJ6KHa83ZuChris Sale didn't enjoy as much success as Verlander, and he had an off night by his standards. The left-handed Red Sox starter experienced a significant drop off in velocity, as Yahoo's Jeff Passan pointed out:Jeff Passan JeffPassanThis is something worth watching.Chris Sales first-inning fastball velocity tonight: 91, 89 http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-craig-kimbrel-jersey , 90, 92, 94, 93, 93, 90, 92, 89.His first-inning fastball velocity in his ALDS start: 95, 94, 93, 95, 95,96, 95, 95, 96, 97.Average tonight: 91.3 mphAverage in ALDS: 95.1 mphSale's velocity is one of the many concerns the Red Sox have, but they need to find a way to pull out a Game 2 win in order to avoid a sweep down in Houston. Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.
PHOENIX (AP) — Two nights in a row http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-jorge-soler-jersey , Anthony Rizzo has made a major impact on Chicago Cubs wins with efforts that don’t stand out in the boxscore.Rizzo beat out a potential double play by hustling to first base Monday, and teammate Javier Baez followed with a two-run homer. The next night, Rizzo worked a 17-pitch at-bat before lining out, and Baez followed with another two-run shot.That helped the Cubs cruise to a 9-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday for their fifth win in six games. Chicago increased its lead in the NL Central to 3 1/2 games over Milwaukee, which lost at home to last-place Cincinnati.“I saw it all,” Rizzo said. “They were just borderline pitches. You would love for that ball to sneak through, but when you wear pitchers out like that, it’s something that the next guy and the next guy can have success.”Daniel Murphy also hit a two-run homer as the Cubs jumped out to a big early lead. Mike Montgomery (5-5) allowed a run and four hits with a season-high eight strikeouts in six innings for his first win since Aug. 7.“Changeup was really working,” Montgomery said. “Obviously, this rotation is working well so I kind of wanted to jump in line and be a guy that goes out there and gives us as many innings as he can.”The slumping Diamondbacks dropped six games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West and six back of St. Louis for the second wild card. They have lost four in a row and nine of 11.The Cubs built a 5-0 lead after their first two turns at bat.In the first inning, Baez drove a 2-0 pitch from Matt Andriese onto the pool deck in right-center. Baez’s 33rd home run gave him 107 RBIs this season.Ian Happ knocked in Jason Heyward with a second-inning double before Murphy http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-drew-butera-jersey , who scored three times, hit his 11th home run of the season.Rizzo added a two-run single in a four-run fifth.“Overall, we did work some good at-bats,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I thought the approach was good and we hit some balls really well.”Ketel Marte homered in the second for Arizona, his 12th. But the Diamondbacks’ season that got off to a great start appears on the verge of ending with no return to the postseason.“We still have two feet in this race and I believe something good can come out of it,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Whether it is tomorrow or next year, I believe we are learning some valuable lessons.”Andriese (3-6) lasted two innings and was charged with five runs on five hits in a bullpen game for Arizona. Four other pitchers appeared.“Not the way I wanted my first start with the Diamondbacks,” Andriese said. “That Rizzo at-bat kind of made me work hard and kind of put me behind the 8-ball.”HEY, IT’S HEYWARDHeyward started for the first time since being activated from the disabled list on Sunday. He came in as a defensive replacement in right field in the ninth inning on Monday. He had been out since Aug. 31 with a hamstring injury.Heyward was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.“Jason looked really good at the plate,” Maddon said. “First ball in the gap and second one was really well struck up the middle.”SPRING TRAINING FEELThe Diamondbacks, down 9-1 after five innings http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-whit-merrifield-jersey , made six lineup changes before the sixth, including replacing star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The Cubs also took out several regulars, and before the night ended, Happ had played all three outfield positions.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: A day after expressing hope that closer Brandon Morrow could soon be back from a lingering elbow injury, the Cubs decided to shut him down for the rest of the season. That means their two relievers with the most saves this season, Morrow and Pedro Strop, are out. Strop hopes to possibly be ready for the postseason. … Chicago catcher Willson Contreras took a foul ball to his groin area in the eighth inning and was doubled over in pain behind home plate, but stayed in the game.Diamondbacks: Arizona reliever T.J. McFarland was shut down for the rest of the season with an elbow issue. McFarland was 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA in 47 games and 72 innings.UP NEXTCubs: LHP Cole Hamels tries to improve to 5-0 with Chicago when he pitches Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. It will be his 10th start in a Cubs uniform since he was traded by Texas.Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (5-2) is Wednesday’s scheduled starter. Six of his last eight appearances have ended in no-decisions, and the other two are wins. WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Urena’s previous start ended after one very heated pitch.On Sunday, he went the distance.Urena made the most of his borrowed time, pitching a two-hitter for his first complete game in the majors and leading the Miami Marlins over the Washington Nationals 12-1 on Sunday.Urena (4-12) was suspended for six games by Major League Baseball after hitting Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. on Wednesday. Urena was ejected from that start after throwing one fastball and appealed the penalty Cheslor Cuthbert Jersey , keeping him eligible to play.“I know what I did, and I know what kind of person I am and what kind of teammate,” Urena said. “Just tried to execute my plan and go out there and have fun and show what I can do.”Urena, tied for the NL lead in hit batters, didn’t plunk anyone on the Nationals, nor did he alter his approach. He struck out four, walked two and retired the last 16 batters. It was his first complete game in 74 big league starts.“If you make a mistake you’ve got to pay,” Urena said of Washington’s lineup. “We tried to move their feet, make them uncomfortable at the plate. Try to attack the inside.”Right-hander Pablo Lopez was originally slated to start Sunday’s game, but manager Don Mattingly opted to push him back to Tuesday and insert Urena.The 26-year-old right-hander’s next start would normally be scheduled for next weekend at home against the Braves. Urena could decide to drop the appeal, serve the suspension and miss that series — after the game Brian Flynn Jersey , he said he’ll maintain the appeal.Starlin Castro got a career-high five hits and scored three times. JT Riddle and J.T. Realmuto each homered and drove in three runs for Miami, with Riddle connecting for the second straight game. Isaac Galloway had three hits, including his first career homer.It was the Marlins’ first series win in Washington since 2014.Trying to keep pace with the Braves and Phillies in the NL East, the third-place Nationals have now lost four of their last five against the last-place Marlins. The Nationals host the Phillies for three games beginning Tuesday night.Gio Gonzalez (7-10) allowed eight runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Over his last 13 starts, Gonzalez is 1-8 with 7.07 ERA.“I think it was in all honesty an ugly game. And everybody saw it,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Gio couldn’t keep us in the game and it got ugly.”Leading 3-1, the Marlins broke it open with a five-run fifth. After Riddle’s sacrifice fly, the Marlins loaded the bases and Rafael Ortega hit a bases-loaded, two-run double off the glove of a diving first baseman Matt Adams to end Gonzalez’s afternoon.Realmuto greeted reliever Greg Holland with a two-run single, making it 8-1.RUNAROUNDAfter a pair of third-inning walks, Castro blooped an RBI single in front of charging center fielder Bryce Harper. Austin Dean then lined a two-run double over the head of Harper Abraham Almonte Jersey , who appeared to misread it off the bat. Later, Harper rushed in and dropped Brian Anderson’s flyball for an error in the seventh.TRAINER’S ROOMMarlins: INF/OF Garrett Cooper (right wrist sprain) went 0 for 3 in a rehab game with Single-A Jupiter on Sunday. He played six innings at first base.Nationals: Martinez said RHP Stephen Strasburg (cervical nerve impingement), who threw a bullpen session Saturday, will come off the DL and start Wednesday vs. the Phillies. “He feels good,” Martinez said. “He says he’s ready.” … Martinez is hopeful that reliever Kelvin Herrera (right rotator cuff impingement) will return for the Phillies series. … RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) threw a bullpen session Saturday.UP NEXTMarlins: Lopez (2-3, 4.79) starts when the Marlins host the Yankees in the first of two games on Tuesday night. It will be his first start against the Yankees.Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (8-12, 4.13) opposes the visiting Phillies on Tuesday night. He’s 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA against the Phillies this season, but 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA overall since the All-Star break.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The first pitch Eric Thames swung at made him look foolish — a looping curveball that bounced at the plate.“I was like http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-ramirez-jersey , ‘OK, see the ball and trust whatever happens, happens,'” Thames said.Thames found what he was looking for, hitting a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth off embattled Rockies closer Wade Davis, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat Colorado 5-3 on Friday night.“I got a pitch to hit and I didn’t miss it,” said Thames, who hit the second walk-off homer of his career. “That was awesome. Seeing it, feeling it with the sweet spot off the bat and then seeing the team’s reaction and the crowd’s Ronald Acuna Jr. Jersey , that was an awesome moment.”Not for Davis. It was his sixth blown save of the season and his second in as many days after losing in St. Louis on Thursday.Davis (1-5) struck out Mike Moustakas to start the inning before allowing a pair of one-out walks. After Jonathan Schoop popped out, Thames hit a 1-1 fastball deep into the right-field bleachers to end it.“I was definitely trying to go about 10 to 12 inches higher,” Davis said. “We had thrown a couple curveballs in a row. I was going to go back to it. I just wanted to get one up and in.”Miller Park continues to be a house of horrors for Davis, who also allowed a walk-off homer to Travis Shaw in his last appearance at Milwaukee with the Cubs on Sept. 23, 2017. It wasn’t forgotten in the dugout.“Our guys were talking about last year when Shaw hit the walk-off against Chicago off Davis: ‘You remember that? Let’s go, let’s get him again,'” Thames said. “We did.”Padres manager Bud Black said he’ll talk with Davis, who has blown his last three save opportunities against the Brewers, but had no plans to replace him.“This happens in baseball. You hate to see it. Wade has been such a great closer throughout his career. He’s been through this http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-sean-newcomb-jersey ,” Black said. “He will respond.”SWEET DREAMSThames’ late heroics turned around what had been a pitchers’ duel in which the Rockies’ German Marquez got the better of Junior Guerra.Marquez allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out nine and retired 15 in a row at one point.Guerra went eight innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six.Guerra had been sent home earlier in Milwaukee’s seven-game road trip to get a good night’s rest because of a late start in the series finale in Los Angeles. The rest of the Brewers straggled home at 6 a.m. local time Friday following a 21-5 loss to the Dodgers that set a franchise record for runs allowed.“I got a good sleep,” Guerra said.STAT LINESCorbin Burnes (2-0) came in with a runner on first in the ninth and retired the side for the win.Christian Yelich homered for Milwaukee, while Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez went deep for the Rockies.MINOR HOLLIDAYOF Matt Holliday went 2 for 4 with a walk in his first appearance for Triple-A Albuquerque since signing a minor-league contract with the Rockies on Monday. The 38-year-old Holliday hit .231 with 19 homers and 64 RBIs last year with the Yankees.TRAINER’S ROOMRockies: The training staff checked LF Gerardo Parra’s left hand after he appeared to jam it when he was caught stealing in the second. He remained in the game. Marquez also received attention from the training staff after being hit by Moustakas’ liner in the sixth, but came back throwing in the upper 90s.Brewers: RHP Matt Albers (right shoulder) has struggled since coming off the disabled list on July 28, giving up eight runs and recording just two outs over three appearances.UP NEXTRockies left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-3, 3.69 ERA) is holding hitters to a .144 average over his last six starts but has been plagued with a lack of run support. Milwaukee rookie Freddy Peralta (4-2, 3.61) faces the Rockies for the second time in his career. His first appearance against them was electric. The right-hander struck out 13 over 5 2/3 innings, taking a no-hitter into the sixth in his MLB debut in Colorado. For the first half of the season Preston Tucker Jersey , Marco Gonzales was a pain in the neck for opposing batters.But recently, it’s a pain in his neck that’s kept Gonzales sidelined.The left-hander has missed his past two starts but threw a 35-pitch session off the mound last Friday and is expected to come off the disabled list Tuesday to start the series opener against the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field.Article continues below ...“I was dealing with some fatigue, some neck aches, some things I was battling through and trying to push through, hoping it would get better,” Gonzales told MLB.com. “So, putting that aside, I think there’s not going to be anything stopping me from returning to what I was doing before.”Gonzales was 12-5 with a 3.37 ERA through his first 21 starts this season. But in August he was 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA in four appearances.“I want to see the same guy we saw in June and July,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He was cruising. He does feel fine physically and is throwing all his pitches in the bullpen. He probably won’t go as long. First time out http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-j.j.-hardy-jersey , you’re probably looking at 75 pitches or something like that. Again, we just want to see him healthy, executing pitches and feeling good about things.”Gonzales admitted being on the DL for the past 10 days while his teammates have tried to stay in the American League playoff race has been frustrating. The Mariners have dropped 7 1 /2 games behind Oakland in the chase for the league’s second and final wild-card berth.“Those are obviously very important starts,” he told MLB.com. “The opponents are very important that we’re going to be facing, so I won’t take it lightly. I’ve been anxious and champing at the bit the past couple weeks as I’ve been waiting to get back out there.”The Padres are scheduled to start right-hander Bryan Mitchell (1-3, 6.58 ERA) in the opener of the two-game series. Mitchell will be making his second start since missing three months with a right elbow impingement. In his first appearance off the DL on Sept. 3, Mitchell allowed one run and two hits in five innings of a 6-2 victory against Arizona.“I’m just trying to take things one start at a time,” Mitchell told MLB.com. “I know nothing’s guaranteed at this point. But it’s definitely a good stepping stone moving forward. (The Arizona game) felt really good after the way the season’s gone for me. I needed that one.”With off days and a six-man rotation, Mitchell has had plenty of rest since his last start.“If they have six or seven days off in between Adam Jones Jersey , it’s not going to hurt them at this point in the season,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “I don’t think we have a huge plan to alter this rotation. (Mitchell) did a solid job (against Arizona), and we want him to continue to build off it.”Neither Mitchell nor Gonzales (12-9, 4.32) has ever faced Tuesday’s opponent before.The Padres swept a two-game series between the teams in late August in San Diego, winning 2-1 and 8-3.
Rich Schultz/Getty ImagesLast winter http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-jake-odorizzi-jersey , the Miami Marlins hung out a "for sale" sign and traded luminaries such as Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Yet they held on to catcher J.T. Realmuto.Realmuto rewarded the Marlins with 21 home runs and an .825 OPS. Needless to say, he'll be among the hottest commodities on the trade market if the Marlins make him available.Speaking on MLB Network Radio, Realmuto's agent, Jeff Barry, indicated his client would not sign an extension with Miami."I think he will definitely be wearing a different uniform by the start of spring training," Barry said.If that's true, where might Realmuto land?Multiple teams could look for an upgrade behind the dish this winter, so expect the Marlins phone lines to light up if and when they dangle their All-Star backstop.Specifically Eddie Rosario Jersey , Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted, "multiple executives [mentioned] the [Houston] Astros as an expected strong player and to a slightly lesser extent the [Los Angeles] Dodgers."Mark Brown/Getty ImagesIt makes sense. The Astros got paltry production behind the plate in 2018 from the trio ofBrian McCann (.212 average), Max Stassi (.226 average) and Martin Maldonado (.231 average). The Dodgers, meanwhile, have little catching depth beyond Austin Barnes (.240 average) with Yasmani Grandal ticketed for free agency.Realmuto won't come cheap. The 27-year-old is under club control through 2020 and should cost any prospective buyer a top prospect plus ancillary pieces.For win-now teams such as Los Angeles and Houston, that's a price worth paying. After winning it all in 2017, the 'Stros were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 American League Championship Series. The Dodgers made it to the World Series for the second consecutive season but haven't hoisted a Commissioner's Trophy since 1988.Catchers of Realmuto's caliber don't come along every year. And there are few teams with "for sale" signs as bright as Miami's.It behooves the Dodgers, Astros and others to be aggressive. ST. LOUIS (AP) — The month of August has been great for rookie pitcher Jack Flaherty and the St. Louis Cardinals.Flaherty allowed just one run in seventh innings and Jose Martinez and Tyler O’Neill homered and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Tuesday night in Mike Shildt’s first game since being promoted to full-time manager.Flaherty (8-6) retired his first 12 batters and gave up one run and four hits with no walks. He is 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA in five August starts. Flaherty has allowed only 14 hits and three runs in 32 innings Robbie Grossman Jersey , walking nine and striking out 38 batters in those starts.The recipe for his success is simple, Flaherty said.“Get ahead and stay ahead. Try not to get into deep counts and try to stay from a 3-2 count,” Flaherty said. “Try to make things happen quick. Move the ball in and out. Trust in my stuff.”A meeting two weeks ago with Cardinals legend Bob Gibson inspired Flaherty.“I got the chance to talk to him,” Flaherty said. “I asked him what his mentality was every time he went out. I haven’t talked to him since then but it’s more on me to reach out to him and than the other way around.”Flaherty improved to 3-1 against the Pirates.“He’s gotten better the more we’ve faced him I think as this season has shown,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “His stuff has gotten better, the consistency of it, the execution of pitches.”The Cardinals have won six of seven and are 20-5 in August. Earlier in the day, St. Louis took off the interim tag on Shildt http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-kyle-gibson-jersey , who was put in charge after Mike Matheny was fired last month a day before the All-Star break.St. Louis is 27-12 under Shildt. He was rewarded with a contract through 2020 after guiding the Cards back into playoff contention.“He’s been doing his thing and he hasn’t tried to do too much,” Flaherty said about Shildt. “He hasn’t tried to change anything. It’s just been him. I think the biggest thing is for everybody to be themselves and he’s done the same thing. I’m just happy for him.”The Pirates have lost eight of 10.Bud Norris pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 32 opportunities.Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first off Ivan Nova (7-9). Martinez connected for his 16th homer after Matt Carpenter reached base on an infield single.“I was trying to drive a ball middle in and he threw it there and I hit it out,” Martinez said.O’Neill hit a 436-foot homer into the left field bleachers in the fourth inning for a 4-0 lead. Martinez singled ahead of O’Neil’s drive.“The command, it was not as sharp as it was last time,” Nova said. “I gave up two two-run homers. The first home run, I thought that was a really good pitch that the guy just jumped on. The other one was down the middle of the plate. It’s frustrating.”Josh Bell scored both runs for the Pirates. He doubled in the fifth and Colin Moran hit an RBI single.Bell drew a leadoff walk from reliever Jordan Hicks in the eighth, took third on a bloop single by Moran and scored on a double play.Paul DeJong was hit by a pitch to start the St. Louis eighth and an apparent two-run homer by Jedd Gyorko was overturned in a crew chief review. Gyorko was given a double and he was pulled because of discomfort in his left groin. Greg Garcia’s single made it 5-2.Gyorko said he hurt himself leaving the batter’s box. He said it’s “tightness” and he will be looked at Wednesday.“I thought it was a home run,” Gyorko said about his hit. “I ran around the bases. I haven’t looked at it yet.”TRAINER’S ROOMPirates: Josh Harrison didn’t start for the second consecutive game after tweaking his left hamstring Saturday running from first to third. He walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and stayed in the game at second base.Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong was put on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain Logan Morrison Jersey , retroactive to Aug. 26. Wong, who injured his hamstring while running out a ground ball in Saturday’s game in Colorado, was batting .244 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 110 games.WACHA STARTStarter Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) left in the third inning with a trainer at Double-A Springfield after allowing five earned runs on six hits in 2 1-3 innings Tuesday against Arkansas. He threw 52 pitches and exited because of fatigue, the Cardinals said. Wacha, who will be evaluated Wednesday, went on the disabled list June 21 and has missed 60 games.ROSTER MOVEWith Wong going on the disabled list, the Cardinals recalled INF Patrick Wisdom from Triple-A Memphis. Wisdom, 27 Tim Tebow Jersey , is batting .288 with 15 home runs and 61 RBI in 107 games for Memphis. Wisdom was purchased from Memphis on Aug. 11 and played in nine games for the Cardinals, batting .333 (4 for 12) with a home run and three RBIs. He had played in 747 career minor league game before his major league debut.UP NEXTPirates: RHP Trevor Williams (10-9, 3.44) has allowed just four runs in his last seven starts covering 42 innings. He is 2-4 with a 6.93 ERA in 10 career appearances, including seven starts against St. Louis. He is 1-2 in four starts this year.Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (13-9, 2.94) allowed a season-high 12 hits and five runs in 4 2-3 innings in last Friday’s start at Colorado. He lost to the Pirates on June 1 at Busch Stadium.
ATLANTA (AP) — After four at-bats Authentic Julio Jones Jersey , DJ LeMahieu was still looking for his first hit and felt he hadn’t made good contact.He was just saving his best swing for extra innings.The Colorado Rockies struck for three runs with two outs in the ninth inning before LeMahieu homered over the center field wall in the 10th Saturday night in a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.LeMahieu’s drive off Luke Jackson cleared the 400-foot mark — the deepest part of the park.“I hadn’t really hit the ball hard all night,” he said. “I was just trying to get on base.”Carlos Gonzalez followed with a double and scored on Nolan Arenado’s single to complete a frustrating blown save for fill-in closer A.J. Minter.Minter came in with a 3-0 lead to begin the ninth and retired the first two Colorado batters. But the Rockies followed with four straight hits, including a two-run double by Ian Desmond and a tying single by pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra.Minter has been Atlanta’s closer since Arodys Vizcaino went on the disabled list last month with shoulder trouble.Braves trainer George Poulis visited Minter on the mound early in the ninth to examine a cut on Minter’s left thumb. Minter said a fingernail caused the cut on his second pitch.“It had nothing to do with the outcome of the game,” Minter said, adding the blown save was “just pretty pathetic on my part. My job was to come in and get three outs, especially in a three-run game Julio Jones Jersey Limited , and I didn’t get the job done.”Braves manager Brian Snitker described Minter, a rookie, as “still a work in progress” while mastering the command of pitches.“It hasn’t been great for a few outings, really,” Snitker said. “He has continued to make pitches and not give in and get through it.”LeMahieu hit his 10th homer with one out in the 10th off Jackson (1-1).The Braves stranded a runner at third base in the ninth when Adam Ottavino (5-2) struck out Dansby Swanson to end the inning. Wade Davis pitched the 10th for his 34th save.The Rockies have won the first three games of the four-game series to stay close to NL West-leading Arizona.The NL East-leading Braves remained one-half game ahead of second-place Philadelphia.Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz gave up four hits in seven innings and struck out nine.Nick Markakis drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single off Antonio Senzatela with two outs in the third inning. Ronald Acuna Jr. had three hits and a walk, scored twice and stole a base. Acuna singled http://www.atlantafalconsteamonline.com/julio-jones-jersey , stole second and scored on Freddie Freeman’s single off Bryan Shaw in the eighth.TRAINER’S ROOMRockies: INF Pat Valaika was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to clear a roster spot for Senzatela, who had been on the 10-day disabled list since Aug. 5 with right shoulder inflammation.Braves: Snitker said LHP Max Fried (left groin strain) will make another rehab start before he’s able to return to Atlanta. He allowed three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday.LEADOFF MAGICAcuna extended his Atlanta franchise-record streak to reaching safely in nine consecutive plate appearances leading off a game when he singled in the first inning. He has four homers, three singles, one walk and a hit by pitch when leading off games over that span.RECORD CROWDThere was occasional light rain but no delay following an afternoon of sometimes heavy downpours. Despite the threatening weather, the sellout of 42,143 set a SunTrust Park record.UP NEXTRockies: RHP German Marquez (10-9 Authentic Matt Ryan Jersey , 4.51) is coming off a win over Justin Verlander and the Astros in Houston on Tuesday. He is 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA since June 30 and is 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in his last five road starts.Braves: RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-3, 3.07) will try to extend his perfect career record against the Rockies. Sanchez is 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in six career starts against Colorado. CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Donaldson hit a grand slam in Triple-A on Monday, soon after the Cleveland Indians put the new arrival on the disabled list to give him more time to rehab a calf injury in the minor leagues.Donaldson connected for Columbus. He walked and lined out before homering against Toledo.The AL Central-leading Indians acquired the 2015 AL MVP from Toronto on Friday. Donaldson has been limited to just 36 games in the majors this year — none since late May — and the Indians are hoping he can get healthy enough to help them in the postseason.Donaldson played third base and batted second in Columbus’ final game of the season. Cleveland manager Terry said Donaldson will work out with the Indians on Tuesday and then join Double-A Akron for the Eastern League playoffs.Francona said multiple meetings took place with Donaldson and the team’s baseball and medical staffs before the decision was made for him to get playing time in the minors before returning to the majors.“When you try to not get over-excited about him being here and getting on the field, we felt like him playing a handful of games would put him in the best position to be healthy where he could come back and play maybe back to back and play multiple games,” Francona said.Donaldson can be activated on Sept. 11. Once he’s been cleared and ready to play for them, the Indians intend to have him at third and slide All-Star Jose Ramirez to second. Jason Kipnis will be moving to the outfield.Francona said both players will begin working out at their new positions this week.“We’ll make that move when they’re ready even if it’s before Donaldson is back with us Matt Ryan Jersey Limited ,” Francona said.The 32-year-old Donaldson hasn’t played in a major league game since May 28.Donaldson took batting practice and did drills at Progressive Field on Sunday. Afterward, he said he was close to being 100 percent.Donaldson won’t be with the Indians when they visit Toronto for a four-game series that begins Thursday.
KANSAS CITY http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-bill-mazeroski-jersey , Mo. (AP) — Heath Fillmyer used a hockey mentality to get a baseball milestone Wednesday night.Fillmyer allowed three singles over seven innings for his first major league win, Adalberto Mondesi and Drew Butera each drove in three, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago Cubs 9-0.Anthony Rizzo drilled Fillmyer (1-1) with a line drive on the left heel on his third pitch, but Fillmyer stuck around and didn’t allow another hit until David Bote and Tommy La Stella singled with one out in the seventh inning.“Did I see it?” Fillmyer said. “I felt it. It felt like a hockey puck off the boot. Coming up, I played a lot of hockey. I knew I had to walk it off a little bit. It shook right off and felt pretty good after that. I didn’t try to think about it to let it bother me.”Royals manager Ned Yost let the right-hander stay in to face left-handed Kyle Schwarber with two out and two on in the seventh, even though lefty Tim Hill was warming in the bullpen. Fillmyer got Schwarber to pop up.“Normally a young pitcher in the seventh inning, you don’t want to put them in a position to lose the game,” Yost said. “I made my mind up he was going to pitch through it. This is his first big league win if he’s going to get in trouble, he’s either going to win it or lose it himself in the seventh inning.”Mondesi belted a 2-0 pitch from Jose Quintana for a three-run homer in the seventh. It was Mondesi’s fourth home run and his first since July 15, a span of 42 at-bats.Butera hit a two-run, two-out double with the bases loaded in the second inning and added a sacrifice fly during a four-run eighth.Jorge Bonifacio Dave Parker Jersey , who entered hitting .103 in his past 16 games, Brett Phillips and Hunter Dozier each had two hits and a walk and combined to score seven runs. Bonifacio had an RBI double in the eighth, while Phillips contributed an RBI triple.Quintana (10-8) dropped to 3-10 in 25 starts against the Royals. He was removed after Mondesi’s homer, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks.“Quintana pitched well up until the seventh there when he gave up those runs,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Two walks got him in trouble. Butera gets it down the line. Other than that, you like to believe you’re going to score more than zero runs and we didn’t.”The Royals snapped a six-game losing streak.DARVISH UPDATECubs RHP Yu Darvish threw a 33-pitch bullpen with his velocity reaching 93 mph.“He looked loose and free to me,” Maddon said. “I thought it was a really good day, no negatives.”Darvish, who the Cubs signed to a six-year $126 million contract in February, has missed 69 games. He last pitched on May 20. Maddon said he anticipates Darvish will throw one more bullpen, and if he has no setback Josh Harrison Jersey , would go on a minor league rehab assignment.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: IF-OF Ben Zobrist (sore hip) was out of the lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game in fifth inning. “Just a little bit sore, just precautionary,” Zobrist. “Let’s rest it and get back to it. It should be no problem at all Friday.”Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (left oblique strain) said he felt no discomfort the day after throwing a 25-pitch bullpen. He is scheduled to throw a 30-35 pitch bullpen Friday while mixing in more offspeed pitches.UP NEXTCubs: After a day off, RHP Kyle Hendricks will start Friday against the Nationals at Wrigley Field.Royals: Continue interleague play with a series beginning Friday against St. Louis. RHP Burch Smith will start the opener. BOSTON — Back on May 31 and June 1, the Boston Red Sox dropped the first two games of a four-game series in Houston, a meeting of two division leaders at that time.Fast forward to this week when the Cleveland Indians, the runaway leaders of the Central Division of the American League, came to Fenway and won the first two of a four-game series between division leaders.Again, the Red Sox, now fairly comfortably ahead in the East, rebounded in Game 3 http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-gregory-polanco-jersey , winning 10-4 Wednesday night — and will go for a series split when Boston left-hander David Price heads to the mound for the matinee series finale.Article continues below ...For the second time in the series, the Indians send a rookie starter out as Adam Plutko faces Price.If history is any indication, it will be a tough assignment for Plutko. Price comes in with a 10-2 record and a 2.24 ERA lifetime against the Indians, and he is also 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last six starts overall.Price said he made “adjustments” that have helped him raise his record to 13-6 to go with a 3.69 ERA.Plutko is 4-3 with a 4.62 ERA in 10 games — including seven starts — for manager Terry Francona. His last time out, he took the loss while turning in a quality start, going seven innings and allowing three hits, three runs and a walk along with six strikeouts in a 4-2 defeat to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.He has never faced the Red Sox, who avoided what would have been their first four-game losing streak of the season and ended only their second three-game skid by pounding out 14 hits, including three homers — two by Xander Bogaerts. The New York Yankees lost, so Boston’s lead atop the East is back to nine games.While Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are getting all kinds of MVP talk, Bogaerts’ two solo shots Wednesday gave him 19 homers and 80 RBIs for the season. He has his 19 homers in 404 at-bats after hitting 10 in 571 at-bats last season.Bogaerts has 23 multi-RBI games in 106 games played and has driven in six in the last three games.The Boston offense had been quiet but woke up against 15-game winner Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland bullpen.“Our mindset hasn’t changed http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-jung-ho-kang-jersey ,” said Boston’s Mitch Moreland, who also homered. “We come in ready to go every day. You couldn’t tell if we won or lost yesterday after we walked in. That’s the beauty of this group.”The bright spot for the Indians on Wednesday night was the return of Edwin Encarnacion from the disabled list. He hit a pair of two-run homers, the first on his first swing off the DL.“Oh man, what a nice way to get him back,” said Francona. “To take a swing like he did the first at-bat, I’m sure helps you just to relax at the plate. So that was really nice to see.”Melky Cabrera is 10-for-32 (.313) with two homers, Jason Kipnis is 8-for-26 and Encarnacion has four homers in 49 career at-bats against Price. But Yan Gomes is just 1-for-18 (.056), Jose Ramirez 1-for-9 (.111) and Michael Brantley 6-for-27 (.222) against the veteran left-hander.Earlier Wednesday, the Indians announced that Leonys Martin, who survived a life-threatening bacterial infection and was released from the hospital Sunday, will miss the rest of the season. They also announced Rajai Davis will be out until after Sept. 1 following an undisclosed non-baseball-related surgery.On Martin Francisco Cervelli Jersey , Francona said, “The news is really good, he is doing fantastic, but he’s not going to play baseball this year. Overall, he has done so well. We’re so thrilled that he’s OK.”
NEW YORK (AP) Three pitches in Miguel Gonzalez Jersey , Ronald Acuna Jr. was off and running.Acuna led off with his first big league triple and reached three times, Johan Camargo hit a two-run double in a three-run third inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 4-2 Thursday night to extend their winning streak to four.Acuna grounded inside the third-base bag and down the line. When left fielder Michael Conforto struggled to find the ball quickly, Acuna sped to third in 11.15 seconds, according to MLB’s Statcast. Acuna slid in headfirst as his helmet came off.”I slowed down at first,” Acuna said through an interpreter. ”I think we were all thinking double, double when it came off the bat, and I don’t think we expected it to take the hop that it did. So, I kind of slowed up at first and kind of turned it up a little bit.”He scored when Ozzie Albies followed with a single. Acuna is hitting .357 (15 for 42) since being moved to the leadoff spot on July 20 and the Braves think the 20-year-old is even quicker than before since returning from a knee injury on June 28.”I just know that when he came back from the injury he’s running faster than he was prior http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-tim-anderson-jersey ,” manager Brian Snitker said. ”He’s got another gear. That speed’s a weapon for him.”Making his second big league start in center, Acuna threw out Wilmer Flores trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth. Flores initially was called safe by second base umpire Gary Cederstrom, but the call was overturned in a video review and Acuna was credited with his first big league outfield assist.Mike Foltynewicz (8-7) won for the first time since July 11, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings. Three pitchers followed with one-hit relief as the Braves improved to 10-3 against the Mets this year.”Just how hard he swings at the ball, kind of reminds me of Bryce Harper a little bit,” Foltynewicz said of Acuna. ”Just very intimidating at the plate and when he puts the play, especially in the gaps, it’s awesome to watch him run.”New York dropped a season-low 18 games under .500 at 44-62. The Mets have lost 41 of their last 60 games overall and 23 of their last 32 home games.Jason Vargas (2-7) allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. He has not pitched past the fifth in any of his 11 starts.”He had to get a few more outs than he probably should have http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-yoan-moncada-jersey , but I thought his stuff was good, crisp, had some swings and miss,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”Kept the ball down for the most part. That’s your typical Vargas. Kept us in the game and did his job”.Todd Frazier returned from a ribcage injury and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game since July 8. He was booed loudly when he hit an inning-ending popup in the sixth that stranded Conforto on third.Brandon Nimmo hit his career-high 14th homer leading off the bottom half of the first, and Freddie Freeman had a go-ahead single in the third as Atlanta took a 4-1 lead. Freeman is hitting .400 (20 for 50) against New York this season.Freeman’s single came after Acuna took second when the Mets could not execute a pickoff play.”I tried to rush a little bit,” Flores said. ”Just kind of got away a little bit.”Pinch-hitter Luis Guillorme singled in a run for the Mets in the fifth.Jesse Biddle pitched a perfect seventh, and Brad Brach struck out Conforto with a runner on second to end the eighth. A.J. Minter worked around a leadoff walk to Flores to remain perfect in seven save chances.FAMILIAR FACES: RHP Kevin Gausman was activated two days, after being acquired from Baltimore and had the locker next to former Orioles teammate Nick Markakis. He also was reunited with infielder Ryan Flaherty and Brad Brach Welington Castillo Jersey , acquired from the Orioles on Sunday. Gausman is slated to make his Braves debut Saturday.TRAINER’S ROOMMets: OF Yoenis Cespedes had surgery to remove bone calcification in his right heel. He will have a second surgery on his left heel in two to three months. … LHP Steven Matz was diagnosed with a flexor-pronator strain in his left forearm and could be placed on the DL. The Mets said they will decide Friday, two days before Matz’s next turn. … INF Phillip Evans was placed on the DL with a broken tibia. He will be on crutches for at least three weeks and will not be able to resume baseball activities for a month. … RHP Bobby Wahl got two outs in the eighth in his Mets debut, his first big league appearance since May 23 last year with Oakland.UP NEXTRHP Anibal Sanchez (5-3, 3.00) is to start for the Braves on Friday, two days after a rainout caused his turn to be pushed back. He is 4-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 13 starts against the Mets. New York RHP Jacob deGrom (5-6, 1.82) is 5-4 with a 1.80 ERA in 15 starts against Atlanta.— TOKYO (AP) — Yuki Yanagita hit a game-ending, two-run home run off Kirby Yates in the ninth inning, and Japan beat the MLB All-Stars 7-6 Friday in the opener of a six-game exhibition series.Juan Soto http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-cliff-pennington-jersey , Carlos Santana and Amed Rosario homered to build a 6-4 lead.Yates relieved Collin McHugh to start the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Seiji Uebayashi, who stole second. Pinch-hitter Tsubasa Aizawa had a one-out RBI single, and Yanagita homered to center two pitches later before 44,943 at Tokyo Dome.“No matter how you look at it, it’s tough to lose a game like that,” MLB manager Don Mattingly said. “You feel like you played well enough to win. … Other than that last inning, I thought we played well.”Rosario had a solo homer in the third and Santana hit a three-run homer in the fifth for a 4-1 lead, but Shogo Akiyama hit a three-double double off Matt Andriese in the bottom half. Soto hit an opposite field two-run homer to left in the sixth.“Before the game Joey Votto Jersey , we talked about getting off to a good start to build up some confidence for the rest of the series,” Akiyama said. “We never felt like we were out of it and knew if we stayed close we’d have a chance to win.”The series continues this weekend with two more games in Tokyo followed by one game in Hiroshima on Tuesday and two games in Nagoya on Wednesday and Thursday.
Omar Rawlings/Getty ImagesAs the ALCS and NLCS wind down http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-jake-odorizzi-jersey , it's hard not to imagine what the 2018 World Series might look like when it begins Tuesday night.As of right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are on track to advance to the Fall Classic, but the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros could come from behind to win their respective series.With both series reaching their conclusions, the World Series pitching rotation for each team is starting to look clearer.Among the potential World Series pitching matchups are a showdown of aces, a clash of managerial styles and a whole other group of possibilities that would have baseball fans salivating in anticipation. 2018 World Series ScheduleGame 1:Tuesday, October 23 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 2:Wednesday, October 24 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 3:Friday, October 26 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 4:Saturday, October 27 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 5:Sunday, October 28 (Time TBD Eddie Rosario Jersey , Fox)Game 6:Tuesday, October 30 (Time TBD, Fox)Game 7:Wednesday, October 31 (Time TBD, Fox) Potential Pitching MatchupsChris Sale vs. Clayton KershawIf the Dodgers return to the World Series, Clayton Kershaw would be their ideal Game 1 starter.Kershaw just threw in Game 5 of the NLCS, so if he makes an appearance in Game 6 or 7 it would have to be a brief one with the World Series opener in the back of everyone's minds.The Los Angeles left-hander has given up five earned runs over 18 innings in the 2018 postseason and he's struck out 14 batters in starts against Atlanta and Milwaukee.Last year in the World Series, Kershaw made three appearances, two of which were starts in Games 1 and 5.Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesGiven the flexibility of the Dodgers' rotation, Kershaw could be set for a duel of baseball's top left-handers later in a series against the Boston Red Sox.Chris Sale is expected to start Game 6 if the Red Sox have to go back to Boston to finish off the ALCS, which means he wouldn't be ready to go for Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday.A more likely scenario for a Sale-Kershaw showdown would feature them going head-to-head in Game 5, with Sale throwing on one less day of rest.A Game 2 start in the World Series would differ from what Sale is used to, as he took the mound for Game 1 of the three playoff series he's participated in as a member of the Red Sox.Since giving up seven earned runs in Game 1 of the 2017 ALDS against Houston, Sale's conceded six earned runs in 15 postseason innings.The hype alone for the clash between Sale and Kershaw would be massiveand Robbie Grossman Jersey , based off their recent playoff performances, the southpaw showdown would deliver in quality.Justin Verlander vs. Milwaukee's BullpenThe emergence of Milwaukee's pitching strategy is one of the most intriguing stories of the 2018 postseason.Manager Craig Counsell has relied on his bullpen for the majority of the NLCS, and he caught headlines in Game 5when he used Wade Miley to pitch against one batter before calling on his relievers to do the rest of the work on the mound.Since Counsell isn't expected to change his approach if the Brewers advance to the World Series, it will bring about a clash of styles against either the Astros or Red Sox.The ultimate strategical difference would come against the Astros and Justin Verlander, who hasn't given up more than three earned runs in his last 12 postseason starts.Tim Bradbury/Getty ImagesVerlander should add to that streak in Game 5 of the ALCS, as he attempts to keep Houston alive in its attempt to get back to the World Series.If Verlander takes on the Brewers, he would most likely oppose three or four different pitchers, beginning with whichever hurler Counsell relies on to start the game.It's an intriguing matchup that pits conventional pitching wisdom against a new idea that's gaining traction, and it would be the talk of the national audience, especially among those who haven't paid close attention to the new bullpen-first approaches used across baseball.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference. PHOENIX — This spring, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black told his players they are good enough to win anywhere.Words to live by.The Rockies won their franchise-record 42nd road game with a 6-2 comeback victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first game of a three-game series on Friday, maintaining their status in the tight NL West and wild-card races while putting the Diamondbacks in an even more precarious position.Article continues below ...“My message to the team, as far back as spring training http://www.twinsfanproshop.com/authentic-kyle-gibson-jersey , is we’re a good team no matter where we play,” said Black, who led his team to an NL wild-card berth in his first season with the Rockies in 2007.“On the road. In the cold. In the heat. In the rain. In the wind. It doesn’t matter. We can win. And we should win if we play our game, if we play the way the Rockies need to play. I think our guys understand that.”Colorado right-handed Antonio Senzatela (5-6, 4.81 ERA) will face Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin (11-6, 3.09) in the second game of the series Saturday.The Diamondbacks, who led the NL West on Sept. 1, have lost 10 of their last 13 games and have dropped six games behind the division-leading Dodgers and 5 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot.Colorado closed to within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West, and the Rockies are 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals for the second wild-card berth.The Rockies rallied for four two-out runs in the eighth inning off four Arizona pitchers for the fourth victory over the Diamondbacks in the last five meetings. It was a pick-me-up for an offense that had scored only nine runs in the previous six games.“I’d like to say that we have really hit the ball hard, but honestly I can’t,” Black said. “It’s been a little difficult, but tonight was a good sign. We’ve had some opportunities on this trip and we haven’t got the key hit.“But we have to let that go. We have to turn the page on the last seven days and go from there.”Arizona manager Torey Lovullo returned his regulars to the lineup after giving his top four hitters — Paul Goldschmidt, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock and Eduardo Escobar — an unexpected day off Wednesday Logan Morrison Jersey , when the Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 9-1 and got homers from Christian Walker, Chris Owings and Jeff Mathis.They did not get a runner past second base after Peralta’s two-run homer in the first inning Friday.Colorado again played without All-Star shortstop Trevor Story, and there is no announced timeline for his return. He has missed three games in a row after suffering a right elbow injury in a game against the Dodgers last Monday.Story took early batting practice before Friday’s game and did some throwing, but he will not be rushed.“This is still an injury that if you push it you could go backwards,” Black said, adding, “the thinking is that another day, maybe the next two or three days” until Story might return “I think it is going to depend on some of the tests Trevor does during the game in the training room. How he reports tomorrow. Today was encouraging, just because he had a bat in his hand. He was taking batting practice. He had a glove on his hand. He was making some throws. And he did this with the confidence that he’ll play at some point in the next 10 games. “I wish I could tell you when.”Senzatela has made 11 starts this season after joining the rotation on July 3. His first was his best – three hits over seven scoreless innings in an 8-1 victory over San Francisco at Coors Field. He has faced the Diamondbacks twice as a starter and once in relief this season, going 0-3 while allowing 10 runs in 14 innings. He was the loser in the only game the Rockies lost to Arizona in their last series at Coors Field, giving up seven hits and four runs in six innings of a 6-3 loss. Senzatela, in his second year, is 0-4 with a 7.66 ERA in seven career outings, including three starts Tim Tebow Jersey , against the Diamondbacks and 0-2 in Chase Field.Corbin is having the best year of his career in every measurable except victories, mostly because he has received an average of fewer than four runs per game. It is the seventh-lowest support among qualifiers.He has a career-high 235 strikeouts, the first time he has exceeded 200, and has walked only 43. Only the Mets’ Jacob deGrom and Washington’s Max Scherzer have a better strikeout-to-walk ratio. Corbin’s 1.03 WHIP ranks fourth.Corbin will face the Rockies for the fourth time this season, the second time at Chase Field. He won the season opener at home 8-2, giving up two runs in 5 2/3 innings, and has two no-decisions at Coors Field. He is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA against Colorado this season and is 8-3 with a 4.63 ERA in 20 career appearances, including 19 starts, against them.Nolan Arenado has hit two homers off Corbin this season and DJ LeMahieu has one.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With a bottle of bubbly at his feet and a baseball with the inscription “300 Ks” in a case in his locker http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-reyes-jersey , Max Scherzer allowed himself a moment to consider what he’d just accomplished.“It was something I dreamed of, reaching this mark,” Scherzer said, “because I know how hard it is to consistently go out there and strike guys out.”Scherzer became the 17th pitcher since 1900 to strike out 300 batters in a season, reaching that milestone by fanning 10 in seven innings Tuesday night during the Washington Nationals‘ otherwise meaningless 9-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.“A big number,” Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said, “when you’re talking about strikeouts.”Scherzer (18-7) lowered his ERA to 2.53 by allowing one run in seven innings as he bids for a third consecutive NL Cy Young Award; he also won the 2013 honor in the AL for Detroit. He threw 70 of his 100 pitches for strikes, gave up five hits and didn’t walk a batter.The righty reached 300 by getting Austin Dean to whiff on an 85-mph slider at the end of a 10-pitch at-bat for the second out of the seventh. Scherzer pumped his fist while much of the announced crowd of 26,483 — including his wife, Erica May-Scherzer — joined players in the home dugout and home bullpen by saluting the ace with a standing ovation.“I definitely wanted to do it here at home,” said the 34-year-old Scherzer, who is currently slated to make one more start, in Sunday’s season finale at Colorado. “The fans — unbelievable support.”They would chant, “Let’s go, Max!” They would rise and cheer when he had two strikes on a hitter. They would emit a collective “Awwwwwww” when a pitch near the plate was ruled a ball — or even when a pitch resulted in any sort of out that wouldn’t add to his strikeout total.Sweating profusely on a muggy Jeurys Familia Jersey , 78-degree evening, Scherzer had all of his repertoire working, from the 97-mph fastballs he threw past Lewis Brinson for strikeouts in the fourth and seventh innings, to the 84-mph changeup that JT Riddle missed for a K leading off the game.As is Scherzer’s wont, he stalked around the grass after strikeouts.Asked whether he considered pulling his famously intense pitcher before No. 300, Nationals manager Dave Martinez laughed.“I value my life,” Martinez joked. “He was going to get 10 today, somehow.”Scherzer now has 10 strikeouts or more in a majors-high 18 of his 33 starts in 2018, and 82 such games for his career.He got Dean by throwing fastball after fastball with a full count, then getting him to chase a slider.“That’s probably where you can see Max has become a more complete pitcher than he was earlier in his career,” Wieters said, “where he was able to go with the slider and execute it and realize that with where that fastball was starting, (Dean is) going to be way out in front of it.”Dean’s take?“He’s the best pitcher in baseball,” the Marlins rookie said.The case certainly can be made. This is, after all Mike Piazza Jersey , a guy with two no-hitters and a 20-strikeout game on his resume, along with the Cy Youngs.Scherzer entered Tuesday ranked No. 1 in the NL in eight significant statistical categories, including strikeouts, strikeouts-to-walks ratio (5.69), opponents’ batting average (.188) and innings pitched (213 2/3). He was also tied for No. 1 in two others: wins and quality starts (27).The expectation is that Scherzer and New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom are the main Cy Young contenders in the NL. DeGrom is 9-9 with a 1.77 ERA and single-season records of 23 consecutive quality starts and 28 starts in a row allowing three or fewer earned runs.“There’s more to pitching than just striking guys out,” Scherzer said, “but also, it is a big reason why you can have success.”RENDON AND HARPERNationals 3B Anthony Rendon hit a three-run shot in the first inning off Jeff Brigham (0-4), increasing his season totals to 24 homers and 90 RBIs and extending his streak of reaching base to 33 straight games. Rendon added an RBI double in the seventh, when Washington batted around and tacked on six runs. … Bryce Harper scored twice to surpass 100 runs for the season; he already had a career-best 100 RBIs and more than 100 walks. Harper can become a free agent in the offseason, so Wednesday’s series finale could be the 2015 NL MVP’s last home game at Nationals Park.UP NEXTThe Nationals will give 26-year-old RHP Kyle McGowin his first start in the majors Wednesday. Miami will start LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-11, 4.66 ERA). DETROIT (AP) — The Chicago Cubs know all too well what Daniel Murphy can do at the plate.So they are very much looking forward to playing alongside him for a change.The Cubs bolstered their struggling lineup by acquiring Murphy in a trade with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.The 33-year-old Murphy has a .413 career batting average at Wrigley Field, according to STATS. He was the NL Championship Series MVP when the Mets swept the Cubs in 2015, hitting .529 with four homers and six RBIs.“It’s going to be more fun to watch him hit,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at Detroit. “He kind of devastated us in 2015.”The Cubs also announced that Yu Darvish will miss the rest of the season because of a stress reaction in his right elbow.Darvish left his rehab start for Class A South Bend on Sunday after just one inning.“Hopefully it turns out well to get him back next year from Day 1 http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-jose-reyes-jersey ,” Maddon said. “It’s been a very difficult year, obviously, for him to have to endure the physical and maybe some of the emotional, mental pain.”Darvish, who turned 32 on Thursday, signed a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago in February. But he made just eight starts in his first year with the Cubs, going 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA.The deal for Murphy comes at an opportune time for NL Central-leading Chicago, which has scored one run in five straight games on five home runs.Third baseman Kris Bryant is on the disabled list with an inflamed left shoulder, and shortstop Addison Russell was scratched from Tuesday’s loss because of right shoulder inflammation.“Having Daniel in the field with the rest of the guys will be a big help,” Maddon said.The Cubs got Murphy for Class A infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named or cash, grabbing the attention of the team as it prepared for the matchup with Detroit.“This is obviously something that makes us better so they’re all jacked up,” Maddon said. “I walked in the food room, grabbing some salad, and (Ben) Zobrist is looking at the TV and he said Wilmer Flores Jersey , ‘We got Daniel Murphy!’ He was smiling.“I thought he was messing with me. He didn’t know until he saw it. That was legitimate expression of joy, knowing we got Daniel Murphy. I thought that was kind of cool.”Murphy missed the start of the year after undergoing right knee surgery on Oct. 20. He is eligible for free agency after this season.The three-time All-Star is hitting .300 with six homers and 29 RBIs in 56 games.“It’s really bittersweet,” he said in Washington before joining his new team. “I sat at this podium probably two and a half years ago. The Washington Nationals were the only offer I had. They took a chance on me three years ago and I feel very disappointed in myself that it kind of came to this point.”Murphy spent the first seven seasons of his 10-year career with the Mets. He is a .299 career hitter with 116 homers, 327 doubles and 628 RBIs.“One of the best teammates I’ve ever played with,” Nationals star Bryce Harper said.Murphy has been particularly good since the All-Star break, batting .340 in his last 28 games. He was surprised to be claimed, figuring he would end up staying in Washington.Maddon, and his players, were thrilled the front office was able to add him to the roster.“He’s kind of like exactly what we need right now,” Maddon said. “That kind of an at-bat near the top of the order.”
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich has hit for the cycle for the second time this season http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-jim-bunning-jersey , setting a major league record by doing it twice against one team.The Milwaukee Brewers‘ slugger completed his cycle Monday night with a sixth-inning triple against the Reds. Yelich also hit for the cycle when he went 6 for 6 on Aug. 29 in Cincinnati, making him the fifth player to accomplish the feat twice in one season — and first in Brewers history.He became the first major leaguer to do it twice in one year against the same team.The previous player with two cycles in one season was Aaron Hill in 2012.Yelich singled in the first inning, doubled in the second, launched a two-run homer in the fifth and added a two-run triple in the sixth. With the Brewers nursing a large lead, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.Yelich’s huge second half has turned him into a top contender for the NL MVP award. Milwaukee began the night with a three-game lead in the NL wild-card race. ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels nearly came through with a no-hitter in a bullpen game.However, Blake Parker gave up Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s single to right with one out in the eighth inning for Texas’ first hit and the Angels held on for a 1-0 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night.“I left that ball up to Isiah Kiner-Falefa Jim Thome Jersey ,” Parker said. “If I get that down, it’s probably a ground ball.”The Angels’ starting rotation was decimated by injuries this season, paving the way for what was the fifth bullpen game of the season. Jim Johnson made his second career start and pitched 1 1/3 innings. He was followed by Noe Ramirez, Hansel Robles, Cam Bedrosian, Justin Anderson and Jose Alvarez, who combined to get through seven innings without giving up a hit.Parker found difficulty in the eighth. After Kiner-Falefa’s single to break up the bid http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-scott-kingery-jersey , he got pinch hitter Ronald Gumzan to fly out to left field, then allowed a sharp single by Rougned Odor. Scioscia opted to change pitchers, and those two hits would be all the Rangers could muster. The Angels got out of the inning on a nice defensive play at third base by Kaleb Cowart with runners on second and third.“(Odor) was out front a little bit and he got some good wood on it and it fell in,” Parker said. “I was glad (Ty) Buttrey came in and nailed that down for us and kept us in it.”As he walked off the mound, Parker looked to the sky and smacked his hand lightly in his glove in obvious disappointment he wasn’t able to keep the no-hitter going.Ramirez (5-5) got the win, and Buttrey earned the save.“They made some great plays behind their pitchers, and I thought their pitchers did a heck of a job retiring 12 in a row at one point Odubel Herrera Jersey ,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We had a couple opportunities early but couldn’t cash in. We stayed in the game well. During the eighth, we gave ourselves an opportunity.”Jose Fernandez hit his first career home run for the Angels in the second inning, adding another milestone to the 30-year-old Cuban’s rookie season after making his major league debut June 8.“I feel very proud of what I accomplished and helped the team to win,” Fernandez said through a translator. “I’m very happy to be here. It’s a great moment.”Catcher Joe Hudson made his major league debut for the Angels, calling a game for eight pitchers in a shutout and near milestone game.Hudson obviously knew the no-hitter was on the line, and he figured it would happen as the game wore on.“I’d be lying if I told you no,” he said. “I had a good feeling we’d get through it after the seventh. Almost.”Adrian Sampson (0-1) made his first start for the Rangers this season and second career start. His last previous start was with Seattle in 2016 http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-jorge-alfaro-jersey , but his career went off track when warming up for what was supposed to be his second start with the Mariners. He was injured, had to have surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon and worked his way back.Sampson allowed Fernandez’s homer among two hits in five innings.Fernandez got the silent treatment from his teammates when he walked through the dugout, arms outstretched looking for teammates to high-five. When he got to the end of the dugout, Mike Trout splashed him in the face with a cup of water.“He actually said that a few days ago so I was expecting that,” Fernandez said. “He wanted my first home run to be celebrated that way, throwing water on my face.”ANGELS BULLPEN GAMES ARE A THINGThe eight pitchers used in a nine-inning shutout ties the major league record last done by the Angels on Aug. 30, 2014 Josh Bell Jersey , against Oakland.LAST NO-NOJered Weaver threw the last no-hitter for the Angels on May 2, 2012, against Minnesota.LONG TIME BETWEEN STARTSJohnson made his last start in his major league debut with Baltimore in 2006. He made 666 relief appearances between starts.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: RHP Nick Tropeano (right shoulder inflammation) will have a plate-rich plasma injection Friday and after 10 days begin his rehab program. He will not return this season.UP NEXTRangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (8-4, 6.22 ERA) is 1-3 over his last five starts after a 7-1 stretch before that. He faced the Angels once this year, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings but was not involved in the decision of the Rangers’ 4-2 win Aug. 19.Angels: RHP Felix Pena (2-4, 4.04 ERA) got the win in his last start Friday after allowing two runs in seven innings with six strikeouts and no walks in Chicago He makes his first career appearance against the Rangers and 15th start of the season.
While five postseason tickets have already been punched on the American League side of things http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-robin-roberts-jersey , there's still a lot to be sorted out in the National League.The Atlanta Braves are the only team that has clinched a spot so far, securing the NL West title over the fading Philadelphia Phillies this past weekend.That leaves two division titles and two wild-card spots yet to be decided, and there are five teams battling for those four playoff berths.Here's a look at where things stand among relevant NL teams:Division LeadersNL East:Atlanta Braves (89-68); clinched divisionNL Central:Chicago Cubs (91-66); 0.5-game lead in divisionNL West:Los Angeles Dodgers (88-70); 0.5-game lead in division Wild-Card Standings1.Milwaukee Brewers (91-67)2.Colorado Rockies (87-70)3.St. Louis Cardinals (87-71)OverviewDustin Bradford/Getty ImagesAccording to FanGraphs, the current playoff odds for the five teams still trying to clinch are: Cubs (100.0 percent), Brewers (100.0 percent), Dodgers (94.6 percent), Rockies (66.7 percent) andCardinals (38.8 percent).All five teams are within a half-game of a postseason spot, and that leaves the possibility open for some potential tiebreaker situations beyond Game 162:Jeff Passan JeffPassanCubs 91-66Brewers 91-67Braves 89-68Dodgers 88-70Rockies 87-70Cards 87-71Cool: Real possibility of Game 163s Monday in Chicago and LA for NL Central/West titles.Cooler: Three-way tie where Cards host NLW Game 163 loser for second WC.Coolest: Six-way tie with 91 wins.Here's a look at the remaining schedule for those five teams:CHC:vs. PIT (2), vs. STL (3)MIL:at STL (1), vs. DET (3)STL: vs. MIL (1), at CHC (3)LAD:at ARI (1), at SF (3)COL:vs. PHI (2), vs. WAS (3)In the NLCentral Tug McGraw Jersey , the Cubs and Cardinals have both lost two in a row, while the Brewers have won three straight to pull within a half-game of the Cubs.The Rockies are the hottest team of the bunch with a five-game winning streak to their credit, but the Dodgers have the best record in their last 10 games at 7-3.With so many different potential matchups for the Wild Card Game, let's take a run through how each team has performed this season against the other four contenders:CHC:11-8 vs. MIL, 7-9 vs. STL, 4-3 vs. LAD, 3-3 vs. COLMIL:8-11 vs. CHC, 9-8 vs. STL, 3-4 vs. LAD, 5-2 vs. COLSTL:9-7 vs. CHC, 8-9 vs. MIL, 4-3 vs. LAD, 5-2 vs. COLLAD: 3-4 vs. CHC Drew Hutchison Jersey , 4-3 vs. MIL, 3-4 vs. STL, 12-7 vs. COLCOL: 3-3 vs. CHC, 2-5 vs. MIL. 2-5 vs. STL, 7-12 vs. LADThe Brewers would appear to have the easiest road ahead with three games left against the 93-loss Detroit Tigers.The Dodgers will face a highly-motivated spoiler in the rival San Francisco Giants at ATT Park, and despite a disappointing season overall, the Giants actually lead the season series 9-7 thus far.While the Washington Nationals have been playing well of late with a 13-10 record in September, the Rockies took three of four from them earlier this year.And it just doesn't get any better than Cubs vs. Cardinals at Wrigley Field to close out the season with both teams fighting for a spot. All stats courtesy ofBaseball Reference, and accurate through Sept. 25. The St. Louis Cardinals will be sorry to see the calendar page change.The Cardinals completed a major league-best 22-6 August with a 12-5 victory over the visiting Reds on Friday night. The only time the Cardinals have had a better August was in 1944 (23-4) and that team won the World Series.St. Louis has posted the most wins in the majors since the All-Star break (28) and remains atop the National League wild-card standings. The Cardinals trail the Chicago Cubs by 3 1/2 games in the National League Central Division.Article continues below ...Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong homered for St. Louis Friday night and rookie Austin Gomber improved to 5-0 after giving up two runs on 10 hits in seven innings.Gomber allowed two runs on four straight singles in the first inning before settling in.“To kind of lay an egg in the first inning – I feel like I let them hit me in in the face,” Gomber told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’ve always been taught you come out swinging and don’t be the first one to get hit in the face.”He got the runs back with a two-run double as part of a four-run St. Louis second.Reds starter Homer Bailey’s struggles continued. He allowed seven runs — three earned — in five innings while falling to 1-13 with a 6.13 ERA on the season while surrendering his 22nd and 23rd home runs. The Reds have lost 18 of his 19 starts.“He’s come back from injury,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s getting closer and closer to what he can be. As he goes through it, he’s not getting away with anything. Hitters are all over his stuff.“He’s had a combination of back luck and hitters hitting his mistakes.”Right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon (0-0, 2.08 Larry Bowa Jersey , one save) will be recalled from Triple-A Memphis to start Saturday’s game for the Cardinals. In his last start, on Aug. 21 against the Dodgers, he allowed a run on five hits over four innings in a St. Louis win.He burst into the majors on July 23 with seven no-hit innings against the Reds before being lifted after throwing 116 pitches.Right-hander Luis Castillo (7-11, 5.07) starts for Cincinnati. He’s struggled in August, going 1-3 with a 5.57 ERA. In his last start, he allowed five runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Cubs. It was his shortest outing since April 27.“They were on him pretty good,” Riggleman told the Enquirer after the game. “I just didn’t feel like it was any use to waste ammo having him just throw pitches for the sake of throwing pitches. It just wasn’t working today.”Castillo has not faced the Cardinals this season and is 0-3 with a 4.55 ERA in five starts versus them in his career.Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said injured outfielder Marcell Ozuna (shoulder) likely will come off the disabled list on Saturday.“As to what his role would be, I’m not sure exactly,” Shildt told the Post-Dispatch, “but he will be activated in all likelihood (Saturday).
CLEVELAND (AP) — Terry Francona’s emotions are still raw and real. The postseason pain hasn’t subsided just yet.Still feeling a “sting” after another successful season for Cleveland ended in disappointment and well short of a World Series title Dave Concepcion Jersey , Francona tried to explain on Wednesday why his team looked so overmatched against the Houston Astros.Francona didn’t have all the answers — and he got annoyed at one point while defending star Jose Ramirez — but if October has taught anything to the two-time Series winner with Boston, it’s that only one manager won’t get second-guessed when the playoffs end.“When you win you’re smart, and when you lose you’re dumb,” Francona said. “That’s kind of the way it is. You have one chance to do it, so you do it to the best of your ability and you have the confidence to come answer the questions and move on. But also move on trying to learn from what you didn’t do good enough.”The Indians weren’t close to being good enough against the Astros, who had little trouble sweeping the AL Central champions in three games. Houston outscored Cleveland 21-6 and outhit, outpitched and simply outplayed the Indians in every aspect.Francona didn’t offer any excuses for his team’s lackluster performance, but he got defensive when pressed about second baseman Jose Ramirez, whose late-season slump carried into the AL Division Series.Ramirez went hitless in 11 at-bats, continuing a slide that began in mid-August and cost the All-Star any chance of being named MVP this season.“He got himself into a predicament and he couldn’t get himself out of it,” Francona said. “It’s hard to figure out because a guy can be that good, that dominant and then he just couldn’t get … he kept peeling off balls even when he got pitches to hit. He kind of peeled off and he knew it and he watched video and he just couldn’t get the feeling of staying through the ball.”And while Ramirez Pete Rose Jersey , who batted .167 after Aug. 19, wasn’t the only player who struggled — the Indians batted .144 as a team against the Astros — he became an almost automatic out in a lineup that had counted on him most of the season.Francona stiffened when a reporter said Ramirez “killed” the Indians.“What do you mean it killed us? ” Francona snapped. “We won the division by 15 games.”Francona said Ramirez tried to make adjustments, but they didn’t work. Francona was then asked if one of his coaches should be held accountable for one of the team’s top hitters failing.Again, Francona bristled.“I think that’s a reaction,” Francona said. “I think maybe you would like that. Let me answer. That to me is a very reactionary move. It’s a small sample, and it hurt like crazy losing. Yet, we were probably in the upper tier in just about every offensive category.”Team president Chris Antonetti pointed out that the Indians outscored the Astros, and general manager Mike Chernoff added that Cleveland finished third in the AL in runs.Francona said he expects all of his coaches to return, but believes some on his staff could be interviewed for jobs elsewhere.Beyond Ramirez’s issues, Cleveland’s leaky bullpen, which was a constant headache for Francona, must be addressed in the offseason.Cody Allen http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-ken-griffey-jersey , the team’s career saves leader, former All-Star reliever Andrew Miller and left-hander Oliver Perez are all eligible for free agency. Antonetti said it’s possible Danny Salazar, Nick Goody and Cody Anderson, all of whom were all sidelined by injuries this season, could come back and help in relief roles.Cleveland’s rotation is set with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Mike Clevinger all under contract (the Indians have options on Carrasco in 2019 and 2020), so Antonetti and Chernoff don’t have to worry about chasing free agent arms.The biggest offseason challenge may be closing the gap to the defending champion Astros, who seem on another level.Francona doesn’t think Houston has anything Cleveland lacks.“They won 101 games, we won 91. I think their division was better. So over the course of a long season, they were better than us,” he said. “That doesn’t mean you can’t win a short series. Their two starting pitchers we faced the first two days were virtually unhittable. If you kind of simplify it Tony Perez Jersey , we got three hits off of their first two pitchers, and I actually thought we had a pretty good approach. We didn’t chase much. If we’d have chased, we might not have gotten any hits. We were pretty disciplined in the zone.“Their stuff was off-the-charts good. You can talk about intangibles, you can talk about analytics. Analytically, those first two guys are really good. That makes you look a lot smarter.” A couple veteran pitchers who are finishing strong after a rough season will square off Friday night in Detroit.Kansas City’s Ian Kennedy and Detroit’s Francisco Liriano have a combined 7-18 record with ERAs above 4.50. Yet both have delivered a couple quality starts this month.Kennedy (2-8, 4.73 ERA) faced Minnesota in back-to-back starts after returning from a left oblique strain that put him out of commission for nearly two months. He pitched six innings and limited the Twins to one earned run in each of those outings.Article continues below ...Kennedy snapped his 17-game winless streak in his most recent start Saturday.“I just knew it was a really long time,” Kennedy told MLB.com. “It was a matter of time before it happened. Sometimes it’s out of your control. There are some times when I pitch bad and sometimes when you pitch good and things don’t work out. I was just happy to come back from the disabled list and pitch well.”Liriano (5-10, 4.54 ERA) had a similar stretch this season. When he posted a victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 4, it snapped a streak of 17 consecutive appearances without a win.He also picked up the victory in his last outing Sunday, holding Cleveland to three runs and five hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts. It helped that the Indians rested their regulars after clinching the American League Central the previous day.Liriano, 34, will become a free agent at the end of the season. He’s hoping to land another contract and a solid September won’t hurt.“It’s important to finish strong http://www.redsfanproshop.com/authentic-homer-bailey-jersey ,” he told the Detroit News. “Not just for me but for the whole team. Just want to finish strong and then see what happens next year.”Tigers rookie left fielder Christin Stewart is certainly finishing strong. Stewart hit the first two homers of his career during the first two innings in the opener of the four-game series. The Tigers won the slugfest 11-8 in a game featuring seven homers.“I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life,” said Stewart, who drove in six runs.Stewart hit 23 homers at Triple-A Toledo before his September call-up.“Big smile on his face, I know that, and big home runs for us,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “This kid’s had a heck of a year and it hasn’t gone great for him so far offensively (with Detroit) and that just shows you a little bit of what he can do. He can get the barrel on the ball and put it in the seats.”Detroit was swept in a three-game home series by Minnesota before handing Kansas City its 101st loss this season.“We had a good night,” Gardenhire said. “We had a lot of guys swinging the bats and running around after a really bad series against the Twins, where they kicked our butts. It was nice to come back here and win a ballgame.”Liriano is 1-0 with a 2.28 ERA in four starts versus Kansas City this season and 8-5, 3.94 in 23 games (20 starts) in his career. Kennedy is 3-4, 3.59 in 10 starts versus Detroit, including a no-decision this season when he pitched six scoreless innings in the Royals’ 4-2 victory May 4.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The pitch from Bob Uecker was Darryl Strawberry Jersey , predictably, just a bit outside.The Milwaukee Brewers announcer is always good for a laugh, even before the first game of the NL Championship Series.“Bob will be throwing out the (ceremonial) first pitch tonight,” a press conference moderator said as Uecker walked to a podium a couple hours before the Brewers hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park.“I am,” the straight-faced Uecker joked quizzically.There is perhaps no better ambassador for Brewers baseball than the 84-year-old Uecker.Fittingly, he’s known by the nickname “Mr. Baseball.”In his 48th season calling Brewers games, Uecker is beloved in his hometown of Milwaukee for his dry wit and entertaining calls.The Brewers have two statues dedicated to Uecker at Miller Park, including one in the last row of the upper deck that commemorates one of Uecker’s commercials for Miller Lite in which he repeated the phrase “I must be in the front row!”He remains an important member of the Brewers, considered as much a part of the organization as MVP candidate Christian Yelich or veteran outfielder Ryan Braun.A Hall of Fame broadcaster, Uecker can relate to the current generation of players in different ways.First off, he’s a former major league catcher http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-jacob-degrom-jersey , having played six years with three teams. His career ended in 1967, when the lifetime .200 hitter managed just a .150 average playing with the Phillies and Braves.“Well, I think for the most part they know that I played, and I think that’s where the relation really comes in,” Uecker said.“I’ve been on the same side where you’ve got a 10-game losing streak. You’ve got to talk to the press. It’s not sometimes the most pleasant thing, but you have to do it. And I know what that’s like,” he added.He also starred in the TV series “Mr. Belvedere” and the movie “Major League,” two sequels to the baseball franchise – though don’t get him started on the third one.“The third one stunk,” he said. “It was really bad. I could have played in that one.”But he is thoroughly enjoying the Brewers’ run to the NLCS in their first postseason appearance since 2011.“And I think the bottom line is that Bob … belongs in a baseball clubhouse. He fits. He gets it,” manager Craig Counsell said. “His sense of humor doesn’t have an age span.”__ SAN FRANCISCO — The hero of Tuesday’s win with the bat will be rewarded with two extra days off to rest his arm when the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres complete a three-game series on Wednesday night.Madison Bumgarner delivered a game-winning, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 12th inning on Tuesday night Nolan Ryan Jersey , recording the first walk-off hit of his career.The single to left field through a drawn-in infield scored Gorkys Hernandez, who had led off the 12th with a triple.Article continues below ...The hit improved Bumgarner’s career average as a pinch hitter to .400 (4-for-10). The RBI was his first in that role.The RBI was the 58th of Bumgarner’s career overall, 21 more than any other pitcher since he debuted for the Giants in 2009.It wasn’t the first time this season that Bumgarner was chiefly responsible for a Giants win over San Diego. He threw eight innings of shutout ball the only time he pitched against the Padres in a 3-0 win on June 21.Nonetheless, the Giants have scratched Bumgarner from his scheduled start against San Diego on Wednesday in order for him to face the rival Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.Right-hander Casey Kelly (0-2, 2.89) will face the Padres instead.The first-year Giant has gone up against the Padres twice in relief in his career, allowing just two hits and no runs in 3 1/3 innings without getting a decision. Both those appearances were for the Atlanta Braves in 2016.Tuesday’s dramatic win came a little more than 24 hours after the Giants made the first of what is expected to be a series of major moves before the start of the 2019 season on Monday, firing general manager Bobby Evans.Hunter Pence, a free agent at season’s end and high on the projected list of Giants castoffs, contributed two hits, including a home run, and scored three of the club’s five runs in Tuesday’s win.Pence has taken advantage of increased playing time since the team dealt Andrew McCutchen to the New York Yankees last month http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-tom-seaver-jersey , going 9-for-his-last-23 (.391) with one double, two homers and four RBIs in his last six games.The 35-year-old, an inspirational leader in two of the Giants’ three championships this decade, earned $18.5 million this season. His recent hot streak has raised his batting average to just .228.Pence has gone just 3-for-14 (.214) in his career against right-hander Luis Perdomo (1-6, 7.56), the Padres’ scheduled starter in Wednesday’s series finale.Perdomo will be making his first start since being recalled from the minors earlier this month. He hasn’t faced the Giants this season but has gone head-to-head with them on nine occasions in the past, seven times as a starter, while compiling a 2-0 record and 3.80 ERA.Tuesday’s loss was the Padres’ 11th in 18 meetings with the Giants this season and came despite out-hitting the hosts 12-9.San Diego opened the series with a 5-0 win on Monday night.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Dodgers announced the release of second baseman Chase Utley on Friday to facilitate his retirement from baseball.Utley confirmed his intention to end his MLB career following the 2018 season in July."I transitioned to a part-time player Justin Smoak Jersey , something new for me, but I took it in stride," he told reporters. "Also, a part-time strength coach, part-time pitching coach, occasionally part-time catching coach as well as a part-time general manager. The thing I'm having the most difficult time with is being a part-time dad. So that's really the reason I'm shutting it down. I'm ready to be a full-time dad."Utley had one season left on the two-year, $2 millioncontracthe signed with the Dodgers in February, so the release was required to make his retirement official.The 39-year-old California native spent the final three-plus years of his career with the Dodgers.He rose to prominence with the Philadelphia Phillies across 13 seasons that featured six All-Star Game selections, four Silver Slugger Awards and a World Series title in 2008. He also finished in the top eight of MVP voting three times in a four-year span starting in 2006.Utley said during his July press conference going from that type of top-tier superstar to somebody fighting to just get at-bats with the Dodgers in recent seasons was key in his decision to step aside."Going from making several All-Star teams to being a part-time player kind of wrenches your pride a little bit http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-marco-estrada-jersey ," he said. "My goal, the reason I came here, was to win a championship. I didn't want to get in the way of that. If I'm part of it, great. If not, I'm still happy."L.A. fell short of that title goal, losing to the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 World Series.Utley posted a lackluster .213/.305/.305 triple-slash line with one home run in 87 games for this Dodgers in his final season.His career numbers, including an .823 OPS, 259 homers and 154 stolen bases in 1,937 games Aaron Sanchez Jersey , better tell the story of a player who was among the National League's best at his peak. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Since the calendar turned to August, the St. Louis Cardinals have been on a tear.They kept it up against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who allowed ninth-inning homers to Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter in his return from the disabled list in a 5-3 loss to the Cardinals on Monday night.St. Louis improved to 15-4 this month, the most wins in the majors. The Cardinals have won six straight away from home and are 35-29 on the road.“We know we’re capable but up to three weeks ago we hadn’t really played our best,” Gyorko said. “But if we go out there and keep playing good baseball, then good things will happen.”Gyorko pinch hit and sent a 1-1 pitch into center field leading off. Carpenter followed with his NL-leading 34th homer, also to center, stunning the small crowd that remained through the 4-hour, 10-minute game.Jansen (0-4) retired the next two batters before giving up a single to Marcell Ozuna. He got pinch-hitter Tyler O’Neill to end the inning Kevin Pillar Jersey , but the damage was done.“I’m not an excuse guy,” Jansen said. “The first two hitters, it just wasn’t in my comfort zone. This one was a bad one.”Jansen’s return had been eagerly anticipated since the Dodgers’ bullpen had a 5.17 ERA while he was out. He was activated earlier in the day after being cleared by a cardiologist. The All-Star had been hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat on Aug. 9 and was expected to be out a month. Jansen hadn’t pitched since Aug. 7.“You’re amped up to be back, you just try hard,” Jansen said. “I’m glad that I’m back. Stuff happens in my life to slow me down, but you just got to move forward.”Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had no regret about Jansen’s early return.“He’s the best we have right there in that spot. He was chomping at the bit,” Roberts said. “It was just lack of execution. I thought he threw the ball well.”Closer Bud Norris walked Matt Kemp leading off the bottom of the ninth before striking out the next three batters to end the game and get his 25th save. Jose Martinez hit a solo shot in the first, making it the 13th straight game in which the Cardinals homered, the longest active streak in the majors this season.Martinez’s RBI single in the fifth gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead.The Dodgers failed to score after threatening in the bottom of the eighth. Pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig reached on an infield single to the pitcher and took third on a wild pitch by Jordan Hicks.After Hicks struck out Justin Turner http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authentic-russell-martin-jersey , Brett Cecil (1-1) came in and intentionally walked Manny Machado. He took second on defensive indifference, putting runners on second and third, but Cody Bellinger lined out to end the inning.Los Angeles stranded 14 baserunners.Turner extended his 14-game hitting streak with a single in the first. Bellinger’s 12-game hitting streak ended when he went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and a walk. Pinch-hitter Max Muncy tied the game 3-all with a two-out, RBI single in the seventh off Hicks, who then walked Chris Taylor to load the bases. But Yasmani Grandal struck out swinging to end the inning.The Dodgers scored in the fifth on Machado’s RBI single and Bellinger’s sacrifice fly to trail 3-2. Los Angeles had the potential tying run at second, but rookie starter Austin Gomber retired the next three batters.Dodgers starter Alex Wood allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings, extending his streak of 12 straight outings with three earned runs or less. He struck out four and walked two.Gomber gave up two runs and five hits in five innings of his fifth career start. He struck out four and walked four.TRAINER’S ROOMCardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) will throw another few innings for Double-A Springfield. He has been out of the majors since May 13. … RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) will throw at Class A Palm Beach on Thursday.Dodgers: RHP JT Chargois left the game after tossing six pitches in the fifth because of neck discomfort. Roberts said he will have a MRI on Tuesday and it’s likely Chargois will go on the DL. … LHP Zac Rosscup went on the 10-day DL with a left calf strain. He has a 6.75 ERA in eight relief appearances this season. … RHP Ross Stripling is expected to toss from a mound in the next couple days and eventually face hitters before being activated. His role upon his return has yet to be determined.FAST PITCHMuncy’s game-tying single came on a 103.0 mph sinker, which according to ESPN Stats and Info, is the fastest pitch anyone has recorded a hit on this season.LATE DATEThe teams are playing for the first time this season Josh Donaldson Jersey , making it the latest they’ve met for the initial match-up since 2004. Back then, they faced off in St. Louis on Sept. 3 and played six games in 10 days. The Dodgers are the last NL opponent the Cardinals had yet to play this year.LONG NIGHTIt was the longest nine-inning game for both teams this season, and the longest such affair at Dodger Stadium since a 4-hour, 19-minute contest against Colorado on June 25 last year.UP NEXTRookie RHP Daniel Poncedeleon (0-0, 2.04 ERA) replaces Luke Weaver in the rotation for the Cardinals. Poncedeleon tossed seven scoreless innings against the Reds on July 23 without allowing a hit in his only previous start of the season. Weaver is headed to the bullpen. LHP Hyn-Jin Ryu (3-0, 1.77) takes the mound for the Dodgers in the middle game of the series. Ryu pitched six scoreless innings against the Giants last week.
HOUSTON (AP) — One night after misplaying a fly ball that led to a six-run inning by the Astros Darren Daulton Jersey , Nick Martini quickly got over his miscue and came up with another big hit against Houston.Martini hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Oakland Athletics defeated Houston 4-3 Tuesday night, snapping the Astros’ six-game winning streak.The A’s moved within 1 ½ games of the AL West-leading Astros.“That’s a great team win,” Edwin Jackson said. “It’s a big win for us. It’s no secret we needed to come out today and get a win after (Monday’s) game.”Ramon Laureano drew a one-out walk from Roberto Osuna (1-2), Jonathan Lucroy singled and Martini followed with his double.“My mindset was hopefully he tried to get ahead with something early,” Martini said. “I didn’t want to fall behind. I was fortunate he put one in the zone, and I put a good swing on it.”Osuna said he was trying to go up and in but he missed down the middle. He was most disappointed in the walk to Laureano.“That never happened in the past, to walk a guy with four straight balls like that,” Osuna said.Martini misplayed a fly ball by Josh Reddick and then overthrew second in the eighth inning of Monday’s 11-4 win by the Astros.“Like I said yesterday, just get over it pretty quick,” Martini said. “You know what happened. I can’t change it. I wish I would have made that play, but I think that will happen a lot less than it will actually happen. I forgot about it today and came to the park and just tried to have a good approach.”Martini also hit a tying RBI double in the ninth against Houston on Aug. 17.“He’s come up with some big hits for us,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “And beat the shift — he did it last time here http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-maikel-franco-jersey , too. Hit a ball to center field like that. He’s got a pretty good idea at times when he needs to start his bat a little bit earlier.”Jeurys Familia (8-4) pitched a scoreless eighth. Blake Treinen worked a perfect ninth for his 33rd save. Oakland’s bullpen threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings.“Their backend is as good as anybody’s,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. “They get the lead, they come in and they’re tough to hit, which is one way they win. They don’t win if they don’t score. Three of their four runs were either walk or hit by pitch, so they took advantage of their opportunities.”Alex Bregman’s two-out, two-run double in the Houston fifth off Edwin Jackson made it 3-all.Matt Olson hit a three-run homer that gave Oakland a 3-1 lead in the third. Charlie Morton walked Jed Lowrie and hit Khris Davis with two outs before Olson’s 24th home run of the season.Houston took a 1-0 lead in the second on a groundout by Tyler White, scoring Carlos Correa.Morton allowed three runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.Jackson gave up two earned runs and four hits with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.SPRING IN HIS STEPAstros CF George Springer made two diving catches in the first three innings. He sprinted in on Davis’ shallow pop fly, diving forward to make the catch and end the first. In the third, Springer rushed to his right, diving into the left-center gap to rob Martini of extra bases.TRAINER’S ROOMAthletics: LHP Sean Manaea was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis, and Melvin said Manaea would not throw for “a while.” Melvin said: “We’re hoping to get him back sometime this season. … Whether that happens or not, I’m not sure.” … LHP Brett Anderson was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained left forearm. Oakland recalled RHP Ryan Dull from Triple-A Nashville.Astros: C Brian McCann (right knee) took batting practice before Tuesday’s game. The team is leaning toward waiting until Saturday to activate him.UP NEXTAthletics: RHP Trevor Cahill (5-3 Tim McCarver Jersey , 3.44 ERA) will start the series finale Wednesday, looking to rebound after allowing five runs in five innings in his last outing, a loss at the Twins on Thursday. Cahill is 1-3 with a 6.92 ERA on the road this season.Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-10, 3.54) starts Wednesday seeking his second straight win after allowing two runs over seven innings in his last start Friday at the Angels. A look at what’s happening around the majors on Sunday:PLAYOFF PUSHThe last scheduled day of the regular season will see all 15 games begin within 15 minutes of each other — a perfect setup to settle a pair of NL division races.The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers are tied atop the NL Central going into Game 162. Mike Montgomery (5-6, 3.99 ERA) starts for the Cubs vs. St. Louis at Wrigley Field, while the Brewers hadn’t announced their pitcher to take on the Tigers at Miller Park.The Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies are all even in the NL West. Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.76 ERA) was listed to pitch as the Dodgers visit San Francisco, trying to win their sixth straight division title. The Rockies, who’ve never finished in first place, face Washington at Coors Field.The Cubs, Brewers, Dodgers and Rockies have all clinched playoff spots Pete Rose Jersey , but want to avoid wild-card peril. If the divisions are tied after Sunday, they’ll go to tiebreakers Monday at Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium — the winner advances to the Division Series, the losers meet Tuesday in the one-and-done wild-card game.CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTMilwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich goes into the final day with a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in the National League since Joe Medwick in 1937 for St. Louis.Yelich holds a sizable edge in the batting race at .324 and his 36 home runs are tied for most in the league with the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter. Yelich only trails in the RBIs column — he has 109 and Javier Baez of the Cubs leads with 111.Yelich, in his first season with the Brewers, faces Detroit rookie Spencer Turnbull at Miller Park. The last Triple Crown winner in the majors with Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in 2012.FAREWELLS?No telling who will go where this winter. But this could be free agent-in-waiting Bryce Harper’s final game for Washington, veteran outfielder Adam Jones’ last day with Baltimore and manager Mike Scioscia’s wrapup in the Angels’ dugout.SKIP HIMOn his last day as Toronto’s manager, John Gibbons will let catcher Russell Martin run the club at Tampa Bay. Martin hasn’t played since Sept. 3 because the Blue Jays are looking at younger catchers.“I’m having a little fun with it,” Gibbons said. “Let him see how tough it is.”The Blue Jays said this week that Gibbons won’t return as manager next year.
DENVER (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is doing well after experiencing trouble with his heart again Early Wynn Jersey , though it remains uncertain when he will return to the mound.Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations for the Dodgers, said Saturday everyone feels good about Jansen at the moment. But he wasn’t sure when he might be back.Jansen dealt with issues related to an irregular heartbeat in 2011 and 2012, and the three-time All-Star recognized something wasn’t right Thursday as Los Angeles prepared for the opener of a four-game series at Colorado. He was sent back to Los Angeles and has been examined by a number of cardiologists Avisail Garcia Jersey , including some who have treated him in the past.“It is a pre-existing condition,” Friedman said. “The fact that he has experienced it before, we were able to catch it much earlier than he did in 2011 and 2012, which I think is real positive. . He was able to catch it on the front end.”Jansen http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-frank-thomas-jersey , who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday, is scheduled for a follow-up appointment with doctors on Aug. 20. Friedman said he might resume some limited baseball activities next week to try to keep his arm in shape.“When we get to Monday, we will start thinking about the baseball part,” Friedman said. “Doing what he can do Bobby Jenks Jersey , what he’s able to do. We have 2011, 2012 to look back at. He kept his arm going, stayed in shape during the time he was down.”Added Friedman: “All in all it is encouraging as it could be. He’s in a real good frame of mind. We will hold down the fort for him and will be ready to receive him when he’s ready.” LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Adams is bringing his power bat back to the St. Louis Cardinals more than a year after they traded him away.The playoff-contending Cardinals got the 29-year-old first baseman and left fielder from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday for $50,000.Adams hit .257 with 18 homers and 48 RBI in 249 at-bats after signing with Washington in the offseason. The lefty-swinging Adams made his big league debut with the Cardinals in 2012 and stayed with them until being traded to Atlanta in May 2017.Interim manager Mike Shildt said Adams will join the team at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday and be activated for the series finale against Los Angeles.“We’re talking about a guy who’s a proven big league http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-michael-jordan-jersey , accomplished hitter,” Shildt said. “Done it for us for years. Done it since he’s left us. He’s definitely a perfect fit for what we’re trying to accomplish here.”Adams joins a surging Cardinals team that is 15-4 in August, the most wins in the majors. They entered Tuesday night 3 ½ games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs. Adams left the slumping Nationals, who are 7 ½ games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East.“He’s super-excited and we’re excited to have him back Carlton Fisk Jersey ,” Shildt said.Adams will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Kyle Hendricks ended his August with one of his best starts in 2018. The right-hander will try to carry that success into September and help the Chicago Cubs grow their lead in the National League Central on Saturday night.Hendricks and the Cubs are facing the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle game of a weekend series at Citizens Bank Park. Right-hander Zach Eflin will be on the mound for Philadelphia.The Phillies Cameron Maybin Jersey , who haven’t won any of their last seven series, beat the Cubs 2-1 on an Asdrubal Cabrera walk-off homer in Friday night’s opener. Philadelphia (72-62) narrowed its deficit to two games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East after the victory.Article continues below ...Despite the Friday loss, the Cubs (79-55) have still won eight of their last 10 games. Their lead was four games over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central after Friday’s loss.Hendricks was part of the Cubs’ recent success in his last outing, throwing seven scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds while giving up just two hits. It was the third time in 27 starts this season that Hendricks has thrown seven or more shutout innings.Hendricks (10-10, 3.86 ERA) has pitched seven innings in both of his last starts, giving up just two runs in the outings. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said one of Hendricks’ off-speed pitches has made a significant difference.“The difference for me is the deception on the changeup is back Lewis Brinson Jersey ,” Maddon told reporters after Hendricks’ last start. “The arm speed on the changeup is there, and it’s not just a take pitch anymore. They’re not reading it like they were earlier this season, so that’s a big part of his success.”Hendricks, 28, is 3-2 with a 3.58 ERA and 0.949 WHIP in five career starts against the Phillies. He allowed five runs across five innings when he faced Philadelphia on June 5.Eflin (9-5, 3.99) http://www.marlinsfanproshop.com/authentic-jt-riddle-jersey , meanwhile, has struggled recently. He has a 6.46 ERA and opponents are hitting .352 with a .917 OPS against him in his last three starts.He surrendered five runs (three earned) and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings of a loss to the Washington Nationals during his last start on Monday.“Honestly, I thought I threw the ball pretty well,” Eflin told MLB.com afterward. “I thought we did a good job of mixing it up. We had some good sequences going, utilized my changeup a lot tonight, which was big. It was a huge step for me being able to throw it that many times http://www.marlinsfanproshop.com/authentic-j.-t.-realmuto-jersey , for it to look that good. But at the end of the day, I lost the game.”Eflin beat Hendricks and the Cubs in that June 5 game, going 7 2/3 innings while giving up just one run and eight hits. Eflin, a 24-year-old who has never pitched a major league game in September, is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA against the Cubs in two career starts. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielderEnrique Hernandez apologized for calling out fans for their lack of energy in a tweet Tuesday.Enrique Hern谩ndez kikehndez6HL8fuB9UF"Again, what I said last night doesn't portray the way I truly feel about you guys! ... I love you guys and I'll never stop being grateful for the way that you have embraced the weirdo that I am Brian Anderson Jersey ," Hernandez tweeted.Hernandez criticized fans following the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. The Dodgers trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series."We had no energy. The stadium had no energy," Hernandeztold reporters. "The fans had no energy. Overall, it was a pretty bad game for everybody who calls themselves Dodgers."Hernandez also poked fun at the situation on Twitter before releasing his serious statement."By now you've probably seen my comments about last night's game. The truth is, I suffer from ED. I think a lot of us suffer from it from time to time. So tonight, let's all bring it. We can conquer Energy Deficiency together," Hernandezsaid.
NEW YORK (AP) — About 200 of Sal Romano’s friends and family members drove two-plus hours to see him Tuesday night. A 1-hour Jurickson Profar Jersey , 40-minute rain delay wasn’t going to deter that group from enjoying the right-hander’s homecoming start.Romano won in New York for the first time as a big leaguer Tuesday night, pitching into the seventh inning to lift the Cincinnati Reds over the Mets 6-1 in a game delayed by a thunderstorm in the first inning.Romano (7-9) was born in Syosset on nearby Long Island and grew up in Southington, Connecticut. He allowed a run, two hits and three walks while striking out five over six-plus innings to help the Reds snap a three-game skid.“I was glad I was able to get a win for them,” Romano said of his fan section.The 24-year-old right-hander took the mound two hours later than anticipated but with a 3-0 lead thanks to a Reds rally that bookended the delay. Mets starter Jason Vargas allowed hits to three of the four batters he faced, including Scooter Gennett, who laced an RBI single to give Cincinnati the lead shortly before players were waved off the field at 7:20 PM — just nine minutes after first pitch.Crew chief Kerwin Danley said the storm arrived much faster than predicted and the umpires were aggressive in starting the game because it was the last series of the season between the Mets and Reds.“When you get a forecast like that, where it looked like it could have missed us, you don’t want to delay the start of a game when it’s not raining,” Danley told a pool reporter.Once play resumed, Phillip Ervin lofted a sacrifice fly off Paul Sewald, and Tucker Barnhart delivered a run-scoring single.That was more than enough for Romano, who conducted a second, shorter warm-up prior to the resumption. He gave up both hits in the second, when Brandon Nimmo doubled with two outs and scored on Jose Bautista’s single.Romano didn’t factor into the decision in his first start in New York against the Mets last season. He left after walking the first two batters of the seventh Tuesday and received a warm ovation from his traveling crew wearing Reds gear behind the visiting dugout. He said he had a couple hundred supporters in the stands http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-delino-deshields-jersey , and he greeted about 60 friends and family members in the tunnel outside Cincinnati clubhouse after the game.“It’s always nice to look up and you see all that red there, knowing they’re all here for me,” Romano said. “It’s really, really nice to have the support that I do back home. For all them to come down and travel like that and pitch a good ballgame for them, get a win, it’s a pretty good feeling.”Ervin hit a two-run homer in the third, and former Mets prospect Dilson Herrera led off the ninth with a pinch-hit homer as the Reds scored more than four runs for just the second time in the last nine games.“We’ve struggled a little with the bat lately, we’re due to come out of it,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said.Vargas (2-8) took the loss after allowing three runs and three hits while recording one out. The left-hander, who has spent time on the disabled list this season due to hand and calf injuries, has lasted five innings or fewer in all 12 of his starts.“It’s tough for him right now,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He just can’t get in a routine. We haven’t been able to get him out there every five days. Think we’re about to and then this happens.”Nimmo had two hits for the Mets, who have lost eight of 11.A SCARE, AND A NOT-SO-SWEET SHORT STARTShortly before the game was delayed, one rumble of thunder was so loud that Mets shortstop Amed Rosario ducked before darting toward the third base line.The rain made Vargas’ 240th big league start his shortest. Prior to Tuesday Joey Gallo Jersey , Vargas’ briefest start was a one-inning outing for the Marlins on Oct. 1, 2005. He is the first Mets starter to record one out or fewer since Jonathon Niese got one out against the Cardinals before exiting due to a knee injury on Aug. 23, 2016.TRAINER’S ROOMReds: 1B Joey Votto (right knee) and OF Preston Tucker (toe) did not play. Votto, who was hit by a pitch by the Nationals’ Ryan Madson, sat for the second time in three games and just the ninth time since the start of the 2015 season. Riggleman said a disabled list stint is a possibility for Tucker, who was hit by Noah Syndergaard on Monday.Mets: OF Jay Bruce (right hip), who has been on the disabled list since June 19, is participating in baseball activities and getting closer to a rehab assignment. … LHP Steven Matz (flexor pronator strain) threw 15 pitches Monday but will miss at least one more start.UP NEXTReds: RHP Robert Stephenson (season debut) earned a promotion by going 11-6 with a 2.87 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 113 innings at Triple-A Louisville.Mets: Hard-luck major league ERA leader RHP Jacob deGrom (5-7, 1.85 ERA) will look to win for the first time since June 18. DeGrom is 0-5 in his last seven starts despite a 2.47 ERA. PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Even with a little extra help, which was ruled illegal, the Phillies couldn’t stop the Cubs offense.Kyle Hendricks pitched six strong innings, Javier Baez notched his NL-leading 99th RBI and star third baseman Kris Bryant doubled and had two hits in his return from the disabled list to lead Chicago past Philadelphia 7-1 on Saturday night.Ian Happ homered and Baez had three hits for the NL Central-leading Cubs, who have won nine of 11. Chicago is ahead of St. Louis by 4 ½ games.“You look at the whole of the game, I thought we played really well,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Some good at-bats http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-nomar-mazara-jersey , some clutch moments. Up and down, I was really pleased.”Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was not happy, particularly when veteran umpire Joe West confiscated an information card from reliever Austin Davis in the eighth inning.Kapler said Davis was using the card merely for information on the Cubs hitters. But West said it was illegal under Rule 6.02(c)(7), which states that the pitcher shall not have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance.“I told him we don’t allow him to carry anything on their glove, person or clothing except in some cases where there’s a rain situation we allow them to put a rosin bag in their pocket,” West, umpiring his 41st season, said. “Other than that they can’t have anything on the pitcher.”The card didn’t appear to help though, as Bryant singled to right on the first pitch after Davis consulted it. West then took it prior to Davis striking out pinch-hitter Addison Russell.“I think it’s actually a really good thing for baseball,” Kapler said. “I don’t really quite understand this one.”Bryant had been sidelined since July 23 with left shoulder inflammation. The 2016 NL MVP doubled and scored in the third in addition to singling in the eighth.Hendricks (11-10) allowed one run on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.“Kyle was outstanding,” Maddon said. “When they started getting something going, Kyle didn’t change. The game did not speed up on him.”Nick Williams had two hits and an RBI for the Phillies, who fell three games back of Atlanta in the NL East.The Cubs Ferguson Jenkins Jersey , helped by another Phillies error, scored a pair of runs in the first off Zach Eflin (9-6). Daniel Murphy led off with a double and reached on shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s throwing error on Baez’s infield single. Baez scored on Ben Zobrist’s opposite-field double. It was the 104th error by Philadelphia, which entered second in the majors to St. Louis (105).Chicago tacked on two more runs in the third to go up 4-0 on Kyle Swarber’s two-out triple off the wall in left-center.The Phillies got a run back in the fourth on Williams’ RBI single before Happ’s one-out solo shot to right made it a four-run game again.Davis committed the Phillies’ 105th error, a throwing miscue that led to two unearned runs in the ninth.GRAY AREAWest called the league office after the game and admitted the use of the card may be in a gray area.“I didn’t want to throw him out,” West said. “I know it’s foreign but he’s not trying to cheat. Maybe he’s trying to get an advantage because he’s reading the scouting report, but it wasn’t pine tar, it wasn’t an emery board, it wasn’t whatever.“In the long run, maybe they’ll let him (have the card). Right now, my hands are tied until they say yes or now. Right now, until the office says it’s OK to carry this, he can’t do it.”SLUMPING EFLINEflin gave up four runs – three earned – on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk in five innings. The right-hander continued to struggle since being demoted to Triple-A following his Aug. 10 start at San Diego, dropping to 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA while allowing 32 hits in 20 1/3 innings. The move was made not due to performance, but to allow the Phillies to add a bat.However, neither Kapler nor Eflin attributed his recent struggles to the roster move.“I don’t think there’s any correlation there http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-jason-grilli-jersey ,” Kapler said.STREAK SNAPPEDPhiladelphia’s Roman Quinn grounded out pinch-hitting in the fifth, snapping a nine-game hitting streak. Quinn still is batting .405 with two doubles, three triples, a homer and five RBIs over his last 10 contests.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: Russell, out since Aug. 20 with a left middle finger sprain, was activated from the DL. He struck out in the eighth.Phillies: RHP Edubray Ramos, Davis and INF/OF Pedro Florimon all were activated from the DL.UP NEXTPhillies RHP Aaron Nola (15-3, 2.10) was bumped up from his scheduled start on Monday to face Cubs LHP Jon Lester (14-5, 3.67) in a marquee pitching matchup to wrap up the three-game series on Sunday.
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesWith the 2018 Major League Baseball season nearing an end Brad Hand Jersey , New York Yankees star Aaron Judge will finish as the league's top-selling jersey, according to MLB.com's Daniel Kramer.Reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts rounded out the top five.It marks the second consecutive year in which Judge had the top-selling jersey. After mashing 52 home runs on his way to the American League Rookie of the Year award last year, the 6'7", 282-pound slugger is hitting .278 with 26 dingers, 22 doubles and 66 RBI.His numbers have taken a hit this season as he missed more than a month due to a broken wrist. However, a healthy first half earned him his second consecutive All-Star nod.Meanwhile, Altuve has helped the Astros post their second consecutive 100-win season. He is hitting .314 with 13 home runs, 29 doubles, two triples and 61 RBI in 2018.Chicago's roster is loaded with stars, but it's Baez who has stood out the most. The versatile infielder has put himself among the leading candidates for the National League MVP award by hitting .293 with 34 home runs, 39 doubles, nine triples http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-chase-headley-jersey , 21 stolen bases and 111 RBI. And of course, his flair only adds to his appeal.Baez is one of three Cubs in the top 10, according to Kramer. First baseman Anthony Rizzo and former NL MVP Kris Bryant rank Nos. 6 and 7, respectively.Perhaps the most surprising result is Giancarlo Stanton, who checks in at ninth. In his first season in the Bronx, the reigning NL MVP is hitting .262 with 37 home runs, 33 doubles and 97 RBI. Those numbers may be lower than expected, but given he is arguably the game's most prolific slugger and just joined the league's most storied franchise, there was reason to believe his jersey would have flown off the shelves even more.Two-way Los Angeles Angels phenomShohei Ohtani (.283 average, 22 home runs, 20 doubles and 59 RBI in 101 games; 4-2, 3.31 ERA in 10 starts) ranks eighth. While he was the talk of the baseball world with his strong performance both at the plate and on the mound, anulnar collateral ligament injury may have impacted his stock. KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez got the big hit Tyson Ross Jersey , though Adalberto Mondesi may have made the biggest plays.Before Alex Gordon’s walk and Perez’s game-winning single in the 10th inning, the fourth walk-off RBI of his career and second in two weeks, it was Mondesi’s two-out walk and two steals that set the stage for the Kansas City Royals‘ 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.“His aggressiveness was great, but also his patience was fantastic in that last at-bat,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You kept thinking, ‘OK, if you get on, the chances of us winning this game are going to be great, even with two outs,’ because you know — boom — he’s going to put himself in scoring position and we’re just a hit away.”Neil Ramirez (0-3), who retired the first two hitters in the 10th, tried to get Mondesi to chase a full-count slider down and in.Mondesi laid off the pitch, then reached 30 steals in 72 games played this season after swiping second and third.A year ago, Mondesi probably hacks away and the teams may still be playing.“It just shows you his growth and how far he’s come Allen Craig Jersey , because last year that was an automatic swing 3-2 for a strikeout,” Yost said. “He’s made tremendous strides there.”Mondesi also hit his 13th home run for the Royals (57-102) — no longer in danger of matching the franchise record of 106 losses, set in 2005 — and made a game-saving defensive play in the eighth inning.The Indians had runners at second and third with two outs when Yandy Diaz chopped a slow roller between third baseman Hunter Dozier and Mondesi, who made a quick scoop and an off-balance throw to get a diving Diaz.“We practice on that every day,” Mondesi said of throwing across his body, “so when it comes in the game it’s a lot easier for us.”Yost was more effusive about the play.“That is a play in that situation that very few shortstops are going to make, because it does require such athleticism, such range and such arm strength to be able to complete that play,” Yost said.Jason Hammel (4-14) worked a scoreless 10th, one of five relievers the Royals used in five scoreless innings from the bullpen.The AL Central champion Indians (89-70), who are locked into an AL Divisional Series matchup beginning next week with the reigning world champion Houston Astros, got their only run in the first.Francisco Lindor led off with a single, took second on a botched pickoff attempt and went to third on a balk by Royals starter Glenn Sparkman. Lindor scored on Jose Ramirez’s one-out sacrifice fly.Josh Tomlin pitched well for the Indians in his final audition for a postseason roster spot. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing Mondesi’s only homer in the third with five strikeouts and no walks.“I’ve finally gotten to the point where I know what my body’s going to do http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-tony-gwynn-jersey ,” Tomlin said. “I’m not trying to force the issue. I’m just out there throwing, playing catch. It seems like I’m just playing catch.”Tomlin, who has a 6.14 ERA this season, remains a longshot for the ALDS roster, but manager Terry Francona was encouraged by what he saw.“One cutter for the solo homer, kind of came across the plate, but other than that he spun the ball good,” Francona said. “I thought his cutter was as crisp as we’ve seen. He got some kind of funky swings with it and stayed off the barrel.”HITS LEADERThe Royals’ Whit Merrifield had two hits and moved into the major league lead with 188, one ahead of Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman. Merrifield has 53 multi-hit games on the season.HISTORIC THIEVERYGreg Allen has 21 steals after swiping second and third in the 10th inning. That gives the Indians four players — Jose Ramirez (34), Francisco Lindor (23), Rajai Davis (21) and Allen (21) — with at least 20 steals in a season for the first time since 1911, when the franchise was still called the Naps. “It’s something that we believe in and can help us make a difference,” Francona said. “That’s sometimes something that gets overlooked, and we certainly don’t want to.”TRAINER’S ROOMRoyals: The Royals are healthy except for four players on the long-term disabled list — 3B Cheslor Cuthbert (strained lower back) http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-dave-winfield-jersey , OF Jorge Soler (fractured toe), RHP Jesse Hahn (elbow surgery) and RHP Nate Karns (elbow inflammation). LHP Danny Duffy (shoulder inflammation) also has been shut down for the season.Indians: INF Erik Gonzalez entered the concussion protocol after getting hit in the head by a pitch against the White Sox on Wednesday. Francona said Gonzalez experienced some nausea after getting beaned, but “is doing much, much better.” Gonzalez traveled with the team but there is no timetable for his return. … 1B Yonder Alonso got the day off. … Francona said OF Michael Brantley, who left Tuesday’s game after fouling a pitch off his right calf and then returned to the lineup Wednesday, sat for his regular day off and has no lingering effects.UP NEXTIndians RHP Mike Clevinger (12-8, 3.07 ERA) will make his final start of the regular season opposite Royals RHP Ian Kennedy (3-8, 4.59) as Francona gets his rotation set for the playoffs.