Astros edge Bucs to cap strong road trip

Astros edge Bucs to cap strong road trip

PITTSBURGH -- Fighting to keep their spot in a crowded American League Wild Card picture, the Astros did exactly what they needed to during a seven-game swing through Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Coming off a series victory over the Orioles, the Astros claimed another over the Pirates with Wednesday's 5-4 win at PNC Park, their fifth win in six games.

Houston got the best of Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole, whose monthlong struggles continued with a disappointing five-inning start. Cole allowed five runs on seven hits, the biggest a two-run homer in the second by Astros catcher Evan Gattis. In five starts this month, Cole posted a 6.07 ERA. He was outdueled by Collin McHugh, who allowed seven hits but limited the Pirates to three runs in five innings.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Billy bolt: Grab merits gold-medal glove

Reds' speedy center fielder robs Beltran of extra-base hit

Billy bolt: Grab merits gold-medal glove

CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton has made a lot of fantastic catches this season -- often it seems when Dan Straily is pitching. But Hamilton may have topped himself on Tuesday against the Rangers. How good was it? It had Straily hopping up and down laughing and covering his face.

The highlight of the night in a 3-0 Reds win came in the top of the sixth inning. Carlos Beltran led off with a drive to the wall in left-center field. Hamilton ran it down and made a fully-extended diving catch on the warning track while going headfirst toward the wall.

Continue Reading

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Streaking Royals face Fernandez on MLB.TV

KC seeks 10th consecutive win amid Wild Card push; Porcello vies for 18th victory

Streaking Royals face Fernandez on MLB.TV

The Royals are the hottest team in baseball and they will look to win their 10th straight game and keep pace in the American League Wild Card race tonight against ace Jose Fernandez and the Marlins, who are also contending for a Wild Card berth in the National League.

The Marlins are trying to catch the Cardinals in the race for the second NL Wild Card. The Mets are also in the mix, and their important series against the Cards continues tonight in St. Louis. Also in the NL, the Giants and Dodgers jockey for position atop the West division.

Continue Reading

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Red Sox making pitch for playoff run

In winning 10 of 12, Boston has put itself in position to win AL East

Red Sox making pitch for playoff run

Maybe the Boston Red Sox really are going to send David Ortiz out in style. Trophies, tears, parades, etc. That scenario doesn't even feel like all that much of a stretch given how well they are playing these days.

On Wednesday, the Red Sox will be trying to win for the 11th time in 13 games when they hand the ball to right-hander Rick Porcello at Tropicana Field against the Rays. Porcello has been the No. 1 guy in a rotation that suddenly looks like one of baseball's deepest.

Continue Reading

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Today's starting lineups: Aug. 24

Below are today's starting lineups that have been made public by Major League Baseball's clubs.

A lineup is not official until it is handed to the umpire.

Continue Reading

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Heyward's defense has made Cubs even stronger

Heyward's defense has made Cubs even stronger

Jason Heyward's first season with the Cubs has been a challenge, as his batting average shows. But don't label it a disappointment before it's over.

While Heyward is hitting .225 with only six home runs, his play in right field has contributed greatly to the Cubs being the best defensive team in the Major Leagues, as measured by Baseball Prospectus' defensive efficiency rankings. His avoidance of pouting and other forms of self-indulgence in the clubhouse has kept the air clean, not polluted, for a team that is on pace to win 103 games.

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Girardi, Yanks 'excited' by Torreyes' surge

Ellsbury sits out to rest foot; Judge impressing with patience

Girardi, Yanks 'excited' by Torreyes' surge

SEATTLE -- Gary Sanchez's hot start is grabbing the headlines. Aaron Judge's raw power has fans in the Bronx daydreaming. But those two young Yankees aren't the only ones opening eyes on this road trip.

Ronald Torreyes has been filling in at third base for banged-up Chase Headley, and he's been hitting and hitting and hitting some more. The 23-year-old rookie infielder -- all 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds of him -- went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field on Tuesday night, and overall, he's got eight hits in his past 12 at-bats.

Continue Reading

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Hill brings elite performance into delayed Dodgers debut

Veteran lefty's 2.06 ERA since 2015 return is second only to Kershaw

Hill brings elite performance into delayed Dodgers debut

If all goes according to plan, Rich Hill is expected to finally make his Dodgers debut on Wednesday against the Giants, and Los Angeles fans might be excused for wondering just what the hype is all about. After all, the 36-year-old Hill is yet another injury-prone pitcher on a roster full of them, and what is apparently the worst blister in baseball history has prevented him from appearing for the Dodgers despite the fact that it's been nearly a month since the team surrendered three well-regarded pitching prospects in Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas in order to acquire Hill and Josh Reddick.  

Considering Hill's well-documented injury history, and that last August his career was in such a state that he was merely signing a Minor League deal with Boston's Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate after pitching for the independent league Long Island Ducks, what is it about him that makes him worth all this trouble? Let's try to answer that question.

Continue Reading

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tillman goes on 15-day DL; Orioles call up Wright

Tillman goes on 15-day DL; Orioles call up Wright

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles placed Chris Tillman on the disabled list with right shoulder bursitis and recalled righty Mike Wright from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday.

Wright will serve as the long reliever, with Ubaldo Jimenez taking Tillman's spot in the rotation Thursday against Washington.

Continue Reading

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gurriel on track for DH duties Friday

Gurriel on track for DH duties Friday

PITTSBURGH -- Yulieski Gurriel is expected to be in the lineup when the Astros return home on Friday to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Cuban has made just one start -- Sunday in Baltimore -- since joining the Astros, due to right hamstring tightness suffered in Sunday's game.

Because the Astros have been playing in a National League ballpark, they haven't been able to utilize the designated hitter, which has meant Gurriel has been limited to pinch-hitting duties.

Continue Reading

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced

AL Wild Card Game opens playoffs on Oct. 4; World Series begins Oct. 25

To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced

Major League Baseball announced its 2016 postseason schedule on Tuesday, opening with the American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on TBS on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and followed by the National League equivalent on ESPN one night later. The 112th World Series on FOX will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in an AL city to be determined.

While the 10 participants and eventual matchups are gradually being determined, the full postseason schedule can be found at MLB.com/postseason.

Continue Reading

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LA sacks Madison after 5th, leads by 2

LA sacks Madison after 5th, leads by 2

LOS ANGELES -- Recent trends in the National League West continued Tuesday night, as the streaking Dodgers beat the slumping Giants in the opener of their showdown three-game series at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, extending L.A.'s division lead to two games.

Rookies Andrew Toles (three RBIs) and Rob Segedin homered for the second consecutive game, while Adrian Gonzalez also drove in three runs -- two on a tiebreaking, bases-loaded single in the fifth inning off losing pitcher Madison Bumgarner (12-8), who allowed a season-high five earned runs in five innings.

Continue Reading

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

9th win in a Yo for Royals a 1-0 duel

9th win in a Yo for Royals a 1-0 duel

MIAMI -- Lorenzo Cain's RBI single provided starter Yordano Ventura with the only run he needed as the red-hot Royals extended their winning streak to nine games with a 1-0 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Kansas City remained four games back of Baltimore in the American League Wild Card chase, while Miami is still 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card standings.

Continue Reading

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Marlins on Tuesday.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Royals on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Special presentation of 'We Are Baseball' transports viewers on Hall of Fame tour

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Nestled in the five-trailer platform that comprises the "We Are Baseball" traveling Hall of Fame tour is a mobile theater that shows an 11-minute IMAX movie, spotlighting the best of what the game provides today, and offering glimpses of where it is headed in the future.

Baseball, steeped deeply in tradition, will always connect generations and harken back to its past. But Major League Baseball has taken a deliberate and giant step forward, shifting its focus to a younger generation of fans stimulated more by what is in front of them than by what has already happened.

Continue Reading

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gimenez homers in front of family, friends

Gimenez homers in front of family, friends

OAKLAND -- Chris Gimenez was happy not to hear a familiar voice yelling at him from the Coliseum crowd on Tuesday night. The Indians' catcher drew a walk. He did not swing at any bad pitches. For the first time as a Major Leaguer, he also belted a home run with his parents in the stands.

The catcher was mostly relieved, because his 85-year-old grandmother, Julia, liked what she saw.

Continue Reading

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mookie's missile nabs speedy Kiermaier

Mookie's missile nabs speedy Kiermaier

ST. PETERSBURG -- It wasn't the accuracy that surprised Mookie Betts. He'd been an infielder and knew how to make pinpoint throws. What surprised him, and what even he didn't know he could do, was throw the ball as far as he did.

When Kevin Kiermaier laced a ball down the right-field line and into the Rays' bullpen, Betts fished it out and fired a strike to third base to throw the speedy runner out for the second out of the inning. It preserved the slim lead in Boston's 2-1 win at Tropicana Field.

Continue Reading

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Red Sox on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top prospect Arcia adjusts mechanics at plate

Brewers shortstop busts out of 2-for-34 slump with clutch double

Top prospect Arcia adjusts mechanics at plate

MILWAUKEE -- Before Orlando Arcia left the dugout to line the double that sparked the Brewers' winning rally over the Rockies on Tuesday, manager Craig Counsell reminded the rookie shortstop that this was one Major League pitcher -- Jake McGee -- he'd seen before. Arcia homered off McGee in Spring Training.

Arcia looked his skipper in the eye and winked.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe wants consistency from Salazar in between starts

Tribe wants consistency from Salazar in between starts

OAKLAND -- When Danny Salazar took a major step forward last season, the Indians were quick to praise the pitcher's diligence behind the scenes. Now, Cleveland wants the right-hander to get back to the solid routine that helped him emerge as one of the game's top young arms.

On Wednesday morning, Indians manager Terry Francona said that -- like a lot of young players -- Salazar has been in need of reminding at times to stay consistent with his between-start program. The manager said that has especially been the case since Salazar was named to his first career All-Star Game.

Continue Reading

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bell making strides on defensive side

Kang begins basic baseball activities; Glasnow could return Saturday

Bell making strides on defensive side

PITTSBURGH -- Josh Bell started at first base Wednesday for the fourth straight game, reinforcing the Pirates' suggestion that he will play more often than not after being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday.

So don't be surprised if Bell keeps starting games down the stretch. And don't be surprised if the slugging prospect doesn't finish many of those games at first base, either.

Continue Reading

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres' 2nd-base job wide open for 2017

Green encouraging players to 'keep fighting' for spot

Padres' 2nd-base job wide open for 2017

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres' second-base job is one of many positions that will be wide open heading into next season, according to manager Andy Green.

Despite the play of rookie Ryan Schimpf, who had hit 14 home runs with an .887 OPS through 57 games entering Wednesday, both Cory Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje will be competing for the job.

Continue Reading

Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top of Mets' order cuts Cards' lead

Top of Mets' order cuts Cards' lead

ST. LOUIS -- Though starter Jonathon Niese lasted only 21 pitches before an achy left knee forced him to the clubhouse, the Mets, behind a pair of early home runs and an exhaustive effort from the bullpen, nabbed a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. The win cut into the Cardinals' advantage over New York for the second National League Wild Card spot, too. The Mets' deficit in that race now sits at 3 1/2 games.

"They know they're playing for something," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Each and every night, we've got to grind it out."

Continue Reading

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago Bandits win back-to-back NPF championships

Chicago Bandits win back-to-back NPF championships

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Chicago Bandits came into Game 3 of the National Pro Fastpitch Championship on Tuesday night looking for back-back titles over their rival, the USSSA Pride.

Call it coincidence or call it irony, the Bandits used back-to-back home runs in the third inning to get what they came for, a 2-1 win, a fourth Cowles Cup and a confetti celebration on the field at Rhoads Stadium on the campus of the University of Alabama.

Continue Reading

Jim Jenks is an executive producer with MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs soar to 80th win on HRs, Arrieta's gem

Cubs soar to 80th win on HRs, Arrieta's gem

SAN DIEGO -- Kris Bryant and Addison Russell each homered to help Jake Arrieta become the National League's first and lead the Cubs to a 5-3 victory Tuesday night over the Padres for their 21st win in the last 26 games.

Now 80-45, Chicago is the first team in the Majors to win 80 games, and is 35 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 25, 2008 (96-61). This is the quickest the Cubs have reached 80 wins since 1929, and that team won an NL pennant.

Continue Reading

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martin muscles 1st-place Blue Jays over Angels

Martin muscles 1st-place Blue Jays over Angels

TORONTO -- Russell Martin continued his torrid hitting to pace Toronto's offense, while R.A. Dickey notched another strong outing to lead the Blue Jays over the Angels, 7-2, on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

Though he'd normally receive a day off with Dickey on the mound, Martin went 3-for-3 out of the DH spot and drove in a pair of runs to help the Blue Jays open their six-game homestand with a victory. Michael Saunders also added his 21st home run of the season, while Troy Tulowitzki continued his strong August with an RBI double as part of Toronto's 10-hit attack.

Continue Reading

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Angels on Tuesday.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Contestants shut out in Bizarro Beat the Streak

Contestants shut out in Bizarro Beat the Streak

In Beat the Streak, the object of the game is to pick a player or two each day who will get at least one hit. Put together 57 consecutive successful picks, one more than Joe DiMaggio's MLB-record 56-game hitting streak, and you earn the $5.6 million grand prize.

On Tuesday, however, a separate, one-day contest called Bizarro Beat the Streak flipped the script.

Continue Reading

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After a ballboy error, the Rays' bullpen picked up some gloves and decided to do the job themselves

|
After a ballboy error, the Rays' bullpen picked up some gloves and decided to do the job themselves

In the majority of Major League parks, bullpens warm up and catch the occasional dinger behind the safety of the outfield fence. A select few, though, rely on one of baseball's most sacred trusts: With the bullpen in foul territory, it's up to the ballboy/ballgirl/balldude to stand guard. 

Often, this works out great. But sometimes, like during Tuesday's Red Sox-Rays game, everybody needs to run for cover.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Jurassic ballpark: A herd of friendly T-Rex invaded the Coliseum and took photos with A's fans

|
Jurassic ballpark: A herd of friendly T-Rex invaded the Coliseum and took photos with A's fans

You expect to see certain things at the ballpark. Baseball games, obviously. Fans making great plays on foul balls. Sometimes, aggressive seagulls eager to swoop down and lay claim to leftover concession-stand fare left around after the game ends.

Generally speaking, you don't usually expect to see a herd of Tyrannosaurus Rex cavorting about in the stands, dancing and snapping photos with fans ... yet that's precisely what happened during the A's 9-1 win over the Indians at the Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Davis hits 30th, but small ball big in O's rout of Nats

Davis hits 30th, but small ball big in O's rout of Nats

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have relied on a simple formula for most of the season, trying to outslug their opponents. But they deviated from the norm Tuesday night, tallying their first seven runs without a homer in combination with six shutout innings from starter Kevin Gausman to beat the Nationals, 8-1.

Baltimore continues to get the best of Washington in the Battle of the Beltways, sweeping the two games at Camden Yards this season. Since 2012, the O's are 16-6 against the Nationals.

Continue Reading

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Tuesday.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Street to undergo season-ending knee surgery

Street to undergo season-ending knee surgery

ANAHEIM -- Angels closer Huston Street will undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee on Wednesday, the Angels announced.

Street will have arthroscopic surgery for "persistent medial knee pain," according to the Angels. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Austin, Texas.

Continue Reading

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Community field named after Wainwright

Community field named after Wainwright

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright fondly recalled his childhood in Brunswick, Ga., where he and his teammates took part in an opening day parade before their Little League season began. After each game, he would race to get a snow cone.

Now children will play on a field that bears his name at Bob Russell Park in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Mo., a community located in north St. Louis County. The field was dedicated in a ceremony Wednesday morning. Wainwright's field is the 22nd dedicated by Cardinals Care since it began in 1997, and it was the first dedication since Tony La Russa Field in May 2015.

Continue Reading

Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.