NEW YORK -- A billboard greeted fans coming off the Grand Central Parkway on Saturday, trumpeting Yoenis Cespedes' arrival in Queens. But it was an old face, Lucas Duda, who almost single-handedly lifted the Mets to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Nationals, moving New York within a game of first place in the National League East.
Before the second-largest regular-season crowd in Citi Field history, Duda hit a pair of solo homers to make up a two-run deficit, then laced a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth. He now has eight home runs in his last seven games, including two off Nationals starter Joe Ross.
LOS ANGELES -- Scratched from starts Wednesday and Friday nights with a sore right hip, Clayton Kershaw finally took the mound Saturday and was his usual, dominating self. He allowed two hits in a 3-1 win over the Angels and added eight scoreless innings to a streak that is now 37 and counting.
About the only thing Kershaw likes to talk about less than how well he pitches is how much he's hurting, so his postgame session was even shorter than normal, even after another Superman performance. He ignored reporters' questions about his health, as if even acknowledging an injury is a sign of weakness.
Left-hander pitches into eighth inning before bullpen blows lead
By Cody Stavenhagen
ARLINGTON -- The Cole Hamels era in Texas began Saturday with high expectations, plenty of publicity and even some history on the line. Could he immediately prove to be the Rangers' saving grace? Could he become only the second pitcher in Major League history to throw back-to-back no-hitters?
Well, not exactly. In a 9-7 loss against the Giants, Hamels delivered a workman-like 7 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs and striking out six. He was efficient, and he was good. He left the game in line for the win before the Rangers' bullpen blew the lead.
TORONTO -- Ben Zobrist certainly didn't have anything to prove to his new teammates.
But after two tough losses in a Kansas City uniform, Zobrist was eager to do something to chip in. And he did just that on Saturday with two homers and a double in the Royals' pulsating 7-6 win over the Blue Jays.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Considering the Twins had scored just two runs on five hits over their previous 17 innings, with one of those runs coming on a wild pitch, there wasn't reason for much optimism heading into the ninth inning on Saturday.
But the Twins showed their resiliency against Mariners closer Carson Smith, scoring twice with two outs in the ninth, including a walk-off RBI single from Kurt Suzuki in a much-needed 3-2 win in front of a frenzied crowd at Target Field.
The non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone. But that doesn't mean the window for contenders to get help has completely closed.
Trades will be made in August -- the only difference is general managers now have to get a player through waivers before wheeling and dealing. There are going to be many players -- including some top names -- who slide through waivers for a variety of reasons. Here's a look at a few who could still be traded:
LOS ANGELES - From the moment Mike Trout stepped into the batter's box and tapped Yasmani Grandal's shin guards in his customary first-inning greeting, the Dodgers' catcher knew he was in the middle of something really good, something extraordinary.
"It's not often you get to see one of the best players face one of the best pitchers," said Grandal, whose two-run homer proved the difference in a 3-1 victory that has the Angels in danger of being swept at the hands of their geographical rivals on Sunday.
Those are some of your newest reasons to sign up now for MLB.TV, and here's another one: Major League Baseball Advanced Media just lowered the yearly subscription price to $49.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $39.99 for MLB.TV.
Center fielder also notches steal No. 51; Price appreciates his value
By Robert Bondy
CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton claimed his 50th and 51st stolen bases of the season in the third inning of Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Pirates at Great American Ball Park.
With Joey Votto at the plate and the Reds up, 1-0, Hamilton was able to just beat out the throw from catcher Chris Stewart to steal second base and reach the milestone No. 50. Hamilton then followed that up with his 51st stolen base when Todd Frazier was batting, again beating out the throw from Stewart.
Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Key things to watch for in today's games
By Jamal Collier
If the last two days of exchanging one-run victories have served as any indication, the Royals and Blue Jays would make for a great series in October.
On Sunday, the two teams will meet at Rogers Centre for the series finale of this four-game set -- and for the last time during the regular season. Each team has already begun to benefit from their major additions at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Duda hits three HRs against Ross brothers this week
By Michael Clair |
Lucas Duda has been having quite the week. Since July 25, covering a total of seven games, Duda has gone deep eight times, with three multi-home run games coming in that span.
But Duda has reserved most of his home runs for his war against the Ross family. Though we don't know what led him to seeking his revenge against the brothers Tyson and Joe, creating a Hatfield versus McCoys type rivalry, all we know is that he's been plenty successful.
NEW YORK -- Halfway through his second round of batting practice with the Mets, Yoenis Cespedes launched a home run several rows deep into the left-center-field seats -- a place where Major League Baseball players don't typically hit baseballs. Instantly, he validated the hopes of manager Terry Collins, who was sitting in the dugout at the time, laughing and joking in a grand old mood. And that was before Cespedes drew an intentional walk in the game itself, adding fuel to the Mets' go-ahead rally in a 3-2 win over the Nationals on Saturday.
Two days earlier, Collins had spoken to his mentor Jim Leyland, who knew Cespedes from Detroit and lauded his abilities. So when Collins found out Friday, mere minutes before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, that his team had acquired Cespedes, he could hardly contain his emotion.
While the actual Deadline day didn't feature many high-profile moves, the last week has been filled with them. Now that the dust has settled, here are the three clubs that I think improved the most as a result of Trade Deadline deals.
BOSTON -- Travis Shaw celebrated his fifth callup this season from Triple-A Pawtucket with a monster day, going 4-for-4 with two homers, a double and five runs scored to lead the Red Sox to an 11-7 victory over the Rays on Saturday at Fenway Park.
Xander Bogaerts notched four hits in a game for the fifth time this season and drove in three. Rusney Castillo added three hits and three RBIs on a day the Red Sox had 16 hits.
BOSTON -- Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday's 11-7 loss against the Red Sox after getting hit on his left hand in the fifth inning. X-rays revealed a fracture and he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Rays will recall outfielder Mikie Mahtook in a corresponding move on Sunday.
Red Sox starter Joe Kelly hit Souza in the top of the inning. Souza fell to the ground and was tended to by the Rays' training staff.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Wilson may opt for season-ending surgery
Loose bodies in Angels lefty's elbow have restricted range of motion
By Alden Gonzalez
LOS ANGELES -- Angels starter C.J. Wilson has basically decided he can no longer pitch this season.
The veteran left-hander revealed Saturday morning that he has loose bodies in his elbow that have restricted his range of motion to the point where he can no longer be an effective pitcher. Wilson has been managing the issue all season, getting fluid drained from his left elbow four separate times, and he will now likely opt for surgery to remove bone spurs, a procedure that is expected to rule him out for the rest of the 2015 season.
CINCINNATI -- Eugenio Suarez drove in three runs to back Raisel Iglesias' four-hit pitching into the seventh Saturday as the Reds downed the Pirates, 4-3, in a sold-out Great American Ball Park.
Iglesias was in control for 6 2/3 innings -- his second longest of eight starts -- to out-duel Gerrit Cole for his second win. He allowed four hits and walked two, striking out five. One of the hits off him was Jung Ho Kang's solo homer in the fourth, his eighth of the season and third in five games.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Parra, the Orioles' new outfielder who was acquired for prospect Zach Davies at Friday's Trade Deadline, arrived at Camden Yards for the first time Friday night. On Saturday, Parra -- obtained from Milwaukee -- started his first career game in the American League and had a memorable debut as part of the O's 6-2 win over Detroit.
CHICAGO -- The .264 average, seven homers and 33 RBIs through 348 at-bats don't exactly represent Avisail Garcia's ideal offensive output during his first full season in the Majors.
And while his defense hasn't been letter perfect, he has helped the White Sox with some big plays in right field. One of those came during Saturday night's 8-2 victory over the Yankees, a score that might not have been so one-sided without Garcia.
Regardless of the glut of teams in contention for at least a Wild Card spot, the non-waiver Trade Deadline period was an active one. And as teams continue to evaluate their positions by the day, and injuries or other unforeseen circumstances arise, there will be other opportunities to improve or address a club before the season's end.
Mexico bests USA Southeast in Cal Ripken World Series
By Jacob Emert
ABERDEEN, Md. -- Vidal Sotelo was almost through explaining what it felt like to be a world champion when a pair of players from the Dominican Republic delegation interrupted his interview to offer a congratulatory high-five.
Roughly two hours earlier, Sotelo blasted a three-run homer in what became a five-run top of the first inning for Team Mexico in the 2015 Cal Ripken World Series finale against Team Southeast of the United States. The outburst amounted to all of Mexico's runs for Saturday night, but it was more than enough to secure a 5-3 victory and the World Championship title.
MILWAUKEE -- Kyle Schwarber passed more tests Saturday night in his crash course on how to play in the big leagues. The rookie hit his fourth big league home run in the Cubs' 4-2 victory over the Brewers, but he also battled starter Matt Garza in an 11-pitch at-bat, and coaxed relievers Jason Motte and newcomer Tommy Hunter in a stressful ninth.
The long at-bat against Garza came with two outs in the third and helped set up Anthony Rizzo's three-run homer. Cubs manager Joe Maddon liked Schwarber's approach with each pitch.
PHILADELPHIA -- Andrelton Simmons received some encouraging news after an X-ray was performed after Saturday night's 12-2 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. But the Braves will not update the status of the Gold Glove shortstop's injured right thumb until Sunday morning.
Simmons's right hand was partially wrapped as he made his way back toward the visitor's clubhouse after undergoing the X-ray exam that revealed no fracture to his right thumb. But he underwent futher evaluation in the trainer's room and told a club representative that he would wait until Sunday to discuss his situation.
ARLINGTON -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence tied the score with an RBI single in the eighth and then hit a go-ahead home run in the 11th, providing the force behind a 9-7 Giants win over the Rangers on Saturday night at Globe Life Park.
Pence helped the Giants spoil the Rangers debut of Cole Hamels, who threw 7 2/3 innings, striking out six and allowing five earned runs in a no-decision. The Rangers were up, 7-4, when Hamels left the game, but the Giants rallied in the eighth to tie the game. Buster Posey helped lead the charge with three hits, including a home run, and Brandon Belt hit a pair of shots to record his second career multi-homer game.
NEW YORK -- Mets third baseman David Wright continues to make tangible progress rehabbing from the spinal condition that has sidelined him since April. Wright will travel to Miami with the Mets on Sunday night, then drive to Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Thursday with an eye toward beginning a Minor League rehab assignment shortly thereafter.
Wright, 32, has not played since April 14 due to a hamstring injury and his subsequent spinal stenosis diagnosis. He was batting .333 in eight games prior to that.