Mookie, Red Sox stun Blue Jays with rally, walk-off

Mookie, Red Sox stun Blue Jays with rally, walk-off

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts laced a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Fenway Park. When Xander Bogaerts scored to end the game, it marked the first time Boston had the lead.

"Yeah, we've seen it here a couple of times, where even when we get down to our final at-bat, guys don't give away at-bats," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "They put up tough innings, build an inning. Tonight that was the case again."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers keep home mojo working with win vs. Giants

Dodgers keep home mojo working with win vs. Giants

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers sustained a four-run outburst in Monday night's third inning and held on to extend their home winning streak to eight games with an 8-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

With one out, runners at the corners and a run in, the Dodgers accelerated their rally with three consecutive hits off Giants starter Tim Lincecum. Carl Crawford singled to set up Juan Uribe's RBI single before Joc Pederson drilled a run-scoring double.

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Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles postpone game; city enacts curfew

Orioles postpone game; city enacts curfew

BALTIMORE -- Just a few hours after players huddled around clubhouse televisions, watching the Freddie Gray protests move through Baltimore, the Orioles postponed Monday night's game against the White Sox after consulting with the Baltimore City Police Department. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a citywide curfew from 10 p.m.- 5 a.m. ET starting Tuesday and running for the rest of the week.

The curfew comes while the city of Baltimore is experiencing civil unrest following the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died on April 19 from injuries allegedly suffered while in police custody. It is unknown how the curfew will affect the rest of the series, with 7:05 p.m. ET games scheduled for both Tuesday and Wednesday

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets stun Fish in ninth on Murphy's homer

Mets stun Fish in ninth on Murphy's homer

MIAMI -- On a night that starting pitching stood out, Daniel Murphy struck for the big blow off Marlins closer Steve Cishek. Murphy blasted a three-run homer with one out in the ninth inning to rally the Mets to a 3-1 victory in one hour and 58 minutes, snapping Miami's winning streak at five.

"We're tired," manager Terry Collins said of a Mets team that did not land in Miami until nearly 4 a.m. ET on Monday. "Make no mistake about it, we're stinkin' beat. So when you can have that surge of energy, that's a huge pick-me-up."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Injuries impact newly expanded Top Draft Prospects list

Injuries impact newly expanded Top Draft Prospects list

There are always several variables scouts have to deal with when evaluating a Draft class and deciding who to pick. As the 2015 First-Year Player Draft rapidly approaches (June 8-10), and MLB.com launches its Top 100 Draft Prospects list, it has become painfully obvious, pardon the pun, what the biggest wrench in Draft plans has been: injuries.

"All the injuries have things muddled up," an American League scouting director said. "Guys at the top don't have a sense of what it looks like. If you pick at the bottom, you have to start considering those guys you thought you wouldn't have to consider."

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Rodgers stands out, but top Draft pick isn't settled

Though toolsy prep shortstop 'checks all the boxes,' other candidates could go No. 1

Rodgers stands out, but top Draft pick isn't settled

In some First-Year Player Drafts, the No. 1 overall pick is a fait accompli well before the selection actually happens. David Price was like that in 2007 and Stephen Strasburg, arguably the best Draft prospect in history, was even more of a lock two years later. Carlos Rodon entered 2014 with similar momentum, though he lasted until the No. 3 choice in June.

The 2015 Draft lacks that type of clear-cut top selection. St. Mary's (Fla.) High shortstop Brendan Rodgers began the year as MLBPipeline.com's No. 1 prospect and maintains that position on our updated Top 100 list released today, but he's not a slam dunk.

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Tigers pounce early for Price, then hold off Twins

Tigers pounce early for Price, then hold off Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- David Price tossed 6 1/3 effective innings and was backed by early home runs from Jose Iglesias and Yoenis Cespedes to help lead the Tigers to a 5-4 win over the Twins on Monday night at Target Field.

Price gave up three runs on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts, but needed 108 pitches. He allowed a run in the first on an RBI single from Trevor Plouffe after Brian Dozier reached on a double that was originally ruled a foul ball. The Twins didn't score again until the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Dozier, and knocked Price from the game on an RBI single from Danny Santana.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toronto sending Reyes to DL, recalling Diaz

Shortstop has been playing through pain with rib injury

Toronto sending Reyes to DL, recalling Diaz

BOSTON -- The Blue Jays placed shortstop Jose Reyes on the 15-day disabled list with a cracked rib late Monday night, and they will purchase the contract of infielder Jonathan Diaz from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Tuesday's game against the Red Sox.

Reyes recently suffered a cracked rib, and after missing a three-game series against the Braves, he had been attempting to play through the pain. He returned to the lineup on April 21 and hit exclusively from the right side, where the rib caused less discomfort in the batter's box.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

MLB historically sensitive to outside turmoil

MLB historically sensitive to outside turmoil

BALTIMORE -- It was the middle of the afternoon in Los Angeles on the afternoon on April 29, 1992. A small black-and-white television was on in the near-empty press box at Dodger Stadium. Suddenly, a breaking-news alert interrupted the regularly scheduled programming. The police accused of beating a civilian named Rodney King had been found not guilty.

That night's game between the Phillies and Dodgers was surreal. Police helicopters flew back and forth across the darkened sky, searchlights flashing.

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

Hamilton deal to Rangers made official

Texas hopes outfielder can be ready to join lineup in mid-to-late May

Hamilton deal to Rangers made official

ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton is back with the Rangers after being acquired in a trade with the Angels and is about a month away from being back in their lineup.

The Rangers are hoping he can be playing for them by mid-to-late May after he spends time in extended Spring Training in Arizona and on a medical rehabilitation assignment in the Minor Leagues.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Angels doing Hamilton a favor with trade to Rangers

Texas best place for slugger to work on restoring reputation and finding peace of mind

Angels doing Hamilton a favor with trade to Rangers

The return of Josh Hamilton to the Rangers, where he found himself and became a superstar after a long, hard road through substance addiction, is a swap unlike any other that comes to mind.

The Angels are picking up an enormous tab on what's left of the outfielder's $125 million contract to get it done, and the prevailing reaction is that they are doing it simply to get rid of a problem.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shields does his part with 12 strikeouts against Astros

Shields does his part with 12 strikeouts against Astros

SAN DIEGO -- James Shields wasn't impressed much with the season-high 12 strikeouts he compiled in six innings Monday night against the Astros.

"I'm not too worried about strikeouts in my game, I'm worried about winning," he said. "It's my job to keep us in a game and give us a chance to win every night."

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bauer wears boxing gloves in dugout vs. Royals

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Bauer wears boxing gloves in dugout vs. Royals

The Indians were hosting the Royals at Progressive Field on Monday when starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, who has been straight filthy for the Tribe to start 2015, appeared in the dugout wearing a pair of boxing gloves.

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Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

Zinkie hosting live Twitter chat @Fantasy411; submit now using #Fantasy411

Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

Sure, you've read through MLB.com's fantasy notes. You've followed MLB.com/fantasy's Twitter handle, @Fantasy411, for years. But you still need that edge over your competition. What do you do?

Ask the expert. Of course, the answer is that easy.

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Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What to watch for in today's games

What to watch for in today's games

The season is nearly a month old, and the dust continues to settle around the league. All 30 teams are in action today, so here are five things to watch for:

Gray-Weaver rematch: LAA @ OAK, 10:05 p.m. ET

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

DraftKings picks: Carpenter, Votto, Wacha

DraftKings picks: Carpenter, Votto, Wacha

DraftKings participants will have a handful of appealing mound options today, as several contests will feature staff aces in pitching-friendly venues. Wise DraftKings participants should at least consider the following bats and arms when setting their lineups.

Matt Carpenter (Cardinals): Carpenter should maximize his opportunities to contribute by hitting leadoff against Phillies righty Severino Gonzalez, who will be making his Major League debut. With a career .840 OPS against righties (.781 mark against lefties), the third baseman could reach base and score on multiple occasions.

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Fred Zinkie is a senior 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.

Simmons slide injures Yunel; Nats take exception

Third baseman exits loss to Braves with injured left hand

Simmons slide injures Yunel; Nats take exception

ATLANTA -- What began with a harmless throwing error in the fifth inning of Monday's 8-4 Braves win over the Nationals snowballed into a hard slide, an injury, a pitch behind the slider two innings later, an ejection of someone not even in the game and plenty of harsh words after the game.

The reason for the hard feelings in the Nationals clubhouse is the left hand injury to third baseman Yunel Escobar, the hottest hitter on a slumping Washington team, who was hurt on a play at third in the fifth inning and had to leave the game.

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Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

In time of unrest, Angelos speaks from the heart

In time of unrest, Angelos speaks from the heart

They couldn't play baseball in Baltimore at a time like this. Not with sections of a great American city so shaken.
 
This is where real life intrudes on the games we love, and Baltimore could use a baseball game right about now, and then some.
 
However, at this point -- and for the foreseeable future -- Baltimore must focus its manpower and resources on restoring calm.
 
That alone looks daunting right now.
 
What began as protests over the death of an unarmed black man in custody, escalated into looting and violence.
 
Even as the family of the victim, Freddie Gray, pleaded for peace, dozens of clashes took place.
 
With the chaos a few miles away from Camden Yards, the Orioles and White Sox postponed their game Monday night.
 
Suddenly, in Baltimore, similar scenes that played out in Ferguson, Mo., and New York became a terrifying reality.
 
Tensions have increased steadily since Gray, 25, died of a spinal injury apparently suffered after his arrest on April 12. Six Baltimore police officers have been suspended, pending an investigation.
 
When protesters noisily filled the streets around Camden Yards before and during a Red Sox-Orioles game on Saturday, Orioles executive vice president John Angelos unleashed a flood of perspective via Twitter.
 
His words were passionate, his anger palpable. One awful moment for his city was symbolic of something else, and by the time he was done, he'd referenced Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., the Bill of Rights and "innocent working families."
 
Sports executives simply do not speak the way Angelos did. They just don't. They see it as too risky, too polarizing. They play it down the middle, saying something without really saying anything.
 
And so this was the exception. Baseball has long prided itself on being a social institution, on standing for the right thing and attempting to do the right thing. Against this backdrop, Angelos spoke.
 
When a Baltimore sportscaster, Brett Hollander, used Twitter to complain that the protesters were a nuisance to people attempting to go about their business, Angelos responded, quickly and unfiltered.
 
He said, protests aside, that the death of Gray was symbolic of a different kind of injustice, that of jobs being shipped abroad, the loss of civil rights protections and the hardships inflicted on those who are voiceless.
 
He finished with:
 
We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
 
Angelos is a son of Baltimore, a lifelong resident who appreciates its beauty and admires its grit and tenacity. He loves it deeply and cares about it profoundly. And so this latest incident was personal.
 
Baltimore is unique in countless ways, but it begins with an attitude. There's pride among Baltimore's citizens in how it rose from the crime and near despair of the 1960s into a thriving, beautiful city of picturesque neighborhoods, libraries, museums and restaurants.
 
Perhaps it's because Baltimore is tucked on the I-95 corridor between Washington and Philadelphia that it sometimes gets overlooked. Maybe that contributes to the warmth locals feel for it.
 
Baltimore is not perfect. It has crime and poverty and blight, just like every other major American city. That fight is ongoing. Yet Baltimore has come so far in three decades, especially around its beautiful inner harbor and in the renaissance that spread into the adjoining neighborhoods. That part of Baltimore is bustling with activity, with people of all ages dining and shopping and working.
 
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992, played a huge role in the rebirth of Baltimore in giving life to an area of the city that had little.
 
Here's the other thing that's important to know about Baltimore. Sports matters. Always has. It's also personal. Johnny Unitas and Brooks Robinson weren't just stars. They arrived in Baltimore to begin their careers and made it their homes. They were both everymen, living and shopping and dining alongside their fans.
 
Cal Ripken Jr. was like that, too. His dad was an Orioles legend, one of the architects of what became known as "the Oriole way." Ripken grew up dreaming of playing for his hometown team, and when he made history by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game, Baltimore saw him as its own.
 
When Buck Showalter became Orioles manager in 2010, he wanted to be sure his players understood why it was special to be part of the franchise. So he lined the clubhouse hallways with the franchise's important figures, from Earl Weaver and Frank Robinson to Jim Palmer and Eddie Murray.
 
When statues of the five Oriole Hall of Famers were unveiled at Camden Yards during the 2011 season, Showalter encouraged his players to attend and to perhaps get a better understanding of both the city and team.
 
And so Gray's death was troubling to Angelos on more than one level. He used Twitter to caution that the investigation was ongoing. Still, whatever it unearths won't change the things he said on Saturday.
 
His father, Peter Angelos, bought the Orioles in 1993. Peter is the son of Greek immigrants and a self-made man in every way imaginable. He was raised in the Highlandtown area of East Baltimore, a gritty working-class area.
 
Peter graduated from Patterson Park High School and was valdectorian of his class at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He has practiced law in Baltimore for 44 years and prides himself on speaking for those unable to speak for themselves.
 
He has taken on asbestos manufacturers, tobacco companies and pharmaceuticals. He's also a former member of the Baltimore City Council and has been involved in dozens of development projects in the city.
 
Once during a conversation with a reporter, Peter began talking about the beauty of the American judicial system and its power to right wrongs. As he spoke, tears welled in his eyes.
 
John Angelos, also a law school grad, understands these same emotions and felt them bubble to the surface on Saturday night. He knows that we'll return to playing baseball at some point soon.
 
He believes this isn't that time. Rather, it's a moment to speak up for the right thing. In that way at least, he's very much his father's son.

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

Amid protests, Manfred addresses Orioles, White Sox

Amid protests, Manfred addresses Orioles, White Sox

BALTIMORE -- Commissioner Rob Manfred has been making an effort to meet with as many teams as possible during his first year in office, which is why he flew to Baltimore on Monday.

Manfred planned to talk to players from the Orioles and visiting White Sox. He had some business to discuss with Orioles owner Peter Angelos. And, on top of all that, he just likes the city. It was here that he was elected to replace Bud Selig last August. Years ago, Manfred was a season-ticket holder at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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

White Sox agree with decision to postpone O's opener

White Sox agree with decision to postpone O's opener

BALTIMORE -- Just a few hours after White Sox players huddled around clubhouse televisions, watching the Freddie Gray protests move through Baltimore, police officers were quickly escorting them by foot back to their hotel, a few blocks from Camden Yards.

With the threat of protests -- and potential civil unrest -- near the stadium, the Orioles postponed Monday night's game after consulting with the Baltimore City Police Department. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a citywide curfew from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. starting on Tuesday and running for the rest of the week.

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Jake Kring-Schreifels is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees cool off Rays behind McCann's blast

Yankees cool off Rays behind McCann's blast

NEW YORK -- The Yankees (12-8) took sole possession of first place in the American League East on Monday night with a 4-1 win over the Rays (11-9) at Yankee Stadium. It snapped Tampa Bay's five-game winning streak and pushed the Yankees' record to 4-0 against the Rays this season.

Brian McCann's solo home run off Brandon Gomes in the sixth snapped a 1-1 tie. Carlos Beltran followed with a double to center and scored one out later when Stephen Drew doubled to right off Everett Teaford.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lowrie leaves Astros to have MRI on thumb

Lowrie leaves Astros to have MRI on thumb

SAN DIEGO -- Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie is scheduled to fly to Houston on Tuesday to undergo an MRI exam on his right thumb, which he injured while sliding home in the eighth inning of Monday night's 9-4 win over the Padres at Petco Park.

Lowrie said the thumb was sore and swollen, but cautioned he wasn't going to overreact until he got the results. Lowrie was on second base when he raced home on a single by Colby Rasmus, saying his knee stuck in the dirt and caused him to land awkwardly on his thumb as he crossed the plate.

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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.

Pederson's pop, defense lead Dodgers to win

Center fielder robs Giants to start double play, drives in two runs

Pederson's pop, defense lead Dodgers to win

LOS ANGELES -- Joc Pederson had the biggest moments Monday night at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers finally won in their fourth try against the Giants this season, 8-3.

The Dodgers' 23-year-old center fielder drove in two runs, with a home run and a double, scored twice and took an extra-base hit and RBI away from Angel Pagan with a spectacular catch in the first inning that turned into a double play.

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Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamels gets late support as Phillies top Cardinals

Hamels gets late support as Phillies top Cardinals

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies ace Cole Hamels is getting plenty of attention this season because of his availability in a trade. He showed Monday night in a 4-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium why he should have plenty of pursuers before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Hamels allowed four hits, one run, four walks and struck out nine in seven innings as he improved to 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCarthy has torn UCL, likely needs Tommy John surgery

McCarthy has torn UCL, likely needs Tommy John surgery

LOS ANGELES -- When Dodgers manager Don Mattingly got to the ballpark Monday, he said he got some news he wasn't expecting.

Bad news.

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Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wainwright has torn Achilles, out 9-12 months

Wainwright has torn Achilles, out 9-12 months

ST. LOUIS -- Two days after Adam Wainwright hobbled off the field at Miller Park, an MRI confirmed that the Cardinals' ace suffered a torn left Achilles and will miss the rest of the 2015 season.

Wainwright, who was not at the ballpark on Monday, gathered multiple doctors' opinions earlier in the day before accepting the news that he won't pitch again this year. He's likely to undergo surgery on Thursday, and general manager John Mozeliak estimated that a rehab and recovery time of 9-12 months will follow.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stults, Johnson lead Braves past Nationals

Stults, Johnson lead Braves past Nationals

ATLANTA -- Kelly Johnson went 3-for-4, with three RBIs, including a two-run homer that fueled a three-run sixth, and the Atlanta Braves took advantage of sloppy defense by the Washington Nationals, who committed four errors, to take the first game of a three-game series, 8-4, Monday night at Turner Field.

Starter Eric Stults (1-1) got the win for the Braves, who had lost five of six, limiting the Nationals to two runs and four hits in a season-high 6 1/3 innings. Stults threw 59 of his 96 pitches for strikes. In the seventh, reliever Cody Martin got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by inducing a sacrifice fly from Denard Span then catching Ryan Zimmerman looking at a fastball down the middle to end the inning.

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Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros pull away from Padres for eighth win in nine games

Astros pull away from Padres for eighth win in nine games

SAN DIEGO -- The Astros scored six runs over the final three innings Monday night, breaking away for a 9-4 victory over the Padres before a crowd of 19,532 at Petco Park for their eighth win in nine games.

Jed Lowrie, Jason Castro and Colby Rasmus each hit home runs as the Astros (12-7) pulled away late after squandering two leads behind a solid Collin McHugh, who struck out five in six innings while dueling with Padres ace James Shields.

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Corey Brock and Brian McTaggart are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hammel, Cubs end Pirates' winning streak

Hammel, Cubs end Pirates' winning streak

CHICAGO -- Rookie Kris Bryant smacked a two-run single and Anthony Rizzo drove in two runs to back Jason Hammel and lead the Cubs to a 4-0 victory Monday night over the Pirates at chilly Wrigley Field.

Hammel held the Pirates to four hits over eight innings, the longest outing by a Cubs starter this year, and struck out a season-high seven. He has walked one and struck out 23 in his four starts this season.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Confident Castro blossoming for Cubs

Shortstop enjoying resurgence under Maddon

Confident Castro blossoming for Cubs

CHICAGO -- As always, Starlin Castro was at shortstop for the Cubs on Monday, and almost surely will be there Tuesday, Wednesday and beyond.

Perhaps even through the end of this season, and maybe for five after that, given the terms of his contract and the way he is playing. Castro did nothing special in Monday night's 4-0 victory over the Pirates, but the beauty of his resurgence is that he didn't need any pyrotechnics to draw attention to how he's been right in the middle of the Cubs' fast start.

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