Burnett expects to return to Pirates soon

Right-hander feels good after latest simulated game at Busch Stadium

Burnett expects to return to Pirates soon

ST. LOUIS -- A.J. Burnett walked off the mound after a simulated game in which his pitches matched the Friday afternoon temperature at Busch Stadium -- and it was boiling, 95 degrees -- and uttered the words that will get Pirates fans only more psyched for this stretch drive:

"I expect to be throwing soon for the Pirates, because I feel great."

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

You won't believe the play Joe Panik made last night

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You won't believe the play Joe Panik made last night

We already knew that Joe Panik is a wizard. His incredible diving play and subsequent glove flip helped the Giants win their third World Series in five years:

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Four HRs, 8-run frame fuel Cubs' rout vs. D-backs

Four HRs, 8-run frame fuel Cubs' rout vs. D-backs

CHICAGO -- Addison Russell connected on two home runs and Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam to power the Cubs' offense in a 14-5 win over the D-backs on Friday at Wrigley Field. Rookie Javier Baez added his first home run of the season during an eight-run fifth inning in which 11 Cubs came to the plate.

Baez finished 3-for-4 on the day, Russell went 2-for-3 and scored three runs while Rizzo finished 2-for-3 in a game in which every batter in the Cubs' starting lineup scored. The offense backed starter Jon Lester, who allowed two runs over five innings and struck out three.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mendoza to continue on ESPN broadcasts

Former Olympic softball medalist will work remainder of Sunday night games

Mendoza to continue on ESPN broadcasts

Jessica Mendoza has already made history in the broadcast booth. Now she'll make more regular appearances.

Mendoza, a former United States softball Olympic gold and silver medalist, became the first woman to work a Major League Baseball game for ESPN in a Monday night D-backs-Cardinals game two weeks ago, and she followed it up with a Sunday Night Baseball debut last week that just happened to feature a no-hitter by Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta.

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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.

Responding to Boras, Mets stick with Harvey plan

Responding to Boras, Mets stick with Harvey plan

MIAMI -- Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Friday that the club will not change its plan for Matt Harvey as the right-hander nears the end of his first season after Tommy John surgery. Harvey's agent, Scott Boras, told CBS Sports that Harvey needs to be kept on an innings limit to protect his health.

Boras said that Harvey, who has tossed 166 1/3 innings so far this season, should log no more than 180 innings, including the playoffs. Ricco, however, said the Mets will simply continue to stick to their plan for their ace.

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Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton unlikely to return to Marlins this weekend

Stanton unlikely to return to Marlins this weekend

MIAMI -- The initial hope was for Giancarlo Stanton to be in the Marlins' lineup on Friday night in the series opener against the Mets at Marlins Park. Those plans changed when Stanton experienced some discomfort swinging the bat in a rehab-assignment game for Class A Advanced Jupiter on Tuesday. After the setback, the All-Star right fielder is listed as day to day.

Stanton has taken swings in recent days, but he is unlikely to be available for the weekend series against the Mets.

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

Today's starting lineups: Sept. 4

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.

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Rios, Herrera participate in private workouts

Rios, Herrera participate in private workouts

KANSAS CITY -- Right fielder Alex Rios and right-hander Kelvin Herrera, the two Royals who contracted the chickenpox virus, worked out at Kauffman Stadium hours before the rest of the team arrived on Friday, manager Ned Yost said.

Rios did some baseball activities while Herrera threw a light 30-pitch bullpen before the series opener against the White Sox.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

'Ferrell Takes the Field' premieres on Saturday at Petco

Actor expected to be in attendance in San Diego

'Ferrell Takes the Field' premieres on Saturday at Petco

When Ron Burgundy burst onto the scene as America's most beloved fictional news anchor, a love affair formed between the somewhat inappropriate, mustachioed protagonist and one of the most beautiful cities in America.

So it should come as no surprise that the actor who made Burgundy kind of a big deal in San Diego more than a decade ago would premiere his first baseball movie in a ballpark located in the very city that he implored to "stay classy" in the cult classic "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

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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.

Reds-Brewers postponed by rain

Day-night doubleheader scheduled for Saturday

Reds-Brewers postponed by rain

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' rain-soaked, weather-delayed, storm-filled season continued on Friday night at Great American Ball Park when a severe thunderstorm suddenly sprang up and forced them to postpone their series opener against the Brewers until Saturday night.

The Reds and Brewers will play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, adding a 6:10 p.m. ET game to their originally scheduled 1:10 p.m. contest.

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

Cuddyer to sit with tendinitis in wrist

Cuddyer to sit with tendinitis in wrist

MIAMI -- After dealing with a bothersome right wrist for the past week, Michael Cuddyer is going to take some time off with what Mets manager Terry Collins called tendinitis in the wrist.

"He told me today that it had actually been bothering him for a few days," Collins said prior to Friday's game at Marlins Park. "But not enough to not play. Today he came in -- he's had a tough time even closing his right hand. That was enough for me that he can't play."

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Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs chip in up and down lineup in wild fifth

Rizzo launches slam, Baez adds two-run shot as 11 men bat in 8-run frame

Cubs chip in up and down lineup in wild fifth

CHICAGO -- On Friday morning, manager Joe Maddon was asked about his team's ability to manufacture runs and how his team managed wins with its plus-20 run differential entering the weekend.

The Cubs responded in their own way in one extended inning. Chicago scored eight runs in the fifth inning behind Anthony Rizzo's grand slam and Javier Baez's two-run shot in its 14-5 victory over the D-backs.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Abreu aiming to increase his leadership role

Abreu aiming to increase his leadership role

KANSAS CITY -- Jose Abreu doesn't need to call team meetings or make impassioned speeches in the middle of the White Sox clubhouse to be a leader.

The most dynamic offensive force in the South Siders' attack serves as the classic case of leading by example. But as Abreu's second season comes to a close, he has his sights set on taking that responsibility to possibly another level.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Dan O'Dowd

5 surprising breakout seasons to believe in

5 surprising breakout seasons to believe in

Baseball is an untimed game, but in at least one way, it operates like clockwork. Every season, without fail, new stars are born before our eyes. For various reasons -- some forced by the emerging stars themselves and others by circumstance -- the game manages to develop fresh talent on a regular basis. And again this year, unsurprisingly, fans have enjoyed the unforeseen ascents of several youngsters.

The following five burgeoning Major Leaguers have broken out in a big way, exceeding their preseason prognostications by Labor Day. And given their skill sets, all have the tools to sustain their success.

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Dan O'Dowd is an MLB Network analyst and MLB.com columnist who served as general manager of the Rockies for 15 years, building a National League pennant winner in 2007. Prior to his time with Colorado, he worked in the front offices of the Orioles and Indians. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2015 Postseason Schedule

Wild Card Games to begin playoffs on Oct. 6-7; World Series to start on Oct. 27

The 2015 postseason schedule will begin on Oct. 6, with the 111th Fall Classic to open on Oct. 27 in an American League ballpark, thanks to the AL's 6-3 victory in last month's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile. The full postseason schedule can be found at MLB.com/postseason.

Following the scheduled regular-season finales on Sunday, Oct. 4, potentially necessary regular-season tiebreaker games would be telecast exclusively by ESPN the next day. Then the postseason will begin that Tuesday, with the AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on ESPN. The National League equivalent is scheduled for Oct. 7, televised exclusively by TBS.

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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.

Cruz sidelined by right quad strain

Slugger's status unclear for remainder of series in Oakland

Cruz sidelined by right quad strain

OAKLAND -- Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz was sidelined on Friday with a strained right quad muscle that knocked him out of Wednesday's victory over the Astros in Houston, momentarily interrupting his quest to become Seattle's first 40-homer player since Alex Rodriguez in 2000.

Cruz leads the Majors with 39 home runs, but missed Friday's opener with the A's and his status remains up the air for the remainder of the weekend series.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morneau activated, back in lineup vs. Giants

McBride designated for assignment by Rox

Morneau activated, back in lineup vs. Giants

DENVER -- A smile slowly crept onto Rockies manager Walt Weiss' face as he discussed something he hadn't done in quite a while. For the first time since May 13, Weiss wrote Justin Morneau's name on the Colorado lineup card.

Morneau, who had been out with concussion symptoms and a cervical neck strain, was activated from the 60-day disabled list before Friday's game with the Giants. Matt McBride was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.

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Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer in Astros' lineup, won't hold back

Outfielder will have 'no hesitations' on field, basepaths

Springer in Astros' lineup, won't hold back

HOUSTON -- More than two months after he fractured his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch, Astros outfielder George Springer returned to the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Twins at Minute Maid Park, batting first and playing left field in manager A.J. Hinch's lineup.

Hinch said Springer would be in the lineup again Saturday before likely sitting out Sunday's series finale. The Astros open a three-game series at Oakland on Monday, followed by an off-day Thursday, which will give Springer another day to rest the wrist.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Seager tops list of best September callup fantasy prospects

Seager tops list of best September callup fantasy prospects

Every week, the MLBPipeline.com crew has ranked the top 10 fantasy baseball prospects in the Minor Leagues. These rankings are based solely on expected 2015 fantasy production in the Major Leagues, in contrast to the MLBPipeline Top 100 Prospects list, which reflects long-term value in all phases of the game.

All season, we've brought to you a list of the top guys in the Minor Leagues who we thought could have a fantasy impact at the big league level at some point in 2015. With the Minor League season all but over, we figured it was time to wrap up the Fantasy Top 10 prospects list.

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

Cash relaying urgency to Rays pitchers

Cash relaying urgency to Rays pitchers

NEW YORK -- While the Rays are hardly in panic mode, manager Kevin Cash did acknowledge a sense of urgency regarding the rest of the season.

That sense of urgency will likely affect decisions that are made -- particularly in relation to the pitching, as pitchers might not be afforded as much time to get out of trouble.

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

Stroman's final rehab start set for Monday

Right-hander rejoins Blue Jays for bullpen session, reflects on rehab at Duke University

Stroman's final rehab start set for Monday

TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as his grueling six-month rehab from left knee surgery is days away from being over.

Stroman rejoined the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon at Rogers Centre to throw a bullpen session. He'll remain with the club this weekend before going to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday to make his final rehab start.

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

CC moving toward potential Wednesday return

CC moving toward potential Wednesday return

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia's injured right knee has continued to progress to the Yankees' liking, which is why they are tentatively planning to have him rejoin the rotation Wednesday when the Orioles come to town.

Sabathia threw about 60 pitches in a simulated game on Friday at Yankee Stadium. Manager Joe Girardi said Sabathia won't be replacing anyone in the current rotation when he returns, but will instead slot in to give the staff an extra day's rest.

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Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Making sense of wild AL postseason picture

Twins, Angels, Rays on heels of Yanks, Rangers

Making sense of wild AL postseason picture

It might only be early September, but little by little, inning by inning, the postseason is starting to take shape. And in the American League, while some clubs appear to be on cruise control to October, there's still more than enough intrigue to make this a month to remember.

Here's a pre-Labor Day primer for all of the drama that's yet to come over the next month in the Junior Circuit:

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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.

Jay comes off DL, ready to contribute

Cardinals outfielder had been sidelined due to a wrist injury

Jay comes off DL, ready to contribute

ST. LOUIS -- After appearing in four rehab games with Triple-A Memphis, center fielder Jon Jay rejoined the Cardinals in advance of Friday's series opener against the Pirates. Jay missed 57 games while on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist stress reaction.

Jay began a rehab assignment with Memphis last Saturday and went 5-for-13 with a home run and two stolen bases. This marked the second DL stint of the season for Jay, whose wrist was slow to recover after offseason surgery. In the 57 games he has played with the Cardinals, Jay hit .223/.311/.265 with 10 RBIs.

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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, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves vets trying to get message through to youngsters

Clubhouse leadership maintaining focus for final month

Braves vets trying to get message through to youngsters

WASHINGTON -- After the Braves endured their third double-digit loss within a seven-day span on Thursday, Nick Swisher was among the veterans who addressed some of the younger players with a reminder that there is still time to show some pride and make strides that could create both immediate and future benefits.

"We've got to all come together and do this thing together," Swisher said. "That is our fight right now, coming together as a unit and doing this as a unit. You can't do this as individuals. As much as you'd like to do it, you can't be LeBron James -- get the ball every time down the court and just dunk. That's just not going to happen. This [stinks] that it's happened, but I think this is going to help us in the long run so much because nobody likes getting their [butt] kicked."

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

Pedroia expected to return next week

Red Sox second baseman 'hitting all his check points'

Pedroia expected to return next week

BOSTON -- Look for Dustin Pedroia to make his return to the Red Sox's lineup at some point next week. The second baseman continues to make progress from the right hamstring injury that has put him on the disabled list twice and limited him to six games since June 24.

"Dustin is hitting all his check points aggressively," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "It's getting close for him and we're all in it with him. We're all excited by what we're seeing and what we're hearing. He's putting on spikes. He's aggressively running the bases. He's continuing to run flat to build up some endurance in the outfield, pole to pole. He walks in after his work day and is really, really excited. That's nice to see."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Injured Schwarber may miss up to five games

Right rib strain will sideline rookie at least through series vs. D-backs

Injured Schwarber may miss up to five games

CHICAGO -- The Cubs will be without rookie Kyle Schwarber for three to five days while he is treated for a mild right rib strain he sustained prior to Wednesday's 14-5 win, the team announced. Recently acquired outfielder Austin Jackson took his spot in the order Friday against the D-backs as Chris Coghlan filled the void in left field.

Schwarber, who has seen time at catcher and in left field, will miss this weekend's series against Arizona before being re-evaluated for Chicago's next series in St. Louis, where he could have a chance to play. Manager Joe Maddon said he didn't "feel like it's very severe," but also wasn't willing to take any chances with a month left in the season.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cosart among Miami callups, could start Sunday

Urena also rejoins Marlins, will join bullpen; Solano bolsters infield depth

Cosart among Miami callups, could start Sunday

MIAMI -- An injury-depleted rotation received some reinforcements on Friday as the Marlins reinstated right-hander Jose Urena from the disabled list and recalled right-hander Jarred Cosart from Triple-A New Orleans.

Infielder Donovan Solano also was recalled from the Zephyrs, as Miami expanded its roster with three more September callups.

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

Tex placed on DL, but vows to return this year

First baseman hopes crutches accelerate healing; reliever Rumbelow recalled

Tex placed on DL, but vows to return this year

NEW YORK -- The Yankees placed first baseman Mark Teixeira on the 15-day disabled list on Friday with a right shin bone bruise, but the club leader in home runs says there is a "100 percent" certainty that he will return to the lineup this season.

"There's no permanent damage," Teixeira said. "It's just a really bad bone bruise, worse than we first expected. It's unfortunate, but hopefully we have two months of the season left, so there's plenty of time for me to get healthy and come back."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Remembering Jim Abbott's magical no-hitter

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Remembering Jim Abbott's magical no-hitter

Jim Abbott's story is a remarkable one. Despite being born without a right hand, he was a star at the University of Michigan, pitched the U.S. to an unofficial gold medal in the Olympics (back when baseball was merely a show sport) and became a first-round Draft pick of the Angels in 1988.

But that perserverance shouldn't be the only thing we remember about him. Abbott wasn't just "that pitcher with one hand," he was a good pitcher with one hand -- he entered California's rotation as a rookie without making a single Minor League start, and in his second major-league season he finished third in Cy Young Award voting with a 2.89 ERA. And on September 4, 1993, as a member of the Yankees, he etched his name into baseball history by firing a no-hitter.

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