Royals slam Rays on Orlando's walk-off

Royals slam Rays on Orlando's walk-off

KANSAS CITY -- Rookie Paulo Orlando, just called back up from Triple-A Omaha, belted a ninth-inning walk-off grand slam as the Royals earned a 9-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday afternoon in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium.

"Obviously not the way you want to start the first game of a doubleheader, a ninth-inning loss," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We did some good things, and we did some not so good things in that game."

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

Pujols says he's in for Home Run Derby

Pujols says he's in for Home Run Derby

DENVER -- Angels first baseman Albert Pujols said Tuesday that he will participate in the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders. MLB has yet to make an official announcement.

Pujols, who leads the American League with 25 homers, wants to do it again so that his 14-year-old son, A.J., and 5-year-old son, Ezra, can watch him.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late hiccup can't keep win off Arrieta's ledger

Cubs righty labors during seventh, but six clean frames set tone for victory

Late hiccup can't keep win off Arrieta's ledger

CHICAGO -- Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta recorded his fourth straight quality start and his ninth win of the season in Tuesday afternoon's 7-4 victory over the Cardinals, but it was all overshadowed by three straight hits in one inning.

Though Arrieta otherwise finished with another strong outing, the day felt different for someone who has been one of the National League's best pitchers as the All-Star break nears.

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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.

Final Vote candidates boast impressive stats

Final Vote candidates boast impressive stats

With the starters for the 2015 All-Star Game announced on Sunday, and the pitchers and reserves on Monday, there are still two spots up for grabs.

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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.

Youth served on All-Star Game rosters

Youth served on All-Star Game rosters

You can't host a rocking party without a guest list full of VIPs, and you can't have a Major League All-Star celebration for the ages without the rest of baseball's A-list.

So fittingly, 24 hours after the starters for the 86th Midsummer Classic at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati next Tuesday were announced, the reserves -- as well as the 10 contenders for the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote -- were revealed.

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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.

Today's starting lineups: July 7

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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Hear David Ortiz and Gronk's follow up Dunkin' song

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Hear David Ortiz and Gronk's follow up Dunkin' song

The new song from David Ortiz and Rob Gronkowski has to be heard to be believed (and not only because it features DJ Big Papi).

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Returns of Miller, Ellsbury to boost Yankees

Returns of Miller, Ellsbury to boost Yankees

NEW YORK -- The Yankees received a double helping of good news Tuesday, when manager Joe Girardi announced that the club expects to activate Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller on Wednesday for the second of a three-game matchup with the A's.

Ellsbury and Miller's return to the big leagues have been a long time coming, with Ellsbury going on the disabled list May 20 with a right knee sprain, and Miller joining the list on June 10 with a strained left forearm.

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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.

Flies and whiffs: Scherzer's unique dominance

Strikeout rate, walk rate, flyball rate all among MLB leaders

Flies and whiffs: Scherzer's unique dominance

Something you probably already know: By all the important metrics, Max Scherzer has been among the most dominant pitchers in baseball this season. His 1.94 FIP is the lowest among all qualified starters; his 1.82 ERA is second only to Zack Greinke. His 30.8 strikeout percentage is the fourth-highest; his 3.1 percent walk rate is the third-lowest. When he faces off against Cincinnati's wonderful Johnny Cueto on Tuesday night, it's no slight at all to Cueto to suggest that Scherzer will easily be the most dominant pitcher on the mound. Scherzer's that good.

So he's great, and you know that. But did you know that the particular way in which he's doing it sets him apart -- in some cases, well apart -- from his peers? There's no one right way to be a great pitcher. There's just different kinds of great. Scherzer's variety stands out more than most.

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Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After great grab, Wong exits with head injury

Before nightcap, Cardinals' second baseman says he passed concussion test

After great grab, Wong exits with head injury

CHICAGO -- Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong exited the Cards' 7-4 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday -- Game 1 of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field -- after 6 1/2 innings due to a head contusion, which Wong suffered as he made a leaping catch in shallow right field to end the fifth.

Wong, who has made defensive gems in three straight games, hit his head hard on the fall and was slow to get up. Though feeling dizzy, he did eventually walk off the field alongside Cardinals assistant athletic trainer Chris Conroy. Wong remained in the game, struck out in a sixth-inning at-bat and played another half-inning in the field before being pulled as a headache intensified.

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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.

Final Vote underway for last AL, NL spots

Tulo contending with 4 pitchers on NL side; 5 position players vying on AL side

Final Vote underway for last AL, NL spots

Balloting is under way through 4 p.m. ET on Friday in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, a four-day blitz in which unique campaign alliances will form, digital balloting records will probably fall and fans will decide the 34th and final roster spots for the 86th Midsummer Classic on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

• Cast your Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote

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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.

AL, NL starters revealed for All-Star Game

Jays' Donaldson sets single-season voting mark; Nats' Harper leads Senior Circuit

AL, NL starters revealed for All-Star Game

The American League team is dotted with Royals blue. The National League club is more of a diverse melting pot. Still, there is no question that there will be enough stratospheric talent from all over the Major Leagues on display at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on July 14 to do an All-Star job of painting the town of the Reds.

The starters for the 86th All-Star Game were announced on Sunday night, and the two marquee teams have enough fireworks in supply to keep the spirit of Independence Day humming right along.

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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.

Papelbon 'would be surprised' if not traded

Papelbon 'would be surprised' if not traded

Jonathan Papelbon expects his appearance at next week's All-Star Game to be one of his last in a Phillies uniform.

The Philadelphia reliever, who has a 1.65 ERA and 14 saves in 31 games this season, told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that he "would be surprised" if he was still a member of the Phillies next month.

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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.

Ripken, Darling, Pedro share Final Vote picks

Ripken, Darling, Pedro share Final Vote picks

With the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote active until 4 p.m. ET on Friday, three MLB legends and current TBS broadcasters joined in the debate during a national conference call with media on Tuesday.

Cast your Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote

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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.

Gardner letting numbers speak in FV push

Gardner letting numbers speak in FV push

NEW YORK -- The brainstorming sessions started in the Yankees' offices shortly after Brett Gardner was named as one of the five candidates for the American League Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on Monday, with officials tossing around some creative ways in which the outfielder could campaign for a ticket to Cincinnati.

• VOTE Gardner for Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote

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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.

Bogaerts thrilled to be part of Final Vote

Red Sox shortstop banking on two countries for support

Bogaerts thrilled to be part of Final Vote

BOSTON -- The power of Red Sox Nation should stretch from Boston to Aruba when it comes to supporting Xander Bogaerts in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, as the 22-year-old continues his quest to be Boston's youngest All-Star since Tony Conigliaro in 1967.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Bogaerts

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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.

Cueto's mates helping in push for Final Vote

Frazier among Reds leading charge; lunch-time voting effort set for Friday at The Holy Grail

Cueto's mates helping in push for Final Vote

WASHINGTON -- Now that their ace, Johnny Cueto, is one of five National League players selected for the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, the Reds are doing what they can to get their fans to cast their ballots.

Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, 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.

2015 Draft: Signing and Bonus Tracker

Here's a complete breakdown of which 2015 Draft picks from the first 10 rounds have agreed to terms, along with their reported bonuses and starting assignments. The list will be updated through the July 17 signing deadline.

Clubs have not announced or confirmed bonuses.

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Rangers agree with Cuban infielder Ibanez

Rangers agree with Cuban infielder Ibanez

The Rangers agreed to terms with Cuban infielder Andy Ibanez on an international free-agent contract Tuesday.

Ibanez, 22, was the youngest member of the Cuban National Team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He is known for his disciplined plate approach and gap-to-gap line-drive power. Ibanez, likely a second baseman, is also a capable fielder and has basestealing ability.

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

Orlando answers call with first grand slam

Orlando answers call with first grand slam

KANSAS CITY -- Hard to imagine Paulo Orlando making much more of his first opportunity back with the Royals.

Orlando, who was called up from Triple-A Omaha on Monday, belted his first grand slam -- as well as his first career walk-off hit -- in the ninth inning to give the Royals a 9-5 win over the Rays on Tuesday afternoon in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Best of Fantasy411 Twitter chat

Best of Fantasy411 Twitter chat

MLB.com fantasy guru Fred Zinkie fielded questions from fans during a live Twitter chat at @Fantasy411 on Tuesday. Check out the chat transcript below, and follow the @Fantasy411 Twitter handle and MLB.com's fantasy home. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.

@tigerbulldog13: Would you rather own Kevin Jepsen or Carson Smith for the rest of the season?

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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.

Closer Report: Week 14

Closer Report: Week 14

Issues for the Defending Champs

Santiago Casilla has been a solid closer for the Giants for a couple of years now, but he's been going through a rough stretch, and his job may now be in jeopardy. His issues came to a head on Wednesday when he allowed three runs without recording an out, en route to a blown save. After the outing, Bruce Bochy gave his ninth-inning man a few days off to get everything in order. There hasn't been any indication that he'll be ousted from the role, but it's hard to see him holding on if he has another bad outing or two. His 3.30 ERA is fine, but he's already blown four saves this season, and his 4.15 FIP tells a much darker story. The Giants haven't had any save chances recently, but one would have to assume Sergio Romo is the next man in line if Casilla is taken out of the ninth inning. Romo has had something of an anti-Casilla season, with a 4.97 ERA and a 2.21 FIP. I wouldn't go out of your way to add Romo until Bochy makes more concrete statements about the situation, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on.

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

Cubs tack on late in Game 1 to reward Arrieta

Cubs tack on late in Game 1 to reward Arrieta

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run homer, his 16th, and Chris Denorfia drove in three runs on a pair of hits to back Jake Arrieta and lead the Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday afternoon in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Arrieta cruised on an unseasonably cool day. The game-time temperature was 60 degrees, and the 20-plus-mph north wind made it feel even colder for the fans sitting in the shade at Wrigley Field among the crowd of 34,368. Arrieta scattered seven hits and struck out four over 6 2/3 innings and has now has given up just four earned runs over 30 2/3 innings across his last four starts.

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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. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Burnett relishing long-awaited first All-Star nod

Veteran right-hander headed to Midsummer Classic for 1st time in 17th season

Burnett relishing long-awaited first All-Star nod

PITTSBURGH -- A.J. Burnett was the Pirates' undeniable star of All-Star announcement day -- both during the game, as he set up the Bucs' 2-1 walk-off victory over San Diego on Monday night, and prior to it, when manager Clint Hurdle stood in the middle of the clubhouse and read off the honor roll.

After he heard his name, Burnett was "waiting for, 'Just kidding,' or something."

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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.

Span trying to curb lingering back spasms

Nats OF undergoes MRI, will see specialist; Barrett strikes out side in rehab outing

Span trying to curb lingering back spasms

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Denard Span experienced yet another back spasm Monday night, an issue that has hampered him on and off since early June. He was not in Tuesday's lineup.

The center fielder felt his back lock up on him in his first at-bat of Washington's 3-2 loss to Cincinnati and spent much of the 29-minute rain delay trying to get in shape to play. He returned to the field for the top of the second inning, but, still in discomfort, pulled himself after that half-inning.

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

A-Rod takes All-Star results in stride

A-Rod takes All-Star results in stride

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez hoped a trip to Cincinnati would be a cherry on top of an eventful first half that has already seen him return from suspension to pass Willie Mays on the all-time home run list, collect his 3,000th hit and 2,000th RBI, but the Yankees' slugger will instead watch the All-Star Game on television.

"I'm obviously disappointed," Rodriguez said. "It would have been fun to go out and represent the American League, that's for sure. But I know that while serving the suspension, the time off was very good for me. I hope the four days will be, too."

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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.

Prado could return after All-Star break

Alvarez getting close to starting rehab assignment

Prado could return after All-Star break

BOSTON -- The Marlins could begin the second half of the season a healthier ballclub, as third baseman Martin Prado began a rehab assignment on Tuesday night, and right-hander Henderson Alvarez is on track to start one of his own next week.

Prado, placed on the 15-day disabled list last month with a right shoulder sprain, served as the designated hitter for Class A Advanced Jupiter. He spent the last few weeks participating in a muscle strengthening program aimed at helping his recovery.

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

Braves recall Foltynewicz to add 'pen depth

Braves recall Foltynewicz to add 'pen depth

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Foltynewicz returned to the Major League level Tuesday primarily because the Braves want to carry an extra bullpen arm when they spend this weekend at Denver's Coors Field, the offensive haven that can take its toll on pitching staffs.

But Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he is receptive to the possibility of keeping Foltynewicz in the bullpen after the All-Star break concludes next week.

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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.

Cespedes comes out swinging in Final Vote

Tigers' slugger hits tape-measure homer hours after landing on AL ballot

Cespedes comes out swinging in Final Vote

SEATTLE -- Yoenis Cespedes slugged his way to two Home Run Derby titles in his career. He's going to need some help from fans in the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote if he's going to take his swings at a third next week.

Cespedes was left out of the American League All-Star outfield on the starting ballot and player vote, but he has a chance to get in through the Final Vote. In case anyone needed a reminder of his case, he launched a 432-foot drive deep into the Northwest night on Monday against the Mariners for a tape-measure home run that led off a five-run comeback a 12-5 win for the Tigers.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cutch to start as Bucs boast 4 All-Stars

McCutchen, Burnett, Cole and Melancon get the call on Monday

Cutch to start as Bucs boast 4 All-Stars

PITTSBURGH -- All-Star constant Andrew McCutchen not only made his fifth consecutive Midsummer Classic as the rest of the National League squad was announced Monday night -- but is also the pick to replace the injured Giancarlo Stanton in the starting lineup for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.

McCutchen will be joined in the Pirates' contingent by first-timers A.J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole -- the first tandem of Pittsburgh starters on an All-Star staff since Bob Friend and Vernon Law in 1960 -- and fellow 2013 All-Star Mark Melancon.

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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.