Star Spangled hammer: Bryce's patriotic HR

|
Star Spangled hammer: Bryce's patriotic HR

Nothing goes together quite like baseball and America. Don't believe us? Just ask Bryce Harper, who stepped to the plate during the Nats' July 4th matchup with the Giants rocking some highly patriotic lumber that we can only assume was harvested from a forest using nothing but freedom and was then transported to Nationals Park on the backs of bald eagles.

Continue Reading on Cut4

All-Star starters unveiled tonight, full roster Monday

Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday

All-Star starters unveiled tonight, full roster Monday

It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.

After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.

More

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.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

FAQ: How exactly are All-Star rosters constructed?

FAQ: How exactly are All-Star rosters constructed?

It's the time of year when division races become clearer, the Trade Deadline looms and the baseball world prepares to descend upon one lucky city that has been selected to play host to one of Major League Baseball's jewel events -- the All-Star Game.

With the All-Star Game, comes All-Star confusion -- not about the game itself, but the rosters, and how exactly they're configured.

More

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.

Kris-mas in July: Bryant provides fireworks

Phenom is first Cubs rookie to hit two slams in a season since Billy Williams in '61

Kris-mas in July: Bryant provides fireworks

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant ignited the fireworks at Wrigley Field a little early in Saturday's 7-2 Cubs win over the Marlins.

Within the first two innings, the rookie belted two home runs, including his second career grand slam, and drove in six runs. The effort was Bryant's second career multihomer game, and he now leads all Major League rookies as well as all Cubs players with 49 RBIs.

More

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.

Which 4th of July catch was most impressive?

|
Which 4th of July catch was most impressive?

There are many ways to celebrate the Fourth of July. You could grill some hot dogs and light some sparklers in your backyard. You could defend the Earth from aliens. You could hit a home run with a USA-themed bat. Or, like three Major Leaguers on Saturday, you could make an instant-highlight reel play that leaves fans asking, "he caught that?!"

But a truly fitting way to celebrate is by voting, in true democratic fashion, on which of those bonkers catches was the most impressive.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Miggy on DL with calf strain, to miss 6 weeks

Tigers call up Marte from Triple-A Toledo to take spot on active roster

Miggy on DL with calf strain, to miss 6 weeks

DETROIT -- For the first time in his career, Miguel Cabrera is headed to the disabled list. The American League's hitting leader and two-time Most Valuable Player Award winner went on the 15-day DL on Saturday morning with a left calf strain sustained on the basepaths in Friday night's 8-6 victory over the Blue Jays.

An MRI taken on the calf revealed a Grade 3 calf strain -- including tearing of muscle fibers -- which is expected to keep Cabrera out for around six weeks. The Tigers were expecting to get an additional opinion from Dr. Robert Anderson, the specialist who performed surgery last fall on Cabrera's left ankle and foot.

More

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

Greinke outduels Harvey to extend streak

Righty's seven shutout frames vs. Mets bring total to 27 2/3 innings

Greinke outduels Harvey to extend streak

LOS ANGELES -- It was more of the same from Zack Greinke on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, although there's nothing ordinary about the way he's been pitching.

Saturday's outing was nearly a carbon copy of his last three starts: seven innings, four hits, zero runs and four strikeouts. The only runs for New York came off the Dodgers' bullpen as Los Angeles held on for a 4-3 win.

More

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

Avisail jumps into highlight reels, robs HR

Snares game-tying shot from Davis in ninth inning

Avisail jumps into highlight reels, robs HR

CHICAGO -- David Robertson didn't keep the baseball used to strike out Matt Wieters and close out a 3-2 White Sox victory over the Orioles on Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

Yes, it was Robertson's 18th save as White Sox closer, and he keeps a baseball from each one. But on this afternoon, the ball went to right fielder Avisail Garcia.

More

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.

Giants use CF to try to pick off Harper

|
Giants use CF to try to pick off Harper

During Saturday's game against the Nationals, the Giants experimented with a rather unique pick-off move. Bryce Harper had a bit of a lead off second base, so they tried to get him out … using center fielder Gregor Blanco.

For something as odd as this to work, it would require Blanco to sneak into the infield as smoothly as a ninja cat. However, that's not quite what happened. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Bunt scores two runs, bunter gets to 3B

|
Bunt scores two runs, bunter gets to 3B

Cliff Pennington laid down a bunt in the eighth inning of the D-backs' 7-3 win over the Rockies on Saturday that plated two runs and left him standing on third base.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Santana's own swipe can help fans steal a home

Quicken Loans sweepstakes offers chance to win mortgage payment valued at up to $1,500

Santana's own swipe can help fans steal a home

Aggressive baserunning by the Astros on Friday capped a four-run 10th inning in a 12-8 win over the Red Sox, but it could pay even greater dividends for a lucky fan, thanks to the Quicken Loans "Steal A Home" program.

• Quicken Loans: Steal a Home Sweepstakes

More

Austin Laymance is a 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

Key things to watch for in today's games

By the end of the day Sunday, we'll know the All-Star fate of 17 of the game's top stars.

After more than 500 million votes were cast over 65 days, the starters for the 86th All-Star Game will be announced at 7:30 p.m. ET on the Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show on ESPN, just before the evening's matchup between the Giants and Nationals in Washington.

More

Chad Thornburg 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

D-backs could homer at home vs. De La Rosa

D-backs could homer at home vs. De La Rosa

Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Sunday.

More

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.

Panda raises the bar in defensive clinic

Falls into Astros' dugout on catch; starts 5-6-3 DP in shift

Panda raises the bar in defensive clinic

BOSTON -- Although he's not quite known for his fleetness of foot, Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval still has a penchant for flashing moments of highlight-reel defense at the hot corner. On Saturday, he reminded fans that the dugout railing is no match for a fast-moving Panda during Boston's 6-1 win over the Astros at Fenway Park.

In the fourth inning, outfielder Preston Tucker led off by hitting a popup into foul territory along the edge of the Houston dugout. Sandoval tracked the ball, reached over the railing and tumbled into the dugout, but he held on to make an impressive catch for the out.

More

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

In first start at 1B, Avila dives into crowd

Filling in for Miggy, Tigers' usual catcher flips headfirst into stands

In first start at 1B, Avila dives into crowd

DETROIT -- Before Saturday's 8-3 victory over the Blue Jays, during which he made his first career start at first base, the Tigers' Alex Avila downplayed expectations.

"I'm not going to be amazing over there by any means, but I think I'll do adequate," Avila said.

More

Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Error hands Yankees 2nd straight walk-off win

Error hands Yankees 2nd straight walk-off win

NEW YORK -- The Yankees and Rays were tied in the ninth when Ramon Flores laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance pinch-runner Jose Pirela to third and Chris Young to second. But reliever Brad Boxberger's errant throw to first base allowed Pirela to come sliding into home as the Yanks topped the Rays, 3-2, on Saturday at Yankee Stadium with their second straight walk-off victory.

"I just yanked the throw," Boxberger said. " ... I should have made that play and I didn't."

More

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

Strasburg exits early with left side injury

Strasburg exits early with left side injury

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg left Saturday's 9-3 win over the Giants in the fourth inning because of tightness in his left side and was replaced by right-hander Tanner Roark.

Strasburg was cruising for 3 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters, as the Nationals led the Giants, 3-0. Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos believed that Strasburg was having his best game of the season.

More

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carlos Gomez leaves gum, note for Hamilton in CF

|
Carlos Gomez leaves gum, note for Hamilton in CF

'Tis the season for giving. Well, it is if you believe in Half Christmas or Christmas in July or some other such mid-summer ode to the actual season for giving. No matter what you celebrate, you should at least be able to appreciate the kindness displayed by Carlos Gomez on Saturday. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

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.

More

Questions remain if Cueto will pitch in All-Star Game

Questions remain if Cueto will pitch in All-Star Game

CINCINNATI -- Unlike his dynamic 2014 season, Reds ace Johnny Cueto isn't a lock to make the 2015 National All-Star team this year when reserve rosters and pitchers are revealed on Monday night.

But just like last year, Cueto may not be able to pitch if he makes the team. That's because he's once again lined up to pitch the final game of the first half on Sunday, when he faces the Marlins.

More

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.

Felix takes rare loss in Oakland

Felix takes rare loss in Oakland

OAKLAND -- Even on a bad day, Felix Hernandez is good enough to keep his team in a game. But even the King needs a little help, and he didn't get any on Saturday as the Mariners fell to the A's, 2-0, to end his string of 13 straight games without a loss at the Coliseum.

Hernandez gave up a season-high 10 hits but wiggled out of trouble and limited the damage to two runs over seven innings. But two runs, on a day when the Mariners couldn't muster any offense against A's rookie Kendall Graveman, were too much to overcome.

More

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.

239 reasons to love baseball and America

Fourth of July is perfect time to celebrate country and sport

239 reasons to love baseball and America

Pedro Martinez, about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame later this month, struck out 239 batters for Boston in 2002 and gave up 239 home runs in his career.

Rod Carew led the Majors with 239 hits for Minnesota in his American League MVP season of 1977 -- exactly 80 years after Wee Willie Keeler reached that career-best number for Baltimore.

More

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.

Russell recalls 'whirlwind' year after megadeal

Infielder thankful to be part of Cubs on anniversary of blockbuster with A's

Russell recalls 'whirlwind' year after megadeal

CHICAGO -- The Fourth of July means more than fireworks for rookie Addison Russell. This year, the date marks the one-year anniversary of when the infielder was traded from the Athletics to the Cubs.

Russell, 21, posted on Twitter: "Happy 4th to everyone out there! July 4th is also the day @billy_mckinney and I became Cubbies #WeAreGood #missyabud"

More

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.

Corbin marks comeback with 1st win since '13

Corbin marks comeback with 1st win since '13

PHOENIX -- Patrick Corbin tossed five solid innings to earn the win in his first start since Sept. 27, 2013 as the D-backs beat the Rockies, 7-3, on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Chase Field.

Corbin, who underwent Tommy John surgery in March, 2014, allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out three. The D-backs gave Corbin some early run support in the first when they capitalized on a Nolan Arenado error to score a pair of runs.

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs set to activate Soler for finale vs. Marlins

Cubs set to activate Soler for finale vs. Marlins

CHICAGO -- Outfielder Jorge Soler, sidelined since June 3 with a sprained left ankle, will be activated from the disabled list on Sunday and rejoin the Cubs. Soler played nine innings on Friday for Triple-A Iowa, participating in his fourth rehab game. Soler was 2-for-13 during his Minor League stint, but manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't that concerned about the statistics.

"I don't worry about that stuff," Maddon said before Saturday's 7-2 Cubs win over the Marlins. "To me, it's a matter of, 'If he's healthy and he's seeing the ball, what does his timing look like?' Those are the kinds of things you're trying to get from the guys down there."

More

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.

Jonathan Lucroy wore Captain America catcher's gear

|
Jonathan Lucroy wore Captain America catcher's gear

Sure, David Wright has the nickname and Bryce Harper has the star-spangled bat, but Jonathan Lucroy's Independence Day catcher's gear may have earned him the moniker of Captain America for at least one day.

Continue Reading on Cut4

American hero Bryant wins July 4 with 2 HRs (1 slam)

|
American hero Bryant wins July 4 with 2 HRs (1 slam)

"On the Fourth of July, the whole sky would brighten up with fireworks giving us just enough light for a game. We played our best then because, I guess, we all felt like big leaguers." - Scotty Smalls, "The Sandlot"

Continue Reading on Cut4

Fourth of July standings can predict playoffs

Teams in first place on the Fourth are likely to be playing in October

Fourth of July standings can predict playoffs

Perhaps no holiday coincides better with Major League Baseball than Independence Day.

The two have long gone hand in hand and, this year in particular, the patriotic holiday just so happens to fall square in the middle of the national pastime's season. With that in mind, what better time than now to check in on the postseason prospects of the current division leaders?

More

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

Cron's six RBIs, Santiago's gem spark rout

Cron's six RBIs, Santiago's gem spark rout

ARLINGTON -- Angels left-hander Hector Santiago continued his dominance of the Rangers in their own ballpark with seven scoreless innings in a 13-0 victory before a sellout crowd on Saturday night.

Designated hitter C.J. Cron led the offense, going 3-for-4 with a home run and six RBIs. The Angels have won two straight over the Rangers, outscoring them 21-2 in the first two of a three-game series.

More

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for MLB.com. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matz, eyeing encore, faces Dodgers

After memorable debut, southpaw gets first test on the road

Matz, eyeing encore, faces Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- This time around, Steven Matz will have no family in the crowd, no screaming throngs of friends behind the home dugout. When Matz takes the mound for his second career start Sunday at Dodger Stadium, it will be normal.

Sort of.

More

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.