By Mark Sheldon and Ken Gurnick
MLB.com |@kengurnick |
CINCINNATI -- Zack Greinke fired a four-hitter for seven scoreless innings to outduel Anthony DeSclafani as the Dodgers edged the Reds on Thursday afternoon, 1-0, for their first series sweep at Great American Ball Park since 2008.
Greinke struck out nine, raised his record to 14-3 and lowered his MLB-leading ERA to 1.61. This was his 10th scoreless start of at least six innings this year, matching Don Sutton and Clayton Kershaw for second-most in Dodgers history behind Sandy Koufax (12 in 1963). He's 7-2 lifetime against the Reds, 4-1 at GABP and has won nine of his past 10 decisions.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler said he may borrow catcher Miguel Montero's gear to protect himself in his next at-bat. In three games over three days, Fowler has taken a foul ball off his right hand, his left elbow and his right shin, and he did not start Thursday in the series finale against the Giants.
X-rays of Fowler's shin on Wednesday were negative, and his status for the upcoming series against the Dodgers is questionable.
With active rosters set to expand from 25 to 40 on Tuesday, more blue-chip prospects will come up for the season's final month. Some already have appeared in the Majors earlier this year, while others will be making their debuts. Here are 10 of the best prospects we're likely to see in September:
By Alden Gonzalez and Alejandro Zúñiga
DETROIT -- Pitching in his hometown for the first time, with an assortment of friends and family in the stands, Matt Shoemaker dominated the Tigers at Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon, throwing 7 1/3 innings of one-hit ball while leading the Angels to a 2-0 victory.
With that, the Angels -- losers of 22 of their previous 32 games -- won their first series on the road since July 7-8 in Colorado.
ARLINGTON -- Rangers left fielder Will Venable made his first start in five games with a right-hander on the mound for the Blue Jays and made a terrific defensive play in the second inning to save a run.
The Blue Jays had Ben Revere on first with two outs when Cliff Pennington sliced a drive to left field. The ball was not hit deep, but Venable was playing shallow and had to race straight back to catch up. At the last moment, he made a diving catch going away from home plate. If he doesn't catch the ball, Revere would have scored easily.
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez left Thursday's game against the Reds in the fifth inning with a right knee bruise suffered two innings earlier when he fouled a pitch off his leg. He is day to day, according to the club.
Gonzalez struck out in that at-bat and played two more innings, but Scott Van Slyke took over at first base in the bottom of the fifth.
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig left Thursday's 1-0 victory over the Reds after appearing to reinjure a tender right hamstring legging out an infield single in the top of the ninth inning.
Puig, who earlier in the game extended his hitting streak to 10 games, pulled up as he hit the first-base bag, favoring the right leg that he injured Aug. 18, missing two more starts afterward.
DETROIT -- Heading into Thursday's series finale at Comerica Park, Mike Trout -- the consensus best all-around player in the game -- had come to bat with runners in scoring position only 102 times. One-hundred and thirty-one Major League hitters had more plate appearances in that situation.
It is perhaps the Angels' biggest hindrance this season, a flaw that could cost Trout the American League's Most Valuable Player Award.
With the end of August approaching, that means the completion of Minor League regular seasons is quickly arriving.
That also means September callups will be trickling in. Rosters expand Tuesday, and the floodgates might open once most Minor League regular seasons end (around Sept. 7). Until that time, here's a selection of your questions to keep you entertained.
DETROIT -- Justin Verlander has been here enough times that he's starting to know the club by heart.
"Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan," Verlander said after throwing a one-hit shutout against the Angels in a 5-0 Tigers win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park, starting down the list before struggling to remember the others with at least three no-hitters.
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.
2015 Postseason Schedule
Wild Card Games to begin playoffs on Oct. 6-7; World Series to start on Oct. 27
By Mark Newman
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.
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.
Statcast on Cespedes, other big moments
From homers to glove work, highlight reels examined
By Paul Casella
Postseason races continued to heat up across the Majors on Wednesday, a day that seemed to have a little bit of everything.
From multiple no-doubter home runs to highlight-reel defensive plays to a well-struck line drive that ended one player's bid for history, there was no shortage of dramatic moments on Wednesday -- and Statcast™ was there to track them all.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The best left-side infield in the Majors came together at the non-waiver Trade Deadline when the Blue Jays acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies and put him next to Josh Donaldson, a third baseman with few peers. Toronto has been ablaze ever since.
Looking down the road, it's hard to imagine a more exciting and productive tandem than what the Cubs have with Kris Bryant at third and Addison Russell at shortstop. Those of a certain age in Chicago might see shades of Ron Santo and Ernie Banks, basking in the North Side sun.
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.
Red Land boosted by home fans in LLWS
Crowd of nearly 35,000 dominated by Pennsylvania team supporters
By Allison Duffy
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- They say in sports that the home team has an advantage, and Red Land Little League has certainly made the most of that edge in its first three games at the 2015 Little League World Series.
The Mid-Atlantic Region champions from Lewisberry, Pa., traveled just 96 miles north on Route 15 to reach Little League's promised land, where they collected back-to-back victories to force a showdown with Texas on Wednesday night. In front of a friendly crowd estimated at 35,100, Red Land reserved a spot in the United States Championship game with a 3-0 victory.
PHILADELPHIA -- For the third time this season, the Mets own a winning streak of at least half a dozen games. They grabbed their sixth straight win with a 9-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night, extending their National League East lead over the Nationals to 6 1/2 games -- their largest since leading the Phillies by seven games with 17 to go in 2007 -- and putting themselves on pace for exactly 90 wins.
"You've got to win games you're supposed to win, there's no question about it," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Right now, we'll take it."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
HOUSTON -- It's been nearly a month since the Astros pulled off a trade to acquire outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers from the Brewers, and both have found themselves making big headlines.
Fiers, of course, pitched the 11th no-hitter in Astros history on Friday, while Gomez -- who has struggled mightily at the plate since coming to Houston -- was in a firestorm of controversy Tuesday when the Yankees took exception to his flashy gestures and bat slamming, igniting a benches-clearing incident.
ARLINGTON -- Justin Smoak hit a two-run home run in the fifth to put the Blue Jays ahead for good and Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam in the sixth in a 12-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night. The score was 2-2 when Smoak connected off Rangers starter Colby Lewis for his 13th home run of the season.
The Blue Jays, with their fifth straight win, now lead the Yankees by two games in the American League East. The Rangers, with their second straight loss to the Blue Jays, fell a half-game behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot.
ST. PETERSBURG -- Minnesota continued to roll on Wednesday night with a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field to claim its sixth consecutive victory and move into the top spot for the second American League Wild Card.
With the Angels' loss to the Tigers and Rangers falling to the Blue Jays, the Twins (65-61) have leapfrogged past them and now have a half-game lead over Texas and a one-game lead over Los Angeles in the AL Wild Card race.
While Indians haven't lived up to hype, they could be preseason darlings again in '16
By August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- It's not yet clear how the Indians' season will end. It might never be forgotten how it began.
It started with lofty expectations. They were the predicted Cinderella story of seemingly every media outlet. Sports Illustrated took it a step further with a regional cover and World Series expectations.
ARLINGTON -- Ben Revere is known throughout baseball as an elite defender, and he put on another clinic on Wednesday night with a sensational catch to rob the Rangers' Delino DeShields of extra bases.
Revere showed off his impressive vertical by soaring into the air to make a leaping catch at the left-field wall. Toronto won the game, 12-4, but the outcome was still in doubt when the timely grab saved ace David Price from getting into a jam.
CINCINNATI -- The Reds have yet to finalize or reveal who their September callups might be, but it seems possible that top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson would be among them.
"Those are conversations I'll have with Walt [Jocketty, the Reds' general manager] when we finalize the roster of guys that are coming up," Reds manager Bryan Price said Thursday. "I just don't have the ability or the right to tell you guys who would be coming up because we haven't had that final conversation. There's a chance he could be a part of that September conversation."
Tigers righty was 3 outs away from becoming 6th hurler with 3 no-hitters
By Roger Schlueter
Special to MLB.com |
Here are five interesting items from around the big leagues Wednesday …
• Bidding to become the sixth pitcher in big league history with at least three no-hitters, Justin Verlander didn't allow a knock until Chris Iannetta lined a single just fair to left field to begin the ninth. Verlander settled for a one-hit shutout as the Tigers blanked the Angels, 5-0. Verlander has four career shutouts on one hit or no hits, tying Virgil Trucks for the most for any Tiger since 1914. Like Verlander, Trucks had a pair of no-hitters, both coming in '52. Verlander's line -- which included nine strikeouts and two walks -- left him with a game score of 92. The right-hander has six career games with scores of at least 90 -- the most among active pitchers. His 1,901 career K's rank third in franchise history behind Mickey Lolich's 2,679 and Jack Morris' 1,980.
NEW YORK -- Collin McHugh pitched well into the seventh inning and Evan Gattis homered twice as the Astros defeated the Yankees, 6-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, taking the rubber contest of a three-game set.
McHugh took advantage of a Yankees lineup that was outscored, 21-4, in the series, limiting New York to two runs and five hits, striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander snapped a three-start losing streak and earned his 14th victory as the Astros notched consecutive road victories for the first time since June 17-18 at Coors Field. Houston's won 10 of its past 14 games.
CINCINNATI -- As starter David Holmberg struggled again for the Reds against the Dodgers on Wednesday, Michael Lorenzen had a third straight excellent performance for Triple-A Louisville. With Holmberg's next turn scheduled for Monday vs. the Cubs, it's possible it could go to Lorenzen instead.
Since Lorenzen was sent back to Louisville on Aug. 13, he is 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA and one complete game in three starts over 24 innings. In a 3-0 victory on Wednesday, he pitched eight scoreless innings with one hit, two walks and four strikeouts. Holmberg is 0-3 with a 15.19 ERA in his past three starts, and he allowed six earned runs and seven hits over 3 2/3 innings vs. Los Angeles.
Carlos Correa was 7 years old when the first live video stream of a Major League Baseball game was presented online to about 30,000 daytime viewers on Aug. 26, 2002.
Wednesday marked the 13th anniversary of that streaming service that became known to millions as MLB.TV, and to celebrate the occasion, MLB Advanced Media announced a sale of MLB.TV Premium yearly for only $9.99.