Nats take set after Scherzer out-K's Lester

Nats take set after Scherzer out-K's Lester

CHICAGO -- Bryce Harper belted his National League-leading 18th home run and Max Scherzer outdueled Jon Lester on Wednesday night to lead the Nationals to a 3-0 victory over the Cubs and a series win.

Scherzer struck out 13, two shy of his career best, and scattered five hits over seven innings for the win, while Lester fanned 10 over seven innings and took his first loss in six May starts. This was the fourth meeting between the two pitchers; Scherzer now leads, 3-1.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. 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.

Thor powers Mets with mighty arm -- and bat

Syndergaard hurls 7 1/3 scoreless innings, belts massive first MLB homer

Thor powers Mets with mighty arm -- and bat

NEW YORK -- Well before Terry Collins turned 66 on Wednesday, Noah Syndergaard gave him the gift of promise. For many, that would have been enough. But then Collins' birthday came, and Syndergaard delivered on that promise in the form of a dominant two-way performance in the Mets' 7-0 win over the Phillies at Citi Field.

By that point, it was Collins who felt he owed his young pitcher something. So he sent Syndergaard out to start the eighth inning. After one out, Syndergaard was removed to the second standing ovation in as many home starts, an applause almost as mammoth as the home run he launched earlier in the game.

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

Four Cards soaring high in NL All-Star voting

Molina, Peralta, Carpenter and Holliday on pace to start in Midsummer Classic

Four Cards soaring high in NL All-Star voting

The Midsummer Classic may wind up bearing the mark of the Cardinals. The first National League voting update of the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot was released on Wednesday, and half of the league's starters were players from St. Louis. The fans have come out in droves to support the Cardinals, yielding leads at catcher, shortstop, third base and in one of the outfield slots.

Complete results: NL All-Star ballot update

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

NL All-Star Game ballot update: May 27

NL All-Star Game ballot update: May 27

At the first update in the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot for the National League, the Cardinals have four players in line to start the July 14 Midsummer Classic at Great American Ball Park, and another four among the voting leaders.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, a two-time All-Star, leads all NL players in balloting with 1,116,582 total votes.

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Felix bests Archer with four-hit shutout

Felix bests Archer with four-hit shutout

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Mariners hit a go-ahead home run off Rays closer Brad Boxberger for the second consecutive game on Wednesday, this one a three-run shot off the bat of Nelson Cruz, to give Seattle a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay and a series sweep.

Boxberger came in to relieve Chris Archer in the top of the ninth and proceeded to strike out Mike Zunino and Austin Jackson to start the inning, but walked Seth Smith and Robinson Cano to bring Cruz to the plate. After getting ahead, 1-0, Cruz launched a ball over the center-field wall and into the Rays' Touch Tank. It was only the fourth home run to ever land in the Touch Tank.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com and Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryce joins Cruz atop homer leaderboard

Bryce joins Cruz atop homer leaderboard

CHICAGO -- Right-hander Max Scherzer had a pretty good performance on Wednesday night, with seven shutout innings and 13 strikeouts, but he was most enthusiastic during his postgame news conference about teammate Bryce Harper.

The 22-year-old Harper hit his 18th home run in the Nationals' 3-0 victory over the Cubs -- a solo shot to left field off left-hander Jon Lester -- and now is tied with the Mariners' Nelson Cruz for the Major League lead.

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

MLB.TV unveils new media player

MLB.TV unveils new media player

Today's schedule starts with a White Sox-Orioles doubleheader that makes up the games that were postponed last month in Baltimore, and then a Corey Kluber-vs.-Nelson Cruz matchup that headlines six more games to follow. Along the way, you are about to have another one of those MLB.TV moments that make you realize how far we have come since the first live video broadcast stream by a major sports league in 2002.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media is introducing its new Web-based media player (version 5.0), for those who currently subscribe or those who sign up now for MLB.TV Premium ($114.99 a year or $24.99 a month) or regular MLB.TV ($94.99/$19.99). You'll notice the difference right away as the HD media player has an in-page layout, so it all happens in your browser with no need for an additional download.

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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.

A-Rod passes Gehrig on all-time RBI list

A-Rod passes Gehrig on all-time RBI list

Alex Rodriguez's three-run home run Wednesday afternoon gave the Yankees' designated hitter 1,995 career RBIs, passing Lou Gehrig and moving him to within one of Barry Bonds, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball. The Yankees beat the Royals, 4-2.

Baseball has a longstanding history of disputes over numbers, and the career RBI leaderboard is one of them. Due to the uncertain nature of record keeping in the early part of the 20th century, there are some discrepancies regarding Gehrig's overall numbers. According to Elias, Gehrig's career RBI total is 1,993. The various sources used to comprise MLB.com's entire database, which lists Gehrig with 1,995 career RBIs, reflects alternative and also credible points of view.

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Thanks to Paredes, fans can steal a home

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

Thanks to Paredes, fans can steal a home

At this rate, you can expect to have a chance for a free mortgage payment in the Quicken Loans "Steal A Home" program at nearly the exact same time every Wednesday night for the rest of this season.

Remarkably, Baltimore's Jimmy Paredes stole home on a double steal in Wednesday's 5-4 win over Houston at almost the same time during an East Coast game that A.J. Pollock stole home for Arizona during a double steal the previous Wednesday at Miami.

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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.

Players shave heads to support Aviles' daughter

Shortstop overcome with appreciation as teammates pull together for Adriana, who has leukemia

Players shave heads to support Aviles' daughter

CLEVELAND -- It began with only a handful of players during the Indians' last road trip. Slowly, more and more members of Cleveland's team and staff began joining the cause, shaving their heads as a collective show of support for Mike Aviles' young daughter.

Earlier this month, Aviles' 4-year-old girl, Adriana, was diagnosed with leukemia and has a tough road ahead in battling the disease. Aviles said Adriana laughed at her dad when he buzzed his hair and said he looked funny. As more and more people have followed with closely cropped hair, Aviles has felt overwhelmed.

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

What to watch for in today's games

Kluber's emphatic return to form among top storylines on day of light slate

What to watch for in today's games

Despite an abbreviated eight-game slate on Thursday, there are still numerous pitching storylines worth keeping an eye on.

A few aces will take the mound and a couple of rookie pitchers will make their big league debuts -- with one team showcasing one of each on the same day.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

DraftKings picks: Papi, Beltre, Kluber

DraftKings picks: Papi, Beltre, Kluber

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 today.

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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.

Braves wait out Greinke, edge Dodgers

Braves wait out Greinke, edge Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Nick Markakis' ground-rule double capped a two-run eighth inning against an erratic Adam Liberatore as the Braves capitalized on an Alex Wood gem for a 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Andrelton Simmons scored the go-ahead run when Liberatore's 3-1 pitch to Freddie Freeman went to the backstop. Markakis followed the wild pitch with an RBI double, which provided the insurance run the Braves needed to overcome the one-out homer Alex Guerrero hit off Braves closer Jason Grilli in the ninth inning.

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

Holliday's on-base streak sets NL mark

Holliday's on-base streak sets NL mark

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday hit his way into the record books at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night when he singled in the fifth inning of the Cardinals' 4-3 win over Arizona to become the first National League player to reach base in his first 43 games of a season.

Holliday ripped an 0-1 pitch from D-backs starter Josh Collmenter to right-center field and received a standing ovation from a crowd 43,715 as his teammates watched from the top step of the dugout.

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

Rally vs. Marlins 'pen lifts Bucs to 6th straight

Rally vs. Marlins 'pen lifts Bucs to 6th straight

PITTSBURGH -- Led by another strong start from Gerrit Cole, the Pirates rallied to score five runs with two outs in the seventh inning and beat the Marlins, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park.

The Pirates have won a season-high six straight games, completing back-to-back sweeps against the Mets and Marlins. It's their longest winning streak since June 20-30, 2013.

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

Cards walk off in ninth for sweep of D-backs

Cards walk off in ninth for sweep of D-backs

ST. LOUIS -- With a pair of ninth-inning runs -- the latter scoring on a throwing error by catcher Jordan Pacheco -- off reliever Brad Ziegler, the Cardinals stole a 4-3 win over the D-backs on Wednesday night, giving St. Louis its second walk-off victory in the three-game set and a sweep of Arizona at Busch Stadium. 

The game ended in wild fashion, with D-backs replacement catcher Pacheco sailing a throw into right field to allow the winning run to jog in from third. Pacheco, trying to finish off an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded, had his back foot hit on Peter Bourjos' aggressive slide home. That seemed to throw off his timing on the play. Jason Heyward had opened the inning with a solo blast to tie the game.

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Twins' milestones have significance

Twins' milestones have significance

Maybe all you need to know about the Minnesota Twins was on display in the bottom of the third inning Wednesday afternoon at Target Field. This would be the day the Twins would grab a share of first place in the American League Central, the day of another raucous clubhouse celebration after a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. Sure, there's a long way to go, but for the Twins, these small milestones have significance.

The Twins trailed the Red Sox, 2-0, in the bottom of the third inning, but they had the tying runs on base when veteran outfielder Torii Hunter stepped to the plate against Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

Base to bass: Hall of Famers are friends, and Big Unit rocks as a photographer

On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

AUSTIN, Texas -- Amid the lights, video boards, shooting sparklers and other elaborate props that are commonplace on stage at a rock concert stands a quiet and very tall figure, dressed in blue jeans and an unassuming T-shirt, holding a camera.

He needs to be close to action, but he also has to stay out of the way of the main attraction, all the while capturing the poignant moments that will eventually document this particular moment in the band's history.

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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.

Cards' Adams out 3-4 months with quad strain

Cards' Adams out 3-4 months with quad strain

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams is expected to miss the next three-to-four months while recovering from a severe right quadriceps strain that he suffered running the bases on Tuesday. That timeframe leaves open the possibility that Adams won't play again this season.

Though the Cardinals were still gathering doctors' opinions as of Wednesday afternoon, they were already bracing for a long-term absence based upon early reads of Adams' MRI exam. Those concerns were confirmed later in the day, at which time the team announced an updated prognosis.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

In duel of winter prizes, no topping Scherzer

Lester on his game, but Nats' ace fans 13 Cubs in finale of hard-fought set

In duel of winter prizes, no topping Scherzer

CHICAGO -- You've got to beat the best to be the best. Joe Maddon says it all the time, and the chance was right there for the manager and his Cubs during Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Nationals.

But let it be known that the belt, as it were, stays with Max Scherzer and the Nats.

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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.

Trout enjoying Harper's success from afar

Trout enjoying Harper's success from afar

ANAHEIM - Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is in the midst of an impressive breakout season, but he still defers to Mike Trout, recently telling ESPN.com that the Angels' center fielder is "the best player in baseball, and I don't think anybody can argue with that."

Trout saw Harper's comments on Twitter. He smiled when asked about it before Wednesday's game.

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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.

Lester vs. Scherzer anything but ordinary

Lester vs. Scherzer anything but ordinary

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester prepares to pitch against Max Scherzer the same as if he were to face a journeyman hurler making an emergency start. But Lester vs. Scherzer is anything but ordinary.

The two pitchers combined for 23 strikeouts on Wednesday, with Scherzer coming out ahead in the win column as the Nationals topped the Cubs, 3-0, at Wrigley Field.

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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.

Padres cash in during 7th, win series vs. Halos

Padres cash in during 7th, win series vs. Halos

ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton and Matt Kemp came up big late, leading the Padres to a 5-4 win on Wednesday night to take two of three at Angel Stadium.

With two on and two outs in the top of the seventh -- and the score knotted at 3 -- Upton snuck a grounder through the left side and Kemp dumped a base hit into shallow right field against Garrett Richards, giving San Diego a two-run lead.

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

How they drew it up: Upton, Kemp deliver in clutch

How they drew it up: Upton, Kemp deliver in clutch

ANAHEIM -- When general manager A.J. Preller pulled off a stunning December deal that landed Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, he did so picturing the offensive pop Kemp and Justin Upton -- another key acquisition -- could offer the middle of the lineup.

It showed up Wednesday, as the Padres secured their first series win since May 8-10 when they held on for a 5-4 victory over the Angels at Angel Stadium.

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

Rehab assignment next for Rendon

Rehab assignment next for Rendon

CHICAGO -- Infielder Anthony Rendon played five innings of a simulated game on Wednesday, and it appears his next step is to begin a rehab assignment, perhaps as soon as Friday.

"He had a couple of at-bats," manager Matt Williams said. "He played all innings of defense, which is good. ... He didn't take breaks in between. He stayed out there.

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

Cespedes' homer gives Tigers series win over A's

Cespedes' homer gives Tigers series win over A's

OAKLAND -- Tigers slugger Yoenis Cespedes blasted a three-run home run at his old stomping grounds Wednesday afternoon, leading Detroit to a series-winning 3-2 victory over his former A's club at the Coliseum.

Cespedes, traded by the A's to the Red Sox at the Trade Deadline last summer, made them pay for intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera in front of him, launching a 3-2 changeup from reliever Dan Otero to left field with two outs in the fifth.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB and listen to her podcast. Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heyward gains measure of redemption in win

Heyward gains measure of redemption in win

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals needed someone to step up offensively. It just so happened to be the player who let them down defensively a few innings earlier.

Jason Heyward uncorked a game-tying homer to jumpstart a decisive bottom half of the ninth in St. Louis' 4-3, sweep-clinching win over the D-backs at Busch Stadium Wednesday night.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Breakdown of 2015 Draft signing bonus pools

Houston has record total with 2 of top 5 selections, followed by Rockies, D-backs, Braves

Breakdown of 2015 Draft signing bonus pools

After an unprecedented three-year run of owning the No. 1 overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft, the Astros won't get whomever they want this year. But they still have more spending power than any club.

Houston has an allocated bonus pool of $17,289,200 for the first 10 rounds. To put that amount in perspective, the largest bonus outlay by a team in a single Draft had been $17,005,700 by the 2011 Pirates, who paid a record $8 million to No. 1 overall choice Gerrit Cole and $5 million to second-rounder Josh Bell.

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Verlander likely to start rehab assignment on Sunday

Iglesias, Avila, V-Mart making progress in injury recoveries

Verlander likely to start rehab assignment on Sunday

OAKLAND -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus didn't even think to ask ace right-hander Justin Verlander how his arm felt the day after throwing a simulated game.

"I saw him and said hello," Ausmus said. "He wasn't complaining. He was upbeat."

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

Hamilton has fun notching first 2015 hit

Left fielder still satisfied despite being thrown out at second, also impresses in field

Hamilton has fun notching first 2015 hit

CLEVELAND -- As Josh Hamilton ran off the field, he did so with a chuckle and a smile.

Never mind that Hamilton just got thrown out by five steps while trying to stretch a single into a double. Never mind that Hamilton's Rangers were in the midst of a 12-3 defeat Wednesday at the hands of the Cleveland Indians.

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