Rock the vote: Cueto's shutout a statement

Day after being named Final Vote candidate, Reds ace fans 11 in two-hit masterpiece

Rock the vote: Cueto's shutout a statement

WASHINGTON -- Sometimes in elections, talk is cheap for a candidate with the voters. It's better to prove yourself on the job and in the arena. Reds ace Johnny Cueto certainly accomplished that on Tuesday night vs. the Nationals.

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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.

Faced with nasty offering, Bogaerts delivers

Final Vote candidate hammers pitch with perceived velocity of 105.55 mph

Faced with nasty offering, Bogaerts delivers

BOSTON -- The pitch from Carter Capps that wound up deciding Tuesday night's game between the Red Sox and Marlins came in to Xander Bogaerts, who is an Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote candidate, at 99 mph. At least that's what the radar gun reading was on the offering Bogaerts ripped into right-center for a rare three-run single that led the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Marlins.

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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.

Upton robs fellow All-Star McCutchen of HR

Upton robs fellow All-Star McCutchen of HR

PITTSBURGH -- On Monday, Padres outfielder Justin Upton was named to the National League All-Star team, an honor bestowed upon him for his offensive merits this season.

On a wet Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Upton used his glove to rob another All-Star, Andrew McCutchen, of a two-run home run with an over-the-fence grab in the fifth inning.

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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.

Pujols, Trout lead Angels' home run barrage vs. Rox

Pujols, Trout lead Angels' home run barrage vs. Rox

DENVER -- The Angels knocked around Chad Bettis early with four home runs in the first three frames, propelling Los Angeles to its third straight double-digit showing and a 10-2 win over the Rockies in Tuesday's series opener at Coors Field.

Albert Pujols set the tone in the first with a three-run shot for his 54th career Interleague homer -- the most in Major League history. Mike Trout and Matt Joyce followed suit by going deep in the second, and former Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta knocked Bettis (4-4) out with a two-run homer in third, which gave the Angels a 10-0 advantage.

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

Pirates join grounds crew in battle against tarp

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Pirates join grounds crew in battle against tarp

If horror movies have taught us anything, it's that every single object around us is probably a monster. Sure, you might think that's a normal, benign elevator, but you're wrong. This theory was proved 100 percent true on Tuesday night when the grounds crew in Pittsburgh discovered the true nature of the tarp they were trying to put down.

The sentient and presumably evil (but maybe just hungry?) piece of material tried to swallow at least one guy, but, as horror movies have also taught us, there's always a hero somewhere.

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Cespedes' Final Vote nod could lead to Derby

Two-time champ, J.D. Martinez give Tigers two worthy potential participants

Cespedes' Final Vote nod could lead to Derby

SEATTLE -- J.D. Martinez became an All-Star with a two-week hitting barrage that has resembled a home run contest. It only makes that sense that he takes his swings at the actual event, now known as the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders.

Yoenis Cespedes knows the feeling. He's the two-time defending champion with a chance to defend, but he wants to be in the All-Star Game if he's going to take part, and he'll need fans to punch his ticket via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote.

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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.

Kluber tops Astros for first win since May

Kluber tops Astros for first win since May

CLEVELAND -- Indians right-hander Corey Kluber continued to receive little in the way of run support, but he took matters into his own hands by shutting out the Astros over 6 2/3 innings in a 2-0 victory at Progressive Field on Tuesday evening.

Kluber struck out seven and walked two, scattering five hits. He entered the game receiving just 2.33 runs of support per start, worst in baseball, and the number only dropped. Kluber rectified that by holding his opposition scoreless for the second time this season to pick up his first win since May 28.

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

Martinez feeds on-field duck, ends eons-long war

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Martinez feeds on-field duck, ends eons-long war

Eons ago, in the perfectly anthropomorphized world that once existed, cardinals and ducks were united as one. Literal birds of a feather, they would wander the Earth and take to the skies as brothers and allies of the Precambrian age. (Or whenever birds showed up -- what do I look like, a scientist?)

But then came the great rift. As human beings began roaming the Earth, they declared that cardinals play baseball and ducks play ice hockey or feature in films starring Emilio Estevez. The fires raged and these once noble friends waged war in the skies as their voices were silenced by the quacks and chirps of discord. 

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Pence provides charge with great play, RBIs

Right fielder makes tremendous catch, fires home for double play

Pence provides charge with great play, RBIs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence returned to the lineup in style Tuesday night.

Pence, who somewhat surprisingly got the start for San Francisco after missing 30 games with left wrist tendinitis, knocked in the Giants' first run with a groundout in the third inning.

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Oliver Macklin is an associate 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

Trout uncertain if he'll participate, may decide Wednesday

Pujols says he's in for Home Run Derby

DENVER -- Albert Pujols, the starting first baseman for the American League, is ready to take his hacks at the Derby.

Major League Baseball has yet to make an official announcement for the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, but Pujols said from Coors Field on Tuesday that he'll be participating in the event for the fourth time this year.

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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.

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.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Final Vote: Why Kershaw, Dozier should win

Dodgers ace, Twins sparkplug deserve place at All-Star Game

Final Vote: Why Kershaw, Dozier should win

The 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote is underway to determine the last spot on the American League and National League rosters, and as usual, there are some very difficult choices on the ballots.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lawrie's 10th-inning HR lifts A's over Yanks

Lawrie's 10th-inning HR lifts A's over Yanks

NEW YORK -- Brett Lawrie hit a go-ahead solo home run off All-Star Dellin Betances in the top of the 10th inning on Tuesday, lifting the Athletics to a 4-3 victory over the Yankees in the opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

"It's a tough AB," Lawrie said. "You get in there, and this guy's an All-Star and has great numbers for a reason. You know he's got a great curveball and he's got 100 [mph] in the tank. You got to get in the box and get ready to hit right away. I missed the first heater and the next curveball was real nasty, and then I just stuck with the curveball, caught it up front, and it stayed fair. Good one for the boys."

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

Lindor robs fellow SS prospect Correa of hit

Astros shortstop originally ruled safe, but call is overturned

Lindor robs fellow SS prospect Correa of hit

CLEVELAND -- It was a battle between the two top shortstop prospects in baseball on Tuesday night at Progressive Field. The Indians' Francisco Lindor vs. the Astros' Carlos Correa. In this instance, it was Lindor who came out on top.

With the Indians leading, 1-0, in the sixth inning, Correa hit a ground ball up the middle. Lindor ranged to his left, dove, spun and delivered a strong throw to first baseman Carlos Santana, who finished things off with a nice scoop. Cleveland won the game, 2-0.

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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.

Royals ride four-run sixth for DH sweep of Rays

Royals ride four-run sixth for DH sweep of Rays

KANSAS CITY -- Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar drilled a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning that broke the game open, and Alex Gordon had four hits and four RBIs as the Royals completed a doubleheader sweep with a 7-1 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night.

"You have to credit [the Royals]," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "They're good. They put the ball in play. They make a lot of action happen."

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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.

Cubs pounce on close play, Cards error in nightcap

Cubs pounce on close play, Cards error in nightcap

CHICAGO -- Behind three runs in a wild seventh inning, the Cubs rallied to beat the Cardinals, 5-3, in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Tuesday night. Chicago won Game 1, 7-4, for its first doubleheader sweep at Wrigley Field since Sept. 27, 2003, against Pittsburgh.

With the Cubs trailing by one in the seventh, Miguel Montero led off the inning with a walk against Cardinals reliever Seth Maness before fellow pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera reached on a single. Addison Russell hit an RBI single just down the right-field line to score Montero, and Dexter Fowler's grounder, which could've been turned for an inning-ending double play, was thrown into the outfield by reliever Kevin Siegrist to plate Herrera with the go-ahead run. Anthony Rizzo added a sacrifice fly to center field for an insurance run.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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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Hernandez usurps Utley at 2B for Phils

Phillies rookie earns spot while veteran awaits return from DL

Hernandez usurps Utley at 2B for Phils

LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley is the greatest second baseman in Phillies history, but it appears Cesar Hernandez's time has come.

Hernandez, 25, entered Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers hitting .302 (54-for-179) with 10 doubles, one triple, one home run, 19 RBIs and a .771 OPS in 71 games. Meanwhile, Utley is on the disabled list with an injured right ankle. He is hitting .179 (39-for-218) with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, 25 RBIs and a .532 OPS in 65 games.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Polanco's triple lifts Pirates over Padres

Polanco's triple lifts Pirates over Padres

PITTSBURGH -- Gregory Polanco's triple with two outs in the eighth inning drove in the tie-breaking run Tuesday night as the Pirates edged San Diego, 3-2, to clinch the Bucs' first series win over the Padres in PNC Park history, where the teams have been meeting annually since 2001.

Polanco's shot up the left-center alley off Joaquin Benoit scored Sean Rodriguez, who had been hit by a pitch to begin the inning. The Bucs won their fourth straight, and seventh in eight games, while the loss was San Diego's fourth consecutive, matching the Friars' longest skid of the season. Mark Melancon closed out the game for his 26th consecutive successful save conversion, tying Joel Hanrahan's 2011 club record.

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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. 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.

Donaldson's blast the difference in duel

Donaldson's blast the difference in duel

CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana pitched well enough to win Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, as he has done for most of the 2015 season. And once again the White Sox offense did not support him, as the Blue Jays claimed a 2-1 victory and evened this four-game set at one win apiece.

Part of the credit for Toronto's victory goes to starting pitcher Felix Doubront, who held the White Sox to one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings, while striking out six and walking one. But the fact of the matter is this White Sox offense has been in sleep mode for most of this season, having now gone 24 straight home games scoring four runs or less.

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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. 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.

Ray outduels Gallardo as D-backs top Texas

Ray outduels Gallardo as D-backs top Texas

ARLINGTON -- The D-backs brought Yovani Gallardo's consecutive scoreless streak to an end Tuesday night while extending the Rangers' troubles in their own ballpark.

Left-hander Robbie Ray held Texas scoreless into the eighth inning and Arizona went on to a 4-2 victory at Globe Life Park. The Rangers have lost seven straight home games, while the D-backs have won six of their last nine games overall.

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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. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibson, Sano lead Twins over Orioles

Gibson, Sano lead Twins over Orioles

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson turned in yet another strong start and was backed by top prospect Miguel Sano's first career homer to help lead the Twins to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night at Target Field.

Gibson kept it rolling, giving up two runs over six innings to improve to 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA over his last three starts. His lone mistake was serving up a two-run blast to J.J. Hardy in the fifth with the Twins leading 8-0. He outpitched Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman, who suffered through his worst outing of the year, giving up eight runs (seven earned) over 3 2/3 innings.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. and Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amaro doesn't feel pressure to make trades

Phillies GM would like to make a deal to help club long-term

Amaro doesn't feel pressure to make trades

LOS ANGELES -- The clock is ticking on the Phillies with the July 31 Trade Deadline just around the corner.

But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium that the organization is not feeling pressured to trade anybody. Of course, that might be posturing on his part, but he said the Phillies will not be forced into a trade.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pierzynski stays hot as Braves edge Brewers

Pierzynski stays hot as Braves edge Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- A.J. Pierzynski's recent tear at the plate continued Tuesday night as the Braves catcher collected three hits in support of rookie starter Manny Banuelos on the way to a 4-3 win over the Brewers at Miller Park. The victory was Atlanta's sixth in its past seven games.

Pierzynski crushed a solo home run in the second inning and followed it with a run-scoring single in the fourth off Brewers starter Tyler Cravy. Cravy, making his second career start, retired nine of the first 10 Atlanta batters, but surrendered seven hits over the next three innings, including an RBI triple by Cameron Maybin and Nick Markakis' RBI single in the seventh off reliever Will Smith.

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

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.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

All-Star LeMahieu reaching new heights

Sky's the limit for Rockies' Gold Glove Award winner

All-Star LeMahieu reaching new heights

DENVER -- DJ LeMahieu remembers showing up at the ballpark in Daytona early one afternoon in the middle of the 2010 season. Richie Zisk, the manager of the Cubs' High A affiliate in the Florida State League was in the batting cage in an otherwise empty ballpark, taking swings against the pitching machine.

"He was hitting line drives in every direction," said LeMahieu, "and he would scream, `It's not that hard. Hitting's not that hard.'"

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano crushes first Major League home run

Top prospect launches two-run shot in victory over Orioles

Sano crushes first Major League home run

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the way top prospect Miguel Sano has been swinging the bat since being called up by the Twins, it was only a matter of time before he connected on his first Major League homer.

Sano, known for his prodigious power in the Minor Leagues, crushed a two-run homer off Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman in the first inning for his first career blast in Tuesday's 8-3 win at Target Field. It also gave Sano a hit in all six games he's played since being called up from Double-A Chattanooga. The ball came off his bat at 108 mph and traveled 396 feet, according to Statcast™ data. He finished the night going 2-for-3 with a bases-loaded walk and three RBIs.

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

Cueto lobbies for Final Vote with D.C. shutout

Cueto lobbies for Final Vote with D.C. shutout

WASHINGTON -- It was supposed to be a pitchers' duel between right-handers Max Scherzer and Johnny Cueto, but it turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Reds blanked the Nationals, 5-0, at Nationals Park on Wednesday night.

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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. 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.

Final say: Bogaerts delivers clutch 3-run single

Final say: Bogaerts delivers clutch 3-run single

BOSTON -- With two outs in the seventh inning, Xander Bogaerts hammered a 3-2 pitch to right-center field for a rare three-run single, as all three runners were off with the pitch, leading the Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Marlins.

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