Panda lands on DL with right knee sprain

Panda lands on DL with right knee sprain

BOSTON -- The Red Sox placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the disabled with a right knee sprain on Tuesday. The move is retroactive to Monday.

Infielder Josh Rutledge, who opened the season on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, has been activated to take Sandoval's spot on the roster, and he will get some at-bats at third base.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Nationals jump to top of Power Rankings

Washington, Houston pass Cubs for top spots, while Rox also rise

Nationals jump to top of Power Rankings

There's been a bit of shuffling of the top five teams in our weekly Power Rankings, with the Nationals making their debut as No. 1, and the Cubs, though surging, slipping a bit from their top spot. Three weeks into the season seems like a good time to give props to the Rockies and D-backs, who are thriving while the two teams normally leading the National League West -- the Giants and Dodgers -- are still trying to get on a roll.

Biggest jump: Welcome to the Top 10, Rockies. The Rox entered Tuesday in first place in the NL West, and considering they're doing this well with so many injuries to key players, it's fun to think about what they can do when they're at full strength. Since last week, Colorado has jumped a whopping 10 spots, from 16 to six.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Castro: Yanks' start revs up rivalry with Sox

New York, Boston set to face off for first time this season at Fenway

Castro: Yanks' start revs up rivalry with Sox

It's early enough that we don't know enough, but there's juice to be squeezed from the Yankees-Red Sox matchup again. Maybe the three-game series that begins tonight at Fenway Park won't matter as much in the long run as it seems to matter right now, with both clubs within spitting distance of the first-place Orioles, but the fact that it matters at all is a nice change of pace for a rivalry that, in recent years, has existed more out of traditions than tangibles.

For that, we have the Yankees' strong start in what was supposed to be a "rebuild" year to thank. Interorganizational honesty and sensible sanity prevailed when the Yanks were summer sellers in 2016 for the first time in a generation, and the improvement from that point has been stark enough that people in the industry are already beginning to wonder if this club might be a buyer here in 2017.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Matthew Leach

Thor, Aroldis, McCullers embrace change

Statcast helps illustrate effectiveness of changeup for trio

Thor, Aroldis, McCullers embrace change

It's nearly as common a Spring Training refrain as the ubiquitous "best shape of my life," though it usually starts being uttered a couple of weeks later.

"I'm working on my changeup this year."

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Matthew Leach is an executive editor for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter and read his columns. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crew cuts: Thames rips 2 HRs! April record?

Brewers first baseman has 7 dingers in 5 games against Cincinnati

Crew cuts: Thames rips 2 HRs! April record?

MILWAUKEE -- After putting up video-game numbers during three years in South Korea, Eric Thames is doing the same in his return to Major League Baseball.

Thames added two home runs, two walks, three RBIs and three runs scored to his outrageously productive April in the Brewers' 11-7 win over the Reds at Miller Park on Monday, running his Major League-leading home run total to 10 and tying Carlos Lee's franchise record for dingers in the opening month while setting a new mark with 24 runs scored.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Astros-Tribe clash a potential ALCS preview

Two contenders roll into Cleveland for three-game series

Astros-Tribe clash a potential ALCS preview

The Houston Astros see this as their time. Funny thing is, so do the Cleveland Indians. And that's why we have our first big series of the 2017 season when these two teams open a three-game set at Progressive Field on Tuesday.

This could be the first of many Astros-Indians games this year, since both are consensus favorites to win their division and both appear capable of playing deep into October.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Purple, mountains, majesty: Rockies > DC

Purple, mountains, majesty: Rockies > DC

DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon extended his hit streak to nine games and hit a go-ahead homer to cap a comeback, and the Rockies powered past the Nationals, 8-4, in the opener of a four-game series on Monday at Coors Field featuring the teams with the National League's best records.

Blackmon's deep fly was his sixth this year, and fourth during his streak, which began on April 14. The Rockies, who have won eight of their last 10, piled on another three runs in the eighth to relieve starting pitcher Tyler Anderson from another outing that began strong but ended abruptly.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Softball player leaps into wall for amazing grab

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Softball player leaps into wall for amazing grab

Occasional outfield shenanigans aside, baseball and softball generally aren't what you'd consider contact sports. No one ever told that to Mississippi State center fielder Amanda Ivy, though. 

With MSU clinging to a one-run lead against Arkansas on Sunday, the Razorbacks put runners on the corners with one out in the top of the sixth. Arkansas infielder Madison Yannetti lifted a fly ball to deep center field. Ivy's choice was clear: Give up the potentially game-winning double, or meet the wall. Guess which one she chose.

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Dodgers twice thwarted by Posey's clutch arm

Dodgers twice thwarted by Posey's clutch arm

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers have been having enough trouble at home plate lately and on Monday night they didn't know what to do around second base either.

In a 2-1 loss to the Giants, the Dodgers had the potential tying run thrown out at second in the eighth and ninth innings, both times by Giants franchise catcher Buster Posey.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heyward continues to impress at the dish

Outfielder crushed 3-run homer vs. Pittsburgh, leading team in RBIs

Heyward continues to impress at the dish

PITTSBURGH -- If it looks as if Jason Heyward is hitting the ball harder, he is.

The Cubs' outfielder belted his third home run in the last four days, a three-run shot in a 14-3 win over the Pirates on Monday night, and continued to impress in his makeover.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

Puig nabs Belt at the plate with laser throw

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Puig nabs Belt at the plate with laser throw

As he's proven time and time again in his few years in the league, Yasiel Puig possesses the kind of throwing arm that is prone to the unimaginable. You just shouldn't test his arm -- but if you feel compelled to try, you do so at your own risk. 

With two outs and Brandon Belt (who found himself in a very similar situation just last week) on second in the first inning of Monday's series opener between the Dodgers and Giants at AT&T Park, Buster Posey slapped a single toward Puig in right field and ... well, you know how this one ends. He fired an absolute rocket to the plate to retire Belt and end the inning.

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Rivalries new and old center stage on MLB.TV

Yankees-Sox, Dodgers-Giants among matchups; Keuchel faces Tribe in possible October preview

Rivalries new and old center stage on MLB.TV

Major League Baseball doesn't have an official rivalry week, but this one is pretty close.

Two of baseball's most storied rivalries take center stage tonight, along with another series that could very well serve as a preview for this year's American League Championship Series.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Owings' slam backs Zack as D-backs nip Padres

Owings' slam backs Zack as D-backs nip Padres

PHOENIX -- Chris Owings' first career grand slam helped give Zack Greinke a win and propelled the D-backs past the Padres, 7-6, on Monday night in the first of a four-game set at Chase Field.

With the D-backs leading, 2-0, and with two outs in the fifth, Owings smacked a first-pitch fastball from Jhoulys Chacin (2-3) into the overhang in center to give Arizona a 6-0 lead.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Start your own season by purchasing R.B.I. Baseball

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Start your own season by purchasing R.B.I. Baseball
R.B.I. Baseball 2017 is here, and it can be yours today.

The Corey Seager-adorned game (or Kevin Pillar if you're in Canada) is available to purchase in North America at GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and MLB.com, among other participating outlets. Globally, it's accessible as a digital download on the Xbox Marketplace, PlayStation Store and the App Store on iPhone and iPad.

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MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

'Ampaya' a winning anthology of baseball tales

Cluster collects, translates fiction on sport from Latin American writers

No sport lends itself to literate writing like baseball. America's national pastime makes appearances in the works of some of our most fabled authors. It has been used as a stage or backdrop to contemplate life, death, ambition, discrimination, God, sex, fame, success, failure, hope, madness and despair.

"Kill the Ampaya! The Best Latin American Baseball Fiction" is a welcome reminder that inspired writing about the sport isn't limited to the United States.

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Paul Hagen, a reporter for MLB.com, won the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in 2013 for a lifetime of excellence in baseball writing. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Statcast of the Day: Hernandez brings heat

Reds reliever strikes out five over 2 2/3 innings against Brewers

Statcast of the Day: Hernandez brings heat

CINCINNATI -- Perhaps the Reds had to summon right-hander Ariel Hernandez sooner that might have normally. But they needed an arm for the bullpen and knew Hernandez had a power arm, as well.

The 25-year-old did not disappoint in his Major League debut during an 11-7 Reds loss to the Brewers. Called upon with two outs in the fourth inning to replace starter Amir Garrett, Hernandez -- who is the Reds' No. 23 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com -- struck out five without allowing a hit or walk over 2 2/3 innings.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.

Young Nats fan at Coors rewarded by Werth

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Young Nats fan at Coors rewarded by Werth

The Nationals might have been over 1,500 miles from home during their 8-4 loss to the Rockies on Monday at Coors Field, but one familiar fan helped them feel right at home.

During a previous road trip by the Nationals to Coors Field on Aug. 16, 2016, outfielder Jayson Werth suffered a hit by pitch. He was mostly fine and ended up staying in the game, but it still provided a scare for a young Nationals fan in the stands.

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After passing milestone, Jones goes yard

After passing milestone, Jones goes yard

BALTIMORE -- Orioles veteran outfielder Adam Jones collected his 1,500th career hit with a fifth-inning single on Monday night, but it was hit 1,501 that mattered more.

With Seth Smith standing at first and no outs in the seventh, Jones sent Rays starter Chris Archer's first-pitch into the Camden Yards stands for an eventual game-winning, two-run homer that sealed Baltimore's 5-3 series-opening victory.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants hold off Dodgers to preserve Cain's win

Giants hold off Dodgers to preserve Cain's win

SAN FRANCISCO -- Expect drama when the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers tangle. The longtime rivals engaged in another compelling confrontation Monday night, as the Giants limited Los Angeles to four hits and withstood late Dodgers rallies to prevail, 2-1.

The Giants entered the opener of this four-game series having lost six of their previous seven games. However, starter Matt Cain worked six shutout innings to claim his first victory over Los Angeles since May 5, 2013, with assistance on defense from catcher Buster Posey and third baseman Christian Arroyo, who made his Major League debut.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Statement pitch costs Barnes 4 games

Statement pitch costs Barnes 4 games

BOSTON -- Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has received a four-game suspension for throwing a pitch in the head area of Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, but the right-hander has elected to appeal and will be eligible for Tuesday's opener of a three-game series against the Yankees.

The discipline, which also included an undisclosed fine, was announced on Monday -- an off-day for the Red Sox.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Souza injures elbow scaling wall after ball

Souza injures elbow scaling wall after ball

BALTIMORE-- Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. injured his right elbow leaping up onto the outfield wall to try and catch a home run ball in the sixth inning of a 6-3 loss to the Orioles on Monday night.

X-rays showed no broken bones for the 28-year-old -- whose birthday was Monday -- but his status for Tuesday remains unclear.

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Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The five silkiest, shiniest and most voluminous hair moments of the MLB season so far

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The five silkiest, shiniest and most voluminous hair moments of the MLB season so far

Baseball players can crush baseballs distances we can barely fathom, throw baseballs at speeds that strain physics and, if you're Adam Rosales, sprint at the speed of light during home run trots

There's one other reason to look up to them: Inspired moments of hair glory. So, if you're looking for something to show your hairdresser, here are five of the best hair moments from 2017. 

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Cain's strong start ends early with injury

Cain's strong start ends early with injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants right-hander Matt Cain suddenly was removed from Monday night's 2-1 victory over the Dodgers in the middle of a masterly performance due to a tight right hamstring.

Cain, who allowed two hits in six innings to record his first victory over Los Angeles since May 5, 2013, wasn't certain whether he'd make his next scheduled start.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedey day to day after knee, ankle checkup

Pedey day to day after knee, ankle checkup

BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia had his left knee and ankle examined at Massachusetts General Hospital during Monday's off-day, and it doesn't appear the second baseman will have to go on the 10-day disabled list.

The Red Sox released a statement declaring that Pedroia remains day to day after the Orioles' Manny Machado slid into him on Friday night.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bumgarner focused on recovery from accident

Bumgarner focused on recovery from accident

SAN FRANCISCO -- Admitting that riding a motorized dirt bike was "definitely not the most responsible decision I've made," Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner vowed to remain "as positive as I can be" when he launches his comeback from spraining the AC joint in his pitching shoulder and sustaining bruised ribs.

Speaking publicly for the first time since his accident occurred outside Denver last Thursday, when the Giants had a scheduled off-day, Bumgarner indicated he felt he let the team down by sidelining himself.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs' Miller to seek 2nd opinion on elbow

D-backs hurler exited Sunday start with forearm tightness

D-backs' Miller to seek 2nd opinion on elbow

PHOENIX -- Shelby Miller will visit Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday in Los Angeles to receive a second opinion on his right elbow, which landed him on the 10-day disabled list Monday.

Miller left his Sunday start against the Dodgers in the fifth inning after experiencing forearm tightness, which is often an indication of elbow issues.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With BP, Desmond takes significant step

With BP, Desmond takes significant step

DENVER -- The Nationals watched Ian Desmond reach many milestones dating back to their days as the Montreal Expos (they drafted him in 2004), so it was perhaps fitting that the first-year Rockie took another significant step toward his return from a fractured left hand with his former team in town.

Desmond took roughly 25 cuts in his first batting practice since being hit by a 93-mph fastball in a Cactus League game on March 12 and undergoing surgery. He also ran the bases, shagged fly balls in the outfield and fielded grounders at first, the position the Rockies acquired him to play.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox score in bunches, as Miguel rolls

White Sox score in bunches, as Miguel rolls

CHICAGO -- Almost everybody for the White Sox hit and Miguel Gonzalez once again turned in a stellar mound effort, as Chicago cruised to a 12-1 victory over the Royals on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field in the three-game series opener.

Gonzalez followed his 8 1/3-inning effort at Yankee Stadium with eight innings and one unearned run allowed, striking out five and walking one. The right-hander gave up two hits but was inches away from carrying a potential no-hitter into the seventh on a couple of different levels.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano appeals one-game suspension

Sano appeals one-game suspension

ARLINGTON -- The Twins will appeal the one-game suspension Major League Baseball imposed on third baseman Miguel Sano for his aggressive actions in Saturday's game against the Tigers in Detroit.

Sano and Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd were tossed from the game after Boyd threw a pitch behind Sano. Twins pitcher Justin Haley had previously hit Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones in the face with a fastball. Sano took issue with Boyd's pitch, walking toward the mound and pointing at Boyd before Tigers catcher James McCann stepped between Sano and the mound. Sano shoved McCann and the benches cleared.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.