Wacha improves to 7-0 with gem for Cards

Wacha improves to 7-0 with gem for Cards

KANSAS CITY -- Michael Wacha and Matt Carpenter have been models of stability all season for the Cardinals.

So, when the club hit its first real bump in the road with a three-game losing streak, it figured that Wacha and Carpenter would be two of the main guys to help put St. Louis back on a smooth course.

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

Liriano caps historic stretch for Pirates' rotation

Bucs get three straight double-digit K games from starters for first time since 1969

Liriano caps historic stretch for Pirates' rotation

PITTSBURGH -- When his pitchers are piling up strikeouts, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle likes to say they're just playing catch. There might as well be nobody else on the field -- just the pitcher and catcher, throwing the ball back and forth as opposing hitters walk to and from the dugout.

This weekend, the Pirates swept the Mets behind three pretty good games of catch.

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

Harris' journey from Navy to Majors captivates

Cards reliever, fan favorite excited for opportunity in bigs with Memorial Day on deck

Harris' journey from Navy to Majors captivates

NEW YORK -- Mitch Harris expected the attention. He welcomed it really, since it would shine attention on the men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces. What he didn't anticipate, however, was how much his story would resonate.

Since joining the Cardinals one month ago, the 29-year-old rookie reliever has been the most sought-after interview in the clubhouse. His unprecedented journey from US Naval Academy graduate to Navy Lieutenant to Major League pitcher has captivated more than just fans of his team.

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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

Anthony Castrovince

ASG debate: McCutchen or Marte in NL OF?

Both Pirates are worthy of All-Star consideration

ASG debate: McCutchen or Marte in NL OF?

*** We will be doing daily ASG debates until balloting ends on July 2. We will frequently be pitting one player against another and have a writer make a case for one of them, but that doesn't mean there aren't other great candidates for that position. In fact, your comments could spark a new debate for us to tackle. So let us know what you think! ***

The most difficult All-Star ballot decisions often come down to established commodities vs. hot hands. These choices are all the more interesting when they involve two guys on the same team. Or more directly, in the same outfield.

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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.

Hamilton to start Monday in LF for Rangers

Banister expects 'seamless transition' for outfielder in Rangers' season debut

Hamilton to start Monday in LF for Rangers

NEW YORK -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has a plan ready for outfielder Josh Hamilton when he joins the team in Cleveland on Monday.

"Shake his hand, say hello, make sure he is in a batting practice group, put him in the lineup, sit back and watch him play," Banister said.

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

Watch Drake play softball for charity

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Watch Drake play softball for charity

Drake can do anything. He raps, he sings, he plays softball for charity. He brings joy to the world.

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Bernie takes his place among Yanks' greats

Four-time World Series champion has No. 51 retired, Monument Park plaque unveiled

Bernie takes his place among Yanks' greats

NEW YORK -- This was the celebration that Bernie Williams put off for nine years, unsure about embracing what it would represent. To join the past Yankees greats in Monument Park and take his uniform number out of circulation demanded an acknowledgement that his playing days were over, and that was a difficult dream to part with.

Yet as Williams stood at a podium Sunday, delivering 10 minutes of heartfelt remarks in the center of a Yankee Stadium where he never played, he was surprised to discover that it was not bittersweet at all to say goodbye. In a geographical sense, now Williams and his No. 51 will always reside in center field for Yankees home games.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Power Rankings: Royals are rolling

Power Rankings: Royals are rolling

The two New York teams really don't have much in common in terms of roster composition or strengths and weaknesses, but there is one glaring similarity between the two -- it's not been a lot of fun for either in the last week or so.

The Yankees, dominant in the American League East for much of the first month, are close to being a .500 team heading into their home series with the Royals (and their MLB-best .651 winning percentage). And the Mets, who we all knew couldn't keep up the frenetic pace that catapulted them through April, are coming off a sweep at the hands of the Pirates in Pittsburgh that dropped their road record to 7-15.

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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.

Tucker, Castro power Astros past Tigers

Tucker, Castro power Astros past Tigers

DETROIT -- Preston Tucker's second game-tying homer in four days and Jason Castro's go-ahead two-run single powered six unanswered Astros runs off Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers' bullpen, salvaging a four-game series split for Houston with a 10-8 win in Sunday's finale at Comerica Park.

A game that began with a 36-minute, eight-run opening inning seemingly had settled down with the help of Sanchez, who struck out 11 of the 27 batters he faced. With a 7-3 lead in the sixth inning, however, Sanchez alternated hits and strikeouts -- including Evan Gattis' leadoff homer -- until Tucker pinch-hit for Jake Marisnick as the potential tying run and sent a drive deep to right.

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

Upton's slam sets tone as Padres rout Dodgers

Upton's slam sets tone as Padres rout Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- With Justin Upton's six RBIs and seven solid innings from James Shields, the Padres on Sunday avoided a series sweep while coasting to a 11-3 win over the Dodgers.

"He's swinging the bat great. Right from the get-go, he's had good at-bats. He's a threat. He's doing what he does," said Padres manager Bud Black of Upton.

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

Reyes expected back for opener vs. White Sox

Shortstop has been on DL recovering from cracked left rib

Reyes expected back for opener vs. White Sox

TORONTO -- Jose Reyes is expected to make his return to the lineup on Monday when the Blue Jays open a three-game series against the White Sox at Rogers Centre.

Reyes was in the dugout for Sunday's 8-2 win over the Mariners. The shortstop has been recovering from a cracked left rib, and he is set to come off the 15-day disabled list after completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo. He was 4-for-11 with a pair of RBIs in three games with the Bisons.

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

Giants booth enjoys Rockies' mullet cap giveaway

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Giants booth enjoys Rockies' mullet cap giveaway

The mullet remains one of mankind's most deeply misunderstood hairstyles. Sure, it may give off the vague impression that a woodland creature somehow managed to 1) climb on top of your head and 2) promptly die there, but is there not some sort of honor in that? Have we no respect for the man who can stare decency in the face and coolly reply "No, my Ratt records and I are good, thanks"?

Thankfully, the Colorado Rockies realize the brilliance inherent in the mullet (they do have some experience in this department), and have decided to celebrate accordingly during Sunday's game against the Giants. That's right, everybody -- it was Coors Field's Mullet Hat Night, and even the Giants' broadcast booth got in on the action: 

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Gray takes liner off ankle; X-rays negative

Righty pitches scoreless five innings before exiting with injury

Gray takes liner off ankle; X-rays negative

ST. PETERSBURG -- As Sonny Gray stood near his locker following the Athletics' 7-2 victory over the Rays on Sunday at Tropicana Field, there was a mix of disappointment and relief.

The right-hander was hit in the right ankle by a sharp grounder off the bat of Rays first baseman James Loney in the fourth inning, and he continued to finish off the fourth and fifth innings before being pulled at the start of the sixth.

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

Harper comes through in clutch to down Phils

Right fielder drives in a pair and throws out runner at second

Harper comes through in clutch to down Phils

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper showed Sunday afternoon that he doesn't have to hit the long ball to look like "The Natural." Harper drove in two runs and made a great defensive play in right field in a 4-1 victory over the Phillies.

After the game, manager Matt Williams revealed the secret to Harper's success this season and it's more than just leading the National League in homers.

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

Tanaka takes another positive step

Tanaka takes another positive step

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka threw 31 pitches in the Yankee Stadium bullpen on Sunday afternoon, and if everything goes well in his second Minor League rehab start this week, he could return to big league duty.

Tanaka's bullpen session served as preparation for his scheduled start on Wednesday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Pawtucket, during which the right-hander is scheduled to throw approximately 65 pitches. Tanaka said that if the Yanks want to use him in the big leagues after that, he'll be fine.

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

Liriano whiffs 12 as Pirates sweep away Mets

Liriano whiffs 12 as Pirates sweep away Mets

PITTSBURGH -- Left-hander Francisco Liriano bounced back from his worst start of the season, completing a trio of dominant starting-pitching performances as the Pirates swept the Mets with a 9-1 win at PNC Park on Sunday.

Picking up where Gerrit Cole and A.J. Burnett left off, Liriano racked up 12 strikeouts, the most for any Pirates pitcher this season, and held the Mets to one run over six innings. It was a return to form for the Bucs' Opening Day starter, who allowed seven runs in two innings on Tuesday against the Twins.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. 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.

'Flu-like symptoms' keep Beltran on the bench

'Flu-like symptoms' keep Beltran on the bench

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran was held out of the Yankees' lineup for Sunday evening's game with the Rangers with what manager Joe Girardi described as "flu-like symptoms."

Girardi said that the Yankees told Beltran to take his time getting to Yankee Stadium and that the veteran outfielder would not be taking batting practice prior to the game.

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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. 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.

Shields keeps edge with bats' big backing

Padres ace moves to 6-0, fans 7 in efficient outing

Shields keeps edge with bats' big backing

LOS ANGELES -- Before James Shields threw a single pitch Sunday, he'd already been staked to a 4-0 lead, thanks to Justin Upton's grand slam in the top of the first inning.

Not to be upstaged, Shields got on a good roll of his own, retiring 16 of 17 at one point before he allowed six runs in the seventh inning of the Padres' 11-3 victory over the Dodgers.

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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.

Indians win 6th in a row, defeat Reds

Indians win 6th in a row, defeat Reds

CLEVELAND -- In a season of costly defensive miscues, the Indians were glad to be the beneficiary of some poor glove work by their opponent in Sunday's 5-2 victory over Cincinnati at Progressive Field, which clinched a series sweep. Three errors were made by the Reds infield, all of which led to Indians runs.

Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer didn't have his swing-and-miss stuff working, but held the Reds to one run on five hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out four, but perhaps more important, didn't walk a batter. That marks the first time in Bauer's career he went more than six innings without a walk.

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

Panda abandons switch-hitting for one at-bat

Red Sox third baseman hits RBI single batting left-handed vs. southpaw

Panda abandons switch-hitting for one at-bat

BOSTON -- Pablo Sandoval's left knee has been hurting. And his right-handed bat has been slumping. So what better time for the Red Sox third baseman to give up switch-hitting for an at-bat than in the eighth inning of Sunday's 6-1 win over the Angels?

Thrust into action after Brock Holt had to leave with soreness in his left forearm, Sandoval surprised everyone by stepping to the plate left-handed against Angels lefty reliever Cesar Ramos.

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

Rockies romp behind Bettis to top Giants

Rockies romp behind Bettis to top Giants

DENVER -- An emphatic eight-run fourth inning and Chad Bettis' dominant mound performance were more than enough for the Rockies in their 11-2 win over San Francisco in Sunday's series finale at Coors Field.

Nolan Arenado finished 4-for-5 and had a single and a three-run homer in the pivotal fourth, when the Rockies sent 11 men to the plate and grabbed a 9-0 lead. Bettis (1-0), meanwhile, took that and ran with it, sprinkling six hits and two runs over 8 1/3 innings. He struck out seven, walked two and yielded just four baserunners until the Giants' four-hit, two-run ninth, helping Bettis to his second Major League win and first as a starter.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers fan films himself catching home run

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Dodgers fan films himself catching home run

On Sunday afternoon, a fan at Dodger Stadium not only caught Alex Guerrero's two-run shot in the seventh, he also managed to have the manual dexterity to film himself doing it. 

Do you get the feeling you've seen this before? If you're having deja vu or experiencing the weird sensation that you've come unstuck in time, don't worry. This very same thing happened in the very same stadium about three weeks ago

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Bauer's in-game changes to mechanics help in win

Bauer's in-game changes to mechanics help in win

CLEVELAND -- In Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Reds, Trevor Bauer's ninth pitch of the afternoon was a changeup.

It wasn't your ordinary changeup. No, this one only traveled about 40 feet, barely making it past the infield grass before bouncing off the dirt -- plus catcher Yan Gomes' shoulder -- and trickling towards the Reds dugout.

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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.

Bryant eager to catch up with boyhood rival Harper

Cubs rookie, Nats star played with and against each other in Vegas

Bryant eager to catch up with boyhood rival Harper

PHOENIX -- They played against each other and were teammates, starting when the pair were about 8 years old growing up in Las Vegas. On Monday, the Cubs' Kris Bryant and the Nationals' Bryce Harper will compete against each other at Wrigley Field in the first game of a three-game series.

"The thing that stands out to me is just how good he was and how much better he was than the competition," Bryant said Sunday of Harper, who starred at Las Vegas High School. "He was 11 years old and throwing 80 miles an hour off the mound. It was special to see that from a guy that young. He's obviously younger than I am, but watching him play, I was amazed. I knew he'd be doing what he's doing at this level someday."

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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.

Goldy's three RBIs lead D-backs over Cubs

Goldy's three RBIs lead D-backs over Cubs

PHOENIX -- The Cubs will be happy to not see Paul Goldschmidt again until early September.

The D-backs first baseman hit an RBI single and a two-run home run Sunday to back Jeremy Hellickson and lead the D-backs to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Chase Field and take the series. Goldschmidt, now a career .383 batter against the Cubs, went 5-for-10 with two home runs in the three-game set.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can listen to her podcast. Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harang continues stellar May against Nats

Right-hander deals fifth straight quality start, but Phillies fall in finale

Harang continues stellar May against Nats

WASHINGTON -- Aaron Harang battled more than he dominated in Sunday's series finale against the Washington Nationals. He also never broke, continuing a personal stretch of nothing but quality starts in May.

The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings. In five starts this month, he's given up five runs over 33 innings. That works out to a microscopic 1.36 ERA.

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

Cutch warming up after big series vs. Mets

Pirates center fielder goes 6-for-10 with two home runs, four RBIs

Cutch warming up after big series vs. Mets

PITTSBURGH -- With a homer off Mets ace Matt Harvey on Saturday and another in Sunday afternoon's 9-1 victory, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is in a groove.

"I feel horrible," McCutchen joked, then paused. "Nah, I feel good. I just want to keep on going."

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

Timely hits, strong Gio lift Nats over Phillies

Timely hits, strong Gio lift Nats over Phillies

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper continues to be a game-changer for the Nationals as he drove in two runs in a 4-1 victory over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. The Nationals improved their record to 26-18.

"Being able to get the W was huge," Harper said. "What we did today to get that W -- going on the road right now -- I'm just glad we ended it on a good note in this homestand."

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Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com and Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wacha moves to 7-0 with gem in KC

Wacha moves to 7-0 with gem in KC

KANSAS CITY -- Michael Wacha allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings and Matt Carpenter delivered a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to a 6-1 victory over the Royals on Sunday, preventing Kansas City from sweeping the three-game I-70 Series.

Wacha, 7-0, was given a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI hits by Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams. An RBI single by Salvador Perez in the fifth chipped the Kansas City deficit to 2-1, but Carpenter then gave Wacha some breathing room with his two-run blast in the sixth off Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who allowed four runs on five hits while striking out seven in seven innings.

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Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com and Jordan Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.