Yo, Fish: Mets stage wild, wet walk-off

Yo, Fish: Mets stage wild, wet walk-off

NEW YORK -- The National League Wild Card race is a tangled knot five teams deep, each of them enduring their share of issues. It's all the Mets can do these days, for example, to put a healthy team on the field. And no one embodies all that more than Yoenis Cespedes.

Battling through what has become a chronic leg injury, Cespedes hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning Monday at Citi Field, leading the Mets to a 2-1 win over the Marlins that also evened the two teams in the Wild Card standings. Both clubs still trail the Giants, Cardinals and Pirates, each sitting 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

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

Pujols ties Frank Robinson for 9th on HR list

Pujols ties Frank Robinson for 9th on HR list

ANAHEIM -- Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols hit his 586th career home run in the first inning on Monday night against the Reds, tying Frank Robinson for ninth place in Major League history.

Next on the all-time list is Sammy Sosa, with 609.

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Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com based in Anaheim. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Porcello's 18th, Mookie's 30th lift Red Sox

Porcello's 18th, Mookie's 30th lift Red Sox

BOSTON -- There were roars of "MVP" for Mookie Betts at various points in the Red Sox's 9-4 victory over the Rays on Monday, in which the 23-year-old right fielder clubbed his 30th home run. In the coming weeks, Rick Porcello could start to hear some "Cy Young" chants.

The sinkerballer improved to 18-3 and passed J.A. Happ (who pitches Tuesday for Toronto) as the winningest pitcher in the Major Leagues this season. Over seven innings, Porcello allowed six hits and three runs, walking none and striking out seven. Porcello's home dominance continued, as he became the first Boston pitcher since Dave "Boo" Ferriss in 1946 to start a season 13-0 at Fenway.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

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

Salty HR saves Tigers, spoils Shields' start for Sox

Salty HR saves Tigers, spoils Shields' start for Sox

DETROIT -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia's go-ahead two-run homer pulled the Tigers out of their offensive doldrums and back on top in the eighth, sending Detroit to a desperately needed 4-3 win over the White Sox on Monday night at Comerica Park.

The Tigers were five outs away from a third consecutive loss at home to a team with a losing record, having been held to two runs over six innings by struggling Sox starter James Shields. Tyler Saladino's seventh-inning homer off Alex Wilson gave Chicago a 3-2 lead before hard-throwing Nate Jones put the potential tying run on with a leadoff walk to J.D. Martinez in the eighth.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

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

Molina's bunt leads to comeback Cards win

Molina's bunt leads to comeback Cards win

MILWAUKEE -- Yadier Molina got much more than he bargained for when he squared to sacrifice in the ninth inning of a tie game on Monday. That sacrifice, which was intended to move the potential go-ahead run to third, instead scored the winning run from first and jolted the Cardinals to a 6-5 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park.

With the come-from-behind win, the Cardinals held on to their lead for the National League's second Wild Card spot. They entered the night one-half game ahead of the Pirates.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

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

Tebow will start to answer questions today

Ex-NFL QB reportedly receives contract offer from Venezuelan club prior to MLB tryout

Tebow will start to answer questions today

Remember Tim Tebow? Of course you do.

Any American and probably a great deal of sports fans from overseas can't forget the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national championship quarterback from the University of Florida, his brief NFL career that included a playoff victory for the Broncos, and his ensuing philanthropic work and broadcasting career.

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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.

Miller, Darvish show off ridiculous pitches

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Miller, Darvish show off ridiculous pitches

In Andrew Miller, the Indians have one of the premier left-handed relievers in the game, a guy with an ankle-breaking slider that eats up right-handed hitters like a ravenous athlete attacking the postgame spread.

Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, meanwhile, is also known to make the baseball dance in various ways and directions on its path from his fingers to the home-plate area. 

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Donaldson, Jays increase lead on O's

Donaldson, Jays increase lead on O's

BALTIMORE -- Josh Donaldson homered -- his fourth in two days -- and Jose Bautista joined in, backing a fantastic start from Marco Estrada to give the red-hot Blue Jays a 5-1 win during Monday's series opener at Camden Yards.

The win puts the first-place Blue Jays a season-high 19 games over .500 and is their fourth straight victory. The Orioles, who have lost four of their last five games, are still in line for the second American League Wild Card spot -- holding a one-game lead over Detroit -- but fell to four games back in the AL East race. Toronto leads Boston by two games in the division.

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Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore and covered the Blue Jays on Monday.

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.

Royals ride 5-run 7th to gain in Wild Card race

Royals ride 5-run 7th to gain in Wild Card race

KANSAS CITY -- It has been years -- decades? -- since the Royals and Yankees squared off this late in the season with serious postseason hopes on the line for both teams.

And the surging Royals came out swinging first in the three-game set at Kauffman Stadium, punching across three runs in the first and then riding the strong pitching of right-hander Dillon Gee in an 8-5 win on Monday night.

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

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. 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.

Beltre counters Venditte, flips helmet

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Beltre counters Venditte, flips helmet

As a master of the art of switch-pitching, Pat Venditte is always prepared -- whether facing a lefty or a righty, all he has to do is put his glove on his other hand and he's ready to go. And if you're a switch-hitter, well, he has no problem waiting.

But when Venditte came on to pitch during Monday's Mariners-Rangers game, one brave soul decided to turn the tables -- to crack the switch-pitcher code once and for all. His name? Adrian Beltre. His solution? Putting his helmet on backward.

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Ichiro passes Boggs on all-time hits list

Ichiro passes Boggs on all-time hits list

NEW YORK -- A couple of hits in Monday's 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Mets moved Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki up MLB's all-time hits list. Ichiro had a single and double at Citi Field, giving him 3,011 in his career to pass Wade Boggs for 27th place all time.

After matching Boggs at 3,010 with a single in the fourth inning, Ichiro doubled to right-center off reliever Addison Reed with two outs in the eighth. He would come around to score the game's first run on Xavier Scruggs' RBI double.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' prospect Machado channels David Wright with over-the-shoulder, barehanded catch

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Tigers' prospect Machado channels David Wright with over-the-shoulder, barehanded catch

Do you remember that David Wright catch in 2005? The one where he ran back on a short fly ball and decided to catch the ball with his bare hand instead of his glove? Here, look (unless you're Brian Giles, sorry Brian).

On Monday, shortstop Dixon Machado (the Tigers' 13th-ranked prospect), decided to honor the Mets third baseman and finish off a Toldeo Mud Hens' victory in similar fashion. 

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To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced

AL Wild Card Game opens playoffs on Oct. 4; World Series begins Oct. 25

To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced

Major League Baseball announced its 2016 postseason schedule on Tuesday, opening with the American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on TBS on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and followed by the National League equivalent on ESPN one night later. The 112th World Series on FOX will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in an AL city to be determined.

While the 10 participants and eventual matchups are gradually being determined, the full postseason schedule can be found at MLB.com/postseason.

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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.

Bean throws first pitch at Phils' Pride Night

Bean throws first pitch at Phils' Pride Night

PHILADELPHIA -- A rainbow flag fluttered from a flagpole in center field at Citizens Bank Park on Monday. Billy Bean, Major League Baseball's first Ambassador for Inclusion, threw out a first pitch.

That was both fitting -- it was the inaugural Phillies Pride Night -- but not exactly a new gesture by the club, since it was also the 15th consecutive year the organization has recognized the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

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

Clutch Kip: Tribe walks off in 10th vs. Twins

Clutch Kip: Tribe walks off in 10th vs. Twins

CLEVELAND -- It took until the 10th for the Indians to finally get on the board, but that was all they needed in a 1-0 walk-off win over the Twins in Monday's series opener at Progressive Field. It was the Tribe's eighth walk-off of the season. With the loss, the Twins' season-long slump extended to 11 games.

After the offense sputtered through nine frames, the Tribe opened its half of the first inning of free baseball with a bunt single by Abraham Almonte. The next two batters were unable to get a sacrifice bunt down, but they reached on a single and a fielder's choice to set the stage for Jason Kipnis, who drove in the winning run with an RBI single into left-center. It was the first 1-0 walk-off win for the Indians in extras since July 23, 1992, against Kansas City.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.

Astros blank A's, 2 back of 2nd AL Wild Card

Astros blank A's, 2 back of 2nd AL Wild Card

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve's 22nd homer of the season in the sixth inning and a two-run, bases-loaded single by Alex Bregman in the seventh helped propel the Astros to their eighth win in 10 games, 6-0, over the A's in Monday night's series opener at Minute Maid Park.

With the win, the Astros moved to within two games of the Orioles for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

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

Kershaw headlines Dodgers' simulated game

Kershaw headlines Dodgers' simulated game

DENVER -- Clayton Kershaw is the headliner in an important simulated game scheduled for Tuesday at Dodger Stadium that could lead to his return to the starting rotation within the next week.

Manager Dave Roberts said it was "plausible" that Kershaw will advance directly from the live batting-practice session, but left open the possibility of a Minor League rehab start, even though time is running out on the Minor League season.

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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.

Beltre helmet bit hilarious; Yu sits down M's

Beltre helmet bit hilarious; Yu sits down M's

ARLINGTON --Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma got the first crack at the Rangers in the Mariners' quest to hunt down the American League West leaders Monday night at Globe Life Park. But a four-run third inning cut his night short and he was outdueled by fellow Japanese righty Yu Darvish in a 6-3 win by the Rangers.

The Mariners dropped to third place in the AL West, due to a win from the Astros, but remain three games behind the Orioles for the second AL Wild Card spot. The Rangers maintained their 8 1/2-game first-place lead in the division with the Astros' win.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Dallas.

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

Gray outduels Maeda as Rockies top Dodgers

Gray outduels Maeda as Rockies top Dodgers

DENVER -- The Dodgers were already showing signs of diminished offense on the just-completed homestand, but Monday night they barely scored at Coors Field, beaten in the series opener by the Rockies, 8-1, as Kenta Maeda's five-decision win streak was snapped.

Nick Hundley slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning, DJ LeMahieu doubled home two in a five-run seventh and Jon Gray (9-6) outdueled Maeda (13-8) with six scoreless innings as the Dodgers' lead in the National League West was trimmed to 1 1/2 games over the idle Giants. Maeda was recalled from the Minor Leagues before the game, as the Dodgers exploited a roster-rule loophole so they could add Brock Stewart to start Sunday's game.

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

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

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

Bucs put Cole on DL with elbow inflammation

Pirates ace eligible to return Sept. 9; Brault recalled

Bucs put Cole on DL with elbow inflammation

CHICAGO -- The Pirates will begin the final month of the regular season without their ace.

Gerrit Cole was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday due to posterior inflammation in his right elbow, the club announced. The assignment was made retroactive to Thursday, so Cole is eligible to return on Sept. 9.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Not just a slugger, Sanchez brings power behind the plate

Owns 5 of top 10 hardest throws on attempted steals of second

Not just a slugger, Sanchez brings power behind the plate

By now, everyone in baseball has heard about Yankees sensation Gary Sanchez, who has kick-started his Major League career by hitting 11 homers in his first 23 games, faster than anyone in history. (All 11 actually came in a span of just 15 games, since he didn't go deep in his first seven.) But for all the well-deserved attention he's commanding for what he's doing next to the plate, have you also noticed what he's doing behind it?

We knew when Sanchez was coming up that he had a strong throwing arm; after all, just about every scouting report mentioned it. MLBPipeline.com, for example, noted that he had "two standout tools: huge raw power and an exceptionally strong arm." Now that we've had a few weeks of Sanchez in the big leagues and in front of the Statcast™ tracking cameras, we can confirm that, and then some.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All signs positive for Stras after bullpen session

All signs positive for Stras after bullpen session

PHILADELPHIA -- Stephen Strasburg threw a bullpen session at Citizens Bank Park prior to Monday night's game against the Phillies, one week after he was placed on the disabled list with soreness in his right elbow.

The Nationals said placing Strasburg on the DL was strictly precautionary and that they hoped he would be able to return once he is eligible. So far the signs have all been positive for Strasburg, who has also played catch numerous times in the past week.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton does light drills after seeing specialist

Stanton does light drills after seeing specialist

NEW YORK -- Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was examined by a specialist on Monday, and later in the day he did some light running and agility drills before his team took batting practice at Citi Field.

Stanton has been doing some light jogging for a couple of days, which is an encouraging first step in his rehabilitation. The slugger is striving to return later this year, and the club insists his timetable remains, at best, the final week of the season. Stanton sustained a Grade 3 left groin strain on Aug. 13 and went on the disabled list the next day. He started light jogging on Saturday during warmups at Marlins Park.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former Gators baseball players rooting for Tebow

Former Gators baseball players rooting for Tebow

They watched and rooted him on as he made history on the college gridiron. They watched and rooted him on as he made his mark in the NFL. They watch and root him on as he works in the community to better the lives of those around him.

And now they get to see what happens as he tries to make it in their sport, baseball.

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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.

Indians place Salazar on paternity list

Right-handed reliever Armstrong recalled from Triple-A Columbus

Indians place Salazar on paternity list

CLEVELAND -- The Indians placed right-hander Danny Salazar on the paternity list on Monday afternoon prior to the start of their three-game set against the Twins at Progressive Field. Right-hander Shawn Armstrong was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to take his place on the active roster.

Salazar posted his strongest start in the second half of the season in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Texas. The righty had 10 strikeouts and a pair of walks over 5 1/3 innings, in which he allowed just two runs. Salazar made 98 pitches in the loss -- a feat for the Tribe hurler, who has battled with health issues since the All-Star break.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats back Roark early to take Phils opener

Nats back Roark early to take Phils opener

PHILADELPHIA -- The Nationals began a stretch of 22 consecutive games against National League East opponents on Monday night, a chance, perhaps, for them to get on a roll considering they began the day with the best record against their own division in the Majors.

They began that stretch with a gem from right-hander Tanner Roark, combined with a two-run first inning, for a 4-0 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Roark held the Phillies to four hits in seven innings while Jayson Werth continued to torment his former team with a solo homer in the first inning.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

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

Mookie joins elite company with 30th HR

Mookie joins elite company with 30th HR

BOSTON -- The emerging power of Mookie Betts allowed the recently-installed cleanup man to reach a special place in Red Sox history on Monday night.

When Betts clubbed his 30th homer run, a towering shot off a sign behind the Monster Seats in the second inning of the Red Sox's 9-4 win vs. the Rays, he became just the third Boston player to reach that number in a season before turning 24 years old.

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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.

Dodgers send Stewart to Double-A, recall Maeda

Dodgers send Stewart to Double-A, recall Maeda

DENVER -- The latest victim of the Dodgers' aggressive roster manipulation is Brock Stewart, who was optioned back to Double-A Tulsa one day after blanking the Cubs for five innings.

Stewart was sent down to clear a spot on the roster for Monday night starter Kenta Maeda, who had been parked for three days on the roster of the Dodgers' Rookie-level Arizona League club. Because that club's season has ended, Maeda is allowed to be recalled without waiting the usual 10-day freeze period.

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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.

Olympian Centrowitz brings gold to O's game

Olympian Centrowitz brings gold to O's game

BALTIMORE -- Though traffic prevented him from arriving in time to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday, Olympic gold medalist and Maryland native Matthew Centrowitz Jr. was in attendance at Camden Yards for the Orioles' series opener against the Blue Jays. Baltimore lost, 5-1.

Centrowitz, who became the first American to win the 1,500 meters at the Olympics since 1908, said he was raised a Yankees fan because his parents grew up in New York. Even though the Orioles also reside in the American League East, Centrowitz called the O's his second-favorite team, and he was clad in an O's jersey Monday.

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Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Koji could return to 'pen on Labor Day

Koji could return to 'pen on Labor Day

BOSTON -- The Red Sox could have Koji Uehara back in the bullpen by Labor Day, as the reliever responded well to throwing 25 pitches to teammates from the main mound at Fenway Park on Monday.

"He came out of today's work session in good fashion," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity, both his fastball and his split. He may have mixed in an occasional cutter, but it's been impressive to see how he's handled the volume, and now three times on the mound the intensity to his bullpen [sessions] and the BP."

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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.