Lawrie, Escobar have different takes on text apology

A's third baseman says he sent message to KC shortstop, who says he never got it

Lawrie, Escobar have different takes on text apology

KANSAS CITY -- Before the A's and Royals met again in the middle of the diamond during a 5-0 Oakland victory, contradictory messages raced between their clubhouses.

On one end, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar claimed he had yet to hear from A's third baseman Brett Lawrie, who slid into Escobar while attempting to break up what he thought could be a double play in the seventh inning of Friday's opener, causing a mild strain and contusion to Escobar's left knee.

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

Ventura hits Lawrie, gets ejected

Benches clear again after Ventura's ejected for hitting Lawrie; players offer differing viewpoints

Ventura hits Lawrie, gets ejected

KANSAS CITY -- For the second straight day, benches and bullpens emptied at Kauffman Stadium.

On Friday, Oakland's Brett Lawrie slid hard into Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar in the seventh inning, which led to the first fracas. The incident was complicated by the fact that Escobar claims he did not receive a text message apology from Lawrie. More >

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

Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer, chugs

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Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer, chugs

There are some who bring baseball gloves to the ballgame, hoping that the addition of some leather and padding will help them make a great play on a foul ball or home run.

Others are a little more ingenious. Like this Cubs fan at Saturday's game against the Padres. Armed simply with a cup of beer, she managed to both snag the lucky souvenir, and as befits such a prize, she ritualistically chugged the sudsy beverage in celebration. 

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Bryant drives in run on first career hit

Top prospect singles to center off Ross to tie ballgame

Bryant drives in run on first career hit

CHICAGO -- After a whirlwind Major League debut, Kris Bryant looked more comfortable in his second game with the Cubs.

He didn't strike out either.

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

Starlin's single lifts Cubs past Padres in 11

Starlin's single lifts Cubs past Padres in 11

Starlin Castro knocked in the game-winning run in the 11th inning with a bases-loaded single on Saturday as the Cubs edged the Padres, 7-6, before a crowd of 33,958 at Wrigley Field.

"Last year and the year before, we lost a lot of games like that," Castro said. "We played a lot of extra-inning games and lost. We play more than nine and we keep fighting and try to win."

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

Mets hold off Marlins, win seventh straight

Mets hold off Marlins, win seventh straight

NEW YORK -- The only thing to slow Jacob deGrom down on Saturday night was a rising pitch count. After seven shutout innings, the Mets right-hander exited with eight strikeouts and 101 pitches, but not before being backed by homers from Wilmer Flores and Travis d'Arnaud.

deGrom's dominance set the tone early, and the Mets held off a ninth-inning rally to claim a 5-4 victory over the Marlins, extending New York's winning streak to seven straight. The 2014 National League Rookie of the Year now hasn't given up a run in 18 1/3 innings.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Statcast showcases Simmons' ability to anticipate

Braves shortstop's great plays against Mets' d'Arnaud provide an interesting study

Statcast showcases Simmons' ability to anticipate

It's no secret by now that Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons has seemingly made a habit out of taking hits away from opposing batters -- specifically Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud.

Simmons made an outstanding play on April 10 to rob d'Arnaud of a base hit and, while it may have appeared at the time to be a near-mirror image of a play Simmons made against d'Arnaud last Aug. 27, Statcast shows everyone why this year's version was even better.

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

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

What to watch for in today's games

Harvey, Greene look to remain unbeaten; Lester goes for first win; Waino, Cards on in prime time

What to watch for in today's games

The Major League season will officially turn two weeks old on Sunday and to celebrate, fans will be treated to another full day of Sunday baseball.

Here are four things to watch for:

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

Tanaka zeros in with 7 shutout innings

Yankees thrilled with right-hander's fastball command in third start of season

Tanaka zeros in with 7 shutout innings

ST. PETERSBURG -- From a distance of 60 feet and six inches, Brian McCann peered between the bars of his catcher's mask and saw the most encouraging thing that the Yankees could have put on display Saturday evening: a healthy and efficient Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka was not thrilled with his first two outings of the year, but even the harshest critic could not find much to be upset about in No. 3. Tanaka handcuffed the Rays to two hits over seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking none in a 9-0 victory at Tropicana Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Louisville wins with walk-off steal of home

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Louisville wins with walk-off steal of home

It's widely known that the straight steal of home is the coolest thing that can happen in a live sporting event, short of maybe an alien invasion.

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Felix strikes out side to end 12-K night

Seattle ace strikes out side to cap 12-K outing

Felix strikes out side to end 12-K night

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez likes ending losing streaks. Now he and his Mariners teammates are hoping to enjoy starting a winning one.

Hernandez was in brilliant form on Saturday night when his team needed it the most -- on the mound and in a discussion with Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon prior to his final inning, the seventh, in which he struck out the side to help seal his team's 3-1 win over the Rangers.

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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.

Rays DFA former All-Star closer Balfour

Gomes recalled to replace veteran reliever in Tampa Bay's bullpen

Rays DFA former All-Star closer Balfour

ST. PETERSBURG -- Grant Balfour struggled mightily in Saturday's 9-0 loss to the Yankees, with the veteran reliever surrendering a grand slam to Chris Young, issuing three walks, hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch.

Immediately following the game, the Rays designated Balfour for assignment and filled the roster spot by selecting right-hander Brandon Gomes from Triple-A Durham.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

DraftKings picks: Ellsbury, Headley, Ortiz

DraftKings picks: Ellsbury, Headley, Ortiz

Offensive options will be plentiful for DraftKings participants on Sunday, as several clubs have scheduled struggling or backend-type hurlers. The challenge will be to pack a lineup full of productive hitters and still find room for at least one of the high-end starters. A few of the best options to consider can be found below.

Jacoby Ellsbury (Yankees): The owner of a career .794 OPS vs. right-handers (.750 against lefties), Ellsbury could have success against Rays right-hander Matt Andriese. The Yankees outfielder could display extra-base power or swipe a base against the Tampa Bay 25-year-old, who has 4 2/3 innings of Major League experience.

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Fred Zinkie is a senior fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Legends, astronauts celebrate Astrodome's 50th anniversary

Members of first Astros team to play in Astrodome join pre-game ceremony

Legends, astronauts celebrate Astrodome's 50th anniversary

HOUSTON -- Bob Aspromonte hit the first official home run in the Astrodome for the Astros. Bob Bruce was on the mound for the Astros and threw the first official pitch in the building known as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." Larry Dierker called the Astrodome home for more than a decade as a player, and even longer as a broadcaster and manager.

Fifty years after the Astros played their first game in the Astrodome, several members of that team, including Aspromonte, Bruce, Dierker, Ron Brand, Dan Coombs and Jimmy Wynn, caught the ceremonial first pitches prior to Saturday's game against the Angels at Minute Maid Park. The Astros were known as the Colt .45s for the first three years of their existence before moving to the Astrodome in 1965.

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

Dodgers extend streak to six wins, despite LeMahieu's homer

Dodgers extend streak to six wins, despite LeMahieu's homer

LOS ANGELES -- Torrid Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs and Howie Kendrick had a pair of doubles as the Dodgers win streak reached six games with a 6-3 victory over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium Saturday night. More >

Zack Greinke got the win, despite being chased with a two-run homer by DJ LeMahieu with two out in the top of the seventh inning. Since joining the Dodgers, Greinke is 6-1 against Colorado and 20-1 against the NL West, while the Dodgers are 43-20 in his starts.

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Donaldson wasting no time making mark on Blue Jays

Third baseman's walk-off vs. Braves just latest act for Toronto newcomer

Donaldson wasting no time making mark on Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Whether it's batting out of the two-hole, swinging for a game-winning hit, or adjusting to an offspeed pitch, Josh Donaldson keeps the same approach every at-bat. It just so happens this one ended with a dramatic walk-off blast.

Donaldson made it rain inside Rogers Centre on Saturday, collecting three more hits, a pair of runs and his third homer of the season to power the Blue Jays to a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves.

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

Simmons amazes with pair of sick plays

Simmons amazes with pair of sick plays

TORONTO -- Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons put his Gold Glove defense on full display in Saturday's 6-5 loss in Toronto, executing a pair of attention-grabbing plays that demonstrated his athleticism and awareness.

In the sixth, Simmons made a heads-up play that prevented Devon Travis from gaining extra bases after he sent a chopper over the glove of third baseman Chris Johnson and into the outfield

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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.

King of K's: Felix fans 12 to snap skid, Rangers bats fall quiet

King of K's: Felix fans 12 to snap skid, Rangers bats fall quiet

SEATTLE -- The Mariners had been in search of a momentum starter, and the Rangers were seeking to continue the good vibes from the previous night's victory. Saturday's game was set for high drama on a beautiful night at Safeco Field, but when it was over, Felix Hernandez had become the story once again. On his bobblehead night, Seattle's ace gave up only two hits and a run while striking out 12 in seven innings, and the Mariners got enough timely hits to break a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win before 43,017.

Things weren't looking good early for the Mariners, who followed a recent pattern of knocking on the door but not capitalizing on chances early in the game. They took a 1-0 lead on a Seth Smith sacrifice fly in the fourth inning against Rangers starter Colby Lewis, but Texas tied the game in the top of the fifth on an Elvis Andrus fielder's choice RBI.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. 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.

Puig has big night in return, but limp concerns Mattingly

Dodgers outfielder had a double, single and walk in Saturday's win

Puig has big night in return, but limp concerns Mattingly

LOS ANGELES -- Is he injured, or isn't he, only Yasiel Puig really knows.

Puig missed three games with a tight left hamstring, returned to the Dodgers lineup Saturday night with a double, single, walk and RBI, limped around enough for his manager to notice, but played all nine innings.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Bryant's versatility presents Cubs with many options

Bryant's versatility presents Cubs with many options

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant begins his career as a third baseman. He's likely to end it as an outfielder.

But what is really fascinating to consider is this: Could he spend much of it as an almost one-of-a-kind weapon -- a cleanup hitter who is strong enough in the field to move with ease between third base and the corner-outfield spots, allowing manager Joe Maddon tremendous flexibility?

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

With Tanaka dealing, Yankees slam Rays

With Tanaka dealing, Yankees slam Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Masahiro Tanaka made strides toward recapturing his dominant form of a season ago, Brian McCann legged out a two-run triple, and Chris Young hit a grand slam late, leading the Yankees to a 9-0 victory over the Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Tanaka was unsatisfied with his first two starts of the season, but the right-hander was on point this time, handcuffing Tampa Bay's lineup to two hits over seven innings. Tanaka retired 15 straight after a leadoff single in the first, ringing up eight strikeouts without a walk.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seeking spark, Brewers bat Braun leadoff

Slugger welcomes lineup move for struggling Brewers

Seeking spark, Brewers bat Braun leadoff

PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Braun walked into PNC Park on Saturday and found his name in an unfamiliar spot: atop the lineup card.

Looking to shake things up amid a poor offensive start for Braun and the Brewers, manager Ron Roenicke slotted Braun into the leadoff spot for Saturday night's game against the Pirates.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Astrodome remembered as baseball innovation

50-year-old structure was sport's first indoor stadium

Astrodome remembered as baseball innovation

HOUSTON -- There was that first time they walked into the Astrodome. Fifty years later, it remains etched in their hearts and minds.

"I remember thinking, I'd just walked into the next century," Larry Dierker said.

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

Hamilton legs out single, suffers sore groin

Hamilton legs out single, suffers sore groin

ST. LOUIS -- The Reds' lineup could be shorthanded some more after leadoff hitter and center fielder Billy Hamilton left Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Cardinals with a sore right groin muscle.

In the top of the eighth inning, Hamilton snapped an 0-for-14 skid by beating out a ground ball hit behind second base. He appeared to overextend his right leg while jumping over the leg of first baseman Matt Adams.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates ballgirl makes incredible catch on line drive

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Pirates ballgirl makes incredible catch on line drive

Baseball fans have had the pleasure of watching some impressive defense early in the 2015 season. George Springer robbed what would have been a walk-off grand slam, Ben Revere did a Superman impression and Mookie Betts pulled back a Bryce Harper homer.

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Giants end losing skid behind dominant Heston

Giants end losing skid behind dominant Heston

SAN FRANCISCO -- Receiving impressive pitching from Chris Heston and brief but effective flurries of offense, the San Francisco Giants snapped their eight-game losing streak Saturday by subduing the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1.

"He's a good pitcher," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said of Heston. "He pitched well tonight. He didn't make too many mistakes. He worked ahead in the count a lot; that was maybe the biggest thing. He had the one walk, but there wasn't too many hitters' counts. He mixed up his slider and his fastball so you couldn't really lock in on one pitch. He did a great job tonight."

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

Kemp launches first homer with Padres

Kemp launches first homer with Padres

CHICAGO -- Matt Kemp has been coming to Wrigley Field since 2006 and it's taken him this long to finally figure out the place.

"I've hit a lot of balls here in my career where they didn't go anywhere," Kemp said Saturday, after the Cubs pinned a 7-6 loss on the Padres in 11 innings. "You never know here."

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

Hanley still learning Monster ropes in left field

Hanley still learning Monster ropes in left field

BOSTON -- In the fifth inning on Saturday, Hanley Ramirez drifted back to the Green Monster, trying to get a bearing on exactly where he was, and had the drive by Jimmy Paredes tick off his glove for a single.

It's the type of play that Ramirez will probably make in due time, once he becomes fully comfortable as a left fielder.

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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.

Flash, class highlight Giants' third ring ceremony

World Series champs receive jewelry featuring Golden Gate Bridge, trophies

Flash, class highlight Giants' third ring ceremony

SAN FRANCISCO -- For those who believe that the Giants' recent success has been a gift from heaven, Saturday's ceremony featuring distribution of the 2014 World Series championship rings included a fitting touch.

The first batch of rings -- which included those given to executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy -- arrived courtesy of four skydivers who parachuted into AT&T Park's outfield.

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

Marte paces suddenly surging Pirates over Brewers

Marte paces suddenly surging Pirates over Brewers

PITTSBURGH -- Starling Marte drove in a career-high five runs and left-hander Jeff Locke retired 23 of the last 25 men he faced Saturday night, leading the Pirates to a 6-2 win over the Brewers.

Ryan Braun, batting leadoff for the first time in his big-league career, opened the game wirh a single and eventually scored on Jonathan Lucroy's sacrifice fly, but the 1-0 lead given Kyle Lohse did not survive the bottom of the first. Gregory Polanco doubled for the tying run and Marte singled for two go-ahead runs.

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