Nats walk off on Taylor's 10th-inning homer, gain on Mets

Nats walk off on Taylor's 10th-inning homer, gain on Mets

WASHINGTON -- Left out of the starting lineup with a sore right knee, Michael Taylor was called off the bench in the bottom of the 10th and made history, crushing a three-run walk-off home run to catapult the Nationals to a 5-2 win over Atlanta on Friday.

The win moved the Nationals to within five games of the Mets, who lost, 6-5, in 11 innings to the Marlins on Friday night.

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

Yanks power past Rays to close gap on Jays

Yanks power past Rays to close gap on Jays

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Greg Bird homered to support Luis Severino's third consecutive victory as the Yankees defeated the Rays, 5-2, on Friday at Yankee Stadium to move within a half-game of the first-place Blue Jays in the American League East.

The home runs were the only hits allowed by starter Jake Odorizzi, who worked 6 2/3 innings and was tagged with the loss. Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the second inning, McCann hit a solo shot in the fourth and Bird hit a two-run shot in the seventh.

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

Pirates gain in NL Central with win over Cards

Pirates gain in NL Central with win over Cards

ST. LOUIS -- Seeking to chip away at the Cardinals' division lead and assert themselves as still serious contenders in the National League Central, the Pirates opened a three-game series at Busch Stadium with a 9-3 statement win on Friday night behind another sensational start from J.A. Happ.

The win moves the Bucs to 5 1/2 games behind the Cardinals, who had won five of the previous six meetings between the divisional foes at Busch Stadium this year. Pittsburgh, which holds the top NL Wild Card spot, snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory.

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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. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer makes immediate impact in return

Outfielder back from wrist injury; won't hesitate on field

Springer makes immediate impact in return

HOUSTON -- More than two months after he fractured his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch, Astros outfielder George Springer returned to the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Twins at Minute Maid Park, batting first and playing left field in manager A.J. Hinch's lineup.

Springer jump-started the Astros to an 8-0 victory, leading off the bottom of the first inning with a single to right field off Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey. Springer moved to third when Jose Altuve followed with a hit-and-run single, and scored the opening run of the game on Carlos Correa's grounder to shortstop. Springer finished 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

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

Davis the first to 40 with 2nd straight 2-HR game

Slugger notches five home runs in past three games, leads MLB

Davis the first to 40 with 2nd straight 2-HR game

TORONTO -- It's still early in the month, but Chris Davis is on a quite a run at the plate in September. The Orioles' cleanup man and Major League long ball leader swatted a pair of home runs, again, in the Orioles' 10-2 win over the Blue Jays in the series opener at Rogers Centre, giving him 40 on the season and 100 RBIs to go along with it.

A game after he went yard twice, which included an 11th-inning walkoff blast against the Rays to save the O's from a series sweep on Wednesday, Davis was at it again Friday, going deep in the second and sixth innings to give him five homers in three games this month.

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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.

Statcast: Thwarting thieves and robbing hits

Statcast: Thwarting thieves and robbing hits

Among the top plays from around the Majors on Friday night, Yankees catcher Brian McCann delivered a strike during the second inning at Yankee Stadium to catch another potential basestealer in his tracks.

Statcast™ tracked another strong throw from McCann as well as a diving grab from Odubel Herrera, a flash of speed from Yoenis Cespedes, and a trio of homers from Bryce Harper, Chris Davis and Jose Abreu.

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

Indians continue surge behind Tomlin's 4-hitter

Indians continue surge behind Tomlin's 4-hitter

DETROIT -- Corey Kluber's scratch from his scheduled start did nothing to slow down the resurgent Indians, who used a four-hitter from Josh Tomlin and two big hits from Jerry Sands to roll past the Tigers for an 8-1 win Friday night at Comerica Park.

"Oh, man. He was so good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He changed speeds, pounded the strike zone with all his pitches, had a good curveball. He used his fastball really effectively. That was fun to watch."

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The Cron Show: Angels gain on C.J.'s big day

The Cron Show: Angels gain on C.J.'s big day

ANAHEIM -- Young slugger C.J. Cron put the Angels on his back on Friday night, finishing a homer shy of the cycle and driving in five runs while leading his team to a 5-2 victory over the division-rival Rangers in Southern California.

The Angels, coming off a 19-loss August, have started September with three straight wins and are now 2 1/2 back of the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Texas fell to three games back of the Astros in the AL West and maintained a 1 1/2-game lead on the Twins for the final playoff spot.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ozuna turns Marlins Park into playground for catch

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Ozuna turns Marlins Park into playground for catch

It seemed like Friday's Mets-Marlins game was going to open with a Curtis Granderson home run … well, at least it seemed like that to one person. Or maybe Marcell Ozuna just missed the days of hanging out on cool playground equipment and that's why he climbed the right field wall to catch what turned out to be just a long fly ball. 

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Four HRs, 8-run frame fuel Cubs' rout vs. D-backs

Four HRs, 8-run frame fuel Cubs' rout vs. D-backs

CHICAGO -- Addison Russell connected on two home runs and Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam to power the Cubs' offense in a 14-5 win over the D-backs on Friday at Wrigley Field. Rookie Javier Baez added his first home run of the season during an eight-run fifth inning in which 11 Cubs came to the plate.

Baez finished 3-for-4 on the day, Russell went 2-for-3 and scored three runs while Rizzo finished 2-for-3 in a game in which every batter in the Cubs' starting lineup scored. The offense backed starter Jon Lester, who allowed two runs over five innings and struck out three.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

'Ferrell Takes the Field' premieres on Saturday at Petco

Actor expected to be in attendance in San Diego

'Ferrell Takes the Field' premieres on Saturday at Petco

When Ron Burgundy burst onto the scene as America's most beloved fictional news anchor, a love affair formed between the somewhat inappropriate, mustachioed protagonist and one of the most beautiful cities in America.

So it should come as no surprise that the actor who made Burgundy kind of a big deal in San Diego more than a decade ago would premiere his first baseball movie in a ballpark located in the very city that he implored to "stay classy" in the cult classic "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

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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.

Giants drop 7th straight, lose ground in race

Giants drop 7th straight, lose ground in race

DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado went back-to-back in the first, and Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa tossed seven strong innings, propelling Colorado to a 2-1 win over the Giants on Friday at Coors Field.

With the loss, their seventh straight, the Giants fell 8 games behind the Cubs -- who won earlier Friday -- for the second National League Wild Card spot. San Francisco also falls 7 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.

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

Prado's 5th hit lifts Marlins in 11, cuts Mets' lead to 5

Prado's 5th hit lifts Marlins in 11, cuts Mets' lead to 5

MIAMI -- The Marlins are aiming to salvage a disappointing season by playing the role of spoiler. They did just that on Friday night when Martin Prado capped a career-high five-hit night with a walk-off double in the 11th inning that lifted Miami to a 6-5 win over the Mets at Marlins Park.

Facing lefty Eric O'Flaherty, the right-handed-hitting Prado laced the ball down the first-base line. Christian Yelich, who has been playing with a bruised right knee, raced around the bases, scoring from first. Prado collected the seventh walk-off hit of his career, and Miami made the National League East race a little more interesting, with New York's lead cut to five games over Washington, which enjoyed a walk-off win of its own on Friday night.

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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 and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Revere deflects fly ball over the wall for home run

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Revere deflects fly ball over the wall for home run

The MLB rulebook defines an assist as an instance in which a fielder "throws or deflects a batted or thrown ball in such a way that a putout results." But that just seems so limited, no? Baseball is quite the giving game, and there are a lot of ways to assist on a baseball field.

You could use your head to assist a ball on its way to first base, or your ballpark could assist a fly ball to the shortstop. Or, like Ben Revere during Friday's Orioles-Blue Jays game, you could assist Matt Wieters in his quest to hit a home run.

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2015 Postseason Schedule

Wild Card Games to begin playoffs on Oct. 6-7; World Series to start on Oct. 27

The 2015 postseason schedule will begin on Oct. 6, with the 111th Fall Classic to open on Oct. 27 in an American League ballpark, thanks to the AL's 6-3 victory in last month's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile. The full postseason schedule can be found at MLB.com/postseason.

Following the scheduled regular-season finales on Sunday, Oct. 4, potentially necessary regular-season tiebreaker games would be telecast exclusively by ESPN the next day. Then the postseason will begin that Tuesday, with the AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser on ESPN. The National League equivalent is scheduled for Oct. 7, televised exclusively by TBS.

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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.

Taylor comes off the bench for special moment

Nursing a sore knee, delivers game-winning homer

Taylor comes off the bench for special moment

WASHINGTON -- Michael Taylor's right knee was almost too sore for him to play on Friday night. It's why Nationals manager Matt Williams kept the rookie outfielder out of the starting lineup for a third straight game, and it's why Taylor was passed over as one pinch-hitting opportunity after another passed by in the first nine innings.

But in the bottom of the 10th inning in an early September game too important to squander, Williams called for Taylor to hit. When a sacrifice fly would have made him a hero, Taylor hammered a 1-0 Brandon Cunniff slider, notching the first pinch-hit walk-off home run in team history as the Nationals toppled the Braves, 5-2.

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

Blastoff: 10th Astro reaches 10-homer mark

Club record set on Conger's grand slam; Houston 1 shy of MLB record

Blastoff: 10th Astro reaches 10-homer mark

HOUSTON -- The Astros' co-leader in home runs hit eighth Friday night, though infielder Luis Valbuena is in a logjam at first base and is unsure if he'll see his name in the lineup each day.

Pinch-hitting for Valbuena in the sixth inning of Friday's 8-0 win was Chris Carter, another competitor for first-base playing time, who has 18 homers himself. Batting in the nine-hole was catcher Hank Conger, whose fourth-inning grand slam gave him 10 home runs on the year, setting a franchise record as he became the 10th Astro to reach double-digit home runs this season.

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

Danks in complete control in win over Royals

Danks in complete control in win over Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Adam Eaton had four hits, including a three-run homer, and Alexei Ramirez had four hits as well as the White Sox gave left-hander John Danks plenty of support in a 12-1 romp over the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Tyler Flowers also hit a three-run homer for the White Sox, who banged out 17 hits.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hot-hitting Cespedes finds himself in middle of rally

Hot-hitting Cespedes finds himself in middle of rally

MIAMI -- Needing a big bat for their playoff push, the Mets acquired Yoenis Cespedes at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. On Friday night, the hot-hitting outfielder nearly bolstered New York's chances with one swing of that big bat.

The Mets chipped away at a three-run deficit before Cespedes hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning of a 6-5, 11-inning defeat to the Marlins. The loss, coupled with Washington's win, cut New York's National League East lead to five games. Cespedes has opened the final full month of the regular season with a 7-for-15 outburst, hitting three home runs, driving in five runs and scoring five.

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

Dodgers to push rotation back a day

Bolsinger's start allows club to give pitchers extra rest

Dodgers to push rotation back a day

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers made official their plans to push the entire rotation back one day as a result of Mike Bolsinger's start Friday night. What remains unclear is how the club will proceed after this turn through.

Alex Wood will get the ball Saturday and Brett Anderson will start Sunday, pushing Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw to the first two games of the Freeway Series against the Angels, beginning Monday.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros clobber Twins, grow lead in AL West

Astros clobber Twins, grow lead in AL West

HOUSTON -- George Springer's return to the lineup took a back seat to the bat of Hank Conger.

Conger belted a fourth-inning grand slam, and Colby Rasmus had a two-run blast to back 7 2/3 scoreless innings from starting pitcher Collin McHugh and lead the Astros to an 8-0 win over the Twins in the series opener Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Responding to Boras, Mets stick with Harvey plan

Responding to Boras, Mets stick with Harvey plan

MIAMI -- Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Friday that the club will not change its plan for Matt Harvey as the right-hander nears the end of his first season after Tommy John surgery. Harvey's agent, Scott Boras, told CBS Sports that Harvey needs to be kept on an innings limit to protect his health.

Boras said that Harvey, who has tossed 166 1/3 innings so far this season, should log no more than 180 innings, including the playoffs. Ricco, however, said the Mets will simply continue to stick to their plan for their ace.

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

Davis leads O's as Blue Jays lose ground

Davis leads O's as Blue Jays lose ground

TORONTO -- Chris Davis hit a pair of home runs as the Orioles roughed up Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison for six runs over five-plus innings in a 10-2 victory on Friday night at Rogers Centre.

The loss dropped Toronto's lead in the American League East to a half-game after the Yankees pulled out a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay earlier in the night. The Orioles kept their fading postseason hopes alive with the win to move six games back of Texas for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tulowitzki uses sweet parkour moves to avoid tag

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Tulowitzki uses sweet parkour moves to avoid tag

When you look at the description of how Troy Tulowitzki got to first base during the sixth inning of Friday night's Orioles-Blue Jays game, you'll see the sentence "Troy Tulowitzki reaches on a throwing error by second baseman Jonathan Schoop."

But that's like saying that "The Grapes of Wrath" is about a family who moves. 

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Burnett expects to return to Pirates soon

Right-hander feels good after latest simulated game at Busch Stadium

Burnett expects to return to Pirates soon

ST. LOUIS -- A.J. Burnett walked off the mound after a simulated game in which his pitches matched the Friday afternoon temperature at Busch Stadium -- and it was boiling, 95 degrees -- and uttered the words that will get Pirates fans only more psyched for this stretch drive:

"I expect to be throwing soon for the Pirates, because I feel great."

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury day to day with flu-like symptoms

Ellsbury day to day with flu-like symptoms

NEW YORK -- In the midst of a pennant race where every game counts, Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows it's his job to send out the best lineup he has each day his club takes the field. On Saturday, Girardi hopes center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will be part of that lineup against the Rays.

Ellsbury exited the Yankees' 5-2 win over the Rays after the fourth inning of Friday's series opener with an upset stomach. Considering Ellsbury has been battling a sore right hip lately, a less serious stomach bug could come as something of a relief, but Girardi still seemed concerned.

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

You won't believe the play Joe Panik made last night

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You won't believe the play Joe Panik made last night

We already knew that Joe Panik is a wizard. His incredible diving play and subsequent glove flip helped the Giants win their third World Series in five years:

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Kendrick should be back before season's end

Puig and Hernandez will need more time to heal hamstrings

Kendrick should be back before season's end

SAN DIEGO -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was about to reveal a timetable for second baseman Howie Kendrick's return to the big league club -- until he had second thoughts.

"Unless something were to happen to him, he's going to be back within ...," Mattingly started, before cutting himself off sharply.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mendoza to continue on ESPN broadcasts

Former Olympic softball medalist will work remainder of Sunday night games

Mendoza to continue on ESPN broadcasts

Jessica Mendoza has already made history in the broadcast booth. Now she'll make more regular appearances.

Mendoza, a former United States softball Olympic gold and silver medalist, became the first woman to work a Major League Baseball game for ESPN in a Monday night D-backs-Cardinals game two weeks ago, and she followed it up with a Sunday Night Baseball debut last week that just happened to feature a no-hitter by Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta.

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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.

Myers activated from 60-day DL

Padres youngster says he's fully recovered from wrist surgery

Myers activated from 60-day DL

SAN DIEGO -- WIl Myers was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list Friday and was in the lineup for the Padres for the first time since June 13.

Myers started at first base and batted sixth, going 0-for-4, but reaching base on a dropped third strike and stealing a base in the second inning of the 8-4 loss to the Dodgers. He moved to center field in the ninth.

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