'Hiro ball: Tanaka hogs spotlight, beats Sale

'Hiro ball: Tanaka hogs spotlight, beats Sale

BOSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka got the best of an exquisite pitchers' duel against Chris Sale in a Thursday night thriller at Fenway Park, leading the Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox. Neither team had an extra-base hit.

Tanaka was machine-like with his efficiency, firing a three-hit shutout that required just 97 pitches. The sinkerballer walked none and struck out three for his second career shutout.

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

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.

Carp's walk-off slam caps Cards' wild rebound

Carp's walk-off slam caps Cards' wild rebound

ST. LOUIS -- Two innings after a Randal Grichuk home run forced extra innings, Matt Carpenter put an emphatic end to a second consecutive 11-inning affair between the Cardinals and Blue Jays. With his first career grand slam on Thursday afternoon, Carpenter helped the Cardinals complete an 8-4 come-from-behind win in which they scored all of their runs off Toronto's bullpen.

The victory, which came in the first game of a split doubleheader at Busch Stadium, was the Cardinals' first of the season in which they trailed after seven innings. In fact, St. Louis trailed until the bottom of the ninth, when, with two outs, reliever Roberto Osuna blew his second save of the series by serving up Grichuk's two-run homer.

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

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Dodgers erupt in 10th to earn split with Giants

Dodgers erupt in 10th to earn split with Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Purists watching this Giants-Dodgers series had to come away satisfied. Of the four games, three were decided by one run; two contests went into extra innings. Christian Arroyo, San Francisco's rookie third baseman, and Julio Urias, Los Angeles' 20-year-old left-hander, displayed considerable promise. And the traditional rivals played to a standoff, as the Dodgers scored four 10th-inning runs to prevail, 5-1, on Thursday at AT&T Park and earn a split of the four-game series.

"The way that we've sort of been inconsistent with the different facets of the game and to be one game under .500, I think we're in a good place," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "This was a hard-fought series. They celebrated their wins over us and to be two games down in the loss column and salvage a split, to see the life we had in the last inning, this was a big win for us."

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

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.

Nats remain hot, win behind 11-run frame

Nats remain hot, win behind 11-run frame

DENVER -- The Nationals came through Denver knowing they wouldn't have Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg to quiet the first-place Rockies, but Gio Gonzalez became the latest to halt the Colorado bats while leading Washington to an unprecedented ninth win to cap a 10-game road trip.

The Nats ran away to a 16-5 win Thursday, and established the highest winning percentage in franchise history on a road trip of such length. In a voyage that also included stops in Atlanta and New York, the Nats went 105-for-368 (.285) with 52 walks, 71 strikeouts, 42 extra-base hits, 16 homers and 79 runs scored (7.9 per game). Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton added to the onslaught, hitting home runs in the rout. 

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

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

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

M's Motter ends game with grab on tarp

Super utility man dives over tarp, into crowd for game-ending grab

M's Motter ends game with grab on tarp

DETROIT -- Taylor Motter has turned into a bit of a rock star in the early going this year for the Mariners as the new super utility man who keeps providing timely hits, but the versatile rookie with the flowing hair added his glove to the equation Thursday.

Starting at first base for the first time this season and just the second time in his Major League career, Motter came up with a spectacular game-ending catch, as he went over the tarp and into the stands to snare a foul ball by James McCann to clinch Seattle's 2-1 win over the Tigers as Seattle won its first road series of the season.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lindor's homer lifts Tribe past Astros in finale

Lindor's homer lifts Tribe past Astros in finale

CLEVELAND -- Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is one of the game's most talented young players, and he reminded the Astros of that Thursday. Lindor's two-run, go-ahead homer in the seventh powered the Indians to a 4-3 victory over the Astros in the series finale at Progressive Field.

"It was fun to see," said Lindor, of his home run. "As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going to go out, especially with how the ball was carrying today. It was special, because I was capable of helping my team win today."

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William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

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

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

Phils hook Marlins for sixth win in a row

Phils hook Marlins for sixth win in a row

PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Hellickson adeptly worked out of a pair of two-baserunner jams in consecutive innings Thursday, as the Phillies earned a 3-2 win and a rain-shortened two-game sweep of the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, extending their winning streak to six.

Weak contact, a trademark of the soft-throwing Hellickson, kept the Marlins off balance and his pitches off their barrels in key situations. Of his 94 pitches, Hellickson threw 35 changeups, his most of any pitch on the day, marking the third straight start he's thrown the pitch at least 35 percent of the time.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com.

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

'Tired arm' causes Syndergaard to be scratched

Harvey gets start against Braves in series finale

'Tired arm' causes Syndergaard to be scratched

NEW YORK -- While shagging fly balls during batting practice Wednesday, Noah Syndergaard felt such discomfort that he could not lift his right arm above his shoulder. That may have been a dramatic symptom of what the Mets hope is a minor issue. But it was enough for the team to scratch Syndergaard from Thursday's scheduled start against the Braves.

Manager Terry Collins termed Syndergaard's issue a "tired arm," most likely stemming from tendinitis in his right biceps. The team alerted Matt Harvey on Thursday morning that he would start in Syndergaard's place, with Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler sliding forward to start Friday and Saturday on regular rest, respectively.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top 100 Draft prospects: Trio separates from pack

Top 100 Draft prospects: Trio separates from pack

Six weeks before the Twins exercise the No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 Draft, three players have separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

Notre Dame High's (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) Hunter Greene, this week's Sports Illustrated cover boy, maintains his No. 1 ranking on MLBPipeline.com's new Draft Top 100 Prospects list and is one of the most electric and athletic prep right-handers veteran scouts have ever seen. At No. 2, Louisville left-hander/first baseman Brendan McKay is the best two-way prospect in more than four decades, the first player who's a lock top-10-overall pick as either a hitter or pitcher since Dave Winfield went fourth overall to the Padres in 1973. Vanderbilt righty Kyle Wright, No. 3 on the Top 100, has recovered from command woes to allow a total of four hits in his past two starts, showing the dominance expected from someone who entered 2017 as the top college arm for several teams.
 

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robinson Museum breaks ground in NYC

Robinson Museum breaks ground in NYC

NEW YORK -- This is a day for groundbreaking barriers.

Commissioner Rob Manfred joined Rachel and Sharon Robinson at a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday morning in lower Manhattan to mark the start of construction on the Jackie Robinson Museum. The 18,500-square-foot space at 75 Varick Street will honor the late Hall of Famer, who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he started for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, and played an active, pioneering role in the civil rights movement.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller has strained tendon, partial UCL tear

D-backs righty evaluating options, including Tommy John surgery

Miller has strained tendon, partial UCL tear

PHOENIX -- D-backs right-hander Shelby Miller has been diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon and a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Miller is evaluating his options, which include stem cell treatment, platelet rich plasma therapy and Tommy John surgery.

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

Bumgarner set to ease into shoulder rehab

Bumgarner set to ease into shoulder rehab

SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Madison Bumgarner will officially start his recovery from his dirt-bike accident when he launches his rehabilitation program Friday.

Bumgarner sustained bruised ribs and sprained his throwing shoulder in the mishap that occurred during a scheduled off-day outside of Denver last Thursday.

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

Pujols ties Palmeiro at 16th on all-time RBI list

Angels veteran singles in Trout in first inning for No. 1,835

Pujols ties Palmeiro at 16th on all-time RBI list

ANAHEIM -- Angels slugger Albert Pujols notched his 1,835th career RBI in Thursday night's series finale against the A's at Angel Stadium, moving into a tie with Rafael Palmeiro for 16th place on the all-time MLB list.

Pujols moved up the leaderboard after driving in Mike Trout with a single to give the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees to bring Didi back from DL on Friday

Yankees to bring Didi back from DL on Friday

BOSTON -- Didi Gregorius is expected to return to the Yankees' lineup on Friday, making his season debut as the club opens a three-game series against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Gregorius will be activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to the 7:05 p.m. ET contest. Gregorius played his fifth and final Minor League rehab game on Thursday for Class A Advanced Tampa, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes likely for DL with pulled hamstring

Cespedes likely for DL with pulled hamstring

NEW YORK -- The enduring image of Thursday's 7-5 Mets loss to the Braves was that of Yoenis Cespedes, hands on his knees, grimacing in pain after straining his left hamstring. The injury is almost certain to land Cespedes on the 10-day disabled list, manager Terry Collins said, and could keep him sidelined longer than that.

Earlier in the day, the Mets scratched pitcher Noah Syndergaard with what the club hopes is a mild case of biceps tendinitis. With Syndergaard sidelined, the Mets turned to Matt Harvey, who gave up six runs in the team's sixth straight loss -- all of which spurred Collins into addressing his team after the game.

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

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

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

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

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Torrid start puts Harper in elite company

Torrid start puts Harper in elite company

DENVER -- Call him Mr. April. When you're in company with The Sultan of Swat and The Splendid Splinter, you need your own nickname.

Bryce Harper is finishing another April for the ages, hitting a Major League best .418 with eight homers and 25 RBIs. His OPS for the month is 1.358, second only to Eric Thames (1.393), but his career OPS in March and April is 1.076, trailing only Babe Ruth (1.090) and Ted Williams (1.088), according to Stats., Inc.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Adams leads Cards to twin-bill sweep of Jays

Adams leads Cards to twin-bill sweep of Jays

ST. LOUIS -- After stunning the Blue Jays with eight late-inning runs to steal a victory in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader, the Cardinals' offense continued rolling early in the nightcap to build a lead Toronto couldn't fully chip away. St. Louis completed the doubleheader sweep with a 6-4 win to pull back to .500.

The Cardinals pounced on rookie Casey Lawrence to build a five-run lead through four innings. Dexter Fowler opened the first with a leadoff single and came around to score in the team's three-run frame. He added a solo homer in his next at-bat. Matt Adams contributed a pair of run-scoring hits, and Stephen Piscotty drove in two with productive outs.

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

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Suzuki's 3-run homer lifts Braves to win

Suzuki's 3-run homer lifts Braves to win

NEW YORK -- Landing at LaGuardia Airport this week with a six-game losing streak in tow, the Braves needed something to jolt them out of their recent malaise -- and quickly.

The Mets gave it to them in the form of their own miserable week, which included a pair of defeats and the losses of their two biggest stars. Starting in place of injured pitcher Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey gave up a season-high six runs -- including a game-breaking three-run homer to Kurt Suzuki -- in Atlanta's 7-5 win over the Mets.

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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.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Thursday.

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

Umpire Angel Hernandez caught Andrew Knapp's discarded mask, but was it planned?

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Umpire Angel Hernandez caught Andrew Knapp's discarded mask, but was it planned?

Catchers make plays on foul balls all the time. Just as often, they flip off their face masks to improve their vision as they attempt to track down the ball. This is a routine play.

But sometimes mysterious forces intervene to make the routine special. During the fifth inning of the Phillies' 3-2 Thursday afternoon win against the Marlins, umpire Angel Hernandez was that mysterious force.

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Nailed it! Carpenter's slam could be catalyst

Nailed it! Carpenter's slam could be catalyst

ST. LOUIS -- Before Thursday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny toyed with the idea of moving Matt Carpenter out of the three-hole as a means to potentially jump-start the first baseman's bat. Matheny eventually opted against the switch, yet he ended up with the desired result anyway.

Carpenter's 11th-inning grand slam off J.P. Howell not only finished off the Cardinals' 8-4 win in Game 1 of a doubleheader, but it represented the sort of timely hit that prompted the Cardinals to move Carpenter into more of a run-production spot to begin with.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jason Motte, recently signed by the Braves, had his 4 1/2-year-old daughter shave his beard off

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Jason Motte, recently signed by the Braves, had his 4 1/2-year-old daughter shave his beard off

You know Jason Motte. The man with a gnarly fastball and the gnarliest beard this side of the equator. 

Well, after spending last season with the Rockies, the right-hander caught on with the Braves at Triple-A Gwinnet this year. Unfortunately for Motte and his beard (which has almost grown into an entirely separate being on his face), the Braves don't allow their Minor Leaguers to have facial hair.

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Thames' tear unsurprising to childhood coach

Bettencourt on slugger's early diligence: 'Baseball was everything to him'

Thames' tear unsurprising to childhood coach

MILWAUKEE -- The hitting guru was in the middle of a lesson when 12-year-old Eric Thames knocked on his door. Thames had run the three miles to Joe Bettencourt's San Jose, Calif., home with bat in hand, just as he would do the next day and the day after that, and for years after that, until Thames was old enough and strapping enough that Bettencourt suggested it might not be the best idea for a young man to be running city streets with a baseball bat.

The notion had never occurred to Thames. All he could think about was hitting.

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

Urias shows poise in impressive '17 debut

Urias shows poise in impressive '17 debut

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers won't know until October if their experiment to limit Julio Urias' innings truly succeeds. But so far, so good.

In his intentionally delayed 2017 debut on Thursday, the 20-year-old Urias pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed only one run, after which teammates turned his no-decision into a zany 5-1 win in 10 innings over the Giants to split the four-game series.

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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.

Blue Jays plan to activate Sanchez Sunday

Happ, also on DL, 'in a holding pattern' in recovery from elbow inflammation

Blue Jays plan to activate Sanchez Sunday

ST. LOUIS -- Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez is nearing a return and will likely be activated from the 10-day disabled list in time for a start vs. the Rays on Sunday afternoon.

Sanchez has been out since April 14 with a blister on his right middle finger. He threw a bullpen session on Thursday and will pitch off a mound again on Friday before receiving final clearance to start against Tampa Bay.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

For Ricketts, Cubs' blueprint began with Red

Chairman returns to Fenway with ring after using Boston's model for success

For Ricketts, Cubs' blueprint began with Red

CHICAGO -- How often does a baseball executive catch a home run ball?

It happened when the Cubs visited Boston during the 2011 season. Chairman Tom Ricketts and president of business operations Crane Kenney were taking in a game from the Green Monster Seats when Jarrod Saltalamacchia sent a homer their way. 

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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.

Gamel-on! M's rookie plates winner vs. Tigers

Gamel-on! M's rookie plates winner vs. Tigers

DETROIT -- A Tigers-Mariners series that began with two one-sided affairs ended with Detroit and Seattle putting on a pitching duel. Ben Gamel's ninth-inning RBI single off Francisco Rodriguez scored Kyle Seager to put the Mariners on top for a 2-1 win, taking a series that began with Seattle giving up 19 runs in the opener.

"We got outscored, but we ended up winning the series," said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose team is now 4-10 on the road after winning the last two. "We'll take it. That's getting back to playing our style of ball. We had a rough night that first night in. They scored some runs, we didn't pitch very well, but our guys washed it off and got back after it. We won the series, and we've got to continue to build some momentum here on the road."

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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 Facebook.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

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

Bethancourt decides to pitch in Triple-A

Padres see right-hander's future on mound, not at catcher

Bethancourt decides to pitch in Triple-A

PHOENIX -- Pitcher/catcher Christian Bethancourt has told the Padres he's willing to go to the Minor Leagues and continue his development as a pitcher. He reported to Triple-A El Paso on Thursday, as the Padres concluded a four-game series against the D-backs at Chase Field.

Padres manager Andy Green said he and the club's baseball operations executives were pleased by Bethancourt's decision. Bethancourt was outrighted to El Paso on Tuesday and given a few days to decide whether he wanted to pitch or catch.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strasburg to pitch Saturday, J. Turner stays

Strasburg to pitch Saturday, J. Turner stays

DENVER -- The Nationals made the expected move of reinstating Stephen Strasburg from the paternity list Thursday after he and his wife Rachel welcomed the birth of their second child this week.

Less predictable was the decision to keep Jacob Turner on the big league roster and send Matt Grace back to Triple-A Syracuse. Turner temporarily took Strasburg's place on the roster and in the rotation. He pitched well Monday, allowing three runs on six hits and no walks while striking out six at hitter-friendly Coors Field.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Hot wire: 10 players to pick up in fantasy

Hot wire: 10 players to pick up in fantasy

Could your fantasy team use more power? What about steals? Runs, RBIs or wins?

Regardless of your holes, the fantasy waiver wire has a plug or long-term fix to pick up today. Check the following 10 players -- all sitting in waivers in many leagues, and all ready to help you win.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead 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.