Fernandez goes yard in return for Marlins

Fans 6 over 6 innings, hits leadoff homer in fifth

Fernandez goes yard in return for Marlins

MIAMI -- The long wait was to once again see Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez pitch. But the Marlins' ace energized and entertained on Thursday afternoon with his bat as well as his blazing fastball.

Fernandez celebrated a triumphant return from Tommy John surgery, striking out six, while allowing three runs in six innings and also smashing a home run in Miami's 5-4 win over the Giants at Marlins Park.

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

Braves sink Scherzer with walk-off in ninth

Braves sink Scherzer with walk-off in ninth

ATLANTA -- It took a fortunate hop, but the Braves found a way to conquer Max Scherzer, courtesy of a one-out, walk-off single that Cameron Maybin bounced over the third-base bag to conclude Thursday night's 2-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

Scherzer entered the ninth having retired 10 straight batters, going back to Andrelton Simmons' fifth-inning RBI single. But the tide turned when Pedro Ciriaco opened the bottom of the ninth with an infield single. Two batters later, Maybin bounced his game-winning hit over the third-base bag and into left field. Against Washington manager Matt Williams' wishes, the umpires didn't review the play because it was a ruling that occurred in front of the bag.

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

Vote until 11:59 ET; many races can be swayed

Tight competition in AL at 2B, 3B, DH, OF; NL's 3B, OF battles too close to call

Vote until 11:59 ET; many races can be swayed

As the voting window for the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot heads to its finish at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, there are several key races for starting position players in the American League and National League that are coming down to the wire.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

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

Top international prospects signing breakdown

Top international prospects signing breakdown

Thursday marked the start of the 2015-16 international signing period, a day when some of the best teenage prospects in the world signed with teams and took huge steps toward fulfilling their Major League dreams.

The Dodgers, as expected, made the biggest splash when the market officially opened, agreeing to terms with two of the top five prospects on MLBPipeline.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, including a $16 million deal with 19-year-old Cuban right-hander Yadier Alvarez. They also landed the No. 5 prospect on the list, Starling Heredia, and are thought to be in contention for top-ranked 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez, who isn't expected to sign until later in the month.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray rejoins A's after bout with salmonella

Right-hander feeling better, but will likely miss a second turn in rotation

Gray rejoins A's after bout with salmonella

OAKLAND -- Right-hander Sonny Gray was back in the A's clubhouse before Thursday's series opener against the Mariners, feeling "much better" following a two-day hospital stay recovering from a bout of gastroenteritis caused by salmonella.

The bacterial infection attacked his colon, which enlarged to twice its normal size, Gray was told. The pitcher, who began experiencing symptoms Saturday and had a fever as high as 103, is eating solid foods again for the first time since Sunday and was slated to go through some light activity Thursday, including catch.

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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.

Red Sox ride 8-run first to series win vs. Jays

Red Sox ride 8-run first to series win vs. Jays

TORONTO -- The Red Sox rode a big first inning all the way to a 12-6 victory over the Blue Jays in the series finale at Rogers Centre on Thursday night. Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt were 4-for-6 at the plate, Mookie Betts and Alejandro De Aza had three hits apiece and Wide Miley posted a five-inning start to help Boston clinch the series.

The first eight Red Sox batters scored as the visitors tallied nine hits in the first inning, driving Toronto starter Matt Boyd from the game before he was able to record an out. David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez cracked back-to-back homers, De Aza tripled and six other Red Sox singled to provide Boston all the offense needed to stave off a four-run second inning and a two-run ninth from the Blue Jays.

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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.

Better late than never as Rangers top O's

Better late than never as Rangers top O's

BALTIMORE -- A brilliant pitchers' duel that began with Kevin Gausman and Yovani Gallardo went scoreless until the the top of the ninth inning, when Texas scored two runs on as many hits in a 2-0 win over Baltimore on Thursday night.

Leonys Martin, batting with one out and a runner on second base, singled to center field, plating Shin-Soo Choo and breaking the scoreless tie. Two batters later, Rougned Odor knocked in Martin with a single to right field.

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

Springer forced to DL with right wrist fracture

Springer forced to DL with right wrist fracture

HOUSTON -- The Astros placed George Springer on the 15-day DL with a right wrist fracture Thursday, one day after he took a pitch off his wrist and left the Astros' 6-5 win over the Royals in the sixth inning.

In a corresponding move, Houston recalled Alex Presley from Triple-A Fresno, where he was hitting .308 with 74 hits and 35 RBIs in 64 games. The Astros also transferred pitcher Brad Peacock to the 60-day DL.

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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.

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

Gibson fires 8 scoreless as Twins blank Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson continued his mastery of the Royals by humming through eight scoreless innings and allowing just four singles in a 2-0 win on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals lost their fourth straight as the Twins moved 3 1/2 games out of first in the American League Central.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Dodgers open int'l signing period with a flurry

Sources say club has deals with Alvarez, Heredia, Brito and Cruz

Dodgers open int'l signing period with a flurry

The Los Angeles Dodgers are making a big splash on the first day international prospects can sign, stocking their Minor League system with several top international prospects, including right-handed pitcher Yadiel Alvarez for $16 million.

The Dodgers signed Alvarez, 19, ranked No. 2 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list; outfielder Starling Heredia, ranked No. 5, for $2.6 million; infielder Ronny Brito, ranked No. 21, for $2 million; outfielder Christopher Arias for $500,000 and shortstop Oneal Cruz for $950,000.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays sign Vladimir Jr. as int'l free agent

Son of nine-time All-Star, 2004 AL MVP ranked No. 4 on MLB.com Top 30 list

Blue Jays sign Vladimir Jr. as int'l free agent

There's a familiar name set to begin his journey through the professional ranks.

The Blue Jays signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for $3.9 million. Guerrero is ranked No. 4 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

12 reasons to sign up for MLB.TV now

12 reasons to sign up for MLB.TV now

Here are a dozen reasons to sign up right now for MLB.TV, the No. 1 live streaming sports service:

1. Teams reach the official halfway mark in the Major League Baseball regular-season schedule this week, so MLB Advanced Media announced on Wednesday that the cost of a yearly MLB.TV subscription is now nearly half of its original 2015 price. Signups are underway at $79.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $59.99 for MLB.TV.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

FAQ: How exactly are All-Star rosters constructed?

FAQ: How exactly are All-Star rosters constructed?

It's the time of year when division races become clearer, the Trade Deadline looms and the baseball world prepares to descend upon one lucky city that has been selected to play host to one of Major League Baseball's jewel events -- the All-Star Game.

With the All-Star Game, comes All-Star confusion -- not about the game itself, but the rosters, and how exactly they're configured.

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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.

Lind helps Brewers finish sweep of Phillies

Lind helps Brewers finish sweep of Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- The Brewers had already waited since last August to celebrate a sweep. A pair of extra innings on Thursday night were worth the effort.

Adam Lind's 11th-inning single sent the Brewers to an 8-7 win over the Phillies and sealed Milwaukee's four-game sweep at Citizens Bank Park in a series that featured the NL's bottom two teams, and in the Phillies, the league's worst pitching team. The Brewers scored 28 runs in Philadelphia and have averaged 6.6 runs per game during a five game winning streak, part of a larger stretch of eight wins in 10 games.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy and listen to his podcast. Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman confirms he's out until after break

Freeman confirms he's out until after break

ATLANTA -- After spending the past couple of weeks dealing with pain and frustration, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has conceded that he has no choice but to rest his injured right wrist until after the All-Star break.

Freeman has been sidelined since June 18 with a bone bruise and aggravated ligaments in his right wrist. Though it has been assumed for more than a week that he would be sidelined through the break, it is still too early to pinpoint exactly when he will be healthy enough to return to the Braves' lineup.

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

Harper stars in ESPN Mag's Body Issue

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Harper stars in ESPN Mag's Body Issue

Bryce Harper is a pretty strong dude.

Actually, no, let us rephrase: Bryce Harper is the MLB equivalent of that kid from your Little League days, the one so physically different you'd swear he was actually in college already. He makes baseball bats look like twigs, his swing could provide enough wind power to keep the lights on in D.C. for a decade and he's spent all season raining dingers with reckless disregard for the welfare of upper decks. Even his popups turn into home runs

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Cavnar makes inroads as female broadcaster

Root Sports reporter handles color commentary for weekend series

Cavnar makes inroads as female broadcaster

PHOENIX -- Jenny Cavnar of Root Sports Rocky Mountain will joined the 850 KOA radio booth as color commentator during the Rockies game Thursday against the D-backs, and will also serve in that capacity Friday and Saturday.

A female baseball broadcaster on the radio is a rare event. Suzyn Waldman has been color commentator on Yankees games since 2005. Waldman also recalls announcing a Mets-Astros game on the radio in the 1990s. A Rockies inquiry of MLB officials and historians did not unearth another case of a female announcer doing an NL game.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2015 Draft: Signing and Bonus Tracker

Here's a complete breakdown of which 2015 Draft picks from the first 10 rounds have agreed to terms, along with their reported bonuses and starting assignments. The list will be updated through the July 17 signing deadline.

Clubs have not announced or confirmed bonuses.

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Gibbons tossed after Blue Jays lose challenge

Out call on Valencia at home stands following replay

Gibbons tossed after Blue Jays lose challenge

TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was ejected during the fifth inning of Thursday night's 12-6 loss to the Red Sox for arguing a call with home-plate umpire Gerry Davis.

Trailing, 8-4, Toronto had runners on first and second with one out when Devon Travis hit a single to center. Danny Valencia rounded third and tried to score on the play, but he was called out by Davis, which prompted Gibbons to use his challenge.

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

Sano logs first MLB hit in debut vs. Royals

Sano logs first MLB hit in debut vs. Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Top prospect Miguel Sano made his long-awaited debut with the Twins on Thursday, serving as the designated hitter and hitting sixth against the Royals.

Sano went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in his debut, reaching on an infield single in the ninth inning off closer Greg Holland for his first Major League hit. Shane Robinson replaced him as a pinch-runner, but Sano's hit led to a run with Eduardo Escobar coming through with an RBI triple to give the Twins some breathing room in a 2-0 win at Kauffman Stadium.

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

Arrieta dominates 2 years after joining Cubs

Righty tosses eight stellar innings on anniversary of trade from Orioles

Arrieta dominates 2 years after joining Cubs

NEW YORK -- Two years ago to the day, Jake Arrieta left Baltimore a disappointing talent, a thinly bearded prospect that never panned out. There was potential in his formidable frame and rocket right arm -- he just couldn't command it, to ugly results. So when Chicago acquired him and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger, Arrieta was excited about the change of scenery.

"This is something that's going to do me a lot of good," he said then.

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

Cards employee dismissed for Astros data breach

Cards employee dismissed for Astros data breach

ST. LOUIS -- Scouting director Chris Correa, a member of the Cardinals' front office since 2009, was dismissed by the organization on Wednesday after he admitted to accessing the Astros' database without authorization. General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the firing, which was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday afternoon.

The Cardinals have been under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for several months regarding unauthorized entry into the Astros' computer systems. According to The New York Times, which broke the story on June 16, evidence was discovered that at least one Cardinals employee illegally accessed a database that contained internal discussions of trades and scouting reports.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers activate Feliz, option Martinez

Rangers activate Feliz, option Martinez

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers reinstated right-hander Neftali Feliz from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday and optioned right-hander Nick Martinez to Triple-A Round Rock.

The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as Martinez (5-5, 3.43 ERA) has pitched well this season, especially in April, when he posted a 2-0 record and 0.35 ERA. But more than anything, the move was made to give him some rest and make a spot in the rotation for left-hander Matt Harrison.

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

Tribe sweeps Rays on Aviles' HR in 10th

Tribe sweeps Rays on Aviles' HR in 10th

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Moore made his first start for the Rays since undergoing Tommy John surgery 14 months ago, but a Mike Aviles home run in the 10th inning Thursday spoiled the left-hander's return and gave the Indians a 5-4 victory to complete a four-game sweep of Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.

"We needed it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You can't come into a series getting ahead of yourself, but we needed to get greedy today. You win three and it's easy to go, 'Well, three out of four.' But, we needed to win today and that was a hard one to win. We've got to keep going. This can't be, we take a deep breath, we've played a good series. We've got to get after it."

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

Dodgers part ways with ex-closer League

Team designates reliever for assignment

Dodgers part ways with ex-closer League

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Thursday designated for assignment reliever Brandon League, deciding that the former closer would not be able to improve the current bullpen alignment.

The Dodgers were facing a decision on League, who was on the 60-day disabled list and just completed a Minor League rehabilitation assignment after missing all of this season with a right shoulder impingement that developed in Spring Training.

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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.

Ynoa tosses one-hitter for Binghamton

Mets No. 11 prospect strikes out 6, walks none in shutout victory

Ynoa tosses one-hitter for Binghamton

Entering Thursday, Double-A Binghamton pitcher Gabriel Ynoa had only tossed one nine-inning complete game in 93 starts.

But the Mets No. 11 prospect had one of the best starts of his career in a 5-0 win over Erie, giving up just one hit while striking out six and walking none in nine shutout innings. The near-perfect game required 103 pitches -- 76 of them strikes -- from the 22-year-old as he picked up his fifth win of the season.

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

Banuelos cramps up, exits scoreless debut

Banuelos cramps up, exits scoreless debut

ATLANTA -- Everything thing appeared to be going better than Manny Banuelos could have ever expected, as he was outdueling Max Scherzer at Turner Field on Thursday, in a game the Braves won, 2-1. But in the process of fashioning a very impressive Major League debut, Banuelos was forced to exit in the sixth inning because of cramping and dehydration.

Banuelos had retired 13 consecutive batters before unleashing pitches that hit Denard Span and Danny Espinosa with two outs in the sixth inning. After being briefly examined by assistant athletic trainer Jim Lovell, the rookie left-hander exited to a rousing ovation.

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

Cardinals pitching is on historic pace

By one metric, it's the best staff in 100 years

Cardinals pitching is on historic pace

The Cardinals are on pace to have the single greatest earned run prevention season of the last 100 years. There's plenty of qualifiers to that and reasons why it's not likely to keep up over the course of the entire year, but over the first three months, that's a cold hard fact. They're preventing runs in a way no one alive has ever really seen before -- and they're doing it without ace Adam Wainwright, who injured his Achilles tendon in just his fourth start of the season.

We'll get to how they're doing it, but first, let's explain how we can make that exclamatory statement. In order to compare across seasons and eras, we're using a relatively simple metric called "ERA-," read as "ERA minus," which sets league-average as 100. If you're familiar with OPS+ or ERA+, it's the exact same principle, except that excellent ERA marks are supposed to be lower, not higher. The Cardinals have a 69 ERA-, which means they're preventing earned runs 31 percent better than league average, a mark not topped since the 1909 Cubs of Three-Finger Brown and Orval Overall.

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Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins sign first-round pick Naylor

Scouting director high on first baseman's power, bat speed

Marlins sign first-round pick Naylor

The Marlins on Thursday signed first baseman Josh Naylor, their first-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Naylor, from St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario, was the No. 12 overall pick. He also passed his physical on Thursday and received a $2.25 million signing bonus.

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

Hosmer grieving for young Royals fan's death

Hosmer grieving for young Royals fan's death

KANSAS CITY -- The words came hard for Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, as he stood in front of reporters on Thursday and tried to make meaning of the death of his 7-year-old friend, Noah Wilson, from Olathe, Kan.

Fans from all over the country learned of Noah's courageous battle against bone cancer during last year's Royals' playoff run -- a fight that he appeared to be winning in mid-June when he was considered cancer-free. But recently, his family learned he had leukemia.

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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.