Yu was due: Darvish HR a 1st! Beltre brilliant

Yu was due: Darvish HR a 1st! Beltre brilliant

CINCINNATI -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre's 2,900th Major League hit was a game-winner on a night Yu Darvish's first career homer stole the show.

Beltre's two-out double in the eighth inning Wednesday drove home Ian Desmond with the go-ahead run, and the Rangers held on for a 6-5 victory over the Reds at Great American Park.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

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

Ledecky brings pool's gold; O's hold on in DC

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Ledecky brings pool's gold; O's hold on in DC

Some people get nervous before throwing out a first pitch. Katie Ledecky is not some people.

Fresh off winning five medals, including four golds, at the Rio Olympics, Ledecky came back home to kick off Wednesday's O's-Nats game at Nationals Park. It's hard to throw a baseball with all of that hardware around your neck, though, so she decided to seek some help -- from Bryce Harper.

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Pujols passes Big Mac with 584th HR

Angels' slugger takes over sole possession of 10th on all-time list

Pujols passes Big Mac with 584th HR

TORONTO -- Albert Pujols moved his name up the record books on Wednesday night belting his 584th career home run in the Angels' 8-2 win over the Blue Jays, passing former teammate Mark McGwire into sole possession of 10th on the all-time list.

Pujols drove Marco Estrada's 0-1 cutter over the fence in left-center, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead in the first inning and going back-to-back with Mike Trout.

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Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Papi oldest to reach 30 homers in a season

Red Sox DH also records 100 RBIs for 10th time with Red Sox, passing Williams

Papi oldest to reach 30 homers in a season

ST. PETERSBURG -- David Ortiz rocked the first pitch he saw from Matt Andriese in the first inning of Wednesday's 4-3 loss for a home run to right-center field, his 30th of the season. And with Dustin Pedroia on second base, he also recorded his 100th RBI of the year to give Boston a 2-0 lead. Ortiz became the oldest player to reach 30 home runs in a season at 40 years, nine months and six days old. Ortiz, who will retire after this year, is also the only player to record 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of the past four seasons.

Ortiz has 10 100-RBI seasons with Boston, passing Hall of Famer Ted Williams for the most in franchise history.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jose shows way as Marlins halt KC's streak

Jose shows way as Marlins halt KC's streak

MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez put an end to his slump in record fashion on Wednesday night, tossing seven dominant innings while striking out nine in the Marlins' 3-0 victory over the Royals, snapping their nine-game winning streak.

With his nine strikeouts, Fernandez became Miami's single-season strikeout leader, now with 213, eclipsing Ryan Dempster's mark of 209 in 2000. But Fernandez's 111-pitch outing ended with some caution as he limped off the mound with a cramp after striking out Christian Colon to end the seventh.

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

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Royals on Wednesday.

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

Sanchez turning heads with impressive start

Catcher socks ninth homer in Yankees win over Mariners

Sanchez turning heads with impressive start

SEATTLE -- As if the monstrous upper-deck home run on the first pitch he saw or the scalded double down the left-field line, or the two homers in the first game of this series weren't enough, the first thing the traveling band of Yankees reporters wanted to hear about was how a 23-year-old catcher with 21 games of Major League experience could get walked intentionally twice in one game.

Add another chapter to the story of the Gary Sanchez joy ride, which continued unabated Wednesday in the Yankees' 5-0 win over the Mariners. The prospect who has become a phenom in a few short weeks made his mark on yet another big league game, and now the history books, and he's done it all in a hurry.

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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.

Correa's dazzling diving grab helps seal win

Correa's dazzling diving grab helps seal win

PITTSBURGH -- Perhaps the biggest sigh of relief for Astros pitcher Ken Giles wasn't that the laser hit back up the middle by Matt Joyce in the ninth inning Wednesday didn't take his head off. It was that shortstop Carlos Correa was in just the right spot.

Correa, lined up on the right side of second base, made a diving grab behind the bag to snag the Joyce liner for the first out in the ninth inning. Giles struck out the next two batters to close out the Astros' 5-4 win over the Pirates at PNC Park.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays edge Red Sox on walk-off error in 11th

Rays edge Red Sox on walk-off error in 11th

ST. PETERSBURG -- Luke Maile saw reliever Heath Hembree drop the ball at first base in the 11th inning and started his sprint home. And the Rays' backup catcher slid in safely as Sandy Leon couldn't handle the throw at the plate to give Tampa Bay a 4-3, walk-off win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field. The Red Sox remain in a tie for first place in the American League East since the Blue Jays lost to the Angels on Wednesday.

"I was just busting my butt trying to get to the bag," Hembree said. "Was just running a little bit too fast. Knew the ball was coming and trying to find the bag, it was just, I just dropped it. ... It's a play I should make 10 out of 10 times."

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Red Sox on Wednesday.

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

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

Marlins acquire Francoeur in 3-team trade

Veteran outfielder provides right-handed bat with Stanton on DL; Minors C Foley sent to Braves

Marlins acquire Francoeur in 3-team trade

MIAMI -- The Marlins didn't necessarily find a replacement for Giancarlo Stanton, but the club on Wednesday night acquired a veteran who presents a right-handed-hitting threat in Jeff Francoeur from the Braves as part of a three-team trade that also included the Rangers.

Miami announced the deal shortly after a 3-0 win over Kansas City at Marlins Park. The Rangers sent Minor League shortstop Dylan Moore to the Braves, while Texas also received three international signing slots, one from Atlanta and two from Miami.

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

Big bats back Hendricks, bring brooms to SD

Big bats back Hendricks, bring brooms to SD

SAN DIEGO -- Remember Ray Prim? The left-hander won 13 games for the Cubs in 1945, the last time they played in the World Series. Prim was the last Cubs pitcher to lead the National League in ERA. Kyle Hendricks could change that.

Hendricks got a big boost from the offense before he took the mound, thanks to a three-run first, as the Cubs beat the Padres, 6-3, on Wednesday at Petco Park to sweep the series and improve to 36 games over .500 for the first time since 1945, when they finished that season at 98-56.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

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

To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced

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

To the races: MLB postseason schedule announced

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

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

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Benintendi sprains knee, helped off the field

Red Sox No. 2 prospect to be re-evaluated before Thursday's series finale

Benintendi sprains knee, helped off the field

ST. PETERSBURG -- Red Sox rookie outfielder Andrew Benintendi was helped off the field after spraining his left knee while being tagged out near second base in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Rays. He was replaced by Chris Young in left field during the bottom of the seventh. Benintendi will be further evaluated on Thursday.

"Right now, it's just stiff," Benintendi said. "We're just going to come back tomorrow and see how it feels."

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Machado, Wieters plate 8 as O's deny Nats

Machado, Wieters plate 8 as O's deny Nats

BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado lit up the scoreboard all night and Matt Wieters contributed a late three-run homer to help the Orioles slug their way past the Nationals, 10-8, at Nationals Park on Wednesday night. Both Wieters and Machado -- who finished with four hits, including his 29th homer -- drove in four runs in support of left-handed starter Wade Miley, who was acquired by Baltimore last month and earned his first win as an Oriole with five-plus innings of two-run ball.

The Nationals fell short despite the continued dominance of rookie center fielder Trea Turner, who followed up Tuesday's 4-for-4 performance with a hit in each of his first four at-bats on Wednesday, tying a franchise record shared by Andre Dawson and Dmitri Young by recording a hit in eight consecutive plate appearances.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Orioles on Wednesday.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Special presentation of 'We Are Baseball' transports viewers on Hall of Fame tour

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Nestled in the five-trailer platform that comprises the "We Are Baseball" traveling Hall of Fame tour is a mobile theater that shows an 11-minute IMAX movie, spotlighting the best of what the game provides today, and offering glimpses of where it is headed in the future.

Baseball, steeped deeply in tradition, will always connect generations and harken back to its past. But Major League Baseball has taken a deliberate and giant step forward, shifting its focus to a younger generation of fans stimulated more by what is in front of them than by what has already happened.

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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.

Hamilton dazzles with another diving snag

Hamilton dazzles with another diving snag

CINCINNATI -- What does Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton do for an encore after making one of the best catches of his career? He goes back to work and takes away another hit with another tremendous defensive effort.

For the third out of the Rangers' fourth inning during the Reds' 6-5 loss, Mitch Moreland hit a fly ball off Tim Adleman to right-center field. It had Hamilton take a wide turn to his left and race into position to once again leave his feet to make the diving catch.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez, homers carry Cards past deGrom, Mets

Martinez, homers carry Cards past deGrom, Mets

ST. LOUIS -- Grasping for ways to correct their poor and puzzling home record, the Cardinals leaned on two of their most reliable sources on Wednesday. With punches of power from the offense and another dazzling performance from budding ace Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals coasted to an 8-1 victory to even their three-game series with the Mets.

The win allowed the Cardinals, now 29-34 at Busch Stadium, to maintain their 1 1/2-game lead over the Marlins for the second National League Wild Card spot. It also created a bit of separation from the Mets. New York stands 4 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in that race.

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

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

Anthony Castrovince

MLB, MLBPA strengthening ties with Puerto Rico

MLB, MLBPA strengthening ties with Puerto Rico

Maybe the next Francisco Lindor won't feel he has to leave Puerto Rico at an impressionable age.

That's the hope that arises out of Wednesday's announcement that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have agreed to commit $5 million over the course of the next collective bargaining agreement to go toward the creation and support of baseball development programs on the Caribbean island.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jose sets Marlins' single-season K mark

Ace breaks Dempster's 2000 record with 210th strikeout, reaches 213 before exiting after 7 IP

Jose sets Marlins' single-season K mark

MIAMI -- Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, in his fourth big league season, is building upon his legacy in Miami. The two-time All-Star on Wednesday night broke the club's single-season strikeout mark that had stood almost 16 years in a 3-0 win over the Royals.

Fernandez, who struck out nine, became Miami's all-time single-season strikeout leader with 213, eclipsing Ryan Dempster's 209 in 2000. The record-breaker came against Alex Gordon, who went down swinging on an 85-mph curveball in the sixth.

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

Yu did what? Darvish hits first career homer

Yu did what? Darvish hits first career homer

CINCINNATI -- Yu Darvish came back from Tommy John surgery feeling bigger and stronger this season. He really started noticing it the last week when he was taking batting practice in preparation for hitting against the Reds in Interleague Play.

"I was thinking, 'Am I getting bigger and stronger?'" Darvish said. "'Maybe I could hit one or two.' I got one."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers take charge early against reeling Twins

Tigers take charge early against reeling Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Miguel Cabrera set the tone with a solo homer in the first inning, and the Tigers capitalized with a five-run third, capped by a three-run blast from Justin Upton, in a 9-4 win over the Twins on Wednesday at Target Field.

It gave Detroit a second straight win over Minnesota, and the Tigers remain three games back of the Orioles for the second American League Wild Card spot.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Tigers on Wednesday.

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

Pujols' milestone, Shoemaker key rout of Jays

Pujols' milestone, Shoemaker key rout of Jays

TORONTO -- Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each homered as the Angels scored early and often to back six scoreless innings from Matt Shoemaker during an 8-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

The Angels scored two in the first and three in the second and never looked back. Trout and Pujols combined to go 7-for-8 with four RBIs, while catcher Jett Bandy chipped in with a four-hit night. Pujols' homer was the 584th of his career, passing former Cardinals teammate Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th all-time.

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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.

Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto. He covered the Angels on Wednesday.

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

Greinke reaches 2,000-strikeout milesteone

D-backs ace is 78th pitcher in history to achieve feat

Greinke reaches 2,000-strikeout milesteone

PHOENIX -- D-backs starter Zack Greinke reached 2,000 career strikeouts in Wednesday's game against the Braves when he fanned Freddie Freeman to open the fourth inning.

Greinke, the 78th pitcher in MLB history to reach the milestone, punched out five Braves in the first four innings. The right-handed ace's strikeout of Freeman was also his 113th of the season, his first with Arizona.

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

Beat the Streak player up to 47 games

'Csteele12' two shy of tying record, 10 short of $5.6 million prize

Beat the Streak player up to 47 games

Beat the Streak player "csteele12" is now two picks away from tying the all-time BTS leader after Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez singled Wednesday afternoon.

"Csteele12," whose actual identity remains unknown, is now two shy of tying Terry Sims' all-time Beat the Streak run of 49, set earlier this year. The user also is 10 successful picks from topping Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio's legendary 56-game hitting streak in 1941 and claiming the $5.6 million grand prize.

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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.

Yanks overpower Mariners with youth, years

Yanks overpower Mariners with youth, years

SEATTLE -- Masahiro Tanaka threw seven shutout innings and Gary Sanchez homered yet again in the Yankees' 5-0 victory over the Mariners Wednesday afternoon to close the series in Seattle. With its second consecutive win, New York took the three-game set.

"They pitched us well all series," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We haven't been shut down like that in quite some time, and if you don't score, it's going to be tough to win."

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Maddie Lee is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Yankees on Wednesday. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

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

Hey Jude! NY second baseman goes 5-for-5 in LLWS

Abbadessa drives in six to put his team in U.S. title game; Panama, Tennessee, Mexico also win

Hey Jude! NY second baseman goes 5-for-5 in LLWS

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The pair of winners' bracket games to close Wednesday's Little League World Series action provided late-day drama in totally different ways. After Panama edged South Korea in a 3-2 pitchers' duel, New York won a scintillating slugfest, 13-10, over Kentucky in the nightcap, highlighted by an other-worldly performance from second baseman Jude Abbadessa, who went 5-for-5 with six RBIs and three runs scored.

Prior to that, Panama stunned South Korea thanks to a three-run homer in the fifth inning. The loss was South Korea's first ever in LLWS competition, but it will get the chance to fight through the losers' bracket Thursday. Meanwhile, Panama punched its ticket to Saturday's International Championship with the come-from-behind victory. Earlier in the day, Mexico and Tennessee won their elimination games in lopsided fashion to earn another win-or-go-home contest on Thursday.

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Mike McCormick is an editorial director for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pipeline preview: Honeywell working on scoreless streak

Pipeline preview: Honeywell working on scoreless streak

Here's a look at top prospects to watch Thursday in Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Chance Sisco (Orioles' No. 2), Bowie vs. Binghamton (7:05 p.m. ET)

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

After sim game, Bautista ready to return

Slugger set to join Blue Jays for Thursday's game against Angels

After sim game, Bautista ready to return

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista will come off the 15-day disabled list and make his return to the Blue Jays' lineup for Thursday's game against the Angels.

Bautista has been out since Aug. 9 when he twisted his left knee while attempting to make a throw to the infield during a game against the Rays. He initially remained in that game, but the swelling became more severe overnight and required a stint on the DL.

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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.

Bruce exits Mets' game with right calf strain

Bruce exits Mets' game with right calf strain

ST. LOUIS -- Just as their lineup was starting to approach something close to whole, the Mets lost another player to injury. But outfielder Jay Bruce came away from Wednesday's 8-1 loss to the Cardinals with merely a right calf strain, and hopes to return to the lineup as soon as Thursday.

Bruce departed in the second inning, shortly after legging out a bloop double to left. He believes the injury stems from a ball that he fouled off his shin over the weekend in San Francisco, "knotting up" the muscles in back of his leg. Though Bruce felt fine as he warmed prior to Wednesday's game, he experienced a cramp as he jogged out to right field in the bottom of the first. Half an inning later, trainer Ray Ramirez accompanied him off the field.

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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.

Billy bolt: Grab merits gold-medal glove

Reds' speedy center fielder robs Beltran of extra-base hit

Billy bolt: Grab merits gold-medal glove

CINCINNATI -- Usain Bolt, you've met your match.

The 2016 Summer Olympics are over, but Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton made a breathtaking catch on Tuesday worthy of Olympic gold. 

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros edge Bucs to cap strong road trip

Astros edge Bucs to cap strong road trip

PITTSBURGH -- Fighting to keep their spot in a crowded American League Wild Card picture, the Astros did exactly what they needed to during a seven-game swing through Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Coming off a series victory over the Orioles, the Astros claimed another over the Pirates with Wednesday's 5-4 win at PNC Park, their fifth win in six games.

Houston got the best of Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole, whose monthlong struggles continued with a disappointing five-inning start. Cole allowed five runs on seven hits, the biggest a two-run homer in the second by Astros catcher Evan Gattis. In five starts this month, Cole posted a 6.07 ERA. He was outdueled by Collin McHugh, who allowed seven hits but limited the Pirates to three runs in five innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

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.