50 is the new, Lordy! Astros pile up wins

50 is the new, Lordy! Astros pile up wins

OAKLAND -- The Astros won their 50th game of the season on Thursday afternoon, holding off an A's rally for a 12-9 victory to complete a four-game sweep at Oakland Coliseum.

It marked the Astros' 10th straight win at the Coliseum and makes them the fourth-fastest team to 50 wins this century.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Astros on Thursday.

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

Goldy rush! 1B melts fan's face; AZ is hot

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Goldy rush! 1B melts fan's face; AZ is hot

Paul Goldschmidt is off to a fantastic start to the 2017 season, as entering play on Thursday, he had 17 homers and led the Majors with a .446 on-base percentage. The D-backs' strong position in the NL West race is no accident.

A few grateful D-backs fans at Coors Field were lucky enough to have Goldschmidt sign a few baseballs for them prior to the team's Thursday afternoon game against the Rockies, and one was absolutely blown away to meet her hero.

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Joc's jolt sends Dodgers to 7th straight win

Joc's jolt sends Dodgers to 7th straight win

LOS ANGELES -- Joc Pederson's tie-breaking blast leading off the bottom of the seventh inning capped another Dodgers home-run barrage Thursday night in a 6-3 win at Dodger Stadium, completing their first four-game sweep over the Mets since 1979.

The Dodgers ran their season-high win streak to seven and home streak to eight, while the Mets have lost seven of their last eight games. The Dodgers slugged 15 home runs in the series, the most they've hit (or the Mets have allowed) in a series, and have homered in 14 consecutive games.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

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.

Root 34: David Ortiz Drive starts party

Red Sox celebration of slugger to culminate with number retirement ceremony at Fenway tonight

Root 34: David Ortiz Drive starts party

BOSTON -- David Ortiz has intentionally stayed away from Fenway Park this season, giving his former teammates time to forge their own identity in this post-Big Papi world. But the big slugger will be back in grand fashion tonight, as the Red Sox will retire No. 34 to the façade in right field.

The ceremony will put a bow on a memorable couple of days in Boston, as the city has celebrated one of its greatest sports heroes this week. On Thursday afternoon, the city of Boston dedicated David Ortiz Drive near Fenway Park. Mayor Marty Walsh announced the dedication, with Ortiz saying Boston "got me to where I am."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

King Felix returns vs. Astros on MLB.TV

Seattle ace returning from injury, faces Majors' best team

King Felix returns vs. Astros on MLB.TV

After six teams got a day off on Thursday, each team returns to play in a full slate of games tonight, streaming live on MLB.TV.

Friday brings the return of King Felix along with the Major League debut of the Reds' No. 5 prospect, Luis Castillo. We also see a matchup between two of the greatest Japanese pitchers of the decade and a matchup between the top two teams in the American League Central and the National League West.

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

Judge's 25th HR is treat for young fan

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Judge's 25th HR is treat for young fan

Aaron Judge is doing everything he can to entertain visitors at Yankee Stadium this year, and it's bringing forth a new generation of Baby Bomber fanatics.

One such fan is Massimo Greco, who is just two weeks shy of turning 5 years old. In anticipation of his birthday (as well as his mother and brother's), the family went to the Yankees' game on Thursday night against the Angels.

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With baby in hospital, Shaw doing double duty

Third baseman flooring teammates with focus at ballpark amid scary period

With baby in hospital, Shaw doing double duty

MILWAUKEE -- The easy part was the three hits and three RBIs. The hard part was getting on that airplane.

Yet that is what the job required on Thursday of Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw, after his productive day at the plate fueled a 4-2 win over the Pirates at Miller Park. Shaw had spent the early morning with newborn daughter Ryann and wife Lindy at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, where he's been every morning and night since Ryann was born earlier this month with a congenital heart defect.

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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.

Bo offers tips to youth at Breakthrough Series

Bo offers tips to youth at Breakthrough Series

CHICAGO -- Bo knows it's important for Major League Baseball to reach out to youth everywhere.

That's why the man former White Sox and Mets manager Jerry Manuel called "the greatest athlete we've ever seen" spoke to 60 high school baseball players at the Breakthrough Series at Curtis Granderson Field at the University of Illinois-Chicago on Thursday.

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

Cubs hit 3 HRs, crush Marlins behind Arrieta

Cubs hit 3 HRs, crush Marlins behind Arrieta

MIAMI -- In tinkering with a lineup now minus Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward, Cubs manager Joe Maddon stuck with Addison Russell in the fourth spot on Thursday night. Russell cleaned up, collecting four hits, including a home run, and the shortstop was a triple shy of the cycle.

Russell, Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras homered, and the Cubs rolled to an 11-1 win over the Marlins in the four-game series opener at Marlins Park.

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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.

Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami who covered the Cubs on Thursday.

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

2017 Draft: Signing and Bonus Tracker

2017 Draft: Signing and Bonus Tracker

Below is a complete breakdown of which 2017 Draft picks from the first 10 rounds agreed to terms, along with their reported bonuses and starting assignments.

Here are the bonus pools for all 30 clubs:

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Griffey gives wisdom at Breakthrough Series

Three-day camp in Chicago gives high schoolers chance to learn, showcase talent

Griffey gives wisdom at Breakthrough Series

CHICAGO -- Ken Griffey Jr. recalls spending hours deep in the bowels of big league ballparks and working with Major Leaguers, to the extent of getting kicked out for spending so much time there.

Griffey's time with his father, Ken Griffey Sr., exposed him to big league wisdom from a young age. Now, he's looking to pay it forward to the next generation of baseball talent.

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

Ortiz roasted on eve of number retirement

Pedroia, Patriots' Gronkowski among those taking playful jabs at Red Sox legend

Ortiz roasted on eve of number retirement

BOSTON -- The celebrating of David Ortiz will be there for all to see tonight, when his No. 34 takes a permanent place on the right-field façade of Fenway Park.

But the celebration started on Thursday. First, in the afternoon, the city of Boston renamed Yawkey Way Extension David Ortiz Drive. And then Thursday evening brought a night of laughs at the expense of the retired slugger. Make that howling laughs at The Roast of David Ortiz, which took place at a nightclub on Lansdowne Street, not far from many of the towering home runs Big Papi smacked during his legendary career.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs send slumping Schwarber to Triple-A

Cubs send slumping Schwarber to Triple-A

MIAMI -- Maybe pushing the reset button is all Kyle Schwarber needs to return to his 2016 World Series form. At least that's the hope for the Cubs, manager Joe Maddon and Schwarber's teammates.

"We think this is best for him right now," Maddon said of the young slugger, who was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday. "We know he's gonna be back, and obviously just look forward to it. I really personally love having him here, too. It's just even when he's struggling, whenever he walks up to the plate, everyone expects something good to happen. So let's just get him right for him and for us."

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Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami who covered the Cubs on Thursday. 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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Posey delivers another #ASGWorthy effort

Giants catcher (3-for-5, HR, three RBIs) continues impressive 1st half

Posey delivers another #ASGWorthy effort

ATLANTA -- Buster Posey indulges in some southern hospitality every time he comes home to play the Braves. The Leesburg, Ga., native continued his career success Thursday night as he belted his 10th home run in the Giants' 12-11 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park.

Posey ignited the Giants' offensive attack by starting a three-run second inning with a homer. His blast off Braves lefty Jaime Garcia was his sixth in 71 at-bats against a left-hander. He also added two doubles, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

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

Manny Machado: Me in Real Life

Manny Machado: Me in Real Life

My name is Manny Machado. I am a third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles. I know who I am and where I come from. Loyalty matters to me. It matters a lot.

I'm a proud Oriole. I came up with this organization and Baltimore is a city I know well, so that's why I'm going to do what I can to help out the kids in the community here. Of course, Miami is my first home. I was born and raised there and I'll always be attached to Miami. One day, I envision doing something big for the communities in Florida that helped me as a kid, but my heart tells me to start here in Baltimore and that's what I'm going to do.

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Manny Machado is a third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After a great foul catch, a young Mariners fan became a local legend to his very excited friends

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After a great foul catch, a young Mariners fan became a local legend to his very excited friends

A standard evening at the ballpark brings with it plenty of chances for emotion -- and not just due to the actions on the field, though that happens too. When it comes to fans spearing foul balls in the stands, the act by its very nature is one for celebration. For young fans with their trusty gloves at the game, well, is there anything better?

This kid would probably say "no way" to that question after what happened to him during the Mariners' 9-6 win over the Tigers on Thursday night at Safeco Field. This young man, situated down by the right-field corner, caught a liner off the bat of Guillermo Heredia in the eighth inning and what happened next was as pure a tale of youthful excitement as anything. 

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Jackson, Clevinger spark Tribe to win over O's

Jackson, Clevinger spark Tribe to win over O's

BALTIMORE -- A three-RBI night by Austin Jackson gave Indians starter Mike Clevinger just enough cushion to go a solid five innings, as the Indians secured a series victory with a 6-3 win over the Orioles on Thursday night at Camden Yards.

Clevinger, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus prior to Thursday's game, was charged with two runs on six hits while throwing 100 pitches. After Clevinger's exit, the Indians' bullpen shut the Orioles down, allowing just three hits in the final four innings.

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Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Indians on Thursday.

Joshua Needelman is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Thursday.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

More dominant: Jansen or Kimbrel?

Both closers are incredible, but Dodgers righty leads all pitchers with .164 Expected wOBA

More dominant: Jansen or Kimbrel?

There's no shortage of dominant relievers in baseball these days, but for all the greatness we're seeing from stars like Andrew Miller, Greg Holland, and Wade Davis, plus lesser-known names like Felipe Rivero and Corey Knebel, there's two studs pretty clearly standing head and shoulders above everyone else: Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen. They've been baseball's two best relievers this year, and they've been two of the best for the last half-decade, too.

But which one has been better in 2017? The right answer, as it usually is, is that you could make a case for either one. They're both elite. They're both practically unhittable. They're both having the best seasons of what were already great careers, and they both may very well end up in Cooperstown next to one another someday. They're that good.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels outslug Yanks after Judge's 25th HR

Angels outslug Yanks after Judge's 25th HR

NEW YORK -- Albert Pujols delivered a tiebreaking single as the Angels took advantage of a sloppy exhibition by the Yankees' defense, overcoming Aaron Judge's Major League-leading 25th homer with nine unanswered runs in a 10-5 victory on Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro flubbed Cameron Maybin's potential double-play ball to set up a four-run Angels seventh. Kole Calhoun lifted a sac fly before Maybin stole second, advancing on an errant throw by catcher Gary Sanchez. Pujols then rifled a Dellin Betances fastball into right field for the go-ahead knock.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

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

Cano slams door on Mariners' sweep of Tigers

Cano slams door on Mariners' sweep of Tigers

SEATTLE -- It's taken the Mariners all season to climb over the .500 mark, but they finally made it as Robinson Cano cranked two home runs and a career high-tying six RBIs in a 9-6 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night to complete a four-game series sweep.

Cano hadn't homered in his previous 15 games, but he roped a two-run shot in the third and a grand slam in the seventh to give him 13 homers and 48 RBIs on the year. That provided plenty of run support for right-hander Andrew Moore, who won his Major League debut with seven innings of three-run ball.

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

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

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

Statcast of the Day: Blackmon's lifted homer

Statcast of the Day: Blackmon's lifted homer

DENVER -- As if the Rocky Mountain wonder needs another weapon at the plate, Charlie Blackmon proved in Thursday's 10-3 loss to the D-backs he may have added one.

Leading off the game in a 2-2 count, the Rockies' center fielder lifted a curveball that dipped 44.8 inches 433 feet to the visitors' bullpen, the fourth-deepest of his 16 homers this year. At 0.84 feet off the ground, it was the lowest pitch converted for a home run in MLB this year, and second-lowest since Statcast™ was implemented in 2015.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer day to day with left hand contusion

Springer day to day with left hand contusion

OAKLAND -- Astros leadoff man George Springer exited Thursday's 12-9 win over the A's at the Coliseum after being hit by a pitch on the left hand from Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn during the game's first plate appearance.

X-rays came back negative, and Springer is listed as day to day with a left hand contusion.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers rope 4 homers to top Blue Jays

Rangers rope 4 homers to top Blue Jays

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers exploded for four home runs -- including two from Carlos Gomez -- and jumped out to an early lead they never relinquished in an 11-4 win over the Blue Jays in the series finale on Thursday at Globe Life Park.

Texas hung seven earned runs in four innings on Toronto starter Marcus Stroman, the most Stroman has allowed in his career. He allowed runs in each of the first four innings and tied his career high of three home runs allowed. Of the Rangers' 11 hits, seven of them went for extra bases.

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Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

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.

Marlins shopping shortstop Hechavarria

O's, Rays have approached Marlins about 2-time Gold Glove Award finalist

Marlins shopping shortstop Hechavarria

MIAMI -- The Marlins are actively shopping shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, with multiple teams showing interest.

According to sources, MLB.com has learned that the Rays and Orioles have already reached out in regards to Hechavarria, and an undisclosed third club entered the picture on Thursday.

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

Braves (4 HRs) edge Giants in wild slugfest

Braves (4 HRs) edge Giants in wild slugfest

ATLANTA -- Courtesy of a few bloops and a couple blasts recorded at SunTrust Park on Thursday night, the Braves constructed an eight-run fifth inning that enabled them to overcome Jaime Garcia's rough start and narrowly claim a 12-11 series-clinching win over the Giants.

"You talk about a roller coaster of emotions," Braves manager Brian Snitker said about the series finale, which started 86 minutes late due to a rain delay. "That's baseball. It's crazy. It just happens. You don't know why. Teams aren't going to lay down. We came roaring back and they came roaring back."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

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

After delay, 5-run 1st lifts White Sox over Twins

After delay, 5-run 1st lifts White Sox over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a record-breaking rain delay, a five-run first inning from the White Sox was more than enough to back a strong start by left-hander Jose Quintana in a 9-0 win over the Twins on Thursday at Target Field.

The 4-hour, 50-minute rain delay was the longest in Twins history, and nearly two hours longer than the next longest delay (three hours) at Target Field. Chicago won for the first time in its last five games against Minnesota, which was shut out for the first time since Sept. 16, 2016.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the Twins on Thursday.

Tyler Mason is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the White Sox on Thursday.

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

TCU advances to College World Series semis

TCU advances to College World Series semis

With a win in an elimination game Thursday, TCU joined Oregon State, LSU and Florida as the final four teams in this year's College World Series. Those schools will now compete this weekend for a chance to advance to next week's best-of-three final series.

Here's a look at the action from Day 6 in Omaha:

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Checking in on 2016 Draft picks one year later

Checking in on 2016 Draft picks one year later

As the 2017 Draft signings continue to pour in, the members of the Draft Class of 2016 have passed their one-year anniversary of being drafted and are trying to work their way up organizational ladders in their first full seasons of pro ball.

Some have had immediate success, putting up good numbers and earning promotions. Others have been a little slow out of the gate, with plenty of time to get things pointed in the right direction. Here's a quick check-in on how the Draft class is doing thus far.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Betts' baseball clinic for youth all about fun

Red Sox outfielder stresses enjoyment, fundamentals in one-day event

Betts' baseball clinic for youth all about fun

WOBURN, Mass. -- It's easy to see the fun that Mookie Betts has on a daily basis when he steps between the lines for the Red Sox.

Even outside of the lines it's the mission that he lives by and preaches, and something he was sure to reiterate to the 200 children on hand for the inaugural Citi Mookie Betts Baseball Clinic at Woburn Memorial High School on Thursday evening.

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Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.