Beltre joins elite club with third cycle

Beltre joins elite club with third cycle

ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre had a perfectly plausible explanation as to why he was able to hit for the cycle for the third time in his career in the Rangers' 12-9 victory over the Astros on Monday night.

"When you're fast like me, it's not that difficult," Beltre said.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, 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.

Mets rout Marlins to take over 1st in NL East

Mets rout Marlins to take over 1st in NL East

MIAMI -- The Mets may have settled into their South Florida hotel around 4:30 a.m. ET on Monday, but their bats were wide awake come game time. Michael Conforto blasted a three-run homer, his first career shot, and Yoenis Cespedes added three doubles and four RBIs in a 12-1 rout over Miami at Marlins Park.

After sweeping the Nationals at Citi Field, including a 5-2 win on Sunday night, the Mets stayed hot in the series opener, providing Bartolo Colon, who allowed one run over eight innings, with plenty of run support on a night New York moved into sole possession of first in the National League East for the first time since June 19. The Mets win was coupled with the Nationals' 6-4 loss to the D-backs to break the tie atop the division, after several clubhouse veterans addressed the clubhouse pregame to warn against a letdown.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. 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.

Price as advertised in superb first act for Blue Jays

Price as advertised in superb first act for Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The anthems hadn't even been sung and a sellout crowd was already on its feet at Rogers Centre, screaming its collective heart out for David Price -- the Blue Jays' newest starting pitcher -- as he made his way from the bullpen to the dugout ahead of Monday afternoon's series opener against the Twins.

It wouldn't be the last time the 45,766 Toronto faithful were on their feet for the ace left-hander, who got another standing ovation when he walked off after pitching eight innings in his debut, and one more as the team celebrated a 5-1 victory over the Twins.

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

Not at his best, Felix finds way to 13th win

Mariners ace allows four runs in 6 2/3 frames and strikes out nine

Not at his best, Felix finds way to 13th win

DENVER -- There will be some who look at the 11 hits surrendered by Felix Hernandez on Monday and wonder what's up with the Mariners' ace. But don't count Lloyd McClendon in that group.

The Mariners skipper was plenty pleased with how Hernandez survived his first career outing at Coors Field, allowing four runs over 6 2/3 innings as Seattle held on for an 8-7 victory.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rags to Richards: Halos win after rocky start

Rags to Richards: Halos win after rocky start

ANAHEIM -- Garrett Richards settled in after a rough first inning and the Angels plated a combined five runs in the fifth and sixth, surging to a 5-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night and snapping their season-long six-game losing streak.

The Indians, last in the Majors in runs since the beginning of June, took a three-run lead against Richards in the first, getting an RBI single by Michael Brantley and a two-run homer from Yan Gomes. But then the Angels began to chip away against Corey Kluber.

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Jordan Bastian and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles erupt behind Wilson to thump A's

Orioles erupt behind Wilson to thump A's

OAKLAND -- Chris Davis and Caleb Joseph homered, Adam Jones, Jimmy Paredes and Joseph doubled home runs and the Orioles crushed the A's, 9-2, on Monday night in the first game of a three-game set at the Coliseum.

Tyler Wilson, the Orioles' No. 9 prospect, pitched admirably filling in for Chris Tillman -- who was sidelined with a left ankle injury -- tossing 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball in his second career start. Wilson picked up his second win of the season, giving up six hits on 100 pitches.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Gray, Owens, Severino ready for big stage

Trio of potential front-line starters set to make MLB debuts

Gray, Owens, Severino ready for big stage

The year of the prospect continues with three potential front-line starters making their debuts in the span of 24 hours.

This parade of pitchers from the Top 100 prospects list begins with the Rockies' Jon Gray, No. 35 on that list, and Red Sox lefty Henry Owens (No. 48), on Tuesday. Gray will take the mound at Coors Field against the Mariners; Owens faces the daunting task of making his Major League debut in Yankee Stadium. The next day, No. 16 prospect Luis Severino of the Yankees gets a taste of the New York-Boston rivalry.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves battle back to beat Giants in extras

Braves battle back to beat Giants in extras

ATLANTA -- Adonis Garcia's two-run homer off Ryan Vogelsong in the 12th inning erased San Francisco's one-run lead and gave the Atlanta Braves a 9-8 triumph Monday night over the Giants.

"He's got some pop, especially to right-center," said Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who had a four-hit night with a clutch homer of his own. "I tell you what, if you give him a pitch out over [the plate], he'll whack you pretty good, and he's done that against some pretty good guys."

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

Hessman becomes Minors' HR king

Toledo Mud Hens slugger swats 433rd dinger

Hessman becomes Minors' HR king

On Monday night at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Mud Hens third baseman Mike Hessman stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and hit a grand slam to left-center field, becoming the Minor League home run king in grand style.

Hessman's 433rd Minor League homer -- off a fastball from Lehigh Valley pitcher Dustin McGowan -- broke the record set by Oakland Oaks slugger Buzz Arlett more than six decades ago. It was not, however, enough to push the Mud Hens by the IronPigs as they lost, 10-8, in 11 innings.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Beltre crafting rock-solid Hall resume

Rangers veteran posting numbers reminiscent of all-time great third basemen

Beltre crafting rock-solid Hall resume

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre's greatest strength also happens to be his greatest weakness, at least in terms of assessing his Hall of Fame credentials. He plays the game so smoothly, so efficiently that he's occasionally easy to overlook even after 18 seasons of playing at such a high level.

That's why what happened in Arlington on Monday night was so outside the norm. If it prompts people to pause and put his greatness in context, even better. It was one of those games that will resonate through an entire sport.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DYK: Facts, stats from Beltre's cycle

Rangers 3B fourth player to achieve feat three times

DYK: Facts, stats from Beltre's cycle

Adrian Beltre added another accomplishment to his resume Monday night, hitting for the cycle for the third time in his career in the Rangers' 12-9 home win over the Astros.

The veteran third baseman went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, tripling in the first inning, doubling in the second, singling in the third and capping it off with a homer in the fifth. He became the third player to hit for the cycle this season, joining Brock Holt of the Red Sox and Rangers teammate Shin-Soo Choo.

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

Red-hot Cruz homers in fourth straight game

Outfielder helps power Mariners over Rockies on Monday

Red-hot Cruz homers in fourth straight game

DENVER -- One thing the Mariners have learned this year about Nelson Cruz, he tends to hit home runs in bunches. And the big right fielder is on one of those tears right now, going deep for a fourth straight game Monday in Seattle's 8-7 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.

Cruz went 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk and continues to share the longest active hitting streak in the Majors with Jose Abreu of the White Sox at 14 games. During that span, he's batting .427 with four doubles, nine homers and 13 RBIs.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A.J. Pierzynski: King of the pitch-framers

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A.J. Pierzynski: King of the pitch-framers

Framing a pitch is an art form -- one that has been perfected over the years by the likes of Brad Ausmus, Russell Martin and Mike Piazza. Generally, these catchers try to frame their strike on a pitch that is relatively close to the zone. But during Monday's Giants-Braves game, Atlanta catcher A.J. Pierzynski attempted to frame a breaking ball that bounced about five feet in front of home plate.

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Godley dazzles as D-backs hold off Nats

Godley dazzles as D-backs hold off Nats

WASHINGTON -- The D-backs smacked four home runs and got another outstanding performance from right-hander Zack Godley as they beat the Nationals, 6-4, on Monday night at Nationals Park.

Godley (3-0) tossed six shutout innings and has thrown six innings in each of his first three Major League starts. His outing Monday, in which he allowed three hits and struck out six, lowered his ERA to 1.50. Five of the six runs the D-backs scored came via the home run as Nick Ahmed, Welington Castillo and Jake Lamb each hit solo shots and David Peralta chipped in a two-run blast.

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

Kang proving to be amazing investment

His .485 average against fastballs 95 mph or higher ranks No.1 in baseball

Kang proving to be amazing investment

When the Pirates signed Korean shortstop Jung Ho Kang in January to a four-year deal worth $11 million -- on top of the $5 million posting fee they'd sent to his old team, the Nexen Heroes -- it represented something of a risk.

There had never been a successful Korean Baseball Organization position player in Major League Baseball. (Shin-Soo Choo has been a star in America, but he arrived as an amateur.) No one knew if Kang had the defensive range to unseat Jordy Mercer at shortstop, but his other options were limited since Josh Harrison was coming off an All-Star year at third base and Neil Walker had second base locked down. And while Kang had hit 40 homers for Nexen in 2014, baseball in the country had seen such a wild increase in offense that home runs were up 80 percent over just two seasons before (based on research from former major leaguer Ryan Sadowski), casting doubts on what his true offensive skill level really was.

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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.

Inciarte barehands, throws out baserunner on single

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Inciarte barehands, throws out baserunner on single

Baseball is founded on certain agreed-upon conventions -- some a bit weirder than others, yes, but without which America's pastime would devolve into utter chaos ruled by the whims of an imparital universe and ... well, that's pretty much what we've ended up with anyway, actually, but you get our point. Adorable babies do not justify fan interference, spectators may not inject themselves into the proceedings via banana peel; this is what separates man from mascot.

Case in point: Baseballs that reach the outfield on a bounce are generally regarded as base hits. D-backs right fielder Ender Inciarte, however, cares nothing for your social contract. Where some may see a single, he just sees a ground ball that doesn't know it yet. 

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Ill-fated send home costs White Sox in ninth

Third-base coach McEwing takes blame for Alexei being thrown out by Kiermaier

Ill-fated send home costs White Sox in ninth

CHICAGO -- Joe McEwing has sent thousands of runners home safely over his four seasons as White Sox third-base coach without much fanfare.

But it was his ill-fated decision to send Alexei Ramirez in the ninth inning of the Rays' 5-4 victory Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field that earned McEwing unwanted notice. Ramirez tried to score from second on Adam LaRoche's broken-bat single to center, but he was nailed by Kevin Kiermaier's throw, catcher Curt Casali's short-hop grab and McEwing's decision not to hold Ramirez with nobody out in a one-run game.

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

Mahtook lifts Rays with go-ahead 1B in ninth

Mahtook lifts Rays with go-ahead 1B in ninth

CHICAGO -- Mikie Mahtook's two-out single in the ninth off of David Robertson scored Logan Forsythe with the game-winning run in a 5-4 Rays victory over the White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Robertson had appeared to get out of trouble when he struck out James Loney with runners on first and third and one out, but Mahtook connected on a hanging curve.

The White Sox had the tying run thrown out at the plate in the ninth, when Kevin Kiermaier nailed Alexei Ramirez on Adam LaRoche's single to center with nobody out. Catcher Curt Casali made a short-hop catch of Kiermaier's throw and was able to tag Ramirez as he tried to jump out of the way.

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

Bourn soars to rob HR with spectacular catch

Bourn soars to rob HR with spectacular catch

ANAHEIM -- For a few seconds, Michael Bourn let the Angel Stadium audience believe that Kole Calhoun had hit a home run in the first inning on Monday night. Cleveland's center fielder was down on the warning track, and the baseball that had just rocketed off Calhoun's bat was nowhere in sight.

Then, Bourn grabbed the ball from his glove and raised it in the air, creating a stunned groan from the crowd.

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

Reyes shows his skills in Coors Field debut

New shortstop delivers pair of RBI singles, steals a base in loss

Reyes shows his skills in Coors Field debut

DENVER -- Jose Reyes' enthusiasm is easy to spot from a mile away. A big smile and an energetic personality are just some of the clues.

That showed again on Monday night, when the newly acquired Rockies shortstop made his Coors Field debut with a 2-for-5, two-RBI night in Colorado's 8-7 loss to the Mariners.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Cards could go yard in Cincy

Cards could go yard in Cincy

Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants tonight.

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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.

Key things to watch for in today's games

Key things to watch for in today's games

The first full week of August is here, and the playoff races are starting to heat up. Here are six things to watch for tonight, which features 15 games across the country:

Cy Young showdown? TB @ CWS, 8:10 p.m. ET
Two of the American League's top Cy Young Award contenders -- Tampa Bay's Chris Archer and Chicago's Chris Sale -- take the mound, and both are coming off frustrating outings. Archer, because he took another tough-luck loss, giving up two unearned runs over seven innings while striking out seven against the Tigers for his fourth consecutive defeat. And Sale, because he gave up a career-high 12 hits against the Red Sox.

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

Garcia, Davis among top prospect performers

Giants' Nos. 11 and 30 prospects combine for three HRs for Class A Augusta

Garcia, Davis among top prospect performers

Fans in Kentucky witnessed a firefight Monday night, as Class A Augusta outlasted Lexington, 16-14.

Giants No. 11 prospect Aramis Garcia and No. 30 prospect Dylan Davis led the winning effort, combining for six hits, three home runs and six RBIs for the GreenJackets. Davis was particularly impressive, finishing 2-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs.

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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.

Kipnis on DL with right shoulder inflammation

Indians recall infielder Ramirez from Triple-A Columbus

Kipnis on DL with right shoulder inflammation

ANAHEIM -- Jason Kipnis could have fought through his nagging right shoulder discomfort, staying in the Indians' lineup as a designated hitter until the soreness calmed down. Cleveland felt that would not be fair for the second baseman and that it might risk a more severe injury.

Prior to Monday's game against the Angels, the Indians placed Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list due to the inflammation in his shoulder and sent him back to Cleveland to begin a period of rest and recovery. The All-Star second baseman will receive a cortisone shot, and the team is hopeful that he can be activated when his two-week stint on the shelf is up.

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

Powerful Mariners hold off Rockies rally

Powerful Mariners hold off Rockies rally

DENVER -- The Mariners clubbed three early homers, scored seven runs over the first three innings and held off the Rockies' late rally, propelling Seattle to an 8-7 win in Monday's series opener at Coors Field.

Robinson Cano, Jesus Montero and Brad Miller delivered RBI hits in a four-run first inning. Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz went back-to-back off Eddie Butler (3-8) to give Seattle a 6-1, second-inning lead. Miller homered in the third, and Butler was gone one inning later, giving up seven hits and a career-high seven runs over just four frames.

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

Astros' catchers catching fire at the plate

Astros' catchers catching fire at the plate

ARLINGTON -- Astros catchers continued their torrid pace in Monday's 12-9 loss to the Rangers. Jason Castro went 2-for-4 and clubbed his third career grand slam, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Castro and Hank Conger are hitting .462 with five homers -- including Monday's grand slam by Castro and one from Conger on Saturday) -- and 16 RBIs in the last seven games. Castro and Conger are the first catching duo to hit grand slams in the same season for the Astros since Mark Bailey and Alan Ashby in 1985.

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

Weather postpones Cubs' opener vs. Bucs

Game called following second lengthy delay after fourth; no makeup date announced

Weather postpones Cubs' opener vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs took a half-game lead in the race for the National League's second Wild Card spot Monday night. But inclement weather and two lengthy delays halted their first attempt to gain some ground on the Pirates.

After a two-hour, nine-minute delay during the second inning, the Cubs and Pirates were further delayed before the fifth inning began. After waiting out the unpredictable weather another hour and 20 minutes, Monday night's game at PNC Park was officially postponed just before 11 p.m. CT.

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

J. Upton DTD, hurts thumb making running grab

Left fielder crashes against rail after catch

J. Upton DTD, hurts thumb making running grab

MILWAUKEE -- Left fielder Justin Upton left Monday's game after injuring his right thumb as he made a catch in the seventh inning of the Padres' 13-5 victory over the Brewers.

Upton made a nice running snag toward the left-field line of a ball hit by Scooter Gennett. His momentum carried him toward the seats, where he braced himself against the rails.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes deal pays quick dividends for 1st-place Mets

Outfielder ties club record with three doubles in Monday's rout of Marlins

Cespedes deal pays quick dividends for 1st-place Mets

MIAMI -- When the Mets traded for Yoenis Cespedes with 13 minutes to spare at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the hope was that, ultimately, his blend of power offense and outfield defense would buoy the Mets to first place.

It's just that few imagined it happening so fast. Cespedes' franchise record-tying three doubles paced the Mets' 15-hit attack in a 12-1 rout of the Marlins on Monday, moving the Mets into sole possession of first place for the first time since June 19.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Bryant healthy, but rethinking slide technique

Cubs rookie hoping to avoid going in head first after scary collision prompted early exit

Bryant healthy, but rethinking slide technique

PITTSBURGH -- Kris Bryant was back in the Cubs' lineup and ready to play before Monday night's rainout in Pittsburgh, but his early exit from Sunday's game may force him to reconsider one aspect of his game.

Bryant passed all of the necessary concussion tests after leaving in the fifth inning of Sunday's 4-3 win over the Brewers following a hard slide into second base. Brewers shortstop Jean Segura appeared to accidentally hit Bryant in the head during the slide.

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