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Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • MLB roundup: Trout injured in Angels' loss to Marlins
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 28, 2017

    MIAMI -- In a game marred by an injury to Angels star Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton and JT Riddle homered to lead the Miami Marlins to a 9-2 win over Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.

    • Trout, a two-time American League MVP who leads the majors with 16 homers, sprained his left thumb in the fifth inning while stealing second base. He left the game in the middle of the sixth, and the Angels said X-rays showed no fracture on his thumb.

      Stanton's homer was his 13th of the season -- two short of the National League lead -- and his second in this series. The homer by Riddle was a two-run shot that snapped a 2-2 tie. Riddle also doubled and had three RBIs.

      Rays 8, Twins 6 (15 innings)

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison hit back-to-back homers to open the 15th inning, and Tampa Bay outlasted Minnesota in the longest game in Target Field history.

      Longoria's seventh homer of the season came off the second pitch of the inning from Hector Santiago (4-4), who is scheduled to be the Wednesday starter for Minnesota. Morrison followed with a long homer to deep right field on the next pitch as Tampa Bay won for the second time in five extra-inning games this season.

      The game equaled the Target Field record of 15 innings and set a record for time of game for the eight-season-old stadium at 6 hours, 26 minutes.

      Dodgers 9, Cubs 4

      LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles hit four home runs at Dodger Stadium that completed a three-game sweep of Chicago.

      Cody Bellinger and Enrique Hernandez each hit a three-run homer, Austin Barnes hit a solo shot, and Yasiel Puig put the game away with a two-run blast in the seventh inning.

      The Cubs received solo home runs from Javier Baez and Willson Contreras and a two-run blast from Anthony Rizzo. Both teams scored all of their runs via the long ball.

      Yankees 9, Athletics 5

      NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his first career grand slam with two outs in the third inning, and New York beat Oakland.

      Gary Sanchez and Brett Gardner added RBI doubles while Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter lifted sacrifice flies for the Yankees, who won for the fifth time in seven games.

      Khris Davis slugged a two-run homer and Ryon Healy had a two-run single for the A's.

      Indians 10, Royals 1

      CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis had four hits, including a home run, and Josh Tomlin pitched his fifth career complete game to lead Cleveland over Kansas City.

      Austin Jackson had two hits and three RBIs as the Indians erupted for 10 runs and 18 hits after scoring just nine runs in their previous three games, all losses.

      Tomlin (3-6) gave up six hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter. Danny Duffy (4-4) gave up six runs and nine hits in four innings to take the loss.

      Rangers 3, Blue Jays 1

      TORONTO -- Joey Gallo hit the go-ahead solo homer in the fourth inning, Andrew Cashner pitched seven strong innings and Texas defeated Toronto.

      In avoiding a sweep of the three-game series, the Rangers ended a five-game losing streak and stopped a five-game winning string by the Blue Jays.

      Cashner (2-4) allowed five hits, two walks and one run while striking out two. Matt Bush pitched around a pair of two-out singles in the ninth for his sixth save.

      Padres 5, Nationals 3

      WASHINGTON -- Ryan Schimpf hit his 13th homer, and Chase d'Arnaud had two hits and drove in two runs as San Diego beat Washington to avoid a three-game sweep.

      Schimpf lined a two-run homer down the right field line in the first off Nationals starter Joe Ross (2-1) to give the Padres a 2-0 lead. Schimpf has just nine singles this year and is hitting .163 for San Diego, which struck out 31 times in the first two games of the series.

      The winning pitcher was Kirby Yates (1-0), who came on in the fifth and retired all five batters he faced. Brandon Maurer threw the ninth for his sixth save.

      Mariners 5, Red Sox 0

      BOSTON -- Christian Bergman tossed seven scoreless innings, Robinson Cano slugged a two-run homer, and Seattle snapped Boston's six-game winning streak.

      Cano's homer was his ninth of the year. Guillermo Heredia added a home run, his third, and Nelson Cruz drove in a run as the Mariners matched a season high with 16 hits.

      Bergman (2-2) reached the seven-inning plateau for just the second time in 60 career outings, allowing four hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

      Reds 8, Phillies 4

      PHILADELPHIA -- Adam Duvall and Patrick Kivlehan both had multi-homer games, and Cincinnati hit five home runs in a win over Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park.

      Duvall's homers were both two-run shots, and he also had a run-scoring single in the first inning for a five-RBI game. Kivlehan hit two solo homers.

      It was the ninth consecutive series loss for the Phillies.

      Astros 8, Orioles 4

      HOUSTON -- George Springer hit a two-run homer as part of a six-run second inning, and Lance McCullers worked six solid innings as Houston capped a sweep of Baltimore.

      The Astros completed a 6-4 homestand by pounding Orioles starter Alec Ashur (1-3), hitting for the cycle in the second inning to erase a three-run deficit.

      The Orioles have dropped seven consecutive games.

      White Sox 7, Tigers 3

      CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez took a perfect game into the seventh inning before he allowed three hits and a run as Chicago beat Detroit.

      The perfect game ended when leadoff hitter Andrew Romine reached on a hard grounder to shortstop Tim Anderson that was initially ruled an error. The call was later changed to a hit.

      Gonzalez (4-5) struck out six and allowed three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings. He kept his perfect-hit bid alive despite a 30-minute rain delay in the fourth inning.

      Brewers 9, Diamondbacks 5

      MILWAUKEE -- Domingo Santana hit his first career grand slam, and Jimmy Nelson struck out 10 as Milwaukee salvaged a series split with a victory over Arizona.

      Nelson (3-3) allowed seven hits for the second consecutive outing but held Arizona to a run in seven innings.

      Brandon Drury had three hits while Daniel Descalso, David Peralta and Nick Ahmed notched two each for the Diamondbacks, who were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven stranded.

      Rockies 8, Cardinals 4

      DENVER -- A four-run eighth inning steered Colorado over St. Louis.

      The victory in the rubber game enabled the Rockies to win their fifth straight series and improve to 12-2-2 in series this season.

      Gerardo Parra hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, putting the Rockies ahead 4-0. Jedd Gyorko, Greg Garcia and Tommy Pham offset Parra's blast with solo homers, cutting the lead to one run.

      Giants 7, Braves 1

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto, bothered in recent games by blisters on his pitching hand, stopped his three-game losing streak as San Francisco beat Atlanta.

      Cueto (5-4) allowed six hits and walk and one run while striking out eight and walking one in six innings.

      San Francisco, in winning the rubber game of the three-game series at AT&T Park, tagged Atlanta knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3-4) for seven runs (six earned) in six innings.

      Mets 7, Pirates 2

      PITTSBURGH -- Jay Bruce went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs in New York's victory over Pittsburgh.

      Curtis Granderson went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Mets, and Lucas Duda hit a home run. Mets starter Matt Harvey (4-3) won back-to-back starts for the second time this season and the first time since April 6 and 11 -- his first two starts of the season. He pitched six innings, which was his longest outing since April 21, and scattered six hits while giving up just one run.

      Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a solo home run for the Pirates. He is 5-for-13 (.385) with two home runs since coming off the disabled list May 26.

  • MLB notebook: Angels' Trout injured in loss
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 28, 2017

    MIAMI -- Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout, a two-time American League MVP who leads the majors with 16 homers, sprained his left thumb in the fifth inning Sunday while stealing second base in an eventual loss to the Miami Marlins.

    • He left the game in the middle of the sixth, and the Angels said X-rays showed no broken bones.

      "It was a scary thing," Trout said. "There's no fracture -- that's a relief.

      "I jammed (my thumb) on the bag. It was sore. It was aching. I will ice it and see how it feels tomorrow."

      --The Cleveland Indians announced that struggling right-handed starter Danny Salazar will be sent to the bullpen to work on his throwing routine and regain his confidence.

      Salazar, an All-Star last season, is 3-5 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 starts this season, striking out 73 in 52 1/3 innings but allowing 55 hits and 28 walks. He owns the league's best strikeout rate.

      Manager Terry Francona said the 27-year-old Salazar will be available as a reliever beginning Wednesday and might start a game next week during Cleveland's road trip.

      --Second baseman Daniel Murphy was one of four regulars not in the lineup for the Washington Nationals in their series finale with the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

      Murphy, who has been ill, did not play on Friday or Saturday against the Padres as Washington aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg combined for 28 strikeouts for 5-1 and 3-0 wins, respectively.

      Also out of the starting lineup for rest days were right fielder Bryce Harper, left fielder Jayson Werth and catcher Matt Wieters. Harper is hitting .337 with a team-high 15 homers and 41 RBIs while Murphy is hitting .316 with nine homers and 33 RBIs.

      --The St. Louis Cardinals placed second baseman Kolten Wong on the 10-day disabled list with a left elbow strain.

      Wong was scratched from Saturday's lineup against the Colorado Rockies after experiencing soreness in his left elbow for a second time in a week. The DL move is retroactive to May 27.

      Wong is batting .278 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 41 games this year. He left a May 20 game with left elbow discomfort and did not start again until Wednesday.

      The Cardinals also recalled rookie infielder Paul DeJong from Triple-A Memphis prior to Sunday's game against the Rockies. He made his major league debut and became the ninth player in St. Louis history to homer in his first career at-bat.

      DeJong, 23, was the Cardinals' fourth-round draft selection in 2015. He is batting .294 with a team-high 11 home runs (fifth in the Pacific Coast League) and 31 RBIs in 46 games with Memphis this season.

      --The Texas Rangers placed left-hander Dario Alvarez on the 10-day disabled list Sunday retroactive to Thursday with a left elbow strain and have recalled infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson from Triple-A Round Rock.

      Alvarez is 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 13 relief outings with Texas this season.

      Robinson is 0-for-2 in one game with Texas this season. At Round Rock, he is batting .264 with one homer and 11 RBIs.

      -- Five-time All-Star David Price is expected to make his season debut Monday for the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.

      The 31-year-old left-hander hasn't pitched in the majors since Oct. 2 because of a strained left elbow.

      Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young winner, allowed nine runs (six earned) and 12 hits, struck out eight and walked two in 5 2/3 innings in two rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket. He threw 89 pitches in 3 2/3 innings in his last outing.

  • Indians send struggling RHP Salazar to bullpen
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 28, 2017

    The Cleveland Indians announced Sunday that struggling right-handed starter Danny Salazar will be sent to bullpen to work on his throwing routine and regain his confidence.

    • Salazar, an All-Star last season, is 3-5 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 starts this season, striking out 73 in 52 1/3 innings but allowing 55 hits and 28 walks. He owns the league's best strikeout rate.

      Manager Terry Francona said the 27-year-old Salazar will be available as a reliever beginning Wednesday and he might start a game next week during Cleveland's road trip.

      "I don't think he's really confident right now," Francona told reporters before Sunday's game against the Kansas City Royals. "You can kind of tell in his delivery. When he's feeling good, he gets it and goes (and) there's a lot of rhythm in that delivery. When he's kind of hoping, it starts to slow down. You can tell somebody that, but how do you make it happen?

      "One, you can work your (tail) off. Two, you pay attention to your catch game, because that's where they start to build their confidence and it goes from there."

      Salazar was 11-6 with a 3.87 ERA in 25 starts last season, but he missed most of the second half with a sore elbow.

      "We're trying to not start from scratch," Francona said, "but build a baseline to build confidence."

      Francona said right-hander Corey Kluber will start Thursday against the Oakland Athletics. Kluber has been on the 10-day disabled since May 3 with a strained lower back.

  • Murphy out of lineup, rain delays Nationals
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 28, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- Second baseman Daniel Murphy was one of four regulars not in the starting lineup for the Washington Nationals in their series finale with the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

    • Murphy, who has been ill, did not play on Friday or Saturday against the Padres as Washington aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg combined for 28 strikeouts for 5-1 and 3-0 wins, respectively.

      Also out of the starting lineup for rest days Sunday were right fielder Bryce Harper, left fielder Jayson Werth and catcher Matt Wieters. Harper is hitting .337 with a team-high 15 homers and 41 RBIs while Murphy is hitting .316 with nine homers and 33 RBIs.

      The start of the game was delayed by rain Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park. This is the only trip for San Diego to Washington this season.

      After the Sunday game both teams are headed to California. The Nationals will begin a series on Monday against the San Francisco Giants while the Padres will begin a series at home Monday afternoon with the Chicago Cubs.

      Washington manager Dusty Baker has missed the weekend series with the Padres since he is in the Sacramento area and attended the weekend high school graduation of his son, Darren, who last fall committed to play college baseball at Cal. Bench coach Chis Speier has been filling in for Baker, who will join the team in San Francisco.

      "I didn't do a darn thing the whole game, not a thing, because I didn't have to," Speier cracked after Friday's game, noting that Scherzer nearly pitched a complete game while Washington hit three homers in the 5-1 win.

      The first-place Nationals (30-18) entered Sunday leading the majors in runs (271), homers (75) and batting average (.275).

      By contrast the last-place San Diego (18-33) began the day with a team batting average of .217, the worst in the league. The Padres had fanned 459 times while Washington batters had struck out only 372 times this year.

      The Padres have struck out 31 times in the first two games of the series. San Diego slugger Wil Myers, who did not play in the first two games, was back in the starting lineup Sunday. Myers has 11 homers but has fanned 60 times in 196 at-bats.

  • Rangers place LHP Alvared on disabled list
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 28, 2017

    The Texas Rangers placed left-hander Dario Alvarez on the 10-day disabled list Sunday retroactive to Thursday with a left elbow strain and have recalled infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson from Triple-A Round Rock.

    • Alvarez is 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in 13 relief outings with Texas this season.

      Robinson is 0-for-2 in one game with Texas this season. At Round Rock, he is batting .264 with one homer and 11 RBIs.

  • Cardinals place 2B Wong (left elbow strain) on DL
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 28, 2017

    The St. Louis Cardinals placed second baseman Kolten Wong on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a left elbow strain.

    • Wong was scratched from Saturday's lineup against the Colorado Rockies after experiencing soreness in his left elbow for a second time in a week. The DL move is retroactive to May 27.

      Wong is batting .278 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 41 games this season. He left the game on May 20 with left elbow discomfort and did not start again until last Wednesday.

      The Cardinals also recalled rookie infielder Paul DeJong from Triple-A Memphis prior to Sunday's game against the Rockies. He will be making his major league debut.

      DeJong, 23, was the Cardinals' fourth-round draft selection in 2015. He is batting .294 with a team-high 11 home runs (fifth in the Pacific Coast League) and 31 RBIs in 46 games with Memphis this season.

      DeJong has played 37 games at shortstop this season, four at second base and three at third base.

  • Brewers' Anderson shuts down Diamondbacks
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    MILWAUKEE -- After a rough week, the Milwaukee Brewers desperately needed something good to happen Saturday afternoon and Chase Anderson was more than happy to provide it.

    • Anderson threw seven innings of no-hit ball and struck out a career-high 11 as the Brewers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park.

      "I was thinking about that before the game -- let's have one big performance from somebody that gets it done for you and snaps you out of it," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Chase drove the bus today. He took care of it. It was an incredible performance."

      Anderson (3-1) had struggled this month, going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts, and got into trouble early against Arizona by walking his first two batters. But he struck out his next two and got out of the inning unscathed.

      From there, Anderson cruised. He allowed one more baserunner on a fourth-inning walk to Jake Lamb but was at 111 pitches after retiring Rey Fuentes to get out of the seventh.

      "I was just trying to go out there and do my thing, attack hitters and after the first two hitters of the game, walking those guys, it was 'OK, let's go,'" Anderson said. "I just flipped the switch somehow and next thing you know, I’m in the eighth inning."

      Nick Ahmed brought the no-hit bid to an end, ripping a 2-0 offering off second baseman Eric Sogard's glove for a single. Counsell turned to Rob Scahill, who used a double play and a strikeout to end the inning.

      "I was hoping he got through the eighth and I was hoping I had a tough decision," Counsell said.

      While Anderson was dealing, Milwaukee's offense took some time to get to Greinke, who came into the game 16-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 27 career appearances at Miller Park -- including a 15-0 record and 2.93 ERA while with the Brewers in 2011-12.

      Early on, Greinke looked to be in the same mode that gave him a 5-0 record and 2.55 ERA in his last five starts. He retired his first nine batters in order and needed just seven pitches to get through the second inning.

      Sogard led off the fourth with a double and, after Eric Thames grounded out to second, Greinke loaded the bases with walks to Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw.

      Domingo Santana struck out on three pitches to bring up Jett Bandy, who worked the count full before slapping a fastball to the wall in left for a bases-clearing double.

      "It was a good at-bat," Bandy said. "He threw me a couple sliders early and they were pretty good pitches. I wasn't trying to do too much. I was just trying to put something in play and I got a fastball up."

      Milwaukee tacked on two runs in the sixth on Aguilar's home run, and after Shaw singled, Santana drove him home with a base hit that chased Greinke.

      Greinke went 5 1/3 innings in his shortest start since April 14 and was charged with five runs, five hits and two walks while striking out six.

      "I didn't do my best," Greinke said. "It seems to me the whole team played pretty terrible today, including me. He almost threw a no-hitter and we gave up six runs. It was a pretty bad game."

      Sogard drove in an insurance run with an RBI single in the seventh, but Paul Goldschmidt prevented a shutout with a run-scoring base hit in the ninth off Neftali Feliz.

      "We made a little noise in the ninth inning and made them maneuver in their bullpen a little bit and get some of their back-end guys up," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "So we'll build on that and get ready for tomorrow."

      NOTES: The Brewers agreed to terms with international free agent 1B/OF Ernesto Martinez Jr. The 17-year-old native of Cuba played for France in the World Baseball Classic. ... Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo juggled his lineup a bit, resting C Chris Iannetta, OF David Peralta and INF Brandon Drury. Lovullo said he was just trying to give players a break during Arizona's 11-game road trip. ... Brewers 2B Jonathan Villar got a day off and might be dropped from the leadoff spot when he returns to the starting lineup Sunday afternoon, manager Craig Counsell said. After batting .285 with 62 stolen bases a year ago, Villar has struggled this season, posting a .213 average with 12 steals and 60 strikeouts.

  • MLB notebook: Hall of Famer Bunning dies
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who went on to serve in Congress as a Kentucky politician, died overnight at the age of 85, the Philadelphia Phillies announced Saturday.

    • Bunning, a nine-time All-Star, pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers over a 17-year career from 1955 to 1971.

      Bunning, one of 23 players in major league history to throw a perfect game in the modern era, was selected to the Hall in 1996 by the Veterans Committee.

      In his career, Bunning recorded a 224-184 record and 3.27 ERA with 2,855 strikeouts, which ranks 17th on the all-time major league list. He threw two no-hitters, becoming the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National League.

      --The Chicago White Sox signed free agent Cuban outfielder Luis Robert to a minor league contract, including a $26-million signing bonus, the team announced.

      Robert, 19, has played the last four seasons for Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series, Cuba's top-level league. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Robert made his debut with the team in 2013 at age 16.

      The Cuban prospect became eligible to be signed as a free agent last Saturday after Major League Baseball informed clubs last month that he would not be subject to the June first-year player draft.

      --The Chicago White Sox placed infielder Tyler Saladino on the 10-day disabled list with back spasms.

      The team also recalled outfield prospect Adam Engel from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Saturday's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Engel has no major league experience.

      Saladino, 27, is batting .200 with four RBIs and 10 runs scored in 30 games with the White Sox this season.

      --Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of the starting lineup for the second day in a row, as Wilmer Difo started at second for the Nationals on Saturday against the San Diego Padres.

      Nationals bench coach Chris Speier, filling in for manager Dusty Baker, said before the game that Murphy was ill. Murphy entered the day batting .316 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs.

      --The Oakland Athletics placed right-hander Jesse Hahn on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a right triceps strain.

      Hahn was removed from his last start on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins after two innings and 51 pitches, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out two. The DL move is retroactive to May 24.

      The A's also recalled right-hander Jharel Cotton from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday afternoon's game against New York at Yankee Stadium.

      --The Texas Rangers placed right-hander A.J. Griffin on the 10-day disabled list because of with a left intercostal muscle strain.

      Griffin was forced to leave Friday night's game due to the injury after 1 1/3 innings in his start against the Toronto Blue Jays. Griffin is 4-2 with a 5.77 ERA in eight starts with Texas this season.

      To replace Griffin on the active roster, the Rangers recalled right-hander Dillon Gee from Triple-A Round Rock.

  • MLB roundup: Holliday's homer powers Yankees past A's
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    NEW YORK -- Matt Holliday ended Jharel Cotton's no-hit bid by hitting a two-run homer with two out in the sixth inning and the New York Yankees defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Saturday.

    • Cotton (3-5) allowed three runs and two hits in his return to the majors after a two-week stint with Triple-A Nashville. He took his no-hit bid through 104 pitches, but saw it end when Holliday sent a 1-and-0 slider into the Oakland bullpen and gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead.

      Cotton was bidding to no-hit the Yankees for the first time since six Houston Astros did it on June 11, 2003. The last Oakland no-hitter was Dallas Braden's perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9, 2010, although Cotton probably would have combined on the no-hitter because of his rising pitch count.

      Holliday's ninth homer enabled CC Sabathia (5-2) to win his third straight start. Sabathia allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

      Blue Jays 3, Rangers 1

      TORONTO -- Jose Bautista hit a go-ahead three-run homer and Marco Estrada struck out eight in six innings to carry Toronto to victory.

      It was the fifth straight win for the Blue Jays (23-26) and the second victory in succession over the Rangers (24-26), who have lost five in a row. Devon Travis singled for the Blue Jays to extend his hit streak to 11 games.

      Estrada (4-2) allowed four hits, one walk and one run in winning his third decision in a row. Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect ninth to earn his ninth save. Texas starter Yu Darvish (5-3) allowed five hits, three walks and three runs in six innings. Shin-soo Choo homered for Texas.

      Red Sox 6, Mariners 0

      BOSTON -- Brian Johnson, summoned from Triple-A to make a spot start, pitched a five-hit shutout and got help from strong defense as Boston recorded their its straight victory by blanking floundering Seattle.

      Johnson, 26, pitched Boston's first complete game of the season, the team's first shutout since Steven Wright last Aug. 5 and Boston's first at Fenway Park since Rich Hill on Sept. 25, 2015. Only two runners reached scoring position in Johnson's 109-pitch effort, both in the fifth inning. He walked none and struck out eight.

      Johnson (2-0) became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his Fenway debut since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. The Red Sox have blanked the Mariners in each of the first two games of the series and have outscored their opposition 47-15 during the winning streak that has them two games out of first place.

      Nationals 3, Padres 0

      WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg struck out a career-high 15 and allowed just three hits in seven innings as first-place Washington overcame some early fielding woes and baserunning blunders to beat last-place San Diego.

      Strasburg (6-1), a San Diego native, fanned 14 batters in his major league debut in 2010 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and again in 2015 at the Philadelphia Phillies.

      Matt Albers pitched a perfect eighth for the Nationals and Koda Glover worked the ninth for his fifth save in the team's first shutout of 2017. Michael A. Taylor added some insurance as he blasted a two-run homer off starter Clayton Richard (3-6) in the sixth to make it 3-0.

      White Sox 3, Tigers 0 (Game 1)

      CHICAGO -- Five Chicago pitchers combined to hold Detroit to four hits in the first game of a doubleheader.

      Tigers hitters struck out 15 times and stranded 12 baserunners after entering Saturday 11th in the American League with a .242 batting average.

      Tyler Danish (1-0) struck out six but walked six in five scoreless innings in his first major league start and earned his first big league victory. Leury Garcia hit an RBI triple into the right-field corner in the eighth. Adam Engel scored after making his major league debut as a pinch runner. Another run scored on Jose Abreu's single to center.

      Tigers 4, White Sox 3 (Game 2)

      CHICAGO -- Victor Martinez and John Hicks homered as Detroit's offense awoke to end a three-game losing streak in the second game of the doubleheader.

      Martinez hit his fourth home run, a solo shot in the ninth, after the Tigers totaled two runs in their previous two games. Buck Farmer (1-0) struck out a career-high 11 in his season debut after he was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to be Detroit's 26th man. He gave up three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.

      White Sox starter Derek Holland (4-4) allowed a run, seven hits and four walks and struck out a season-high eight in six innings. Chicago scored three runs with four hits off Justin Wilson to pull within one in the ninth on Tim Anderson's RBI single and Yolmer Sanchez's two-run triple.

      Twins 5, Rays 3

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to send Minnesota past Tampa Bay.

      Dozier's seventh home run was deep to the opposite field, hitting off the ribbon video board in front of the second deck in right field. Minnesota was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position before Dozier's big blast off Rays reliever Tommy Hunter.

      Taylor Rogers (2-1) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Twins and got the win. Brandon Kintzler gave up a two-out, solo homer to Colby Rasmus but finished off his 13th save in 14 chances. Danny Farquhar (2-2) took the loss.

      Brewers 6, Diamondbacks 1

      MILWAUKEE -- Chase Anderson went seven innings without allowing a hit and Jesus Aguilar hit his fourth home run as Milwaukee snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over Arizona at Miller Park.

      Anderson (3-1) had struggled this month, going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts, and got into trouble early against Arizona by walking his first two batters. But he struck out his next two and got out of the inning unscathed.

      Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke (6-3), who had never lost a start at Miller Park in 1 1/2 years with the Brewers and took the mound 16-2 with a 3.07 mark all-time in Milwaukee, gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

      Angels 5, Marlins 2

      MIAMI -- Mike Trout hit a titanic 443-foot solo home run, helping Los Angeles defeat Miami.

      The first three batters in the Angels' lineup -- Cameron Maybin, Andrelton Simmons and Trout -- combined for six hits, five runs and three RBIs. Maybin scored three times, including the go-ahead run.

      Trout's homer, his American League-leading 16th of the season, landed in the upper level of the Clevelander bar. JC Ramirez (5-3) earned the win, allowing seven hits, one walk and one run (none earned) in seven innings. Vance Worley (0-2) took the loss, allowing two hits, no walks and two runs in five innings.

      Royals 5, Indians 2

      CLEVELAND -- Alcides Escobar's two-run double capped a three-run sixth inning rally, and Mike Moustakas homered in the ninth inning, lifting Kansas City over Cleveland at Progressive Field.

      Royals starter Jason Vargas (6-3) pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on nine hits to get the win. Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth inning to pick up his 11th save.

      Indians starter Danny Salazar (3-5) gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. It's the third loss in a row for the Indians, whose home record of 8-13 is the worst in the American League.

      Phillies 4, Reds 3

      PHILADELPHIA -- Tommy Joseph delivered his second walk-off hit in three days, and Philadelphia topped Cincinnati at Citizens Bank Park.

      Joseph's single in the ninth inning off Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen (3-1) scored Aaron Altherr, who led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Joseph -- who homered earlier in the game -- also hit a walk-off single against the Rockies on Thursday.

      It was just the sixth win in 27 games for the Phillies, who hit three solo home runs in the first four innings. Hector Neris (2-2) struck out two batters in a scoreless ninth inning to earn the win.

      Astros 5, Orioles 2

      HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel made a triumphant return from the disabled list and George Springer homered and scored twice as Houston claimed the victory.

      Keuchel (8-0) missed one turn through the rotation with a pinched nerve in his neck. He pitched as effectively as he did prior to landing on the 10-day DL, allowing one run on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts in six innings.

      Springer finished 2-for-5 and belted his 10th home run on the season in the fourth inning off Orioles left-hander Wade Miley (1-3). Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 with two doubles.

      Dodgers 5, Cubs 0

      LOS ANGELES -- Veteran second baseman Chase Utley drove in three runs with a pair of singles, and versatile Chris Taylor hit his sixth home run of the season as Los Angeles shut out Chicago for the second game in a row.

      Brandon McCarthy (5-1) allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings of work. His win gives the Dodgers three starters with five or more wins already this season, joining Alex Wood (six) and Clayton Kershaw (seven).

      McCarthy extended the run of solid Dodger pitching that has seen the team win eight of its last 10 games while holding the opposition to three runs or less eight times.

      Pirates 5, Mets 4 (10 innings)

      PITTSBURGH -- John Jaso had an RBI pinch-hit single in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, then hit a bases-loaded RBI single in the 10th inning to give Pittsburgh a walk-off victory over New York.

      Jaso hit his one-out RBI single in the ninth off Addison Reed, and hit his two-out RBI single in the 10th off Josh Edgin to end the game. Andrew McCutchen was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs for Pittsburgh.

      Lucas Duda went 2-for-4 and hit one of three New York Mets homers. Jay Bruce and Travis d'Arnaud also hit homers for the Mets.

      Cardinals 3, Rockies 0

      DENVER -- Adam Wainwright continued his mastery of Colorado, giving up three singles in seven innings of St. Louis' victory.

      Wainwright (5-3) allowed two batters to reach second base and retired the final 10 batters he faced in a 109-pitch outing that included one walk and six strikeouts. He has won his past eight starts against the Rockies and in 15 career games (10 starts) against them, he is 10-1 with a 1.56 ERA.

      Yadier Molina singled home a run in the third and Tommy Pham, who had three hits, belted a two-run homer in the fifth as the Cardinals evened the three-game series in which the teams have traded shutouts. The Rockies won 10-0 on Friday.

      Giants 6, Braves 3

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Nick Hundley and Brandon Belt supported Ty Blach with two early home runs, and the left-hander pitched effectively into the eighth inning to lift San Francisco over Atlanta.

      Blach (3-2) won his third consecutive start, limiting the Braves to two runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out five in his longest outing of the season as the Giants snapped a four-game losing streak.

      Hundley hit a two-run homer in the second inning and Belt a solo shot in the fourth, helping stake Blach to the five-run lead and ending the night early for Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (3-5).

  • Hall of Fame pitcher, former U.S. senator Bunning dies at 85
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who went on to serve in Congress as a Kentucky politician, died overnight at the age of 85, the Philadelphia Phillies announced Saturday.

    • "We are saddened to announce the passing of Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator, Jim Bunning," the Phillies wrote on Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bunning family during this difficult time."

      Bunning, a nine-time All-Star, pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers over a 17-year career from 1955 to 1971.

      Bunning, one of 23 players in major league history to throw a perfect game in the modern era, was selected to the Hall in 1996 by the Veterans Committee.

      In his career, Bunning recorded a 224-184 record and 3.27 ERA with 2,855 strikeouts, which ranks 17th on the all-time major league list. He threw two no-hitters, becoming the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National League.

      Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark praised Bunning for his assistance in hiring Marvin Miller as the union's first director.

      "Jim, as those within the baseball community know, is one of the most important figures in the history of the Major League Baseball Players Association," Clark said in a statement. "... Recognizing the need to ensure that all players receive fair representation in their dealings with major league club owners, Jim, along with a number of his peers, helped pave the way for generations of players.

      "That responsibility of leaving the game better for those who follow remains in place today, 51 years later. All players -- past, present and future -- will forever owe Jim a debt of gratitude."

      Bunning, a Kentucky Republican, turned to politics after his playing career and became the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress. He served 12 years (six terms) in the U.S. House for Kentucky's 4th district from 1987-1999 and 12 years (two terms) in the U.S. Senate from 1999-2011. He did not seek re-election in 2010.

      "Kentucky lost a true hero. Senator Bunning was fearless on the mound and in the halls of Congress. He will be missed," Rand Paul, current U.S. Senator for Kentucky, wrote on Twitter.

      Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted: "Kentucky lost a true gem today. Sen. Jim Bunning, Baseball Hall of Famer-turned public servant, was a champion of conservatism and the embodiment of Kentucky's tenacious spirit. Bunning's unique sense of humor and outlook on life often drew attention, but he was never one to back down. He understood that 'difficult times require difficult decisions,' a philosophy that guided him well as he served our state and country. His absence will be felt in the years to come, but we are thankful for what he left behind: an incredible legacy of hard work, determination, and selflessness."

      Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro said, "He was a great American. He was a great Senator, and I know that anyone that knows anything about baseball is going to miss him."

      Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal said, "I got to know him well when he was pitching for the Phillies and I was with the Giants. He was a good competitor, a good pitcher, and a good human being. We're going to miss him."

      Bunning's son, Kentucky U.S. District Judge David Bunning, paid tribute to his father.

      "Heaven got its No. 1 starter today. Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to the family," David Bunning tweeted Saturday.

  • Nationals 2B Murphy out sick again
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of the starting lineup for the second day in a row, as Wilmer Difo started at second for the Nationals on Saturday against the San Diego Padres.

    • Nationals bench coach Chris Speier, filling in for manager Dusty Baker, said before the game that Murphy was ill. Murphy entered the day batting .316 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs.

      "He's available," Speier told reporters before the game. "This is Dusty's theory: Usually when somebody comes in and says, 'I'm ready,' then he usually gives him one more day. But he's available."

      Murphy entered Saturday at seventh in the National League in hits with 56, one ahead of teammate Bryce Harper. Murphy also was among the league leaders in multi-hit games and road batting average.

      Last season, Murphy, with 25 homers and 104 RBIs, was second in the National League in hitting at .347 and was among the top finishers in the NL voting for Most Valuable Player.

      This is his second season with the Nationals, after spending the first part of his career with the New York Mets.

      Washington entered play Saturday with a team batting average of .274 and 74 homers, both marks leading the league. Baker is attending the high school graduation of his son, Darren, in California.

  • Rangers put RHP Griffin on DL
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    The Texas Rangers placed right-hander A.J. Griffin on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday because of with a left intercostal muscle strain.

    • Griffin was forced to leave Friday night's game due to the injury after 1 1/3 innings in his start against the Toronto Blue Jays.

      Griffin allowed four runs and three hits, including a home run, before being removed. He is expected to be further evaluated and have an MRI exam when the team returns home Monday.

      "It got pretty tight there that last batter," Griffin said after the Rangers' 7-6 loss. "It felt more like a cramp earlier on in the game. Sometimes those come and you can just pitch through them. It just kept tightening more and more, grabbing more and more."

      Griffin is 4-2 with a 5.77 ERA in eight starts with Texas this season.

      To replace Griffin on the active roster, the Rangers recalled right-hander Dillon Gee from Triple-A Round Rock. He was available in the bullpen for Saturday's game at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

      Gee is 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts at Round Rock. He has pitched 13 2/3 scoreless innings in winning his last two outings.

      Gee was signed by the Rangers to major league contract on April 3 and optioned to Round Rock. He has career record of 48-48 with a 4.13 ERA in 147 games (124 starts) with the New York Mets (2010-15) and Kansas City Royals (2016).

  • White Sox sign Cuban prospect Robert with $26M bonus
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    The Chicago White Sox signed free agent Cuban outfielder Luis Robert to a minor league contract, including a $26-million signing bonus, the team announced Saturday.

    • Robert, 19, has played the last four seasons for Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series, Cuba's top-level league. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Robert made his debut with the team in 2013 at age 16.

      Including the postseason, Robert hit .315 with 28 doubles, six triples, 20 home runs, 92 RBIs, 156 runs scored, 29 stolen bases, 82 walks, a .402 on-base and .467 slugging percentage in 210 career games with Ciego de Avila. He is a two-time Cuban champion, his team winning the league title in 2015 and 2016.

      The Cuban prospect became eligible to be signed as a free agent last Saturday after Major League Baseball informed clubs last month that he would not be subject to the June first-year player draft.

      "We are excited to add Luis -- another young, extremely talented and impactful prospect -- to the White Sox organization," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. "Luis has the potential to be a dynamic, five-tool player at the major-league level, and we look forward to watching him develop in our system over coming seasons. Luis will immediately be viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball, and his signing adds to the growing depth of quality young players within our organization."

      Robert, who bats and throws right-handed, hit .401 with 12 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 40 RBIs, 51 runs scored and 11 steals over 53 games in 2016, his final season with Ciego de Avila. He played in 16 games with the Cuban National Team from June-July 2016 in the Canadian-American Association, a professional, independent league in the Northeast United States and Eastern Canada, hitting .286 with two doubles, one triple, one home run, eight RBIs, 12 runs scored and three stolen bases in 16 games.

      Robert played for Cuba's U-18 National Team from 2014-2015, making appearances at the World Cup (2015) and Pan American Games (2014).

  • Athletics place RHP Hahn on DL with triceps strain
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    The Oakland Athletics placed right-hander Jesse Hahn on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a right triceps strain.

    • Hahn was removed from his last start on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins after two innings and 51 pitches, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out two. The DL move is retroactive to May 24.

      Hahn has appeared in nine games this season, including eight starts, posting a 1-4 record with a 3.81 ERA. In each of his seven starts prior to Tuesday, he had allowed three earned runs or fewer.

      The A's also recalled right-hander Jharel Cotton from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday afternoon's game against New York at Yankee Stadium.

      Cotton began the season in the Oakland rotation and started seven games before being optioned to Nashville on May 11. With the A's, he allowed 22 runs in his four losses but just four runs in his three wins. He is 1-3 with an 8.27 at home but is 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA on the road. Overall, he is 3-4 with a 5.68 ERA.

      In two starts with Nashville, Cotton recorded a pair of wins and allowed three earned runs in 12 innings pitched.

  • White Sox place INF Saladino (back spasms) on DL
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    The Chicago White Sox placed infielder Tyler Saladino on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with back spasms.

    • The team also recalled outfield prospect Adam Engel from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Saturday's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Engel has no major league experience.

      Saladino, 27, is batting .200 with four RBIs and 10 runs scored in 30 games with the White Sox this season.

      Engel, 25, is hitting .221 with eight home runs, 17 RBIs and a .463 slugging percentage in 42 games with Charlotte. Engel, who is tied for eighth in the International League in home runs, made 29 starts in center field and 13 in left.

  • Braves face tall task of beating Giants' Blach at home
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    SAN FRANCISCO -- A team that struggles to hit at AT&T Park will encounter a pitcher who has been near-perfect at home when the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants meet for the second time in their three-game series Saturday night.

    • The Braves scratched out just seven hits and two runs (one unearned) on Friday night, but it was enough to post a 2-0 victory, their sixth straight win in a series opener.

      The victory was just the Braves' second in their last six games in San Francisco, a stretch during which they've scored only 11 runs.

      They've never seen Giants left-hander Ty Blach during that run, which is probably a good thing. The second-year starter already has established quite a record at home.

      Blach (2-2, 4.10 ERA) has pitched well in all four of his home starts this season, allowing just five runs and 17 hits in 26 innings.

      When three relief outings are added in, Blach's home ERA (1.59) is the fifth best in baseball this season among pitchers who have made at least four home starts.

      Remarkably, the Braves will be seeing a left-handed starting pitcher for just the fourth time all season. They've gone 2-1 with an impressive .299 batting average against lefty starters in the small sample size.

      Atlanta had the lefty going Friday night, and he was the difference in the game both on the mound and at the plate.

      Jaime Garcia combined with three relievers on a four-hit shutout, and he produced the game's only runs with an RBI single on which a throwing error allowed a second baserunner to score.

      "I expect that," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Garcia's pitching, not his hitting. "It's good to see him coming around."

      Seeking a second straight win to start a nine-game trip, Snitker will go with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who enjoyed his last visit to San Francisco.

      The 25-year-old swept the Giants in two games last season, including a 3-1 victory at AT&T Park in August in which he allowed just one run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings, his second-longest outing of the season.

      Foltynewicz (3-4, 3.86) enters the game on a bit of a roll, having won his last three starts while allowing a total of just five runs.

      He hasn't had a bad start on the road all season, having compiled a 2.55 ERA -- the 14th best in baseball -- in five outings, including four starts.

      Foltynewicz will see a Giants team that's struggling offensively. The shutout in Friday's series opener was their fifth of the season, and they've been held to six runs during their four-game losing streak.

      He's 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

      San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was expecting more from his team than he got in Friday's loss.

      "We're in this offensive struggle right now," Bochy noted after the opener of his team's six-game homestand. "I thought we'd come home and gets some rips in, but it didn't happen. Their guy was good."

      One Giant who got his rips in Friday night was third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who had two of the team's four hits while extending his hitting streak to 12 games.

  • Diamondbacks face Brewers, look to win 7th straight
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    MILWAUKEE -- Things are going good these days for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will try to extend their winning streak to seven games Saturday when they take on the Brewers in Milwaukee.

    • Arizona rallied late Friday night and has now won 10 of its last 11 and 13 of 16 to stay within a game of first-place Colorado in the NL West.

      "It's been fun," said veteran catcher Chris Iannetta, whose game-tying home run in the ninth inning set the stage for the Diamondbacks' go-ahead 10th. "This is the way baseball should be. It's not always going to happen but the way we're playing the game right now is the way you want to play the game. You want to play hard, you want to hustle, you want to pitch and play good defense. That's what we're doing."

      Arizona stands a good chance to keep it going Saturday as Zack Greinke (6-2, 2.82 ERA) takes the mound. He's won each of his last four starts and five decisions in a row overall.

      The right-hander has been absolutely dominant this month, posting an 0.66 WHIP and striking out 12 in his last outing while allowing four hits over 8 2/3 innings against the White Sox.

      "Everything was pretty good and that's what really made it good -- that everything was working well for the most part," Greinke said. "They hit my curveball pretty good even though it felt good coming out of my fingers, but they took their best swings on that pitch."

      On top of that, some of his best performances have come at Milwaukee's Miller Park, where he played for the Brewers from 2011 until mid-2013 and is 16-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 27 career appearances, including 26 starts.

      Greinke hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 12 2/3 innings against a former team.

      That doesn't bode well for a Milwaukee offense that has scored just nine runs in its last four games and has dropped a season-high five in a row overall.

      "Our team is showing heart," first baseman Eric Thames said. "But everything that can go wrong -- knock on wood; I don't want anybody to get hurt or anything -- is going wrong. We're hitting balls hard right at guys, tough calls are going the opposite way. But that's the way it goes. You have to kind of wear it and wait for the game to change."

      Like Greinke, Brewers right-hander Chase Anderson (2-1, 4.25) will also be facing his former team Saturday. Acquired from the Diamondbacks prior to last season, Anderson posted a 1.12 ERA through his first four outings of 2017 but has struggled since, posting a 7.30 mark in his last five starts and allowing a season-high six earned runs in his last outing Sunday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

      "I just got a little out of whack with my mechanics this month," Anderson said. "I've been forcing a couple of things, working too hard. Not letting my body do what it's supposed to do.

      "I'm not attacking like I was in April. I'm trying to, but when you feel like you're fighting yourself sometimes, it's hard to do that because you don't want to throw it down the middle of the plate. I'm just trying to get my mechanics smoothed out, work on that and get back on track."

      In two previous outings against Arizona, Anderson is 1-0 with a 3.37 ERA.

  • Wainwright has had the right stuff against Rockies
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    DENVER -- Adam Wainwright will try to continue his domination over the Colorado Rockies and his success at Coors Field when the St. Louis Cardinals try to even their series on Saturday.

    • The Rockies walloped the Cardinals 10-0 in the series opener on Friday night. It was Colorado's most lopsided win and St. Louis' most lopsided loss of the season.

      Wainwright (4-3, 4.81 ERA) will be opposed by rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland (5-2, 3.31), who will face the Cardinals for the first time.

      Wainwright is 9-1 with a 1.70 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) against the Rockies. That is the lowest all-time ERA against the Rockies among opposing pitchers. He has beaten them more times than any other team outside the National League West.

      At Coors Field, Wainwright is 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five games (four starts).

      While winning his past two starts, Wainwright has allowed one run and nine hits in 13 1/3 innings for a 0.68 ERA. In his first seven starts of the season, Wainwright was 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA.

      "The last couple starts I think was a culmination of getting some of the timing in my delivery back in a better place," Wainwright said.

      He said he "was leaning out with my leg" while trying to get it farther down the mound, which caused his arm to drag and his pitches to rise.

      "But more than anything," Wainwright said, "is finding the correct intensity to go with every pitch. I had gotten to a point where I sort of sacrificed stuff for trying to be more fine on the corners. I went at a higher intensity level before.

      "What I've learned in this game is you've got to be a good self-evaluator or not be a very good player. Those first few starts, I had decent stuff, which wasn't translating. I'm thinking, 'All right, why is it that when I get runners on, I’ve been throwing 93-94 (mph), but nobody's on, I've been throwing 87, 88, 89?'

      "There needed to be more of a middle ground, almost towards that top end kind of intensity level all the time."

      Wainwright said he also dropped the speed of his signature curveball "pretty dramatically" a couple starts ago.

      "So what that allowed me to do," Wainwright said, "is get hitters out of that in-between spot where they could sit in the middle and just react one way or the other because the cutter was two miles off the fastball and the breaking ball was close enough to the cutter that they could kind of sit there."

      Freeland ranks second in the majors and first in the National League with a 63.5 ground ball percentage. In his last start Sunday at Cincinnati, Freeland gave up four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings with five hits and posted his second consecutve win in Colorado’s 6-4 victory. The Rockies are 7-2 in Freeland's nine starts.

      Colorado rright fielder Carlos Gonzalez went 0-for-4 in Friday night's romp over the Cardinals, but Gonzalez has come out of his early-season slump that saw his average dwindle to .188 on May 10 with two homers and seven RBIs in 30 games.

      Gonzalez, who has raised his average to .250, has at least one hit in 13 of his past 15 games. He went 15-for-33 (.455) in the eight-game hitting streak that ended Friday and included three doubles, two homers, five RBIs and seven runs.

      "It's nice to see my bat get going to help the club," he said. "It's all about timing. I can go into batting practice and hit bomb after bomb everywhere, but I'm trying to put that swing into a game. You want to get that (front) foot down and let your hands go to work and be on time. When I'm able to do that, good things happen.

      "I'm more ready to hit. I got back to being aggressive. They were throwing me a lot of balls, so when they throw you a lot of balls, you start to take more. You start to walk more, also you start to take a lot of good pitches."

  • After facing Scherzer, Padres must deal with Nationals' Strasburg
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- The East Coast road trip doesn't get any easier Saturday for the San Diego Padres, who fell to 9-18 away from home with a 5-1 loss on Friday night to the Washington Nationals.

    • After facing Max Scherzer on Friday, the Padres get to contend in the late Saturday afternoon shadows with right-hander Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 3.28 ERA), who will make his seventh career start against his hometown Padres.

      Strasburg, a former San Diego State standout and the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009, is 5-1 with a 3.50 ERA in six career outings against the Padres.

      "As effective as any one-two (starters). Most people who have a one don't have a two," Padres manager Andy Green said Friday of Scherzer and Strasburg.

      Scherzer went 8 2/3 innings and allowed just three hits with 13 strikeouts in the win Friday.

      "On any given day, they are dominant starters. Every team wants a challenge," Green said. "We get two of the best pitchers in the game in the next two days."

      Strasburg has limited experience against current San Diego hitters. Infielder Erick Aybar is 2-for-9 (.222) against Strasburg.

      Washington bench coach Chris Speier is filling in for manager Dusty Baker, who is in northern California for the Saturday high school graduation of his son, Darren. Baker will miss all three games of the series against San Diego.

      "Dusty is doing what he should do," said Speier, who said players and managers sacrifice a lot of family events during a long season.

      The former big league shortstop said he thinks the Nationals are doing more defensive shifts this year than last season, when he joined Baker in Washington.

      "I want my pitchers to be confident with it," Speier said of the shifts. "All of our pitchers have the ability not to have it."

      Speier has been around the game nearly his whole life and doesn't see shifts going away.

      "It does work more times than not," he said.

      San Diego's starter on Saturday will be left-hander Clayton Richard (3-5, 4.31 ERA), who tossed his fourth career complete game in his last start on Sunday against Arizona. He allowed one run and five hits with six strikeouts.

      Richard is 1-3 in 10 career games, with six starts, against Washington. He has a 3.56 ERA in 43 innings and has given up 16 walks with 27 strikeouts.

      Richard will face a Washington team that leads the National League in hitting at .274 and has a league-high 74 homers, including homers Friday by Trea Turner, Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper.

      "It is definitely a challenge," Richard said Friday. "It seems like this year we have run into a lot of good offenses. You really have to focus pitch-by-pitch."

      The Nationals have three of the top hitters in the league in first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (.362), right fielder Harper (.340) and second baseman Daniel Murphy (.316). They have combined for 37 homers, and third baseman Anthony Rendon has nine.

      Harper hit his eighth two-strike homer on Friday. He entered the day tied with Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Eric Thames of the Milwaukee Brewers for the major league lead in that category with seven, according to the Nationals.

      "You have to try and get each of them out," Richard said. "You have to sell out to the guy who is in the box."

      How does a team prepare for an opponent it does not face often?

      "There are not as many adjustments," said Richard, who said that is not the case against divisional foes. "We have to trust the scouting report and go off that."

      Zimmerman and Murphy got the night off Friday so both should be in the lineup Saturday.

      Speier has been impressed with the leadership of Murphy and his defense since he came over from the New York Mets after the 2015 season.

      "He is always willing to speak to anybody about hitting," Speier said of Murphy.

  • Twins look to bounce back at home vs. Rays
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Ace Chris Archer got the Tampa Bay Rays' nine-game road trip off to a great start. Jake Odorizzi will try and follow suit on Saturday.

    • Odorizzi (3-2, 3.14 ERA) will start the Saturday matinee contest against the Minnesota Twins, who will counter with rookie Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.96).

      "We've got a long trip," Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Friday's game. "Obviously you want to do whatever you can to win as many games as quickly as possible. It's always nice to put yourself in a position to where you start with a W for sure, and that's why we're excited with Arch."

      Archer did his part, allowing just one baserunner through the first six innings. He struck out 11 batters and Alex Colome earned a four-out save in Friday's 5-2 win.

      "That was an awesome night for all of us, especially Arch the way he went after that team, and that's a good team over there," said Steven Souza, who hit one of three Rays homers in the game. Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiemaier each added two-run homers in the win.

      Morrison increased his team-leading totals to 13 home runs and 34 RBIs. The lefty-swinging first baseman is one off his homer total from all of last season and has been a big part in the middle of the Tampa Bay lineup.

      "The damage that Lo Mo is doing and the big hits that he gets, he just gives a solid at-bat," Cash said. "You rarely see him early on here expanding out of the zone. He's patient waiting for his pitch. He's really been nice to be able to plug right in the middle of the lineup."

      Morrison has enjoyed hitting in Minnesota's Target Field. He has homers in four straight games against the Twins and has hit .409 with five homers in seven career games at Target Field.

      Morrison downplayed his impact, though, noting the team's struggles at times this year. Tampa Bay went to 26-25 with Friday's win and are 10-12 on the road.

      "I absolutely take a lot of pride in that," Morrison said of leading the offense. "I'm hitting fourth. This team depends on me to drive in runs, get on base and score runs. Our record isn't good enough, so I haven't been good enough. That's the way I look at it. As a team we have to be better, but I have to be better too."

      Morrison homered against left-hander starter Hector Santiago on Friday and will see another lefty in Mejia. Mejia was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to make Saturday's start as the Twins designated left-hander Adam Wilk for assignment.

      Mejia returns after giving up three runs in 7 1/3 innings in his last major league outing on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. He earned his first major league win but had to be optioned back to Triple-A after the game since he was the 26th player for the doubleheader that day.

      Mejia returned to Rochester and got his routine work in, with the Twins likely recalling the rookie as soon as they needed another starter. Minnesota has juggled the fifth spot in its rotation as they search for reliability at the back end.

      Twins manager Paul Molitor said minor league coaches "really tried to emphasize to just make your pitches" with Mejia.

      "Don't worry about who's in the box, this and that," Molitor added. "We'll give you a plan and just try to execute. Control what you can control and see how it plays out. I thought he was better at that last week."

      Mejia has never faced the Rays. Odorizzi hasn't enjoyed his starts against the Twins.

      Odorizzi is 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota.

      The right-hander has settled in this season, though, and has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five May starts. Odorizzi gave up two runs in six innings in his last outing, a no-decision at home against the Los Angeles Angels when he had a season-high eight strikeouts.

      Friday's loss snapped the Twins' four-game winning streak and continued their own lopsided ways. The American League Central leaders are 11-14 at home.

      "I try not to overthink that," Molitor said. "It's a great trait for a young team to have, to kind of take your show on the road, and go out there and show that you're more than capable of competing and hopefully winning more than your share. I would love to see it translate home a little bit better. I can't explain why it hasn't gone quite as well here. It's just kind of timing more than anything, for me."

  • Astros finally have what it takes?
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    The Houston Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 in the first game of three-game series on Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. With a win in one of the next two home games, they will have captured 13 of their first 16 series.

    • Nearly a third of the way through the season, Houston boasts a nine-game lead in the American League West ahead of the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels.

      And it may finally have what it takes to win a World Series.

      The foundation of this team was built around underperforming to get great draft picks, using superior analytical data to identify the best players in the United States and abroad and then executing a strategy to bring them into the fold. You know the names: Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers.

      The Astros reached the 2015 postseason, but something was still missing as it lost the AL Championship Series to the Kansas City Royals. It turned out that while the numbers -- and Houston is exceptional at analyzing them -- aren't everything in baseball.

      This past offseason, the Astros brought in two respected veterans with postseason experience and great respect: Carlos Beltran was signed as a free agent and Brian McCann was acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees. Those additions appear to be making a difference the numbers never reflected.

      "How do you not love working with McCann?" ace Dallas Keuchel recently asked about Houston's new starting catcher. "He caught maybe three of the best pitchers in our game. ... He makes you better. He sees things about how (hitters) are swinging. He knows how to prepare a pitching staff. He brings out your best."

      Best indeed. Keuchel has opened the season 7-0 with a 1.84 ERA and pitches Saturday after missing a start with a neck issue. McCullers is 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. And Astros relievers are 11-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 16 saves.

      Those numbers by the bullpen are significant as it was the club's biggest liability in the 2015 postseason.

      The emphasis on how a bullpen performs has never been bigger than it is today. The Houston end game features closer Ken Giles (13 saves in 14 opportunities), set up by Chris Devenski (3.21 ERA), Michael Feliz (2.66 ERA) and Will Harris (2.61 ERA).

      McCann, who comes off the seven-day concussion DL on Saturday, is hitting .269 with 25 RBIs in 30 games. Beltran, notoriously a slow starter, has five homers, 15 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs in 43 games.

      But it's not just about the on-field communication. These veteran presences may be making differences in other ways.

      "They see me in the weight room. They see me studying pitchers. I invite them. If I see something, I share. That's what it's all about," said Beltran, a likely future Hall of Famer. "At the end of the day, I want to play this game, but I also want to be remembered for being a good teammate and being a good person and being able to motivate these guys to understand baseball and they take something to add to their game. I do it because I love it.

      "When I was young, veteran guys came to me and helped me understand the game a little bit. It's important for me to share that with them."

      "(Beltran) has made an impact on every position player," manager A.J. Hinch said.

      This isn't to say the Astros have established themselves as the frontrunner for the AL pennant. The have lost two series to the defending AL champion Indians (now second in the Central), dropping five of six games. But they beat the AL East-leading Yankees in three of four games. They've won five of seven from the Angels and three of four from the Rangers.

      Still, the trimmings are there for postseason success. The younger Astros got their first taste of success two years ago -- and their first taste of disappointment.

      "This is a team that is hungry to get back to the playoffs," Beltran said. "They know what it is like now because of (two years ago). But they also know how much more they could do. I can tell when I talk to them, even in the spring and now, they have their goals.

      "There's a lot of talent and it's hungry. ... That's all you can ask."

  • Angels now know Marlins have some offense
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    MIAMI -- The slumping Miami Marlins, who are 17-29 and have lost 21 of their past 28 games, earned the respect of the Los Angeles Angels in Friday night's opener of a three-game series.

    • "They have a pretty deep lineup, especially for the National League," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the Marlins pounded out an impressive 8-5 win. "We had trouble getting through it."

      Game two is set for Saturday afternoon at Marlins Park. The Angels will send right-hander JC Ramirez (4-3, 3.81 ERA) out to face an unusual Miami lineup that features slugger Giancarlo Stanton batting second.

      Ramirez, who will be making his 12th appearance and ninth start of the season, has only faced the Marlins once in his career.

      But that was a whole different animal. It was back in 2013, when Ramirez was a reliever for the Philadelphia Phillies, and he fired two scoreless innings against Miami.

      On Saturday, Ramirez will face a Marlins lineup that is suddenly clicking. Stanton was only moved to No. 2 in the order on Tuesday -- a desperation move by Miami manager Don Mattingly.

      On Friday, though, it worked as Dee Gordon, Stanton and Christian Yelich -- the first three batters in the reworked lineup -- each had three hits. Each of those three batters had one extra-base hit as well.

      The 4-5-6 hitters also did well as Marcell Ozuna had two RBIs, Justin Bour hit a three-run homer, and JT Realmuto hit a solo shot.

      Stanton, who had been batting fourth, seems fine with the move up the batting order.

      "It's a little adjustment," Stanton said. "I've got to get ready to hit sooner in the first inning. But I also know I'm going to batting in the first inning 100 percent.

      "At the end of the day, it's just two spots (up), but I think it will pay dividends in the late innings and in close games. There are some innings where I get cut off when I'm fourth."

      Stanton said it is too early to tell if he is getting better pitches to hit batting behind Gordon.

      But Stanton said his main concern is to move Gordon once the Marlins' leadoff batter gets on base.

      "If he gets a good jump (on a steal attempt), see if it is a good ball to hit," Stanton said. "I did my job (on Friday). I've just got to make sure I move him over. That's all I'm worried about.

      "I want to get a pitch I can drive. If it bloops over an infielder, and Dee scores, that's good, too."

      While the Angels wrestle with Miami's batting order, they will also try to get to Vance Worley (0-1, 6.75 ERA), who made his Marlins debut last week in a 6-3 loss at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

      Signed as a free agent by the Marlins on April 4, Worley did not impress against the Dodgers, allowing three runs in four innings. This will be Worley's first career start against the Angels.

      Ramirez may have a slight edge over Worley due to recent history. Ramirez is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in his past six starts.

  • MLB roundup: Red Sox blank Mariners for 5th straight win
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, May 27, 2017

    BOSTON -- Eduardo Rodriguez turned in his seventh straight quality start and the Boston Red Sox notched their fifth straight win with a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

    • Rodriguez (4-1) allowed five hits and walked three but battled through six innings and remained unbeaten since his first start of the season. He struck out four and has the third-most strikeouts (257) of any Boston pitcher in the modern era within his first 50 starts.

      Three relievers worked an inning apiece, with Craig Kimbrel adding to his early season magic with a perfect ninth for his 13th save of the season and his 27th straight at Fenway Park.

      First baseman Mitch Moreland took a hit away from Danny Valencia that would have been the first hit by a right-handed batter off Kimbrel this season. He finished the game by getting Taylor Motter to bounce out -- making right-handed hitters 0-for-39 against him this season.

      Royals 6, Indians 4

      CLEVELAND -- Jorge Bonifacio's two-run double in the eighth inning broke a tie as Kansas City overcame an early deficit to beat Cleveland.

      The Royals also got home runs from Brandon Moss and Mike Moustakas, while the Indians continued to have trouble winning at home. The defending American League champions are now 8-12 at Progressive Field, the worst home record in the league.

      Reliever Mike Minor (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win. Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth inning to pick up his 10th save. Indians reliever Bryan Shaw (1-1) took the loss.

      Mets 8, Pirates 1

      PITTSBURGH -- Neil Walker went 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs as New York clobbered Pittsburgh.

      In the process, Walker eclipsed 500 career RBIs and helped end his club's six-game road losing skid while also helping to end his original team's two-game winning streak.

      Walker, from suburban Pittsburgh and a fan favorite when he played here, followed his homers in the third and fifth with a bloop RBI single in the sixth that gave the Mets a 6-1 lead.

      Nationals 5, Padres 1

      WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer gave up one run and three hits in 8 2/3 innings and Trea Turner and Bryce Harper hit long homers as Washington beat San Diego.

      Scherzer (5-3) had a season-high 13 strikeouts. He fanned at least 10 batters for the fourth time this year and 53rd time of his career.

      The Missouri native got a nice ovation when he came to bat with two outs and none on in the last of the eighth, and no one seemed to care when he struck out on three pitches. The 2016 Cy Young Award winner then fanned Wil Myers for the second out in the ninth with two runners on before Koda Glover got the last out with the bases loaded for the save as pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe was retired on strikes.

      Athletics 4, Yankees 1

      NEW YORK -- Jed Lowrie delivered an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning and Oakland overcame 13 strikeouts by Masahiro Tanaka to defeat New York.

      Lowrie had three hits, including a single and a double off Tanaka in his first two at-bats. The rest of his teammates could do little off the right-hander, who allowed one run and five hits in 7 1/3 innings and recorded each strikeout on swings and misses.

      In the eighth, the Athletics did enough to get Tanaka (5-4) out of the game. After Mark Canha was the final strikeout victim against Tanaka, Adam Rosales lined the 111th pitch up the middle and Tyler Clippard came on.

      Reds 5, Phillies 2

      PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Adleman pitched the best game of his major league career, and Cincinnati moved back to .500 with a win over Philadelphia.

      Adleman (3-2) tossed eight shutout innings, allowing only four baserunners (one hit, two walks, one hit batter) in an effective, 100-pitch outing. Offensively, the Reds were powered by solo homers from Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall, as well as a two-RBI single from Jose Peraza.

      In a ninth-inning rally sparked by doubles by Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr, the Phillies scored twice and brought the tying run to the plate against the Cincinnati's bullpen. However, Raisel Iglesias got out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam and earned his ninth save.

      Marlins 8, Angels 5

      MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton crushed a 460-foot, two-run homer to center, leading Miami to a win over Los Angeles.

      Justin Bour added a three-run homer, his 13th blast of the season, to help power Miami, which won for just the seventh time in the past 28 games.

      The Angels have lost three games in a row.

      For Stanton, it was his 12th homer of the season and his second-longest blast of the year. He hit a 468-foot homer on May 7. Stanton's homer against the Angels came on a 3-2 pitch low in the zone.

      Blue Jays 7, Rangers 6

      TORONTO -- Devon Travis hit a grand slam, Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales hit solo home runs as Toronto defeated Texas.

      Travis also hit a double and a single in extending his hit streak to 10 games. Rougned Odor hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth against Joe Smith for the Rangers and Roberto Osuna struck out Mike Napoli to earn his eighth save.

      Astros 2, Orioles 0

      HOUSTON -- Joe Musgrove pitched seven shutout innings, Jake Marisnick homered for a second consecutive game and Chris Devenski escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam as Houston eked out a win over Baltimore at Minute Maid Park.

      Musgrove (4-4) produced the best start of his career, allowing four hits while recording six strikeouts. He departed with the lead thanks to Marisnick, whose sixth home run with one out in the third inning came against Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-4), and Carlos Beltran, who added a solo homer in the sixth.

      Diamondbacks 4, Brewers 2 (10 innings)

      MILWAUKEE -- Chris Iannetta hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning and Arizona pulled ahead with two runs in the 10th to extend its winning streak to five games with a victory over Milwaukee.

      Milwaukee had taken a 2-1 lead in the eighth on Hernan Perez's RBI single, but Iannetta's blast forced extra innings.

      In the 10th, Wily Peralta (5-2) was burned by a leadoff double by Chris Owings, who scored on a wild pitch to put Arizona ahead for good. Jake Lamb added an RBI double for an insurance run.

      Rays 5, Twins 2

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Archer dazzled for six innings before some late trouble while Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiermaier each hit two-run homers for Tampa Bay in a win against Minnesota.

      Archer (4-3) allowed one hit until the seventh inning and struck out 11 batters. He ended up with two runs allowed on five hits. Alex Colome relieved Archer with two outs in the eighth and struck out Miguel Sano. Colome pitched a clean ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.

      Morrison opened the scoring with his two-run shot in the fourth off Minnesota starter Hector Santiago (4-3). Santiago pitched 5 1/3 innings with three runs allowed on four hits and two walks. Santiago tied a season high with six strikeouts.

      Braves 2, Giants 0

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Jaime Garcia combined with three relievers on a four-hit shutout and produced the only runs of the game with a seventh-inning single, lifting Atlanta to a victory over San Francisco in the opener of a three-game series.

      Tyler Flowers had two hits and scored the tie-breaking run for the Braves, who won their sixth straight series opener on the first night of a nine-game trip.

      The loss was the Giants' fourth in a row.

      Rockies 10, Cardinals 0

      DENVER -- Coming off consecutive five-inning outings, rookie Antonio Senzatela responded with the best start of his young career.

      He pitched a career-high eight innings as Colorado beat St. Louis for their most lopsided victory this season.

      Senzatela gave up five hits and, thanks to four double-play grounders, got 15 outs on ground balls. He struck out three and didn't issue a walk in his 98-pitch outing.

      Dodgers 4, Cubs 0

      LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez homered, and Los Angeles earned a victory over Chicago.

      Alex Wood (6-0) tossed a two-hitter with five shutout innings and extended his string of scoreless innings to 25 1/3. Wood struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter. He threw 91 pitches, 59 strikes.

      Wood joined teammate Clayton Kershaw (7), Colorado Rockies' Antonio Senzatela (7) and Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke (6) as the only National League pitcher with six or more wins.

      White Sox 8, Tigers 2

      CHICAGO -- Melky Cabrera went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs, and Chicago pulled away for a win over Detroit.

      Matt Davidson added a home run, and Avisail Garcia went 3-for-5 with three RBIs for the White Sox.

      Alex Avila hit his sixth home run in a losing effort for the Tiger. (22-24).

      The first game of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed until Saturday by rain.

  • Rangers RHP Griffin leaves start vs. Blue Jays
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, May 26, 2017

    TORONTO -- Texas Rangers starting pitcher A.J. Griffin left Friday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning with what the team called a left intercostal strain.

    • The right-hander struck out Ezequiel Carrera for the first out of the inning after allowing a grand slam to Devon Travis.

      It was the eighth home run allowed by Griffin in his last 11 innings pitched.

      Griffin, who allowed three hits, two walks and four runs while striking out two in 1 1/3 innings, was replaced by Austin Bibens-Dirkx.

      Griffin entered the game with a 4-1 record and a 5.02 ERA through seven starts.

  • MLB notebook: Brewers' Braun back on disabled list
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, May 26, 2017

    Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday, just five days after being activated.

    • Braun re-injured his left calf during Thursday's loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was on the DL for an injury to the same calf before being activated on Sunday. The injury occurred as Braun chased down a high fly ball in the third inning.

      Braun played in just three games -- going 0-for-9 at the plate -- during his brief return from the DL. Brewers manager Craig Counsell rested him Wednesday prior to Thursday's injury.

      Milwaukee activated right-hander Junior Guerra from the 10-day disabled list to fill the roster opening. Guerra, who is returning from his own calf issues, was slated to start Friday's game.

      --The Toronto Blue Jays activated third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the disabled list before their game with the Texas Rangers.

      Donaldson had been out since April 13 with a strained right calf and Tulowitzki had been out since April 21 with a strained right hamstring.

      The Blue Jays had optioned outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday after the game in Milwaukee. They also optioned right-hander Cesar Valdez to Buffalo on Friday.

      --Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda underwent surgery to replace his pacemaker on Thursday.

      The Dodgers announced Friday on Twitter that the 89-year-old Lasorda is "doing well" after the procedure.

      Lasorda has been hospitalized since early this month. He appeared at Dodger Stadium on May 3 as part of a ceremony to honor legendary broadcaster Vin Scully.

      --The Cleveland Indians will unveil the Frank Robinson statue in Heritage Park at Progressive Field on Saturday, commemorating his career as one of baseball's pioneers.

      Robinson, now 81, became the first African-American manager in major league history on April 8, 1975, as a player-manager for the Indians. He served two years in that capacity and as the Indians' manager alone in 1977.

      Robinson played 21 seasons in the majors for the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He hit 586 home runs -- 10th all-time -- and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.