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  • Sale, Scherzer to start All-Star Game for second straight year
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    For the second year in a row, Chris Sale of Boston and Max Scherzer of Washington will be the starting pitchers in the All-Star Game, the managers announced Monday.

    • American League manager AJ Hinch of the Houston Astros selected Sale to start Tuesday's game. This will be the third consecutive start for left-hander, who joins Lefty Gomez (American League, 1933-35) and Robin Roberts (National League, 1953-55) as the only pitchers to start three All-Star games in a row.

      Sale is 10-4 on the season with a 2.23 ERA. The 29-year-old has started 20 games and struck out a league-high 188 batters in 129 innings.

      "Obviously, I appreciate it. It's a big honor," Sale told the media of earning another start. "I know this hasn't happened very often in a long time. I appreciate it. I'm going to try and have some fun with it. That's why we're all here, too. Grip and rip, and try to get a win."

      Scherzer, 33, will start for the National League squad, managed by the Dodgers' Dave Roberts, in his home ballpark. The Nationals' right-hander is 12-5 in 20 starts on the year. His 182 strikeouts and 134 2/3 innings lead the NL.

      He becomes the 12th pitcher to start an All-Star Game on his home field. The last one time that occurred was 2013, when former New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey started the game at Citi Field.

      Game time is at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday. Coverage begins on FOX at 7:30 p.m.

      --Field Level Media

  • Blue Jays could be without Pillar for 4-6 weeks
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    The Toronto Blue Jays placed Kevin Pillar on the 10-day disabled list with a right clavicle injury on Sunday, but could be without the center fielder for 4 to 6 weeks.

    • Pillar was injured when he made a diving catch and doubled up Tzu-Wei Lin at second to end the third inning of a 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. Pillar was diagnosed with a right sternoclavicular joint injury.

      According to Blue Jays play-by-play announcer Mike Wilner, the injury was worse than initially suspected.

      "#Bluejays trainer Nikki Huffman tells us that Pillar's Injury was an emergency situation. The collarbone popped out, though didn't dislocate, just pushed the ligaments out. Had the collarbone pushed in instead of out, it could have been life-threatening, requiring surgery," Wilner said via Twitter.

      Pillar, known for his highlight plays in the outfield, is batting .247 with 37 RBIs and 42 runs in 93 games.

      The Blue Jays also placed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on the seven-day concussion list.

      Gurriel was hit in the back of the head by Red Sox starer Eduardo Rodriguez while diving into first base in the sixth inning of the same game. Rodriguez left the game with a sprained right ankle, but Gurriel stayed in after being checked by trainers.

      Wilner reports that the team said Gurriel didn't begin presenting symptoms of a concussion until after the game ended.

      Gurriel, a rookie, is batting .270 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 31 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Take 5: Major trades to make before July 31
    By Field Level Media / Monday, July 16, 2018

    All eyes are on Manny Machado as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline nears for Major League Baseball, but he isn't the only big name that could be on the move.

    • With disparity perhaps never higher across the league, it's clear which teams are in the hunt for the postseason and which find themselves ready to sell.

      So who else might be dealt -- and where to? Here a five potential deals that could make sense for each of the parties involved.

      5. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire 2B Brian Dozier from Minnesota Twins for SS/2B Gavin Lux.

      The Dodgers were said to have big interest in Dozier after his 42-homer 2016 season, though the Twins' asking price appeared to be too high. That shouldn't be the case anymore, as Dozier has come back to earth offensively, hitting .230 with 16 home runs this season. There's a clear need for the Dodgers to add a rental option in the middle infield with star shortstop Corey Seager (Tommy John surgery) out for the year, and the Twins can stand to part with Dozier, who said in March he intends to become a free agent when his contract expires this fall. Lux, the Dodgers' 2016 first-round pick, is having a strong year at high Class-A, though he isn't considered one of their top 10 prospects.

      4. Houston Astros acquire RHP Raisel Iglesias from Cincinnati Reds for LHP Cionel Perez, RHP Jorge Alcala and RHP Corbin Martin.

      The Astros showed when they swung a deal to acquire Ken Giles in 2015 that they weren't afraid to gut the farm for a reliever. Now, the underachieving Giles is in Triple-A following a demotion last week, and Houston is in desperate need of an established closer. Iglesias, 28, hasn't been doing the job for long, but he possesses the high-powered arsenal for the role and is a bargain at $5 million owed in base salary each of the next two seasons. Breakout lefty Perez could headline a package for the Astros, who have considerable pitching depth to deal from for the arm-needy Reds.

      3. New York Yankees acquire 1B/3B Mike Moustakas from Kansas City Royals for RHP Jonathan Loaisiga and RHP Juan Then.

      The Yankees are said to be among teams interested in Moustakas at first base, where he would be an extreme upgrade over what New York has going on at the position right now. The 29-year-old has played four games at first this season, including two this month, as the Royals market him to potential suitors. Moustakas' 19 homers from the left side of the plate would look good in the lineup between righty sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and he comes with a much lower price tag than Machado, whom the Baltimore Orioles likely don't want to trade in the division. Loaisiga gives the Royals a major-league-ready arm to slot into the rotation while Then, 18, would be more of a future asset.

      2. Boston Red Sox acquire LHP J.A. Happ and RHP Seunghwan Oh from Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Travis Lakins, RHP Kutter Crawford and 2B/OF Kervin Suarez.

      The Red Sox have needs in the rotation and bullpen, but this is the type of deal fans should expect from them. Several big trades in recent years have gutted Boston's farm system, and the team's payroll can't get much higher than the current figure that's already leading the majors. Happ and Oh (vesting option) can both potentially leave after this season, giving the Red Sox the temporary upgrades they need while costing a few lower-tier prospects at most. Happ slots into the rotation, while Oh gives the Red Sox a setup option with closer experience if Craig Kimbrel needs a rest day. And both are American League East tested, which is important come the playoff stretch.

      1. Philadelphia Phillies acquire SS/3B Manny Machado and LHP Zach Britton from Baltimore Orioles for 3B Maikel Franco, RHP Adonis Medina, RHP Franklyn Kilome and SS Arquimedes Gamboa.

      This is the move the Phillies need to make if they are serious about contending this season and beyond. Philadelphia perhaps has more money to spend this offseason than any other club, making it likely the Phillies view Machado, who they are said to aggressively be pursuing, as more than a rental player. Britton is also believed to be on their radar, as the team has lacked an established closer most the season yet is still 53-42 and atop the National League East. The price would be high -- Medina and Kilome are among the club's top arms while the 20-year-old Gamboa is on the rise and Franco is a former top prospect -- but the Phillies can hold on to top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez while getting the chance to convince Machado the City of Brotherly Love should be his home for the next 10-plus seasons.

      --Kyle Brasseur, Field Level Media

  • MLB roundup: Dozier delivers walk-off slam to top Rays
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    Brian Dozier hit a walk-off grand slam with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Minnesota Twins a wild 11-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday afternoon at Target Field in Minneapolis.

    • It was the 16th homer of the season and fourth career grand slam for Dozier who drove a 1-1 changeup from Matt Andriese into the left field stands to give the Twins their ninth victory in 11 games. Dozier finished with two hits, five RBIs and two runs scored.

      Eddie Rosario had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice, Robbie Grossman had two hits and Jorge Polanco also scored two runs for Minnesota, which bounced back from a 19-6 thrashing by the Rays on Saturday afternoon.

      Jake Cave opened the 10th inning with a leadoff double off Andriese (2-4), the ninth pitcher used by the Rays. After Mitch Garver sacrificed Cave to third, Joe Mauer and Rosario were both intentionally walked setting the stage for Dozier's heroics.

      Pirates 7, Brewers 6 (10 innings)

      Josh Bell hit a walk-off two-run double in the 10th inning as Pittsburgh won its sixth straight game, 7-6 over visiting Milwaukee, to sweep a five-game series.

      Facing Brewers reliever Dan Jennings (3-3), Bell drove the ball to the wall in center as rain began to pour, bringing home Gregory Polanco and Colin Moran, who had each singled.

      The Brewers, who have lost six in a row and eight of 10, had taken a 6-5 lead in the top of the 10th against Tanner Anderson (1-0) on an RBI single by Brett Phillips, who hit a tiebreaking three-run triple in the eighth inning.

      Cardinals 6, Reds 4

      Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler homered, and Tommy Pham had two hits and two RBIs as St. Louis beat visiting Cincinnati in interim manager Mike Shildt's debut.

      Right-hander John Gant (3-3) pitched four innings of hitless relief as the Cardinals broke a three-game losing streak in their first game under Shildt, who was promoted from bench coach when Mike Matheny was fired after 6 1/2 seasons following Saturday's loss to the Reds. Shildt joined the major league staff in 2016 after winning three minor league titles in eight seasons in the Cardinals' minor league system.

      Yadier Molina also had an RBI single for the Cardinals (48-46), who had lost six straight home games and were in danger of falling to .500 for the first time since April 13, when they were 7-7.

      Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 2

      Xander Bogaerts provided an encore to Saturday's walk-off grand slam with a solo home run and two RBIs to help Boston beat visiting Toronto in the finale of a four-game series.

      Bogaerts' 10th-inning slam gave the Red Sox a 6-2 win Saturday and secured at least a series split. Boston won Thursday's opener 6-4, but lost to Toronto 13-7 Friday to snap its major league-best 10-game win streak.

      Brock Holt drove in two runs and Jackie Bradley Jr. added an RBI for the Red Sox, who enter the All-Star break with an MLB-best 68-30 record. Boston won 12 of its last 13 and 19 of 23 games before the break. The Red Sox lead the AL East by 4 1/2 games over the New York Yankees.

      Rockies 4, Mariners 3

      Trevor Story led off the bottom of the ninth with a game-winning homer, lifting surging Colorado over visiting Seattle.

      Story capped a rainy afternoon when he drove a 2-2 cutter from Nick Vincent (3-2) 434 feet into the right-center field seats, touching off the celebratory fireworks. It was the 20th homer of the season for the All-Star shortstop and his first career game-ending homer.

      Story's homer helped the Rockies head into the break with a flourish, lifting Colorado to its 10th win in 12 games and 13th win in 16 games. The Mariners lost for the eighth time in 11 games.

      Indians 5, Yankees 2

      Michael Brantley led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a tiebreaking home run as Cleveland beat visiting New York.

      Brantley helped the Indians get a split of the four-game series with his 12th homer of the season. He gave Cleveland its first lead of the game by lifting a 94.5 mph fastball from Chad Green (5-2) high enough to clear the right-center field fence. The ball traveled an estimated 387 feet and Brantley needed every inch as right fielder Giancarlo Stanton scaled the fence in an ill-fated attempt to make the catch.

      Masahiro Tanaka gave up two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings in his second start since returning from two strained hamstrings.

      Cubs 7, Padres 4

      The Cubs jumped to a 5-0 lead after two innings and Jon Lester picked up his 12th win of the season as Chicago completed a three-game sweep of San Diego.

      Lester (12-2) allowed three runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. With the win, the Cubs head into the All-Star break with a 2 ½-game lead in the National League Central.

      All five of the Cubs' runs in the first two innings were scored against Padres rookie left-hander Eric Lauer, who fell to 5-6. He allowed five runs on five hits and one walk and departed after the second.

      Athletics 6, Giants 2

      Visiting Oakland strung together four consecutive singles in a four-run fourth inning to hand San Francisco its first home series loss since April in the battle of interleague rivals.

      Sean Manaea (9-6) outdueled Andrew Suarez (3-6) in a matchup of left-handers, helping the A's complete a 4-3, 6-2 weekend sweep after the Giants had prevailed 7-1 Friday night in the series opener. Piscotty had two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs for the A's.

      The Giants had won (10) or tied (two) their last 12 home series dating back to April 11 against Arizona. The teams will meet in a three-game rematch immediately following the All-Star break in Oakland.

      Tigers 6, Astros 3

      John Hicks slugged a two-run homer to ignite a surprising power surge and Detroit averted a series sweep with a win at Houston.

      Hicks' 400-foot blast off Astros right-hander Justin Verlander (9-5) keyed a three-run second inning and set the tone for Detroit, which ended a seven-game losing skid. The Tigers slugged four home runs, all against Verlander, after entering the game last in the majors in dingers with 76.

      Facing his former team for the first time since a waiver deadline trade shipped him to Houston last August, Verlander became just the fifth pitcher in history to allow at least four home runs in a start where he posted 12-plus strikeouts. He allowed a season-high six runs (five earned) on six hits without walking a batter.

      Dodgers 5, Angels 3

      Kiké Hernandez's seventh-inning home run snapped a 3-3 tie and helped lead the hosts over the Angels at Dodger Stadium.

      Andrew Toles' two-out RBI single in the eighth inning provided an insurance run, helping the Dodgers take two of three in the series and win their fourth of five games heading into the All-Star break.

      Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw gave up a three-run home run to Jefry Marte, but otherwise held the Angels scoreless in 6 2/3 innings. Kenta Maeda (7-5) relieved Kershaw in the seventh and got the final out of the inning, a brief appearance but enough to earn the victory. Kenley Jansen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 27th save.

      Braves 5, Diamondbacks 1

      Right-hander Julio Teheran took a shutout into the seventh inning as Atlanta salvaged one win in its three-game home series against Arizona.

      Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman each hit RBI doubles to a four-run third inning against Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin (6-4), giving Teheran and three relievers all the offensive support they would need.

      Teheran (7-6), who had won just twice in nine starts after opening the season 4-1, limited the Diamondbacks to four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six.

      Nationals 6, Mets 1

      Daniel Murphy continued to haunt his former team when he laced a two-run pinch-hit single to spark a five-run seventh inning that lifted Washington to a win at New York.

      The Nationals opened and closed the four-game series with wins to reach the All-Star Break at .500. The Mets have lost 34 of their last 48 during their worst first half of a full season since 1993, when they were 27-60 at the All-Star break.

      The teams traded run-scoring fielder's choice groundouts in the second inning before matching zeroes until the Nationals unloaded against three Mets relievers in the seventh.

      Marlins 10, Phillies 5

      Brian Anderson hit a three-run homer as part of an eight-run fifth inning, and last-place Miami defeated visiting Philadelphia.

      Anderson went 3-for-5 and has 109 hits, the most by a major league rookie before the All-Star break since two players did it in 2003.

      In their last game before the All-Star break, the Marlins completed a week in which they took two out of three games from a pair of first-place teams, the Milwaukee Brewers and then the Phillies. Marlins reliever Elieser Hernandez (2-5) earned the win, pitching one scoreless inning.

      Orioles 6, Rangers 5

      Adam Jones lined a three-run double as part of a five-run third inning as Baltimore scored a come-from-behind victory over visiting Texas.

      The Orioles used a bullpen format, after likely starting pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis became ill in recent days. So, manager Buck Showalter began with Miguel Castro, who struggled right from the start. He walked the first three batters and Ronald Guzman hit a grand slam over the wall in right for a quick 4-0 lead.

      But the Orioles battled back, getting a solo homer from Manny Machado in the bottom of the first and doubles from Caleb Joseph and Jones in the third to take a 5-4 lead. Zach Britton came on and closed the game in the ninth for his fourth save.

      White Sox 10, Royals 1

      Lucas Giolito pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings as Chicago walloped visiting Kansas City, which lost for the 13th time in 15 games.

      Daniel Palka and Yoan Moncada each had three hits and a home run for the White Sox, who took two of three games in the weekend series.

      Giolito (6-8), a right-hander, allowed two hits, walked three and struck out six as he improved to 3-0 in his career against the Royals. It was his first scoreless start of the season and his best at home, as he entered the game at 2-4 with an 8.65 ERA at Guaranteed Rate Field.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Cards explain reasoning behind Matheny firing
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    The St. Louis Cardinals officially introduced interim manager Mike Shildt and further explained the dismissal of Mike Matheny on Sunday before their series finale against the Cincinnati Reds.

    • Matheny was fired on Saturday on the heels of a rain-soaked 8-2 loss to the Reds that dropped the Cardinals to 47-46 on the season. Along with Matheny, the Cardinals parted ways with hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller. St. Louis' .245 average this season is good for eighth among NL teams, though it is 10th in runs scored (407).

      "Unfortunately our club has not played up to its capabilities, and it was time for a new voice and new leadership," owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "I think with Mike Shildt we have an opportunity to move forward into the second half."

      "We believe in this team. We believe in the talent and the character our players represent. We feel this is an opportunity to do a whole lot better. If it all comes together and they play as a team and respond to the new leadership, we believe we can put together a run hopefully toward the postseason."

      The Cardinals went on to beat the Reds, 6-4, in Shildt's debut.

      --The Chicago Cubs have placed outfielder Albert Almora Jr. on the family medical emergency list and recalled infielder David Bote from Triple-A Iowa.

      Almora, 24, leads the team with a .319 batting average to go along with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 86 games. He also has shined defensively with a .988 fielding percentage in center field, where coaches and teammates routinely have praised his ability to track down fly balls in the gap.

      The team did not disclose the reason for Almora's absence. He must miss at least three days but no more than seven days as part of the designation, according to Major League Baseball rules.

      --The San Francisco Giants placed right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Infielder Kelby Tomlinson, was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to take his place.

      Samardzija, who missed more than a month with shoulder tightness, struggled in a 4-3 loss to Oakland on Saturday, his second game since returning from the first DL stint. After the game, he told reporters he had trouble keeping his shoulder loose during the outing. In his two starts in July, Samardzija, 33, has pitched a total of nine innings, giving up five runs and 10 hits as his team lost both times.

      Tomlinson, 28, is batting .221 in 48 games with the Giants, with just five extra-base hits in 113 at-bats.

      --The Milwaukee Brewers placed second baseman Jonathan Villar (right thumb) on the 10-day disabled list and called up outfielder Brett Phillips from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Brewers also sent right-hander Aaron Wilkerson back to Colorado Springs after he was called up to be the 26th man for Saturday's doubleheader.

      Villar, 27, is batting .261 with 26 runs and 14 stolen bases this season. Villar was used as a pinch hitter in the first game Saturday and started the second game, drawing a pair of walks.

      Also on Sunday, the Pirates sent right-hander Clay Holmes down to Triple-A Indianapolis after he served as the 26th man Saturday. The team also recalled righty Tanner Anderson from Triple-A and sent slumping outfielder Austin Meadows down.

      --Two days after Jose Fernandez started at first base for the Los Angeles Angels, he was optioned down to Triple-A Salt Lake. The Angels recalled right-hander Eduardo Paredes to take his place on the roster.

      Fernandez, 30, is batting .250 with two doubles and seven singles in 36 at-bats this season -- his first in the majors.

      Paredes, 23, has a 7.71 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season, striking out 13 and walking six while giving up five home runs in only 16 1/3 innings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cubs place Almora on family medical emergency list
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    The Chicago Cubs have placed outfielder Albert Almora Jr. on the family medical emergency list and recalled infielder David Bote from Triple-A Iowa.

    • Almora, 24, leads the team with a .319 batting average to go along with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 86 games. He also has shined defensively with a .988 fielding percentage in center field, where coaches and teammates routinely have praised his ability to track down fly balls in the gap.

      Bote, 25, hit .300 with one home run and nine RBIs in 19 games earlier this season with the Cubs. This is his fourth stint with the team this year.

      The team did not disclose the reason for Almora's absence. He must miss at least three days but no more than seven days as part of the designation, according to Major League Baseball rules.

      --Field Level Media

  • Angels send down 1B Fernandez, recall RHP Paredes
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    Two days after Jose Fernandez started at first base for the Los Angeles Angels, he was optioned down to Triple-A Salt Lake, the club announced Sunday.

    • The Angels recalled right-hander Eduardo Paredes to take his place on the roster.

      Fernandez, 30, is batting .250 with two doubles and seven singles in 36 at-bats this season -- his first in the majors.

      Paredes, 23, has a 7.71 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season, striking out 13 and walking six while giving up five home runs in only 16 1/3 innings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Giants put RHP Samardzija back on DL
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    The San Francisco Giants on Sunday announced they have placed right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Taking his place on the roster is infielder Kelby Tomlinson, called up from Triple-A Sacramento for the third time this season.

    • Samardzija, who missed more than a month with shoulder tightness, struggled in a 4-3 loss to Oakland on Saturday, his second game since returning from the first DL stint. After the game, he told reporters he had trouble keeping his shoulder loose during the outing. In his two starts in July, Samardzija, 33, has pitched a total of nine innings, giving up five runs and 10 hits as his team lost both times.

      Tomlinson, 28, is batting .221 in 48 games with the Giants, with just five extra-base hits in 113 at-bats.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cardinals officially introduce Shildt, expand on Matheny firing
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    The St. Louis Cardinals officially introduced interim manager Mike Shildt and further explained the dismissal of Mike Matheny on Sunday before their series finale against the Cincinnati Reds.

    • Matheny was fired on Saturday on the heels of a rain-soaked 8-2 loss to the Reds that dropped the Cardinals to 47-46 on the season. St. Louis has lost 10 of its past 15 games and is 7.5 games back in the National League Central.

      Along with Matheny, the Cardinals are parting ways with hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller. St. Louis' .245 average this season is good for eighth among NL teams, though it is 10th in runs scored (407).

      "Unfortunately our club has not played up to its capabilities, and it was time for a new voice and new leadership," owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "I think with Mike Shildt we have an opportunity to move forward into the second half."

      "We believe in this team. We believe in the talent and the character our players represent. We feel this is an opportunity to do a whole lot better. If it all comes together and they play as a team and respond to the new leadership, we believe we can put together a run hopefully toward the postseason," DeWitt added.

      Matheny, 47, has seemingly been under fire for the majority of the last three seasons after leading the team to the playoffs in his first four years since taking over for Hall of Fame skipper Tony La Russa upon his retirement after the 2011 season. In his second year at the helm of the team, Matheny led the Cardinals to 97 wins and a World Series berth, where they lost to the Boston Red Sox in six games.

      The Cardinals won 100 games under Matheny's guide in 2015, but lost in the NL Division Series to the rival Chicago Cubs. St. Louis hasn't been back to the playoffs since that year, though it never posted a losing record in a season with Matheny as manager.

      In all, Matheny went 591-474 in his 6 1/2 seasons on the job, ranking fifth all time among Cardinals managers.

      "This gives us an opportunity to hit the reset button and evaluate where we are and what we need to do differently," team president John Mozeliak said. "Having a fresh voice is something that we feel is important going into the second half."

      --Field Level Media

  • Brewers put Villar (thumb) on 10-day DL, call up Phillips
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    The Milwaukee Brewers placed second baseman Jonathan Villar (right thumb) on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday and called up outfielder Brett Phillips from Triple-A Colorado Springs ahead of their series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team announced.

    • The Brewers also sent right-hander Aaron Wilkerson back to Colorado Springs after he was called up to be the 26th man for Saturday's doubleheader.

      Wilkerson, 29, pitched the eighth inning of the nightcap, giving up three runs on three hits.

      In three games for the Brewers this season, Wilkerson has given up 10 runs over nine innings.

      Villar, 27, is batting .261 with 26 runs and 14 stolen bases this season. Villar was used as a pinch-hitter in the first game Saturday and started the second game, drawing a pair of walks.

      Phillips has appeared in nine games for the Brewers this season, picking up two hits in 14 at-bats. He's hit .240 with six home runs and 25 RBIs and 42 runs in 71 games with Colorado Springs.

      The Brewers have dropped five straight, including the last four against the Pirates, ahead of Sunday's finale.

      Also on Sunday, the Pirates sent right-hander Clay Holmes down to Triple-A Indianapolis after he served as the 26th man Saturday. The team made another move, recalling righty Tanner Anderson from Triple-A and sending slumping outfielder Austin Meadows down.

      After seven multi-hit games in his first 11 games after making his MLB debut this season, Meadows has just six in his last 37 games, hitting .245 in 110 at-bats since his hot start.

      --Field Level Media

  • Phillies trade lefty reliever Milner to Rays
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    Five days after the Philadelphia Phillies designated southpaw reliever Hoby Milner for assignment, the team has traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays.

    • The Phillies announced the move on Saturday night and receive cash considerations in return.

      Milner, 27, pitched to a 2.01 ERA in 37 relief outings with Philadelphia last season. The sidearm left-hander appeared in just 10 games with the Phillies this season, producing a 7.71 ERA, allowing four runs in just 4 2/3 innings.

      He's been much more effective at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, posting a 2.39 ERA over 25 appearances and striking out 28 batters in 26 1/3 innings.

      Milner was a seventh-round pick by the Phillies in 2012.

      --Field Level Media

  • Scuffling Cardinals fire manager Matheny
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, July 15, 2018

    With one game to go before the All-Star break, the St. Louis Cardinals dismissed manager Mike Matheny on Saturday night.

    • Bench coach Mike Shildt will serve as the team's interim manager.

      Matheny's ousting comes on the heels of a rain-soaked 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds that dropped the Cardinals to 47-46 on the season. St. Louis has lost 10 of its past 15 games and is seven games back in the National League Central.

      Along with Matheny, the Cardinals are parting ways with hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller. St. Louis' .245 average this season is good for eighth among NL teams, though it is 10th in runs scored (407).

      "These decisions are never easy, but we felt that a change in leadership was necessary as the team prepares to enter into the second half of the season," said president of baseball operations John Mozeliak in a statement. "I would like to thank Mike for his exceptional commitment and devotion to the Cardinals organization, including many fond memories of our years working together."

      Matheny, 47, has seemingly been under fire for the majority of the last three seasons after leading the team to the playoffs in his first four years since taking over for Hall of Fame skipper Tony La Russa upon his retirement after the 2011 season. In his second year at the helm of the team, Matheny led the Cardinals to 97 wins and a World Series berth, where they lost to the Boston Red Sox in six games.

      The Cardinals won 100 games under Matheny's guide in 2015, but lost in the NL Division Series to the rival Chicago Cubs. St. Louis hasn't been back to the playoffs since that year, though it never posted a losing record in a season with Matheny as manager.

      In all, Matheny went 591-474 in his 6 1/2 seasons on the job, ranking fifth all time among Cardinals managers.

      "Mike Matheny has served the St. Louis Cardinals organization with tremendous dedication and pride and I am thankful for his service to the Cardinals over the past six and a half seasons," said Cardinals' chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. in a statement. "On behalf of the entire Cardinals organization, I would like to wish Mike the very best."

      The Cardinals said they will hold a press conference Sunday to further discuss the decision.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB roundup: Cardinals lose, fire manager Matheny
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    The visiting Cincinnati Reds defeated St. Louis 8-2 in a rain-soaked affair Saturday, prompting the firing of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny after 6 1/2 seasons at the helm of the club.

    • St. Louis (47-46) announced the decision after the loss. Bench coach Mike Shildt will serve as the team's interim manager, and hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also dismissed.

      Cincinnati second baseman Scooter Gennett had two hits and two RBIs and Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run single to cap a go-ahead four-run seventh inning in the Reds' win. Jose Peraza had five singles, his first career five-hit game.

      The game was twice delayed by rain for a total of 2 hours, 43 minutes.

      Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 2 (10 innings)

      Xander Bogaerts delivered a walk-off grand slam to center field as Boston got back in the win column with a victory over visiting Toronto.

      Mookie Betts reached on a fielding error with one out in the 10th against Blue Jays reliever Chris Rowley (0-1). Betts advanced to third after getting a running start from first on Brock Holt's grounder to left field. After J.D. Martinez was intentionally walked, Bogaerts proceeded to drive a 2-0 fastball from Rowley to center to end it.

      It was Boston's first walk-off grand slam since Rico Brogna's slam on Aug. 14, 2000, against the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Martinez contributed a solo shot for his major-league-leading 29th home run.

      Astros 9, Tigers 1

      Alex Bregman reached base three times while Josh Reddick and Evan Gattis recorded back-to-back home runs as Houston pounded visiting Detroit.

      The Astros struck early and often against Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer (3-9), whose struggles continued unabated. Fulmer surrendered season highs in hits (10) and earned runs (seven) in extending his personal losing skid to four decisions over five starts. Fulmer has recorded only one victory over his last nine outings.

      Gerrit Cole (10-2) allowed one run on three hits and four walks and posted eight strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings, joining fellow Astros starters Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. with double-digit victories.

      Diamondbacks 3, Braves 0

      Zack Grienke pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and won his fifth straight decision as Arizona shut out host Atlanta.

      Grienke (10-5) allowed just four hits, no walks and struck out seven in winning his fifth straight road start. Over his last six starts, Grienke has a 1.67 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 38 innings. He has not been beaten by Atlanta since 2011, when he played for Milwaukee.

      Brad Boxberger pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 24th save, his second of the series. The victory was Arizona's 53rd, matching a team record for most wins before the All-Star Game.

      Mets 7, Nationals 4

      Zack Wheeler tossed 7 2/3 solid innings in his longest outing in more than four years for New York in a win over visiting Washington.

      The Mets have won the middle two games of the four-game series to give themselves a chance Sunday to close out their first series win since they swept the Arizona Diamondbacks from May 18-20. Since then, New York has lost 11 series and split four others.

      Wheeler (3-6) allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven. He recorded an out in the eighth inning for the first time since his lone career complete game on June 19, 2014. Wheeler didn't pitch in the majors in 2015 or 2016 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.

      Pirates 2, Brewers 1 (Game 1)

      Pittsburgh made back-to-back homers by Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco in the first inning hold up for its fourth straight win, topping visiting Milwaukee in the first game of a doubleheader.

      The Brewers were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners.

      Pittsburgh right-hander Ivan Nova pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run and seven hits, with three strikeouts and no walks. Four relievers held Milwaukee at bay after Nova, with Richard Rodriguez (2-2) picking up the win and Felipe Vazquez pitching the ninth for his 22nd save.

      Pirates 6, Brewers 2 (Game 2)

      Rookie right-hander Clay Holmes pitched six scoreless innings for his first career win as Pittsburgh swept its doubleheader with visiting Milwaukee for a five-game winning streak.

      Max Moroff, Jordan Luplow (two), Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco hit solo homers, and David Freese added a two-out RBI double for the Pirates, who have won seven of eight. Felipe Vazquez got the final out for his 23rd save and second of the day.

      Jesus Aguilar had a two-run single in the ninth for the Brewers, who have a season-worst five-game losing streak, have lost seven of nine and haven't held a lead in the series.

      Marlins 2, Phillies 0

      All-Star right-hander Aaron Nola took a rare loss as last-place Miami surprised first-place Philadelphia at Marlins Park.

      The Marlins, held to just four hits, were led on offense by third baseman Martin Prado, who went 2-for-3 with one RBI.

      Nola (12-3), who will appear on his first All-Star roster on Tuesday, allowed four hits, one walk and two runs in six innings, striking out five. He was outdueled by Marlins rookie right-hander Trevor Richards (3-5), who allowed four hits, two walks and no runs in six innings, striking out four.

      Rays 19, Twins 6

      C.J. Cron and Jake Bauers each hit two-run homers and Joey Wendle had a two-run triple to highlight three consecutive five-run innings for Tampa Bay, which pounded out 20 hits in a rout at Minnesota.

      Tampa Bay tied a franchise record with 19 runs and became the seventh team in the live ball era (since 1920), and the first since the 1991 Giants, to score five or more runs in three straight innings. Bauers drove in four runs, and six other Rays finished with two RBIs.

      Matt Duffy, Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechavarria each had three hits, Bauers scored four runs and All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos had a two-run double for Tampa Bay. Ramos left the game after grounding out in the sixth with left hamstring tightness; his condition will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

      Royals 5, White Sox 0

      Left-hander Danny Duffy pitched seven scoreless innings and Jorge Bonifacio drove in three runs as Kansas City defeated host Chicago.

      Duffy (5-8) allowed only four hits, walked three and struck out eight as the Royals won for just the second time in their past 14 games. Jason Hammel and Wily Peralta each pitched an inning of relief to complete the shutout.

      Bonifacio hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning, and added a run-scoring triple in the fifth. All-Star Salvador Perez added a two-run homer in the eighth for the Royals.

      Rockies 4, Mariners 1

      Jon Gray, demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque in June, pitched into the eighth inning in his return to the rotation, Carlos Gonzalez homered and host Colorado beat Seattle.

      Gray (8-7) allowed just the one run on five hits, walked one and struck out six. Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 27th save.

      Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond had two hits and an RBI apiece for the Rockies, who have won four straight and nine of their last 11.

      Angels 5, Dodgers 4 (10 innings)

      Kole Calhoun hit a go-ahead home run in the 10th inning as the Los Angeles Angels held on for an interleague victory over the host Los Angeles Dodgers.

      The Dodgers had the tying run on third base with one out in the 10th, but Chase Utley hit a shallow fly ball to left field and Yasmani Grandal struck out to end it against Angels reliever Jose Alvarez (4-3).

      The Dodgers forced extra innings with a run in the ninth. Utley delivered a pinch-hit single for the second consecutive night and scored on a double from Grandal. Alvarez ended the rally when he got Joc Pederson to fly out to the base of the center field wall with the bases loaded.

      Orioles 1, Rangers 0

      Jonathan Schoop's sixth-inning sacrifice fly proved to be the difference as host Baltimore defeated Texas.

      The sacrifice fly came in an inning where the Orioles drew a walk and were helped by two Texas errors. The win snapped a three-game Baltimore losing streak.

      Yefry Ramirez was making his fourth major league start for the Orioles and battled some control issues early but threw five shutout innings. He allowed two hits and struck out seven with three walks. Brad Brach (1-2) earned the victory thanks to a scoreless sixth, and Zach Britton got his third save.

      Yankees 5, Indians 4

      Austin Romine came all the way around to score when host Cleveland made two errors on his double to right field in the seventh inning, single-handedly breaking a tie and providing the margin of victory in New York's win.

      David Robertson (7-3) pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth and combined with two fellow relievers on 3 1/3 innings of hitless and scoreless relief, helping the Yankees beat the Indians for the second time in three nights.

      In a 4-4 tie, Romine laced Indians starter Mike Clevinger's first pitch of the seventh into right field for a double. The catcher got waved on to third when Brandon Guyer, the Indians' right fielder, had trouble coming up with the ball, and when second baseman Erik Gonzalez threw wildly toward third base, Romine was able to dash home with the difference-making run.

      Athletics 4, Giants 3

      Mark Canha hit a pinch-hit, go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning to lead visiting Oakland past San Francisco.

      The win is the 20th in the last 26 games for the Athletics. The Giants' loss was just their second in the last six games.

      Oakland trailed 3-2 entering the top of the seventh before rallying against Giants southpaw Tony Watson (2-3). Josh Phegley led off the inning with a single before Canha hit for pitcher Yusmeiro Petit and crushed his 12th home run for the 4-3 lead. Petit (4-2) earned the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

      Cubs 11, Padres 6

      Javier Baez drove in five runs with a two-run double and a three-run homer and Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ also homered for Chicago, which scored six runs in the final two innings to defeat host San Diego.

      With the win, the Cubs moved into sole possession of the National League Central lead for the first time since June 3. San Diego has lost five of the first six games of a seven-game homestand going into the All-Star break.

      The Cubs were already leading 3-2 when Baez hit his double in the fifth off Padres starter Luis Perdomo (1-4). He added his 19th homer of the season in the ninth off reliever Phil Hughes. Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks (6-8) held the Padres to two runs on five hits with three strikeouts over five innings to get the win.

      --Field Level Media

  • Manager, Harper mum on lack-of-hustle conversation
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez says he spoke with Bryce Harper on Saturday about the star outfielder's lack of hustle after he hit what turned out to be a double-play ground ball on Friday night at Citi Field in New York against the Mets.

    • Neither party to that conversation cared to elaborate afterward.

      "I've spoken to Bryce and that's a conversation that will stay between Bryce and I," Martinez said.

      Chelsey Janes, who covers the Nationals for The Washington Post, tweeted that Harper didn't appear comfortable to be asked about Friday night's play.

      One reference that Harper did make to the play, according to Janes, was whether she meant that play where "I hit the ball 108 miles per hour?" She said he ended the conversation not long afterward.

      With the Nationals trailing the Mets and fireballing right-hander Noah Syndergaard 4-1 in the top of the fifth, Harper came to the plate with runners on first and second and one out. He hit the first pitch for a ground ball to shortstop Amed Rosario, who began a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning in a game the Nationals lost 4-2.

      After taking a few fast steps out of the batter's box toward first base, Harper slowed down noticeably the rest of the way.

      "Harper didn't even both running," Mets TV announcer Gary Cohen said during the SNY broadcast.

      Keith Hernandez, also on the broadcast, added, "Wow. Your star player, that kind of effort. That's not good."

      Martinez said on Friday that the play didn't involve an injury, saying he thinks it just "out of frustration. ... He hit the ball hard. I mean, he crushed the ball, and it was going to be a double play."

      Harper, whose contract ends this season and is expected to be one of the biggest names in free agency, has 23 home runs and 54 RBIs this season, but is hitting only .214, far below his career average of .277. He does, however, lead the National League with 78 walks, only three off the major league leader Mike Trout, who began Saturday with 81.

      Before Saturday's game, which the Nationals lost to the Mets, 7-4, and in which Harper had a run-scoring single in four at-bats, Martinez said he was ready to put Friday's incident behind him.

      "I forgot about it, I really have," the first-year manager said. "We have a ballgame to win today and he's been a big part of that."

      This isn't the first time Harper's apparent lack of hustle has become an issue in the Nationals dugout. In a September game in 2015, former teammate Jonathan Papelbon verbally challenged Harper after the outfielder failed to fully run during a flyout, leading to other teammates being forced to separate the two and Papelbon grabbing harper by the neck.

      Harper, who will be making his sixth All-Star appearance next week, is just 9-for-49 (.184) in July and has just three hits in his past 20 at-bats.

      "He wants to win, that's all he cares about," Martinez said. "Regardless of his average, he has 23 home runs and 53 RBI (entering Saturday). I believe that he's going to hit 40 (home runs) and drive in 100. I'm a big fan of Bryce. I love the kid because of what he brings every day. He's a good kid, that's all I can say."

      Harper will participate in Monday's Home Run Derby and was elected to start in Tuesday's All-Star Game, set to be played at Nationals Park in Washington.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Machado talks narrow, Phillies a prime suitor
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    The Baltimore Orioles have made progress and narrowed their focus to a smaller group of teams in talks to trade shortstop Manny Machado, according to an ESPN report Saturday.

    • Per the report, the Orioles are "definitely motivated" to find a deal for the four-time All-Star, and they've had extensive talks with the Philadelphia Phillies, who would be major suitors for Machado if he reaches free agency after the season. Baltimore is evaluating several of Philadelphia's top prospects, including right-handers Franklyn Kilome and Adonis Medina, and outfielders Jhailyn Ortiz and Arquimedes Gamboa.

      Phillies president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and assistant Ned Rice were all with the Orioles when Machado was drafted in 2010.

      The Orioles have also reportedly discussed possible deals with the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians.

      --New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez will begin a rehab assignment with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday and could return Friday after the All-Star break, according to manager Aaron Boone.

      Sanchez was hurt on June 24 trying to beat out the throw to first on a double-play grounder. He landed on the 10-day disabled list on June 25 and was given a three-to-four week timetable to return.

      Boone told reporters the plan is to have Sanchez start the team's first game after the All-Star break -- Friday versus the New York Mets -- barring any setbacks. The Yankees' last game before the break is Sunday.

      --Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos expects to miss Tuesday's All-Star Game after departing the team's 19-6 win at Minnesota because of tightness in his left hamstring, an injury he thinks will land him on the disabled list.

      Ramos, a second-time All-Star (also in 2016) but first-time starting catcher, told reporters that he will still attend All-Star festivities, but he said the injury will "probably" require a DL stint. He suffered the injury while running to first trying to beat out an infield grounder in the sixth inning, after going 1-for-3 with a two-run double in the fourth.

      Ramos, who turns 31 next month, is hitting .297 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs in 78 games this season, getting most of his at-bats in Tampa Bay's cleanup spot in the lineup.

      --A day after leaving his team's game in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee outfielder Eric Thames was placed on the 10-day disabled list with hamstring tightness. It was one of several moves made by the Brewers, for whom the All-Star break can't arrive soon enough.

      Friday night's starting pitcher, Junior Guerra, also went on the 10-day DL. After giving up six runs on nine hits in only four innings -- his worst start of the season -- against the Pirates, the right-hander was shelved with a forearm injury.

      To fill their voids, the club activated left-handed pitcher Brent Suter from the DL and called fan favorite Nate Orf back up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Brewers also recalled righty Aaron Wilkerson to serve as their 26th man for Saturday's doubleheader in Pittsburgh. The Pirates also made a couple of moves, putting catcher Francisco Cervelli (concussion symptoms) on the seven-day DL recalling catcher Jacob Stallings Triple-A Indianapolis to take his place.

      --The Boston Red Sox recalled left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner from Triple-A Pawtucket, optioning lefty pitcher Robby Scott to Pawtucket to make room on the roster.

      This will be Poyner's fifth call-up this season, his first in the majors. The 25-year-old has a 1.69 ERA with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 10 2/3 innings over 10 relief appearances. He has a 2.70 ERA in 21 minor league appearances.

      Scott, who turns 29 next month, has given up four runs in 2 1/3 innings with Boston. He has a 1.15 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings pitched in Pawtucket this season.

      --Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel wife Kate Upton are expecting their first child, Upton announced.

      The couple was married in Italy in November following Verlander's World Series triumph with the Astros. The 26-year-old Upton revealed the news in an Instagram post with the hashtag #pregnantinMiami and tagging Verlander.

      Verlander was selected for Tuesday's All-Star Game, but isn't expected to pitch given that he is scheduled to start for the Astros on Sunday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: O's narrow Machado talks; Phillies a major suitor
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    The Baltimore Orioles have made progress and narrowed their focus to a smaller group of teams in talks to trade shortstop Manny Machado, according to an ESPN report Saturday.

    • Per the report, the Orioles are "definitely motivated" to find a deal for the four-time All-Star, and they've had extensive talks with the Philadelphia Phillies, who would be major suitors for Machado if he reaches free agency after the season. Baltimore is evaluating several of Philadelphia's top prospects, including right-handers Franklyn Kilome and Adonis Medina, and outfielders Jhailyn Ortiz and Arquimedes Gamboa.

      Phillies president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and assistant Ned Rice were all with the Orioles when Machado was drafted in 2010.

      The Orioles have also reportedly discussed possible deals with the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians.

      Machado, who turned 26 earlier this month, will start for the American League at shortstop in Tuesday's game in D.C. He is on pace for what would comfortably be the best season of his already impressive career, batting .313 with 23 homers and 64 RBIs through 94 games.

      Machado acknowledged last week that the constant trade chatter surrounding him "gets a little distracting at times," adding that he's trying to enjoy the season without worrying about being dealt.

      Taken third overall in 2010 by the Orioles, the seventh-year veteran is a career .283 hitter with 161 homers and 470 RBIs. This is his first full season at shortstop after he spent six years playing third base.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rays' Ramos to miss All-Star start after hamstring injury
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos will miss Tuesday's All-Star Game after departing Saturday's 19-6 win at Minnesota because of tightness in his left hamstring, an injury he thinks will land him on the disabled list.

    • Ramos, a second-time All-Star (also in 2016) but first-time starting catcher, told reporters he will still attend All-Star festivities, but he said the injury will "probably" require a DL stint.

      "I was very excited to participate in that game," Ramos told reporters after the game. "Now, it's very sad because I will be out of the lineup. I worked really hard to make that team."

      He suffered the injury while running to first trying to beat out an infield grounder in the sixth inning, after going 1-for-3 with a two-run double in the fourth.

      Ramos' injury means AL reserve catcher Salvador Perez will start the All-Star Game for the fifth straight time. Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes found out late in Saturday's game against the New York Yankees that he is a first-time All-Star, replacing Ramos on the roster.

      Ramos, who turns 31 next month, is hitting .297 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs in 78 games this season, getting most of his at-bats in Tampa Bay's cleanup spot in the lineup.

      Originally groomed in the Twins organization, the nine-year veteran has a .271 career batting average with 108 homers and 409 RBIs with the Twins (2010), Washington Nationals (2010-16) and Rays (2016-18).

      The Rays did not announce any roster moves after the game to address a replacement for Ramos. Jesus Sucre, who went in for Ramos Saturday, is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster.

      Gomes is hitting .247 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Yankees' Sanchez starting rehab stint Sunday, may return by Friday
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez will begin a rehab assignment with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday and could return Friday after the All-Star break, manager Aaron Boone said Saturday.

    • Sanchez was hurt on June 24 trying to beat out the throw to first on a double-play grounder. He landed on the 10-day disabled list on June 25 and was given a three-to-four week timetable to return.

      Boone told reporters the plan is to have Sanchez start the team's first game after the All-Star break -- Friday versus the New York Mets -- barring any setbacks. The Yankees' last game before the break is Sunday.

      Sanchez, 25, is hitting just .190 this season but has 14 home runs and 41 RBIs in 63 games. He batted .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBIs in his first full season in the majors last year, earning an All-Star appearance.

      Austin Romine had two homers in a three-game span last week, but he has otherwise gone 5-for-34 (.147) with 13 strikeouts since taking over for Sanchez as the primary catcher.

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox call up LHP Poyner, send down lefty Scott
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    The Boston Red Sox on Saturday recalled left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner from Triple-A Pawtucket, optioning lefty pitcher Robby Scott to Pawtucket to make room on the roster.

    • This will be Poyner's fifth call-up this season, his first in the majors. The 25-year-old has a 1.69 ERA with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 10 2/3 innings over 10 relief appearances. He has a 2.70 ERA in 21 minor league appearances.

      Scott, 28, has given up four runs in 2 1/3 innings with Boston. He has a 1.15 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings pitched in Pawtucket this season.

      The Red Sox host Toronto on Saturday afternoon for the third of a four-game series.

      --Field Level Media

  • Banged-up Brewers lose Thames, Guerra to injury
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    A day after leaving his team's game in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee outfielder Eric Thames was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with hamstring tightness. It was one of several moves made by the Brewers, for whom the All-Star break can't get here soon enough.

    • Friday night's starting pitcher, Junior Guerra, also went on the 10-day DL. After giving up six runs on nine hits in only four innings -- his worst start of the season -- against the Pirates, the right-hander was shelved with a forearm injury.

      To fill their voids, the club activated left-handed pitcher Brent Suter from the DL and called fan favorite Nate Orf back up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Brewers also recalled righty Aaron Wilkerson to serve as their 26th man for Saturday's doubleheader in Pittsburgh.

      Suter, 28, is scheduled to start the second game of the doubleheader. He was 8-5 with a 4.53 ERA in 18 games (16 starts) before he was placed on the DL earlier this month with forearm tightness.

      In 50 games this season, the 31-year-old Thames is batting .250 with 13 home runs and 28 RBIs with a .901 OPS. But in his 14 games before Friday night, he was hitting .288 with four home runs, eight RBIs and a .979 OPS.

      Guerra, 33, is 6-6 in 18 starts, posting a 3.23 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 39 walks in 97 2/3 innings.

      The undrafted Orf, 28, made his major league debut this season, and has one hit in 14 at-bats (.071). But that one hit was a home run, after which Orf was carried out of the dugout by his teammates for a curtain call.

      Wilkerson, 29, has appeared in only two games for the Brewers this season, most recently a spot start against Atlanta last Saturday. He went five innings in that game, giving up two runs in five innings and taking the loss.

      The Pirates also made a couple of moves, putting catcher Francisco Cervelli (concussion symptoms) on the seven-day DL recalling catcher Jacob Stallings Triple-A Indianapolis to take his place.

      Cervelli was batting .243 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs over 60 games.

      The Pirates also added right-hander Clay Holmes as their 26th man for the doubleheader. He'll be making his second career start in the nightcap.

      Friday's loss, combined with the Cubs' 5-4 win in San Diego later that night, dropped the Brewers into a first-place tie with Chicago in the NL Central. It is the first time since June 18 Milwaukee has not held sole possession of the division lead. The Brewers have held at least a share of the division lead for all but one day since May 13.

      --Field Level Media

  • Upton announces she and Verlander are expecting
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel wife Kate Upton are expecting their first child, Upton announced on Saturday.

    • The couple was married in Italy in November following Verlander's World Series triumph with the Astros.

      The 26-year-old Upton revealed the news in an Instagram post with the hashtag #pregnantinMiami and tagging Verlander.

      Verlander was selected for Tuesday's All-Star Game, but isn't expected to pitch given that he is scheduled to start for the Astros on Sunday.

      Upton was named No. 1 on Maxim's annual Hot 100 list in June.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB roundup: Red Sox's win streak ends at 10
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 14, 2018

    Justin Smoak hit two home runs and had four RBIs as the visiting Toronto Blue Jays emphatically ended the Boston Red Sox's major-league-leading 10-game winning streak with a 13-7 victory Friday night at Fenway Park.

    • Smoak (3-for-5) tied teammate Yangervis Solarte for the team lead in home runs with 16. Kevin Pillar (4-for-5) also drove in four runs and Dwight Smith Jr. had a two-run blast and three RBIs for Toronto, which had lost four of five.

      Mookie Betts (3-for-4) hit two triples and had two RBIs for Boston. The Red Sox lost for the first time since dropping the rubber match of an important three-game series against the rival Yankees in New York, 11-1, on July 1.

      Red Sox starter Rick Porcello (11-4) surrendered a season-high eight runs over two-plus innings. He allowed seven hits and walked four batters while striking out two, suffering his first loss in six starts since June 10.

      Indians 6, Yankees 5

      Rookie Shane Bieber pitched into the eighth inning as host Cleveland held off New York.

      Bieber (5-1) held the Yankees to four runs (three earned) on five hits. Three of the runs were in the fifth after the Indians built a 4-0 lead.

      Cleveland closer Cody Allen opened the ninth by allowing Giancarlo Stanton's 23rd homer and a single to Greg Bird. After rookie Miguel Andujar hit into a double play, Allen walked Neil Walker but retired pinch hitter Didi Gregorius and notched his 19th save in 20 chances.

      Pirates 7, Brewers 3

      Gregory Polanco homered and rookie Nick Kingham struck out nine as Pittsburgh topped visiting Milwaukee.

      Josh Bell had four hits and two RBIs, and Colin Moran had three hits and an RBI for Pittsburgh, which has won three in a row and five of six.

      Brewers reliever Brandon Woodruff, recalled earlier in the day, allowed one hit in three scoreless innings and hit his first career homer. Travis Shaw also homered for Milwaukee, which has lost three straight and five of seven.

      Rangers 5, Orioles 4

      Ryan Rua hit a tiebreaking pinch-hit three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, leading Texas to victory at Baltimore.

      The game was tied at 1 when Robinson Chirinos got a one-out single off Baltimore starter Alex Cobb (2-12). Tanner Scott came on and walked Joey Gallo.

      Rua then came on to bat for Carlos Tocci and homered to left on a 1-0 pitch, a three-run shot that gave Texas a 4-1 lead. Nomar Mazara added an RBI double three batters later that made it 5-1.

      Phillies 2, Marlins 0

      Jake Arrieta pitched seven scoreless innings to lead Philadelphia past host Miami.

      Relievers Victor Arano and Pat Neshek (first save of the season) each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the shutout.

      Arrieta allowed just three hits and three walks, striking out three. He was supported by an RBI double from Aaron Altherr, who also started a run-saving play in the sixth inning. Maikel Franco added a solo homer in the ninth.

      Mets 4, Nationals 2

      Noah Syndergaard wriggled in and out of trouble over five innings and earned the win in his first start in seven weeks, helping his cause with an RBI single in the second inning of New York's victory over visiting Washington.

      With the win in the second game of the four-game series, the Mets improved to 11-27 since June 1. The Nationals have lost 12 of 18.

      Syndergaard (5-1), who was sidelined with a strained ligament in his right index finger suffered in his previous start May 25, allowed one run on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Seth Lugo tossed two scoreless innings before Robert Gsellman allowed one run over two innings to earn his fourth save.

      Diamondbacks 2, Braves 1

      Shortstop Nick Ahmed had two hits, including the go-ahead single in the seventh inning, as Arizona won at Atlanta.

      Ahmed drove home Daniel Descalso, who had drawn a one-out walk from Atlanta's Sam Freeman (2-5) and advanced to second on Dan Winkler's wild pitch.

      Arizona starter Zack Godley (11-6) allowed one run in six innings. Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger each pitched one scoreless inning to complete the game. Boxberger struck out the side in the ninth and earned his 23rd save.

      Astros 3, Tigers 0

      Alex Bregman set a career high for homers and Dallas Keuchel posted his third scoreless start on the season as host Houston beat Detroit.

      Bregman clubbed a two-run blast off Tigers right-hander Mike Fiers (6-6) in the first inning, driving in George Springer and setting a new single-season mark with his 20th home run. He has recorded half of his season total since June 20, batting .344 with 22 RBIs during that 22-game stretch.

      Keuchel (7-8) continued his stellar pitching of late, allowing six hits and one walk over six scoreless innings. He recorded four strikeouts, including two in succession to close the third inning after surrendering consecutive hits to lead off that frame.

      White Sox 9, Royals 3

      James Shields pitched 6 2/3 effective innings, and Chicago held off a late rally to defeat visiting Kansas City.

      Jose Abreu, Leury Garcia and Omar Narvaez hit home runs for the White Sox, who won consecutive games for the first time since taking three in a row from June 24-27. The Royals lost for the 12th time in their past 13 games and dropped to 5-30 since June 3.

      Shields (4-10) allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Joakim Soria struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth for his 14th save of the season.

      Twins 11, Rays 8

      Joe Mauer homered and drove in four runs and Jake Cave had three hits, including a double and triple, and had two RBIs and two runs scored to lead Minnesota over visiting Tampa Bay.

      Robbie Grossman also had three hits, and Mauer, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco each had two as Minnesota, which finished with 15 hits, won for the eighth time in nine games. Trevor Hildenberger (2-2), who struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh inning, was awarded the victory.

      Jake Odorizzi, traded to the Twins on Feb. 17 after pitching in 127 games over five seasons for Tampa Bay, struggled in his first start against his old team, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits and a walk in just 4 1/3 innings.

      Reds 9, Cardinals 1

      Matt Harvey allowed only one run in five innings, and Dilson Herrera and Scooter Gennett hit home runs as visiting Cincinnati continued its torrid play with a rout at St. Louis.

      Harvey (5-5) allowed just four hits, struck out five and walked two while winning for the fourth time in his past five starts.

      Carlos Martinez (6-5), who had won his past three starts, pitched five innings and allowed three runs and six hits. He struck out four, walked two and hit a batter.

      Rockies 10, Mariners 7

      Trevor Story homered and drove in four runs and Charlie Blackmon also homered as Colorado beat visiting Seattle.

      Tony Wolters had three RBIs for the Rockies, who won their third straight. Harrison Musgrave (1-3) got his first career win with three innings of relief, and Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

      Ben Gamel had three hits, and Kyle Seager and Denard Span had two each for Seattle, which has lost two straight.

      Cubs 5, Padres 4 (10 innings)

      Javier Baez rounded the bases in the top of the 10th on a stolen base and two errors as Chicago, which was one strike away from losing in the ninth, rallied to defeat host San Diego.

      Baez singled off Padres reliever Adam Cimber with out in the 10th. He immediately took off for second and was successful on his 18th steal of the season. But when catcher Austin Hedges' throw to second sailed into center, Baez continued to third, and he scored when center fielder Manuel Margot fumbled Hedges' overthrow.

      Padres closer Brad Hand retired the first two Cubs he faced in the ninth while protecting a 4-3 lead. But he hit pinch hitter Victor Caratini with a pitch. Anthony Rizzo then drove a full-count pitch into the gap in left-center to drive home pinch runner Jason Heyward to tie the game at 4-4.

      Dodgers 3, Angels 2

      Max Muncy hit a home run in the first inning and added a go-ahead single in the seventh as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for a 3-2 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Angels.

      Muncy's solo home run in the opening inning was his 22nd of the season.

      Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, the Dodgers went ahead for good on a Muncy single to right field. Logan Forsythe scored from third base on the hit, with Joc Pederson also coming home, but only after Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun overthrew home plate for an error. Calhoun had been the Angels' hero to that point with a pair of home runs.

      Giants 7, Athletics 1

      Buster Posey broke a sixth-inning tie with an RBI single and Steven Duggar capped a big game with a two-run double in a five-run seventh, propelling San Francisco to victory over visiting Oakland.

      Madison Bumgarner (3-3) pitched into the seventh inning and right-hander Reyes Moronta escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam to protect a one-run lead, as the Giants prevailed in the first of six straight games they'll play against their San Francisco Bay Area rival sandwiching the All-Star break.

      Oakland, which lost All-Star second baseman Jed Lowrie to a bruised leg in the fifth inning, had won 13 of its previous 16 games, including five of seven to start its 10-game trip.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Utley announces he'll retire after 2018
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 13, 2018

    Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley is set to retire at the end of the 2018 season, he announced at a news conference Friday.

    • "I transitioned to a part-time player, something new for me but I took it in stride," said Utley. "Also, a part-time strength coach, part-time pitching coach, occasionally part-time catching coach as well as a part-time general manager. The thing I'm having the most difficult time with is being a part-time dad. So that's really the reason I'm shutting it down. I'm ready to be a full-time dad."

      Utley, 39, has played 16 seasons in the majors. He started his career with Philadelphia, where he made six All-Star teams. The Phillies traded him to the Dodgers in August 2015.

      This season, Utley is batting .231 in 57 games for the Dodgers. He has one home run and 14 RBIs. For his career, Utley has a .276 batting average with 259 home runs and 1,025 RBIs.

      --The Los Angeles Angels placed first baseman Albert Pujols on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation.

      Pujols, 38, played all nine innings of Thursday night's win over the Seattle Mariners, hitting two homers to tie Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth all-time with 630 in his career. In his 18th season, Pujols is hitting .251 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs through 86 games.

      In corresponding moves, the Angels recalled infielder Jose Fernandez and outfielder Jabari Blash from Triple-A Salt Lake, after optioning outfielder Michael Hermosillo to Salt Lake after Thursday night's game.

      --The New York Mets activated right-hander Noah Syndergaard from the 10-day disabled list to start against the Washington Nationals.

      Syndergaard, who turns 26 next month, will make his first start in seven weeks. He was placed on the disabled list on May 26 with a strained ligament in his right index finger. He pitched in a rehab game Sunday for Class-A Brooklyn, scattering two hits and one run over five innings.

      On the season, Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts.

      --The Seattle Mariners placed left-hander James Paxton on the 10-day disabled list with lower back inflammation.

      General manager Jerry Dipoto believes the injury is not serious, saying, "We don't think it is a lingering issue."

      Paxton left Thursday's start against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning after giving up three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning while throwing 17 pitches. It's his first trip to the DL this year, after he missed time last season with a strained left pectoral muscle and strained left forearm. Paxton, 29, is 8-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 20 starts this season

      --Outfielder Andrew Benintendi was placed on the bereavement list by the Boston Red Sox.

      Benintendi's spot on the 25-man roster is being filled by first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

      Benintendi, 24, is batting .297 with 14 home runs, 57 RBIs, 68 runs scored and an .897 OPS in 91 games. He also leads the team with 17 steals and 49 walks.

      --The Los Angeles Dodgers activated right-hander Walker Buehler from the 10-day disabled list, optioning ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City in a corresponding move.

      Buehler had been on the disabled list since June 29 with a right rib microfracture. The 23-year-old will pitch against the Los Angeles Angels in the opener of a three-game series.

      On the year, the rookie Buehler is 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA in 10 games (nine starts). He has struck out 54 batters in 52 1/3 innings.

      --Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber and New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman were taken off the AL All-Star Game active roster.

      Kluber will be replaced by Tampa Bay starter Blake Snell, while Chapman's spot will be taken by Houston starter Charlie Morton. It is the first All-Star selection for both Snell and Morton.

      Both Kluber and Chapman are dealing with knee pain.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pujols (knee inflammation) placed on DL by Angels
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 13, 2018

    The Los Angeles Angels placed first baseman Albert Pujols on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation, the team announced Friday.

    • Pujols, 38, played all nine innings of Thursday night's win over the Seattle Mariners, hitting two homers to tie Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth all-time with 630 in his career.

      In his 18th season, Pujols is hitting .251 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs through 86 games.

      The Angels play three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend before the All-Star break. They'll begin the second half of their schedule next Friday against the Houston Astros.

      In corresponding moves, the Angels recalled infielder Jose Fernandez and outfielder Jabari Blash from Triple-A Salt Lake, after optioning outfielder Michael Hermosillo to Salt Lake after Thursday night's game.

      Fernandez, 30, made his MLB debut earlier this season, batting .273 with three RBIs in 10 games in June.

      --Field Level Media

  • Dodgers' Buehler comes off DL for Friday start
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 13, 2018

    The Los Angeles Dodgers activated right-hander Walker Buehler from the 10-day disabled list Friday.

    • In a corresponding move, the Dodgers optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

      Buehler had been on the disabled list since June 29 with a right rib microfracture. The 23-year-old is scheduled to take the mound Friday against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium in his 10th start of the season.

      On the year, the rookie Buehler is 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA. He has struck out 54 batters in 52 1/3 innings and held batters to a .222 average.

      Venditte, 33, has pitched in five games, all in relief, and has an ERA of 8.31.

      --Field Level Media