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Yadier Molina Nearing Return to Cardinals

Yadier Molina Nearing Return to Cardinals

Tony Firriolo/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With the St. Louis Cardinals holding onto the lead in the first Wild Card playoff spot in the National League, one of their best players is getting closer to coming back as catcher Yadier Molina will begin his rehab assignment on Wednesday.

Molina has been out of action since tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) thumb back on July 9.

After taking part in batting practice Tuesday, the plan is for Molina to catch five or six innings for Double-A Springfield on Wednesday.

“My thumb feels great,” Molina told the Springfield News-Leader. “I’m in really good shape. I’m happy with the way everything is going. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I’m going to be nervous. …It’s been a long time. It’s been the longest two months ever. But I’m so excited to come back on the field.”

The 32-year-old Molina is still one of the best catchers in baseball. In 83 games this season, Molina is batting .287 with 7 home runs and 30 RBIs.

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SP Ventura Will Miss Wednesday’s Start

SP Ventura Will Miss Wednesday’s Start

Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — Kansas City Royals skipper Ned Yost has elected to scratch pitcher Yordano Ventura from his start Wednesday while the rookie deals with a sore back.

Ventura complained of pain in his lower back after his start last Friday night against the Rangers. An MRI revealed inflammation but no damage.

The Royals are currently 1.5 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the American League Central.

“There’s the hope that he’s not going to miss anything more. He’s made good progress to this point. He’s feeling much better,” Yost said. “We could try to push it, but it doesn’t make much sense right now. Let him get through it.”

The Royals called up 25-year-old Liam Hendriks from Triple-A Omaha to take Ventura’s place.

Hendriks has pitched 143 innings this season split between Omaha and Buffalo. During that time, he has compiled a 12-2 record with a 2.45 ERA, 126 strikeouts and 13 walks.

Ventura has been solid all season for the Royals, posting a 10-9 record with a 3.40 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings pitched.

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Red Sox Snap Eight Game Skid

Red Sox Snap Eight Game Skid

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(TORONTO) — After Koji Uehara blew another save, Yoenis Cespedes picked up his teammate with a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the tenth inning to give Boston a 4-3 win over Toronto. The win snapped an eight game losing streak for the Red Sox (57-74).

“Cespy has been so good since coming over to us,” manager John Farrell said. “Whether it’s been with a base hit or a long ball, he’s been big for us late in games.”

Cespedes’ RBI was his 19th in a Red Sox uniform, seven of which have been to put Boston ahead. Uehara (6-4) got the win despite blowing his fourth save in 30 opportunities. Craig Breslow pitched a scoreless bottom of the tenth for his first save of the season. 

Boston built up a 3-0 lead in the fifth on a solo homer from Mookie Betts before a two-run shot from Dustin Pedroia. That advantage was carried into the ninth before the Blue Jays (66-65) rallied to force extras.

Jose Reyes scored on a fielder’s choice to start the comeback before Edwin Encarnacion doubled home a pair, knotting things up at 3-3. Brock Holt then singled off Aaron Sanchez (2-1) to open up the tenth and later stole second and third base, setting up the go-ahead run. 

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Orioles Launch Five Homers in Win over Rays

Orioles Launch Five Homers in Win over Rays

Patrick Smith/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy and Chris Young all hit home runs in consecutive at-bats in the fifth, capping off a five homer night for Baltimore. The Orioles (74-55) defeated Tampa Bay 9-1 in the first game of a three-game set with the Rays (64-67).

Baltimore had lost three games in a row, being swept by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field over the weekend. 

They rebounded with a dominant effort against rookie Jake Odrizzi. Nick Markakis and Steve Pearce went back-to-back in the third inning, starting the onslaught. All nine of Baltimore’s runs came via the long ball and came after Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the third.

With all the offense, Adam Jones’ brilliant centerfield play almost went overlooked. The Orioles center fielder robbed Evan Longoria of a homer in the sixth with a leaping catch at the wall. Jones then fired the ball to second base and threw out Matt Joyce.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/25/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/25/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: St. Louis Cardinals 3 (71-59) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (67-64)

Baltimore Orioles 9 (74-55) – Tampa Bay Rays 1 (64-67)

Philadelphia Phillies 3 (59-72) – Washington Nationals 2 (75-55)

Boston Red Sox 4 (57-74) – Toronto Blue Jays 3 (66-65) 10 Innings

New York Yankees 8 (68-61) – Kansas City Royals 1 (72-58)

Milwaukee Brewers 10 (73-58) – San Diego Padres 1 (60-70)

Oakland Athletics 8 (77-53) – Houston Astros 2 (55-77)

Colorado Rockies 3 (53-77) – San Francisco Giants 2 (68-62)

Miami Marlins 7 (65-65) – Los Angeles Angels 1 (77-53)

Texas Rangers 2 (51-79) – Seattle Mariners 0 (71-59)

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Angels Power Past Oakland, Regain MLB’s Best Record

Angels Power Past Oakland, Regain MLB’s Best Record

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The two days off for Josh Hamilton have proven to be a perfect remedy for the former slumping slugger. Hamilton drove in three runs, including his 10th home run of the year, on Sunday night as the Los Angeles Angels defeated Oakland 9-4 to regain the best record in baseball.

The Angels (77-52) also took back the top spot in the American League West division with the victory. Los Angeles also got a sixth inning homer from Mike Trout, which opened up a 9-0 lead on the Athletics (76-53). That proved to be more than enough offense for starting pitcher Jered Weaver (14-7) as the righty struck out eight in six and two-thirds innings.

“It’s nice to end the series on top of the AL West division,” Weaver said. “This was obviously a huge game. We didn’t want to get swept, and the offense was the story of the game.”

Los Angeles opened the scoring in the second, plating three runs off Scott Kazmir (14-6) before Hamilton’s two-run blast in the third made it a 5-0 lead. Hamilton brought home another run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly, effectively ending Kazmir’s night. 

Oakland did attempt a comeback late, getting home runs from Alberto Callaspo and Andy Parrino in the seventh to make it a 9-3 deficit. The Athletics added another in the ninth, but Jason Grilli struck out the final two batters of the night.

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Orioles Demote Ubaldo Jimenez to the Bullpen

Orioles Demote Ubaldo Jimenez to the Bullpen

Photos.com/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez’ first season with the Baltimore Orioles isn’t going how either side had hoped. The team has decided to take him out of the rotation and put him in the bullpen.

During the offseason, the Orioles signed Jimenez to a four-year deal worth $50 million. That is proving to be so far quite an expensive mistake.

“It’s a little bit disappointing, it’s a little bit hard, but like I say, we’re all here for the same thing, and that’s hopefully getting us into the World Series,” Jimenez told The Baltimore Sun. “This is no time to be selfish or to be putting your head down, like this is the end of the world. You have to keep going for the team.”

In 20 starts this season, the 30-year-old Jimenez is 4-9 with a 4.74 ERA to go along with a 1.53 WHIP.

Jimenez hasn’t pitched in relief since his major league debut back in 2006.

Taking his place in the rotation will be Miguel Gonzalez.

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Indians Place C Yan Gomes On 7-Day Disabled List

Indians Place C Yan Gomes On 7-Day Disabled List

iStockphoto(CLEVELAND) — The Cleveland Indians placed catcher Yan Gomes on the seven-day disabled list Saturday because of a concussion.

Gomes suffered the injury during Thursday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins when he took a foul ball off his mask.

In 109 games this season, Gomes his batting .284 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs. He has scored 52 runs and has an OBP of .324.

To take Gomes’ spot on the roster, the Indians acquired catcher Chris Gimenez from the Texas Rangers for future considerations. In 34 games with this season, he’s hitting .262 with 11 RBIs.

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Dickerson’s Heroics Lead Rockies to Walk-Off Win

Dickerson’s Heroics Lead Rockies to Walk-Off Win

Rob Carr/Getty Images(DENVER) — Corey Dickerson hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, tying the game at 4-4, and drove in the winning run in the 13th as Colorado beat Miami 5-4 on Saturday night. It’s the sixth walk-off win of the season for the Rockies (51-77).

“Last night, bases loaded, same guy and I swung first pitch on a sinker and grounded out,” Dickerson said of the hit that came off Sam Dyson, who bested him on Friday. “I kind of wanted to see a pitch and I wanted to get a pitch up. He threw a ball down like last night, and I think he hung a changeup or a slider up and in.”

It was a back-and-forth affair that saw four lead changes. The Marlins (64-64) took a 1-0 third inning lead on a Giancarlo Stanton double before the Rockies scored three runs in the bottom half of the frame. Brandon Byrnes gave Colorado the lead with a two-run homer after the tying run came home on a double-play ball.

Miami later tied the game in the fifth before taking a lead in the top of the ninth thanks to Adeiny Hechavarria’s RBI single. Closer Steve Cishek blew his fourth save of the year when Dickerson launched a 455-foot blast to the third deck before sealing the deal in the 13th.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/23/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/23/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: New York Yankees 5 (66-61) – Chicago White Sox 3 (59-70)

Minnesota Twins 12 (58-70) – Detroit Tigers 4 (68-59) – Game 1

Detroit Tigers 8 (69-59) – Minnesota Twins 6 (58-71) – Game 2

Toronto Blue Jays 5 (66-63) – Tampa Bay Rays 4 (63-66) – 10 Innings

Seattle Mariners 7 (70-58) – Boston Red Sox 3 (56-73)

Washington Nationals 6 (74-54) – San Francisco Giants 2 (68-60)

Chicago Cubs 7 (57-72) – Baltimore Orioles 2 (73-54)

Cleveland Indians 3 (65-63) – Houston Astros 2 (55-75)

Pittsburgh Pirates 10 (67-62) – Milwaukee Brewers 2 (71-58)

Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (55-75) – San Diego Padres 2 (59-69)

Kansas City Royals 6 (72-56) – Texas Rangers 3 (49-79)

Cincinnati Reds 1 (62-68) – Atlanta Braves 0 (68-62)

St. Louis Cardinals 6 (70-58) – Philadelphia Phillies 5 (57-72) – 12 Innings

Los Angeles Dodgers 7 (74-57) – New York Mets 4 (60-70)

Oakland Athletics 2 (76-52) – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1 (76-52)

Colorado Rockies 5 (51-77) – Miami Marlins 4 (64-64) 13 Innings

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Orioles Lose Manny Machado for the Season

Orioles Lose Manny Machado for the Season

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The Baltimore Orioles will lose third baseman Manny Machado to a knee injury for the second-straight season as he will undergo surgery on his right knee after suffering a sprain back on August 11.

This is a tough blow for the Orioles as Machado was finally starting to come around at the plate since the All-Star Break.

He missed the first month of the season after recovering from an injury to his left knee.

“I’ll probably try to bring some clarity into that situation and gather what he’s being told as far as when baseball activity would start and all that stuff, I’ll try to clear that up for you, probably tomorrow, give you a more definitive idea,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told Comcast Sportsnet.

The 22-year-old Machado is one of baseball’s brightest young stars not only at the plate, but he’s also a stellar defensive player as well as he took home the AL Gold Glove last season.

In 82 games this season, Machado hit .278 with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/22/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/22/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Chicago Cubs 4 (56-72) – Baltimore Orioles 1 (73-53)

Tampa Bay Rays 8 (63-65) – Toronto Blue Jays 0 (65-63)

Philadelphia Phillies 5 (57-71) – St. Louis Cardinals 4 (69-58)

San Francisco Giants 10 (68-59) – Washington Nationals 3 (73-54)

Houston Astros 5 (55-75) – Cleveland Indians 1 (64-62)

New York Yankees 4 (65-61) – Chicago White Sox 3 (59-69)

Seattle Mariners 5 (69-58) – Boston Red Sox 3 (56-72)

Kansas City 6 (71-56) – Texas Rangers 3 (49-78)

Atlanta Braves 3 (68-61) – Cincinnati Reds 1 (61-68) 12 Innings

Pittsburgh Pirates 8 (66-62) – Milwaukee Brewers 3 (71-57)

Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (54-75) – San Diego Padres 1 (59-68)

Minnesota Twins 20 (57-70) – Detroit Tigers 6 (68-58)

Los Angeles Dodgers 6 (73-57) – New York Mets 2 (60-69)

Oakland Athletics 5 (75-52) – Los Angeles Angels 3 (76-51)

Miami Marlins 13 (64-63) – Colorado Rockies 5 (50-77)

NFL Preseason: New England Patriots 30 (2-1) – Carolina Panthers 7 (1-2)

Detroit Lions 13 (2-1) – Jacksonville Jaguars 12 (1-2)

New York Giants 35 (4-0) – New York Jets 24 (2-1)

Green Bay Packers 31 (2-1) – Oakland Raiders 21 (1-2)

Seattle Seahawks 34 (2-1) – Chicago Bears 6 (2-1)

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Ryan Blaney wins the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Red Sox Land Cuban OF Castillo

Red Sox Land Cuban OF Castillo

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(BOSTON) — The Boston Red Sox have reportedly agreed to terms with Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo on a seven-year deal worth approximately $72 million. 

The heavily back loaded deal, as confirmed by a team source on Friday, is a record dollar amount for a free-agent amateur. Castillo is en route to Boston and has a physical scheduled for Saturday, according to ESPN’s Pedro Gomez.

An impressive defensive player with good speed, Castillo has spent the last five years playing in Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top league. The 27-year old is highly regarded as a base stealer and boasts an above-average bat. Even with all of the hype, Red Sox manager John Farrell knows how scouting reports can be.

“Above-average speed. Can play center field or right field. What kind of power? What kind of average?,” pondered Farrell. “Obviously our scouts liked him enough, if the reports are true, that’s a significant investment. It’s an exciting, athletic player by all accounts.”

Once officially with the club, Castillo is expected to play centerfield for Boston, next to countrymen Yoenis Cespedes. 

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Angels Acquire Second Baseman Gordon Beckham from the White Sox

Angels Acquire Second Baseman Gordon Beckham from the White Sox

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Gordon Beckham-era is over in Chicago as the White Sox have traded the second baseman to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later.

“This trade, quite frankly, was more about creating an opportunity for some of our young players to come up here, get some playing time and become part of this next core of White Sox players that we have put together over the last several months and are going to continue to work on over the next several months,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.

Beckham was the eighth overall pick by the White Sox back in 2008 and much was expected of him once he made his MLB debut back in 2009. Even though he’d been the team’s primary second baseman since being called up, he never quite lived up the lofty expectations placed on him.

In 739 games with the White Sox, Beckham hit just .244 with 61 home runs and a .306 on base percentage.

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Nationals Walk-Off Again, Earn 10th-Straight Win

Nationals Walk-Off Again, Earn 10th-Straight Win

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) –The Washington Nationals won for the fifth time in six games on a walk-off, this time on a throwing error, as they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 Thursday.

The Nationals have now won 10 straight.

Denard Span scored the winning run when Anthony Rendon hit a ground ball to third baseman Jordan Pacheco. Pacheco proceeded to throw the ball past the first baseman and into the camera well. That allowed Span, who started the play on second base, to be rewarded home.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez pitched seven innings of scoreless ball allowing four hits and three walks while striking out six, and Rafael Soriano (4-1) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
 

Washington (73-53) become the first team since the 1986 Astros to win five games via the walk-off in a six-game span.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/21/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/21/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – MLB: New York Yankees 3 (64-61) – Houston Astros 0 (54-74)

Tampa Bay Rays 1 (62-65) – Detroit Tigers 0 (68-57)

Minnesota Twins 4 (56-70) – Cleveland Indians 1 (64-62)

Washington Nationals 1 (73-53) – Arizona Diamondbacks 0 (53-75)

Los Angeles Angels 2 (76-50) – Boston Red Sox 0 (56-71)

Atlanta Braves 8 (67-61) – Cincinnati Reds 0 (61-67)

Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (72-57) – San Diego Padres 1 (59-67)

Game 1: Chicago Cubs 2 (55-71) – San Francisco Giants 1 (66-59)

Game 2: San Francisco Giants 5 (67-59) – Chicago Cubs 3 (55-72)

NFL Preseason: Philadelphia Eagles 31 (1-2) – Pittsburgh Steelers 21 (1-2)

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/20/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/20/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Philadelphia Phillies 4 (56-71) – Seattle Mariners 3 (68-58)

Texas Rangers 5 (49-77) – Miami Marlins 4 (63-63)

Toronto Blue Jays 9 (65-62) – Milwaukee Brewers 5 (71-56)

New York Mets 8 (60-68) – Oakland Athletics 5 (74-52)

Washington Nationals 3 (72-53) – Arizona Diamondbacks 2 (53-74)

Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (65-62) – Atlanta Braves 2 (66-61)

Detroit Tigers 6 (68-56) – Tampa Bay Rays 0 (61-65)

Colorado Rockies 5 (50-76) – Kansas City Royals 2 (70-56)

St. Louis Cardinals 7 (69-57) – Cincinnati Reds 3 (61-66)

Cleveland Indians 5 (63-61) – Minnesota Twins 0 (55-70)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (73-52) – Chicago White Sox 3 (59-68)

Los Angeles Angels 8 (75-50) – Boston Red Sox 3 (56-70)

San Francisco Giants 8 (66-58) – Chicago Cubs 3 (54-71)

Houston Astros 5 (54-73) – New York Yankees 2 (63-61)

San Diego Padres 4 (59-66) – Los Angeles Dodgers 1 (71-57)

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Cardinals Place Ellis on DL

Cardinals Place Ellis on DL

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — Second baseman Mark Ellis was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday with a left oblique strain.

The move is retroactive to Aug. 15.

The 37-year-old Ellis has backed up Kolten Wong for most of the second half of the season. Ellis has played in 65 games this season and is hitting .192 with no home runs, 15 runs scored, 12 RBIs, four stolen bases and a .267 on-base percentage.

Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny said the team is “pretty optimistic” that Ellis will only need the minimum stay on the DL.

Infielder Greg Garcia was promoted from Triple-A Memphis to take Ellis’ place.

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Reds Activate Second Baseman Brandon Phillips Off the DL

Reds Activate Second Baseman Brandon Phillips Off the DL

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — In desperate need of a shot in the arm, the struggling Cincinnati Reds have activated second-baseman Brandon Phillips off the disabled list.

Phillips had been out of action since July 11 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

“I would not say he’s 100 percent like brand-new and that may not be until spring training of next year,” manager Bryan Price said. “But he’s definitely good to play.”

The Reds could certainly use Phillips back in the lineup. They’ve been slipping in the standings in recent weeks, losing eight out of their last 10 games and trailing the first-place Milwaukee Brewers by nine games in the NL Central.

Now in his eighth season with the Reds, Phillips is hitting .269 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs in 87 games this season.  He made his return to the team Monday.

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Nationals Win Third Straight Via Walk-Off

Nationals Win Third Straight Via Walk-Off

Gary Bogdon/MLB Photos via Getty Images(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — For the third consecutive game, the Washington Nationals earned a walk-off victory, this time beating Arizona on an Adam LaRoche solo home run in the 11th. The previous two walk-offs came against Pittsburgh, helping to sweep the Pirates.

“I got every bit of it, I did,” said the 34-year-old LaRoche, who hit his first career walk-off homer. “Just a crazy few days. I don’t know how we’ve gotten these walk-off situations the last few days, but we have and have been able to grind back.”

The Diamondbacks (53-72) led 3-2 going to the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a Didi Gregorious homer. Washington (70-53) followed with a pair of runs in their at-bat, taking a 4-3 lead into the ninth. Tyler Clippard came on to save the game for the Nationals but gave up a game-tying shot to David Peralta.

Both teams had chances to score in extras, none better than Arizona’s attempt in the top of the 11th. The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with nobody out, but Craig Stammen somehow worked out of it, not allowing a single run. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, LaRoche launched a pitch off Will Harris for the win. 

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