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Home runs are going through the roof, and theories abound

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There are many competing theories as to why baseball was on track Tuesday to set an all-time single season record for home runs.

"Obviously guys are throwing harder," Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said.

"Obviously the balls are a little corked up," first baseman Anthony Rizzo countered.

Obviously no one is sure ...Read more

Fowler's heroics help Cardinals sink Reds in 10 innings, 8-7

Sports / Baseball /

CINCINNATI -- Having already rescued the Cardinals with a homer earlier in the game, Dexter Fowler delivered a win later with a double and a run scored in extra innings.

Fowler drove home the tie-breaking run in the 10th and then scored the needed insurance run on Paul DeJong's single. Those two runs buttressed the Cardinals against an answer ...Read more

Montgomery shines as Cubs top Rays, 2-1

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon received a very warm homecoming Tuesday night that included a video tribute for his nine seasons as Rays manager after the first inning at Tropicana Field.

The Cubs did their part as Mike Montgomery pitched six innings of one-hit ball to lead the way to a 2-1 victory.

The Cubs were able to rest ...Read more

Nationals ace Scherzer too much this time for Braves and Gohara

Sports / Baseball /

ATLANTA -- When Braves prospect Luiz Gohara faced Max Scherzer a week ago in Washington, the kid earned his first major league win and out-pitched the two-time Cy Young Award winner on a night when Atlanta handed Scherzer one of his worst losses in an 8-2 rout.

It was a good bet that Scherzer wasn't about to have anything resembling a repeat ...Read more

Orioles waste Gausman's gem in 1-0, 11-inning loss to Red Sox

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE -- Although not officially, the tone of this Orioles season has taken a turn to the future.

The Orioles entered Tuesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox closer to the American League East cellar (21/2 games) than the second and final AL wild-card spot (51/2 games) with 11 games left in the regular season. While it would take a ...Read more

Marlins rally against former closer Ramos in ninth, top Mets in 10th on Realmuto's homer

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI -- With a three-run lead entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the New York Mets were in position Tuesday to formally put the Marlins' playoff hopes to rest.

It undoubtedly delayed the inevitable, but the Marlins denied their division rival the satisfaction as they rallied against A.J. Ramos, their former closer traded to New York in ...Read more

Royals' Ian Kennedy returns in 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays

Sports / Baseball /

TORONTO -- About a week ago, as his right shoulder ached and his season lay in ruins, Royals starter Ian Kennedy stood in front of a mirror.

He had put up a putrid 9.57 ERA in the month of August and logged two mediocre starts in September. He would sit 10 days to rest a fatigued rotator cuff. It was the kind of performance that could spur some...Read more

Jake Arrieta all but set to rejoin Cubs' rotation Thursday in Milwaukee

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After throwing a 25-pitch bullpen session with no pain, Jake Arrieta is ready to rejoin the Cubs rotation Thursday night in Milwaukee.

"The idea is just to see how I bounce back and respond," Arrieta said Tuesday. "And I anticipate to feeling very good, and the plan is to be out there Thursday."

If Arrieta reports ...Read more

Jung Ho Kang speaks about DUI arrest, return to baseball

Sports / Baseball /

Jung Ho Kang has not spoken much publicly since the drunken-driving arrest last year that caused him to lose his U.S. work visa and miss the entire 2017 Pirates season.

In a series of interviews with the Korean Yonhap News Agency, however, the third baseman expressed regret about his actions and opened up about a wide range of issues related to...Read more

Hunter Renfroe homers in return as Padres top D-backs

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO -- Hunter Renfroe doesn't belong in the Pacific Coast League. If he didn't prove as much as the circuit's MVP a year ago, a two-week sampling after a surprising yet deserved demotion reiterated that fact.

Renfroe had hits in more than half his regular season at-bats with Triple-A El Paso. Nearly half of those went for extra bases and ...Read more

Blame Game: Pointing fingers for Rangers failures in 2017

Sports / Baseball /

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The body is still warm, but it's never too early to start the autopsy.

What went wrong for the Texas Rangers this season? They're three games under .500 with 13 remaining and their post-season hopes are flat-lining.

Of course, no single player can torpedo a club's season, so this isn't about putting all the blame on one (or ...Read more

Buck Farmer, Tigers' pitching beat up by Athletics in 8-3 loss

Sports / Baseball /

DETROIT -- Before the Detroit Lions kicked off on Monday Night Football, the Detroit Tigers were down big.

As metro Detroiters waited for the local game of the night, Buck Farmer was battered, the Tigers' offense was once again tamed and the upstart Oakland Athletics opened a three-game series with an 8-3 win at Comerica Park.

Farmer's night ...Read more

Bundy squanders early lead and Orioles lose late to Red Sox, 10-8 in 11 innings

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE -- On a night when Dylan Bundy seemed to have it all together, the Orioles scored in each of the first four innings against the first-place Boston Red Sox and took a five-run lead into the fifth.

What could go wrong?

That, of course, is something of a trick question in what has become a nightmarish month of September. Just about ...Read more

Giancarlo Stanton hits 55th homer in Marlins' win over Mets

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton's chase for 60 -- and beyond -- is on.

Stanton hit his 55th home run of the season Monday night in the Miami Marlins' 13-1 win against the New York Mets. It was Stanton's first long ball since Sept. 9 and second in two weeks, a September slump thrusting into question his MVP case and his quest for one of baseball's ...Read more

Clayton Kershaw gives up first career grand slam in Dodgers' 4-3 loss to Phillies

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw peeked his head over his right shoulder, noted the flight of the baseball and looked away. The history carried no weight for him. Kershaw never saw the baseball land, never saw the disappearance of the first grand slam he had ever allowed in the majors.

It happened in the 10th season, ...Read more

Bats quiet again, Pirates extend losing streak with 3-0 shutout vs. Brewers

Sports / Baseball /

PITTSBURGH -- Elias Diaz lay facedown on the infield dirt Monday night. He grimaced, and with his right hand he smacked third base. In an attempt to jumpstart the offense and snap a shutout in the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers, Diaz had followed third-base coach Joey Cora's windmilling right arm and tried to stretch a one-out ...Read more

Dodgers' Seager is expected to play in pain through postseason

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA -- A wayward throw by shortstop Corey Seager on Sunday night exemplified a worry the Los Angeles Dodgers face in the playoffs. Seager airmailed a throw to the plate in the seventh inning against Washington, offering a visual complement to manager Dave Roberts' remarks on Monday when he said Seager was not throwing at 100 percent.

"...Read more

Cubs have no second thoughts: It's Addison Russell at short, Javier Baez at 2B

Sports / Baseball /

The question for the Cubs never was "2B or not 2B?"

That's because they already had the answer.

Addison Russell, who returned from the disabled list Saturday, is their shortstop, not their second baseman. Period.

Javier Baez is their second baseman, not their shortstop, even though he started 40 games more than ably at short while a sore ...Read more

Chase Utley's Dodgers have chance to clinch division in Philly

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA -- It has been nearly 10 years since Chase Utley first sprayed champagne in the Phillies clubhouse, triggering arguably the greatest era in the history of the franchise. And he could taste it again this week, except this celebration would be in the visiting clubhouse if Utley's Los Angeles Dodgers are able to wrap up the National ...Read more

The Jason Heyward dilemma: big contract, big defense, struggling offense

Sports / Baseball /

Jason Heyward smacked a tiebreaking single Sunday and celebrated with a vigorous clap and wave toward his teammates.

Heyward's seventh-inning single capped his first three-hit game in nearly four weeks and provided some timely relief after bouts of failed situations and soft-contact outs.

The Cubs remain patient with the mild-mannered Heyward,...Read more