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Mets' Francisco Alvarez takes batting practice for first time since thumb surgery

Sports / Baseball /

Francisco Alvarez was seen walking around Citi Field with a smile as wide as Broadway on Saturday morning. Finally, the Mets catcher was cleared to take batting practice with the team for the first time since undergoing UCL thumb surgery in Los Angeles in April.

It’s a benchmark he had yet to clear in his rehab, and while other steps still ...Read more

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Amid dramatic turnaround, KC Royals are seeing fan interest (and numbers) pick up

Sports / Baseball /

The Kansas City Royals are surging at the right moment.

This season, the Royals have drawn headlines for their improved starting rotation. The unit has flourished behind key veterans Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha.

The duo has fit in seamlessly alongside returnees Cole Ragans, Brady Singer and Alec Marsh. Together, they have aided the Royals’ ...Read more

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Home sick: Padres' Petco scoreless streak hits 27 innings in loss to Yankees

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO — Mookie Betts. Shohei Ohtani. Freddie Freeman.

As the tops of lineups go, the San Diego Padres see the best of the best on a regular basis.

These Yankees are something different.

“It’s a real lineup,” Padres manager Mike Shildt acknowledged at the start of the series. “There’s some similarities there, for sure. I think ...Read more

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Rockies bullpen gives up six runs in ninth in 8-4 loss to Phillies

Sports / Baseball /

DENVER — The Colorado Rockies have turned heartbreak into an art form.

For the umpteenth time this season, a late-inning rally against their undependable bullpen cost the Rockies a victory on Saturday night.

The Philadelphia Phillies won 8-4, scoring six runs in the ninth off relievers Jalen Beeks, Justin Lawrence and John Curtiss. The Coors...Read more

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Dodgers' star-studded offense fails to capitalize on chances in loss to Reds

Sports / Baseball /

CINCINNATI — They had the bases loaded with no outs in the second inning. A leadoff double in the fourth. A one-out triple in the sixth.

All night Saturday, the Dodgers threatened to break the game open at Great American Ball Park. All night, they had chances to bury the Cincinnati Reds with their star-studded offense.

But at each crucial ...Read more

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Red-garbed Cardinals connect as Matt Carpenter ignites 8th-inning rally to upend Cubs

Sports / Baseball /

Facing their archrivals for the first time since this past July when they were 10 games out, surrendering to the standings, and dismantling their roster, the Cardinals were eager to show the Cubs a new look.

And, no, this wasn’t just about the City Connect uniforms.

Wearing red jerseys in a regular-season game for the first time in 140-plus ...Read more

John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/John J. Kim

'Not again': Chicago White Sox DH Eloy Jiménez discusses road to return after latest injury

Sports / Baseball /

Eloy Jiménez went through drills — including light jogging — with the Chicago White Sox training staff Saturday morning at Guaranteed Rate Field.

It was a scene that has become all too familiar for the designated hitter.

Jiménez is on the injured list after suffering a left hamstring strain Tuesday during a game against the Toronto Blue ...Read more

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Red Sox rally too little too late after Pivetta gives up 5, O'Neill exits with knee soreness

Sports / Baseball /

Until 38 minutes before their 4:10 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, the Red Sox had no lineup.

That was, Alex Cora explained during his pregame availability hours earlier, thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers, who’d made a pitching pivot that morning.

“We had to make an adjustment,” the Red Sox manager explained. ‘They’re going with the ...Read more

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Another quality start from Mitch Keller leads Pirates to victory over Braves

Sports / Baseball /

Mitch Keller was born in April. He was married in November. But when it comes to baseball, May seems to be his month.

Entering Saturday coming off three-straight quality starts since the conclusion of April, Keller remained red-hot, throwing 6 ⅔ strong innings to lead his team to a 4-1 victory against the Braves at PNC Park.

Despite allowing...Read more

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Mariners waste superb start from Logan Gilbert, fall to Nationals for 4th straight loss

Sports / Baseball /

WASHINGTON — Scott Servais asked his middle relievers to work two innings without allowing a run in hopes that the offense might scratch out a run and Andrés Muñoz could shut the door in the ninth.

The decision to do so instead of pushing starter Logan Gilbert for another inning was already being questioned and criticized well before the ...Read more

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Kansas City Royals' win streak still going after 11th-inning rally past the Rays

Sports / Baseball /

The Kansas City Royals avoided the stinging Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday … they just needed extra innings to do it.

The Royals, who haven’t lost since May 15, picked up a 7-4 victory at Tropicana Field. It was their eighth consecutive win — their longest streak of the season — and a series-clinching victory.

In the 11th inning, Royals ...Read more

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Orioles blast 3 home runs in 8th inning to rally past White Sox, 5-3, for third straight win

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — It took eight innings, but the Orioles’ offense woke up in a hurry Saturday with three home runs against the Chicago White Sox bullpen to spark a 5-3 comeback win.

Ryan O’Hearn and Anthony Santander each hit two-run homers to erase a 3-0 deficit and Jordan Westburg added a solo shot, shaking off a quiet afternoon for the Orioles...Read more

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Twins top Rangers 5-3 to run winning streak to four games

Sports / Baseball /

Alex Kirilloff tripled in three consecutive games in April, a feat more unusual than effective, given that the Twins lost two of them.

Home runs, as it turns out, are more efficient.

Kirilloff golfed a shoe-high slider from Rangers reliever David Robertson into the Texas bullpen on Saturday. It was the second straight day that Kirilloff's ...Read more

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Tigers starter Olson stifles Blue Jays to earn first victory of season

Sports / Baseball /

Detroit – Reese Olson walked off the mound to a roaring standing ovation in the seventh inning Saturday. And, for a change, he walked off with a lead.

Kerry Carpenter got him two runs with his eighth homer of the season in the first inning and the Tigers’ right-hander made that skinny lead hold up into the seventh.

But, as Olson was ...Read more

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No-hit for 5 innings, SF Giants still find a way to beat Mets

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — Held hitless for five innings, looking hapless for the better part of Saturday afternoon’s matinee, of course the Giants still found a way to claw their way to extra innings and pull out another comeback win.

That is, after all, about all they have done this week.

Trailing after the seventh inning for the fourth consecutive game...Read more

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Bill Shaikin: Why the A's 30-year commitment to Nevada has a 'Get Out of Vegas Free' card

Sports / Baseball /

The pitch to the Nevada legislature was simple: If you provide the Oakland Athletics with $380 million in public funding toward a new ballpark, the A's will agree to move to Las Vegas and stay there for at least 30 years.

The A's got the funding. However, the agreement intended to bind the A's to Las Vegas provides the team with an unusual ...Read more

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Mariners' Andrés Muñoz made learning English a priority. He's inspiring kids to do the same.

Sports / Baseball /

They met in the summer of 2017 near the bullpen at Gesa Stadium in Pasco, Wash.

Andrés Muñoz was the reluctant student.

Miguel Angel Taboada Catalan was the eager teacher.

They shared a Mexican heritage and a love of baseball. They would soon connect over a shared second language.

At the time, Muñoz was an 18-year-old, flame-throwing ...Read more

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How the Dodgers' Alex Vesia found his way back into a high-leverage role in the bullpen

Sports / Baseball /

In the life of a major league relief pitcher, highs and lows are part of the landscape.

The nature of a one-inning role makes volatility in performance inherent. Even small struggles or brief stumbles can snowball into icy, elongated slides.

It's why, while rags-to-riches stories might be common in MLB bullpens, so too are tales of the inverse...Read more

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Phillies' bats go cold, lose to Colorado Rockies on walk-off single in extras

Sports / Baseball /

DENVER — No one would guess that the Philadelphia Phillies’ bats would go cold in Denver, of all places, but that was what happened on Friday night in a 3-2 extra innings loss to the Colorado Rockies. They went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and combined for two runs on seven hits. When José Alvarado stepped onto the mound in the...Read more

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Padres' Petco Park woes continue, as Yankees hit four home runs off Yu Darvish in 8-0 win

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO — Yu Darvish got Bronx bombarded, and the San Diego Padres returned home with what is becoming a predictable thud.

In their first game back at Petco Park after an exhausting but exhilarating road trip, they and their previously streaking starter were routed 8-0 by the New York Yankees on Friday night.

The loss was the Padres’ ...Read more