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  • Tebow homers on first day in high Class A
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    Newly promoted Tim Tebow hit a two-run homer in Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Palm Beach Cardinals for the St. Lucie Mets of the high Class A Florida State League on Wednesday.

    • The 29-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner was promoted Sunday from low Class A Columbia, where he was hitting .220 with three home runs and a .648 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 64 games.

      In Game 1 on Wednesday, Tebow got his first hit in his second at-bat at the high Class A level. He finished 1-for-2 in the eventual 5-2 loss.

      Tebow went 2-for-3 in Game 2, also a loss, 5-3.

  • Cubs make informal visit to White House
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday afternoon, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and several players visited the White House.

    • Maddon said he did so out of respect to the Ricketts family that owns the Cubs and has ties to Republican Party contributions. It was an informal visit as the Cubs visited the White House as World Series champs when Barack Obama was still the President.

      A photo showed Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr., with his fingers down near his side while standing near President Donald Trump. The Florida native said he was not making an obscene gesture.

      "We laugh about it now, but there was definitely two fingers out there. It is not every day you get to meet the President of the United States. To meet two in one calendar year ... it was pretty special for me," Almora said before Wednesday's game.

      The visit to the White House was significant for Cubs pitcher Eddie Butler, who grew up in the Tidewater region of Virginia around a strong military presence. His father was in the military and has been a government contractor.

      Butler was in fifth grade in Virginia and was supposed to go to the White House but then came the 9-11 terrorist attacks that cancelled that trip.

      "It was great to go there today," Butler said of meeting Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

      Butler said about 15 to 20 Cubs players went to the White House.

  • Cubs' Bryant leaves game with ankle injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant left Wednesday's game against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning due to ankle injury.

    • The injury to last year's National League MVP occurred in a rather bizarre fashion. Bryant caught a foul ball off the bat of Matt Wieters just a few feet from the third base bag.

      Bryant then accidentally stepped on the third-base bag and appeared to turn his right ankle after he caught the ball. He was helped off the field by the athletic training staff of the Cubs and did not put any weight on his right foot.

      Bryant singled in the first, doubled and scored in the fourth and struck out to end the top of the fifth. That was the 10th strikeout of the night for Washington starter Stephen Strasburg.

      Bryant started at third and hit second. He left with the Cubs trailing 7-3. He began the day hitting .259 with 16 homers and 32 RBIs.

  • MLB roundup: Hwang's homer helps Giants beat slumping Rockies
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Jae-Gyun Hwang's first major league hit, a solo home run in the sixth inning, proved to be the difference-maker Wednesday afternoon as the San Francisco Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 5-3 victory.

    • The loss was Colorado's eighth in a row. The Rockies had begun the series with a 10-1 record against the Giants this season. Colorado is now 0-6 on its nine-game trip.

      Promoted from Triple-A Sacramento earlier in the day, Hwang belted a 2-0 pitch from Rockies rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland well into the left field bleachers to snap a 3-3 tie.

      The 29-year-old, who is a former standout in the Korean professional league, became the 14th Giant since 1919 to hit a home run for his first hit in his major league debut.

      Phillies 5, Mariners 4

      SEATTLE -- Andrew Knapp drove in the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning as Philadelphia completed a two-game sweep of Seattle.

      Tommy Joseph tied it leading off the ninth with a home run against Seattle closer Edwin Diaz (2-3). Diaz walked Cameron Perkins and then balked him to second. Knapp then lined a single into right field to score Perkins.

      Philadelphia's Ricardo Pinto (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings of relief for his first major league victory.

      Seattle (39-41) lost its fourth in a row and failed in its bid to return to the .500 mark.

  • Brewers starter Anderson leaves after 1st inning
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    CINCINNATI -- The first-place Milwaukee Brewers lost one of their most consistent starting pitchers when right-hander Chase Anderson left Wednesday night's game in Cincinnati after pitching just one inning with what the team called a left oblique strain.

    • Anderson needed just eight pitches to get through the first inning Wednesday, retiring the Reds in order with one strikeout. But, he was replaced by right-hander Paolo Espino to begin the second. Espino allowed a leadoff homer by Adam Duvall to put Cincinnati ahead 1-0.

      Coming into Wednesday's outing, Anderson was 11-3 with a 2.87 ERA in his previous 27 starts dating to last July. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the key for Anderson is renewed confidence in his curve ball and the cutter.

      "Chase has just become a better pitcher," Counsell said on Tuesday. "He's trusting four pitches. I think he started the season last year trusting two pitches. That's a lot more options for hitters to defend and think about. That's a big difference."

      Including his one inning on Wednesday, Anderson is 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 16 starts this season, helping Milwaukee spend 39 days alone in first place in the National League Central.

  • Mets put Gsellman on disabled list
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    The New York Mets placed right-hander Robert Gsellman on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring on Wednesday.

    • Infielder Matt Reynolds was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take the roster spot of Gsellman, who became the sixth Mets' starting pitcher to go on the disabled list this season.

      Gsellman sustained his injury while attempting to leg out a ground ball in Tuesday's game against the Miami Marlins.

      The 23-year-old Gsellman owns a 5-5 mark with a 6.16 ERA in 17 appearances (14 starts) this season.

      Reynolds, 26, batted .185 with a solo homer in 23 games with the Mets this season.

  • Yankees place Holliday on disabled list
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    The New York Yankees placed designated hitter Matt Holliday on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with a viral infection.

    • Third baseman Miguel Andujar was called up from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take the roster spot of Holliday, who admitted he had no energy over the last few days. Holliday's move to the disabled list is retroactive to June 25.

      "We're really not seeing much improvement. I think our biggest concern is with the fatigue factor and him not eating a lot," manager Joe Girardi said. "Even if he did start to feel better, it would take three or four days to get his strength back, so when you start to add that all up you're looking at 10 days."

      Holliday, 37, is batting .262 with 15 homers and 47 RBIs in 68 games this season.

      Andujar is hitting .312 between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017.

      "He is going to DH tonight. We're going to go day-by-day," Girardi said of the 22-year-old Andujar prior to Wednesday's game against the Chicago White Sox.

      "Tyler Austin's (right) hammy is not where we want it. That's a concern, so we're going to have to make a decision there. Like I said, it's day-by-day."

      Also on Wednesday, the Yankees announced first baseman Chris Carter has accepted an assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

      The 30-year-old Carter, who is owed $3.5 million by New York, has hit .204 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs in 57 games this season.

  • Giants closer Melancon back to DL
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    San Francisco Giants closer Mark Melancon was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday with the same injury that sidelined him in May.

    • Melancon, who was sidelined nearly two weeks in May with a right pronator strain, had a recurrence of the injury. The Giants recalled right-hander Dan Slania from Double-A Richmond in a corresponding move.

      San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday that Sam Dyson would fill the closer role until further notice.

      Signed to a four-year, $62 million deal in the offseason as a free agent, Melancon has been a bust in the Bay Area.

      "He threw great last time -- good stuff," Bochy said Wednesday. "But it showed up and he could really feel it. We need to get this behind us."

      Since returning to the Giants on May 19, Melancon allowed seven earned runs in 10 innings. He has 11 saves with a 1-2 record and 4.35 ERA this season.

      Last season, Melancon saved 47 games in 71 1/3 innings pitched and compiled a 1.64 ERA with the Nationals and Pirates.

  • Cubs designate C Montero for assignment after rant
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    The Chicago Cubs designated Miguel Montero for assignment on Wednesday, one day after the catcher publicly called out starter Jake Arrieta for seven stolen bases by the Washington Nationals.

    • The Cubs didn't officially announce the move until the afternoon, but Montero confirmed it to MLB.com and took to social media to thank the city of Chicago and teammates for their support.

      Montero's comments following Tuesday night's 6-1 setback to the Nationals likely played a role in the Cubs' decision to let him go.

      "That's the reason they were running left and right (Tuesday) because they were slow to the plate," Montero said of his pitchers, including Arrieta, following the loss. "Simple as that. It's a shame it's my fault because I didn't throw anyone out.

      "It really (stunk) because the stolen bases go on me, but when you really look at it the pitcher doesn't give me any time, so yeah, 'Miggy can't throw anyone out,' but my pitchers don't hold anyone on."

      Montero, who was 1-for-32 in throwing out basestealers this season, told ESPN 1000 Chicago on Wednesday that he apologized to Arrieta for his comments.

      "I called Jake to apologize," the 33-year-old Montero said. "It was the heat of the moment. He's grinding out there, I'm grinding behind the plate. It's tough. It's the heat of the moment. I said what I said -- yes, I'm responsible. I talked to him to apologize because I feel like I should step up and apologize and I did.

      "... Jake was totally fine (with the apology) He actually agreed with me. We're cool. He was totally cool."

      Arrieta admitted that his delivery could've been faster.

      "I didn't do him any favors -- slow to the plate," Arrieta said before Wednesday's game in Washington.

      Teammate Anthony Rizzo wasn't cool with Montero's comments and vented his frustration to ESPN 1000 Chicago.

      "We win as a team, we lose as a team," Rizzo said. "If you start pointing fingers that just labels you as a selfish player. I disagree. We have another catcher (Willson Contreras) who throws out everyone who steals, and he (catches for) Jon Lester who doesn't pick over. It's no secret. Going to the media with things like that, I don't think it's very professional."

      Montero batted .242 during his three seasons with the Cubs. He was demoted to backup last year with the arrival of Contreras, and had started 28 games this year while Contreras started 49.

      "It was pretty straightforward. (Team president Theo Epstein and I) were both in agreement it was the right thing to do," manager Joe Maddon said.

      The Cubs called up catcher Victor Caratini from Triple-A Iowa.

      Caratini, 23, is batting .343 with eight home runs and 54 RBIs in 68 games with Iowa.

  • Mariners LHP Smyly to undergo Tommy John surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    Seattle Mariners left-hander Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the 2017 season, the team announced Wednesday.

    • Dr. James Andrews is scheduled to perform an ulnar collateral reconstruction on Smyly's left elbow on July 6 in Birmingham, Ala., according to Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto.

      Typical recovery time from a UCL reconstruction surgery is 12 to 15 months, meaning Smyly is likely to miss most or all of the 2018 season as well.

      Smyly, 27, will do his rehabilitation work closer to his offseason home in Dallas.

      Smyly was placed on the 10-day disabled list April 2 (retroactive to March 30) with a left arm flexor strain after he appeared in three Cactus League games with Seattle this spring, going 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA. He also made one appearance with Team USA, striking out eight in 4 2/3 innings while allowing just one unearned run on March 15 vs. Team Venezuela. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on April 4.

      Smyly established career-highs last season with 30 starts, 175 1/3 innings and 167 strikeouts. He finished the season 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA over 175 1/3 innings with 167 strikeouts in 30 starts with the Tampa Bay Rays. Among left-handed pitchers last season, Smyly ranked seventh in fewest walks-per-9.0-innings with a mark of 2.52.

      Over his final 12 starts of the 2016 season, Smyly was 5-1 with a 3.73 ERA after opening the year 2-11 with a 5.64 ERA in his first 18 starts.

      In five Major League seasons with the Detroit Tigers (2012-14) and Tampa Bay (2014-16), Smyly is 31-27 with a 3.74 ERA over 570 1/3 innings with 552 strikeouts in 156 games (85 starts).

      Smyly was originally selected by Detroit in the second round of the 2010 draft. He was traded to Tampa Bay on July 31, 2014. The Mariners acquired Smyly from the Rays in a January trade.

  • MLB roundup: Nationals run past Cubs
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- Trea Turner had two hits, two runs and four of his team's seven steals, and Max Scherzer allowed one run while collecting two hits and an RBI at the plate as the Washington Nationals ran past the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday.

    • Scherzer (9-5, 2.06 ERA) gave up two hits in six innings and has allowed two runs or fewer in his last seven starts. He struck out six Tuesday after fanning at least 10 in his previous six outings.

      Turner has a major-league-leading 32 steals this year. Michael A. Taylor was 2-for-3 with two steals for first-place Washington.

      Chicago's Jake Arrieta (7-6), who has gone less than five innings in three of his last four starts, took the loss. He allowed six runs (five earned) and walked six in four-plus innings.

      Giants 4, Rockies 3 (14 innings)

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Denard Span's two-out single scored Gorkys Hernandez from second base in the 14th inning, giving San Francisco a victory and handing Colorado its seventh straight loss.

      Six Giants relievers shut out the Rockies on four hits over the final eight innings, delivering San Francisco a second straight win over Colorado. The loss was the Rockies' first in 46 games this season leading entering the eighth inning.

      Hernandez doubled off Colorado's seventh pitcher, right-hander Chad Qualls (1-1), with one out in the 14th. After pitcher Cory Gearrin (2-2) struck out, Span grounded a sharp single into right field, and Hernandez easily beat the throw to home plate.

      White Sox 4, Yankees 3

      CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu's two-run single off Dellin Betances in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Chicago a victory over New York.

      Yankees relievers Domingo German and Tyler Clippard each walked two batters in the eighth as the White Sox cut their deficit to 3-2. In the ninth, Betances walked two and then hit Yolmer Sanchez, loading the bases with one out. After Melky Cabrera fouled out to shallow left, Abreu hit a ground ball through the hole on the left side of the infield.

      New York's Luis Severino was overpowering with a career-high 12 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings of one-run ball. Chicago's Jose Quintana tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out six.

      Diamondbacks 6, Cardinals 5 (10 innings)

      PHOENIX -- Chris Herrmann hit a walk-off single with one out in the 10th inning to give Arizona the victory over St. Louis.

      Reymond Fuentes singled to open the 10th off Matt Bowman (1-3) before pinch hitter Zack Godley sacrificed Fuentes to second. Herrmann followed with his game-winning hit. The Diamondbacks are 30-10 at home.

      David Peralta tied the game with a leadoff homer in the ninth inning off Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh. Fernando Rodney (2-2) pitched the 10th for the victory. He has not given up a hit in his past 10 games and an earned run in his past 19.

      Rangers 2, Indians 1

      CLEVELAND -- Adrian Beltre's solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning lifted Texas over Cleveland.

      With the score tied at 1-1, Indians closer Cody Allen (0-4) entered the game and retired the first two batters of the ninth inning. However, Beltre hit Allen's first pitch over the left field wall for his 450th career home run, which ranks 39th on the all-time list.

      Keone Kela (4-1) pitched one scoreless inning to get the win, and Matt Bush pitched the ninth to pick up his 10th save. Four Rangers pitchers combined on a three-hitter, as did four Cleveland pitchers.

      Red Sox 9, Twins 2

      BOSTON -- Chris Young belted a three-run homer and Christian Vazquez ended a 265-at-bat homerless drought as Boston overcame two rain delays to defeat Minnesota.

      Red Sox manager John Farrell was suspended for the game for making contact with umpire Bill Miller on Saturday night. Bench coach Gary DiSarcina ran the team. Drew Pomeranz (7-4) worked the first five innings -- coming back after a long delay -- and yielded only an unearned run for his first win in four starts.

      With the Yankees surrendering a late lead and losing to the Chicago White Sox, the Red Sox moved a game ahead of New York in the AL thanks to their second straight win over the Twins. Minnesota remained a half-game behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.

      Dodgers 4, Angels 0

      LOS ANGELES -- Kenta Maeda pitched seven shutout innings, and Joc Pederson hit a three-run homer in a four-run sixth as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Los Angeles Angels.

      Maeda (6-3), making his second spot start since losing his slot in the rotation, had his best outing of the season, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out six. Only two of the hits were out of the infield, and he didn't allow a runner past second.

      Pederson slugged an 0-1 pitch against Jose Alvarez just over the center field fence for his seventh home run of the season and first of the year against a left-hander. Pederson had been 5-for-30 against left-handers this season, with one RBI and 11 strikeouts.

      Athletics 6, Astros 4

      HOUSTON -- Ryon Healy belted his first career grand slam to snap a sixth-inning deadlock and lead Oakland to its fourth straight victory -- all on the road.

      Healy smacked his 18th home run the opposite way to right field off the Astros' James Hoyt, who entered with the bases loaded and two outs in relief of Houston starter Mike Fiers (5-3). Healy ran the count full before his drive plated Matt Joyce, Jed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso, whose two-out walk chased Fiers.

      The Athletics' Sean Manaea (7-4) notched his first career win against the Astros by continually sidestepping danger. He allowed nine hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings, yet Houston managed only one run.

      Reds 8, Brewers 6

      CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto and Adam Duvall hit two-run homers, and Billy Hamilton and Eugenio Suarez added solo shots to lift Cincinnati over Milwaukee.

      Tim Adleman (5-4) got the win for the Reds despite allowing five runs and three home runs in five innings. Cincinnati won for only the third time in 17 games and for the second time in eight meetings this season against the Brewers.

      Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer and Orlando Arcia and Manny Pina added solo shots for Milwaukee. The Brewers' Ryan Braun went 1-for-5 with a double in his first game back after missing 31 games with a left calf strain.

      Tigers 5, Royals 3

      DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera ripped a three-run homer and Justin Verlander recorded his first victory since May 20 as Detroit topped Kansas City.

      Cabrera, moved into the cleanup spot for the first time this season, hit his ninth home run of the season in the third inning, and it proved to be the game-winner. J.D. Martinez added a solo homer and reached base three times for the Tigers.

      Mikie Mahtook added two hits and a run scored for Detroit, which won its second straight following an eight-game losing streak. Verlander (5-4) gave up three first-inning runs, then settled in and tossed six strong innings.

      Phillies 8, Mariners 2

      SEATTLE -- Aaron Nola pitched seven strong innings, and Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr hit home runs as Philadelphia won for only the second time in 10 interleague games this season.

      Nola (5-5) won his second straight start, helping the Phillies snap a three-game losing streak. He allowed two runs and five hits, walked four and struck out a season-high nine batters.

      Seattle starter James Paxton (5-3) lost his third straight decision despite allowing only three runs on four hits in seven innings. Paxton walked three and matched his season high with nine strikeouts.

      Rays 4, Pirates 2 (10 innings)

      PITTSBURGH -- Tampa Bay scored twice in the 10th off normally reliable reliever Felipe Rivero to defeat Pittsburgh.

      Steven Souza led off the 10th with a single up the middle and scored when a grounder by Wilson Ramos went off the glove of third baseman David Freese for an error. After Tim Beckham walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Ramos scored on Adeiny Hechavarria's sacrifice fly to left.

      Rivero (3-2), recently converted to the Pirates closer, saw his ERA rise from 0.68 to 0.88. Pittsburgh tied it in the ninth on Andrew McCutchen's one-out, two-run double against closer Alex Colome (2-3).

      Braves 3, Padres 0

      SAN DIEGO -- Rookie left-hander Sean Newcomb threw six scoreless innings, and Johan Camargo delivered a two-run double as Atlanta beat San Diego.

      Newcomb (1-2), in his initial career road start, was sensational in securing his first major league win. The former first-round pick surrendered six hits and recorded seven strikeouts while issuing one walk.

      In all four of his outings since being called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on June 10, Newcomb has gone at least six innings. Newcomb, who was acquired by the Braves as part of a trade that sent shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels in 2015, has allowed one run in his past 12 innings.

      Orioles 3, Blue Jays 1

      TORONTO -- Mark Trumbo hit a two-run double in the first inning, and Kevin Gausman pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings as Baltimore won its third straight game.

      Gausman (4-7) allowed four hits and two walks while striking out four to earn his first win since May 31. Brad Brach served up a home run to Troy Tulowitzki with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning before earning his 14th save of the season.

      Joe Biagini (2-7) gave up five hits, four walks and three runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

      Marlins 6, Mets 3

      MIAMI -- Ichiro Suzuki slapped a go-ahead RBI single past third base in the seventh inning to lead Miami past New York.

      Christian Yelich followed one out later with a two-run single. Yelich went 3-for-4, the sixth time this season that he produced a three-hit game -- three of them this month.

      Mets starter Robert Gsellman lasted three innings after he sustained a left hamstring injury while running out a ground ball. Curtis Granderson homered leading off the first inning for New York, which had its three-game win streak snapped.

  • Former Mets pitcher Young dies of brain tumor
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    Former major league pitcher Anthony Young died Tuesday following a lengthy illness. He was 51.

    • Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in January, Young went into a coma Monday night, according to a Twitter posting by former New York Mets teammate Lenny Harris.

      Young was best known for his tenure with the Mets, specifically a run of futility that spanned two seasons when he set a major league record with 27 consecutive losses in 1992-93.

      Young, who broke in with the Mets in 1991, finished a combined 3-30 during the 1992-93 seasons. From May 1992 to July 1993, he went 0-14 as a starter and 0-13 as a reliever, gaining unwanted notoriety that even led to an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

      "I got a bad rap on that," Young told the New York Daily News in 2009 of the streak. "I always said I didn't feel like I was pitching badly. It just happened to happen to me. I don't feel like I deserve it, but I'm known for it."

      Young pitched two seasons with the Chicago Cubs in 1994-95 and ended his career the following year with the Houston Astros -- in the city where he starred collegiately at the University of Houston.

      In his six seasons in the majors, Young compiled a 15-48 record and a 3.89 ERA in 181 appearances (51 starts). He also had 20 career saves, 15 coming with the Mets in 1992.

  • MLB notebook: Indians manager Francona to miss game
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    After spending Monday night at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona was home resting Tuesday and did not manage the team in its game against the Texas Rangers.

    • Francona became ill during Monday night's game. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic where he underwent a series of tests.

      "The doctors ruled out any major health issues, which was a big relief to all of us," said Indians president Chris Antonetti.

      It was the second such episode for Francona in less than two weeks. During a home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 13, Francona had to leave the dugout and was taken to Cleveland Clinic for tests after experiencing spells of dizziness and light-headedness. Tests at that time also revealed no major health issue, and his discomfort was attributed to dehydration.

      Antonetti said Francona will return to the dugout for Wednesday's game with Texas. Francona will continue to be monitored by doctors over the next several weeks to determine the nature of his recent symptoms. Bench coach Brad Mills managed the team in Francona's absence.

      --Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount due to his actions in Saturday's contest against the Los Angeles Angels, Major League Baseball announced.

      Farrell was ejected for arguing a balk call in the game against the Angels. Farrell served the suspension Tuesday night when the Red Sox host the Minnesota Twins.

      The incident occurred in the seventh inning on Saturday when Boston reliever Fernando Abad was called for a balk by third base umpire Bill Miller, allowing Cameron Maybin to score from third and increase Los Angeles' lead to 5-1. However, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia came rushing in and pointed at home plate umpire Ryan Blakney, who appeared to call timeout just before the balk was called.

      After the umpiring crew met and decided the balk was the proper call, Farrell became enraged and had a face-to-face argument with Miller. Eventually, Farrell made contact with Miller and was ejected.

      --The Washington Nationals and veteran right-hander Francisco Rodriguez have agreed to a minor league deal, according to published reports.

      Rodriguez, who ranks fourth in baseball history with 437 career saves, was released by the Detroit Tigers on Friday. He had a horrid 7.82 ERA and had lost his job as the club's closer.

      Rodriguez, 35, will report to the Nationals' minor league facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.

      The six-time All Star was appealing to Washington due to its deep bullpen troubles this season. Rodriguez earned the nickname "K-Rod" as a youngster with the Angels due to his high number of strikeouts per innings pitched. He saved 40 or more games in four consecutive seasons for the club and set the major league record with 62 in 2008.

      --The New York Yankees placed second baseman Starlin Castro on the 10-day disabled list.

      Castro suffered a strained right hamstring while running out a ground ball on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at the Chicago White Sox.

      The 27-year-old Castro is batting .313 with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in 73 games in his second season with New York.

      To fill Castro's roster spot, the Yankees promoted infielder Tyler Wade from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Wade has played three infield positions at Triple-A and also played four games in the outfield.

      --The Toronto Blue Jays designated right-handed reliever Jason Grilli for assignment and called up right-handed reliever Chris Smith from Triple-A Buffalo.

      Grilli, 40, was 2-4 with a 6.97 ERA in 26 games with the Blue Jays this season. He allowed nine home runs in only 20 2/3 innings. Grilli recorded a career-high 33 saves with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 and added 24 saves with the Atlanta Braves in 2015.

      Smith, 28, was 1-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 14 games with Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays also activated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera (fractured right foot) from the 10-day disabled list and returned outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. to Triple-A Buffalo.

      --Right-hander Antonio Bastardo was recalled by the Pittsburgh Pirates from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis and reinstated from the 10-day disabled list, the team announced.

      In a corresponding move, the Pirates optioned catcher Jacob Stallings to Triple-A Indianapolis.

      Bastardo, 31, has not pitched in the majors since April 24 as he dealt with a left quad strain. He is 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA in six appearances this season. Stallings, 27, hit .286 (2-for-7) with a double and a strikeout in two games this season with the Pirates.

  • Blue Jays designate RHP Grilli for assignment
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays designated right-handed reliever Jason Grilli for assignment Tuesday before the game with the Baltimore Orioles and called up right-handed reliever Chris Smith from Triple-A Buffalo.

    • Grilli, 40, was 2-4 with a 6.97 ERA in 26 games with the Blue Jays this season. He allowed nine home runs in only 20 2/3 innings.

      Grilli recorded a career-high 33 saves with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 and added 24 saves with the Atlanta Braves in 2015.

      Toronto acquired Grilli from the Braves at the end of May last year. He appeared in 46 games with the Blue Jays in 2016, posting a 6-4 record and 3.46 ERA.

      Smith, 28, was 1-2 with a 3.93 ERA in 14 games with Triple-A Buffalo. He had his contract selected by the Blue Jays on Sept. 27, but did not make an appearance.

      The Blue Jays also activated outfielder Ezequiel Carrera (fractured right foot) from the 10-day disabled list and returned outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. to Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday.

      Carrera has been on the disabled list since June 14. He is batting .297 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 56 games with Toronto. He made one appearance with Buffalo on a rehabilitation assignment Monday and was 1-for-2 for with two walks and a stolen base.

  • Yankees place 2B Castro on DL
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    The New York Yankees placed second baseman Starlin Castro on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday.

    • Castro suffered a strained right hamstring while running out a ground ball on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at the Chicago White Sox.

      The 27-year-old Castro is batting .313 with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in 73 games in his second season with New York.

      To fill Castro's roster spot, the Yankees promoted infielder Tyler Wade from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Wade has played three infield positions at Triple-A and also played four games in the outfield.

      New York also made a pair of moves in its bullpen, optioning right-hander Jonathan Holder to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalling lefty Tyler Webb from the Triple-A affiliate.

      Holder appeared in 32 games with the Yankees this season, logging a 1-1 mark and 3.78 ERA. Webb made a pair of scoreless appearances last week for New York.

  • Indians' Francona to miss game due to illness
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    CLEVELAND -- After spending Monday night at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona was home resting Tuesday and did not manage the team in its game against the Texas Rangers.

    • Francona became ill during Monday night's game. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic where he underwent a series of tests.

      "The doctors ruled out any major health issues, which was a big relief to all of us," said Indians president Chris Antonetti.

      It was the second such episode for Francona in less than two weeks. During a home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 13, Francona had to leave the dugout and was taken to Cleveland Clinic for tests after experiencing spells of dizziness and light-headedness. Tests at that time also revealed no major health issue, and his discomfort was attributed to dehydration.

      Antonetti said Francona will return to the dugout for Wednesday's game with Texas. Francona will continue to be monitored by doctors over the next several weeks to determine the nature of his recent symptoms.

      "It raises a red flag, but Tito underwent every test you could possibly imagine, and they all came back clean," said Antonetti on Tuesday. "He wanted to come back to manage tonight but we told him to go home and rest."

      In Francona's absence, bench coach Brad Mills managed the team Monday night. Mills also ran the ballclub for Tuesday's game.

      Francona's health issues haven't affected his sense of humor. A release issued by the Indians Tuesday updating Francona's condition included the line:

      "Mr. Francona also wanted to express that medical personnel have not yet ruled out an allergy to bench Coach Brad Mills."

  • Pirates recall RHP Bastardo
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    Right-hander Antonio Bastardo has been recalled by the Pittsburgh Pirates from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis and reinstated from the 10-day disabled list, the team announced Tuesday.

    • In a corresponding move, the Pirates optioned catcher Jacob Stallings to Triple-A Indianapolis.

      Bastardo, 31, has not pitched in the majors since April 24 as he dealt with a left quad strain. He is 0-1 with a 16.20 ERA in six appearances this season.

      With Indianapolis, Bastardo posted a 2-0 record with a 3.18 ERA over 12 outings (one start) from May 27 to June 25.

      Stallings, 27, hit .286 (2-for-7) with a double and a strikeout in two games this season with the Pirates.

  • Red Sox manager Farrell suspended, fined for ump confrontation
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount due to his actions in Saturday's contest against the Los Angeles Angels, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.

    • Farrell was ejected for arguing a balk call in the game against the Angels.

      Farrell will serve the suspension Tuesday night when the Red Sox host the Minnesota Twins.

      The incident occurred in the seventh inning on Saturday when Boston reliever Fernando Abad was called for a balk by third base umpire Bill Miller, allowing Cameron Maybin to score from third and increase Los Angeles' lead to 5-1.

      However, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia came rushing in and pointed at home plate umpire Ryan Blakney, who appeared to call timeout just before the balk was called.

      After the umpiring crew met and decided the balk was the proper call, Farrell became enraged and had a face-to-face argument with Miller. Eventually, Farrell made contact with Miller and was ejected.

      "When he came to me and we discussed it, we got together as a crew and Ryan told us what he had," Miller told a pool reporter after the contest. "We went back to John and told him the balk happened before time was called. John didn't accept that answer and he was quite adamant that time had been called first and therefore the balk should have been nullified.

      "After that he just decided to argue and poked me in the chest. That's why he was ejected."

  • Nationals ink minor league deal with RHP Rodriguez
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    The Washington Nationals and veteran right-hander Francisco Rodriguez have agreed to a minor league deal, according to published reports.

    • Rodriguez, who ranks fourth in baseball history with 437 career saves, was released by the Detroit Tigers on Friday. He had a horrid 7.82 ERA and had lost his job as the club's closer.

      Rodriguez, 35, will report to the Nationals' minor league facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.

      The six-time All Star was appealing to Washington due to its deep bullpen troubles this season.

      Rodriguez was just 2-5 in 28 appearances this season for the Tigers. He served up nine homers in 25 1/3 innings, blew six save opportunities and converted seven.

      Rodriguez earned the nickname "K-Rod" as a youngster with the Angels due to his high number of strikeouts per innings pitched. He saved 40 or more games in four consecutive seasons for the club and set the major league record with 62 in 2008.

      He also has pitched for the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles and the Tigers.

  • Yankees try to build on series-opening win over White Sox
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    CHICAGO -- The New York Yankees will try to jump-start a winning streak when they meet the Chicago White Sox in the second game of a four-game series on Tuesday night.

    • The Yankees held on for a 6-5 win in Monday's series opener despite a rocky ninth inning in which the White Sox scored four runs and left the tying run on second base. Now, New York (41-33) will try to build upon the victory and move past an ugly stretch in which it lost 10 of the previous 12 games.

      New York might have to do so without starting second baseman Starlin Castro, who strained his right hamstring in the series opener. Castro is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday after pulling up lame while running to first base on a ground ball.

      "When I tried to run, I felt something tight, but I stopped before the pop," Castro said. "To be honest, I'm walking, I don't feel anything. I've had hamstring situations before and it hurt when I walk, but right now, I feel good walking. I don't know what the MRI is going to say tomorrow, but we'll see."

      In the opposite dugout, Chicago (32-43) is looking to stop a four-game losing streak. The White Sox have lost seven of the past eight games to fall a season-worst 11 games below .500.

      Shortstop Tim Anderson plans to wear corrective lenses at the plate again Tuesday after he debuted them Monday night. Anderson said the glasses corrected a "small" problem with his vision, but teammates joked that they seemed to make a big difference with his three-run home run.

      To Anderson, Chicago's ninth-inning rally was a bigger story than his glasses heading into Tuesday.

      "It's the beginning of something that can be something good," Anderson said. "We definitely hopefully can build off of this and keep going."

      White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana (4-8, 4.69 ERA) is slated to make his 16th start of the season. The 28-year-old has a 2-2 record with a 4.35 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees but has yet to oppose them this season.

      Quintana has struggled this season since inheriting the role of staff ace from left-hander Chris Sale. He is averaging 3.3 walks per nine innings, which is the worst mark of his career. However, he has improved recently with a 2-1 record and 2.25 ERA in his past four outings.

      Yankees right-hander Luis Severino (5-3, 3.30 ERA) is set to make his 15th start of the season. During three career starts against the White Sox, he is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA.

      Severino will look to bounce back from his worst outing of the year. He allowed six runs (five earned) in six innings his last time out against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The ugly performance was out of character for the talented 23-year-old, who has 24 walks and 95 strikeouts in 87 1/3 innings.

      Severino could be challenged by White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, who is 3-for-8 with two RBIs against him. Avisail Garcia is 1-for-5 against Severino, but his lone hit was a home run. Meanwhile, outfielder Melky Cabrera has managed only one hit in eight at-bats against the Yankees' youngster.

      Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI in his career against Quintana. Castro (0-for-14) and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (0-for-6) have yet to notch a hit against the southpaw.

  • Yankees' Castro exits due to hamstring strain
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, June 26, 2017

    CHICAGO -- Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro left New York's game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday because of a strained right hamstring.

    • Castro pulled up lame while running out a ground ball in the second inning. He was replaced in the field by Rob Refsnyder in the bottom of the second.

      Castro, 27, is hitting .313 with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in 73 games. He didn't play Sunday after getting a cortisone shot in his right wrist a day earlier.

  • Indians' Francona leaves bench due to illness
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, June 26, 2017

    CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona became ill in the fifth inning of Cleveland's game against the Texas Rangers on Monday night and had to leave the dugout. Bench coach Brad Mills managed the team for the remainder of the game, a 15-9 Cleveland victory.

    • After the game, the Indians announced that Francona was evaluated by the team's medical staff and checked out fine after experiencing symptoms similar to the ones during a June 13 game.

      In that game, a 7-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Francona left the dugout in the ninth inning after feeling light-headed. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for a battery of tests that found nothing. He was released, and the condition was attributed to dehydration. Francona was not taken to the hospital after the Monday night episode.

      Francona also missed a game last year in Washington after experiencing chest pains.

      "We're always concerned when this happens," Mills said. "It's a concern for me, for the staff and for the team. We're just glad that the doctors checked him out, and hopefully we'll know more tomorrow."

      Francona, 58, is in his fifth year as Indians manager, and he guided Cleveland to the World Series last year. He led the Boston Red Sox to World Series championships in 2004 and 2007.

  • Dodgers' McCarthy lands on DL with knee injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, June 26, 2017

    The Los Angeles Dodgers placed right-hander Brandon McCarthy on the 10-day disabled list Monday due to right knee tendinitis.

    • The move occurred a day after McCarthy lasted three innings and threw three wild pitches in the second inning of the Dodgers' 12-6 win over the Colorado Rockies.

      McCarthy is 6-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 13 starts this season after being limited to nine starts last season.

      The injury is not expected to sideline McCarthy more than 10 to 12 days, according to manager Dave Roberts.

      Besides putting McCarthy on the disabled list, the Dodgers also optioned right-hander Ross Stripling to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled right-hander Brock Stewart and outfielder Trayce Thompson from Triple-A.

      Striping pitched two innings Sunday. In 22 appearances, he is 0-3 with one save and a 4.03 ERA.

      Stewart threw three scoreless innings for a save against the New York Mets on June 20 in his lone major league appearance of the season. He went 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA in four minor league starts this season.

      Thompson went 0-for-8 in three April games with Los Angeles. He hit .211 with a .273 on-base percentage, seven homers and 25 RBIs in 62 games for Oklahoma City.

  • Questions abound in bullpens as Rays, Pirates open series
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, June 26, 2017

    PITTSBURGH -- Eyes could be on the closers when the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays open a three-game series Tuesday at PNC Park.

    • The reasons, however, are different.

      For Tampa Bay (40-38), Alex Colome fell to 1-3 after he blew two games in a row on Saturday and Sunday against Baltimore.

      "We've just got to go in and finish teams off," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

      Colome, who has 20 saves in 23 opportunities, does not describe himself as struggling.

      "I feel like every time I go out, there's nothing different. I just missed, like, one pitch," Colome told the Tampa Bay Times after Sunday's 8-5 loss.

      Cash also stopped way short of raising a red flag.

      "I'm not reading anything into Alex's issue (Sunday)," Cash said. "We've got other things we need to worry about."

      That includes the rest of the Rays' bullpen.

      "Obviously, there's always concern," Cash said. "We need to find a way to get the ball to Alex and not always be a one-run game and not always have Alex come in in the eighth. That's not an ideal scenario to play a full season with, when you ask your ninth-inning guy to come in early."

      To help address that, Tampa Bay has moved Eramso Ramirez back to the bullpen. In addition, reliever Brad Boxberger is expected to return from a back injury soon. His rehab appearance scheduled for Tuesday at Single-A Charlotte could be his last one before being activated.

      "We've given that message to Erasmo and (Boxberger) both -- 'We need you guys. We've seen you good in this spot,'" Cash said. "Hopefully, it can clean up a lot of things for us.

      "Erasmo, you can make the argument he's done some really good things in the rotation; you can also argue he's done some really good things in the bullpen."

      For Pittsburgh (35-41), if there was an "ace" of the bullpen, it would be Felipe Rivero, who recently moved into the closer role and has come through in all three of his save opportunities. He has an 0.68 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 40 innings. Among those with at least 40 innings, he leads the major leagues with an 0.70 WHIP and is sixth overall with 14 holds.

      The rest of the Pirates relievers have struggled.

      "Our bullpen has gone through some turbulence, but I see signs of it working its way back right," manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday -- shortly before St. Louis rallied against that bullpen for an 8-4 win that ended Pittsburgh's road trip at 4-3.

      That trip, however, included taking two of three against the Cardinals as the Pirates claw to stay alive in a competitive if mediocre National League Central.

      "It's a good step forward," Hurdle said. "We're working hard to play better. ... To come in here and win two out of three, we'll take it and we'll move on and get ready to start the homestand."

      Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.09 ERA) gets the start for Pittsburgh looking for a winning record after he struck out a career-high seven in six innings against Milwaukee on Wednesday.

      For Tampa Bay, Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05 ERA) could be in the midst of a hot streak. He is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA over his past three starts. Those three games and seven of his last 10 outings were quality starts. He might finally be getting past a string of injuries, including 2015 Tommy John surgery.

      "Throughout the course of the year we all struggle with our mechanics and we lose it and it's hard to find," Cobb said. "After piecing this whole thing back together again, the ability to identify problems and realize where I'm off ... just getting back to peak form, it's going to happen that much quicker for me.

      "The crispness and repetitiveness of each pitch is showing up more each time out. I obviously wanted it to be back by now, but by the second half, it's going to kind of transition to not even thinking about anything. Just going out there and trying to execute pitches, and this whole process will be over with, hopefully."

  • MLB roundup: Indians rally with 13 straight runs
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, June 26, 2017

    CLEVELAND -- Trailing by seven after the top of the fourth inning, the Cleveland Indians rallied for 13 unanswered runs in a wild 15-9 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night at Progressive Field.

    • Texas hit four home runs to none for Cleveland, but the Indians pounded five Rangers pitchers for 19 hits. With the exception of Jason Kipnis, every hitter in the Cleveland lineup had two or more hits. Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall had three RBIs each.

      For Texas, Elvis Andrus had three hits, including two home runs and four RBIs, and Adrian Beltre added a three-run homer.

      Indians reliever Bryan Shaw (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win. Six Cleveland pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts.

      Red Sox 4, Twins 1

      BOSTON -- Chris Sale earned his 10th win, and Mitch Moreland delivered a solo homer and sacrifice fly to lead Boston to a victory over Minnesota.

      The Twins had their three-game winning streak stopped. The Red Sox won for just the second time in five games.

      Sale (10-3) worked 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball to go to 9-1 since April 27. He walked two and struck out nine, yielding four hits and leaving with runners on first and second and one out with Boston ahead 2-1 in the seventh. Heath Hembree came on and got Chris Gimenez to bounce into a double play.

      Yankees 6, White Sox 5

      CHICAGO -- Chase Headley went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run, and New York held on for a win over Chicago.

      Tyler Austin belted a home run and notched two RBIs for the Yankees. New York snapped a two-game skid and won for only the third time in the past 13 games.

      Todd Frazier and Tim Anderson each homered for the White Sox, who scored four runs in the ninth inning and left the tying run on second base to end the game. Chicago has lost four games in a row and seven of eight.

      Cubs 5, Nationals 4

      WASHINGTON -- Starter Eddie Butler and the Chicago bullpen combined to hold off Washington until the ninth inning, and Willson Contreras led off the game with a homer as the Cubs beat the Nationals.

      Washington scored four runs in the ninth before Chicago closer Wade Davis recorded the last two outs, getting Ryan Zimmerman on strikes for the last out with runners on second and third.

      Butler (4-2) went five scoreless innings before he was lifted for pinch hitter Addison Russell in the top of the sixth. Russell struck out with two runners on base to end the inning with the Cubs ahead 1-0, and the score remained that way into the eighth inning.

      Angels 4, Dodgers 0

      LOS ANGELES -- Ricky Nolasco broke a long personal streak of losses and the Dodgers' 10-game winning streak in the Angels' shutout win over their crosstown rival.

      Nolasco (3-9) pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings as the Angels won the first game of their inter-league series against the Dodgers.

      Nolasco had lost seven straight starts, tying the Angels' franchise record. The Angels had lost 10 straight of his starts before Monday's effort. They were 3-12 in his 15 starts this season.

      Giants 9, Rockies 2

      SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs as San Francisco routed Colorado.

      Posey, Joe Panik and Denard Span were a combined 7-for-13 as the Giants snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Rockies. Jeff Samardzija allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

      Trevor Story and Tony Wolters drove in the runs for the Rockies, who lost their sixth straight game.

      Cardinals 8, Reds 2

      ST. LOUIS -- Randal Grichuk and Jedd Gyorko each homered and knocked in three runs as St. Louis walloped Cincinnati in a makeup game.

      Both went deep to key three-run rallies. Gyorko cracked a two-run shot off Brandon Finnegan (1-1) in the bottom of the first inning for a 3-0 lead. Grichuk skied a two-run blast off reliever Austin Brice in the fourth to cap St. Louis' second three-spot of the day, making it 6-1.

      Given plenty of run support, Michael Wacha (4-3) delivered one of his best outings of the season. Wacha allowed five hits and a run in six innings with a walk and five strikeouts in his second win over Cincinnati this year.

      Diamondbacks 6, Phillies 1

      PHOENIX -- Chris Herrmann homered and drove in two runs, and Daniel Descalso had three RBIs as Arizona extended its franchise-record start with a victory over Philadelphia.

      Herrmann homered to lead off the last of the first inning in his first career start in the leadoff spot. Descalso had an RBI single in a two-run second inning and a two-run single in a three-run third.

      Zack Greinke (9-4) gave up one run and three hits in five innings as the Diamondbacks (48-28) won for the 15th time in their last 18 games. They are three games ahead of the record pace set by the Randy Johnson/Luis Gonzalez 2001 team.