Today is Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Major League Baseball
Marlins vs. Braves Preview

Marlins-Braves Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 12:03 AM (EDT)

The Atlanta Braves have no words to describe their lengthy slide.

Instead, they'll press on trying to avoid their first eight-game home skid in 27 years Wednesday against a Miami Marlins team that's looking to sweep its first road series of the season.

Not even the major league debut of touted Cuban Hector Olivera could help Atlanta (54-78) from falling for the 14th time in the last 15 games, 7-1 on Tuesday. After opening their nine-game homestand with a 5-3 win over Colorado, the Braves have been outscored 60-16 in the last seven.

They haven't dropped eight straight at home since opening 0-9 there in 1988. Miami (54-79), which last swept a series anywhere on the road at Houston in July of last season, hasn't done so at Turner Field since April 2009.

"We all know where we stand,'' said Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who has done his part by going 7 for 17 with four RBIs in his last five games. ''It's not fun. But we'll be here (Wednesday).''

Atlanta didn't get much help from third baseman Olivera, who went 0 for 4 with a strikeout but remains optimistic.

"Overall, I thought it was a good performance, a good effort," he said. "I will continue to build on it, of course.

"This is the best pitching in the world. The pitchers here are not pushovers."

That hasn't been the case for Atlanta starters, who have a 7.02 ERA in the last seven contests.

The Braves will turn to rookie Williams Perez (4-5, 5.56 ERA), who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett after Mike Foltynewicz landed on the disabled list Tuesday with a chest issue. Atlanta has dropped the last seven starts made by Perez, who has a 9.08 ERA in those outings.

He was demoted to the minors after allowing eight runs, five hits and walking three in 1 2-3 innings of Friday's 15-4 loss to the New York Yankees. This will be the right-hander's first appearance against the Marlins, who counter with fellow rookie Adam Conley (2-1, 4.96 ERA).

The left-hander makes his first start against a Braves club he allowed three runs to in three innings of relief during a 9-8 loss Aug. 6. Conley yielded the same amount in five-plus innings of a 4-3 victory at Washington on Friday.

Teammate Justin Bour is 6 for 16 with three home runs and eight RBIs in the last four games.

After not making any call ups on the first day of September, the Marlins are expected to do so as the week goes on.

"We'll have some guys coming in starting (Wednesday)," manager Dan Jennings told MLB's official website. "Most of the guys who will be joining us are on rehab assignments now. Having those guys back will be a big boost for us. It will put us closer to full strength."

Though slugger Giancarlo Stanton is one of them, it's unlikely he'll return before Friday.

Dealing with a bruised knee, fellow outfielder Christian Yelich had two hits with a RBI in his first start since Aug. 26. He's batting .458 with five RBIs in his last six games against the Braves.


Angels vs. Athletics Preview

Angels-Athletics Preview

By JEFF BARTL - STATS Senior Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 2:43 AM (EDT)

Pitching for the AL's worst team could hurt Sonny Gray's bid for the Cy Young Award, but he's continued to do his part even when the offense or defense have failed him.

He had only himself to blame the last time he faced the Los Angeles Angels, though.

The right-hander makes his fifth start against the visiting Angels as the Oakland Athletics look to win for the fourth time in five games Wednesday.

Gray (12-6, 2.13 ERA) has a 1.60 ERA over his last six starts, but he's 2-2 in that stretch with the A's (58-75) providing an average of just 2.80 runs of support.

He leads the AL in ERA and opponents' batting average (.201) despite losing 6-4 on Friday at Arizona. Oakland's defense, which leads the majors with 104 errors, has been partly responsible for Gray allowing five unearned runs over his last three starts.

"I'm used to Sonny's movement," said catcher Stephen Vogt, who allowed two passed balls in the sixth inning of Gray's last outing. "There's no excuse, especially when he makes good pitches to get some of the best hitters in the league out.

"We've talked all year about how we can't keep giving teams four or five outs."

Gray couldn't fault his defense in his last outing against the Angels, when he allowed a season-worst six runs - five earned - while matching his career low of two strikeouts in six-plus innings of Oakland's 12-7 defeat June 19. He'd won his previous three starts this season against Los Angeles with a 1.19 ERA.

The A's had their three-game winning streak snapped with Tuesday's 6-2 loss to the Angels (66-66), who had dropped their previous four.

Los Angeles remained 3 1/2 games back of Texas for the AL's second wild-card spot and trimmed its deficit to 6 1/2 behind West-leading Houston. Kole Calhoun went 3 for 5 with a homer and Carlos Perez added two hits.

David Freese had a hit in his return from a five-week stay on the disabled because of a fractured right index finger.

"We hit a big pothole for a while but they also know that we're a good team," manager Mike Scioscia said. "There are some key things that if we can get them in place, we're going to have a good chance to reach our goal. Part of it's getting starting pitching and part of it's the offense."

Andrew Heaney (5-2, 3.11) looks to continue his success on the road while making his first start against the A's since joining the Angels.

The left-hander had the worst of his 12 outings when he gave up eight runs in a 15-3 loss to Toronto on Aug. 22, but he bounced back Friday and tossed six scoreless innings in the Angels' 3-1 loss at Cleveland.

That performance improved his ERA to 1.72 in five road starts.

Heaney's only start against the A's came June 29, 2014, while with Miami. He pitched five scoreless before allowing all four runs in his sixth and final inning of a 4-3 loss.

Oakland got a homer from Brett Lawrie in the first Tuesday, then couldn't manage anything else until Vogt scored on a wild pitch in the ninth. The A's averaged 5.8 runs over their previous seven home games.

Outfielder Sam Fuld sat out with back spasms and is unlikely to play in this contest.


Reds vs. Cubs Preview

Reds-Cubs Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 1:49 AM (EDT)

The Chicago Cubs expect the final month of their overachieving season to be a grind.

Apparently ready for the challenge, the Cubs try to build on a impressive comeback victory Wednesday against the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Following a 2-4 trip and Monday's 13-6 thrashing at the hands of the lowly Reds, Chicago (75-56) trailed three different times Tuesday before rookie Kyle Schwarber's two-run, go-ahead homer in the seventh led to a 5-4 victory. Owners of a 6 1/2-game lead over San Francisco for the NL's final wild-card spot, the Cubs don't expect to have an easy time down the stretch but also believe their relatively young roster has the proper attitude to reach the postseason.

"It's like a playoff game every time," said Schwarber, who had two hits after going 1 for 14 with six strikeouts in his previous four games. "Whether we win or lose we need to have that same demeanor all the time."

Schwarber, who grew up rooting for Cincinnati (54-77) in nearby Middletown, Ohio, is batting .435 with three home runs and eight RBIs in six games against the Reds.

"It's a pretty big one for me since I've been struggling lately," he said. "I'm just trying to get back on the right track and help this team. Just try to go up there and put together a quality at-bat."

Schwarber went 2 for 3 with a double off Raisel Iglesias (3-6, 3.92 ERA) when the right-hander allowed two runs, six hits, walked four but struck out eight in 5 2-3 innings of Chicago's 5-4, 13-inning road victory July 21.

Iglesias, however, posted a 2.27 ERA despite going 2-3 and receiving nine runs of support in six August starts. His teammates have scored one run overall while he's completed seven innings in each of his last three and struck out 23 in the last two.

''He's a stud,'' manager Bryan Price said. ''He's learning, he's growing up. That part has been great to watch."

The Cubs counter with Jason Hammel (7-6, 3.42), who has completed at least six innings once in his last nine starts and is 1-1 with a 6.28 ERA in the last three. He gave up three runs, four hits and walked three in five-plus innings of a 4-1 loss opposite Clayton Kershaw on Friday at Dodger Stadium.

Though the numbers suggest otherwise, Chicago catcher Miguel Montero felt that effort was a step in the right direction for Hammel.

''That was the best I've seen him in at least a month,'' Montero said.

The right-hander has a 2.70 ERA while not factoring in the decision of his two starts against the Reds this season.

Joey Votto is 3 for 17 against Hammel, but with a homer and two RBIs on Tuesday is batting .526 with four home runs and 12 RBIs during an 11-game road hitting streak. He's hit .382 in his last 10 games at Wrigley Field.

Votto's first base counterpart, Anthony Rizzo, is 0 for 6 in the series and batting .164 with 20 strikeouts in the last 16 games.

Kris Bryant, meanwhile, is batting .386 with 17 RBIs in the last 16 at home.


Diamondbacks vs. Rockies
Rays vs. Orioles Preview

Rays-Orioles Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 12:14 AM (EDT)

A revived offense combined with stellar performances from the rotation have put the Tampa Bay Rays in position to move back above .500.

The Baltimore Orioles continuing their late-summer swoon has also helped.

Seeking his sixth straight road victory, Erasmo Ramirez will try to help the Rays to a three-game sweep of the Orioles on Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay (66-66) is chasing Texas for the AL's second wild-card spot despite a league-low 3.78 runs per game and .248 batting average that ranks slightly higher.

The Rays, though, have been pounding the Orioles (63-69) with 25 hits, four homers and a 17-5 scoring edge through the first two of the series, including an 11-2 win Tuesday.

Starters Chris Archer and Drew Smyly combined for 16 strikeouts over 13 scoreless innings in those two games. The Tampa Bay rotation has a 1.38 ERA during a four-game winning streak in Baltimore.

Ramirez (10-5, 3.68 ERA) started that stretch May 30, striking out seven and yielding three hits in seven innings of a 3-0 win. That outing is part of an outstanding road stretch for the right-hander, who is 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA over his last 10 away starts.

Ramirez, though, struggled at home against the Orioles on July 25, surrendering five runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss.

He enters this meeting looking to bounce back from one of his shortest starts of the year, yielding three runs and six hits with three walks in 4 1-3 innings of Friday's 4-2 home loss to Kansas City.

"I thought Erasmo battled really well early on," manager Kevin Cash told MLB's official website. "Maybe he wasn't as sharp as we've seen him pretty consistently. It seemed like he was trying to make that perfect pitch and couldn't quite make it. But saying that, he gave up two earned runs. So he still gave us an opportunity."

J.P. Arencibia did most of the damage Tuesday with a two-run homer and a pair of two-run singles while batting ninth in his sixth game - third start - since being recalled from Triple-A Durham.

"Very thankful to get the opportunity," said Arencibia, who is a .329 hitter with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 21 career games at Camden Yards. "This is a good team and we're in a good race."

Brandon Guyer is batting .542 in the past seven matchups with the Orioles after going 4 for 5 with an RBI double. He's 8 for 14 and has scored five runs during the Rays' three-game winning streak.

Baltimore's postseason chances have begun to fade with 12 losses in 13 games.

"We are going to have to get hot in order to get in this thing," manager Buck Showalter said.

Kevin Gausman (2-6, 4.39) is 0-4 with a 5.01 ERA in his last five starts. The right-hander gave up four runs and nine hits, including two homers, over 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 loss at Texas on Friday.

He's 1-3 with a 5.47 ERA in five starts against the Rays, losing both at home while being tagged for eight runs and 13 hits in nine innings.

Gausman's only appearance against them this year came in relief during a 6-5 road win April 7. He got the win after allowing only Kevin Kiermaier's two-run homer in 2 1-3 innings.

He may not have to contend with Kiermaier, who has a mild right ankle sprain that sidelined him Tuesday. However, he's allowed Arencibia to go 2 for 4 with a homer and Guyer has doubled twice in three at-bats in the matchup.


Indians vs. Blue Jays Preview

Indians-Blue Jays Preview

By JEFF BARTL - STATS Senior Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 12:06 AM (EDT)

The Toronto Blue Jays have asked Ryan Goins to wear many hats, sticking him in five positions and placing him at or near the bottom of a lineup that has been the best in baseball for most of the season.

Despite having a less-than-glamorous role, he's been a major reason the Blue Jays have surged to the top of the AL East.

Goins was directly responsible for Toronto's latest victory, and he'll look to extend his hitting streak to eight when the Blue Jays host the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.

The third-year utility man has made several highlight-reel catches, including a sliding grab deep in foul ground after sprinting from second base Tuesday.

Goins then delivered with his bat, hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to give the Blue Jays (75-57) a 5-3 victory that snapped Cleveland's six-game winning streak. He's batting .441 over his last 12 for Toronto, which improved to 25-6 since Troy Tulowitzki made his team debut July 29.

The Blue Jays maintained their 1 1/2-game lead over New York atop the East despite Edwin Encarnacion's career-high 26-game hitting streak coming to an end.

''That was a big win for us,'' manager John Gibbons said. ''You never expect home runs from (Goins), but he's had a few and a couple of big ones. He's smoking hot with the bat right now."

Cleveland (64-67) lost for the first time in more than a week as it continues to chase four teams for the AL's second wild card. Yan Gomes hit two homers, including a solo shot in the ninth off Jays closer Roberto Osuna that tied the game. Three of his four hits over his last five games have gone for homers.

Trevor Bauer (10-10, 4.31 ERA) takes the hill for the Indians seeking a third straight solid outing. He's bounced back from a rough stretch by allowing two earned runs in 14 1-3 innings over his last two while overcoming nine walks.

Bauer pitched eight innings of Friday's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels after learning earlier in the day he would be replacing the ill Danny Salazar.

''One run in eight innings, we'll take that every time,'' manager Terry Francona said of Bauer, who went 1-2 with an 11.91 ERA over his previous three starts before helping the Indians beat the Yankees on Aug. 23.

The right-hander didn't allow a hit for the first three innings of his only career start against the Blue Jays on May 3, then gave up six runs - including a grand slam - in the fourth before being removed with one out in the fifth.

That type of scoring output for the Blue Jays is what's helped R.A. Dickey (9-10, 4.25) get through some difficult outings recently. He's 3-0 over his last four but has posted a 6.35 ERA after pitching 6 2-3 innings of Friday's 5-3 win over Detroit.

The right-hander went 3-0 with a 0.89 ERA over his previous four starts. He has a 7.02 run-support average while going unbeaten in nine outings since losing to the Chicago White Sox on July 9.

Carlos Santana enters with a nine-game hitting streak, but he's 1 for 11 lifetime against Dickey.


Giants vs. Dodgers Preview

Giants-Dodgers Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 2:45 AM (EDT)

As Clayton Kershaw nears a career high for strikeouts, his only concern is leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a victory - something he hasn't done this season against the San Francisco Giants.

The left-hander will try to help the Dodgers complete a three-game home sweep and perhaps finally earn a win against the Giants on Wednesday night.

Kershaw (11-6, 2.24 ERA) matched a season high with 14 strikeouts while allowing a homer and two other hits in eight innings of Friday's 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

''He's the best lefty in the game, and the best pitcher in the game as well,'' Chicago catcher Miguel Montero said.

Though that's a matter of opinion, Kershaw has an 0.95 ERA with 105 strikeouts and eight walks in his last 11 starts, and is 6-0 in the last 10 since losing at Miami on June 27. The NL leader with 236 strikeouts, Kershaw is 13 shy of topping his career best set in 2011.

However, his focus is on helping Los Angeles (74-57) increase its West Division lead over San Francisco to 6 1/2 games with an eighth win in the last nine contests.

''I take outs as fast as possible,'' Kershaw said. "Leading the league in outs is cool."

Though he's recorded his share of outs in three starts against the Giants (69-63) in 2015, Kershaw is 0-2 with a 3.54 ERA in those matchups. Each outing came opposite San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner, who won't get the chance for a fourth this season after allowing two runs in seven innings and was outdueled by Zack Greinke in Tuesday's 2-1 loss.

San Francisco, which has totaled 10 runs during a four-game losing streak, was last swept in a series at Dodger Stadium in May 2013. Since June 21, the Giants are 10-22 on the road.

"You don't ever lose hope,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ''We're a good run away from getting back in this thing and we've done that.''

Bochy hands the ball to Mike Leake (9-6, 3.53), who will try a fourth time to earn his first victory since the Giants acquired him from Cincinnati on July 30. The right-hander, who endured a 15-day disabled list stint with a hamstring strain last month, has a 3.38 ERA during his time in San Francisco.

Facing the Dodgers for the first time this season, Leake is 2-3 with a 5.18 ERA against them as a starter.

Justin Turner is 5 for 10 against Leake, but 1 for 15 in his last five contests. Andre Ethier hit .375 with three home runs in 24 games last month, and is 7 for 15 with a double and two homers off Leake.

Buster Posey is 3 for 9 with a home run against Kershaw this season, and is batting .429 in his last seven games.

Brandon Crawford is 1 for 18 with seven strikeouts against Kershaw, but the All-Star shortstop might not have a chance to end those struggles due to a sore calf suffered after being hit with a pitch in Monday's 5-4, 14-inning defeat.

"He's pretty sore," Bochy told MLB's official website. "That calf swelled up pretty good when he got hit."


Mariners vs. Astros Preview

Mariners-Astros Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 1:45 AM (EDT)

Scott Kazmir isn't entirely at fault for winning just twice with the Houston Astros.

He shouldered the blame, however, for his latest performance.

Kazmir attempts to find some consistency and help the Astros bounce back from a rare home loss against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

Kazmir is 2-4 in seven starts since being acquired from Oakland on July 23. The left-hander, though, has compiled a 2.64 ERA while being backed by 12 total runs - two or fewer in four of those games.

Run support hasn't been the only issue for Kazmir, who has lost four of his last five starts behind a 3.94 ERA.

Kazmir (7-9, 2.45 ERA) allowed three runs in seven innings of Friday's 3-0 loss at Minnesota. His struggles came in the fourth, giving up two runs and hitting two batters - one with the bases loaded.

"Normally in those situations, I kind of amp it up a little bit and give them a different look, maybe throw a little bit harder, and when I tried to do that, it was just side-to-side with everything and pulling everything, so that was unfortunate," Kazmir told MLB's official website.

"Hitting two guys, that's just something you can't do, especially when you've got guys on early on in the inning, so that was frustrating."

Kazmir certainly felt better against the Mariners on July 2, yielding two hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings of a 4-0 win. He's 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in his last four starts against Seattle.

Houston's addition of Kazmir could prove even more important with Scott Feldman scheduled to undergo an MRI on his shoulder Wednesday. The right-hander lasted 2 2-3 innings in Tuesday's 7-5 loss to Seattle (62-71).

The Astros (73-60) have won nine of the last 11 matchups in Houston and own the AL's best home record at 46-22, winning 22 of 28.

The Mariners are turning to Taijuan Walker (10-7, 4.53) for his regular turn in the rotation after a cramp in his right hip flexor forced him to exit after 84 pitches in Friday's 2-0 road win over the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander allowed three hits with six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.

"I haven't (had an injury like that), that's why I was a little shocked, a little scared, when I went down," Walker told MLB's official website. "It was just tight, just kind of grabbed. It was tight for a couple seconds and then it was good."

Walker will try to continue his recent dominance on the road, going 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over his last nine starts - yielding one run or none in six.

He was roughed up in an 11-4 defeat at Houston on May 2, giving up eight runs and three homers in three innings. He had a 2.70 ERA while winning his first three starts there.

Walker has also struggled with Jose Altuve, who is 6 for 16 with a homer and two doubles off him.

Altuve enters this matchup on a tear, batting .416 in his last 24 games while getting a hit in 21 of them. He's got five hits in this series, making him a .370 career hitter against Seattle at Minute Maid Park.


Phillies vs. Mets Preview

Phillies-Mets Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 12:27 AM (EDT)

Whatever the New York Mets' plan is for monitoring Matt Harvey's workload, he's responding with his best pitching of the season.

The Philadelphia Phillies have allowed Aaron Nola to go deeper into his last two starts, and the results have been every bit as impressive.

The two No. 7 overall draft choices meet for the first time Wednesday night in New York with the Mets needing a win to avoid a series loss to the worst team in baseball.

Harvey (11-7, 2.48 ERA) hasn't allowed three earned runs in any of his last eight starts, going 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA and .177 opponent batting average, and he only got stronger last month. In four August starts, the right-hander was 2-0 with a 0.33 ERA and .160 OBA.

With an eye on the playoffs, the Mets gave him 11 days between his last two starts, and Harvey responded by allowing two hits with eight strikeouts in six scoreless innings of Friday's 6-4 home loss to Boston. The 26-year-old has thrown 160 innings, which is 18 1-3 shy of his 2013 career high. With 30 regular-season games and a potential playoff run looming, there's the potential that he'll far exceed that.

"He wanted to throw another inning," manager Terry Collins said. "I said we can't do it, that's why we gave you time off."

Harvey also hasn't allowed three earned runs in any of his last eight home starts, posting a 4-0 record and 0.99 ERA. None of those came against the Phillies, but he's 5-1 with 1.99 ERA in seven career starts in the series. Domonic Brown (0 for 10 with seven strikeouts), Odubel Herrera (0 for 6), Carlos Ruiz (1 for 7) and Cody Asche (1 for 6) have all struggled.

That kind of hitting will make it difficult for Nola (5-1, 3.26) to win a third straight start in his first encounter with a potential future rival.

The 22-year-old has allowed a run and five hits in 15 innings over consecutive wins, though those games came against Miami and San Diego. The right-hander has won five of seven starts since taking a tough-luck loss in his MLB debut on July 21.

"I feel a little bit more comfortable now," Nola told MLB's official website. "I know I can pitch here. But my main goal is to pitch to win and to try and keep the guys in the best position every single time I go out."

That's been enough for interim manager Pete Mackanin.

"I'll take five pitchers just like him," Mackanin said.

Such an effort would have gone to waste in Philadelphia's 14-8 win on Tuesday. It ended a 10-game losing streak to the Mets (73-59), though New York has still won 13 of 15 in the season series. The Phillies (53-80) will now try for their first series win over the Mets in nine tries, but they haven't won consecutive games over the 6-24 run.

"It wasn't pretty, but I'd like to think that we broke the spell," Mackanin said.

New York, which has lost six of eight at home, wasted a home run from Yoenis Cespedes, his career-high 27th of the season. All nine he's hit with the Mets have come in the last 19 games, and the last four have come in his first six career games against the Phillies.

Michael Conforto went 2 for 4 in the loss, giving the rookie a .464 average in his last 10 games.

Philadelphia's Darin Ruf has two home runs and eight RBIs in his last two games, both against the Mets.


Pirates vs. Brewers Preview

Pirates-Brewers Preview

By JEFF BARTL - STATS Senior Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 1:02 AM (EDT)

Pittsburgh veteran Jeff Locke and Milwaukee rookie Zach Davies have more in common than one might think.

Both essentially are auditioning to remain in their respective clubs' starting rotations for as long as possible.

Locke looks to help the Pirates avoid their first three-game losing streak in more than six weeks with another resume-building performance, while Davies hopes to shine in his major league debut for the Brewers on Wednesday night at Miller Park.

Locke (7-8, 4.46 ERA) has the worst ERA on a starting staff that ranks among the major league's best with a 3.48 mark. If the Pirates (79-51) reach the NL division series, he'd likely be the odd man out despite a solid outing last Wednesday in which he allowed two runs in seven innings of a 7-2 win at Miami.

The left-hander went 1-2 with a 6.39 ERA over his previous six starts and didn't last more than 5 2-3 innings in any of them.

"We have such a good ballclub. You don't really want to have any question marks in your rotation, especially at this point in the season," Locke said. "I feel like the way I pitched, I've kind of been that for a little while.

"To put a good solid outing under your belt moving forward, if anything, it just builds a little bit more confidence and maybe puts some more confidence in the guys in the clubhouse, too."

The last time Locke went as deep as he did last week was against the Brewers (56-75) on July 19, when he allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-1 loss. He went a season high-tying eight innings to beat Milwaukee 6-2 on April 18 after defeated the Brewers by that same score April 10.

Locke is 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA in his last six against Milwaukee, which counters with a prospect it received in the July 31 trade that sent Gerardo Parra to Baltimore.

Davies has gone 6-8 with a 3.30 ERA in 23 starts and one relief appearance in Triple-A ball. The Brewers called him up when rosters expanded Tuesday.

"I've had coaches telling me, 'There's a chance you could go up there in September and pitch a little bit,'" Davies told MLB's official website. "It's never real until it actually happens. Now that I'm here, it's real to me."

The right-hander is known more for his command than his power, and he'll likely get a good first test against a Pirates team that leads the NL wild-card race.

Pittsburgh, though, is on the verge of losing three straight for the first time since July 17-19 after a 7-4 loss Tuesday. The club managed just four hits in the first seven innings against Jimmy Nelson before Aramis Ramirez - playing his first game in Milwaukee since being dealt to the Pirates on July 23 - Jung Ho Kang and Pedro Alvarez homered.

The loss dropped the Pirates six games behind Central-leading St. Louis.

Milwaukee has won three of four and likely won't be intimated by Locke after touching up Pirates ace Gerrit Cole for five runs in the first two innings and chasing him after four Tuesday.

Adam Lind had two doubles and drove in a pair of runs, while Jean Segura had two hits and three RBIs. Segura, who is 6 for 13 over his last three, has gone 6 for 10 with a double off Locke this season.


Rangers vs. Padres
Tigers vs. Royals Preview

Tigers-Royals Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 1:21 AM (EDT)

The hype might not be at levels of last season, but Yordano Ventura could be having the most successful stretch of his young career.

The 24-year-old will try to build on his recent consistency Wednesday night at home against the Detroit Tigers, though he's still battling control issues.

Ventura (9-7, 4.41 ERA) began August by allowing 11 runs in 12 innings over two starts but escaped without a loss. He's since gone 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA and .167 opponent batting average, 32 strikeouts and 12 walks in 25 innings over his last four.

In Thursday's 5-3 home win over Baltimore, the right-hander impressed his manager with some in-game adjustments after issuing two walks in the first inning.

"He was rushing it, he was flying open. His pitch count was up," Ned Yost told MLB's official website. "But then he made an adjustment, slowed his tempo down, and he was down through the zone and got his pitch count manageable. His curveball was excellent, fastball up to 100 mph, changeup good."

Ventura is 3-0 with a 4.56 ERA in four starts and a relief appearance against the Tigers. That's mostly because of a 10.17 run-support average, though he did get his current reboot started by limiting them to two hits with eight strikeouts and six walks in six scoreless innings of a 6-1 home win Aug. 11.

Ian Kinsler (5 for 11) and Victor Martinez (4 for 10 with two home runs) have seen him well, but Nick Castellanos is 1 for 9.

Those guys and the rest of the Detroit lineup have been failing Randy Wolf rather than the other way around. Wolf (0-2, 2.57) hasn't been given a run of support in 14 innings of his two starts.

The left-hander gave up a run and five hits in seven innings of Thursday's 2-0 home loss to the Los Angeles Angels, and the 39-year-old will now face a pitcher that celebrated his eighth birthday eight days before his MLB debut.

"I feel like every start I kind of have to, in a way, prove people wrong, that I'm not at the geriatric level quite yet," Wolf said.

Before the impressive work against the Angels, the last time he'd gone seven innings and allowed fewer than three earned runs was June 13, 2012 - his only career start against the Royals. Wolf gave up a run and six hits in a 4-3, 11-inning loss in Kansas City while with Milwaukee.

The Royals might do more against him with Jonny Gomes. The veteran outfielder, acquired Monday from Atlanta, is 12 for 23 with two home runs off Wolf. His .522 average in their matchups is the highest of any player, active or retired, with more than 18 at-bats against Wolf.

Last-place Detroit (61-70) opened this three-game series with Tuesday's 6-5 win for its fourth in six meetings with Kansas City (80-51) to even the season series at 7-all. The Royals, however, have a 12-game lead in the AL Central, and health figures to be a greater concern than any late-season performances against the Tigers.

The Royals will be without reliever Kelvin Herrera and outfielder Alex Rios for at least two weeks due to the chickenpox, and there's a fear that it could further spread.

"Think there is always a concern because these guys were in for three or four days before they showed signs of it," Yost said. "Since that point, (trainer) Nick Kenney has done a real good job of monitoring."

They did get Alex Gordon back after missing 48 games with a strained groin, and the left fielder was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.


White Sox vs. Twins Preview

White Sox-Twins Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 1:20 AM (EDT)

As Miguel Sano makes a late push for AL Rookie of the Year, the Minnesota Twins are carrying their resurgence into their first meaningful September in five years.

After the slugger's big effort keyed another home win, the Twins hope left-hander Tommy Milone can continue his career dominance of the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

Just two months into his big league career, Sano has been a major contributor for the Twins. He hit his 14th home run in 50 games Tuesday to even things up in the seventh inning before Minnesota (68-63) rallied to a series-opening 8-6 win.

Although it might be too late to catch Houston's Carlos Correa in the Rookie of the Year race, Sano is living up to his early season ranking as one of the MLB's best prospects. He's batting .343 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in his last 19 games, while his 1.219 OPS is among the AL's best marks.

The Dominican has done it all while playing through a mild strain of his hamstring.

''Sano is the next Miguel Cabrera, in a couple years,'' teammate Eduardo Escobar said.

After seemingly playing their way out of the playoffs during a 9-21 stretch, the Twins have gotten back into a tight race with Texas for the second wild card by winning nine of 11.

Minnesota, which will likely snap a string of four straight 90-loss seasons, has batted .342 with 11 homers and 7.5 runs per game while taking seven of eight home games versus Chicago.

The Twins will try to keep producing for Milone (6-4, 3.86 ERA), who hopes to bounce back after allowing five runs over 5 1-3 innings in Thursday's 5-4 loss at Tampa Bay.

Milone hasn't been able to get out of the sixth in three starts since missing 2 1/2 weeks in early August with a sprained elbow, but he's 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA in his last six at home.

Milone has been outstanding against the White Sox, going 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in six career starts. He gave up 10 hits but only two runs over six innings in a 13-2 home win June 22.

Avisail Garcia is 5 for 9 off him, though Tyler Flowers (2 for 13), Melky Cabrera (1 for 8), Alexei Ramirez (2 for 16) and Adam Eaton (0 for 9) haven't fared as well. Eaton matched a career high with four hits in the opener, leaving him 9 for 14 in his last three games versus Minnesota.

Garcia, who hit his 12th home run Tuesday, is batting .381 in the season series. Adam LaRoche had two hits in the opener and is 9 for 17 with a homer and three doubles in his last five games at Minnesota.

Since going 1-2 with a 9.33 ERA over a four-start stretch, Carlos Rodon (6-5, 4.15) has turned things around with a 2-1 record and a 1.61 mark over his last four. The rookie left-hander will try to help the White Sox (61-69) avoid their seventh loss in 10 games.

"I've just learned how to pitch a little more, I'll put it that way," he told MLB's official website.

Rodon has gone 1-1 with an 0.98 ERA over his last four road outings. In one of three relief appearances in May, he allowed six hits over three scoreless innings in a 5-3 loss at Minnesota.


Yankees vs. Red Sox Preview

Yankees-Red Sox Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 12:30 AM (EDT)

While the news regarding their All-Star slugger certainly doesn't bode well, the New York Yankees are finding ways to win without Mark Teixeira.

As they look to keep fighting in the AL East chase, the visiting Yankees are hoping Masahiro Tanaka can continue to pitch well Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.

After missing three games at Atlanta and Monday's 4-3 loss at Fenway Park, Teixeira was sent back to New York for further tests on his injured shin. The results weren't positive as the first baseman will miss at least two weeks with a significant bone bruise.

That's a big loss since Teixeira has a team-high 31 home runs and 79 RBIs.

"We're going to be forced to see what we've got further with Greg (Bird)," general manager Brian Cashman told MLB's official website, "and when we're up against some left-handed pitching, (manager Joe Girardi's) going to be forced to look for some lineup flexibility."

Bird started against left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez in the opener, and he's 1 for 8 with four strikeouts in this series. Alex Rodriguez has been discussed as an option at first base versus southpaws, though he's played two games there in his 21 seasons.

New York (73-58) will face lefty Henry Owens (2-1, 4.03 ERA) as it goes after its eighth win in 10 road games and 11th in 14 at Fenway. Stephen Drew had a two-run double and Brett Gardner added his 13th home run Tuesday when the Yankees had five hits and struck out 15 times in a 3-1 win that kept them 1 1/2 games back of first-place Toronto.

They have had two lopsided victories and won two pitching duels on a six-game trip that ends Wednesday.

''The gratifying thing at this time of year is wins, no matter how you do it,'' Girardi said. ''If you get a break or however it happens, that's the gratifying thing.''

Since enduring a rough patch in late June, Tanaka (10-6, 3.62) has limited opponents to a .211 batting average while giving up three earned runs or less in nine of 10 starts. He's been sharp on the road this season, going 4-2 with a 2.98 ERA in eight outings.

The right-hander gave up two first-inning runs Friday before settling down in a 15-4 win at Atlanta. He lasted seven, allowing three runs and five hits while striking out seven.

Tanaka is 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two home starts against Boston (61-71) this season. He yielded seven runs and seven hits over a career-low 1 2-3 innings in a 10-4 loss at Fenway last September.

Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez have homered off Tanaka this season. Ramirez, though, is day to day after missing five straight games due to a sore right shoulder.

David Ortiz (2 for 11), Xander Bogaerts (2 for 13) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (1 for 7) have struggled when facing Tanaka. Bogaerts had two hits Tuesday and is batting .344 over his last 22 games, while Bradley is 6 for 7 with four doubles over his past three.

Owens is making a case to be part of Boston's rotation next season, going 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his last two starts. He made his big league debut Aug. 4 at Yankee Stadium, surrendering three runs over five innings in a 13-3 loss.


Nationals vs. Cardinals Preview

Nationals-Cardinals Preview


Wednesday, September 2 at 2:23 AM (EDT)

If the Washington Nationals are going to make a September push, they're probably going to need Max Scherzer to start pitching like a Cy Young Award candidate again.

The right-hander may be especially motivated to turn things around in his hometown.

Mired in arguably his worst stretch, Scherzer will try to help the Nationals end their road woes Wednesday night in a showdown with Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals.

A native of Chesterfield, Missouri, Scherzer (11-11, 2.88 ERA) was drafted by St. Louis in the 43rd round in 2003 before opting to attend the University of Missouri.

He was selected by Arizona three years later as the 11th overall pick. Scherzer last pitched at Busch Stadium in the final start of his 2008 rookie year with the Diamondbacks.

The 2013 AL Cy Young winner looked like a 2015 NL candidate on July 19 when he was 10-8 with a 2.08 ERA and had thrown a no-hitter versus Pittsburgh in June. However, he's struggled to a 1-3 record and 5.63 mark over his last seven outings.

The 31-year-old will try to avoid dropping a career-worst fourth consecutive start after giving up four runs and six hits, including two home runs, over seven innings in Friday's 4-3 home loss to Miami.

"Slider, changeup, curveball, they are all there," Scherzer told MLB's official website. "I'm not sitting here kicking chairs around because I'm frustrated how I pitched. My stuff is there."

Scherzer is 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA in three career starts against the MLB-leading Cardinals. In his only other meeting this season, he yielded two runs over seven innings in a 4-1 loss April 23.

Mark Reynolds is day to day after leaving Tuesday's 8-5 win when he was hit by a pitch on the right wrist. Brandon Moss delivered a walk-off, three-run homer as the Cardinals scored five in the last two innings.

The Nationals (66-65) missed a chance to trim their 6 1/2-game deficit behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East. They've dropped nine straight in St. Louis and 12 of 15 overall on the road.

"We had a two-run lead in the eighth and couldn't get it done," said manager Matt Williams, whose club also blew a two-run lead in the seventh in Monday's 8-5 defeat.

St. Louis (86-46), which is 40 games over .500 for the first time since 2005, has averaged 6.5 runs during a 9-1 stretch. Stephen Piscotty is batting .421 with 11 RBIs over a nine-game hitting streak.

"Just the style of play that they bring every single day," manager Mike Matheny said. "They are deserving to have whatever kind of acknowledgment is out there."

Wacha (15-4, 2.69), who has replaced injured Adam Wainwright as the club's ace, has gone 4-0 with an 0.92 ERA over his last six starts and is 4-1 with a 1.99 mark in his past seven at Busch.

The 24-year-old has been dominant versus Washington, going 2-1 with an 0.79 ERA in three outings. He earned the win opposite Scherzer in April, giving up one run over seven innings.

Bryce Harper (2 for 9), Anthony Rendon (1 for 6), Ian Desmond (1 for 9) and Jayson Werth (0 for 6) haven't had much success versus Wacha. Werth, though, had his third straight two-hit game Tuesday.

Wilson Ramos is batting .394 with three homers over a nine-game hitting streak, while Ryan Zimmerman is batting .303 with five home runs and 15 RBIs over his last eight.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Major League Baseball
Diamondbacks 6 vs. 4 Rockies Final Recap

Gosselin slugs Diamondbacks past Rockies, 6-4

By MICHAEL KELLY - The Associated Press

Tuesday, September 1 at 7:22 PM (EDT)

DENVER (AP) Phil Gosselin atoned for his hitless debut with a big day at the plate.

Gosselin homered and drove in four runs, Patrick Corbin pitched into the seventh inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 6-4 in the first game of a split doubleheader on Tuesday.

Gosselin, who was acquired in a June 20 trade with Atlanta, doubled home a run in the third, and then broke it open with a three-run shot off Miguel Castro (0-1) in the seventh. Gosselin went 0 for 4 in his first game with the Diamondbacks on Monday after being activated from the 60-day disabled list.

''I'm happy (manager) Chip (Hale) threw me back in there,'' Gosselin said. ''Last night didn't go how I planned or the team planned so it was good to get an early game and get back in there.''

His three-run shot to left went an estimated 434 feet and gave Arizona a 6-2 lead. It was the second home run of his career.

''He was having trouble throwing strikes so I figured he would come with a fastball at 2-1,'' Gosselin said. ''He threw it over the plate and I didn't miss it.''

Corbin (4-3) allowed two runs - homers by DJ LeMahieu in the second and Kyle Parker in the fifth - and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. The left-hander is 5-0 in his last seven starts against the Rockies.

''Just hung a couple of breaking balls and they put good swings on them,'' Corbin said. ''Today my changeup was good. Probably the first game since I've been back I've got to throw it and use it effectively. Fastball command was good, just a couple of breaking balls. It seems like a lot of their hits were on that.''

Colorado left-hander Yohan Flande struck out five while pitching five innings of two-run ball. He gave up five hits and walked three.

The 20-year-old Castro was charged with four runs in 1 1-3 innings in his Colorado debut. He was acquired in the July 27 trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto.

''Big arm,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''He left a fastball over the plate and Gosselin hit it out.''

Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave Arizona a 1-0 lead after a little confusion on his drive down the left-field line in the second inning. It was initially ruled foul but after a review of 1 minute, 37 seconds, the call was overturned.

Hale was ejected by home plate umpire Tim Timmons before the review. Hale said something was said from the bench and Timmons tossed him.

''Once I was thrown out I had a few choice words,'' Hale said. ''Somebody said something while he was going down the line to talk the other umpires that he didn't like. I was trying to make sure he knew I would take care of that.''


The Rockies turned the fourth triple play in team history in the ninth inning.

With the runners on first and second moving on the pitch from Jason Gurka, Paul Goldschmidt hit a line drive to shortstop Jose Reyes, who was shaded up the middle. Reyes threw to LeMahieu to force out Ender Inciarte, and then LeMahieu relayed to first baseman Ben Paulsen to get Gosselin.

''I saw Inciarte running and the ball was hit right to me,'' Reyes said. ''All I had to do was throw it over to DJ.''

It was the first triple play for Colorado since May 18, 2014, against San Diego.


Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado hit his 31st homer in the eighth, tying him with Bryce Harper and teammate Carlos Gonzalez for the NL lead. He also tied Goldschmidt for the NL RBI lead with 96.


Diamondbacks: RHP Brad Ziegler is fine after turning his ankle and injuring a finger on his pitching hand Monday. Ziegler rolled his ankle trying to make a play on a comebacker in the ninth inning.

Rockies: OF Corey Dickerson ran in the outfield Tuesday morning and could be activated soon. He has been out since Aug. 1 with a fractured rib.


Diamondbacks: RHP Rubby De La Rosa (11-6, 4.46 ERA) will pitch the second game.

Rockies: RHP Kyle Kendrick (4-12, 6.43 ERA) was activated from the 15-day DL for the second game.


Diamondbacks 5 vs. 3 Rockies Final Recap

Gosselin, Pollock help D-backs sweep Rockies, 6-4 and 5-3

By MICHAEL KELLY - The Associated Press

Wednesday, September 2 at 1:02 AM (EDT)

DENVER (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks bounced back from a disappointment in the series openr with an impressive sweep of the Colorado Rockies.

A.J. Pollock hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Paul Goldschmidt also homered and the Diamondbacks beat Colorado 5-3 in the second game to take two from the Rockies on Tuesday night.

''We got two wins. It's a good way to end the day,'' outfielder David Peralta said.

Phil Gosselin homered and drove in four runs to lead Arizona to a 6-4 win in the first game. It was the second time this season the Diamondbacks swept a doubleheader from Colorado.

They also did it on May 6 in Arizona.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado homered in both games to take the NL lead with 32. He had three RBIs on the day and now leads the league with 98 - one more than Goldschmidt. He had five hits in the two games.

Arizona lost Monday's series opener when Colorado rallied for four in the ninth..

On Tuesday, it was the Diamondbacks' turn to come back.

Trailing 3-1, Arizona rallied against reliever Scott Oberg (3-4) in the second game. Oberg hit Gosselin, walked Chris Owings and gave up a tying two-run double to Aaron Hill.

Pollock followed with a two-run homer - his 15th - off Jario Diaz.

''I haven't seen the guy, but I knew he had a slider,'' Pollock said. ''It's probably an out in most parks. It definitely was a little bit helped from the Colorado air.''

Rubby De La Rosa (12-6) allowed three runs on six hits in six innings. Josh Collmenter worked the last two innings for his first save.

Goldschmidt hit his 27th home run in the first inning but the Rockies rallied for two in the bottom of the inning to take the lead.

Arenado hit a solo home run in the third to make it 3-1 but De La Rosa allowed just one base runner in his last three innings.

''His ball was up, and when you pitch up at Coors Field you're looking for trouble,'' Arizona manager Chip Hale. ''He started getting it down and then he used that upper part of the zone to get strikeouts.''

Arizona led most of the first game. Gosselin, acquired in a June 20 trade with Atlanta, doubled home a run in the third, and then broke it open with a three-run shot off Miguel Castro (0-1) in the seventh. Gosselin went 0 for 4 in his first game with the Diamondbacks on Monday after being activated from the 60-day disabled list.

''I'm happy Chip threw me back in there,'' Gosselin said. ''Last night didn't go how I planned or the team planned so it was good to get an early game and get back in there.''

His three-run shot to left went an estimated 434 feet and gave Arizona a 6-2 lead. It was the second home run of his career.

''He was having trouble throwing strikes so I figured he would come with a fastball at 2-1,'' Gosselin said. ''He threw it over the plate and I didn't miss it.''

Patrick Corbin (4-3) allowed two runs - homers by DJ LeMahieu in the second and Kyle Parker in the fifth - and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander is 5-0 in his last seven starts against the Rockies.

Daniel Hudson pitched the ninth for his third save.

Colorado left-hander Yohan Flande struck out five while pitching five innings of two-run ball. He gave up five hits and walked three.

The 20-year-old Castro was charged with four runs in 1 1/3 innings in his Colorado debut. He was acquired in the July 27 trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto.

''Big arm,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''He left a fastball over the plate and Gosselin hit it out.''

Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave Arizona a 1-0 lead after a little confusion on his drive down the left-field line in the second inning. It was initially ruled foul but after a review of 1 minute, 37 seconds, the call was overturned.

Hale was ejected by home plate umpire Tim Timmons before the review. Hale said something was said from the bench and Timmons tossed him.


In the first game the Rockies turned the fourth triple play in team history in the ninth inning.

With the runners on first and second moving on the pitch from Jason Gurka, Goldschmidt hit a line drive to shortstop Jose Reyes, who was shaded up the middle. Reyes threw to LeMahieu to force out Ender Inciarte, and then LeMahieu relayed to first baseman Ben Paulsen to get Gosselin.

''I saw Inciarte running and the ball was hit right to me,'' Reyes said. ''All I had to do was throw it over to DJ.''

It was the first triple play for Colorado since May 18, 2014, against San Diego.


Diamondbacks: RHP Brad Ziegler is fine after turning his ankle and injuring a finger on his pitching hand Monday. Ziegler rolled his ankle trying to make a play on a comebacker in the ninth inning. ... Hill (hamstring) left the game after his double as a precaution.

Rockies: OF Corey Dickerson ran in the outfield Tuesday morning and could be activated soon. He has been out since Aug. 1 with a fractured rib.


Diamondbacks: RHP Chase Anderson (6-5, 4.22 ERA) will pitch the finale of the four-game series.

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (0-0, 6.0 ERA) is going for his first major league win in his fourth career start.


Angels 6 vs. 2 Athletics Final Recap

Calhoun's HR helps Angels end losing streak, beat A's 6-2

By MICHAEL WAGAMAN - Associated Press

Wednesday, September 2 at 2:18 AM (EDT)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Now that the Los Angeles Angels have put a miserable August behind them, Matt Shoemaker believes they're ready to make a postseason push.

Shoemaker's last two outings since coming off the disabled list are a good start.

Shoemaker gave up five hits and one run over seven mostly crisp innings and the Angels backed him with a rare offensive outburst in a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

''This team can be so good if we get on a roll,'' said Shoemaker, who struck out five, walked two and allowed only two runners past first base. ''That's all we need to do. If we get on a roll, we're going to be really tough to beat.''

Los Angeles had been sliding before beating Oakland to take an 8-6 edge in the season series between the AL West rivals.

The Angels were just 2-5 on this nine-game road trip and coming off their first losing month in more than two years after going 10-19 in August.

They broke out of their funk quickly in September, scoring four runs in the second inning off Oakland starter Cody Martin.

''We hit a big pothole for a while but they also know that we're a good team,'' Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. ''There are some key things that if we can get them in place, we're going to have a good chance to reach our goal. Part of it's getting starting pitching and part of it's the offense.''

The Angels got both against the A's to end a four-game losing streak.

Kole Calhoun had three hits, including his 21st home run of the season to pace Los Angeles' offense. David Freese singled and scored in his return to the Angels' lineup after missing more than a month with a fractured right index finger. Carlos Perez added two hits while Mike Trout also singled and scored to help Scioscia to his 1,397th career win.

Calhoun had an RBI infield single in the Angels' four-run third. Albert Pujols was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in another run while David Murphy and C.J. Cron also drove in runs during the inning.

Freese scored on a double play in the fourth to make it 5-1. Calhoun homered off Dan Otero leading off the seventh.

''We got the six runs but we pressured them every inning,'' Scioscia said. ''We had opportunities pretty much every inning and didn't cash in on all of them.''

Brett Lawrie homered for the A's, a solo shot off Shoemaker in the first.

The A's were shut down after that. They put two on with two out in the second before Shoemaker set down 15 of the next 17 batters he faced.

Mike Morin, Wesley Wright and Huston Street combined to record the final six outs for the Angels.

Martin (0-1) lasted just three innings in his first major league start that also coincided with his A's debut. He gave up five runs and six hits with one walk.

''It looked like there were some nerves there, especially with traffic out there,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''He didn't want to come in so far to Pujols and hit him. There were nerves.''


Angels: RHP Colby Rasmus also returned from the disabled list after missing two weeks with a right forearm strain. ... INF Taylor Featherstone (upper back strain), LHP Matt Joyce (concussion) and INF Colin Cowgill (right wrist) were activated from the DL as well.

Athletics: OF Sam Fuld (back spasms) did not play and will likely sit out Wednesday's game. ... RHP Jesse Hahn (forearm strain) was transferred to the 60-day DL. ... RHP A.J. Griffin was recalled from Triple-A Nashville and transferred to the 60-day DL. ... RHP Angel Castro was outrighted to Nashville.


Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (5-2) pitches the series finale Wednesday and is winless in his previous six starts. Opposing hitters are batting .304 against him during that stretch.

Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (12-6) has three wins in his four starts against the Angels this season. Gray also has the lowest ERA in the AL but has only two wins in his previous six starts.


Rays 11 vs. 2 Orioles Final Recap

Arencibia, Smyly carry Rays past struggling Orioles 11-2

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer

Tuesday, September 1 at 11:25 PM (EDT)

BALTIMORE (AP) It's all hands on deck for the Tampa Bay Rays as they make a playoff push this September, and a few pairs of fresh legs more than carried their weight Tuesday night.

There were plenty of stars in an 11-2 win over the free-falling Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night, including two guys who recently came aboard for the stretch run.

J.P. Arencibia homered and drove in six runs to back an impressive pitching performance by Drew Smyly, and the Rays enjoyed a rare rout in a season filled with down-to-the-wire finishes.

''It was obviously a little uncharacteristic for us,'' manager Kevin Cash said.

Brandon Guyer had four hits for the Rays, but the standouts were Arencibia - playing his sixth game of the season - and Smyly, making his fourth start since returning from a 3 1/2-month stay on the disabled list with a torn left labrum.

Smyly (2-2) struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings. The left-hander allowed four hits, walked one and retired the final 10 batters he faced.

''It was fun to watch,'' Cash said. ''Smyly set the tone. He was outstanding.''

Batting ninth in the order, Arencibia hit a pair of two-run singles before adding a two-run homer in the seventh. It was his sixth game with Tampa Bay since being recalled from Triple-A Durham on Wednesday.

''It's always fun when you see a new guy come in here and have a game like that,'' Cash said.

Tampa Bay scored four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to send Baltimore to its 12th loss in 13 games.

The one constant during the Orioles' horrid skid is their inability to score. They've been limited to three runs or fewer in all 12 of their defeats and have been outscored 78-35 over the 13-game stretch.

Baltimore hasn't abandoned its chances of reaching the postseason, but manager Buck Showalter conceded, ''We are going to have to get hot in order to get in this thing.''

Chris Davis hit his 36th homer with a man on in the ninth, though that merely prevented Baltimore from taking its second shutout in three games.

''We're going to keep fighting,'' losing pitcher Chris Tillman said. ''I think I know this team pretty well, and we're going to get through this.''

Tillman (9-10) gave up seven runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. He's lost three straight decisions after going 12 starts without a defeat.

With the exception of Davis' homer, the highlight of the night for Baltimore was the pregame ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr. breaking Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played.

Unfortunately for Ripken, he stayed to watch the game.

Tampa Bay took control in the fourth when James Loney hit an RBI single, Arencibia singled in two runs and Grady Sizemore hit a run-scoring grounder.

In the fifth, Asdrubal Cabrera delivered a sacrifice fly and Guyer doubled in a run before Arencibia picked up two more RBIs for an 8-0 lead.

''Very thankful to get the opportunity,'' Arencibia said. ''This is a good team and we're in a good race.''

In seven career appearances against Baltimore, Smyly is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA.

''It was just a great night all around for the team,'' he said.


Rays: Tampa Bay added six players on a day when teams were allowed to expand their rosters. Included in the mix was Matt Moore, who was 17-4 in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2014. Moore was recalled earlier this season, but was sent to Durham after going 1-3 with an 8.78 ERA in six starts. Other call-ups were RHP Kirby Yates, LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, OF Mikie Mahtook, 3B Richie Shaffer and OF Luke Maile.

Orioles: Baltimore recalled RHPs Steve Johnson and Oliver Drake and activated RHP Chaz Roe from the DL.


Rays: After getting three hits for the second night in row, Logan Forsythe left in the fifth with left groin tightness. ... CF Kevin Kiermaier was held out with a mild right ankle sprain.


Rays: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (10-5, 3.68) starts the series finale Wednesday night. He has yielded nine HRs in his last 11 starts.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (2-6, 4.39 ERA) is 0-4 in his last five starts, allowing 18 earned runs over the span.


Reds 4 vs. 5 Cubs Final Recap

Schwarber hits 2-run HR to power Cubs past Reds 5-4

By BRIAN SANDALOW - Associated Press

Wednesday, September 2 at 1:05 AM (EDT)

CHICAGO (AP) Rookie Kyle Schwarber put an end to the first slump of his major league career on Tuesday night.

Schwarber hit a two-run homer with two out in the seventh inning, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Kris Bryant had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs, who had dropped five of six. Miguel Montero had two hits, and Fernando Rodney (1-0) got his first win since he was acquired in a trade with Seattle on Thursday.

The Reds led 4-3 before Dexter Fowler singled and Schwarber followed with a drive into the bleachers in left-center on a 3-2 pitch from Burke Badenhop (1-4). It was his 13th homer in 48 major league games.

''It was a pretty big one for me,'' Schwarber said. ''I've just been struggling lately and just trying to get back on the right track and being able to contribute to the team.''

Entering Tuesday, Schwarber had been 1 for his last 14 and manager Joe Maddon said the rookie needed to calm down his feet, which was affecting his hands. He went 2 for 3 and scored three times in the win.

Joey Votto hit his 26th homer for the Reds, who had an 8-21 record in August. Votto reached three times and is batting .399 with 59 walks in 44 games since the All-Star break.

Votto's first-inning drive gave Dan Haren nine consecutive appearances of allowing at least one home run. But Haren settled down and allowed two runs and four hits in five innings.

''(Haren) had really good stuff tonight,'' Maddon said.

Rodney allowed Eugenio Suarez's tiebreaking homer in the seventh, but Schwarber's drive in the bottom half got him the win. Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 29 tries.

Cincinnati right-hander Anthony DeSclafani went 5 2-3 innings and gave up three runs and four hits while striking out seven and walking two. He is 0-3 with a 4.55 ERA in his last five starts.

''(DeSclafani) threw a beautiful ballgame,'' Reds manager Bryan Price said.

DeSclafani's last pitch was Bryant's single that got Chicago within one. With runners on first and second, Sam LeCure allowed Miguel Montero's tying single before Javier Baez grounded out to end the inning.

''I ran into some trouble,'' DeSclafani said about the sixth. ''I just have to make better pitches.''

The Cubs capitalized, and got a big victory after some recent struggles.

''It was really important to get that win,'' Haren said.


Making his first appearance of the season after being recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Iowa, Baez started at second base and was 0 for 4. One of Chicago's top prospects, Baez hit .324 at Iowa after struggling with the Cubs last year when he hit nine home runs but batted only .169 with 95 strikeouts in 52 games.


The Cubs also recalled pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada and selected the contracts of outfielder Quintin Berry and reliever Trevor Cahill from Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Berry and Cahill on the 40-man roster, the Cubs designated relievers James Russell and Rafael Soriano for assignment.

Acquired Monday from Seattle, outfielder Austin Jackson was added to the active roster.


When Cubs reliever Pedro Strop struck out Brandon Phillips to end the eighth inning, he celebrated in the direction of the Reds second baseman. Phillips responded by smiling at Strop and giving him the thumbs-up sign.

That ended an at-bat where Strop was trying to throw hard in response to how hard Phillips was swinging.

''It was a pretty competitive at-bat,'' said Strop, who added there was nothing personal between the two.


Reds: OF Yorman Rodriguez likely would have been promoted from Triple-A Louisville when the rosters expanded, but the 23-year-old has been sidelined since July 26 with a left calf strain. His status for the remainder of the season is uncertain.

Cubs: C David Ross was activated off the family medical emergency leave list.


Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias faces Chicago RHP Jason Hammel. Iglesias (3-6, 3.92 ERA) has six straight quality starts, while Hammel (7-6, 3.42 ERA) is coming off an August when he was 1-2 with a 6.31 ERA.


Indians 3 vs. 5 Blue Jays Final Recap

Goins hits winning HR in 10th, Jays beat Indians 5-3

By IAN HARRISON - Associated Press

Tuesday, September 1 at 11:25 PM (EDT)

TORONTO (AP) After a remarkable August, Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion saw his hitting streak end on the first day of September.

Teammate Ryan Goins, however, found a dramatic way to extend his run.

Goins hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning and Toronto beat Cleveland 5-3 on Tuesday night, snapping the Indians' winning streak at six games.

''Unbelievable,'' Goins said. ''I can't even put it into words. Best feeling of my career so far.''

It was Toronto's sixth walkoff win of the season and the fourth that's finished with a homer.

The drive extended Goins' hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. He went 1 for 3 with a walk and scored twice.

Goins has raised his average from .220 to .246 over the course of his streak, batting 14 for 32 (.438) in that time.

''He's smoking hot with the bat right now,'' manager John Gibbons said.

Encarnacion went 0 for 2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly, ending his career-high hitting streak at 26 games.

Mark Lowe (1-2) got one out for the victory as AL East-leading Toronto won for the fourth time in five games and remained 1 1-2 games ahead of the New York Yankees, who beat Boston 3-1.

Yan Gomes hit two home runs and Michael Brantley also connected but it wasn't enough for the Indians.

Dioner Navarro singled off Bryan Shaw (3-3) to begin the 10th and was replaced by pinch-runner Ezequiel Carrera. One out later, Goins drilled the game-winning homer into the right field bullpen, his fifth.

''That was a big win for us,'' Gibbons said. ''You never expect home runs from (Goins) but he's had a few and a couple of big ones.''

Gomes tied it 2-all with a leadoff drive off Marco Estrada in the seventh, then knotted it at 3-all with a one-out blast off closer Roberto Osuna in the ninth. It was the second multihomer game of the season for Gomes and the third of his career.

''He called an amazing game and then backed it up with a couple of home runs,'' Indians rookie right-hander Cody Anderson said. ''That's incredible.''

Abraham Almonte followed the ninth-inning homer with a triple but was left stranded as pinch-hitter Chris Johnson grounded out and Jose Ramirez lined out.

Justin Smoak walked to begin the seventh against reliever Ryan Webb, and was replaced by pinch-runner Dalton Pompey, one of five September call-ups to join the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

After Navarro flied out, Pompey stole second and third before scoring on Kevin Pillar's sacrifice fly to center, Toronto's third of the game.

''That's one of the reasons he's up here, he's very good on the bases,'' Gibbons said of Pompey.

Encarnacion hit a sacrifice fly in the first and Jose Bautista had one in the third as Toronto opened a 2-0 lead.

Brantley cut the deficit in half with a solo homer in the fourth, and Gomes tied it in the seventh.

Anderson retired the final 10 batters he faced. He allowed two runs and three hits in six innings in his second start since returning from a strained left oblique.

Estrada allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings.


Goins had the defensive highlight of the game, racing into foul territory behind first base to make a sliding catch on Lonnie Chisenhall in the second.


Toronto recalled 2B Munenori Kawasaki, LHP Aaron Loup, OF Pompey and RHP Ryan Tepera from Triple-A Buffalo, while LHP Jeff Francis was selected from Triple-A. LHP Colt Hynes was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Francis. C Josh Thole is expected to join the team Wednesday, while International League MVP Matt Hague and RHP Marcus Stroman will likely join later.


Indians: Manager Terry Francona said he will be careful with RHP Gavin Floyd, who was activated off the DL on Tuesday after missing the season so far because of a fractured elbow. ''We owe it to him to manage him carefully,'' Francona said. ... INF Chris Johnson (left index finger) was activated.

Blue Jays: Gibbons said he had no update on the status of 2B Devon Travis, who received a cortisone shot on his injured left shoulder last week.


Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (10-10, 4.31 ERA) has allowed two earned runs in his past two starts after giving up five in 1 2-3 innings against Boston in his previous start.

Blue Jays: RHP R.A. Dickey (9-10, 4.25 ERA) has won six straight decisions and is unbeaten in nine starts since a 2-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 9.


Giants 1 vs. 2 Dodgers Final Recap

Dodgers beat Giants 2-1 for 2nd win over rivals in same day

By BETH HARRIS - AP Sports Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 2:42 AM (EDT)

LOS ANGELES (AP) Nothing the San Francisco Giants did fazed Zack Greinke. It was a hole on the mound where he pushes off with his right foot that bothered him.

It grew bigger as the game went on, causing Greinke to tweak his ankle and draw a visit from the trainer and the grounds crew. He ended up leaving a tad early, but still beat Madison Bumgarner and the Giants 2-1 on Tuesday night for the Los Angeles Dodgers' second win over their rivals in the same day.

The Dodgers increased their division lead to 5 1/2 games after taking the series opener 5-4 in 14 innings in a game that ended at 12:39 a.m. PST Tuesday. They have won seven of their last eight.

''Most bizarre split doubleheader I've ever played in,'' Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said.

Greinke (15-3) allowed one run and five hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one while improving to 7-0 in seven starts against the Giants since joining the Dodgers in 2012.

''He's having a special year, the kind you don't see very often,'' Bumgarner said. ''But at the same time, our guys don't care about that. We were ready to play. But he's just good. He made some good pitches and he has good stuff.''

Greinke said he has tweaked his ankle before because of the hole created by his push-off foot.

''Usually it bothers me for five seconds,'' he said. ''This time it lasted a couple innings.''

Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 30 chances.

Bumgarner (16-7) was coming off a dominant August, going 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings. In his first September start he gave up two runs and eight hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked one.

''I just didn't expect us to be on the losing side of a 2-1 ballgame, but that's the way it goes,'' Bumgarner said. ''You know it's going to be a tough one, going up against Greinke, and unfortunately they caught more breaks than we did.''

Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Jake Peavy, the starting pitcher in the series opener, were both ejected by home plate umpire Mark Winters in the seventh when San Francisco failed to score with runners on second and third. They lost their fourth straight.

''You don't ever lose hope,'' Bochy said. ''We're a good run away from getting back in this thing and we've done that.''

The Giants cut the lead to 2-1 in the eighth on Matt Duffy's RBI single before Luis Avilan relieved Greinke. The Dodgers turned a stellar inning-ending double play, starting with second baseman Jose Peraza's stop of Brandon Belt's hard-hit grounder and backhanded glove flip to Jimmy Rollins covering at second who then fired to Adrian Gonzalez at first.

''He just seems to play fearless, not getting too excited,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Peraza, who played his fifth game since being called up Aug. 28.

Gonzalez's RBI single gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with two outs in the third. Joc Pederson homered leading off the seventh, making it 2-0.

''It's 3-2 right there, I don't want to walk him, and I feel like I've got the advantage lefty on lefty,'' Bumgarner said. ''I just went after him and he jumped on it. I had to throw a strike right there and I did. It just wasn't a quality strike, I guess.''

Greinke had runners on first and third in the seventh when he gave up a leadoff single to Belt and walked Buster Posey. But Greinke got three consecutive outs to end the inning, including a called third strike to a frustrated Alejandro De Aza.

''I was throwing the ball where I wanted a lot,'' Greinke said. ''It was a really good game all around. Madison was pitching good. Our defense was good, their defense seemed good. If you win it's more fun. All tough games are exciting.''


Giants: SS Brandon Crawford didn't play because his left calf swelled up after he got hit by a pitch Monday. He's expected to be out a couple of days. ... OF Gregor Blanco didn't start because his neck bothered him, but he pinch-hit in the eighth and singled and scored. ... RHP Tim Hudson and CF Angel Pagan were reinstated from the DL. Pagan started and went 1 for 4.

Dodgers: RHP Joel Peralta was reinstated from the DL. ... RHP Josh Ravin was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed on the 60-day DL with a left hernia.


Pederson hit his 24th homer and fourth off a left-handed pitcher. Among Dodgers rookies, he ranks second in Los Angeles history in home runs and is tied for third in franchise history with Johnny Frederick (1929), trailing only Mike Piazza (35, 1993) and Del Bissonette (25, 1928).


The Giants have lost their last four road games and are just 2-11 in their last 13. They aren't going home any time soon, having just started a 10-day, three-city trip in Los Angeles. They will play four at Colorado and three at Arizona. Since June 21, they are 10-22 away from AT&T Park.


Giants: RHP Mike Leake (9-6, 3.53 ERA) will make his fourth start since being acquired from Cincinnati on July 30. He came off the DL on Aug. 22 after missing 18 games with a strained left hamstring. He's 2-3 with a 5.35 ERA in six career appearances against Los Angeles.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (11-6, 2.24) is 6-0 with a 0.92 ERA in his last 10 starts. He has struck out 96 while walking just eight. He last faced the Giants on May 21, allowing four runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings of a 4-0 loss.


Mariners 7 vs. 5 Astros Final Recap

Morrison's 2-run homer in 8th helps Mariners over Astros 7-5

By KRISTIE RIEKEN - AP Sports Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 12:47 AM (EDT)

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Astros are second in the majors with 179 home runs.

But on Tuesday night, it was the Seattle Mariners who put on a power display, hitting three homers capped by Logan Morrison's tiebreaking two-run pinch-hit long ball in the eighth inning to get a 7-5 win over the Astros.

''It's something that we're definitely capable of as well,'' Morrison said. ''I don't think we're a small-ball team by any means.''

The game was tied 5-5 when Morrison hit the third pinch-hit homer of his career, sending a pitch from Pat Neshek (3-4) into the seats in right field.

''He's coming around,'' manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He had a tough stretch there where nothing was working for him. Obviously it doesn't get any bigger than a pinch-hit home run to win the game.''

Morrison talked about the challenges of delivering when given only sporadic playing time.

''I think a lot of times getting a good pitch to hit is the biggest thing for me, and I think sometimes with limited playing time I get a little anxious,'' he said. ''So you've got to get a good pitch to hit and then be ready for it.''

Franklin Gutierrez hit a solo homer in the second and Mark Trumbo, who homered twice on Monday, added a two-run shot off the train beyond Houston's left-center field wall to give Seattle a 5-3 lead in the fifth.

Jose Altuve hit an RBI single with two outs in the sixth to get Houston within 1. The Astros tied it up when Jake Marisnick scored from third on an error by catcher John Hicks when he tried to pick off Altuve at second base.

Logan Kensing (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh for his first win since 2009 and Tom Wilhelmsen threw a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

Houston starter Scott Feldman left the game with right shoulder discomfort after walking five and giving up three hits and three runs in 2 2-3 innings.

''It felt worse and worse,'' he said. ''It felt tight at the beginning of the game, but (then) it started feeling to where it was actually starting to hurt. You got to try to know the difference between tightness and putting yourself and the team in a bad position. Once I started hurting, I don't want to go out there and tear my shoulder.''

He'll have an MRI on Wednesday.

Marisnick had a solo shot in the fourth for the Astros, who remain in first place in the AL West.

Mariners starter Roenis Elias allowed five hits and four runs with four walks in 5 1-3 innings.

Gutierrez led off the second with his 11th homer to put Seattle up 1-0. Seth Smith followed with a triple before the Mariners added another run after Feldman walked three consecutive batters with two outs in the inning.

Max Stassi cut the lead to 2-1 with a two-out RBI single in the second inning.

Feldman walked two straight batters before grimacing after a pitch to Trumbo that resulted in a fly out for the second out of the third inning. Trainers visited with him briefly on the mound before he left the game and was replaced by Vince Velasquez.

Velasquez promptly allowed a single by Brad Miller that made it 3-1.

Houston got within 3-2 on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Gomez in the third, and Marisnick's homer tied it in the fourth.

Carlos Correa snagged Robinson Cano's line drive with a diving effort for the first out of the fifth. Trumbo's 20th homer came with two outs in the inning.


Astros: OF George Springer (broken right wrist) will play two more games of a rehabilitation assignment in Double-A Corpus Christi before the Astros decide what's next for him. ... Reliever Tony Sipp has been bothered by an unspecified back injury for about a week and won't be available in this series.


Seattle's Taijuan Walker (10-7, 4.53) opposes Scott Kazmir (7-9, 2.45) when the series wraps up on Wednesday. Walker is 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his last six starts, which included a one-hitter against Minnesota on July 31.


Marlins 7 vs. 1 Braves Final Recap

Nicolino, Bour lead Marlins to 7-1 win over hapless Braves

By PAUL NEWBERRY - AP Sports Writer

Tuesday, September 1 at 11:12 PM (EDT)

ATLANTA (AP) Justin Nicolino turned in another impressive performance, taking advantage of a team that can't seem to do anything right.

Nicolino pitched seven scoreless innings, Justin Bour hit a three-run homer, and the Miami Marlins beat the hapless Atlanta Braves again, winning 7-1 Tuesday night.

For the rookie left-hander, it was the fourth straight start allowing two runs or less.

''I started off a little shaky,'' said Nicolino (3-2). ''The command of the fastball wasn't where it needed to be. But I made a few pitches where my defense picked me up.''

He shut down the Braves with help from a pair of double plays. Atlanta lost for the 14th time in 15 games, including the last seven in a row, but at least avoided its second straight shutout when A.J. Pierzynski drove in a run with a two-out single in the eighth off Erik Cordier.

''We all know where we stand,'' Pierzynski said. ''It's not fun. But we'll be here tomorrow.''

The Braves have been outscored 110-40 during their most recent skid. Manny Banuelos (1-3) got his first start in more than a month coming off the disabled list. He lasted 2 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and three runs.

Hector Olivera made his major league debut for the Braves. The touted Cuban defector went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

Bour came up with a big defensive play and sealed the victory with a towering drive off Ryan Kelly into the Braves' bullpen, capping a four-run seventh that pushed the Marlins to a 7-0 lead. It was the first baseman's 15th homer of the season.

''Wow!'' manager Dan Jennings said. ''That ball was crushed.''

Nicolino surrendered six hits, walked two and struck out three. The Braves squandered a couple of chances to break through.

In the first, Atlanta put runners at first and third before Nick Swisher grounded into an inning-ending double play. The Braves loaded the bases with no outs in the third, only to get burned by Nick Markakis' base-running blunder. He broke for second on a liner down the line, which was snared by a diving Bour. He hopped up and raced to the bag before Markakis had any chance of getting back. Freddie Freeman ended the threat with a groundout.


In addition to activating Banuelos from the DL and calling up Olivera from Triple-A Gwinnett, the Braves promoted three other players from the top minor-league team: RHP Dan Burawa, RHP Brandon Cunniff and IF Daniel Castro.

All but Cunniff got into the game. Castro started at shortstop and went 1 for 3, doubling in the seventh. Burawa pitched two perfect innings with four strikeouts in his second big league appearance.

The Marlins didn't call up anyone from the minors. Jennings noted that his team already had many of its top prospects on the roster.


Marlins: LF Christian Yelich returned to the starting lineup for the first time in six games despite a sore right knee. He went 2 for 4 with an RBI. ... RF Giancarlo Stanton, who broke his left hand in late June, was set to make his first rehab appearance in Tuesday's doubleheader for Class A Jupiter.

Braves: SS Andrelton Simmons (sore right ankle) missed his second straight game. Manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't think the injury is serious, listing Simmons as day to day.


Marlins: LHP Adam Conley (2-1, 4.96 ERA) will be making his sixth start of his rookie season. In his only other appearance against Atlanta, giving up three runs in three innings of relief.

Braves: RHP Williams Perez (4-5, 5.56) will be looking to bounce back from the worst start of his short career. The rookie lasted just 1 2-3 innings against the New York Yankees, giving up eight earned runs in a 15-4 loss last Friday. He was sent briefly to the minors but will be called back up with the expanded rosters.


Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at


Phillies 14 vs. 8 Mets Final Recap

Ruf has 6 RBIs, Phils win 14-8 to end 10-game skid vs Mets

By MIKE FITZPATRICK - AP Baseball Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 12:19 AM (EDT)

NEW YORK (AP) - Fed up with losing to the New York Mets, Darin Ruf and the Phillies finally did something about it.

Ruf homered and had a career-high six RBIs, powering Philadelphia to a 14-8 blowout Tuesday night that emphatically ended its 10-game skid against the NL East leaders.

''I just kind of shook everybody's hand and told them, `Congratulations,''' Phillies outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. ''It has been tough against these guys.''

Leadoff batter Darnell Sweeney drove in three runs for the last-place Phillies, who won for the second time in 15 meetings with the Mets this season. Andres Blanco hit a two-run double and scored twice in an eight-run sixth as Philadelphia needed only three hits to produce its biggest inning of the year.

''It wasn't pretty, but I'd like to think that we broke the spell,'' interim manager Pete Mackanin said.

Ruf caught hold of an 0-2 curveball and launched it for a three-run shot, the second time in six days he capped a five-run third inning with a homer off Jonathon Niese (8-10).

Last week in Philadelphia, the Mets bailed out Niese and rallied from a 5-0 deficit against Aaron Harang for a 9-5 victory in 13 innings. They made a run at doing it again Tuesday, scoring four times in the fifth to cut it to 6-4. Yoenis Cespedes cracked a two-run homer that snapped an 0-for-16 stretch and chased Harang one out short of qualifying for a win.

''I managed it to win and not to look at people,'' Mackanin said. ''I just wanted this one.''

But then New York reliever Bobby Parnell quickly made a mess of his initial outing off the disabled list. He walked his first two batters in the sixth and threw away a bunt for an error that allowed a run to score.

Parnell crouched in the grass and hung his head before getting booed off the mound.

''Things aren't going my way right now. It's not where I want to be,'' said a despondent Parnell, who has struggled since his return in June from Tommy John surgery. ''It's been a long two years. It's just little things.''

Scuffling lefty Eric O'Flaherty relieved and walked his only hitter before Sweeney followed with a two-run double off Carlos Torres. Two outs later, Ruf had a two-run single and Blanco added a two-run double.

Ruf singled home a run in the fifth and has three homers off Niese in 17 at-bats.

''We've been made aware of how bad they've handed it to us this year,'' Ruf said. ''It was nice to respond when they came back.''

Playing first base while Ryan Howard sat out against a lefty, Ruf doubled his RBI total since the All-Star break and became the first Phillie with six RBIs in a game since Delmon Young at Dodger Stadium on June 28, 2013.

The previous time Philadelphia put up as many as 14 runs was a 14-10 win at Texas on opening day of 2014.

Jeanmar Gomez (2-3) was credited with the victory after yielding two runs and five hits in two innings. Harang is 1-11 with a 6.62 ERA in his last 16 starts.

Cespedes set a career high with his 27th homer - nine since the Mets acquired him from Detroit on July 31. He tripled and scored in the seventh, but New York manager Terry Collins pulled a slew of starters in the eighth.

New reliever Addison Reed, obtained Sunday from Arizona, worked a perfect inning in his Mets debut.

New York won Niese's previous eight starts against the Phillies.

''That's two games in a row, in a big situation, he's hung two curveballs to Ruf and got hurt by it,'' Collins said.


Phillies: LHP Matt Harrison and RHP Chad Billingsley were transferred to the 60-day DL to create space on the 40-man roster for two September call-ups: C Erik Kratz and RHP Colton Murray. Philadelphia recalled RHP Dalier Hinojosa from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Mets: After appearing in four of the previous five games and throwing 45 pitches over the past two days, closer Jeurys Familia was unavailable. ... Parnell (shoulder tendinitis) was one of seven players the Mets added when rosters expanded Tuesday. RHP Vic Black was sent outright to Triple-A Las Vegas to open a 40-man roster spot.


UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma chatted with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson during batting practice. Wearing a No. 20 Mets jersey with his name on it, Auriemma threw out the ceremonial first pitch from the rubber and was right on the money.


Mets ace Matt Harvey (11-7) faces prized rookie Aaron Nola (5-1) in the series finale Wednesday night, the first matchup between two talented NL East pitchers who could be squaring off for years to come. Both right-handers were drafted No. 7 overall, Harvey out of North Carolina in 2010 and Nola from LSU last year.


Pirates 4 vs. 7 Brewers Final Recap

Nelson leads Brewers past Pirates 7-4

By RICH ROVITO - Associated Press

Wednesday, September 2 at 12:23 AM (EDT)

MILWAUKEE (AP) Jimmy Nelson followed up one of his worst starts of the season with one of his best.

And he did it against one of baseball's hottest teams.

Nelson pitched seven dominant innings and the Milwaukee Brewers tagged Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole for five early runs on the way to a 7-4 victory Tuesday night.

''Obviously, I was better than in my last couple of outings but the biggest thing, I think, was that first inning 4-spot,'' Nelson said. ''Any time that happens, it really helps you to relax and settle in.''

Nelson (11-10) defeated the Pirates for the fourth time in five starts this season. He gave up four hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out six.

''Even in the minor leagues and college, there are just some teams you throw well against,'' Nelson said. ''They're a very good team and it seems like they're always hot when they face us.''

Nelson rebounded from a rough outing at Cleveland last Wednesday when he gave up five runs and four hits and walked eight batters in 3 1-3 innings in taking the loss.

''You'd rather have no walks and give up a few more hits here and there because sometimes a lot of those hits can turn into outs,'' Nelson said.

He threw strikes on 72 of his 101 pitches.

''He just really pounded the strike zone,'' manager Craig Counsell said.

The Brewers collected four consecutive hits in the first off Cole (15-8). Ryan Braun drove in a run with a single and Adam Lind drove in two with a double as Milwaukee grabbed a 3-0 lead before Cole retired a batter. Jean Segura drove in another run in the inning on a two-out infield hit.

Jonathan Lucroy's run-scoring single extended Milwaukee's lead to 5-0 in the second. Cole had surrendered five earned runs in a game only once before this season, on June 24, against Cincinnati.

Cole lasted four innings, his shortest outing of the season. He gave up five runs and eight hits. He walked one and struck out two.

''We stuck to our approach to get a good pitch to hit early in the count,'' Milwaukee second baseman Scooter Gennett said.

While Cole struggled, Nelson cruised. He retired 10 straight before Jung Ho Kang led off the fifth with a double and then scored on Neil Walker's single.

Pedro Alvarez hit a leadoff home run in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-2.

The Brewers added two runs in the eighth. Aramis Ramirez and Kang hit back-to-back homers in the ninth.

Francisco Rodriquez recorded the final out for his 32nd save in 33 tries.


Pirates: OF Jaff Decker, LHP Bobby LaFromboise and C Elias Diaz were recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. The club selected the contracts of RHP Radhames Liz and OF Travis Snider from Indianapolis.

Brewers: Counsell said that RHP Zach Davies likely will be the only call-up until Triple-A Colorado Springs finishes its season next Monday.


Ramirez played his first game at Miller Park since being traded to Pittsburgh from Milwaukee on July 23. Ramirez was in his fourth season with the Brewers before being shipped to the team for which he broke into the major leagues in 1998. Ramirez's went 0 for 3 against Nelson before homering off reliever David Goforth. ''You can tell when you see those lazy popups to right field or breaking bats like I did, that means a pitcher's got a pretty good sinker going,'' Ramirez said of Nelson.


Pirates: RHP Rob Scahill has been recalled from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis and reinstated from the 15-day DL. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club has reinstated RHP Casey Sadler from the minor league DL, recalled him to Pittsburgh and placed him on the 60-day DL with a right elbow strain.

Brewers: Domingo Santana was hit by a pitch for the second time in as many games. A fastball from Radhames Liz struck Santana in the left calf. On Sunday, he was hit above the left elbow.


Pirates: Jeff Locke (7-8, 4.46 ERA) is 4-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 10 career starts against Milwaukee. He's 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in three starts this year versus the Brewers.

Brewers: Zach Davies will be making his major league debut. Milwaukee acquired the right-hander from Baltimore on July 31 for OF Gerardo Parra. He was 1-2 with a 5.00 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs. ''I really don't think in your first big-league start it's necessarily who you're facing, it's how you handle how you feel,'' Counsell said. ''It's real different because it's that first start. And you've realized the dream.''


Rangers 8 vs. 6 Padres Final Recap

Andrus leads Rangers to 8-6 win over Padres


Wednesday, September 2 at 3:29 AM (EDT)

SAN DIEGO (AP) Elvis Andrus knew he was going to pull off a straight steal of home.

Moments after Andrus' go-ahead, run-scoring single keyed a three-run play, the Rangers' shortstop capped the four-run seventh inning by stealing home and leading Texas to an 8-6 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.

"First pitch, the guy actually takes a couple of seconds with his head down,'' Andrus said. ''The second time he did it, I said `Let's try it. Let's see what happens.' ''

Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer and closer Shawn Tolleson allowed two runs to score in the ninth before getting the last out with the tying runs on base.

''Exciting baseball but that is our guys,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''We let these guys play. When they see things on the field ... that's playing baseball.''

Texas, which has won eight of 11 games, remained one game ahead of Minnesota for the final AL wild-card berth.

Matt Kemp homered and drove in four runs for San Diego, and has a major-league best 38 RBIs since the All-Star break.

After Kemp's 17th homer in the fifth put the Padres ahead 4-3, Andrus tied the game in the sixth with a sacrifice fly.

Reliever Marc Rzepczynski (0-1) got the first two outs in the seventh before the Rangers loaded the bases. Fielder singled and Sean Kelley replaced Rzepczynski. Adrian Beltre singled Fielder to second and after a passed ball moved both runners up, the right-handed Kelley intentionally walked lefty Rougned Odor to load the bases.

Andrus followed with a sharply-hit single to right to drive in Fielder. Kemp's throw to the plate was in time for Norris, who dove to his left to tag Beltre.

But on the slide, Beltre's foot knocked the ball out of Norris' glove and to the backstop, allowing Odor to also score.

Norris, who was on the ground holding his left arm, left the game with a strained shoulder. Kelley threw one warm-up pitch to Norris' replacement, Austin Hedges, then walked off the mound and left the game with a forearm strain.

Quackenbush replaced Kelley, and with a 2-1 count on Will Venable, Andrus took off for home. He was about three-fourths of the way to the plate before Quackenbush delivered the pitch, which was low and away.

''They took advantage of our pitcher,'' Padres manager Pat Murphy said. ''He was reminded of it last week that it could possible happen. It's just something he's had a habit of doing, not looking at the runner.''

Ross Ohlendorf (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning.

The Padres loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Tolleson, who struck out Justin Upton looking before Jed Gyorko had an RBI single and Hedges a sacrifice fly. Tolleson retired Cory Spangenberg on a fly out to end the game.

Fielder hit a 95 mph fastball off Andrew Cashner that skimmed off the top of the center-field wall for his 18th home run.


Andrus has stolen home four times in his career. Before Tuesday night, the last time he pulled off the feat was Aug. 19, 2013, against Houston.


Kemp extended his career-best streak of reaching base in 21 straight games. Kemp is now tied with Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutcheon for third in the NL with 85 RBIs.


Rangers: OF Josh Hamilton (left knee inflammation) and C Carlos Corporan (left thumb sprain) were activated from the 15-day DL. Hamilton, who had missed 18 of the previous 24 games, is expected to be restricted to pinch-hitting duty.

Padres: CF Wil Myers (left wrist tendinitis) began a rehab assignment with Single-A Lake Elsinore. Myers has missed 95 games since May 11. . . 1B Yonder Alonso was lifted for a pinch hitter in the third inning after he experienced lower back tightness.


Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels, makes his sixth start since being acquired in a trade with Philadelphia. Hamels, who grew up the San Diego suburb of Rancho Bernardo, is 9-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 16 starts against the Padres, holding San Diego to a .198 batting average.

Padres: RHP Ian Kennedy has pitched much better in the second half but was inconsistent with his normally solid command in his last start, a 7-1 loss at Philadelphia. The right-hander needed a near-season high 118 pitches to get through 6 2/3 innings as he walked five, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.


Tigers 6 vs. 5 Royals Final Recap

Verlander, Kinsler lead Tigers to 6-5 victory over Royals


Wednesday, September 2 at 12:55 AM (EDT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Justin Verlander may not be pitching like he did in 2011, when he won the AL Cy Young and MVP awards.

But he's been plenty good for Detroit over the last month.

Verlander threw his fifth consecutive quality start, and Ian Kinsler homered and drove in three runs as the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 Tuesday night.

The Tigers, who had lost nine of 10 to drop into last place in the AL Central, snapped a four-game losing streak.

Verlander (3-6) limited the Royals to seven hits and four runs, two unearned, over 6 2-3 innings. He has a 0.76 ERA in his past five starts and the Tigers' lone two victories since Aug. 19, including a one-hit shutout of the Angels in his previous outing.

''It wasn't spectacular, but it's nice to get the win for the team,'' Verlander said. ''My fastball location was really good. When other pitches aren't working as well, fastball location gets you out of trouble.''

Verlander's velocity picked up as the game went along. He was throwing 97 mph in his final inning, including 10 straight pitches of 95-plus.

''I'm aware of it,'' Verlander said.

The last time Verlander faced the Royals was Aug. 4, when he allowed five runs and 10 hits over seven innings. It was his only rough start in his past eight.

''Obviously we adjusted our game plan to have more success,'' catcher James McCann said.

Johnny Cueto (2-4), who the Royals acquired in a July 26 trade with Cincinnati, allowed four runs on nine hits over six innings. Cueto has given up 38 hits in his past four starts, the most hits he has allowed in his career over a four-start span. He has allowed 17 runs in 17 innings in losing his past three starts.

''This is obviously part of the game,'' Cueto said with coach Pedro Grifol as his interpreter. ''Every player has a streak like this. I'm not concerned because I'm well aware that this is going to turn around and I'm going to help this team.''

Cueto, who shut out the Tigers on Aug. 10, yielded six hits and three runs in the first two innings. Miguel Cabrera, who hit .393 in August, singled home Anthony Gose in the first inning.

''He just wasn't real sharp the first three innings,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Miguel Almonte gave up a two-run, seventh-inning homer to Kinsler in his major league debut. Kinsler also hit a two-out RBI single in the fourth.

Kendrys Morales homered in the fourth off Verlander. Alex Gordon, who missed 48 games with a groin injury, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the second. Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar had RBIs in the seventh.

The Royals cut the lead to one run in the eighth on a Salvador Perez single.

Bruce Rondon worked a scoreless ninth for his third save in four opportunities.


Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (right oblique strain) made 60 throws from flat ground.

Royals: LF Gordon was reinstated after being out eight weeks with a strained left groin. ... RHP Kelvin Herrera and RF Alex Rios have the chickenpox and likely will miss a minimum of two weeks. ... 3B Mike Moustakas (pulled hamstring) did not start, but grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.


Tigers: LHP Randy Wolf makes his third start after losing his first two despite a 2.57 ERA.

Royals: Newly acquired OF Jonny Gomes will likely start Wednesday. He is 13 for 23 (.522) with two home runs off Wolf.


White Sox 6 vs. 8 Twins Final Recap

Sano sparks Twins in rally past White Sox 8-6

By DAVE CAMPBELL - AP Sports Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 12:32 AM (EDT)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Miguel Sano has been playing with a strain of his right hamstring, a mild injury that's still a concern for the Minnesota Twins.

There's a natural solution to this. Keep hitting the ball into the seats, and Sano doesn't have to run hard at all.

Sano's towering home run tied the game for Minnesota in the seventh inning, and two Chicago errors aided the go-ahead rally in the eighth for the Twins in an 8-6 victory Tuesday night over the White Sox.

''It's really important because this team can make the playoffs, so I'm excited about that,'' said Sano, who took three steps before starting a slow jog to complete his 14th home run in his 50th major league game.

''Sano is the next Miguel Cabrera, in a couple years,'' said teammate Eduardo Escobar. ''He looks like a veteran guy, not a rookie.''

Escobar's leadoff double, his third hit, started the trouble for Zach Duke (3-5), who threw away a sacrifice bunt attempt by Kurt Suzuki for one run. Third baseman Tyler Saladino let a grounder go through his legs, and the Twins scored twice more on a single and a sacrifice fly.

Kevin Jepsen (3-6) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the win. Glen Perkins recorded his 32nd save, his first in 16 days, despite a three-hit ninth that included an RBI single by Saladino.

Avasail Garcia's two-run homer in the sixth inning gave Chris Sale and the White Sox a 5-4 lead, but Ventura pulled the lanky left-hander with one out in the seventh for hard-throwing righty Nate Jones for the right-handed heart of Minnesota's order. Sano drove a full-count, two-out changeup from Jones into the second deck.

''He's pretty calm up there. I know he's young, but he doesn't look young when he's going to the plate,'' Ventura said.

The Twins, who are 41-25 at home this year including 7-1 against the White Sox, stepped into September with a wild card spot in play, their first meaningful final month of the season in five years. The Twins started the day one game behind Texas for the second American League wild card spot. The Rangers played later Tuesday night at San Diego.

Promoted straight from Double-A two months ago, Sano had three hits to raise his batting average to a team-best .295. He has 41 RBIs.

Manager Paul Molitor said the hamstring ''concerns me somewhat'' but said team athletic trainers have told him Sano faces minimal risk for aggravating the injury because of the flexibility and strength he has in his leg.

''It isn't bothering the swing, and he's a tough guy to take out of there,'' Molitor said.

Sale is 1-3 with a 6.30 ERA in five starts against the Twins this year and 11-4 with a 2.68 ERA in his 21 other turns. Sale threw two wild pitches in a four-run second by the Twins, when Escobar and Suzuki hit RBI singles and Brian Dozier added a two-run double.

Rookie Tyler Duffey, who has been a superb fill-in with Phil Hughes recovering from a back injury with a 1.89 ERA over his previous three starts, cruised into the fifth inning behind a sharp curveball with 14 outs through the first 14 batters he faced.

Then came the two-out single by Adam LaRoche, three consecutive walks to the last three hitters in the lineup and a two-run single by Adam Eaton to cut the lead to 4-3. Duffey was replaced by Neil Cotts, who finished that frame without further damage but left a runner on for Garcia to drive in with the homer in the sixth.


Sale had 10 strikeouts for the White Sox, his 13th start this season with double digits. The last major league pitcher to strike out at least 10 batters that many times in a year was Randy Johnson, who had 13 such starts in 2004 for Arizona. Sale predictably downplayed the feat.

''I understand what it is and what it means, but at the same time we're right in the thick of it right now and we've just started one of the hardest months of the year,'' he said.


Sano said he's getting treatment on his hamstring for 45 minutes before each game and 20 minutes after. The injury kept him out Friday, but that's his only absence.

''I'm in pain, but I'm OK,'' Sano said.


The White Sox send LHP Carlos Rodon (6-5, 4.15 ERA) to the mound Wednesday. LHP Tommy Milone (6-4, 3.86 ERA) starts for the Twins.


Yankees 3 vs. 1 Red Sox Final Recap

Gardner homers for Yankees in 3-1 win at Boston

By DOUG ALDEN - Associated Press

Wednesday, September 2 at 12:51 AM (EDT)

BOSTON (AP) The New York Yankees capitalized on the few hits they got in between strikeouts.

Brett Gardner homered and Stephen Drew hit a two-run double as the Yankees pieced together just enough offense to overcome Rick Porcello's career-high 13 strikeouts and beat the Boston Red Sox 3-1 on Tuesday night.

The Yankees had only five hits and struck out 15 times, but New York hit in key moments and Boston batters failed to give Porcello much help.

''The gratifying thing at this time of year is wins, no matter how you do it,'' manager Joe Girardi said. ''If you get a break or however it happens, that's the gratifying thing.''

The Yankees helped themselves defensively, getting a strong start from Michael Pineda and catching the Red Sox in a double-steal attempt to quickly fizzle a promising rally in the eighth.

Pineda (10-8) allowed one run and four hits and struck out seven and Andrew Miller picked up his 29th save with three strikeouts in the ninth.

Porcello (6-12) scattered five hits over eight innings and the only earned run he allowed was Gardner's solo homer in the eighth. He topped his previous high for strikeouts by two, but the Red Sox gave him little support at the plate.

''You go out there and you want to win. That's the bottom line. I think anybody would tell you that,'' Porcello said. ''It's a nice night for me personally but as far as the team goes we didn't accomplish what we wanted to.''

Down 3-1 after Gardner's homer to right, the Red Sox had a chance to regain the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Mookie Betts led off with a single and Xander Bogaerts singled with one out, giving Boston runners at first and second for slugger David Ortiz.

Ortiz struck out in his first three at-bats and the Red Sox sent both runners. The gamble failed as Betts was called out when he slid into third and briefly lost contact with the base.

''At that point we figured it was a good risk,'' interim manager Torey Luvollo said.

Betts thought he was safe and told third-base umpire Vic Carapazza that if his foot came off, it was only because third baseman Chase Headley pushed him. The Red Sox challenged the call, which was confirmed after a video review.

''I felt like I was safe the whole time,'' Betts said. ''It caught me a lot by surprise because I didn't think my foot came off.''

The Red Sox lost on the gamble, the review and again when Ortiz struck out for the fourth time and ended the inning.

Boston's only run came in the third, when Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled and scored on Pablo Sandoval's single to right.


The Yankees picked up two unearned runs in the fifth after Didi Gregorius hit a grounder that got past Travis Shaw at first base. Alex Rodriguez, who led off with a single, trudged from first base to third as the ball slowly rolled down the right-field line and Gregorius reached second on Shaw's error. Both scored easily when Drew followed with a double to center to put the Yankees up 2-1.


Porcello was attempting to win consecutive starts for just the second time this season. The Yankees foiled his attempt at a mini-winning streak, although Girardi acknowledged how tough Porcello was.

''Our guys said he had as much comeback in his movement on his fastball as they've ever seen tonight,'' Girardi said. ''We knew he had good sink, but they said it was huge tonight. So we took advantage of the situation and it was big.''


Luvollo defended the double-steal call after the game and credited the Yankees with stopping it, although he still had questions about the call.

''The only replays I've seen are the ones that the fans had seen and it looked like there was a chance that he still touched the bag. But Major League Baseball has told us that he did not maintain contact with the bag,'' Luvollo said.


Yankees: RHP Andrew Bailey was among the additions the Yankees made to the expanded roster Tuesday. Bailey hasn't pitched in the majors since seriously injuring his shoulder while pitching for Boston in 2013.

Red Sox: LF Hanley Ramirez missed his fifth straight game with a sore right shoulder. Luvollo said he hopes Ramirez will return before the end of the season, but he won't be playing in the outfield again. Ramirez struggled defensively through much of the season during Boston's attempt to convert him to an outfielder.


Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-6) makes his 20th start of the season. Tanaka is 11-5 in 18 career starts on the road and 1-1 in Boston.

Red Sox: Rookie LHP Henry Owens (2-1) makes his first start at home since going eight innings in a win over Kansas City on Aug. 21, holding the Royals to two runs and four hits. Owens got a no-decision last week against the New York Mets.


Nationals 5 vs. 8 Cardinals Final Recap

Moss' 3-run homer ends it as Cardinals beat Nationals 8-5

By R.B. FALLSTROM - AP Sports Writer

Wednesday, September 2 at 12:43 AM (EDT)

ST. LOUIS (AP) This is what the St. Louis Cardinals had in mind when they acquired Brandon Moss at the non-waiver trade deadline.

''That's a long way to go,'' manager Mike Matheny said after Moss hit a three-run walk-off home run with two outs in the ninth inning for an 8-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

''I know he's been pressing a bit to show what he can do - and I think we're seeing it.''

The NL Central-leading Cardinals have won nine of 10 and lead the division by six games. They've won nine in a row over Washington, coming from behind the last two nights.

After a very slow start since coming from Cleveland, Moss is starting to put things together. All three homers with St. Louis have come in the last six games, and his drive off Casey Janssen (1-4) was his fifth career walk-off.

''I've hit some good ones, but this one definitely is up there just because of where I'm at and how hard it's been to get one here, and the timing of it,'' Moss said. ''Definitely up there.''

Moss, who struck out with the bases loaded to end the third, homered to straightaway center on a 1-0 count. Janssen said it was supposed to be a cutter inside and ''I left it up and it was terrible.''

Janssen took the loss on Monday, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Mitch Harris (2-1) worked the last two innings, allowing two hits. He was among three minor league call-ups Monday.

''Everybody wants to be in this position,'' Harris said. ''It's great to be a part of it.''

Ryan Zimmerman homered and Anthony Rendon had a two-run double in a four-run third for Washington.

The Cardinals scored three runs on one hit in the bottom of the third and tied it with two runs on one hit with an error in the eighth.

Both starters lasted just 2 2-3 innings. Nationals rookie Joe Ross gave up one hit but had a season-high six walks and was charged with three runs. Cardinals call-up Marco Gonzales allowed four runs on seven hits with lots of solid contact.

Washington manager Matt Williams said Ross had trouble with his grip.

''He had problems feeling it and throwing it over the plate,'' Williams said. ''No issues physically, he just couldn't command it.''

Gonzales, who was 1-4 with a 5.20 ERA for Triple-A Memphis, started in place of Carlos Martinez, who was scratched with back soreness but is expected to make his next turn.

''It's been an up and down year for me as everybody knows,'' said Gonzales, who was an effective rookie on the Cardinals' NL championship series team last fall but has been slowed by injuries this season. ''It's a learning experience, for sure.''

Carlos Villanueva replaced Gonzales and restored order, allowing one hit in 3 1-3 innings with a season-high six strikeouts.

''He's done that all season,'' Matheny said. ''He helps Marco get out of that inning and then he sails.''


Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, limited to four innings by upper back tightness in his last start, played catch without problems. If he feels well, he'll be scheduled for a bullpen session that would keep him on track to go Friday against Atlanta.

Cardinals: Matt Holliday took batting practice at Busch Stadium for the first time since straining his right quadriceps muscle and lined several homers. Lefty Tim Cooney will be shut down after three weeks of inactivity following an appendectomy.


Max Scherzer (11-11, 2.88) tries to shake off a forgettable August in which he was 0-3 with a 6.43 ERA and surrendered seven homers in five starts. Michael Wacha seeks his 16th victory and was 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in August.


Stephen Piscotty had two hits and is 16 for 38 (.421) during a nine-game hitting streak. He has 12 multi-hit games in 38 games.