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Doug Fister injury update: Nationals await word on RHP's muscle injury

  • Doug Fister was described as a prize offseason acquisition of the Washington Nationals. Tests on Friday could derail him before the 2014 scheduled begins.Fister was dealing with elbow inflammation when he pitched Thursday in a minor-league game. He left the mound after one inning with what reports described as a strained lat muscle. He could be placed on the disabled list, according to .comWhatever the verdict, Fister's latest injury is "a setback," new Nats manager Matt Williams told The Washington Post. Team officials were already cautious with the right-handed pitcher. Now they wonder if he will be ready for a scheduled April 6 start. Acquired in an offseason trade with the Detroit Tigers, Fister was supposed to be a key component of a s夜网论坛trong rotation. Now there are questions when he will be ready.For now, the Post reported, Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan are in like to start the season in the rotation.Fister started 32 games last season, throwing 209 innings. He had a 3.67 ERA but a solid 159 strikeouts to 44 walks.The latissimus dorsi muscles — there are one on each side of the body — runs from the arm pit to the lower back. It draws the upper arm downward and backward and rotates it inward.[......]

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    Aramis Ramirez injury update: Brewers 3B likely headed to DL

  • Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez appears headed to the disabled 夜网论坛list with a strained left hamstring.The veteran slugger got hurt fielding a bouncer in the fourth inning of Saturday's 5-4 win over the New York Yankees. Ramirez had been showing signs of breaking out of a slump after singling and hitting a high homer to left earlier in that game. Ramirez said it was the first hamstring injury of his 16-year career. Manager Ron Roenicke said before Sunday's game against the Yankees that the team was planning on a disabled list stint for Ramirez.Outfielder Ryan Braun (right oblique) is eligible to come off the disabled list for Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh. Roenicke said he was unsure whether Braun might need a rehab game or be ready right away.[......]

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    'O' no: Baltimore ballgirl snatches up live ball

  • An Orioles ballgirl made a play on a grounder she'll probably never forget during Sunday's game.Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion ripped a line drive down the third base line that the umpires ruled fair. Too bad the ballgirl either didn't hear the call or wasn't paying attention, because she scurried over and snatched it right up. The umpires called it a ground rule double.Sure, being on the field during a major league baseball game is exciting and sometimes overwhelming, but the general ballgirl rule (and I can vouch for this) is not to touch anything questiona夜网论坛ble.So, uh, FAIL.[......]

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    Here's what Blue Jays, Royals can do to break playoff droughts

  • Only two franchises have failed to make the postseason in the wild-card era.If the season ended today, both of those streaks would be snapped. The season doesn’t end today, of course, so it doesn’t really matter that the Royals and Blue Jays are atop the AL Central and AL East, respectively. Kansas City hasn’t made the postseason since win夜网论坛ning the 1985 World Series, and Toronto hasn’t been since winning the 1993 fall classic. What do these two teams need to do to play in October? Let’s look …Blue JaysToronto leads the majors in home runs and is third in runs scored. Offense isn’t the issue. The Blue Jays need pitching help, which is why they’ve been connected to pretty much every available hurler thought to be on the trade market. Though it might be tough to convince Tampa Bay to deal David Price within the division, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos will explore the possibility. The Blue Jays are considered a frontrunner to land Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija, though meeting Chicago’s prospect demands won’t be easy. The Jays would prefer an ace, make no mistake.The rotation is actually in better shape than most people realize. At the top of the current configuration, veteran Mark Buehrle has been outstanding (2.32 ERA in 15 starts) and youngster Drew Hutchison has been solid (3.62 ERA in 14 starts) in his first action since Tommy John surgery. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey got off to a rough start, but he has a 3.23 ERA in his past 10 starts. J.A. Happ has been hit-or-miss (4.04 ERA as a starter).The bullpen was awful the first several weeks of the season, but has been better since closer Casey Janssen returned from the DL (he has a 1.24 ERA). It helps that Sergio Santos is back; he’s thrown two scoreless innings since returning from the DL. Still, there’s no such thing as too many reliable relievers, and more arms wouldn’t hurt.RoyalsThe Royals are pretty much the opposite of the Blue Jays. Their pitching has been excellent, but they have done only an acceptable job scoring runs (eighth in the AL), but if the lack of power continues, that might be hard to keep up.Kansas City hit just 39 home runs in its first 71 games (next-worst in the AL is Texas, at 51), a level of futility we haven’t seen in quite some time. In fact, we haven’t seen a team finish with fewer home runs than wins since the Brewers in 1992. Heading into Friday’s contest, the Royals had 39 homers and 39 wins.Theoretically, at least, some players the current roster will improve in that aspect. DH Billy Butler and 1B Eric Hosmer combined for 32 homers in 2013, but they have just six so far in 2014. Mike Moustakas had a horrible start to 2014 and has been a tiny bit better since his demotion to Triple-A, but his job isn’t safe.The Royals could look to upgrade in right field, too, where Nori Aoki is having his worst season, but he is KC’s leadoff man. It’ll be interesting to see how GM Dayton Moore chooses to proceed.[......]

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    Josh Hamilton's Angels return overshadowed by Jon Singleton's Astros debut

  • HOUSTON — Jon Singleton homered and had two RBIs in his major league debut, Chris Carter also homered and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-2 Tuesday night.Jason Castro and Robbie Grossman drove in two runs apiece as Houston took the lead with a five-run third inning. The Angels were done in by C.J. Wilson's lack of control. Wilson (6-5) walked a season-high five batters, including four in the third, in just 2 2-3 innings.Josh Hamilton had a solo homer in the eighth inning in his return from the disabled list after breaking his left thumb on April 8. Fellow outfielder Mike Trout was back after missing two games with a stiff back, but left in the second inning with more back trouble. Collin Cowgill replaced Trout and homered in the eighth.Singleton walked and had two strikeouts and two errors at first base before he launched a towering shot off Matt Shoemaker into the bullpen in right-center in the eighth inning for his first major league hit to make it 6-2. Carter followed with his opposite field shot to the seats in right field to give Houston back-to-back homers for the first time this season.Wilson walked three of the first four batters in the third inning to load the bases. Castro followed with his single to right field to put Houston up 2-0. Matt Dominguez singled to load the bases again and Wilson walked Singleton on four pitches to give the rookie his first career RBI.He struck out Carter for the second out before Grossman's full-count single drove in two more to stretch the lead to 5-0 and chase Wilson.Houston starter Collin McHugh (4-3) allowed two hits over five scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.52.Singleton, a highly touted prospect expected to help Houston back to respectability, made his major league debut a day after agreeing to a five-year, $10 million contract. Fellow young talent George Springer, who was called up in April, stood up in the dugout cheering and yelling as the 22-year-old Singleton rounded the bases on his homer.The players danced and laughed together when Singleton returned to the dugout, a rare scene in recent years as the Astros plummeted to Major League Baseball's basement.Singleton served a 50-game suspension last season for a second violation of a drug of abuse. He told The Associated Press in sprin夜网论坛g training that he has an addiction to marijuana and had spent a month in a rehabilitation center last year. He moved past his problems this season and got the call to the majors after hitting .267 with 14 homers and 43 RBIs for Triple-A Oklahoma City.He said before the game that Tuesday meant even more because of his past struggles."It's definitely been a work in progress every single day that's been leading up to today," he said "Today is one of the happiest days of my life."Los Angeles loaded the bases in the fourth after Albert Pujols singled, Hamilton walked and a hit batter with two outs. McHugh escaped the jam when Chris Iannetta lined out to third.McHugh made a nifty spinning[......]

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    Albert Pujols: Home run stroke is back, timing is perfect

  • MVP seasons and World Series rings couldn't help Albert Pujols in his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. This season, the power and production that made Pujols a start have returned.Just ask the Houston Astros. Long an Albert nemesis, with memories of a bomb off Brad Lidge haunting their collective memories, Astros fans watched Pujols unload his 511th career homer Saturday. MORE: 500 homer list, hitters and their favorite pitchersBetter yet for the Angels: Homer No. 19 on the season was the go-ahead hit in what became an 11-5 victory. "It doesn't matter who we're facing," Pujols said. "We hit some balls hard against [starter Scott] Feldman, but he made some good pitches when he needed them to get out of some innings. But our goal is not to concentrate on who's on the mound. It's to go out there and have quality at-bats against anybody."It was the 511th homer of his career, tying Mel Ott for 23rd place on baseball's list and putting one behind Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews. Pujols added his 542nd career double in the ninth, overtaking Rogers Hornsby for 30th place."It's good to see him attacking the ball the way he can," Scioscia said. "Albert knows how important he is to our lineup. And when he doesn't play to his potential, nobody feels it more than he does. We need Albert to do what he's capable of, and he's doing it."A week ago, reports suggested Pujols was loafing, not playing all out and at his accustomed pace. Turns out, he was playing through a swollen lymph node in his groin.Of course, there's something that brings out the best of Pujols. The rivalry he fueled between the Astros and St. Louis Cardinals is not to be dismissed, and Pujols seems ready, willing and able to beat up on a team that has been baseball's favorite punching bag for years.Saturday was a classic example. He was 3-for-5 with his homer and three RBIs. He entered Sunday 7-for-13 in the series' first two games with two homers and five run scores.That first game homer, by the way, pushed him past Gary Sheffield on the all-time list. Once he gets past Banks and Matthews, he will shoot for Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas and Ted Williams, tied for 18th all time at 521.Pujols had an夜网论坛 offseason in 2012, his first season with the Angels, hitting below .300 with 30 homers. Injuries shortened his 2013 season, and now he has more homers than last season.Pujols still isn't fully back; he is hitting .265, well below his .319 career average.[......]

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    WATCH: Brandon Phillips saves game with diving catch

  • The Reds thanked their lucky stars for second baseman Brandon Phillips' athleticism on Monday night.After Aroldis Chapman blew his first save of the season to send the Reds and the Nationals to extras, Phillips laid out for a diving catch of a Wilson Ramo夜网论坛s liner in the bottom of the 12th. — SN ranks baseball's worst bullpens Three innings later, Phillips scored ahead of Todd Frazier's tiebreaking two-run homer. Cincy won the game, 4-3.[......]

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    Rockies score twice in ninth to stun Giants

  • SAN FRANCISCO — Brandon Barnes isn'夜网论坛t a classic power hitter. In fact, neither of the Colorado right fielder's two home runs this season even left the park.They did help the Rockies to victories, however, and for that Barnes isn't making any apologies. MORE: Trade rumors | 'Field of Dreams' anniversary | Cooperstown coversBarnes hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning and Colorado rallied for the second straight day to stun the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Saturday. "I'd really like to hit one out so I can jog around the bases to make it easier," said Barnes, who hit his first inside-the-park home run against Arizona on June 5. "I always seem to make it hard on myself. I hit the ball and I'm going to run hard until something stops me."Charlie Blackmon singled with two outs off Giants closer Sergio Romo (3-3) before Barnes lined a hit to center field. San Francisco's Angel Pagan misplayed the ball and it skipped to the fence as Blackmon and Barnes raced around the bases.Barnes, who had a walkoff triple to beat the Dodgers on June 7, had flown out to center in three consecutive at-bats before helping Colorado extend its winning streak to four games."My father made the trip up from Anaheim for Fathers' day tomorrow and my step-mom and sister were here," Barnes said. "It's special to play in front of them, especially like a day like today."It's the second consecutive blown save and fourth this season for Romo, who gave up five runs in the ninth inning of Friday's 7-4 loss to Colorado."I don't feel like I could have done much more there," Romo said. "I had two outs, one pitch away again ... and they found a way to stay alive. They got me again. What can I do?"Buster Posey's sacrifice fly in the seventh inning had given the Giants a 4-3 lead. Posey also doubled and homered to finish with a season-high three RBIs — the most by San Francisco's two-time All-Star in more than 11 months.Hunter Pence hit his ninth home run of the year while Gregor Blanco had three hits for San Francisco.It wasn't enough to prevent the Giants' fifth loss in six games.Barnes is the fourth opposing player to hit an inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park.Rex Brothers (3-4) pitched one inning for the win and became the 76th pitcher in history to strike out the side on nine pitches. LaTroy Hawkins worked the ninth for his 13th save, although he had to wait to celebrate.Angel Pagan appeared to ground into a game-ending double play and several Rockies players came out of the dugout to celebrate. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who successfully overturned a call earlier in the game, again challenged the ruling. After a brief review, the umpires upheld the original call."There was talk about the games here and how crazy they are," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "It usually comes down to millimeters and milliseconds. Barnes has a tendency to be in the middle of things. He's been a real clutch player for us."The Giants went into the game with the b[......]

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    Twins fan shaves Brian Dozier jersey into back hair

  • There are certain things in life that are best left unseen.This is probably on夜网论坛e of them. A Twins fan decided to show his support for Minnesota's second baseman, Brian Dozier, by manscaping his back hair into a jersey.Ultimate Dozier fan @geoffreytweets @thecheeseball19 @nickgroke pic.twitter.com/KFRyYxi6l9— David Carmichael (@dpcRocktober) July 12, 2014Brian Dozier Back Hair Jersey. Cannot unsee. h/t @FSNtylermason . pic.twitter.com/el38Xdu0IB— Memes (@Meme) July 12, 2014Said fan was supposedly in attendance at the Rockies-Twins game on Friday night, sporting his hairy creation. So, uh, you're welcome. Or something.Source: Memes[......]

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    Red Sox officially introduce Yoan Moncada

  • Baseball Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington introduced the team's newly acquired switch-hitting second baseman from Cuba, Yoan Moncada, as "one of the few most talented 19-year-olds in the world" at a Friday news conference ."He's got a really unique combination of skills — great athlete, speed, switch hitter with power from both sides of the plate, defensive skills," Cherington said. "He's an athlete with the ability to play multiple positions if he had to, but he's a natural second baseman." MORE: Five bold Red Sox predictions | Madden not a fan of Ferrell's marathon | PHOTOS: Ferrell's dayMoncada and the Red Sox agreed to a minor-league deal on Thursday night. Although the Red Sox did not disclose the details of the contract, Yahoo! Sports reported that Moncada will recieve a record $31.5 million signing bonus, shattering the previous record of $8.27 million for an international amateur. He will immediately begin training with the team. "We want to try to let him get into some baseball normalcy as quickly as possible," Cherington said.Moncada has additionally played shortstop, third base and center field."He's going to enter the minor league system — there's still development to do," Cherington said. "He's a developing baseball player, but an exceptionally talented one. Obviously, given the investment we're making, we believe he can be a very good majo夜网论坛r-league player for a long time and we're committed to helping him get there, in the right way."Moncada defected from Cuba in August after hitting  .277/.388/.380 with four home runs and 21 stolen bases in two seasons with the Cuban National Series team Cienfuegos. He became emotional when he discussed the struggle of not seeing his family in more than nine months after never going a week without seeing them. Still, he maintained that he's anxious to get to work."I'm just really looking forward to getting back on the field and playing baseball because I've gone so long since I've actually been able to just to go out and play," Moncada said. "I'm looking forward for the opportunity of just being with this organization and very thankful to everyone with the Red Sox who made that possible."More than anything, I'm looking forward to getting in shape and baseball shape, so I can get back on field."[......]

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