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Less than three months after making his major league debut, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is an All-Star, one of two rookies selected along with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal also was a first-time selection Monday for the July 14 game in Cincinnati.

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Post info: By TBRays01 on July 6th, 2015
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Looking to shake up his lineup a bit and buy some rest for veterans Mike Napoli and Hanley Ramirez, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell wrote David Ortiz’s name into the lineup at first base on Sunday. That may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but it kind of is when you consider Ortiz has not started a home game at first base since July 16, 2005. That’s a nearly 10-year stretch between home starts at first base. In fact, we’re just 11 days short of celebrating the 10-year anniversary. That’s a long, long time, even in baseball years. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] Ortiz’s first base appearances are typically reserved for Boston’s interleague games in National League parks, when the designated hitter rule disappears. In fact, Ortiz hasn’t even started a non-interleague game in the field since Aug. 5, 2006, when he also started at first against the Tampa Bay Rays. And even on those occasions it’s a decision the Red Sox have to wrestle with.  That speaks to how unusual the arrangement is, and, quite frankly, how ill-suited Ortiz is for playing in the field, especially now at age 39. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t looking forward to it .  “When I play first base, it’s kind of fun because I’m not just thinking about hitting,” Ortiz said. “My only problem is I’m not 20 anymore, so it catches up with me at some point, but it’s fun. When I play first base every once in a while, it distracts me to something else, know what I’m saying? Which is good, because when you’re thinking about hitting, hitting, hitting, hitting, and at the time you’re not swinging well, you probably get stuck on that.” The distraction may do Ortiz some good. He enters play on Sunday hitting just .230/.322/.428 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs. The power numbers are on track and the overall numbers really aren’t that bad for a 39-year-old DH. However, the Red Sox need more and Ortiz has shown he’s capable of doing more, hitting .298/.389/.556 over the past four seasons. The one start may or may not help Ortiz in the long run, but Farrell’s focus is clearly on buying some rest for Hanley Ramirez and mental rehab for Mike Napoli.  On Sunday, Ramirez is handling DH duties as a way to get him off his feet and out of left field, where he’s struggled to adjust in Fenway Park.  He’s actually done quite well in his DH starts already this season, hitting .333 with four homers in six games, so it’s a role he seems comfortable in.  As for Napoli, he gets the day off on Sunday after going 0-for-9 with four strikeouts and an error during the first two games against Houston. His season batting average dropped to .192. With Boston also off on Monday, he’ll have two days to recharge and refocus. “Today’s lineup, I think gives us the best lineup we can put on the field,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “Recognize that it’s been quite some time since David has played first base in an American League game. It also gives us the ability to put [Alejandro] De Aza in left field. It’s about putting the best lineup on the field today.” That’s an interesting quote that seemingly leaves the door open for Ortiz to play some more first base down the road. Farrell wouldn’t confirm or deny any plans, simply stating that he didn’t know how frequently he’d consider it.  It’s something worth watching at least, and we definitely will be watching on Sunday.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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NEW YORK (AP) — After a week without a win, the Tampa Bay Rays were hardly shy about describing their celebration Sunday.

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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. After a quiet June, it seems Kris Bryant may be getting ready to get hot again in July. In the Cubs 7-2 victory against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, Bryant launched his first two home runs since June 22 — when he homered twice off Clayton Kershaw — and did so in each of the first two innings. In the first inning, Bryant connected for a two-run homer off Miami starter Jarred Cosart that may have clipped the new left field videoboard. One inning later, Bryant unloaded against Cosart for a grand slam, which broke the game wide open and gave him a career-high six RBIs. The Cubs wouldn’t need any more offense the rest of the game, and wouldn’t get any either. After Bryant’s slam, they couldn’t muster another hit against Miami’s bullpen. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] Veteran left-hander Clayton Richard picked up the win for Chicago in his Cubs debut. That was interesting for a couple reasons. First, Richard was only acquired in a minor trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. Second, he became the 2,000th player to suit up for the Cubs during a regular season game. He celebrated the opportunity and the milestone with a quality outing, holding Miami to two runs over 6 1/3 innings. ZACK GREINKE EXTENDS SCORELESS STREAK TO 27 2/3 INNINGS If you’re looking for the National League’s starting pitcher in the All-Star game, look no further than Zack Greinke. The Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander has been outstanding all season long, but he’s taken his game to another level over this past four starts by posting 27 2/3 scoreless innings. That’s a career best for Greinke, but he still has a ways to go to equal Orel Hershiser’s all-time (and franchise) record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings Greinke was good for seven scoreless in the Dodgers 4-3 win against the New York Mets on Saturday. Greinke allowed just four hits while striking out four. He finished strong, retiring the last 11 batters he faced, and left in good position with his Dodgers leading by four. However, the Mets made things interesting against the Los Angeles bullpen before ultimately falling short. On the other side, Matt Harvey admittedly struggled getting into a rhythm with his extra day of rest. In five innings, he allowed three runs on seven hits and five walks. That’s the very definition of laboring, and it’s a concern if the Mets go with a six-man rotation for any length of time. YANKEES MAKE IT BACK-TO-BACK WALK-OFF WINS After entering the month of July without a single walk-off win this season, the New York Yankees made it two straight in Saturday’s 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. On Friday, catcher Brian McCann provided the heroics, launched a three-run homer in the 12th inning. On Saturday, it was the Rays doing the heavy lifting for New York thanks to a costly throwing error by reliever Brad Boxberger. After Mark Teixeira started the ninth inning with a double and Chris Young drew a walk, rookie Ramon Flores dropped a sacrifice bunt attempt that Boxberger fielded and then threw wide to first base. As the ball skipped away, pinch-runner Jose Pirela raced around from second to score the winner. [ David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more. ] The victory was thrilling, but also somewhat bittersweet for New York. Starter Michael Pineda was excellent, shutting out the Rays on five hits over seven innings. He struck out 10. Unfortunately, closer Dellin Betances was unable to lock down the four-out save. In the ninth, he served up a game-tying home run to Steven Souza Jr. Souza had entered the game in an 0-for-25 slump with 15 strikeouts. A win is a win, which extended the Yankees lead in the AL East to two full games over the Baltimore Orioles. A loss is also a loss for the Rays, giving them seven straight. They’ve gone from first place to three games back this week. KENDALL GRAVEMAN OUTDUELS KING FELIX As is seemingly the case every year, the Oakland A’s have another outstanding young pitcher in Kendall Graveman that very few people are talking about. The 25-year-old right-hander was sent to the minor leagues earlier this season for a minor tuneup. Since returning on May 23, he’s posted eight quality starts in nine outings and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of them. More recently, he’s pitched at least seven innings in six straight without allowing more than two runs. That hot streak continued on Saturday, as Graveman tossed seven scoreless frames to outduel King Felix Hernandez in Oakland’s 2-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners. Hernandez himself pitched seven innings, but was a bit shaky at times. Though Oakland only scored twice, Hernandez allowed a season-high 10 hits. He had a particularly tough time dealing with leadoff man Billy Burns. Burns reached twice, scored twice and stole a bag. Ben Zobrist was responsible for knocking Burns home both times, with a single in the first and sacrifice fly in the seventh. With the win, Oakland moved to within one-half game of Seattle in the standings. The A’s currently occupy the cellar in the AL West. Also of note, it’s the first time Oakland has defeated Hernandez at O.co Coliseum in 13 starts. Want to see more from Saturday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Mark Teixeira turned on a 94 mph fastball from Brad Boxberger and hit a sharp grounder between the diving bodies of James Loney, positioned just off first base, and second baseman Jake Elmore, about 15 feet from the foul line, in short right field. After the ball rolled to the wall in the right-field corner, Teixeira slid into second base with a leadoff double in the ninth inning. A few minutes later, the Yankees had their second straight walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats . Detroit Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez nearly carved out a rare place in the history books on Friday night. The 31-year-old from Maracay, Venezuela came up five outs short of pitching his second career no-hitter in Detroit’s 8-6 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays. Yes, that score is deceiving. We’ll get to that in a moment.  As for Sanchez, he was looking to become the 28th pitcher in MLB history to throw multiple no-hitters. He also pitched a no-hitter for the then Florida Marlins on Sept. 6, 2006 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The near nine-year stretch between no-hitters would have been the second longest between a pitcher’s first and second.  [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] It takes a special performance just to notch one no-hitter. That’s why there have only been 289 of them in the league’s history. Sanchez was close to that level on Friday, allowing just two baserunners on a pair of walks through the first seven innings. He just didn’t have enough to cross the finish line.  Sanchez ended up allowing four runs on three hits in the inning. That’s because manager Brad Ausmus elected to stick with Sanchez despite his 110 pitches and the clear fact he was wearing out. The decision near’y proved disastrous as the Blue Jays offense caught fire and plated six runs before the eighth ended. Joakim Soria silenced them in the ninth for his 21st save.  The results were good, but the news isn’t all good for Detroit. First baseman Miguel Cabrera was forced to leave the game in the fourth inning with a strained left calf. He’s set to undergo an MRI and there’s concern his absence could be lengthy.  YANKEES PICK UP FIRST WALKOFF WIN IN 2015 The New York Yankees took their fans on a roller coaster ride Friday night, but made sure everyone went home happy with their first walk-off win since Derek Jeter’s final home game last September. Brian McCann played the role of hero, launching a three-run home run off Tampa Bay reliever Steve Geltz in the 12th to set off fireworks and wrap up the 7-5 victory.  The Yankees needed another big swing just to get to that spot though. Trailing by three runs in the eighth, Mark Teixeira launched a game-tying three-run homer off Kevin Jepsen. That wiped out an excellent start from Tampa’s Chris Archer, who tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.   The resilient Rays pulled back ahead in the 12th on RBI singles from Kevin Kiermaier and Rene Rivera, but New York would not be denied. Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira all reached base to help set up McCann’s big swing.  ROYALS ALSO NOTCH FIRST WALKOFF WIN The Yankees and Kansas City were the only two teams without a walkoff win entering play on Friday. That all changed in a matter of minutes.  Thanks to the speed of Lorenzo Cain and a well-placed ground ball by Jarrod Dyson, the Royals celebrated a 3-2, 10-inning victory against the visiting Minnesota Twins.  Cain led off the 10th with a double and went to third with one out on a wild pitch. Dyson then hit a chopper to first baseman Joe Mauer. Mauer fired home, but the tag was a split-second late as a headfirst sliding Cain got the plate with his left hand.  With the win, Kansas City snapped a season-high four-game losing streak and moved to 4 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota in the AL Central. Wade Davis earned the win on the hill with a scoreless 10th inning. His season ERA was lowered to 0.26.       CARDINALS LOSE FOURTH STRAIGHT AT HOME It turns out the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t unbeatable after all. After being swept in a quick two-game series by the Chicago White Sox, the Cardinals have now lost two straight to the San Diego Padres, running their losing streak to four. On Friday, they fell 2-1 despite a strong effort from right-hander Michael Wacha. Wacha allowed just one run over seven outstanding innings. Closer Trevor Rosenthal, who had allowed just two earned runs all season, cracked in the ninth however, allowing a run on a Yangervis Solarte triple and Jedd Gyorko single. That run would be the difference.  For San Diego, Andrew Cashner was on point, holding St. Louis to one run over six innings. Three Padres relievers combined to allow just one hit over three innings, with Craig Kimbrel picking up his 21st save. Gyorko was the offensive hero, knocking in both of San Diego’s runs.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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The New York Yankees placed Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list Friday because a strained left oblique muscle, and they pushed CC Sabathia’s next start back three days so he can work on fixing some pitching problems. The Yankees initially thought Beltran would be able to avoid a long layoff after feeling pain in his side while swinging the bat Tuesday. ”It just puts you in somewhat of a difficult position – if we were to test it and make it worse,” manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees faced the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. The Atlanta Braves managed to do something few teams have done this season: They registered a victory against Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer. The win didn’t come without controversy, though. With the two clubs knotted 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Scherzer took the mound hoping to send the game into extras.  Pedro Ciriaco led off the frame with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jace Peterson. That’s when controversy struck. Cameron Maybin hit a walk-off single down the third base line to win the contest. Whether the ball was fair or foul is up for debate. The ball took a big hop on the infield dirt and landed in foul territory once it hit the ground. Umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled that the ball passed over third base in fair territory, making it a fair ball. Nationals manager Matt Williams did not agree with the call, but due to a strange wrinkle in the replay rules, the umps could not take another look at the play. The rule states that any ball that lands in front of the first or third base umps is not eligible to be reviewed. That seems random, but those are the rules. With the win, Atlanta improved to 38-41 on the year.   MATT MOORE RUNS OUT OF STEAM Jose Fernandez and Matt Cain weren’t the only pitchers returning to action Thursday. Tampa Bay Rays left Matt Moore also made his return to the mound during the club’s 5-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Moore showed some encouraging signs, but was mostly shaky during his first start of the year. Over 4 2/3 innings, Moore allowed four runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked two during the contest. Moore looked great early, but seemed to tire as the game went on. Through the first three innings, he did not allow a hit against Cleveland. A sac fly put the Indians on the board in the fourth, and then the floodgates opened in the fifth. After two quick outs, Moore allowed a single against Giovanny Urshela. Urshela advanced to second on a wild pitch, and was brought home on a single by Jason Kipnis. Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley would follow that up with RBI singles of their own, chasing Moore from the contest. It was Moore’s first start in 451 days.  After the start, Moore said he was happy to be back. Felt great to get back out on the mound!Had a tremendous amount of help and feel very thankful tonight. — Matt Moore (@MattyMoe55) July 3, 2015 Cleveland improved to 37-41 with the win. KAZMIR SHUTS DOWN SEATTLE Oakland Athletics lefty Scott Kazmir dominated the Seattle Mariners during a 4-0 victory Thursday. Kazmir allowed just two hits during the contest, both of which came against outfielder Frankin Gutierrez. No one else in Seattle’s lineup could touch Kazmir. Kazmir actually had a perfect game going until the fifth inning. With one out, Gutierrez broke up the perfecto with a double. Gutierrez would add a single in the eighth inning, but was stranded on base both times. Over eight shutout innings, Kazmir allowed just two hits. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk during the contest. With the start, Kazmir lowered his ERA to 2.56 on the year. BOYD BEAT BY BOSTON It was a bad day for Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Matt Boyd. Boyd was absolutely crushed against the Boston Red Sox during a 12-6 loss.  Boyd got the start for Toronto, and exited the game without recording an out. He allowed three straight singles to open the game, the last of which brought in a run. David Ortiz would then follow that up with a three-run homer, giving Boston the early four-run lead. They weren’t done yet, though. Hanley Ramirez would follow that up with a solo shot of his own. Pablo Sandoval added a single, and Mike Napoli walked, and that was the end of the day for Boyd.  Both of those runners would come around to score, meaning Boyd was charged with two runs after leaving the contest. He allowed seven runs on six hits during the appearance. Boyd walked one and failed to strike out a batter. He was sent down to the minors after the game. Toronto briefly attempted a comeback attempt, but Boston managed to pull away in the late innings. With the victory, the Red Sox improved to 37-44.  Want to see more from Thursday’s slate of games? Check out  our scoreboard .

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A look at what's happening all around the major leagues Friday:

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Marlins ace Jose Fernandez will pitch for the first time since May 2014, when he was stopped by Tommy John surgery. Max Scherzer has taken a perfect game into the sixth inning in each of his last three starts. The Nationals ace threw a one-hitter and struck out 16 vs. Milwaukee, lost a perfect game with two outs and two strikes in the ninth vs. Pittsburgh before closing out a no-hitter and then retired the first 16 batters vs. Philadelphia.

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