The Reds placed first baseman Joey Votto back on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a nagging thigh injury that is expected to limit him for the rest of the season. Catcher Brayan Pena was activated off the paternity list before a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs. Pena will be one of the primary fill-ins at first base while Votto is gone. ''Our plan of attack will be to do everything we can to get him back to play over the course of the year,'' manager Bryan Price said.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- - Back on the mound at Tropicana Field, Kansas City's James Shields looked and felt right at home. The right-hander sparkled in his return to the stadium where he earned a living for the first seven seasons of his career, limiting the Tampa Bay Rays to three hits and striking out 10 in seven innings to help the Royals beat his former team 6-0 on Monday night. No pitcher has had more success at The Trop than Shields, who remains Tampa Bay's all-time leader in victories with 87, including a franchise-best 47 at home. ''It's definitely special to come back here,'' said Shields (9-4), who was dealt to the Royals in December 2012 as part of a seven-player trade in which Kansas City sent 2013 AL rookie of the year Wil Myers and another top young prospect, Jake Odorizzi (4-8), to Tampa Bay.
Jered Weaver's goal every time out is to pitch deep into the game and help ease the stress on an already taxed Los Angeles Angels bullpen. ''I play long-toss before a warm up before a start, so that's part or my repertoire,'' Shoemaker said.
After beating the team he grew up rooting for with his first career game-winning hit, Matt Adams couldn't resist a celebratory fist pump just a few steps out of the batter's box. ''This is unbelievable,'' Adams said after his two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the St. Louis Cardinals a 2-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series with the NL Central rival they beat in the division series last fall. ''I don't even know what to say.'' Adams is from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, and starred at Slippery Rock College, but the Pirates never showed any interest. Matt Carpenter drew his third walk leading off the ninth and Matt Holliday flied out before Adams hit his 10th homer on an 0-1 hanging breaking ball from Justin Wilson (2-1).
This time, the little run support Cole Hamels got was enough for him and the Philadelphia Phillies to beat the slumping Milwaukee Brewers. Chase Utley hit a two-run homer, and Hamels allowed one earned run in 6 2-3 innings for his first victory in a month as the Phillies edged the Brewers 3-2 on Monday night. ''I had a little bit of trouble with trying to get ahead of these guys,'' said Hamels, who has allowed 10 earned runs in 55 2-3 innings in his last eight starts. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 20th save in 22 chances.
Jon Singleton's debut against the Texas Rangers turned out nicely for him and the Houston Astros. Singleton homered among three hits and drove in four runs, Marwin Gonzalez had a bases-loaded triple and the Astros snapped a seven-game skid with a 12-7 victory over the Rangers on Monday night. The 22-year-old rookie ended an 0-for-10 slump that had dropped his average to .168 with his second three-hit game of the season and helped boost the Astros to 4-3 this season against their Texas rival. Houston was 2-17 against the Rangers in its first season in the AL West last year.
Hisashi Iwakuma is back on track, and that should create a serious concern for the rest of the American League. Iwakuma struck out a season-high 10 in seven strong innings, Mike Zunino and Michael Saunders hit solo home runs, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins 2-0 on Monday night. Iwakuma (7-4) has not allowed an earned run to the Twins in five career starts, which spans 33 2-3 innings.
The San Francisco Giants have dominated the baseball headlines in the Bay Area since winning the World Series in 2010 and 2012. The Oakland Athletics have swiped most the attention back after taking over the best record in the majors this summer. Jesse Chavez matched a career high with nine strikeouts in six innings, and three relievers pitched scoreless ball to lead the A's past the Giants 5-0 on Monday night for their fifth straight win. ''It's exciting to be part of the Oakland Athletics right now,'' said third baseman Josh Donaldson, one of six A's players named to the AL All-Star team.