A last-minute change in his arm action had Justin Verlander feeling like old times. Verlander pitched into the seventh inning, Torii Hunter and Austin Jackson homered and the Detroit Tigers opened their interleague series in Arizona by beating the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Monday night. Verlander said he ''came across a couple of pictures,'' one from earlier in his career and one from this season. The results, Verlander said, were immediate and carried over into the game, when he held Arizona hitless through the first three innings.
Dustin Ackley has only been playing the outfield since midseason last year, but the former second baseman looked like a natural on Monday night as he went over the left-field wall at Safeco Field to rob the Mets' Travis d'Arnaud of a home run in the sixth inning.
Adam Jones' swing certainly looked fine a week after the Home Run Derby, an event that's knocked more than a few sluggers off kilter. Jones hit a pair of two-run homers Monday night, including a tiebreaking shot in the sixth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2. ''I just try to bring what I bring to my team,'' Jones said after his fifth two-homer game in the majors. Sometimes you run into them.'' Jones, who didn't make it past the second round in the Derby last week, opened the scoring in the first with a drive into the left-field bullpen after a single by Nick Markakis.
Adam Jones showcased his power stroke Monday night in Anaheim, going deep twice -- and for the third time in three games -- to post a four-RBI game that lifted the Orioles to a series-opening 4-2 win over the Angels.
As soon as Koji Uehara recorded the final strikeout during last year's World Series, it seemed teams were already busy jockeying for 2014 position in the free-agent market. With the benefit of some hindsight, here's a list of the top 10 signings for the money.
Marlins' No. 1 prospect Andrew Heaney and Cubs' No. 2 prospect Kris Bryant both began the season in the Southern League, but they didn't stay there long enough to cross paths. With Heaney back in the Minor Leagues after a brief stint with the Marlins, the marquee matchup will finally occur. Heaney is slated to start Tuesday against Bryant and Iowa.
A sharp Hyun-Jin Ryu and some clutch hitting enabled the Los Angeles Dodgers to overcome the absence of two top sluggers. Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and Los Angeles beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night. Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners. ''He had a good fastball, a good curveball and he threw his fastball to both sides of the plate,'' Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said.
The Miami Marlins couldn't take advantage of a bases-loaded opportunity with no outs in the ninth inning. Garrett Jones drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning, lifting Miami to a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night. It was an important win for a Miami team trying to retain its fading playoff hopes. ''It's a huge series,'' said Marlins starter Tom Koehler, who allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings.
Jean Segura smiled in his first game at Miller Park since returning to the Milwaukee Brewers following the death of his 9-month-old son. The shortstop still grieves, but it will be nights like the one Segura had in a 5-2 victory Monday over the Cincinnati Reds that will provide some distraction. Segura went 2 for 3 with a triple and scored two runs, and Milwaukee took advantage of two misjudged balls in the outfield by Chris Heisey to hand Cincinnati its fourth straight loss. Manager Ron Roenicke said he thought Segura was back mentally into the game.
The Washington Nationals turned their clubhouse into a postgame rave scene, complete with blaring music, fog machine and dancing lights. Ian Desmond tied a career high with five hits, including a two-run homer, and Doug Fister threw effectively into the sixth to help the Nationals beat the sinking Colorado Rockies 7-2 on Monday night. ''Anytime we win, it's a great day,'' Fister said as he explained the light show. ''We want to make sure we get that winning feeling.'' The 6-foot-8 Fister (9-2) - all ''elbows and knees'' as Charlie Blackmon described him - allowed nine hits before being pulled with two outs in the sixth after running into trouble.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will talk to Justin Upton, who was not running hard down the line when Marlins second baseman Yordany Valdespin bobbled his grounder in the eighth inning of Monday's 3-1 loss
About the only pitch that Chris Sale wouldn't make Monday night was his case for the American League's Cy Young Award. Sale pitched seven effective innings in his first outing since the All-Star break and Adam Dunn had two RBIs and scored a run to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 3-1 victory over the slumping Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Milwaukee took advantage of two Cincinnati errors and several other fielding miscues to score five runs over two frames in a 5-2 victory at Miller Park.
Cliff Lee has not stumped publicly to be traded, although he probably would not stand in the way of a change of scenery. But that will be tough to do before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
With his two-run shot in the top of the fourth inning Monday night, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz tied Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski for No. 36 on the all-time home run list with 452. Ortiz then hit No. 453 in the fifth to take sole possession of 36th place.
Those participating in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com from DraftKings have to optimize a semi-uncommon lineup in the world of daily fantasy baseball: one that requires two starting pitchers. As 20 percent of your lineup is pitching, picking good arms is absolutely vital in the Official Mini Fantasy Game of MLB.com. To do so, here are several general approaches you can use, along with when they're most appropriate.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Two same-day call-ups helped the San Francisco Giants stay ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
David Ortiz hit the 452nd and 453rd home runs of his career, moving past Boston great Carl Yastrzemski into 36th place on the all-time list, and the Red Sox won their fifth straight game Monday night, routing the Toronto Blue Jays 14-1. Ortiz matched Yastrzemski with a two-run blast to center off left-hander Brad Mills in the fourth, then broke the short-lived tie with another two-run shot off Mills in the fifth, his 21st and 22nd homers of the season. Ortiz's first homer ended his 0-for-18 skid against Toronto and an 0-for-11 slump overall. Mike Napoli followed Ortiz's second shot with his 12th homer, the fourth time this season Boston has gone back-to-back.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants have signed former All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla to a minor league contract.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has left the game with the Minnesota Twins because of lower back spasms.