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9/18/2014 | Francona reminded of father when watching Altuve

Terry Francona, who has gotten a close look at Jose Altuve, knows something about batting races. In 1959 his father, Tito, had the highest average in the AL but he fell 34 at-bats short of qualifying for the crown.

9/18/2014 | Holding Haren for Giants opener an option for LA

The Dodgers still have Dan Haren listed as the probable starting pitcher for Sunday's series finale against the Cubs. At least, as manager Don Mattingly said, "for now." Mattingly left some wiggle room to opt for a Carlos Frias /bullpen deployment on Sunday, which would allow holding back Haren for the opener of the Giants series at home.

9/18/2014 | Hamilton shut down with chest, rib pain

Josh Hamilton is shut down again, this time with what the Angels outfielder described as "a sharp, stabbing pain" around the area of his chest and right rib cage, underneath his armpits.

9/18/2014 | Beltran available off the bench for Yankees

Carlos Beltran wasn't in the Yankees' clubhouse and didn't take batting practice with the team before Thursday's game against the Blue Jays, but manager Joe Girardi said he was available to play off the bench.

9/18/2014 | Stroman expected to make next start as appeal plays out

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons expects right-hander Marcus Stroman to start against the Yankees on Saturday as scheduled as the appeal process for his six-game suspension plays out.

9/18/2014 | Postseason Picture for Friday, Sept. 19

The Pirates kept the heat on the Cardinals in the National League Central race Thursday night, while the Dodgers upped their lead over the Giants in the NL West to 2 1/2 games as October and the postseason crept ever closer.

9/18/2014 | Hurdle pushing through hip pain to be with Pirates

The six-month grind of the Pirates' season may be the most physically obvious right now from an unlikely source -- manager Clint Hurdle. Whenever Hurdle heads to the pitcher's mound to make a switch, or goes to have a discussion with an umpire, there is a limp in the step of the Bucs' skipper -- one that has grown more noticeable as the season has gone on.

9/18/2014 | LaRoche keeping sore back rested for playoff run

Although one bruised National, Jayson Werth, appeared in the lineup on Thursday night against the Marlins, first baseman Adam LaRoche didn't join him for the second straight day. The 34-year-old LaRoche, who has been dealing with a sore back for weeks, told manager Matt Williams he was feeling better. But he wanted an extra day of rest so he could be sure he'd be able to help the Nationals throughout the rest of their playoff run.

9/18/2014 | Stanton upbeat, thankful hit to face wasn't worse

Giancarlo Stanton's season may be over, but the National League Most Valuable Player Award candidate remains upbeat and optimistic about a full recovery from facial fractures he suffered a week ago at Milwaukee.

9/18/2014 | Morton throws in bullpen, may make Sunday start

The Pirates have not yet announced an official starter for Sunday's game against the Brewers, as they were waiting to see how Charlie Morton responded to a bullpen session.

9/18/2014 | Sox optimistic after Holt meets concussion specialist

After Brock Holt visited with noted concussion specialist Mickey Collins on Thursday, there was more optimism that the super-utilityman would be able to play again this season.

9/18/2014 | Fortuitous play helps widen Bucs' WC lead

Mark Melancon ran into trouble in the ninth, allowing runners on first and third with no outs. However, Jemile Weeks was hit by a batted ball while standing off third, thwarting the Red Sox rally. The Pirates closed out the 3-2 win on Thursday to close out the sweep.

9/18/2014 | Fernandez could start throwing program Oct. 1

Months of being on no-throw status could be coming to an end for Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. The 22-year-old spent Thursday in Los Angeles being examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache to see if he will be cleared to begin his throwing program on Oct. 1.

9/18/2014 | Halos scratch Weaver, rest regulars

One night after clinching the American League West title, the Angels scratched Jered Weaver from his Thursday start against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, opting to go with left-hander Wade LeBlanc, instead.

9/18/2014 | Improving Zimmerman tests hammy, unsure of return

Ryan Zimmerman said he's getting closer to being 100 percent healthy, but there's still no timetable on when the injured veteran third baseman will return to Washington's lineup.

9/18/2014 | Cuba's next big thing ready to impress scouts

Yasmany Tomas, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound outfielder who is expected to command a contract that rivals fellow Cuban countrymen Rusney Castillo, Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig, will showcase his talents in front representatives from all 30 MLB teams in the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

9/18/2014 | Reds, MLB planning to make 2015 All-Star Game a hit

While the 2015 All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park won't take place until July 14, the Reds and Major League Baseball are already working hard behind the scenes to develop a plan to best showcase Cincinnati and baseball during All-Star Week.

9/18/2014 | Braves with decisions to make after disappointing '14

Though a near-perfect conclusion might miraculously vault them into the playoffs, the Braves are much more likely to spend this season's final week tasting the disappointment that has followed them for most of this year.

9/18/2014 | Washington reveals reason for his resignation

Almost two weeks after he abruptly resigned without explanation, former Rangers manager Ron Washington broke his silence in a brief, apologetic statement Thursday, saying only that he left the team because he "was not true" to his wife, Gerry.

9/18/2014 | Rangers ride huge first inning to sweep over A's

Texas scored four in the first to help complete a three-game sweep with a 7-2 victory over the A's on Thursday afternoon at Coliseum. Jake Smolinski went 4-for-5 with an RBI in the Rangers' sixth straight win.

9/18/2014 | Loss to Rangers drops A's to second Wild Card spot

The A's couldn't turn it around in Thursday's series finale at Coliseum, losing, 7-2, and enduring a three-game sweep at the hands of last-place Texas. They handed the Royals a half-game lead for the top American League Wild Card spot.

9/18/2014 | Lefty Holmberg projects as back-of-rotation starter for Reds

At the young age of 23, left-handed pitcher David Holmberg is currently pitching for his third organization. The Chicago White Sox selected him in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He was chosen directly from Port Charlotte (Fla.) High School. As a senior, he threw 132 strikeouts with a 0.22 ERA.

9/18/2014 | Hawk, Stone provide soundtrack to Aoki's big series

Like Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, the hits just kept coming for Nori Aoki, much to the amazement of White Sox announcers Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and Steve Stone.

9/18/2014 | A's switch Triple-A affiliation to Nashville

The A's are headed to the capital of country music, announcing a four-year player-development deal with Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League on Thursday.

9/18/2014 | Moore's big gamble paying off for Royals

Dayton Moore's decision to trade four prospects to the Rays for James Shields and Wade Davis helped to push the Royals over the hump.

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