Latos continues to stymie Cards as Reds even set Customized Blue Jays Jersey

Mat Latos did it again.

Facing the Cardinals for the third time this season, Latos delivered yet another solid outing, guiding the Reds to a 4-2 win in front of a sellout crowd of 40,740 at Great American Ball Park on Saturday.

“That’s a great lineup,” Latos said. “They used to kick the crap out of me pretty good, but this year I’ve adjusted to them.”

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Latos — who allowed just one earned run in 12 innings in his first two starts against St. Louis — was effective, though not quite as dominant, on Saturday.

All eight Cardinals position players got a hit off Latos, as David Freese (18 games), Matt Carpenter (17 games), Allen Craig (12 games) and Carlos Beltran (nine games) all extended their hitting streaks by the fourth inning. Craig’s hit came in the third inning on a two-out infield single — a slow roller up the middle — that gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Latos, however, didn’t allow another run. He struck out five, walked none and threw 66 of his 97 pitches for strikes.

“Every time we face him, he pitches different,” Beltran said of Latos. “One day it seems like he throws a lot of cutters, sliders inside. Some days it’s just fastball, curveball away. He’s mixing it up pretty good. Today, to me, he threw me sliders, backdoor. Normally, I don’t see those pitches from him, but he was keeping me off balance.”

Latos now has a career 3.02 ERA in Cincinnati — the lowest among pitchers with at least 10 starts at Great American Ball Park.

“In San Diego, I could whip sliders down the middle and pitch up in the zone and get away with it for the most part,” Latos said. “Here, you can’t do that. You can’t have lapses.”

Catcher Customized Toronto Blue Jays Jersey Devin Mesoraco offered an even simpler explanation.

“The guy can pitch,” Mesoraco said. “It’s not any kind of crazy, different thing that he does here. He just goes out there and executes. I think you could put him in Williamsport [Pa., home of the Little League World Series] and he’s going to be a pretty good pitcher.”

Whatever it is, the Reds will take it.

One night after watching the Cardinals pound 16 hits, score nine runs and take a season-high four-game lead in the National League Central standings, Latos’ start couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Reds’ offense, meanwhile, finally showed signs of life. Cincinnati had been outscored 31-8 in its previous six games against the Cardinals, failing to score more than two runs in any game.

Saturday was different.Custom Made Toronto Blue Jays Jersey.

Jay Bruce and Mesoraco both hit solo home runs off St. Louis starter Tyler Lyons, who allowed four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Bruce’s solo shot tied the game at 1 in the second, while Mesoraco’s tied the game at 2 in the fifth. Bruce’s homer traveled 382 feet, Mesoraco’s traveled 386.

“It was a fastball out over the plate,” Mesoraco said. “I wasn’t sure if it was going to go out or not, but it had just enough.”

Derrick Robinson, who was moved to second in the order before the game, led off the sixth with his first career double. Joey Votto doubled him home three pitches later, and Mesoraco’s bases-loaded RBI single capped the scoring at 4-2.

Mesoraco seemed more excited about his single than his homer.

“I was pretty fired up,” he said. “I haven’t had great success up until that point this year with guys on base, so to come through in that situation, that was a good moment for me.”

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The defense also chipped in, as Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo both made dazzling, warning-track catches in the sixth inning. Choo robbed Yadier Molina of at least a double, while Bruce made a leaping grab near the wall to rob Freese of a potential homer.

“He amazed me with that catch,” Latos said of Bruce. “I didn’t even know what to say when I was out there on the mound.”

The Reds had several opportunities to blow the game open, but couldn’t cash in. They left the bases loaded in both the sixth and the seventh.

“I was hoping we could’ve blown it open,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We’ve got to find a way, especially against offensive teams, to pick up those RBIs. You’re really putting a lot of pressure on your pitching staff to have to come through.”

They did.

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Aroldis Chapman allowed two hitters to reach, but notched his 16th save of the season. Even more important, perhaps, Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless eighth inning — a welcome sight for the Reds. Broxton has coughed up the lead in three starts by Latos (6-0), who hasn’t lost since Game 5 of last year’s NLDS to the Giants and 20 regular-season starts.

The Reds have won eight of Latos’ last nine starts.Customized Blue Jays Jersey.

“That’s just Mat,” Mesoraco said. “He’s a very high-quality pitcher, and he knows it.”

Verlander R.A.Dickey Canada Day Jersey goes seven to earn eighth victory

Justin Verlander waited more than an hour through a rain delay in Cleveland to get started on this winning streak, after the Indians put him into his rough stretch last month. He wasn’t going to let the Tribe knock him out of it Friday night, but it tried.

As safe as a five-run lead normally is for the Tigers ace, the Tribe put the potential tying run in scoring position against Verlander in the fifth inning. Verlander worked his way out of it, then cruised on his way to seven quality innings and his fourth consecutive victory in a 7-5 Tigers win at Comerica Park.

Blue Jays Canada Days Jersey Detroit’s third consecutive win over the Tribe left the Tigers standing as the lone team in the American League Central with a winning record. While their 3 1/2-game lead is the Tigers’ biggest of the season, the Indians’ fifth consecutive loss dropped them back to .500 for the first time since May 5.

It came just over two weeks after the Tribe roughed up Verlander for five runs on 10 hits over five innings at Progressive Field. The Tigers’ 11-run outburst that night allowed Verlander to fall in line for the win, but he had to wait through a rain delay just to get through the fifth and qualify for the win.

That one wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. It also has proven to be a spark.

Verlander allowed three runs over seven innings on Friday for the third straight outing. He allowed only a hit and a walk over the first four innings while the Tigers chipped away at Tribe starter Ubaldo Jimenez until he took the mound for the fifth with a 5-0 lead.

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Five Cleveland hits in a six-batter stretch put Verlander on the brink of disaster. Between two infield hits and two line-drive singles, the only well-struck ball in the bunch was a Jason Kipnis drive to right that hit off of Torii Hunter’s glove as he tried to make a running catch at the fence.

Mike Aviles and Drew Stubbs scored on the double, while Kipnis stood on second with one out for the middle of the Indians order. Verlander jammed the usually patient Nick Swisher into a first-pitch popout, then induced Michael Brantley to fly out on a 3-1 pitch, maintaining a 5-3 lead.

A one-out single and a walk in the sixth put the potential tying run back on base with one out, but Verlander ended the threat with by fanning Drew Stubbs for his sixth strikeout of the night. A seven-pitch seventh against the top third of the Indians order allowed him to exit with a flourish.

It wasn’t Verlander’s usual dominant outing, but after Jim Leyland suggested earlier in the day that Verlander’s standards have spoiled some people, it was easily good enough on a night when two Tribe errors haunted Jimenez.Toronto Blue Jays Canada Days Jersey 2013.

Jimenez (4-4) came to town with a 4-1 record and 3.21 ERA in his previous eight starts, but seven hits and three walks over three-plus innings were too much to overcome. One of them was a Victor Martinez home run, his second in as many nights and his third in his last eight games. Another was a bases-loaded walk to Cabrera for his 67th RBI of the season.

Jimenez R.A.Dickey Canada Day Jersey has given up 11 runs, nine earned, on 14 hits in just seven innings over his last two meetings with the Tigers.

The Indians made some more noise in the ninth, as Jose Valverde entered in a non-save situation and allowed solo homers to Jason Giambi and Stubbs to make it 7-5, then gave up a two-out single to Kipnis that brought the potential tying run to the plate. But Valverde got Nick Swisher on a grounder to second for the final out.

Brett Lawrie Canada Days Jersey Appel’s homecoming could mark return to winning ways

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The Astros began this process a year ago with Stanford right-hander Mark Appel atop their draft board. Since then, they had debate after debate, comparing this player to Appel and then that one and then that other one. In the end, they never wavered on Appel.

“He checked all the boxes for us,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said.

He spoke those words moments after making Appel the No. 1 overall pick Thursday in the First-Year Player Draft. He raved about Appel, about his pure physical gifts, work ethic, smarts and intangibles the Astros believe will make him a cornerstone of a rotation — and a franchise — for years.

“That’s exactly the type of player we need to be adding to the organization,” Luhnow Blue Jays Canada Days Jersey said. “He makes us significantly better.”

Thursday was an important day in the history of the Astros. They’re just the third team to have the overall No. 1 pick in back-to-back years, and the other two — the Rays and Nationals — were in the playoffs within two years.

The Astros have no idea if it’ll happen that quickly, but they’re also not about to put a ceiling on their best kids. And in every corner of their war room Thursday, there was a sense of optimism.

“To see someone consistently take a huge step forward every single year is very encouraging, and we think he’s going to continue to do that,” Astros scouting director Mike Elias said. “The sky’s the limit.”

When Houston businessman Jim Crane purchased the club 18 months ago, he promised to give his baseball staff the resources and freedom to do things right. He hired Luhnow as general manager after Luhnow did a phenomenal job running the Cardinals’ farm system.

Now they’ve got a very good farm system, one that appears to be on the verge of delivering a stream of talent to the Major League team.

Appel was disappointed the Astros didn’t take him a year ago. He grew up in Houston, attended games in the Astrodome and remembers when Minute Maid Park opened in 2000.

Even after his family moved to California when he was 12, he never gave up on the dream of pitching for his hometown team. He slipped all the way to eighth in the 2012 Draft and turned down $3.8 million from the Pirates.

2013 Brett Lawrie Canada Day Jersey.“It’s incredibly special,” Appel said. “I’m really excited.”

As the deadline for signing approached last summer, Appel and his agent, Scott Boras, had long conversations about his goals and whether or not turning down $3.8 million was the right thing to do.

“I just told him to be prepared for some criticism if he turned down the Pirates,” Boras said. “People were going to call him greedy. They were going to say he wasn’t competitive.”

Boras was struck by Appel’s resolve.

“How can anyone say that going back to get a Stanford degree is a bad thing?” Appel asked.

That attitude, that confidence was something that impressed Boras from the moment he first saw him pitch.

“I remember watching Mike Mussina pitch at 17,” Boras said. “He had that blank look on his face. Some scouts don’t like it. And that’s what Mark has. Ironically, Mike ended up at Stanford too.”

Boras saw that blank look as intensity and confidence and drive. He saw it as a young man who was not easy to rattle, a young man who simply went about his business.

When Appel decided once and for all to return to Stanford, Boras recommended a conditioning program. Meanwhile, Appel began working with his Stanford pitching coach, Rusty Filter, to improve his fastball command.

The Astros Brett Lawrie Canada Days Jersey say everything got better. His fastball command was better. His changeup became an out-pitch. His breaking stuff was more consistent than ever. And the young man who turned down $3.8 million from the Pirates likely will get around $7.8 million to pitch for his hometown team.

“Welcome home,” Luhnow told him Thursday.

“It’s a kid’s dream to go first in the country, first in the Draft and to be selected by your hometown team,” Luhnow said. “It just doesn’t get any better [than] that. It’s also really a great opportunity for us.”

Elvis Customized Blue Jays Jersey delivers win after dingers, duel in Boston

This time the Rangers did some serious pitching, beginning with starter Alexi Ogando, through the best of Texas’ setup relievers and finishing with closer Joe Nathan.

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When it was over, Ogando had proven he was capable of dominating again after his arm injury, Neal Cotts had his first Major League win in almost seven years, Nathan was still perfect against the Red Sox, and the Rangers were enjoying a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

The victory came one night after the Rangers had endured a 17-5 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday.

“We’ll take it, especially after the tough game yesterday,” Nathan Customized Toronto Blue Jays Jersey said. “It was a good win for us, and now we have a chance to come back tomorrow and win the series.”

After Ogando and Red Sox starter John Lackey had pitched to a 1-1 standoff through six innings, Elvis Andrus delivered the big blow with a two-run double off reliever Koji Uehara in the top of the seventh. The Rangers’ only other run came on a fourth-inning home run from Adrian Beltre.

“This was a huge win for us,” Andrus said. “We have been really good at turning the page and getting ready for the next game. That’s the way we’ve been the last few years, and [we] were tonight.”

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Ogando, who was activated off the disabled list before the game, was terrific for 5 2/3 innings, at least until his final pitch of the night. He took a two-hit shutout and a 1-0 lead into the sixth before Dustin Pedroia lifted a two-out fly ball over the left-field wall for a game-tying home run.

That came on Ogando’s 92nd and last pitch of the game. But manager Ron Washington loved what he saw from Ogando in his first outing since May 15. He had been sidelined with triceps tendinitis and had made just one 60-pitch rehab start before facing the highest scoring offense in the Major Leagues.

“They’ve got a lot of threats over there, so you have to give Ogando a lot of credit to go through a lineup like that,” Washington said. “We needed exactly what he gave us. He was on top of his game. He was sharp and able to execute pitches. If you don’t execute pitches, they’ll make you pay.”

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Ogando was especially sharp in a crucial moment in the fourth inning. He was looking at runners at first and second with one out, but struck out both David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to end the threat.

“That was a great moment,” Ogando said. “That was a big inning. I had to focus on every pitch. I had to concentrate and not throw any mistake pitches.”

The home run to Pedroia cost him the victory. That went to Cotts, who took over after the home run and walked both Ortiz and Napoli. But he struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning. That put the reliever in position to get the victory after Andrus put the Rangers ahead with his two-run double in the seventh.

It was Andrus’ first extra-base hit since May 18, as he jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Uehara. It was also the only hit either team had with runners in scoring position on the night.

“I think it was just the location that I missed,” Uehara said through an interpreter. “Strategy-wise, I think I was perfectly fine.”

Cotts left after a leadoff walk to Stephen Drew in the seventh. That meant he walked three of four batters, but still got his first victory since July 1, 2006, while pitching for the White Sox against the Cubs.

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“What a way to get it, huh?” Cotts said. “I’m just happy the team got a win and the rest of the bullpen held it down.”

It wasn’t easy. Robbie Ross gave up a single to Jose Iglesias that put runners on first and second. But Ross struck out Jackie Bradley, got Daniel Nava on a weak grounder back to the mound that advanced the runners, and then got Mike Carp on a weak fly to center to end the inning.

In the eighth, Tanner Scheppers allowed a two-out walk to Napoli and a broken-bat double to Saltalamacchia. That scored Napoli and made it a one-run game. But Scheppers retired Drew on a grounder to second to end the inning.

The Red Customized Blue Jays Jersey Sox were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Only Nathan spared the Rangers any drama. He retired the side in order in the ninth on just six pitches for his 18th save. He is also 16-for-16 against the Red Sox in his career, including 7-for-7 at Fenway.

“That’s what this ballpark does, it’s a tough place to get three outs,” Nathan said. “I have been part of some games where it has been very dicey, so to have a six-pitch inning, I’ll take it.”

Jose Bautista Jersey Sale Pujols’ clutch homer snaps Halos’ four-game skid

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At one point this season, the pain almost became too much for even Albert Pujols to handle. It was Tuesday, May 7, in Houston. Pujols sat down with head athletic trainer Adam Nevala and manager Mike Scioscia, who tried to convince Pujols that going on the disabled list for a couple weeks would probably be best for the excruciating pain he had been feeling on his left foot since Spring Training.

When Pujols went to bed that night, the organization was convinced their $225 million slugger was headed for the disabled list. Then Pujols woke up, took the early bus to Minute Maid Park and pleaded with Scioscia to let him keep playing, to let him keep suiting up in hopes that his Angels would finally turn it around.

“I just couldn’t do it, man,” Pujols said. “I just felt too guilty. He was fighting with me on it, and I was like, ‘No, no, please, don’t do it.'”

Pujols led his team to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs on Tuesday night, hitting a majestic two-run eight-inning homer to bail out a sputtering offense, back a solid Jered Weaver and avoid a five-game losing streak.Jose Bautista Jersey.

The homer, on a first-pitch Carlos Villanueva fastball that caught way too much of the plate, cleared both bullpens, set off fireworks and was befitting of Pujols’ Cardinals days, when homers like these were the norm.

“We needed it,” shortstop Erick Aybar said, his team coming off a four-game sweep to the last-place Astros and totaling only 19 runs over the last eight games. “We needed a game like that to get us going again.”

It was Pujols’ ninth home run of the year, first since May 23, and the first go-ahead homer he’s hit in the sixth inning or later since joining the Angels (he had 41 with the Cardinals). Aybar pumped his fists from second base as soon as his buddy connected, and Pujols admired it as he took a few slow steps up the first-base line.

Pujols Cheap Jose Bautista Jersey is still batting only .244, his .734 OPS not even among the top 100 in the Majors, but those around him on a daily basis have grown to admire him.

They know how much Pujols’ body hurts, how difficult it is for him to simply suit up on a daily basis, and how defiant he is about continuing to play through pain.

“There’s times that he’s gone out there and played when he was severely hampered with what he needs to do,” Scioscia said, “but even when he’s banged up, he finds a way to do things. I think there’s a lot of guys who would’ve been on the DL with what he has, no doubt about it, but he won’t give in.”

Weaver didn’t have his best stuff while making his second start since coming off the DL, but he gave up only three runs (one earned) in six innings to match a very effective Scott Feldman, who essentially did to the Angels what four Astros starters — Dallas Keuchel, Bud Norris, Jordan Lyles and Erik Bedard — did before him, giving up only a Pujols sacrifice fly and a Howie Kendrick RBI single in six-plus innings.Jose Bautista Uniforms.

With the Angels down one, and five outs away from dropping to nine games below .500 against yet another team they should beat, Pujols connected in a way he rarely has in this injury-plagued season.

“That’s the swing we’re used to seeing out of him,” Weaver said.

“It got too much plate. It’s as simple as that,” Villanueva said, his Cubs losing their third straight game to fall to 23-33. “Pujols is a great hitter — I don’t really have to say that. If I make a better pitch there, maybe it’s different results. With a hitter like that, you can’t miss over the plate that much. He did what he’s supposed to do, put it in the seats.”

Pujols’ lower-body pain, which has sapped most of his power, continues to be “up and down,” as he put it. One day it’s really bad, others it’s simply manageable, but it’s always there. The surgically repaired right knee doesn’t hurt, per se, but it’ll get swollen, irritated, because he puts so much pressure on his back side to compensate for that painful left foot.

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“It’s like somebody’s sticking a knife and putting a lighter at the same time,” Pujols said of his foot, his right knee underneath a mountain of ice and athletic tape.

“This game is tough when you’re 100 percent; imagine when you’re in pain. But I don’t want to put that as an excuse, whether my numbers are there or not.”

Around him, though, the noise continues, many wondering whether Pujols — in Year 2 of 10 — is already past his prime and far removed from even his last years in St. Louis. But it isn’t that Pujols is old or regressing — it’s that he isn’t healthy. He could stop all the doubts about his skills by doing what most players wouldn’t even think twice about — taking a step back, going on the DL and easing himself from the pain.

He can’t bring himself to do it.

“I’m getting paid to play,” Pujols Jose Bautista Jersey Sale said. “That’s why I’m here. Obviously I want to be 100 percent so I can show our fans and people what I can do, but I don’t think I need to show anybody because I’ve proven myself. I know I can play this game. Look at my track record.

“As long as I can play, even if I swing the bat and limp, I’m going to be out there fighting.”

R.A.Dickey Canada Day Jersey Teixeira, Gardner pace Yanks in win over Tribe

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On a night when Andy Pettitte struggled in his return from the disabled list, recently healthy Mark Teixeira took a giant step in putting his own DL stint behind him.

Playing in just his fourth game this season, Teixeira blasted his eighth career grand slam — and first home run since Oct. 1, 2012 — and the Yankees later piled on against Indians starter Justin Masterson en route to a 7-4 series-opening victory at Yankee Stadium.

In a rare on-field display of emotion, Teixeira pumped his fist as he rounded first base after watching his third-inning, bases-clearing blast just narrowly clear the right-field wall.

“With what he’s went through this year, the injury he had was probably a little bit scary,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “To be out there playing after having to sit down for two months, you could tell how excited he was. It was probably a really long two months for him watching us play. It’s great to have him back.”

Blue Jays Canada Days Jersey Masterson, who tossed a four-hit shutout against the Yankees on May 13, wasn’t nearly as sharp this time around. Along with Teixeira’s grand slam, center fielder Brett Gardner tagged Masterson for what turned out to be the decisive two-run single in the sixth inning, and designated hitter Travis Hafner — who turned 36 years old on Monday — ended the right-hander’s night one inning later with a solo homer to right field.

Though it was Hafner’s blast that ultimately chased Masterson, Teixeira’s third-inning slam put the right-hander on the ropes early.

After the Yankees had loaded the bases with no outs to start the third, second baseman Robinson Cano hit a hard ground ball to former Yankee Nick Swisher at first base. Swisher, playing in his first game at Yankee Stadium as a member of the Indians, alertly fired home to cut down the runner at the plate and preserve the Indians’ 1-0 lead. One pitch later, Teixeira crushed a hanging slider to clear the bases.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Gardner said. “[Teixeira] just came back the other day, and for him to step up in that situation and put up a four-spot just like that is pretty exciting.”

In all, the Yankees jumped on Masterson for seven runs on nine hits and drew three walks over his 6 1/3 innings of work.

“You wanted to make sure you didn’t let Masterson get in too much of a groove, because he’s one of those guys who can go out there and dominate,” Teixeira said. “So [the grand slam] was a big home run for us.”

Though Teixeira’s slam staked the Bronx Bombers to an early 4-1 lead, the Indians later rallied to tie the game against Pettitte, who didn’t fare any better than Masterson in his return from the DL.

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Pitching for the first time since leaving his May 16 start with a tight left trapezius muscle, Pettitte lasted just 4 2/3 innings, while allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks. He had allowed only one run through the first four frames, but ran into trouble and couldn’t survive the fifth while admittedly battling fatigue.

“I feel good about the team winning, putting some runs up on the board,” said Pettitte, who reported no lingering injury concerns following the outing. “As far as me, personally, it’s frustrating because we finally put some runs on the board and then you give the lead [away]. I’m never going to be happy about that.”

Cleveland started the fifth with back-to-back hits off the veteran southpaw then scored its second run of the night on an unusual sacrifice fly to Cano. With Gardner struggling to see the ball coming in from center, Cano drifted back onto the outfield grass to make the play, allowing Indians right fielder Drew Stubbs to tag and score from third base.

Tribe shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a groundout for the second out — and subsequently left the game with a strained right quad — but Pettitte couldn’t finish off the frame. He issued back-to-back walks to load the bases before designated hitter Carlos Santana lined a ground-rule double down the left-field line to tie the game and end Pettitte’s night.

“I thought we actually did a pretty good job against him. That’s one of the last guys you want to give the lead, just because of the way he does pitch, and being a veteran,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He can expand the zone. He can add and subtract. He can cut it. I thought we did a really good job of getting back into the game.”

Reliever Shawn Kelley took over for Pettitte and promptly walked the first hitter he faced to again load the bases before inducing an inning-ending flyout from catcher Yan Gomes. Kelley went on to pitch 1 1/3 hitless innings, setting the stage for the Yankees’ decisive rally and his third victory of the year.

Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson each tallied scoreless innings to follow Kelley, while Mariano Rivera retired the Indians in the ninth for his 20th save of the year.

“The bullpen’s been the bullpen,” catcher Austin R.A.Dickey Canada Day Jersey Romine said. “Those are guys we can rely on. It’s not just one or two guys; it’s all of them. They come in, they put the fire out when they need to, they throw strikes and they get people out.”

While the bullpen performance may have been nothing new for the 2013 Yankees, the lift provided by Teixeira — both offensively and emotionally — on Monday night was certainly a welcomed treat for a team that had lost seven of its last eight games entering the series opener.

“We needed this win,” Teixeira said. “We’ve had a rough enough streak the last week and a half, two weeks, as it is, so we needed this one tonight. So that grand slam was just good for me and good for the team.”

Jose Bautista Canada Day Jersey Belt’s go-ahead double makes winner of Gaudin

The Giants’ 4-2 victory Sunday over the St. Louis Cardinals provided a welcome disruption of their twin slumps.

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San Francisco not only ended its seven-game road losing streak, but also received a strong performance from a starting pitcher. Well, he’s not officially a starter, but it’s difficult to fathom that Chad Gaudin won’t claim that role.

Gaudin left the bullpen to work six innings — nearly twice as many as his 3 1/3-inning season high as a reliever — and gave the Giants a rare effective start away from home.

The right-hander allowed both St. Louis runs and only four hits in his first start since he defeated Kansas City as a member of the Yankees on Sept. 28, 2009. He earned the decision thanks to Brandon Belt, who delivered a pinch two-run, tie-breaking double in the seventh inning.

Asked whether Gaudin, who replaced the injured Ryan Vogelsong, would receive another start, manager Bruce Bochy referred to the off-days on the Giants’ schedule — three between Monday and June 10 — and indicated that could eliminate the need for a fifth starter in the near future.

But, Bochy added, “It’s fun to watch him, the way he commanded the ball and kept it down.”

Said Blue Jays Canada Days Jersey Gaudin, who registered San Francisco’s fourth quality start in 19 games, “Whatever they need me to do. That’s what I signed here for.”

Whether Gaudin joins the starting rotation full time, he bolstered a staff that has uncharacteristically struggled this year. Entering Sunday, Giants starters ranked next to last in the National League with a 4.93 ERA. They were even worse on the road, where their ERA was an unsightly 6.28.

The latter statistic will continue to loom over the Giants through June, given their preponderance of visits to the homes of formidable NL opponents. After this week’s two-game mini series against Toronto, the Giants will embark on a nine-game journey to face West division-leading Arizona, ascendant Pittsburgh and East-leading Atlanta.

June ends and July begins with another three-city trip, this one to Los Angeles, Colorado and Cincinnati.

Bochy acknowledged that the club’s road ERA is “a little bit of a concern, sure, particularly since we’re heading into a tough stretch being on the road as much as we are. It’s got to pick up really soon. This is a critical month for us, and it starts with the pitching.”

Gaudin’s fastball touched 94 mph in the first inning. He maintained that velocity throughout his 79-pitch stint.

Gaudin confessed that by the time he departed, “I was gassed.” But he lapsed only in the fourth inning, when David Freese hit a two-out, two-run homer.

“I think he moved the ball around well,” catcher Buster Posey, who tied a career high by going 4-for-4, said of Gaudin. “He definitely pitched off his fastball. One of the few mistakes was to Freese. It was still down, just in the middle of the plate.”

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Freese’s drive tied the score, 2-2, but only temporarily. With one out in the seventh, St. Louis rookie left-hander Tyler Lyons surrendered a single to Brandon Crawford and walked Gregor Blanco. Both came home on Belt’s drive to the left-center field gap off Randy Choate. Belt defied the lefty-on-lefty percentages by connecting off Choate and improved his season batting average to .286 (10-for-35) against southpaws.

Choate lamented the high 1-1 fastball that Belt crushed.

“When you make a mistake, especially at this level, they’re going to hit you, even if it’s left on left,” Choate said. “You’re lucky to get away with a mistake. I left it up, he’s a good hitter and he just went right with it and put it in the gap.”

Bochy praised Belt by saying, “We’re going to need him. With [Pablo] Sandoval and [Angel] Pagan out of the lineup, we need the other guys to step up and elevate their game.”

Other Giants did just that. Crawford provided stellar defense at short, denying base hits to Allen Craig leading off the second inning and Yadier Molina with two on and two outs in the third.

The latter play reverberated all afternoon, since it not only robbed St. Louis of a run but it also got the valuable Molina ejected from the game. Crawford threw to first base from his knees to retire Molina, who flung his helmet to the ground and was immediately tossed by first-base umpire Clint Fagan. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny also was ejected after helping restrain Molina, who reacted with stunning fury after being tossed.

Matheny implied that Molina’s ejection altered the game’s complexion.

“It’s frustrating, because that changed the game for us,” Matheny said. “Now, I’m not saying that if he stays in the game, we win. But I’m saying that that wasn’t necessary. That’s all there was to it.”

Giants Jose Bautista Canada Day Jersey third baseman Joaquin Arias and left fielder Andres Torres made slick plays behind Jeremy Affeldt for the first two outs in the eighth inning. After Matt Carpenter singled, Sergio Romo relieved Affeldt to record his first four-out save of the season and 15th overall.

Five Tigers Clay Matthews Lights Out Jersey homers power Verlander past O’s

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Amazingly, Miguel Cabrera was not part of the Tigers’ first back-to-back-to-back home runs in 12 years. He got involved in Saturday’s fourth inning soon enough.

As surprising as consecutive home runs by Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila were to lead off the fourth, the end result of a full count to Cabrera with the bases loaded in the same inning was predictable.

“I said from the beginning to [Doug] Fister, ‘In this situation, Miguel, he likes to hit,'” Peralta said after Cabrera’s grand slam sent Justin Verlander and the Tigers on their way to a 10-3 win over the Orioles. “I’ve known him for a couple years already. I know what he’s doing. And I called it. Grand slam.”

The Tigers fans rising to their feet all over Camden Yards, especially behind the visiting dugout, suggested Peralta wasn’t alone.

While Cabrera rounded third base on his fourth career grand slam, those fans behind the dugout began their M-V-P chant. Not even the boos of O’s fans could drown it out.

“That’s great, man,” Cabrera Clay Matthews Lights Out Jersey said later. “That’s great support. I always say the fans from Detroit away, you can tell the difference. That makes you feel excited. Everywhere we play, we have a lot of fans from Detroit. They cheer and they’re not scared. They’re loud.”

At the pace he’s on, Cabrera’s chasing a lot more than another MVP.

The third through seventh hitters in the Tigers’ lineup all homered, seemingly taking out the frustrations of Detroit’s four-game losing streak. Cabrera’s drive, however, was the exclamation point on a historic inning.Clay Matthews Lights Out Black Jersey.

Cabrera was already the first player in Major League history to enter June batting at least .340 with 15 or more home runs and 60 or more RBIs, according to Elias Sports Bureau. He was on the same RBI pace as Hank Greenberg from his franchise-record 183-RBI season of 1937.

One game into June, Cabrera has more RBIs through 54 games than any player in franchise history. Cabrera’s slam pushed him to 65 RBIs. Nobody else this year has more than 51.

“I don’t know what else to say about him,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s the best. That’s all I can say.”

The Tigers already had sent seven batters to the plate in the fourth inning by the time Cabrera stepped up. None had been retired. The first three all left the yard, starting with a screaming line drive down the right-field line from Martinez.Clay Matthews Blackout Jersey.

Martinez’s third home run on the season moved Detroit back in front on O’s starter Jason Hammel (7-3). Five pitches later, Peralta sent a fastball out to left for his sixth homer on the season, giving the Tigers their first consecutive home runs this year.

Avila’s cut at a similar fastball sent his fifth homer of the year out to left-center, giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead and their first set of three consecutive home runs since Robert Fick, Juan Encarnacion and Shane Halter went deep in a row against the Twins on June 24, 2001.

“We play at a tough ballpark to hit home runs in Detroit,” Cabrera said, “so when we play here, we don’t worry about swinging hard. We want to put the ball in play and try to make something happen. We know if we connect with the ball, we have a good chance to get it out.”

Hammel left one controversial pitch later, a hanger near Matt Tuiasosopo’s head. His quick reaction allowed him enough time to put his left shoulder in the way. Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt’s ejection of Hammel was almost as quick.

“It was a breaking ball,” Tuiasosopo said, “but the pitch was at my head. I watched it on the film. That pitch really didn’t do anything. It just was up at my head, and anytime you’re head-hunting, it just doesn’t look good, especially after you give up three homers in a row.”

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Said Leyland: “I do not think he was throwing at him. However, in defense of the umpire, he might not have known it was a curveball at first because of the shadows.”

Hammel denied intent. “Obviously I give up three home runs,” he said, “but I’m not the guy that answers getting hit around with hitting somebody.”

Left-hander T.J. McFarland had enough time to warm up, but no let-up from Detroit’s lineup. Avisail Garcia lined McFarland’s next pitch for a single, followed two pitches later by an Omar Infante RBI double.

Once McFarland walked Andy Dirks on five pitches, he had nowhere to put Cabrera, who had walked and grounded out in his first two at-bats. Once McFarland missed with back-to-back fastballs following a 1-2 count, he had no room left for caution.

“I looked for something close to hit,” Cabrera said. “When you have two strikes, you look for something over the plate and try to hit it hard.”

Peralta figured he would get it.

“Once the count was 3-2, I said, ‘Never mind. I don’t want to hear the swing,'” Peralta said. “I put my head down.”

McFarland’s fastball over the plate became a no-doubt drive into the left-field seats for Cabrera’s third homer in four games and his 200th as a Tiger. Besides his own record pace, Cabrera finished off the Tigers’ first four-homer inning since Chet Lemon, Mike Heath, Kirk Gibson and Darnell Coles against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 10, 1986.

Only Prince Fielder’s popup prevented the Tigers from batting around in the lineup without an out. Fielder joined the homer barrage his next time up, sending a McFarland pitch out for his 10th homer of the season and first since May 10 to put Detroit into double digits.

“We needed this win,” Cabrera Clay Matthews Lights Out Jersey said. “We came in after some tough games and a losing streak. We got the offense back on track, try to be ready to win the series tomorrow.”

Verlander (7-4) gave up two solo home runs to J.J. Hardy and an RBI single to Chris Davis, but delivered seven quality innings for his third consecutive win and seventh overall.

After Strasburg scare, Nationals Clay Matthews Lights Out Jersey top Braves

The Nationals couldn’t be happier that May is over.Elite Clay Matthews Lights Out Jersey.

The month saw them lose almost as many games as they’d won while losing five players to the disabled list and another, Bryce Harper, possibly being the sixth. Then came one more scare.

After announcing that Harper would miss the entire weekend series with the first-place Braves because of continuing knee troubles, the Nationals lost ace Stephen Strasburg to a strained right oblique after only two innings.

But in what might be a good omen for June, things got better.

First there was relatively good news on Strasburg — his ailment is a strained right oblique, nothing elbow-related.

Then the Nats held on to beat the Braves, 3-2.

“May has been a disaster, a lot of injuries and us just not playing our best baseball,” said center fielder Denard Span, who had three hits, including a pair of triples, and scored twice. “If we can finish this month off on the right note against the first-place team in the division, that would definitely salvage our month and be a good confidence-booster going into June.”

Steve Clay Matthews Lights Out Jersey Lombardozzi had a pair of sacrifice flies, both times scoring Span, and Roger Bernadina added a pair of knocks for the Nationals, who outhit the Braves, 9-4, and finally got the best of Atlanta rookie Julio Teheran (3-2).

Craig Stammen (3-1) led a tremendous effort by the bullpen, which held Atlanta to one run and two hits over the final seven innings to seal the win. Clay Matthews Lights Out Black Jersey.

Washington scored nearly identical runs in the first and sixth innings off Teheran, as Span led off both frames with triples into the right-field corner, both just eluding Justin Upton, then scored on Lombardozzi’s flyouts.

“It’s real big to get to third with no outs. It increases our chances of scoring runs,” said Span, who hit three triples in a game on June 29, 2010, as a member of the Twins. “Lombo did a good job hitting behind me and getting me in and getting us on the board.”

The Nats added a run in the second on back-to-back one-out singles by Bernadina and Danny Espinosa and a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Kurt Suzuki.

But the rest of the night belonged to the bullpen, as Stammen (3-1), Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen forged a bridge to closer Rafael Soriano.Clay Matthews Blackout Jersey.

Stammen was outstanding, retiring all 12 batters he faced from the third through the sixth, striking out three. Although he was caught a little off guard by the early entrance, he stayed true to what he does best.

“I try and stick to my routine of taking it one pitch at a time,” Stammen said. “It may sound cliche, but it’s really the only way you can look at it. If you put your heart and soul into every pitch every time, suddenly you look up, and you’re through three or four innings. I knew I was going to have to do that, but it worked out in my favor today.”

“Stammen, I heard, hadn’t pitched in a while, so he was fresh,” said Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who put Atlanta on the board with a solo homer off Strasburg in the second inning and later added an RBI single. “He went out there and gave them four strong innings, mowed right through us, and we just weren’t able to get to him. But we got into the bullpen, so maybe that will help us out in the next two games.”

The Braves nearly tied the score in an eventful seventh off Clippard, who threw 32 pitches and allowed one run on two hits. He plunked back-to-back lefties (Evan Gattis and Brian McCann) to put himself into a bases-loaded, one-out jam. He then fanned back-to-back righties (Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson) to get himself out of it.

Things then got back to normal, as Storen pitched a solid eighth before Soriano threw a 1-2-3 ninth, although he received a minor scare from Freeman, who chased Bernadina to the track in right-center in a bid for his second homer of the game and the equalizer.

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In the end, Washington pitchers chalked up 10 strikeouts, eight of them coming from the relief corps.

Strasburg, who went into the game with a 0.96 ERA over his last four starts, allowed only a run and two hits while striking out two, but as he did in his previous start at Turner Field, showed signs of discomfort on the mound during the second inning.

After discussions with ptching coach Steve McCatty and manager Davey Johnson, Strasburg left the game. His status for his next start is uncertain, and he’ll head back to D.C. to be further examined by the Nats’ medical staff.

The Nationals passed their own internal examination, a gut-check that may get June off to a good start.

“Right now we’re trying to get on track,” said Clay Matthews Lights Out Jersey Span. “Being that it’s Atlanta, it’s a big series for us. If we can come here and take one more game out of the next two or the next two, that would be a big confidence-booster for us.”

Vargas Joey Votto Jersey keeps rolling as Angels edge Dodgers

Jason Vargas continued his dominance in the month of May, Howie Kendrick scored three times and the Angels defeated the Dodgers, 3-2, on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.

2013 Joey Votto Jersey.With the game tied at 2 and runners on the corners in the sixth inning, Angels infielder Chris Nelson hit a dribbler off the glove of Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario. The ball trickled to second baseman Mark Ellis, but Nelson was safe at first base and Kendrick had already crossed home plate — giving the Angels a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

The result, the Angels’ eighth win in the past 10 games, gave the teams a split in the four-game Freeway Series with each team winning its two home games.

“We’ve been playing good baseball,” Kendrick Joey Votto Jersey said. “We’ve been having a lot of fun, too. We’re a lot more relaxed, guys are just enjoying it. We haven’t thought much about anything, we’ve just been going out and playing.”

A night after Angels ace Jered Weaver electrified the Angels crowd in his return from the disabled list, Vargas kept the momentum rolling as he pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs on five hits.

The left-hander became the first Angels pitcher to register five wins in a month since Shawn Boskie in 1996. Vargas is 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA in May.

“I don’t really have an answer for that, other than getting more out,” said Vargas, who was a dismal 0-3 with a 4.85 ERA in April. “There wasn’t anything that I tried to change or tried to do differently. I’m just being more consistent.”

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However, Angels manager Mike Scioscia believes the change may be the result of Vargas finally settling into a rhythm and routine with his new team.

“His first couple starts, I thought he was trying to get settled into a new staff,” Scioscia said. “This guy is a consistent winner, he knows how to pitch. He had a great run up in Seattle and he got more comfortable with not only the team, but our catchers. It’s been a system coming in here, working with new catchers. Chris [Iannetta] has worked well with him. I thought he pitched a great game and he’s been on a roll.”Cheap Joey Votto Jersey.

While the Angels knew what they were getting when they traded for Vargas in December, the Dodgers knew what they were facing Thursday.

“He’s a guy that’s basically going to change speeds, going to try to beat you with add, subtract, use his changeup, elevate the fastball a little bit,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s going to have to beat you by changing speeds and hitting spots, that type of thing.”

And that’s exactly what he did.

Coupled with Vargas’ performance, the Angels got another good game from Kendrick, who is hitting .327 in May and has hits in five of the past six games.

Joey Votto Merchandise.Scioscia said Kendrick — who went 2-for-4 — has been the Angels’ most consistent hitter of late, but the second baseman said his approach against Dodgers starter Ted Lilly was not anything special.

“See the ball and hit it, I’ll be honest with you,” Kendrick said. “He’s kind of crafty because he’s got that windup that kind of throws off your timing a little bit. I think the biggest thing is to try to get a mistake and hit it.”

Lilly pitched 5 2/3 strong innings for the Dodgers, but was not able to get the final out of the sixth and it proved to be the difference.

Belisario took over for Lilly with two outs and runners on the corners, but was unable to retire Nelson.

“Belisario is tough, he stayed on a pitch that was down and hit it back up the middle and got the infield hit,” Scioscia said of Nelson. “And obviously we made that run hold up.”Joey Votto Reds Jersey.

The Dodgers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Carl Crawford hit the second pitch of the game — an 87 mph fastball from Vargas — to right field for a triple. Following a lineout from Ellis, Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers the early advantage.

The Angels responded in the second when Iannetta laced an RBI double. Six of the catcher’s last 10 hits have gone for extra bases.

The Angels then took a 2-1 lead on triple from Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo’s single in the fourth, but Dodgers catcher Ramon Hernandez hit the first pitch of the fifth inning over the left-field wall to tie the game at 2.

The Joey Votto Jersey Angels (25-29) have won six straight home games and have six games left in a homestand that could see the team climb back to — and even over — .500.

“We’ve been playing really strong baseball the last couple weeks,” Scioscia said. “It was good to get back here. We controlled the games on the defensive end, starting with our pitching and we won two close ballgames. That’s really what we need to be about.”