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Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:33:50 PDT

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Ross throws 90 pitches in 4 innings; Nats top Arizona 5-3 (The Associated Press)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:33:50 PDT

Sure, the Washington Nationals would love to lock up home-field advantage in the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. What Dusty Baker is more concerned about is getting ready for the playoffs, and that includes having pitcher Joe Ross ready to go, whether that's as a starter or reliever. Working his way back from the disabled list, Ross stretched himself out to 90 pitches, although that only carried him through four innings on a dreary Thursday in a near-empty stadium, and the NL East champion Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3, helped by Wilmer Difo's first major league homer and Pedro Severino's second.

Baseball-Highlights of Wednesday's MLB games (Reuters)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:20:55 PDT

(Adds late games) Sept 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Wednesday: Yankees 5, Red Sox 3 Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the New York Yankees rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox, who clinched the AL East Division title. The Red Sox learned they secured their eighth divisional title before Craig Kimbrel threw a pitch when the Baltimore Orioles secured a 3-2 win in Toronto.

Nats host D-backs in expected soggy finale (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:53:51 PDT

Rain is in the forecast on Thursday afternoon as the Washington Nationals are slated to host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of the four-game series. If the game is not played there is always a chance Arizona would have to return to Washington and play Monday if the game has a bearing on who gets the homefield edge in the playoffs between the Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS that begins October 7. Washington, which lost 3-0 on Wednesday in a game called due to rain in the sixth, was two games ahead of the Dodgers going into play Wednesday.

Diamondbacks beat Nationals in rain-shortened game (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:12:48 PDT

With Stephen Strasburg not expected to pitch in the National League Division Series and Joe Ross not yet fully stretched out after a two-month layoff, the Washington Nationals are counting on Gio Gonzalez to come through in the playoffs. ''It wasn't that good, but we didn't score any runs either,'' manager Dusty Baker said of Gonzalez's outing. The NL East-champion Nationals have lost two of three to the last-place Diamondbacks and seven of their last 11 games overall.

Game Over: The 2016 Colorado Rockies (Big League Stew)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:42:22 PDT

Sorry, Colorado Rockies, your World Series trophy is in another castle. But you’ve got to have an ERA under four to get in.

Lefty Solis could make difference for Nationals vs. Dodgers (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:19:39 PDT

When the Washington Nationals face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series, they'll see a steady diet of left-handed hitters throughout the lineup. Late in games, they believe that makes Sammy Solis the left man for the job. The lefty reliever returned Tuesday from a five-week stint on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation and threw a perfect seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Final Volume: Ranking 2016 (Rotoworld)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:53:00 PDT

With five days to go, Brad Johnson looks back at the top closers of the 2016 MLB season.

Fernandez's friend Gonzalez start for Nats vs. D-backs (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:05:33 PDT

Even under normal circumstances this year, it is hard to predict what kind of performance Gio Gonzalez will give the Washington Nationals when he takes the mound. Gonzalez will start at home Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks just three days after his friend, Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez, died in a boating accident in Florida. Gonzalez broke down in tears when a moment of silence was given for Fernandez before Washington's game in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Scherzer finds his form, Rendon homers as Nats beat D-Backs (The Associated Press)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:00:17 PDT

When Anthony Rendon hit a three-run home run to put the Washington Nationals ahead, Dusty Baker couldn't contain his excitement. The veteran manager was so excited about Max Scherzer being in line for his 19th win that he celebrated in the dugout with the Cy Young Award candidate. Thanks to Rendon and his own in-game adjustments, Scherzer got that 19th win as the Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Tuesday night.

Baseball-Highlights of Tuesday's MLB games (Reuters)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:44:57 PDT

(Adds later games) Sept 27 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Tuesday: Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1 Aaron Sanchez struck out 10 in six innings, Josh Donaldson and Ezequiel Carrera homered and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles. Carrera and Donaldson each had two RBIs for the Blue Jays (87-70) who have moved two games ahead of the Orioles (85-72) in the race for the first wild-card spot in the American League.

Game Over: The 2016 Chicago White Sox (Big League Stew)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:56:14 PDT

Sorry, Chicago White Sox, your World Series trophy is in another castle. But hey, maybe Drake LaRoche, can find you. He has time.

Scherzer goes for 19 wins as Nationals host Diamondbacks (The Associated Press)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:32:49 PDT

Washington right-hander Max Scherzer will start Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a chance to win 20 games this season. Scherzer, if he stayed on schedule, would pitch Sunday in the regular-season finale at home against the Miami Marlins. "You are getting your workload in," Scherzer said Monday of his approach to getting ready for the playoffs.

Dodgers' Roberts back in San Diego as division champ (The Associated Press)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:41:20 PDT

The Los Angeles Dodgers' Dave Roberts felt the burn. The San Diego Padres' Andy Green felt the future. The first-year managers are in very different places as Los Angeles visits San Diego for a three-game series that starts Tuesday at Petco Park.

Cubs win 100th game of the season in grand fashion (Big League Stew)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 23:11:30 PDT

The Chicago Cubs once again proved something that’s been obvious the entire season: They are far and away the best team in baseball. With a 12-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cubs became the first club to reach 100 wins this year. With the team leading by one run in the fourth inning, the Cubs offense went to work.

Baseball-Highlights of Monday's MLB games (Reuters)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 22:21:41 PDT

(Adds late games) Sept 26 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Monday: Indians 7, Tigers 4 Coco Crisp hit a two-run home run and Roberto Perez added a solo shot plus an RBI single and Cleveland's bullpen pieced together five relief innings to help the Indians defeat the Detroit Tigers and clinch their eighth American League Central Division title. Crisp and Rajai Davis singled with two out in the eighth before Perez lined a single to center to give Cleveland a 6-4 lead.

Game Over: The 2016 Milwaukee Brewers (Big League Stew)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:49:48 PDT

Sorry, Milwaukee Brewers, your World Series trophy is in another castle. One they might want to visit in four or five years.

Nationals C Wilson Ramos to have MRI on injured right knee (The Associated Press)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:24:25 PDT

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos will have an MRI on his right knee after injuring it in a 14-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night. Ramos was injured on a play at the plate in the sixth inning when he jumped for a relay throw and landed awkwardly on his right leg. Arizona's Brandon Drury scored but didn't make contact with Ramos.

Ramos injured in Nationals' 14-4 loss to Diamondbacks (The Associated Press)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:17:16 PDT

Wilson Ramos jumped to catch a relay throw on a play at the plate that appeared pretty harmless. The All-Star catcher writhed in pain and was helped off the field during the Washington Nationals' 14-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night. The injury could be another major blow to the NL East champions, already expected to be without ailing pitcher Stephen Strasburg in the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Diamondbacks' De La Rosa to have stem cell injection (The Associated Press)

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:22:52 PDT

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Rubby De La Rosa is trying to avoid a second Tommy John surgery by having a stem cell injection in his ailing elbow. Manager Chip Hale said De La Rosa met with Dr. James Andrews and decided to try the stem cell injection instead of another major surgery. Hale didn't have a timeframe for De La Rosa's return other than he will miss the remainder of the season.

Baseball-Highlights of Sunday's MLB games (Reuters)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 20:42:10 PDT

(Adds final game) Sept 25 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Major League Baseball games on Sunday: Cubs 3, Cardinals 1 Jon Lester allowed three hits in 6-2/3 innings and the Chicago Cubs set a franchise record for victories at Wrigley Field in a season as they beat the St. Louis Cardinals. Lester earned his league-leading 19th victory and retiring catcher David Ross homered as the National League Central champions went 57-24 at home this season. Chicago won 56 games at the ballpark in 1933 and 1935.

Game Over: The 2016 Philadelphia Phillies (Big League Stew)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 19:46:41 PDT

Sorry, Philadelphia Phillies, your World Series trophy is in another castle. This season was all about the future in Philadelphia. While the team surprised early, the Phillies fell back to Earth as the season went on, eventually fulfilling those pessimistic preseason projections.

Nationals return home to face D-backs (The Associated Press)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 19:25:47 PDT

The Washington Nationals return home to play Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks following a three- city road trip to Atlanta, Miami and Pittsburgh. The Nationals were 4-5 during the trip and clinched the National League East title on Saturday night with a 6-1 win in Pittsburgh. Washington (91-64) can now turn its attention to holding down the second-best record in the National League.

Kim's two-run homer leads Orioles past Diamondbacks, 2-1 (The Associated Press)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 15:09:05 PDT

The Baltimore Orioles are heading into the final week of the season with much-needed momentum and an opportunity to take over the top wild-card spot in the American League. Hyun Soo Kim hit his fifth home run, a two-run shot in the second inning, and the Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 2-1 victory Sunday. Baltimore is 1 1/2 games ahead of Detroit for the second AL wild card and remained 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the top spot.

Orioles pursue wild card, series sweep (The Associated Press)

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 00:26:53 PDT

The Baltimore Orioles took back the second wild-card spot in the American League with their 6-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night. The Orioles will get that chance in the series finale with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. Baltimore will try to wrap up a three-game sweep and keep pushing for the wild card.

Baseball-Highlights from MLB games on Saturday (Reuters)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:19:08 PDT

Highlights from Major League Baseball games on Saturday: Nationals 6, Pirates 1 Washington won their third National League East title in the last five years with a victory over the Pittsburgh at PNC Park on Saturday night, coupled with the New York Mets' 10-8 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos each drove in two runs and reliever Reynaldo Lopez (4-3) pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings for Washington (90-64). The Nationals' Joe Ross was making his second start since missing 66 games because of right shoulder inflammation.

Mancini, Trumbo power Orioles over Diamondbacks 6-1 (The Associated Press)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 20:29:56 PDT

If the Baltimore Orioles can take care of business, they no longer have to worry about watching the scoreboard. Trey Mancini hit his third homer in nine major league at-bats, Mark Trumbo connected for his league-leading 45th homer and Baltimore beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-1 on Saturday night. The Orioles pulled a half-game ahead of the Tigers for the AL's second wild card and trail the Toronto Blue Jays by 1 1/2 games for the top spot.

Blue Jays' Bautista comes up big in key situation and other takeaways from win over Yankees (Eh Game)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:24:24 PDT

TORONTO — The right guy, at the right time. That’s how Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons described the situation in the bottom of the eighth inning when, with two on and two out, Jose Bautista came up to bat. On a 2-0 pitch right down the middle of the plate, the right fielder didn't miss, hitting a three-run blast into the left field stands, giving the Blue Jays the 3-0 lead against the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon. It was a lead they would not relinquish, earning themselves back-to-back wins to open the final homestand of the regular season at the Rogers Centre. " Looks like he’s heating up at the right time," Gibbons said in his post-game press conference. "Jose, he’s been known to do some things at key spots. I was sitting there on the bench with DeMarlo (Hale), and I mentioned that to him. You know, right guy, right time basically." According to the Blue Jays’ public relations staff, it was the 16th time in Bautista’s career that he’s given his team the lead with a the long ball in the eighth inning or later. Fourteen times he did it for the Blue Jays. In other words, Bautista has been "the right guy, at the right time" many times before. “Obviously last year and obviously this year, it seems like he always steps up in those key moments when we need him most,” sais Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman about Bautista. The win also helps the Blue Jays tighten their grip on the top wild-card spot in the American League. At the conclusion of their 3-0 win, the Blue Jays held a two game-lead over the Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles for the top wild-card spot. (Note: The Orioles could cut that lead to 1.5 games with a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night). After a shaky start to September, the Blue Jays look to be hitting their stride again when it matters most. With that in mind, here are three other takeaways from Saturday’s game: Pitching duel for last playoff rotation spot: For a second day in a row, a Blue Jays starter held the Yankees scoreless. On Saturday afternoon, Marcus Stroman took the mound and pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out five. That performance comes just one night after veteran starter Francisco Liriano did much the same, blanking the Yankees through six innings Friday night in the eventual 9-0 rout. With J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez all but locks for the potential playoff rotation, there could be a battle brewing between Liriano and Stroman for that fourth spot. Gibbons said Stroman looked “as good as I’ve seen him,” in his outing Saturday. As for Stroman, he said he was happy with his performance. “I had everything going. I felt great out there. I felt strong. Felt like I was pretty much hitting all my spots,” he said. “I don’t know if it was best, but I put it up there as one of the best performances that I’ve had as far as stuff wise and as far as giving us an opportunity to win late in the game.” Scoreboard watch: With just eight games left on the schedule, the American League playoff picture is beginning to take shape. The Texas Rangers have clinched the AL West, while the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox appear poised to secure top spots in the AL Central and East, respectively. As mentioned, the Blue Jays are currently in possession of the to[...]

Week That Was: Desert Drama (Rotoworld)

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 09:54:00 PDT

Arizona's rocky rotation took another hit. Get caught up on all of the week's most important news in our rundown.

Baseball-Highlights from MLB games on Friday (Reuters)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 23:40:00 PDT

Highlights from Major League Baseball games on Friday: Cubs 5, Cardinals 0 Jake Arrieta's goal may be perfection but he realizes he can occasionally ease up and still have good outcomes. Arrieta (18-7) scattered five hits in a seven-inning shutout effort as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Chicago (98-55) topped last year's 97-win total and matched the most victories by any Cubs team since 1945 with its fourth straight in the opener of a three-game weekend series.

Orioles hope Friday's win provides momentum (The Associated Press)

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 22:13:47 PDT

The Baltimore Orioles will see if Friday night's stirring come-from-behind win has any carryover effect when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night at Camden Yards. Trailing 2-0 after two innings, the Orioles tied it with solo homers by Pedro Alvarez and Matt Wieters in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, and won it when Mark Trumbo hit his 44th homer of the season leading off the 12th. Trumbo was asked if Friday's win takes some pressure off a team that had just been swept by Boston.