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Reds dismiss Price, Riggleman named interim

Darwin, Kelly join staff as interim pitching, bench coach
MLB.com @m_sheldon

Bryan Price is out as Reds manager, along with pitching coach Mack Jenkins. Bench coach Jim Riggleman will be interim manager, with Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin joining the coaching staff. Pat Kelly, who was manager of Triple-A Louisville, will be the bench coach.

The club will conduct a search for a permanent manager later in the season.

Bryan Price is out as Reds manager, along with pitching coach Mack Jenkins. Bench coach Jim Riggleman will be interim manager, with Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Danny Darwin joining the coaching staff. Pat Kelly, who was manager of Triple-A Louisville, will be the bench coach.

The club will conduct a search for a permanent manager later in the season.

Cincinnati is off to a 3-15 start after dropping 10 of its past 11 games.

"At this time, we felt a change needed to happen in order to begin the process of getting this team back on the right track. We realize it is early in the season but feel it is important to be proactive," general manager Dick Williams said. "In addition to these staff changes, we will continue to examine all aspects of baseball operations to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve."

Price joined the Reds as pitching coach before the 2010 season and was promoted to manager in 2014, replacing Dusty Baker. Price had a 279-387 (.419) record as manager.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Sons of Puerto Rico help Twins top Tribe in 16

Berrios sets tone with 7 scoreless; Rosario scores winning run
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- On a night that saw Puerto Rico native Jose Berrios turn in a dominant performance of seven scoreless innings against the Indians in front of his home crowd, it was fitting that fellow Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in the longest MLB game ever held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- On a night that saw Puerto Rico native Jose Berrios turn in a dominant performance of seven scoreless innings against the Indians in front of his home crowd, it was fitting that fellow Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in the longest MLB game ever held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Video: CLE@MIN: LaMarre wins it in 16th with walk-off single

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Rosario, a Guayama native, sparked a rally in the 16th inning with a leadoff single off Josh Tomlin before going to third on an error from second baseman Jason Kipnis on what should've been a double play hit into by Logan Morrison. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Ryan LaMarre provided the walk-off single into center for a 2-1 win in the second and final game of the Puerto Rico series that saw each team win one game.

"They both handled it very well," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Jose is never going to forget about this day and the biggest concern was getting him through that first inning with all that hype and expectation. I told him after the first inning, 'Now we go.' And sure enough, he did. Jose couldn't have done a better job and [Rosario] scored the winning run. 'Rosie' started the rally and finished it."

:: Puerto Rico Series coverage ::

Rosario couldn't contain his emotions after scoring the winning run, and Berrios joined the celebration on the field, never changing out of his uniform while watching the game's final nine innings.

"It was unforgettable -- this was one of the best nights of my life," Rosario said through an interpreter. "Being able to spend time here in Puerto Rico with my family and my friends, and them being able to watch me wear a Major League uniform."

The 5-hour, 13-minute game didn't see much offense, with neither team getting a hit with runners in scoring position until LaMarre's hit, but saw same late dramatics after the Twins fell behind 1-0 in the 14th on a go-ahead solo homer from Edwin Encarnacion off reliever Trevor Hildenberger. On the first pitch of the bottom of the 14th, Miguel Sano crushed a game-tying solo homer to left off Matt Belisle.

Video: CLE@MIN: Sano answers with game-tying homer in 14th

Berrios, who hails from Bayamon, showed his maturity, not letting his emotions get the best of him. It was evident that he was locked in after he struck out fellow Puerto Rico native Francisco Lindor on three pitches to open the game. Berrios scattered three hits, striking out five and throwing 84 pitches. He retired 16 in a row to finish his outing, including retiring 19 of the last 20 batters he faced.

"It was crazy, there were a lot of emotions going through my mind," Berrios said through an interpreter. "After the second inning, I was more concentrated. Tonight was a very important night for me and the island of Puerto Rico."

Video: Molitor, Rosario, Berrios on 2-1 win in 16 innings

Berrios, 23, has a 1.63 ERA in four starts this year, including three outings of at least seven scoreless innings. He's walked only one batter all year compared to 29 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings.

Video: CLE@MIN: Berrios hurls seven scoreless in Puerto Rico

Berrios ran into only one jam, putting runners at the corners with two outs in the first, but got Encarnacion to roll over a first-pitch curveball on a grounder to third to end the inning. Berrios was on a roll after the first; he gave up a one-out single to Tyler Naquin in the second but didn't allow a baserunner after that.

But right-hander Carlos Carrasco was also impressive for the Indians, matching Berrios by throwing seven scoreless innings of his own. Carrasco gave up three hits and a walk but struck out seven.

Twins relievers Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Ryan Pressly and Taylor Rogers combined to throw 6 1/3 scoreless innings before Hildenberger served up Encarnacion's homer. Alan Busenitz threw two scoreless innings to pick up the win, working out of two jams.

Video: CLE@MIN: Rosario runs down Kipnis' fly ball in gap

"There wasn't much fault to find," Molitor said. "We had to pitch out of a couple jams. Reed was crisp, Rodney had a couple baserunners. But you go down the line. Pressly had a couple big innings. I'm glad they were fresh because we needed them."

KEPLER LEAVES WITH RIGHT KNEE INJURY
Twins outfielder Max Kepler, who moved over from right field to center with Byron Buxton on the 10-day disabled list with migraines, suffered a right knee injury and was replaced by LaMarre in the 10th inning. Molitor said the injury isn't considered serious. Kepler tweaked the knee earlier in the game and felt discomfort while trying to run down a fly ball in the ninth.

"We think he's going to be OK," Molitor said. "He felt it a little bit earlier, and then when he went after that ball he felt it a little bit. So we thought it was best to get him out."

Video: CLE@MIN: Molitor on winning marathon 16-inning game

SOUND SMART
Berrios became the first Puerto Rican pitcher to throw seven scoreless innings at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in a regular-season game. He joins Javier Vazquez, Roberto Hernandez and Pedro Feliciano as the four Puerto Rico natives to pitch on their home island in the regular season.

Video: Eddie Rosario talks Puerto Rico series on MLB Tonight

It was also the first neutral site walk-off since June 29, 2010, when the Marlins won on an RBI single from Dan Uggla at this ballpark. The 16-inning game is also the longest MLB regular-season game ever played outside the continental United States or Canada.

Video: Indians, Twins split historic Puerto Rico Series

HE SAID IT
"It was a great experience playing baseball here the last two days in front of our families. It was great honor to be here and do this." -- Berrios

Video: CLE@MIN: Berrios on his stellar start in Puerto Rico

UP NEXT
After an off-day, right-hander Lance Lynn (0-1, 5.00 ERA) will take the mound in the opener of a three-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Friday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Lynn, who hasn't started since April 9, will start opposite Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer. After giving up five runs in his first inning of the season, Lynn has thrown eight straight scoreless innings but said he needs to pitch deeper into games.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Jose Berrios, Ryan LaMarre, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano

Yo's slam caps Mets' 9-run 8th, comeback win

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- Juan Lagares dropped to a knee at second base, smacking his gloved hands together half a dozen times. Across the diamond, Asdrubal Cabrera waited in foul ground after half-jogging, half-leaping home. A grin broke across Todd Frazier's face as he neared Cabrera, slapping his teammate's hand with force.

Lagares' two-run double had just given the Mets their first lead in an 11-5 win over the Nationals at Citi Field, highlighting a 12-batter, nine-run, eighth-inning rally that diverted them from a three-game series sweep. About an hour later, as they packed and dressed for an early-morning flight to Georgia, reminiscing on Lagares' hit and Yoenis Cespedes' grand slam, some Mets tried to temper the importance of a single game in April. But there was no disguising it.

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NEW YORK -- Juan Lagares dropped to a knee at second base, smacking his gloved hands together half a dozen times. Across the diamond, Asdrubal Cabrera waited in foul ground after half-jogging, half-leaping home. A grin broke across Todd Frazier's face as he neared Cabrera, slapping his teammate's hand with force.

Lagares' two-run double had just given the Mets their first lead in an 11-5 win over the Nationals at Citi Field, highlighting a 12-batter, nine-run, eighth-inning rally that diverted them from a three-game series sweep. About an hour later, as they packed and dressed for an early-morning flight to Georgia, reminiscing on Lagares' hit and Yoenis Cespedes' grand slam, some Mets tried to temper the importance of a single game in April. But there was no disguising it.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's just huge for us to avoid the sweep and fly down to Atlanta happy," outfielder Michael Conforto said.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

It was Conforto who ignited the winning rally, singling off Ryan Madson with the Mets trailing by two. Cespedes followed with another knock. Then Cabrera singled and, in Conforto's words, "you could kind of feel the energy building." Two batters later, Frazier collected his sixth hit in 17 tries with runners in scoring position, tying the game at 4.

An intentional walk and a strikeout loaded the bases for Lagares, who ripped a two-run, go-ahead double just inside the right-field foul line, giving the Mets their first lead of the night.

Video: Must C Clutch: Mets trio lead dramatic comeback

"I was ready for that the whole at-bat," Lagares said. "I got a good pitch, and I made a good swing."

Cespedes' slam wound up icing a night that could have turned out much differently for the Mets. Entering the week with a 12-2 record and a six-game National League East lead over the defending division champions, the Mets lost gut-punch games Monday and Tuesday. They arrived at Citi Field the following afternoon aching to salvage something; although manager Mickey Callaway insisted this was no different than any other game, criticisms were raining down from all corners of the media landscape. Callaway himself dropped the first hints of urgency, removing starting pitcher Steven Matz for pinch-hitter Brandon Nimmo after four innings and 74 pitches.

Video: WSH@NYM: Matz K's Turner for third straight strikeout

The move wasn't universally well-received. Matz, who had retired 10 straight after Ryan Zimmerman's three-run homer in the first inning, slammed his bat to the ground in the dugout. Then he watched as Amed Rosario hit into an inning-ending double play with the Mets trailing by a run. Had Paul Sewald not given the Mets three innings of one-run relief, their eighth-inning opportunity might never have arisen. New York might have dropped three straight to an archrival oozing with confidence. The criticisms would have continued to fall like rain.

But Sewald did his part and Frazier, Lagares and Cespedes did the rest, sending the Mets to a 13-4 record for just the third time in franchise history.

"We just went out and took it," Callaway said. "We went there and the players in that clubhouse took that game. They were wanting to win, and they did everything they could."

Video: WSH@NYM: Callaway on 11-5 win, avoiding sweep

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Had Matz's pitch count been in the 50s or 60s when his spot in the order came up in the fourth, Callaway said, he never would have considered removing his pitcher from the game. But with Matz at 74 pitches, the manager called him back from the on-deck circle, sending out Nimmo instead. Although Nimmo reached first on a hit-by-pitch, Rosario followed with the inning-ending double play.

"I definitely understand," Matz said of Callaway's decision. "I think Mickey would understand that I wouldn't be happy. As a competitor, you want to go out there and go as deep in the game as you can. … Thankfully, the bats came alive and we were able to get the win."

Video: WSH@NYM: Matz displeased with being removed from game

SOUND SMART
From the sixth inning of the Mets' April 1 loss to the Cardinals to the sixth inning Wednesday, Sewald retired 18 consecutive batters. He appeared in just two games in between, retiring the only batter he faced in an April 10 win over the Marlins, then all nine men he saw in Saturday's loss to the Brewers. Wednesday, Sewald set down six in a row before Zimmerman led off the seventh with a triple.

"I'm throwing strikes most importantly," Sewald said. "I can't eat innings if I'm out there throwing 25 pitches an inning. Most important is to get weak contact as early as we can."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
A notorious low-ball hitter, Cespedes elevated his bat plane in the eighth inning to take A.J. Cole deep for his sixth career grand slam. Cole's 95-mph fastball crossed home plate 3.82 feet above the ground, well out of the strike zone. It was the highest pitch Cespedes has hit out since joining the Mets in 2015, and the highest pitch anyone in the Majors has redirected over the fence this season.

Asked if his pair of hits might ignite a hot streak, Cespedes, who was in a 7-for-46 (.152) slump entering the eighth inning, cut off an interpreter's attempt to translate the question.

"I really hope so," Cespedes said in Spanish.

Video: WAS@NYM: Cespedes hits 3.82-ft high pitch for a slam

HE SAID IT
"I put it away and we end up winning. So I'm going to sell it if anybody's interested. I bought it for 95 bucks. I'll go half price for anybody if they're interested." -- Frazier, on the pepper shaker he purchased to give to the Mets' player of the game after wins. When Frazier noticed it still sitting in Wilmer Flores' locker Wednesday afternoon following two straight losses, he moved it out of the main clubhouse room, calling it "bad luck."

Video: WSH@NYM: Frazier ties game with clutch two-run single

UP NEXT
Allowing four runs in five innings in each of his last two starts, Matt Harvey looks to improve -- and to solidify his rotation status with teammate Jason Vargas nearing a return from the disabled list -- when he starts the Mets' 7:35 p.m. ET series opener Thursday at SunTrust Park. Originally scheduled Braves starter Anibal Sanchez was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a leg injury; Atlanta hasn't announced a new starter.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Sox improve to 15-2 behind hot bats, Porcello

Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Rick Porcello tossed six scoreless innings Wednesday and received a wealth of offensive support, including a grand slam from Rafael Devers, as the Red Sox rolled to a 9-0 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.

It was the second consecutive scoreless start from Porcello, who hasn't allowed a run in his last 13 innings. The Red Sox improved to an MLB-best 15-2, the best start in the 118-year history of the franchise.

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ANAHEIM -- Rick Porcello tossed six scoreless innings Wednesday and received a wealth of offensive support, including a grand slam from Rafael Devers, as the Red Sox rolled to a 9-0 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.

It was the second consecutive scoreless start from Porcello, who hasn't allowed a run in his last 13 innings. The Red Sox improved to an MLB-best 15-2, the best start in the 118-year history of the franchise.

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Porcello (4-0) retired the last six batters he faced, after giving up six hits, and notched six strikeouts with no walks. The right-hander has not walked a batter over his last 22 2/3 innings.

"I feel good, and while I wasn't as sharp in the first inning as I would have liked to have been, I thought we were able to make adjustments," said Porcello, who got just four ground-ball outs and adjusted the game plan when his sinker was not working to his standard.

Porcello has given up just one earned run over his last 19 1/3 innings, going back to the second inning of his April 7 start against the Rays. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his previous outing last Thursday against the Yankees.

Video: BOS@LAA: Devers cranks a grand slam to right field

Devers capped a five-run third inning with his first career grand slam, which hit off the right-field wall above the lowered boundary line. He homered for the second straight night and for the third time this season.

J.D. Martinez hit a home run in the seventh inning, his fourth of the season, and went 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Mitch Moreland went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs for the Red Sox, who are 15-1 since losing on Opening Day. It is their best 16-game stretch since 2004.

Video: BOS@LAA: Martinez notches four hits, RBI in 9-0 win

"I keep learning a lot from the team, and I keep saying all along that they show up, they prepare, they go play and they are having fun at it," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "One thing I said when I came here was that we are going to enjoy winning, because we know how tough it is to win at this level."

According to Elias, the Red Sox join the 2003 Giants as the only teams since 1900 to go 15-2 with a first-year manager. Cora is the only rookie manager to accomplish the feat.

Moreland opened the season on an 0-for-12 slide, but he has gone 11-for-19 since to help lead Boston's productive offense.

"Obviously, we've had a pretty good run at it here so far," Moreland said. "To get out there and into the action, it's a lot of fun. It seems like one through nine, everybody is stepping up. We're throwing the ball really well on the mound, and we're playing real complete games."

Video: BOS@LAA: Moreland clubs a two-run homer to right

The Red Sox have hit eight home runs in their first two games against the American League West-leading Angels, who fell to 13-5 and took their first series loss. The Red Sox have outscored the Angels, 19-1.

"We're playing good baseball," Cora said. "They're grinding out at-bats all the way to the end. … They don't want to give away at-bats, which is great. Defensively, they're doing a great job, and the pitching staff has been amazing."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Avoiding early trouble: The Angels loaded the bases with one out in the first inning on three singles, but Porcello ended the threat by striking out Kole Calhoun and Zack Cozart. The Angels never got another runner to third base against the right-hander.

Video: BOS@LAA: Porcello K's Cozart, strands based loaded

SOUND SMART
At 21 years, 176 days, Devers became the youngest Red Sox player to hit a grand slam since a 20-year-old Tony Conigliaro hit one on Aug. 24, 1965, against the Washington Senators. Devers became the youngest player to hit a slam in the Majors since a 20-year-old Rougned Odor on Aug. 27, 2014, at Seattle. Devers' four RBIs were a career high.

HE SAID IT
"We recognized early on I wasn't commanding the sinker as well as I would have liked to, and we were able to make an adjustment. Sometimes that's what you have to do. I definitely give [catcher] Sandy [Leon] a lot of credit. He recognized that, and put down the right fingers." -- Porcello, on moving away from his typically reliable sinking fastball

UP NEXT
Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will take the mound Thursday at Anaheim in the series finale at 10:07 p.m. ET. He gave up one run over six innings last time out against the Orioles last Friday. In his only previous start against the Angels, on July 20, 2015, he gave up seven runs over 1 2/3 innings. The Angels will start right-hander Nick Tropeano.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

Boston Red Sox, Rafael Devers, Rick Porcello

The Yankees sent out an important anti-bullying message after a young fan's social media post

When used for good, social media can be a very powerful tool for helping others. 

Recently, a woman named Jenn Slater posted on Facebook about her daughter, Cassidy, and her issues with being bullied at her middle school. It's tough to watch, but important just the same. 

Braves mum, but hopeful, after Freeman X-ray

Slugger struck in wrist by pitch in 8th inning; team to wait for further evaluation
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman created a scare as he walked off the field much like he had last season when a pitch fractured his left wrist. But early indications created reason to believe the Braves' first baseman might have avoided another significant injury.

Freeman exited Wednesday night's 7-3 win over the Phillies when his left wrist was hit by a Hoby Milner pitch in the eighth inning. There was immediate concern because the 89-mph fastball struck him around the same area where his wrist was fractured by Blue Jays southpaw Aaron Loup's fastball last year. The Braves did not announce the results of the X-ray exam performed Wednesday and will not provide any further information until Freeman is re-evaluated Thursday morning. But there is at least reason to believe the X-ray did not reveal a fracture.

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ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman created a scare as he walked off the field much like he had last season when a pitch fractured his left wrist. But early indications created reason to believe the Braves' first baseman might have avoided another significant injury.

Freeman exited Wednesday night's 7-3 win over the Phillies when his left wrist was hit by a Hoby Milner pitch in the eighth inning. There was immediate concern because the 89-mph fastball struck him around the same area where his wrist was fractured by Blue Jays southpaw Aaron Loup's fastball last year. The Braves did not announce the results of the X-ray exam performed Wednesday and will not provide any further information until Freeman is re-evaluated Thursday morning. But there is at least reason to believe the X-ray did not reveal a fracture.

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Video: MLB Tonight talks Freddie Freeman's wrist injuries

"It's a concern, when he gets hit in that hand," manager Brian Snitker said. "Hopefully it's ... I can't even comment because they're looking at him and evaluating him."

Video: PHI@ATL: Snitker on Freeman exiting game after HBP

Freeman, who has hit .288 with two home runs and a .986 OPS this season, was not ready to comment on Wednesday night. He missed seven weeks when he fractured his wrist last year.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman

Watch as Tanner Roark unveils baseball's most unhittable pitch

You thought Clayton Kershaw's curveball was the best pitch in baseball? Chaz Roe's slider? Jordan Hicks' fastball? 

Bah!

Tanner Roark laughs at your short-sighted opinions. In the first inning of Wednesday's Nationals-Mets game, the right-hander unveiled the most unhittable pitch in baseball today -- perhaps in all of baseball history. Feast your eyes below.

Halos still optimistic Ohtani will make next start

Two-way phenom dealing with blister, could DH on Thursday
MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- One day after Shohei Ohtani exited his start against the Red Sox with a blister on his right hand, the Angels remained optimistic that the 23-year-old two-way phenom will be able to make his next start on the mound.

"We'll evaluate it," manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. "He's not very concerned about it. Our medical staff is going to pay a lot of attention to it, to make sure that he's able to throw his bullpen and see where he comes out of things. We'll just take this one step at a time. We won't have to make a decision for a while."

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ANAHEIM -- One day after Shohei Ohtani exited his start against the Red Sox with a blister on his right hand, the Angels remained optimistic that the 23-year-old two-way phenom will be able to make his next start on the mound.

"We'll evaluate it," manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. "He's not very concerned about it. Our medical staff is going to pay a lot of attention to it, to make sure that he's able to throw his bullpen and see where he comes out of things. We'll just take this one step at a time. We won't have to make a decision for a while."

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The Angels' preference early this season has been to have Ohtani pitch on six days' rest, meaning his next scheduled outing would likely be Tuesday in Houston. Ohtani normally throws a light bullpen session four days before his starts and a more intense one two days later, so he could have a chance to assess the blister's progress Friday, if he remains on his usual pitching routine.

Video: BOS@LAA: Ohtani exits after two innings with blister

Ohtani didn't pitch for nearly two months because of a blister issue in Japan in 2016, but he doesn't feel this one is as severe. He added that he's been able to pitch through other blisters without having to miss a turn in the rotation.

"Usually, in Japan, I pitched without it fully healing, without skipping days or anything," Ohtani said Tuesday through an interpreter. "I think it will be something similar this time."

The blister, which is located on the inside edge of Ohtani's right middle finger, affected his ability to command his pitches against the Red Sox and especially defanged his splitter, which had been a key pitch for him in his first two brilliant outings. Scioscia said that he doesn't believe Ohtani's high splitter usage led to the development of the blister, however.

"He used his split a lot in his first two outings and had no issue with it," Scioscia said. "It's just something that came up last night. He'll be able to throw all his pitches."

The blister isn't expected to affect Ohtani's hitting. Scioscia said Ohtani would be available to serve as the designated hitter on Thursday, but he wouldn't commit to having him in the lineup against Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. So far this season, the left-handed hitting Ohtani has started only once at DH against a lefty.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani

Cole sharp again; Astros' 6-run 7th seals win

Special to MLB.com

SEATTLE -- That explosive offense that almost everyone expects of the Astros finally showed up Wednesday night. It was a one-inning volcano eruption. A six-run seventh inning when Houston sent 11 hitters to the plate ended a pitching duel and propelled the Astros to a 7-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

"We're a good offense, don't forget that,'' Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "It was coming and there's more to come. As the game went on our at-bats got better and better, which is encouraging. I don't think we can allow a rough patch to get in the way of the reality that we're a really good hitting club."

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SEATTLE -- That explosive offense that almost everyone expects of the Astros finally showed up Wednesday night. It was a one-inning volcano eruption. A six-run seventh inning when Houston sent 11 hitters to the plate ended a pitching duel and propelled the Astros to a 7-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

"We're a good offense, don't forget that,'' Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "It was coming and there's more to come. As the game went on our at-bats got better and better, which is encouraging. I don't think we can allow a rough patch to get in the way of the reality that we're a really good hitting club."

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Video: HOU@SEA: Springer plates two with double off the wall

Only twice in the previous 12 games had the Astros scored more than four runs. They scored three runs or fewer in eight of those games. And they scored only one run the first six innings Wednesday off Seattle starter Mike Leake (2-1) before the breakout inning in the seventh, which is the most runs Houston has scored in an inning this season.

Video: HOU@SEA: Hinch on hot offense in Astros' 7-1 win

It included six hits (with three doubles) and a walk. Houston (12-7) also scored a run off an error by Seattle right fielder Mitch Haniger.

Hinch felt it all happened because of a stellar defensive play by left fielder Derek Fisher in the bottom of the fifth. Fisher robbed Seattle shortstop Jean Segura of a home run with a catch at the top of the wall to end the inning and keep the game tied at 1-1.

"It was a big momentum play with the way the game was going,'' Hinch said. "Everybody exhales and then we come back and score a lot of runs. So it obviously was a turning point."

Fisher kept backing up on the towering fly ball and managed to leap and grab it at the last second.

"I was just trying to read how it was going to go back,'' Fisher said. "It was a hard one to gauge on whether to jump or not jump. Fortunately, I caught it."

It was one of two runs the Mariners didn't score because of the Houston defense. Right fielder Josh Reddick threw out Ben Gamel at the plate in the second inning.

Stellar defense helped Astros starter Gerrit Cole (2-0) win the game on a night when he wasn't the dominating pitcher he had been in his first three starts this season, posting 36 strikeouts in 21 innings. Trying to become the first pitcher in Major League history to open a season with four games of double-digit strikeouts, Cole finished with five. He allowed only one run (unearned) in seven innings.

Video: HOU@SEA: Cole allows five hits, no earned runs

"He didn't have his best stuff tonight, but that's the sign of a great pitcher,'' said Astros catcher Brian McCann, who had two doubles. "Gerrit is as good as they come. When you look at your season overall, you probably have your 'A' stuff six or seven times. It's the other starts that make or break your season. I thought he pitched phenomenal tonight."

Cole felt he pitched better as the game progressed.

"I started making better pitch selections,'' he said. "But there were a couple of times early where I didn't execute my pitches. I had to rely on the defense to make some great plays."

Even on a so-so night, the Astros' starting pitching is going to keep the team in the game most of the time. And the offense is going to have moments like the seventh inning Wednesday night when it was unstoppable. The Astros finished with 12 hits and six doubles.

"We've been battling out there,'' Fisher said. "But we put some good swings together and hit some balls hard tonight and they're starting to fall for us."

Video: HOU@SEA: Gonzalez hits go-ahead two-run single in 7th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Reddick's great throw kept the Mariners from tying the game in the bottom of the second. Cole walked Ben Gamel and Daniel Vogelbach with two outs before Seattle catcher David Freitas stroked a one-hop single to right, but Reddick made a perfect throw to McCann to cut down Gamel at the plate.

Video: HOU@SEA: Reddick cuts down Gamel at the plate in 2nd

SOUND SMART
Outfielder George Springer, who now has played in 502 MLB games, has 103 career home runs. It's the second-best total in franchise history for a player's first 500 games. Lance Berkman had 107 homers in his first 500 games.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With the Astros and Mariners tied at 1 in the fifth inning, Fisher kept the Mariners from taking the lead when he reached over the wall to rob Segura of a home run.

Video: HOU@SEA: Fisher robs Segura of a home run in left

Segura launched a towering fly off Cole that appeared headed for the Astros bullpen past the outfield wall, but Fisher timed his leap perfectly and made the catch right over the top of the wall to end the inning.

HE SAID IT
"That's the most casual rob of a home run I've ever seen in my career. He was either surprised or as cool as anyone can imagine.'' -- Hinch said of Fisher's over-the-wall catch of a would-be homer by Segura in the fifth inning.

UP NEXT
The Astros close out the four-game series in Seattle with a day game against the Mariners on Thursday, starting at 2:40 CT. Charlie Morton (2-0, 1.00) faces Marco Gonzales (1-1, 8.25). The Astros are 5-2 in day games this season. The team will fly to Chicago for a three-game series with the White Sox starting Friday night when Justin Verlander (2-0, 1.35) makes his fifth start of the season. James Shields (1-1, 4.50) was scheduled to start for Chicago, but the White Sox needed him in the 14th inning of Wednesday's loss at Oakland.

Terry Blount is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.

Houston Astros

Everything clicks for Dodgers in sweep of Padres

Maeda fans 10, every starting position player records a hit as LA's win streak reaches four
Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers arrived in San Diego in the NL West cellar, wondering when their talent-laden roster would get in gear. After beating the Padres, 13-4, on Wednesday night, it's clear the Dodgers are hitting on most, if not all, cylinders.

Kenta Maeda (2-1) was keen and backed by an explosive offense as the National League's defending champions ran their winning streak to a season-high four games.

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SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers arrived in San Diego in the NL West cellar, wondering when their talent-laden roster would get in gear. After beating the Padres, 13-4, on Wednesday night, it's clear the Dodgers are hitting on most, if not all, cylinders.

Kenta Maeda (2-1) was keen and backed by an explosive offense as the National League's defending champions ran their winning streak to a season-high four games.

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Max Muncy hit his first home run as a Dodger and had two RBIs, Chase Utley added two more RBIs and a once-struggling Corey Seager tied a career-high with four hits and three RBIs.

"It was a well-played baseball game,'' manager Dave Roberts said.

Video: LAD@SD: Muncy mashes his first home run with Dodgers

Maeda took advantage of the output as he put down the Padres. He was charged with four runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings after recording just eight outs in his previous start. He tied a season high with 10 strikeouts while walking two in heaving 106 pitches.

"Kenta really competed out there and he was really fun to watch,'' Roberts said. "I really thought he held his velocity well tonight and he was able to attack. He gave us the innings that we needed. He is trusting his fastball in the strike zone and when you can trust to throw it and execute it, with velocity, you are going to get swing and misses.''

Video: LAD@SD: Maeda fans 10 in start vs. the Padres

While Maeda cruised on a pleasant San Diego evening, Luis Perdomo (1-2) pitched as if under a black cloud. He was torched for nine runs (seven earned) and 10 hits in three innings.

The Dodgers prevailing against the Padres was hardly a shocker. With the victory, the Dodgers now own the most wins against a divisional opponent since 2015, going 41-19 over that span.

But the sweep came with significance as the Dodgers got help from nearly every corner of the clubhouse. Time will tell if the Dodgers have turned the corner as well.

"We played a full game,'' said Seager, who went 7-for-16 in the series. "We pitched well, we hit well, we came up with hits with runners on base. That is how you get it going and it is a really good recipe for success.''

 Video: LAD@SD: Utley rips a two-run double to left-center

Roberts has been waiting for a collection of games like the last four. The one drawback is that closer Kenley Jansen still seeks consistency, but other than that, Roberts likes what he sees.

"When you are scoring the runs we are and stressing the [other team's] pitchers and our pitchers are attacking and we are getting guys on base and running the bases well, it just brings energy,'' Roberts said. "That is when we play our best.''

The Dodgers' hitters have flipped a switch, and maybe Justin Turner and Utley supplied the charge. They stressed being selective at the plate in a Sunday pregame meeting with position players, and the Dodgers haven't lost since.

"We're not afraid to run a count and we are not afraid to take a walk,'' Roberts said. "We talked about using the big part of the field, and Corey did it tonight and Muncy, going the other way for a homer, did it too. When we are taking walks and using the whole field, we are pretty tough.''

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
When Matt Kemp produced a slow roller for an infield hit to third baseman Christian Villanueva in the first inning, Villanueva should have put the ball in his back pocket. Instead, he tried to erase Kemp and ended up short-hopping first baseman Eric Hosmer. The ball got past Hosmer, which allowed Yasmani Grandal and Cody Bellinger to score two unearned runs and it put the wheels in motion for a rout.

 Video: LAD@SD: Dodgers score two runs on Villanueva's error

SOUND SMART
When these teams next meet, it will be on the other side of border. The Dodgers and Padres will square off May 4-6 in Monterrey, Mexico. It will be the Dodgers' fourth visit to the neighboring country, but their first time to play regular-season games. They made preseason trips in 1964, 1991 and 2003. The Dodgers aren't the only L.A. pro team heading south this year, as the Rams will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City on Nov. 19.

HE SAID IT
"For us to win a series is a great thing and to sweep a team and gain three games is big. Now, we got our work cut out. We got [Max] Scherzer and [Stephen] Strasburg, two of the best in the game -- we have to keep playing good baseball.'' -- Roberts, on sweeping the Padres and looking ahead to a three-game series with the Nationals

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
It was a heck of a catch, and then it wasn't. But it produced a dynamite throw. Left fielder Joc Pederson raced over to the wall in pursuit of Carlos Asuaje's foul ball in the seventh inning. The concrete barrier was waiting for him as well as some Dodgers fans leaning over and seeking a souvenir. Pederson leaped into the wall and made the catch, only for the ball to pop out of his glove when he came down and it struck his knee.

Video: LAD@SD: Umpires review fan interfence, call confirmed

A ticked-off Pederson gathered the ball, and instead of giving it to the Dodgers booster seeking it, he fired it into the third deck of Petco Park. Roberts requested a replay, but it was ruled that there was no fan interference.

UP NEXT
The Dodgers open a six-game homestand on Friday against the Washington Nationals after Thursday's off-day. Nationals ace Max Scherzer (3-1) will greet the Dodgers for the 7:10 p.m. PT first pitch. With scheduled starter Rich Hill (finger nail) going on the DL on Wednesday, Clayton Kershaw (1-2) will stay on his regular turn and face Scherzer.

Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Ender goes over the wall, makes snowcone grab

MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Braves manager Brian Snitker and pitcher Brandon McCarthy are well aware of Ender Inciarte's ability to create jaw-dropping moments in the outfield. But both seemed amazed by the two-time Gold Glove winner's latest defensive gem.

Inciarte displayed both his range and athleticism when he robbed Scott Kingery of a home run during the first inning of Wednesday's 7-3 win over the Phillies at SunTrust Park.

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ATLANTA -- Braves manager Brian Snitker and pitcher Brandon McCarthy are well aware of Ender Inciarte's ability to create jaw-dropping moments in the outfield. But both seemed amazed by the two-time Gold Glove winner's latest defensive gem.

Inciarte displayed both his range and athleticism when he robbed Scott Kingery of a home run during the first inning of Wednesday's 7-3 win over the Phillies at SunTrust Park.

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"I'm getting used to watching him do that kind of stuff," Snitker said. "I didn't think he had a chance for that. He kind of marked it off. That was unbelievable."

Inciarte raced to his right and tracked his steps before perfectly timing the leap that allowed his glove to reach just above the top of the center field wall and snare Kingery's long drive. McCarthy, who threw the pitch that met with Kingery's bat, admitted his emotions changed a few times within a span of seconds.

"That was an unbelievable catch," McCarthy said. "First, I thought it was a good pitch and then I realized, 'Oh my God, it's going to be a home run.' Then he caught it. There were too many emotions wrapped up quick. There's a reason he's a multiple Gold Glove winner. That was a fantastic play."

Inciarte has won two consecutive National League Gold Glove Awards. He led all Major League outfielders with the 18 5-star outs he combined to record in 2016 and '17.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves, Ender Inciarte

Let's appreciate how long Ichiro has been playing professional baseball

While Ichiro Suzuki's return to Seattle was undeniably one of the coolest moments of the offseason, his fit on the Mariners' roster was never entirely crystal clear. With fellow outfielder Ben Gamel returning from the disabled list this week, Ichiro's playing time is likely to decrease, and his spot on the roster may be at risk. We know about Ichiro's desire to play until he's 50, but it is only going to become more difficult for the veteran to find a spot on a big league roster.

With that in mind, there is never a wrong time to take a moment to appreciate the absurdly amazing career that Ichiro has put together, regardless of how much longer it continues. 

Belt's 10th-inning blast lifts Giants to win

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

PHOENIX -- Brandon Belt presented his mother, Janice, with the ball he hit for his 100th career home run on Wednesday to help the Giants outlast the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-2.

After all, a special person deserves a reminder of a special milestone.

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PHOENIX -- Brandon Belt presented his mother, Janice, with the ball he hit for his 100th career home run on Wednesday to help the Giants outlast the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-2.

After all, a special person deserves a reminder of a special milestone.

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"Hopefully the next 100 will come around a lot quicker," Belt said.

Numerous other Giants deserved to write home to Mom after they ended the club's four-game losing streak.

The canny cast of characters included Chris Stratton, who surrendered one run in seven innings; the relievers, who combined to leave seven runners on base in the final four innings; and Evan Longoria, who smacked a two-run homer to break a scoreless tie in the sixth and continued to prove that he really is ready to regain his status as an offensive force.

Video: SF@ARI: Longoria launches a two-run home run to left

Start with the pitching, which was airtight. Stratton set the pace by allowing just five hits, walking none and striking out eighth. He's virtually certain to maintain a spot in the starting rotation even after Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija return from their respective injuries.

"He's one of our guys," manager Bruce Bochy said of Stratton.

Video: SF@ARI: Stratton K's eight over seven strong frames

Tony Watson coaxed a key double play in the eighth, shrugging off allowing his first run of the year and absorbing the defeat in Tuesday's series opener. Hunter Strickland allowed a ninth-inning run, but got the game to extra innings. Cory Gearrin also allowed a run, but contained the D-backs in the 10th, earning the save.

Video: SF@ARI: Gearrin gets save with bases loaded

This roller coaster trend also affected the defense. Center fielder Austin Jackson missed a try for a shoestring catch on Paul Goldschmidt's leadoff drive in the ninth, but atoned for it by running down Daniel Descalso's drive later in the inning.

SOUND SMART
Belt's most famous extra-inning homer occurred in the 18th inning of Game 2 of the 2014 National League Division Series at Washington.

UP NEXT
Ty Blach will make his fifth start of the season on Thursday at 6:40 PT when the Giants conclude their series against the D-backs. Blach will oppose Arizona ace Zack Greinke, who has an uncharacteristic ERA of 5.29 entering the start.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt

Injury updates: Ohtani, Freeman, Walker