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Streaking Astros 'having the time of our lives'

Houston ties franchise record, winning 12th straight on Bregman's walk-off 2B
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- The Astros won. Again.

And this time, in their franchise record-tying 12th consecutive victory, they didn't grab the lead until the very end of the game. Alex Bregman delivered the walk-off, two-run double to cap a comeback from four runs down and give Houston a 5-4 win over the Rays on Monday at Minute Maid Park.

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HOUSTON -- The Astros won. Again.

And this time, in their franchise record-tying 12th consecutive victory, they didn't grab the lead until the very end of the game. Alex Bregman delivered the walk-off, two-run double to cap a comeback from four runs down and give Houston a 5-4 win over the Rays on Monday at Minute Maid Park.

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Houston has compiled winning streaks of 12 games in 1999, 2004 and, now, 2018.

"We're having a blast," Bregman said. "We're having the time of our lives with our best friends in the world."

Video: TB@HOU: Bregman wins it with a 2-run walk-off double

This win required a bit of effort. Marwin Gonzalez began the ninth inning with a leadoff walk against Rays reliever Sergio Romo. Max Stassi, in his first at-bat of the evening, then rifled a single to left field. After Tony Kemp moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt, George Springer reached on catcher's interference to load the bases. Bregman lined the third pitch he saw into the gap in left-center field for the game-winner.

Video: Bregman joins MLB Tonight to discuss his walk-off hit

"The guys executed the plan perfectly," said Astros starter Gerrit Cole, who labored early before settling in and pitching seven innings. "And then Bregman punished them."

Cole allowed a pair of runs in the first on Wilson Ramos' two-run shot and another two in the third on Joey Wendle's two-run single. Cole walked a career-high five batters on the night, but he retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced while throwing a season-high 116 pitches.

Video: TB@HOU: Cole punches out Adames in the 6th

"He just had a hard time finding his pitches," said Astros manager AJ Hinch. "It was the tale of two different games. He got locked in and was really, really good, and finished as strong as he's been the entire season."

The Astros (49-25) have scored 137 runs in the seventh inning or later this season, the most in the Majors.

Video: Astros reel off 12 straight wins to tie club record

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tale of two Gerrits: Monday delivered a version of Cole the Astros hadn't seen much of before. He issued three of his five walks in the third inning, and Wendle made him pay with a two-run single. But he found his command in the fourth.

He got on a roll, and finished the seventh on an athletic play on a comebacker.

Video: TB@HOU: Cole flashes the leather to retire Duffy

"It was nice to get that opportunity to hammer in some of the things that I was doing well after I got myself in a hole," Cole said of the seventh. "One more inning to take off the bullpen. One more inning to try to give the guys a shot to hold the deficit where it was."

Said Hinch: "That game was very weird from the onset, because we've never really seen Cole without command of his breaking ball. Every walk that he created seemed to hurt him. First-inning walk, then a homer, and all of a sudden, it's 2-0. Then walking the bases loaded, which is a rarity. He just had a hard time finding his pitches.

"[Cole] collecting himself and being able to stay in the game was huge for us because we didn't have to rifle through our bullpen, starting in the third or fourth inning."

Video: TB@HOU: Hinch on Astros extending win streak to 12

SOUND SMART
Bregman, who was 0-for-4 entering his final at-bat, extended his streak of reaching base to 29 consecutive games with the walk-off hit. That's the second-highest active streak in the Majors, behind Shin-Soo Choo's 32-game streak.

Speaking of Bregman, he made his second career appearance in left field. The Astros implemented two pinch-hitters in the bottom of the sixth inning, forcing multiple defensive changes, including Bregman's move to left. It was his first appearance in left field since 2016.

Video: TB@HOU: Bregman on his big hit, thrilling win

HE SAID IT
"I think that's kind of the common theme when you talk about any good team. Not only do you have the talent and the type of players that allow you to win that many games, but you have to win the ugly ones. You have to win the easy ones. You have to win the grinders. You have to come back. You have to stay ahead. You've got to be good at everything if you're going to win the number of games that we're trying to win." -- Cole

UP NEXT
The Astros send Justin Verlander to the mound at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday for Game 2 of their three-game series against the Rays at Minute Maid Park. In 15 starts (100 1/3 innings), Verlander has allowed just 18 earned runs (1.61 ERA). Emerging lefty Blake Snell will make his 16th start of the season for Tampa Bay.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Houston Astros, Alex Bregman

Colon tops Marichal with DR-record 244th W

Right-hander is backed by Choo, Beltre homers against Royals
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

KANSAS CITY -- Rangers starter Bartolo Colon is now the winningest pitcher from the Dominican Republic.

Colon passed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for that honor when he held the Royals to three runs in six innings in the Rangers' 6-3 victory on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. The win was Colon's 244th, the most by a pitcher from that country.

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KANSAS CITY -- Rangers starter Bartolo Colon is now the winningest pitcher from the Dominican Republic.

Colon passed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for that honor when he held the Royals to three runs in six innings in the Rangers' 6-3 victory on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. The win was Colon's 244th, the most by a pitcher from that country.

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"I feel happy of course to pass a Hall of Famer," Colon said. "He is a Dominican and a Hall of Famer. And of course, I thank God and my family. They have always supported me in my career. They helped me get to playing all these years."

Colon still has one more milestone to go. He needs one more win to tie Dennis Martinez, who was from Nicaragua, for the most by a pitcher from Latin America with 245.

"Marichal was the one, but now that I have 244, I know Dennis Martinez is there," Colon said. "If God gives me the health and the time, I'm ready to pass him and be the Latin with more wins."

Colon wasn't at his sharpest while allowing nine hits and a walk with just one strikeout. He faced 27 hitters and threw just 13 first-pitch strikes. That was below his season average of 63.8 first-pitch strikes.

But home runs from Shin-Soo Choo and Adrian Beltre staked Colon to a five-run lead, and he was able to keep the Rangers in front until the bullpen took over in the seventh. He was credited with a quality start, only the 25th by the club this season. That's the second fewest in the American League, but the Rangers are 15-10 when it happens.

Video: TEX@KC: Beltre smashes a 3-run home run to left field

"These guys have fought hard for Bartolo every night that he goes out there," manager Jeff Banister said. "They wanted to get this win for some time now, it's just incredible to watch. Such a humble guy, no real fanfare. Just great humility. These guys fought hard for him and were able to get him some runs. He fought hard, too. Not his best stuff. He tried to move the ball around. The ball-strike ratio was not normally where he wanted it."

Colon said he was trying to take advantage of the Royals' aggressiveness by making them chase pitches out of the zone. The Royals showed more patience than he expected.

"It didn't happen the way I wanted it to," Colon said. "Kansas City is a team that swings always at the first pitch. I was trying to get ahead, but they didn't swing."

Video: TEX@KC: Bartolo Colon talks about 244th career win

Colon still didn't beat himself. He threw 90 pitches, 55 for strikes but just the one walk. He has gone 22 straight games with two walks or fewer, the longest such streak in the Major Leagues. Colon knows how to pitch, he continues to march on past significant milestones and he is not ready to stop. He will take aim at Martinez when he pitches against the Twins on Sunday.

"He's fun playing behind," outfielder Delino DeShields said. "He attacks the zone. He's the same every time whether he gives up eight runs or one run. He doesn't back down from nobody and that's good to see. What he's been able to do in this game is amazing and I'm glad that I was here to witness that."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Colon, who, had a 5-3 lead going into the fifth, let the first four hitters reach base and still was able to get through the inning without giving up a run. Whit Merrifield reached on an infield single off Colon's glove. But Colon then picked him off first. Colon walked Alex Gordon and gave up singles to Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez to load the bases before getting Hunter Dozier to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Video: TEX@KC: Colon gets out of a bases-loaded jam with DP

"Nothing bigger tonight than that double play," Banister said. "That was huge."

SOUND SMART
Choo's homer was his second leading off a game this season. Choo went 2-for-2 with three walks and has now reached base in 32 straight games.

Video: TEX@KC: Statcast™ measures Choo's 49-degree leadoff HR

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
DeShields made another outstanding catch in center field to get Colon out of a fourth-inning jam. With a runner at third and two out, Adalberto Mondesi launched a drive to deep center. DeShields had to cover 98 feet in 5.2 seconds, but he made the catch on the warning track. The ball had a 15 percent catch probability, according to Statcast™. It was his fourth four-star catch of the season, tying him with Billy Hamilton of the Reds for the most in the Majors.

Video: TEX@KC: DeShields robs Mondesi of a hit to end rally

DeShields also drove in a run in the eighth with a two-out bunt hit that brought home Jurickson Profar from third base. Profar started the inning with a walk, dashed to second on Joey Gallo's fly to center and went to third on a wild pitch by Royals reliever Wily Peralta.

HE SAID IT
"I think I ran 10 miles out there tonight." -- DeShields, on his defensive night

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
DeShields tried to take second on Perez in the seventh on a pitch in the dirt, but the Gold Glove catcher popped up in time to make a perfect throw to Alcides Escobar for the out. The Rangers challenged second-base umpire Chad Fairchild's call, but it was confirmed.

Video: TEX@KC: Perez nabs DeShields at 2nd, call confirmed

During the review, DeShields was chatting it up with a few Kansas City infielders and missed the decision. Confused, he went back to second for a few seconds despite being called out. Once he realized the situation, he ran back to the dugout as Perez smiled and waved him off the field.

Video: TEX@KC: Perez waves DeShields off field after review

UP NEXT
Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels goes for his first win since May 22 when he starts the middle game of this series against the Royals at 7:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Hamels is 0-2 with a 4.39 ERA in his past four starts. That includes a 5-3 loss to the Royals on May 27, when he allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings. He is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA in six career starts against Kansas City. Right-hander Jason Hammel, who was the winning pitcher in the May 27 game against the Rangers, will start for the Royals.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Adrian Beltre, Shin-Soo Choo, Bartolo Colon

Nats acquire reliever Herrera from Royals

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made an early summer splash on Monday evening, acquiring right-handed closer Kelvin Herrera from the Royals in exchange for a trio of Minor Leaguers: infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and right-hander Yohanse Morel.

The trade helps bolster Washington's bullpen, something that has become a midsummer tradition, by adding another reliever with experience pitching in high-leverage and big-game situations. And Herrera has been effective this season, recording a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves, 22 strikeouts and two walks allowed in 27 games for Kansas City.

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made an early summer splash on Monday evening, acquiring right-handed closer Kelvin Herrera from the Royals in exchange for a trio of Minor Leaguers: infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and right-hander Yohanse Morel.

The trade helps bolster Washington's bullpen, something that has become a midsummer tradition, by adding another reliever with experience pitching in high-leverage and big-game situations. And Herrera has been effective this season, recording a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves, 22 strikeouts and two walks allowed in 27 games for Kansas City.

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The move improves an already strong late-inning arsenal, adding Herrera to the trio of Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler to form a potential dynamic back end of the bullpen, one capable of shortening games in the postseason and turning early leads into victories.

"I think it's one of those situations where you can't have too many options down there," Doolittle said. "You get a guy who's pitched in every high-leverage role from the seventh inning on. He's won a World Series. He's battle-tested. We're planning on playing some really meaningful games down the stretch and making a run into the playoffs. We're going to need some help. I think it's awesome."

Video: MLB Tonight on Herrera being traded to the Nats

Even with the addition of Herrera, Doolittle will remain the Nationals' closer. Before the trade was complete, general manager Mike Rizzo went up to Doolittle to assure him of that much and let him know the team has confidence in him.

Doolittle has been lights-out this season, with a 1.37 ERA and 18 saves in 19 chances.

Manager Dave Martinez made sure to throw his support behind Doolittle as well. He was not sure exactly how he would utilize his new mix of late-inning relievers, but he'll have four pitchers with closing experience once Kintzler returns from the disabled list.

"I'm excited to have him. He's going to fit right in," Martinez said of Herrera. "He's closed games. He's come in in the eighth. For me, we have an All-Star closer right now, so he'll be asked to do some different things."

Video: NYY@WSH: Martinez discusses adding Herrera to bullpen

Plus, Nats relievers have shown they have little ego when it comes to deciding who pitches in what role, so incorporating Herrera into that fold should be simple.

"I don't think anybody's going to have a problem with it," Madson said. "Let the old horse rest a little bit. He can let me pitch every once in a while, and I'll be fine. All hands on deck, of course, when playoff time comes around. So I don't see anybody else losing any sleep about it."

Video: TEX@KC: Herrera reflects on his time in Kansas City

To acquire Herrera, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, the Nationals had to part with their Nos. 10- and 11-ranked prospects as rated by MLB Pipeline in Gutierrez and Perkins, respectively. But they held on to their top prospects.

A year ago, he acquired Doolittle, Kintzler and Madson to save a disastrous bullpen. Even though the Nationals' bullpen has been steady this season, Rizzo saw an opportunity to improve and try to build the kind of unit necessary for postseason success.

Herrera owns a 1.26 ERA in 22 games and 38 strikeouts without allowing a home run. That kind of experience will be valuable to a Nats club with lofty postseason aspirations.

"It takes a lot of quality arms," said Madson, Herrera's teammate with the Royals in 2015. "You look at any postseason team, there's a lot of quality arms out there. … So you can never too have many, and quality like these. [Herrera] will be a welcome addition."

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Kelvin Herrera

Altherr's walk-off double sends Phils to wild win

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr, his jersey untucked and his smile wide, emerged from a mob of rowdy baseball players as a temporary hero. In that moment, the Phillies' problems felt far away, as what was left of the Citizens Bank Park crowd celebrated a 6-5 walk-off win in 10 innings over the Cardinals on Monday night.

"I was ready for the opportunity to end the game," Altherr said. "Especially in a spot like that, you want to be up there."

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PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr, his jersey untucked and his smile wide, emerged from a mob of rowdy baseball players as a temporary hero. In that moment, the Phillies' problems felt far away, as what was left of the Citizens Bank Park crowd celebrated a 6-5 walk-off win in 10 innings over the Cardinals on Monday night.

"I was ready for the opportunity to end the game," Altherr said. "Especially in a spot like that, you want to be up there."

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Video: STL@PHI: Altherr on his walk-off double in the 10th

Moments earlier, Altherr came to the plate with the Phillies trailing by a run and men on first and second with two outs. Carlos Santana represented the winning run, on base via an intentional walk. Altherr lined a shot to left field. Marcell Ozuna dove. The ball bounced high off Ozuna's glove, and by the time he recovered, Santana had trotted across home plate.

A game that highlighted the Phillies' lack of a designated closer ended because the Cardinals intentionally put the winning run on base, and Ozuna dove for a ball that had just a 4 percent catch probability after he covered 47 feet in 3.1 seconds, according to Statcast™.

"Altherr, he's worked so hard," manager Gabe Kapler said. "He's had so many struggles. He's had so many lineouts. It was really nice to see a ball bounce in his direction tonight."

The Phillies were in that position because they faltered in the ninth, spoiling a dominant effort from Nick Pivetta, who struck out a career-high 13 batters in 7 1/3 innings. Victor Arano started the inning trying to become the seventh Phillie to record a save in 2018. Yairo Munoz's swinging strike three should have ended the game -- Kapler himself thought the game was over -- but Andrew Knapp couldn't block a hard slider that trickled between his legs to the backstop, letting a run score.

"I've got to make that play," Knapp said. "I've got to block it. I've blocked that pitch a million times. This one just got under my glove."

Video: STL@PHI: Molina scores as wild pitch extends the game

Adam Morgan came on to stop the bleeding. He couldn't. The first batter he faced, Kolten Wong, singled home the tying run, and after the Phillies failed to score in the home half of the ninth, Jake Thompson surrendered a home run in the top of the 10th to Tommy Pham. The ballpark went quiet. Fans set out for the exits.

The late-inning stumble raised the question of whether or not the Phillies' current bullpen usage is sustainable. They don't have a set closer. Seranthony Dominguez, the rookie who has pitched more than any other Phillies reliever since he debuted in early May, is Kapler's most trusted reliever in high-pressure situations. And with Dominguez unavailable after throwing 52 pitches over the weekend in Milwaukee, a blown lead in the ninth and a deficit in the 10th put the Phillies on the brink of a bad loss, before Altherr -- who was in the game because Nick Williams left injured after a ball ricocheted off his face -- saved the day.

"Everybody wants to have a guy that's absolutely, lights-out dominant," Kapler said. "Those guys don't grow on trees, and I really like our guys."

Kapler wouldn't commit to the idea that a change in bullpen philosophy was necessary. He didn't dismiss the notion that Dominguez could close in the future. And the Phillies went home with plenty more questions unanswered.

"I think anything," Kapler said, "is possible."

Video: STL@PHI: Kapler on Pivetta's outing, the walk-off win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pivetta's curveball dominates: Pivetta got 21 swings and misses on 108 pitches, which is the second-best mark of his career. Eleven of those whiffs came on a lethal curveball, which had the Cardinals baffled throughout the night. Pivetta's strong effort followed a slow start in June, in which he posted an 8.36 ERA in his previous three starts.

"That's some of the best stuff I've seen him have all year," Knapp said. "The curveball was electric."

"It was nice to have it back," Pivetta said. "It all started with my delivery. I was staying up through it, not trying to rush too much and it worked out."

Video: STL@PHI: Pivetta strikes out 13 over 7 1/3 innings

Herrera stays hot: Odubel Herrera initially showed bunt when he hit with two on and no outs in the first inning. He bunted foul. He took a ball, then clubbed a Miles Mikolas changeup over the right-field fence to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Herrera is hitting .391 (9-for-23) with one double, three home runs, six RBIs and a 1.243 OPS in his last five games.

• Herrera stays hot with 3-run homer

Video: STL@PHI: Herrera clubs a 3-run homer to right in 1st

SOUND SMART
Phillies starters have 10 or more strikeouts in seven games this season: Aaron Nola (3), Pivetta (2), Jake Arrieta (1) and Vince Velasquez (1). They are the most by a Phillies' rotation since 2014, when they had nine: Cole Hamels (4), A.J. Burnett (3) and Cliff Lee (2).

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Maikel Franco has moved into a reserve role, in part because the Phillies like J.P. Crawford's defense at third base. But Franco, who started for just the third time in the last 11 games, flashed the leather in the second inning when he snagged an Ozuna chopper to his right, leapt and threw a dart across the diamond while fading away to get the out.

Video: Must C Cannon: Franco makes a sensational jump throw

HE SAID IT
"I think anything is possible. I don't think it's out of the question that we give the ninth inning to Seranthony. I'm not sure that's what is best for the Phillies and I will always do what I think is best for the Phillies. Sometimes that will be matching up in the ninth and sometimes it will be giving a guy a chance to take the entire ninth and sometimes it will be using Seranthony earlier in the game or [Edubray] Ramos earlier in the game. I don't know that it is necessary to designate somebody for a particular inning, especially given how much confidence we have in several guys." -- Kapler, on if the Phillies would be better served with a designated closer

Video: STL@PHI: Phillies broadcast on need for bullpen help

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Rhys Hoskins hit a ball down the left-field line in the seventh inning that missed the foul pole by inches. Crew chief Gary Cederstrom called for a review, but replay confirmed that the ball went inches wide of a home run.

Video: STL@PHI: Hoskins' foul confirmed following review

UP NEXT
The second matchup of the three-game series at Citizens Bank Park pits Velasquez (5-7, 4.74 ERA) against the Cardinals' Luke Weaver (3-6, 4.52 ERA) on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. Velasquez's performance has gone to extremes of late. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning his last time on the mound to follow up a 10-run debacle against the Brewers the outing prior.

Joe Bloss is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies, Aaron Altherr, Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera, Nick Pivetta

MLB Buzz: Yanks, M's looking to acquire Happ

MLB.com

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

June 18: As the Yankees and Mariners have emerged as true contenders in the American League pennant race, so, too, have their roster voids -- specifically within their starting rotations. Both clubs are believed to be in the market for an available arm over the next six weeks, and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported on Monday that each is interested in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ.

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

June 18: As the Yankees and Mariners have emerged as true contenders in the American League pennant race, so, too, have their roster voids -- specifically within their starting rotations. Both clubs are believed to be in the market for an available arm over the next six weeks, and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported on Monday that each is interested in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ.

In the midst of an All-Star-caliber season, Happ has a 3.48 ERA over 82 2/3 innings in 14 starts. He is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract, and due to his lingering free agency, he might not be as costly a return in what is shaping up to be a thin trade market for starters.

Both Seattle and New York have gotten above-average production from their starting staffs, though each has shown signs of vulnerability.

Beyond AL Cy Young Award candidate Luis Severino, the Yankees have gotten inconsistent results from Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery was lost for the season because of Tommy John surgery and Domingo German hasn't yet exhibited enough to warrant the fifth spot for good. CC Sabathia has been reliable, when healthy. To complement their elite offense and lights-out bullpen, the Yankees have long been speculated to retool their rotation ahead of the Deadline.

Morosi noted that the Yankees might have more incentive to go after a lefty given that the division-rival Red Sox have an MLB-best .813 OPS against righties but only a .672 mark against southpaws. In addition to their 13 regular-season meetings remaining, there's a strong chance the Yankees could go through Boston in the postseason.

The Mariners' rotation has also proven to be top heavy, with arguably the AL's best starter in James Paxton. However, No. 2 starter Felix Hernandez has struggled to a career-worst 5.44 ERA, and he has given up five or more earned runs in five of his 15 starts. No. 5 starter Wade LeBlanc has been a pleasant surprise, but at 33 years old, there have been questions about his sustainability.

In a loaded AL East, Toronto entered 2018 with its most realistic avenue to the postseason via an AL Wild Card berth, but it entered Monday 12 1/2 games back of the second AL's spot. The Jays are 32-38 despite winning seven of their last 10, including sweeps of the Nationals and Orioles.

Red Sox have asked about Machado
June 18: The Red Sox have had discussions recently with the Orioles about acquiring Manny Machado, though the clubs have not been able to find a common ground to execute a potential deal, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Boston was among the handful of clubs to inquire about Machado last offseason. Rosenthal last week speculated that the struggling Rafael Devers, once the club's No. 2 prospect, would likely be included in any potential trade for Machado.

For Baltimore, there could be increasing pressure for general manager Dan Duquette to maximize the potential return for Machado, who will hit free agency among the most coveted players this offseason. Duquette, as well as manager Buck Showalter, are in the final year of their respective contracts, and the Orioles entered Monday 28 1/2 games out of first place, with the Majors' worst record (19-50).

Are Mets 'open for business?'
June 18: The Mets are reportedly "open for business" as it relates to prospective trade offers ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, including on ace Jacob deGrom, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The club would be more inclined to move Noah Syndergaard, per Rosenthal, but it might be inclined to part with deGrom given the right return.

deGrom would cost a "boatload" in return, one source told Rosenthal, and likely for a combination of Major League talent as well as highly touted prospects, which perhaps only a handful of clubs could fulfill. deGrom has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before he becomes a free agent, while Syndergaard wouldn't hit the market until after the 2021 season.

Video: Morning Lineup: Teams that could trade for deGrom

deGrom is firmly in the mix for the National League Cy Young Award, with the Majors' best ERA (1.55) over 87 1/3 innings in 14 starts. He's currently on pace for career bests in strikeout rate (32.8 percent), opposing batting average (.206) and WHIP (1.01), as he's one of the few glimmering spotlights for a Mets team that tumbled out of first place in early May. The right-hander did avoid a significant injury scare nearly seven weeks ago when he hyperextended his pitching elbow on an awkward swing, landing on the 10-day disabled list.

Syndergaard hasn't pitched since May 25 due to a strained ligament on his right index finger. The high-velocity right-hander missed nearly the entire 2017 season due to a partial tear in his right lat. Over 11 starts this year, Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA.

Monday's report surfaced less than two weeks after general manager Sandy Alderson called the liklelihood of a teardown "very remote" in an interview with USA Today.

"Just because you tear it down doesn't mean you're going to have a great rebuild. It doesn't work that way. It just doesn't," Alderson said at the time.

In Rosenthal's report, he indicates that the club would ideally like to retain most of its controllable nucleus -- shortstop Amed Rosario, outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto and right-handers Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman -- but those chips are likely the most coveted by other clubs.

Giants going after Harper?
June 14: The Giants lost out on the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes in the offseason, despite being perhaps the most aggressive in pursuing the National League MVP Award winner via a trade from the Marlins. The Giants wound up filling out their lineup elsewhere -- trading for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria -- but they may not be out of the market in acquiring a power-hitting corner outfielder, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported recently that they could be a "main player" for Bryce Harper in free agency.

"They do make some sense," a friend of Harper's told Heyman.

Harper has been speculated to land a potentially historic deal, though the Giants were believed to be willing to take on the entire $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract. And general manager Bobby Evans has made it clear the club doesn't intend to rebuild in the immediate future despite a depleted farm system.

"We're going to be focused in the market as much as anybody ... the trade market as we get to the winter," Evans said in a recent interview with MLB Network Radio. "But that's so far ahead of us now. But yeah, there's always an eye on the free-agent market."

McCutchen will be a free agent this offseason, and 35-year-old left fielder Hunter Pence has struggled to stay healthy and remain productive, hitting .183/.236/.207 in 30 games. The Giants appear to be all-in on the immediate, and pursuing Harper would certainly fit that strategic mold.

Archer likely to be moved
June 13: This is far from the first time that the Chris Archer has been floated as a trade candidate, but a rival executive told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that he believes that a seller's market this year will make the Rays likely to move Archer before the Trade Deadline.

Video: TB@WSH: Archer on 10-day DL with abdominal strain

Archer is a two-time All-Star with a 3.67 ERA in his seven seasons in the Majors, but his current injury and struggles this year might affect his trade value -- he has a 4.24 ERA in 13 starts and is on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain without a definite timetable for his return. And Rosenthal reports that the Rays don't like the thought of trading the 29-year-old due to his team-friendly contract.

Archer could be under club control through 2021, with one year remaining on his contract plus two more years of club options. That makes him different than, for example, David Price, who was only under team control when the Rays traded him, or Evan Longoria, who had a much larger contract.

Hamels might want trade partner to pick up option
June 13: Cole Hamels has been one of the most prominent names in early-season trade buzz -- most notably as a potential trade target for the Yankees, who for all their success so far are in need of starting rotation depth. The Rangers have struggled this season, but Hamels has a 3.86 ERA and 79 strikeouts in his 13 starts.

Video: TEX@LAA: Hamels grabs strikeout No. 2,300 of career

But the veteran left-hander has a 20-team no-trade list, and a source told Rosenthal that even though Hamels recently called that protection "kind of a formality," he could still use it as leverage to ask a trade partner from that list to pick up his $20 million option for 2019. That makes sense for the 34-year-old, as the alternative to picking up his option is a $6 million buyout that would leave him facing the uncertainty of free agency in his mid-30s.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi has reported that the teams not on Hamels' no-trade list are the Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Mariners, Nationals, Phillies, Rays and Royals.

Per Rosenthal, Hamels could be a difficult fit for a team trying to remain under the luxury tax threshold, as he'll still be owed close to $8 million at the Trade Deadline, unless the Rangers include significant cash in a deal.

Video: SF@MIA: Realmuto crushes go-ahead 2-run homer in 7th

Brewers could seek to upgrade at multiple spots
June 13: Similar to the Nationals, the Brewers are a contending team that could benefit greatly from upgrades in several areas -- namely, pitcher, catcher and second base.

Milwaukee could use both a front-end starter (staff ace Jimmy Nelson is still recovering from last September's shoulder surgery) and a reliever. Plus, while second baseman Jonathan Villar has been better at the plate than last year, he's still something of a question mark and has rated as a just-below-average hitter overall, with a 97 OPS+, where league average is 100.

Video: NYY@KC: Merrifield collects 3 hits, swipes 3 bags

According to Rosenthal, the Brewers have been interested in Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield in the past. The Brewers would also face competition from other Royals suitors.

Bob Uecker was very surprised to find the Brewers dressed up as him for their flight

Bob Uecker was one of the first passengers aboard the Brewers' charter flight Sunday for a rare road trip, and he had an inkling something was up when he noticed one of the flight attendants wearing a shirt with his name on it.

Uecker knew something was up when first-base coach Ed Sedar climbed aboard wearing a loud sport coat over his T-shirt bearing an infamous image of Uecker in a Speedo, the one that had been splashed across the pages of Sports Illustrated a decade ago.

Nimmo homers twice as Mets bats back deGrom

deGrom hurls another gem to help New York win third straight
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

DENVER -- About once a year as a child, Brandon Nimmo and his family would make the roughly two-hour drive from their home in Cheyenne, Wyo., to take in a Rockies game at Coors Field. Nimmo idolized Todd Helton, obsessing over the way he drove balls to the opposite field. Once, a Rockies bullpen catcher tossed Nimmo a stray baseball, which he keeps in his childhood home to this day.

Plenty of other Wyomingites made that same trek down I-25 on Monday, streaming in from points north to watch one of their own. Hopefully, they were punctual. Nimmo became the first player in Mets history to lead off a game with an inside-the-park home run, tacking on a second homer later in a 12-2 win over the Rockies.

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DENVER -- About once a year as a child, Brandon Nimmo and his family would make the roughly two-hour drive from their home in Cheyenne, Wyo., to take in a Rockies game at Coors Field. Nimmo idolized Todd Helton, obsessing over the way he drove balls to the opposite field. Once, a Rockies bullpen catcher tossed Nimmo a stray baseball, which he keeps in his childhood home to this day.

Plenty of other Wyomingites made that same trek down I-25 on Monday, streaming in from points north to watch one of their own. Hopefully, they were punctual. Nimmo became the first player in Mets history to lead off a game with an inside-the-park home run, tacking on a second homer later in a 12-2 win over the Rockies.

View Full Game Coverage

"I think everybody knew he was capable of playing at an elite level," manager Mickey Callaway said. "But this is pretty elite."

Pardon Nimmo's supporters if they were still settling into their seats when Tyler Anderson grooved an 0-2 cutter over the heart of the plate, where New York's breakout outfielder bashed it 396 feet to the base of the right-center-field wall. As the ball popped up and dribbled back onto the outfield grass, Nimmo raced around the bases in 14.70 seconds, the fifth-fastest time Statcast™ has recorded since its inception three years ago.

Video: NYM@COL: Nimmo homers inside and outside of the park

Nimmo, who also hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the Mets' comeback win over the D-backs on Sunday, could have jogged around the bases when he hit yet another homer to lead off the seventh against reliever Harrison Musgrave. (As is his style, Nimmo chose to half-jog, half-sprint.) He finished 4-for-6 with his third consecutive multi-hit game, a career-high four RBIs and the longest home run -- the second shot traveled a projected 449 feet -- of his career.

"It's sometimes tough to show up to the field the next day because you have to put that day behind you," Nimmo said of his Arizona heroics. "It doesn't get a whole lot better than yesterday, being able to help the team win, hit essentially the game-winning home run. And then today, being able to do that in front of the family, that sure gave it a run for its money."

Video: NYM@COL: deGrom strikes out 7 over 8 strong innings

Wilmer Flores and Devin Mesoraco also homered in the Mets' third straight victory, giving starter Jacob deGrom an almost dreamlike level of support. Entering the night, the Mets had won two of deGrom's previous 10 starts despite his 0.87 ERA over that stretch. While deGrom was not perfect in this one -- he allowed three extra-base hits, including Gerardo Parra's RBI double in the second inning -- he was plenty good enough, limiting the damage to one earned run and one unearned run in eight innings.

The Mets were glad to gift him the offense, considering how often this season they've mustered little to none. They could thank Coors Field for some of it, but mostly, they could thank Nimmo, who has already set career highs in just about every major offensive category. The most eye-popping of those are his 12 home runs, which Nimmo sees as a function of his mechanical work over the past three years. Most notably, Nimmo has shifted closer to home plate. He has shortened his stride. He has attempted, like many, to elevate the ball more often.

Video: NYM@COL: Mesoraco hammers a 2-run homer to left

The result is one of five players in baseball with at least 12 home runs and an OPS above 1.000: Mike Trout, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Nimmo.

"I was always, in my approach, looking for a good pitch to hit to try to drive," Nimmo said. "Now, I'm just doing it a little more often. That's pretty encouraging. That's really nice. That's actually a pretty dangerous player."

Video: NYM@COL: Ron Nimmo on Brandon's path to the Mets

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mets rally late: In case deGrom's victory was in doubt, the Mets added six runs in the ninth inning to seal the game. Mesoraco and Jose Bautista both walked with the bases loaded and Amed Rosario, who finished 3-for-5, knocked home two runs with a double. Nimmo followed with his fourth and final hit, a two-run single back up the middle.

Video: NYM@COL: Rosario belts a 2-run double in the 9th

"That was huge," Callaway said. "[deGrom] needed that. It was kind of close when he was pitching most of the game, but they ended up spreading it out for him. That was good to see."

SOUND SMART
Inside-the-park home runs are rare. Inside-the-park home runs to lead off games are rarer still. Nimmo became the first Mets player to accomplish the feat, though two others -- Charlie Neal at the Polo Grounds in 1963, and Angel Pagan at Citi Field in 2009 -- did so to lead off the bottom of the first.

Video: Must C Combo: Nimmo slugs 2 homers in front of family

The last Major Leaguer to lead off the game with an inside-the-parker was Chris Taylor of the Dodgers last September. The last Met to hit one in any context was Ruben Tejada in 2015.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Mets' finest defensive play came courtesy of Flores, who dove to snare a Parra line drive in the fourth. Although Flores did not appear to tag Trevor Story as the Rockies shortstop attempted to retreat to first base, umpire Bill Welke called Story out of the baseline. The play potentially saved deGrom a run, and kept his pitch count low.

Video: Flores' quick catch turns DP

HE SAID IT
"It was just a blast. I had a great time. It was way better than Dippin' Dots." -- Nimmo, who used to enjoy coming to Coors Field as a child because he was allowed to have ice cream

UP NEXT
For as long as Noah Syndergaard remains on the disabled list, Jason Vargas' place in the Mets' rotation is secure. In the meantime, Vargas will look to keep strengthening his resume when he starts Tuesday at Coors Field. Shaky early this season, Vargas owns a 3.00 ERA over his last three starts, though he hasn't gone deeper than five innings in any of them. He'll oppose Rockies right-hander German Marquez in the 8:40 p.m. ET game.

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

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

Pair of 3-way thrillers highlights NL ASG voting

Albies, Posey lead way in hotly contested races at second base, catcher
MLB.com @castrovince

The top spots in the National League are unchanged in the latest 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star ballot update released Monday. But the races at catcher and second base, in particular, are much too close for comfort.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The top spots in the National League are unchanged in the latest 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star ballot update released Monday. But the races at catcher and second base, in particular, are much too close for comfort.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

With 2 1/2 weeks remaining before the July 5 conclusion of balloting for the starting spots in the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, to be played on Tuesday, July 17, at Nationals Park in Washington, it's a three-way battle both at second base with the Braves' Ozzie Albies, the Cubs' Javier Baez and the Reds' Scooter Gennett and at backstop with the Giants' Buster Posey, the Cubs' Willson Contreras and the Braves' Kurt Suzuki.

The reborn Braves, one of baseball's biggest and best surprises in the first half of the season, continue to lead all NL clubs with three players in position to start the Midsummer Classic. And first baseman Freddie Freeman remains the leading vote-getter among all NL players.

Here are the latest NL totals:

Video: PHI@SF: Posey homers over the left-field wall

CATCHER
1. Buster Posey, Giants: 686,253
2. Willson Contreras, Cubs: 596,111
3. Kurt Suzuki, Braves: 557,692
4. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 366,271
5. Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers: 333,549

Posey's still on pace to make his fourth straight start behind the dish for the NL. But Contreras, who entered the week with a higher OPS (.803 to .773), is within about 90,000 votes, with Suzuki fewer than 40,000 votes behind Contreras. Grandal is a new addition to the top five, bumping the Pirates' Francisco Cervelli from the leaders.

Video: SD@ATL: Freeman clubs a solo jack to left-center

FIRST BASE
1. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 1,433,140 votes
2. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: 566,382
3. Brandon Belt, Giants: 363,361
4. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers: 294,418
5. Joey Votto, Reds: 189,364

Freeman is well out in front here, and more than a quarter of a million votes ahead of the next-highest vote-getter in the NL. It's a well-deserved standing for one of the game's most consistent hitters. Freeman hasn't been an All-Star since 2014, and he's never started the game. But he entered the week leading the league with a .427 on-base percentage and .585 slugging percentage and ranked second with a .337 batting average to put himself in the early MVP conversation. The rest of the top five here is unchanged from last week.

Video: NYM@ATL: Albies launches a grand slam for his 16th HR

SECOND BASE
1. Ozzie Albies, Braves: 915,736
2. Javier Baez, Cubs: 767,417
3. Scooter Gennett, Reds: 743,979
4. Joe Panik, Giants: 194,634
5. Asdrubal Cabrera, Mets: 173,567

Panik pushed past Cabrera, but that's the only change here. It remains a three-way race between three fascinating players. Albies has taken the league by storm in his sophomore year, entering the week with the league's highest extra-base-hit total (39). Baez has come into his own as a more consistent power producer (.514 SLG) to go with his dynamic defensive presence. But neither guy has outpaced Gennett's .909 OPS.

Video: SF@LAD: Crawford makes smooth pick on sharp grounder

SHORTSTOP
1. Brandon Crawford, Giants: 1,120,031
2. Dansby Swanson, Braves: 568,400
3. Addison Russell, Cubs: 475,091
4. Trevor Story, Rockies: 315,532
5. Trea Turner, Nationals: 279,071

No changes here. Story has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball in June (.365 average, 1.071 OPS) but remains a distant fourth. The only thing stopping Crawford in the midst of his best offensive season (.315/.370/.492 slash line) was a brief paternity-leave break.

Video: COL@PHI: Arenado makes a great diving stop at third

THIRD BASE
1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies: 1,124,563
2. Kris Bryant, Cubs: 677,185
3. Johan Camargo, Braves: 395,389
4. Eugenio Suarez, Reds: 228,806
5. Evan Longoria, Giants; 221,100

Longoria bumped Justin Turner from the No. 5 spot this week, though his broken hand and subsequent surgery that will cost him up to two months is bound to impact his vote total moving forward. Anyway, the story here remains Arenado's march toward his second straight start. He's having a typically outstanding season, with a .310/.401/.551 slash line.

Video: SD@ATL: Markakis dives for stellar game-ending catch

OUTFIELD
1. Nick Markakis, Braves: 1,173,653
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 1,002,696
3. Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 925,697
4. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies: 678,831
5. Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves: 617,151
6. Ender Inciarte, Braves: 528,943
7. Jason Heyward, Cubs: 447,359
8. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: 442,471
9. Ben Zobrist, Cubs: 434,943
10. Christian Yelich, Brewers: 364,286
11. Corey Dickerson, Pirates: 313,558
12. Odubel Herrera, Phillies: 263,903
13. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers: 242,827
14. Andrew McCutchen, Giants: 241,652
15. Matt Adams, Nationals: 237,165

Markakis is one of the best stories on this ballot. In 13 seasons, he's played north of 1,900 games, logged more than 2,100 hits, driven in more than 900 runs, scored more than 1,000 runs and drawn nearly 800 walks, but he's never been an All-Star. Not only is he on track to change that with a power resurgence in his age-34 season, but he's now overtaken Harper as the leading outfield vote-getter. But Harper is still on track to start in his Washington "hometown," and Kemp's comeback season continues to garner love at the online ballot box. The only other change of note here is McCutchen joining the top 15, bumping the injured A.J. Pollock, but it's going to be hard to catch Markakis, Harper and Kemp.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Bauer hurls 7 scoreless, strikes out 8 in Tribe's win

Right-hander just misses historic feat of at least 10 K's in 5 straight starts
MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- As heavy rain poured onto Progressive Field Monday night, Trevor Bauer sat in the Indians' dugout itching to get back on the mound to complete his outing and perhaps reach a historic feat.

But nature had a different outcome in mind.

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CLEVELAND -- As heavy rain poured onto Progressive Field Monday night, Trevor Bauer sat in the Indians' dugout itching to get back on the mound to complete his outing and perhaps reach a historic feat.

But nature had a different outcome in mind.

View Full Game Coverage

It was another great start for the right-hander, but he came just two strikeouts short of something very special. A 35-minute rain delay shortened Bauer's outing to seven innings in the Tribe's 6-2 win over the White Sox. Only manager Terry Francona could deliver the news to Bauer that his night was over after the delay -- ending the 27-year-old pitcher's bid at history.

Video: CWS@CLE: Francona on Bauer's, Perez's impressive play

"[Pitching coach] Carl Willis is lucky he didn't come tell me, I told him anyone but Tito and I was throwing fists," Bauer joked. "I'm sitting there in the dugout thinking, 'You know, the hard stuff is not going to come down for quite a while."

Bauer's night ended after 100 pitches. He did not allow a run and gave up just three hits and walked two while striking out eight. Bauer finished two strikeouts shy of recording at least 10 strikeouts in five straight starts -- it would have been just the 16th time in the history of the American League, and the 29th time in Major League history.

"Boy, I give him credit," Francona said. "Even during the rain delay he was politicking. It just doesn't make sense to be in, but I gotta tell you, if you're going to get into a little bit of a push and shove, I like it that he wants to stay in."

Despite pleas from Bauer to stay in the game, Francona favored longevity for his pitcher rather than risking something happening to Bauer if he came back out.

Video: CWS@CLE: Tribe turn strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out DP

"I respect the hell out of that," Francona said. "I don't have any doubt he could have done it, too."

All three hits allowed by Bauer came in his first two innings of work. Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu both singled in the first. Bauer also gave up a one-out double to Matt Davidson in the second, but stranded Chicago's designated hitter after back-to-back swinging strikeouts to escape the jam.

As Bauer's pitch count continued to rise, so did his efficiency -- after giving up the double to Davidson, he retired 17 of the last 19 batters he faced. Through Bauer's last seven outings, he's registered a 1.99 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks through 49 2/3 innings.

"What's so impressive is as he gets into the game, not only does he hold his stuff -- like a lot of good pitchers, he gets the feel of his pitches," Francona said. "A lot of pitches get through that third time through the order and you start to worry a little bit. But because he hasn't been going so many deep counts and his stuff gets better, he's every bit as effective."

Video: CWS@CLE: Lindor drives in Perez with sacrifice fly

For Bauer, he boiled his success down into a science.

"Tonight the first three or four innings, my body just felt sluggish," Bauer said. "Once I kind of got in a groove there, the velocity started coming back, and I think a lot of that has to do with the tunneling approach I designed into my repertoire."

The Tribe taxed Sox starter Dylan Covey for five runs -- four earned -- across five innings. He fell to 3-2 for the year. Hector Santiago walked in Cleveland's final run in the sixth.

Video: CWS@CLE: Chisenhall walks to force in Brantley

Bauer's name may not have ended in the record books after this start. But his teammates will take what they can get.

"He works so hard to get ahead and throw strike one and then put guys away," catcher Roberto Perez said. "He's pitching his tail off, and hopefully he keeps doing that the rest of the way."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bauer earned the bulk of his run support in the second inning on a rally that got started on a leadoff single by Lonnie Chisenhall. Rajai Davis reached on a fielding error by Moncada, and Jason Kipnis loaded the bases with a well-placed bunt down the third-base line. Kipnis' bunt set the table for Perez, who scored two runs on a ground-rule double to the right-field corner. Francisco Lindor capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Kipnis.

Perez, who battled flu-like symptoms throughout the day, finished the game 2-for-3, but it marked the first two-RBI game for Perez this season and the first RBI for the catcher since May 22 against the Cubs. It was only the backstop's second appearance -- and first at home -- since being hit on the right hand on June 10 in Detroit.

Video: CWS@CLE: Perez hits ball into fence for 2-run double

"Maybe it was good, because he looked so relaxed because he didn't have much energy," Francona said. "But he took a really good swing, and he took a good swing later and that was obviously a huge hit."

Kipnis delivered his fifth homer of the season in the fifth inning and finished 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and two RBIs. It's the second baseman's second three-hit game of the year -- also doing so on April 12 in Detroit. Kipnis -- who is slashing .207/.284/.320 in 66 games -- is hitting .333 (14-for-42) across his last 11 home games with three home runs, two doubles, six runs and seven RBIs.

Video: CWS@CLE: Kipnis belts solo home run to right-center

"Obviously, his year hasn't gone the way he's wanted so far, but his mindset and his attitude have been awesome," Bauer said of Kipnis. "So, I'm really happy that he had a night like tonight."

MARSHALL EXITS GAME
Right-handed reliever Evan Marshall exited the game with soreness in his throwing elbow in the eighth inning. Marshall started the inning and struck out out Charlie Tilson, but hit a batter and gave up a run on back-to-back singles before he was checked out by Indians' training staff.

"The way he termed it was that he flicked the nerve," Francona said. "I think we'll know a lot more tomorrow."

Video: CWS@CLE: Marshall exits with right elbow soreness

SOUND SMART
If it's any consolation to Bauer, who improved to 6-5, he was the third pitcher in franchise history to reach at least 10 punchouts in at least four consecutive games -- joining Corey Kluber, who has two five-start stretches of double-digit strikeouts in 2017, and Bob Feller, who did reach the feat between outings in 1938-39.

Had Bauer struck out at least 10 in five straight, he would have joined Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Nolan Ryan, Chris Sale, David Price, Johan Santana and Kluber as the only AL pitchers to acheive the feat. The MLB record belongs to Sale, who strung together eight starts, once in 2015 and again in '17, and Martinez -- who did it in 1999.

Bauer's 129 strikeouts through the team's first 71 games are the most by an Indians pitcher since Sam McDowell had 151 in 1970 -- though McDowell had already made 19 starts compared to Bauer's 15.

HE SAID IT
"The good Lord would never disrupt the best game of my life. Apparently, he did. Just happy the team got a win, honestly." -- Bauer

Video: CWS@CLE: Game delayed in Cleveland, kids enjoy rain

UP NEXT
Right-hander Mike Clevinger (5-2, 3.15 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday and look to follow up his Thursday start against the White Sox, in which he struck out a career-high 11 and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits over seven innings. The White Sox will counter with left-hander Carlos Rodon (0-1, 3.60). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Casey Harrison is reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Cleveland Indians, Trevor Bauer, Jason Kipnis, Roberto Perez

Soto, and a history of time-bending feats in MLB

MLB.com @AndrewSimonMLB

Juan Soto, the 19-year-old Nationals rookie outfielder, is such a phenom that he can even bend time.

Well, not really. But Soto did find himself in the middle of a bizarre baseball incident on Monday, inking his name permanently in the "oddities" section of the MLB history books. In doing so, he joined an esteemed collection of players who also have experienced the wackiness that occurs when games are suspended.

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Juan Soto, the 19-year-old Nationals rookie outfielder, is such a phenom that he can even bend time.

Well, not really. But Soto did find himself in the middle of a bizarre baseball incident on Monday, inking his name permanently in the "oddities" section of the MLB history books. In doing so, he joined an esteemed collection of players who also have experienced the wackiness that occurs when games are suspended.

View Full Game Coverage

Here's what happened. On May 15, when Soto went 3-for-4 for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, the Nationals hosted the Yankees in a game that was tied, 3-3, when it was suspended due to rain in the middle of the sixth inning.

Five days later, Soto debuted for Washington and has been raking ever since. On Monday evening, the Nats and Yankees resumed the suspended game, and in the bottom of the sixth, Soto pinch-hit for Matt Adams and walloped a huge two-run homer to right field to send his club on to a 5-3 victory. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, while the stats for the entire game will count as occurring on May 15, Soto's debut will remain May 20, and the homer he hit May 21 will continue to be recognized as his first in the Majors.

Video: Must C Crushed: Soto homers before his MLB debut

Soto wasn't the only player caught up in Monday's time-bending events. For example, Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka started the game and pitched five innings, but by the time it resumed, was on the 10-day disabled list. Tyler Austin, New York's original starter at first base, homered in the fourth inning, but wasn't available Monday because he'd been optioned to Triple-A in the interim.

The Nationals, meanwhile, lost a pair of their original starting position players, with second baseman Howie Kendrick out for the season with an Achilles injury and center fielder Andrew Stevenson sent to the Minors. The Nats even looked different -- having started the game in blue jerseys and finished it in red ones -- while Bryce Harper began the game bearded and ended it clean-shaven.

And this wasn't the first time that a suspended game created some unusual situations. Here is a look back through baseball history at some other related oddities:

• Soto has company when it comes to playing before his official MLB debut. Among the other notable players to have done so is none other than Barry Bonds, who went 0-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts for the Pirates in his actual first game, against the Dodgers, on May 30, 1986. However, on Aug. 11, Pittsburgh resumed an April 20 game at Wrigley Field in the top of the 14th inning, and three innings later, Bonds smacked a pinch-hit, go-ahead, RBI single in a 10-8 Bucs victory.

6 players who somehow debuted before their debuts

• Soto now has something in common with another sweet-swinging lefty outfielder who made it to the Majors as a teenager. That would be Ken Griffey Jr., who was caught in some suspended-game shenanigans in 2008. Look at Griffey's game log for that year, and you will notice something strange -- he played for two different teams on April 28.

Did Junior teleport? Not really. In reality, he was dealt from the Reds to the White Sox at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, and then, on Aug. 25, his new ballclub resumed a suspended game against the Orioles. In the bottom of the 14th, Griffey pinch-hit and was intentionally walked, on the same day that, technically, he had gone 2-for-4 for the Reds at St. Louis.

Tweet from @dakern74: Based on this @sabr list from 2012 (and checking the handful of suspensions since then), Juan Soto is the first player in history to "homer before his debut", as it were.https://t.co/pPjujedBLG

• Suspended games have had some confusing implications on milestone chases, too. Take Alex Rodriguez, who was pursuing his 500th career home run while playing for the Yankees in 2007. On July 25, A-Rod cracked No. 499 at Kansas City. He had not yet hit No. 500, when on July 27, the Yankees resumed a game at Baltimore that had been suspended on June 28. Had Rodriguez homered after the game was resumed, it would have retroactively counted as No. 493 and pushed the 499th big fly to No. 500.

Rodriguez had saved the ball from No. 499, just in case. But, perhaps fortunately, he grounded out in his only at-bat after play restarted. He went on to hit his 500th homer on Aug. 4 instead.

• In one of the most infamous incidents in baseball history, Hall of Famer George Brett of the Royals hit a home run in the top of the ninth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 1983, only to be ruled out by the umpiring crew for his use of pine tar on his bat. Brett went ballistic, rushing out of the dugout. The Royals protested the game, and MLB upheld it, reinstating Brett's homer and resuming the game from that point on Aug. 18, with Kansas City finishing off a 5-4 win.

Looking back on Brett's pine-tar game

Perhaps the strangest part of the resumed game was the Yankees' lineup for the remainder of the top of the ninth. Left-handed first baseman Don Mattingly played second base in place of starter Bert Campaneris, who had since landed on the DL. Pitcher Ron Guidry was stationed in center field in place of Jerry Mumphrey, who was traded to Houston on Aug. 10. Neither Mattingly nor Guidry factored into the action, as Hal McRae -- the only Royals batter to step to the plate after play resumed -- struck out.

• Two-time All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan once won a game for the Nationals while he was actually with the Pirates. On May 5, 2009, Hanrahan entered a game for Washington in the top of the 11th inning against the Astros and worked around three hits to pitch a scoreless frame. The game was then suspended. It didn't resume until July 9, but Hanrahan wasn't there for it, because he was traded to the Pirates on June 30. In his absence, his former teammates scored the walk-off run in the bottom of the 11th, handing Hanrahan a "W."

• The reverse situation befell pitcher Frank DiPino in 1986. Instead of winning a game when no longer with the winning team, he lost a game before he was with the losing team. On April 20 that year, the southpaw was with the Astros when the Cubs had a game against the Pirates suspended in the 14th inning. By the time it resumed on Aug. 11, DiPino had been traded to the Cubs, and in the 17th inning he was charged with the winning run on Bonds' aforementioned RBI single off Dave Gumpert.

• Imagine driving in runs for two teams … on the same day. This seemingly impossible situation became a reality -- according to the official stats -- for Cliff Johnson in 1980. On May 28 that season, Johnson went 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI for the Indians in a win at Baltimore. On June 23, Cleveland traded Johnson to the Cubs, and on Aug. 8, Chicago resumed a suspended game against the Expos that began on May 28. Johnson entered for the Cubs as a pinch-hitter, and eventually smacked a walk-off grand slam in the 14th inning to finish his busy "day" in style.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

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