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Marlins, Giants exchange HBPs; Straily ejected

SF starter Rodriguez plunks Brinson, prompting warnings; Mattingly also tossed
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlins right-hander Dan Straily made a quick exit Tuesday night, getting ejected in the second inning after striking Giants catcher Buster Posey with a pitch after warnings were issued.

It was the second hit batter in the game, as Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Lewis Brinson in the top half of the same frame. That followed a tense exchange between Brinson and Giants reliever Hunter Strickland on Monday night.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlins right-hander Dan Straily made a quick exit Tuesday night, getting ejected in the second inning after striking Giants catcher Buster Posey with a pitch after warnings were issued.

It was the second hit batter in the game, as Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Lewis Brinson in the top half of the same frame. That followed a tense exchange between Brinson and Giants reliever Hunter Strickland on Monday night.

View Full Game Coverage

Straily plunked Posey, who homered in the first inning, with a 91.3 mph fastball, creating some tensions on the field, but nothing escalated. Home-plate umpire Andy Fletcher tossed Straily and Marlins manager Don Mattingly.

Rookie Elieser Hernandez replaced Straily, who worked 1 1/3 innings, allowing four runs.

Warnings had been issued in the top of the second when Rodriguez plunked Brinson with a 91.9 mph fastball.

Video: MIA@SF: Brinson gets plunked by Rodriguez in the 2nd

At that point, Fletcher warned both benches, and Mattingly exchanged words with the umpires.

Frustrations had brewed since Monday night when the Marlins rallied for three runs in the ninth inning off Strickland to claim a 5-4 win. In that inning, Brinson had the game-tying single and flipped his bat afterward.

When Strickland was replaced in the inning, he stared at Brinson, who was on third base. The first pitch of the Brinson-Strickland at-bat was a brushback fastball.

Going back to last week when the teams played in Miami, Brinson had a game-tying sacrifice fly in the ninth inning off Strickland.

Also during the series at Marlins Park, Straily threw a pitch that broke the hand of Giants third baseman Evan Longoria.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants, Lewis Brinson, Buster Posey, Dereck Rodriguez, Dan Straily

Almora, Bryant rally Cubs in 10th to split DH

Schwarber's game-tying HR in 7th takes Montgomery off hook
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Albert Almora Jr. ripped a walk-off single to right field in the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 2-1 win and split Tuesday's doubleheader with the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

Kris Bryant led off the 10th with a triple into the right-field corner off Brock Stewart, and the Dodgers intentionally walked Javier Baez to set up the game-winner from Almora.

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CHICAGO -- Albert Almora Jr. ripped a walk-off single to right field in the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 2-1 win and split Tuesday's doubleheader with the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

Kris Bryant led off the 10th with a triple into the right-field corner off Brock Stewart, and the Dodgers intentionally walked Javier Baez to set up the game-winner from Almora.

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Almora said he took it "personal" -- the Dodgers had intentionally walked the batter before him to load the bases in Game 1 and he popped out to end the eighth inning. The 10th inning of Game 2 gave Almora a shot at redemption.

"I really wanted that one pretty bad," Almora said. "I absolutely knew they were going to walk Javy to pitch to me. It was just a little bit of revenge from the first game."

Video: LAD@CHC: Almora Jr. on bullpen, walk-off hit in 10th

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he wasn't quite sure why the Dodgers chose to face Almora over Baez, who is more prone to strikeouts, with a runner on third and nobody out.

"That's why he was hitting three. Albert makes contact," Maddon said. "The first game, he popped that one ball up, but I loved him in that moment. I have no idea what their strategy was but I loved him in that moment."

Video: LAD@CHC: Bryant's triple leads to walk-off in 10th

Kyle Schwarber tied the game, 1-1, in the seventh when he crushed a home run to right field off reliever Erik Goeddel, who entered Tuesday's game without allowing a run in 19 straight innings -- the longest active streak in the Majors.

The homer was Schwarber's 13th of the season, and it had an exit velocity of 101.8 mph and traveled a projected 400 feet, according to Statcast™.

Video: LAD@CHC: Schwarber ties game with a solo homer in 7th

Mike Montgomery, making his fifth start in place of the injured Yu Darvish, wasn't as sharp as he has been but was able to escape trouble for most of the night. The Dodgers got to him in the sixth inning when Austin Barnes singled to left to bring home Cody Bellinger, who stole second with two outs to get into scoring position.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the 10th against Justin Hancock -- called up as the Cubs' 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader -- before lefty Rob Zastryzny came in and got Yasmani Grandal to fly out and end the inning.

Video: LAD@CHC: Zastryzny leaves the bases loaded in 10th

"They bring their best against us," Almora said. "To be the best you've got to beat the best."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Baez was making his first start since getting hit on the elbow in Sunday night's game vs. the Cardinals, and he wasted little time before flashing some leather. He made a nice backhanded snag on a grounder up the middle to end the fifth inning and started a 4-6-3 double play in the eighth.

"He's exciting, there's no question," Maddon said. "We enjoy watching it as much as the fans do. He also had really good at-bats."

Video: LAD@CHC: Baez makes a smooth backhanded play in 5th

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With nobody out and a runner on first in the seventh, Anthony Rizzo made a leaping grab to rob Enrique Hernandez of extra bases and tagged the bag with his glove to complete a double play.

Video: LAD@CHC: Rizzo makes a leaping grab to start slick DP

HE SAID IT
"I just wanted to get it done. First of all, I wanted to go home and sleep. I wanted to do it myself just because it's a little payback from the first game." -- Almora, on his walk-off hit after spending more than 12 hours at the ballpark Tuesday

UP NEXT
Jon Lester will take the mound for the Cubs in the finale of this three-game series. Lester is 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA over his past five starts, and opponents are hitting .190 against him in that span. Right-hander Ross Stripling will start for the Dodgers, with first pitch set for 1:20 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field.

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora Jr., Mike Montgomery, Kyle Schwarber, Rob Zastryzny

Yanks' 118 homers through 70 games a record pace

Stanton, Andujar, Hicks, Torres flex their muscles
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' offense continued to showcase its power against the Mariners on Tuesday, slugging four home runs in a 7-2 victory.

New York's 118 homers ties the 2000 Cardinals for the second-most hit through the first 70 games of the season, trailing just the 1999 Mariners, who hit 130, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees' offense continued to showcase its power against the Mariners on Tuesday, slugging four home runs in a 7-2 victory.

New York's 118 homers ties the 2000 Cardinals for the second-most hit through the first 70 games of the season, trailing just the 1999 Mariners, who hit 130, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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Coming off a four-hit night against the Nationals on Monday, Giancarlo Stanton started Tuesday's slugfest in the first inning. The slugger blasted the first pitch he saw from Marco Gonzales -- a 79.3-mph curveball -- 426 feet that had an exit velocity of 111.5 mph, according to Statcast™.

In just 72 at-bats against left-handed pitching, Stanton has hit .347 with nine home runs and 19 RBIs.

Video: SEA@NYY: Stanton mashes a solo big fly to center

"It's a lot of fun," Stanton said of the team's power surge. "It's fun to watch from the inside, and I'm sure it's fun to watch being a fan. Yeah, we were clicking on all cylinders tonight."

With the game tied at 1 in the fifth, Miguel Andujar launched a two-run homer to left-center field, snapping an 0-for-14 skid. According to Statcast™, it had a projected distance of 427 feet with an exit velocity of 110.3 mph. It was the fifth of the rookie's nine long balls hit this season that have either tied the game or given the Yankees the lead.

Video: SEA@NYY: Andujar hammers a 2-run big fly to left

"I stayed positive," Andujar said. "I know I can hit. I go to home plate with a plan and do my job, and try to hit the ball hard."

Two batters later, Aaron Hicks followed suit by hitting a two-run shot of his own to left-center on a first-pitch, 83.4-mph changeup from Gonzales to give New York a 5-1 lead. Hicks has now hit a home run in a career-high three straight games and four of his last six.

Video: SEA@NYY: Hicks sticks 2-run homer into bullpen bench

"Especially from the right side most of the year, he's been in a really good power position and impacting the ball, not so much hooking the ball, but straight out to left-center and center," manager Aaron Boone said. "He's playing well for us and playing a big role for us in helping us win games."

"Keep riding that streak as much as possible," Hicks said. "Make sure I stay humble with it and just continue to try to help your team win."

Gleyber Torres got in on the fun in the eighth, hitting a solo shot on an 0-1, 93.2-mph fastball off Seattle reliever Nick Rumbelow. Torres has hit 14 home runs, which ties Aaron Judge for third-most through a player's first 50 career games in franchise history. Torres trails Gary Sanchez (19) and Kevin Maas (15).

Video: SEA@NYY: Torres crushes a solo homer to left field

"I think every day I take more experience to every at-bat and I take more maturity, for sure, and I feel better every day," said Torres. "I just try to put the ball in play. I try to have good contact and look for my pitch and try to help my team."

"I've just kind of been impressed with how well they've done," Boone said of Torres and Andujar. "They've been huge for us. They've been impact players for us. Just really proud of the way they've handled themselves, the way they've shown the ability to make adjustments. And I think they're just kind of showing the baseball world that they're really good players."

"We have good players here," Andujar said. "Everyone here can hit."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres

JV fans 10, but Astros' win streak stalls at 12

MLB.com

HOUSTON -- The streak was remarkable and long-lasting. But all things must come to an end.

The Astros dropped their first game since June 5, 2-1, to the Rays on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, ending their winning streak at 12 games, which tied for the longest in franchise history.

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HOUSTON -- The streak was remarkable and long-lasting. But all things must come to an end.

The Astros dropped their first game since June 5, 2-1, to the Rays on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, ending their winning streak at 12 games, which tied for the longest in franchise history.

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"Even after this loss, we're such a fun group that we'll show up tomorrow and guys will still be cracking jokes and having a lot of fun," said Astros catcher Max Stassi. "We'll go out there and play hard. We'll be fine."

A potential win No. 13 was in the hands of Justin Verlander, the Astros' grizzled ace who's possibly better suited to secure a 13th consecutive win than any other starting pitcher on the planet this season.

Verlander struck out 10 over 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball with 122 pitches, his most in a regular-season start since June 11, 2014, with the Tigers. It's was another phenomenal showing, with little offensive production behind it. The Astros scored one run while Verlander dotted 10 strikeouts, his most since tallying 14 on May 1, and the only blemish was a solo home run by C.J. Cron in the second inning.

"He was really good," said Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who returned from the disabled list Tuesday night. "It's been awhile since I faced big league pitching. He has the numbers he has for a reason. He was spectacular."

Video: TB@HOU: Cron opens the scoring with a solo homer

"I thought it was unbelievable," Stassi said. "His bullpen before the game was perfect. I've never caught a pregame bullpen session with him like that. It was awesome. He had conviction of all four pitches -- located up, located down, in and out. He had Verlander stuff."

Hector Rondon entered in the seventh inning with a runner on second base as Verlander's pitch count soared, needing one out to complete the inning unscathed. He did.

Rondon returned for the eighth inning and allowed an RBI single to Rays catcher Wilson Ramos. Ramos' single, which gave the Rays a 2-1 lead, was the first run Rondon had allowed since May 13.

Video: TB@HOU: Ramos hits go-ahead RBI single in the 8th

The Astros (49-26) are just behind the pace of the World Series champion club last season, which was 50-25.

"We didn't quite hit enough," said manager AJ Hinch. "We were shut down by a pretty good pitcher."

Video: TB@HOU: Snell K's 6, allows 1 run over 7 innings

Rays starter Blake Snell held the Astros to one run through seven innings, tying him with Verlander with nine wins and for the most starts with one or zero runs allowed in the American League.

"Snell's nasty," Hinch said. "Look at the league and look at the numbers, the entire league is having a hard time hitting him when he's in the strike zone."

Alex Bregman, who started his first game at second base this season on Jose Altuve's day off, reached base in his 30th consecutive game with two walks and an RBI single in the third inning.

Video: TB@HOU: Bregman drives an RBI single to right field

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Astros' hottest hitter of late, Evan Gattis, was in position to strike with one out and runners on first and third in the first inning. Gattis flied out to Carlos Gomez in short right field, but far enough for George Springer to attempt to reach home on a potential sacrifice fly. Ramos bobbled Gomez's throw, but Springer missed the plate on his slide and Ramos tagged him to end the inning with a double play.

Video: TB@HOU: Gomez throws out Springer at home for DP

SOUND SMART
Yes, Verlander's 122 pitches were the most he's thrown in a regular-season game in years, but they were not the most he's thrown in a calendar year. He threw 124 pitches in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees on Oct. 14.

The Astros are 0-3 when Verlander strikes out 10-plus batters this season. They have scored a total of two runs in those games.

Video: TB@HOU: Hinch on offensive struggles in loss to Rays

HE SAID IT
"It's something special. To understand that when I'm coming off the mound, I think these fans appreciate not just what I've done, but just going out there trying to grind, throw 120 pitches and get us to the seventh inning. I think that's what they were cheering for. That's what we work for. I work my butt off to be able to try to go out there and extend it and go an extra inning night in and night out." -- Verlander, on receiving a standing ovation following his 122-pitch outing

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Bregman plunged a deep liner in the third inning off the wall in right-center field and drove in Springer from second base. Attempting to take second while Springer charged home, Bregman overshot the bag on his slide and was tagged out by Adeiny Hechavarria on a close play as he lunged back. The Astros challenged the call, but it would stand.

Video: TB@HOU: Gomez throws out Bregman at second base

UP NEXT
The Astros will conclude their three-game series against the Rays at 7:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park. Right-handed veteran Charlie Morton will get the ball for Houston against Tampa Bay righty Nathan Eovaldi. Morton picked up his eighth win of the season on Friday in Kansas City.

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

Houston Astros, Justin Verlander

Rox hit back-to-back-to-back homers vs. Mets

Arenado, Story, Desmond crush consecutive round-trippers in third
MLB.com

DENVER -- Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Ian Desmond crushed back-to-back-back homers off Mets pitcher Jason Vargas on Tuesday night.

It was the eighth time in franchise history that the Rockies hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. The last time was May 27, 2010, in the bottom of the seventh when Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs all went deep.

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DENVER -- Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Ian Desmond crushed back-to-back-back homers off Mets pitcher Jason Vargas on Tuesday night.

It was the eighth time in franchise history that the Rockies hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. The last time was May 27, 2010, in the bottom of the seventh when Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs all went deep.

View Full Game Coverage

Arenado's two-run shot and Story and Desmond's solo shots were part of a six-run third inning for the Rockies, who extended their lead to 8-2. It was the second time in five games that Colorado has scored six runs in an inning -- a season high. The Rockies scored six in the second inning of Saturday's 9-5 win at Texas.

Vargas' night ended with 50 pitches after he hit Chris Iannetta. With righty Hansel Robles pitching, Noel Cuevas hit an RBI double off the left-field fence, and Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez helped himself out with an RBI single down the right-field line.

The last time a Mets pitcher gave up three home runs in a row was Bartolo Colon on April 13, 2014, against the Angels in Anaheim.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado, Ian Desmond, Trevor Story

Carpenter leads 2 Cards rallies, wins it with HR

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

PHILADELPHIA -- For weeks as the Cardinals tried to slug their way out of an exceedingly tough stretch, their offense spun themselves into an alarming trend. St. Louis swatted its way up the long ball leaderboards, but the typical byproducts of power were scarce to arrive. They rarely walked. Strikeouts mounted disproportionately. Doubles and triples were reduced to an endangered species.

In doing so, the Cardinals largely failed to weather their growing list of other problems: a suddenly stumbling starting rotation, a bullpen famously in flux, etc. They sought rallies to complement the home runs, not supplant them. On Tuesday night, both arrived in unison, when the Cardinals used three homers and a four-run seventh to steal a 7-6 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

View Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- For weeks as the Cardinals tried to slug their way out of an exceedingly tough stretch, their offense spun themselves into an alarming trend. St. Louis swatted its way up the long ball leaderboards, but the typical byproducts of power were scarce to arrive. They rarely walked. Strikeouts mounted disproportionately. Doubles and triples were reduced to an endangered species.

In doing so, the Cardinals largely failed to weather their growing list of other problems: a suddenly stumbling starting rotation, a bullpen famously in flux, etc. They sought rallies to complement the home runs, not supplant them. On Tuesday night, both arrived in unison, when the Cardinals used three homers and a four-run seventh to steal a 7-6 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

View Full Game Coverage

"I don't know if relief is the right word, but it feels good to come back when we're down," said Matt Carpenter, the night's offensive star. "Especially after a tough loss, being able to come back in any fashion is a good feeling."

Carpenter was at the center of all of it. Down two runs in the seventh, Carpenter lashed a two-run double to tie the game, before a Jose Martinez two-bagger gave St. Louis a lead two batters later. Then, after Jordan Hicks allowed two inherited runners to score in the eighth, Carpenter cranked an 0-2 Seranthony Dominguez fastball inside the right-field foul pole for the game-winning tally. It marked the first career homer allowed by the hard-throwing rookie Dominguez.

"He has 98 mph with cut," Carpenter said. "It's something where you have to step in the box and be ready to go. Because it's coming at ya."

Video: STL@PHI: Pham crushes a long solo home run to left

Carpenter's blast ensured the Cardinals avoided their sixth loss in seven games and capped a second consecutive night they spent continuously fighting back against the Phillies. Monday's loss and Tuesday's win featured eerie parallels: in both, two solo homers (from Tommy Pham and Kolten Wong) inched the Cardinals closer after their starter (in Tuesday's case, Luke Weaver) allowed four runs through five. In both, the bullpen coughed up two late runs. And in both, a clutch solo blast put St. Louis ahead.

The difference was their rally in the seventh, pieced together by four balls put in play with authority. Yairo Munoz singled and Wong was hit by a pitch in front of Carpenter, who took Tommy Hunter to the wall in right-center. A Pham single preceded Martinez, who scored Carpenter and Pham with a drive to center. The seventh-inning rally was their first four-run sequence to come without a home run in three full weeks.

Video: STL@PHI: Martinez give Cardinals the lead with double

"How about it? Here they come," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, of the doubles. "That's the result of guys taking good at-bats and good hitters getting locked in."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Here we go again: The Cardinals' lead evaporated in the eighth, after Jesmuel Valentin walked and Cesar Hernandez singled off reliever Austin Gomber. That set up a marquee matchup: Rhys Hoskins against Hicks, who was summoned to defuse the threat. Hoskins lined a two-strike, 101.3-mph fastball from Hicks to the wall in right-center for a two-out, game-tying double.

But after Carpenter put the Cardinals back on top in the ninth, Hicks earned the win with a 1-2-3 bottom half of the frame.

Video: STL@PHI: Hicks K's Knapp for final out of the game

SOUND SMART
Statcast™ tracked the Dominguez fastball Carpenter hit out at 98.1 mph, the second-hardest pitch he's homered against in his career. It was also the hardest pitch any Cardinals hitter has homered against this season.

"I wouldn't say I sold out for it," Carpenter said. "But I was ready for it."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Holland returns: Sidelined since May 26 with a hip impingement, Greg Holland impressed in his first appearance back from the disabled list. Originally warming up with the Cardinals down two, Holland instead entered in a high-leverage spot: with St. Louis suddenly holding a two-run lead in the seventh. His command crisp and slider sharp, Holland looked little like the powder keg who'd allowed 14 earned runs over his first 18 games. He retired the side in order, striking out two.

"It wasn't by design. I think we'd rather have thrown him in a different spot, but we got him ready to go," Matheny said. "I want Greg to thrive on any opportunity we get him, and continue to prove to himself, more so than anybody else, that the stuff is right."

HE SAID IT
"To be honest with you, I don't regret it at all because I have a sequence when I pitch. I tried to make a quality pitch. I'm not sure it just stayed hanging in the middle or if it was in and he just made good contact." -- Dominguez, on the home run allowed to Carpenter

UP NEXT
Wednesday's series finale will feature a rematch of talented righties, when Michael Wacha (8-2, 3.24) and Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.33) oppose each other for the second time this season. Wacha outpitched Arrieta when the Phillies visited Busch Stadium last month by firing six strong innings in a 12-4 Cardinals win. However, Wacha is coming off the worst start of his career, statistically, allowing nine runs (eight earned) against the Cubs. First pitch is slated for 12:05 p.m. CT from Citizens Bank Park.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter

Nats ride Turner, big innings to win vs. O's

Shortstop goes 4-for-4 with a homer in the opener
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Dave Martinez was searching for a way to energize his offense, to help it shake the inconsistency that has plagued it the past month. So he switched around his lineup Tuesday.

One of the most noteworthy moves was Trea Turner, who usually hits first or second, changing to the six spot. Turner entered the Nationals' 9-7 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night hitting .200 in June, but the 24-year-old broke out of that slump and electrified Washington's offense by hitting 4-for-4 and finishing a triple shy of the cycle at Nationals Park. The Nationals have won six consecutive games against Baltimore.

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WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Dave Martinez was searching for a way to energize his offense, to help it shake the inconsistency that has plagued it the past month. So he switched around his lineup Tuesday.

One of the most noteworthy moves was Trea Turner, who usually hits first or second, changing to the six spot. Turner entered the Nationals' 9-7 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night hitting .200 in June, but the 24-year-old broke out of that slump and electrified Washington's offense by hitting 4-for-4 and finishing a triple shy of the cycle at Nationals Park. The Nationals have won six consecutive games against Baltimore.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's a perfect spot for him," Martinez said. "I said in Spring Training, he's a pure hitman. I don't want him thinking about taking pitches, getting on base. I just want him to go hit. When he goes up there and thinks about just hitting, he usually swings at better pitches and he draws walks, but he does what we saw tonight."

Turner opened the scoring with his eighth home run of the season in the second inning, but Jefry Rodriguez, making his first Major League start in place of Jeremy Hellickson, handed the Orioles the lead by allowing two-run homers in the third and fourth innings.

Turner helped the Nationals regain their edge by opening the fifth inning with a single and later scoring on Adam Eaton's single. The Nationals scored four runs in the inning to tie the game at five. Bryce Harper, who entered Tuesday with one hit in his previous 24 at-bats, ripped an RBI double in the frame.

Video: BAL@WSH: Harper doubles in Eaton to tie game in 5th

"When you're going good or bad, those balls that trickle through the hole or fall in between people, that mentally boosts how you feel, how you're playing," Turner said. "When each and every person has confidence in themselves, it makes all of us better."

The Orioles scored a run off Justin Miller in the sixth, but the Nationals again plated four runs in the seventh inning -- including two on a double from Anthony Rendon -- to regain an advantage they wouldn't give up.

Video: BAL@WSH: Rendon helps spark Nats' 4-run 7th inning

Juan Soto has been the only consistent Nationals hitter this month, but Turner showed he may be heating up in his new offensive role.

"You can't keep a good dog down, honestly," Eaton said. "The guy is going to continue to scrape and claw. And wherever he's hitting, it doesn't matter if it's 1-2-3-4-5-6. Wherever he hits, he's going to hit."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
About six hours after landing in Washington following his trade from the Royals on Monday night, Kelvin Herrera made his Nationals debut in the eighth inning.

• Herrera arrives, debuts in DC

The right-hander received a standing ovation as he jogged from the bullpen to the mound. The 28-year-old needed six pitches to retire the side and touched 98 mph with his fastball.

Video: BAL@WSH: Herrera retires Mancini, side in Nats debut

"It's funny, you see 95 on the Jumbotron, but it looks like 104," Eaton said. "I'm not kidding. I don't know what the gurus upstairs say about his spin effect or whatever, but I'm telling you it looks like 104 coming out of a cannon. I'm so happy he's here and he's on my team and I don't have to face him any time in the near future."

SOUND SMART
Turner is the only Nationals player other than Soto to homer in the past 10 days.

UP NEXT
Gio Gonzalez will try to break out of his slump when he takes the mound at Nationals Park against the Orioles on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. The left-hander has allowed a combined nine runs over 9 1/3 innings in his past two starts. Gonzalez, who will counter Baltimore starter Andrew Cashner, threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings when he last faced the Orioles, on May 28.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper, Kelvin Herrera, Anthony Rendon, Jefry Rodriguez, Trea Turner

New leader at catcher, overall on AL ASG ballot

Ramos passes Sanchez behind plate; Altuve overtakes Betts in total votes
MLB.com @castrovince

An American League backstop battle has broken out in voting on the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

An American League backstop battle has broken out in voting on the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The Rays' Wilson Ramos has overtaken the Yankees' Gary Sanchez for the AL's starting spot behind the plate in the latest voting update released Tuesday. Voting to decide the starters for the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on July 17 at Washington's Nationals Park continues until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 5.

Though catcher is the only place where a change has taken place at the top, we also have a new top overall vote-getter, with Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (1,572,101) holding a slight edge over Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts (1,568,417) among all Major Leaguers. Freddie Freeman leads the NL with 1,433,140 votes.

National League voting update

Here are the latest results in the AL:

Video: TB@HOU: Ramos opens the scoring with a 2-run jack

CATCHER
1. Wilson Ramos, Rays: 678,159
2. Gary Sanchez, Yankees: 618,899
3. Brian McCann, Astros: 401,336
4. Salvador Perez, Royals: 344,915
5. Yan Gomes, Indians: 200,275

Sanchez's spot at the top with a sub-.200 batting average got a lot of attention when the first results were released last week. Ramos has a .286 average, .332 on-base percentage and .450 slugging percentage, compared to Sanchez's .194 average, .294 on-base percentage and .440 slugging percentage. Ramos has made it back into the limelight after an awful right knee injury sidelined him late during a 2016 season with the Nationals in which he made the NL All-Star squad for his first Midsummer Classic selection. The other change here is Gomes' arrival into the top five, bumping the Angels' Martin Maldonado.

Video: CLE@CWS: Abreu belts an opposite-field 2-run homer

FIRST BASE
1. Jose Abreu, White Sox: 636,666
2. Mitch Moreland, Red Sox: 472,245
3. Yuli Gurriel, Astros: 368,863
4. Albert Pujols, Angels: 336,724
5. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 333,130

Cabrera's season-ending ruptured left biceps tendon caused his fall from third to fifth, and Gurriel has risen two spots in this pecking order. But it's still Abreu well out in front in a year in which he's logged a .283/.338/.500 line for the White Sox.

Video: TB@HOU: Altuve shows off his speed, legs out a single

SECOND BASE
1. Jose Altuve, Astros: 1,572,101
2. Gleyber Torres, Yankees: 534,758
3. Dee Gordon, Mariners: 244,488
4. Jason Kipnis, Indians: 156,347
5. Jed Lowrie, A's: 130,479

Altuve has more than a million votes more than his next-closest competition, so we're going to go out on a limb and suggest he's in good shape to make his fourth straight start for the AL. Now the only question is whether the reigning AL MVP Award winner, who played a big part in the Astros' just-completed 10-0 road trip, can maintain his lead in the overall voting.

Video: MIN@CLE: Ramirez crushes 21st home run of the year

THIRD BASE
1. Jose Ramirez, Indians: 893,530
2. Miguel Andujar, Yankees: 509,188
3. Alex Bregman, Astros: 410,412
4. Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 249,080
5. Mike Moustakas, Royals: 231,363

Ramirez, with 21 long balls, is already closing in on his homer total (29) from last year, when he finished third in the AL MVP Award voting, and he continues to run away with what would be his second straight starting assignment. The rest of the top five is unchanged from last week.

Video: MIA@BAL: Machado flares 2-run single to right-center

SHORTSTOP
1. Manny Machado, Orioles: 671,133
2. Carlos Correa, Astros: 458,367
3. Francisco Lindor, Indians: 420,674
4. Didi Gregorius, Yankees: 413,135
5. Jean Segura, Mariners: 312,407

Machado, who leads a deep position in OPS (.945), homers (18) and RBIs (53), continues to be at the top of the heap here, but there were changes below him. Correa, who has been productive since his return from right side discomfort, usurped the second spot from Lindor. And Segura, who has put up an .852 OPS for the surprising Mariners, entered the top five, knocking out the Angels' Andrelton Simmons.

Video: BOS@BAL: Betts belts 1st homer since coming off DL

OUTFIELD
1. Mookie Betts, Red Sox: 1,568,417
2. Mike Trout, Angels: 1,323,292
3. Aaron Judge, Yankees: 1,061,370
4. Michael Brantley, Indians: 518,350
5. George Springer, Astros: 511,815
6. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox: 509,780
7. Brett Gardner, Yankees: 330,970
8. Marwin Gonzalez, Astros: 300,694
9. Mitch Haniger, Mariners: 295,057
10. Josh Reddick, Astros: 278,332
11. Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers: 256,889
12. Eddie Rosario, Twins: 248,451
13. Aaron Hicks, Yankees: 239,594
14. Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox: 237,937
15. Ben Gamel, Mariners: 151,097

The three starting spots seem pretty well settled here, as Trout (.332/.464/.688), Betts (.340/.419/.699) and Judge (.275/.395/.558) are all having absurdly good seasons in big markets. The only changes here are Haniger's jump from 13th to ninth, Reddick's leapfrog of Castellanos, Rosario and Bradley trading spots, and Gamel bumping the Indians' Tyler Naquin from the top 15.

Video: BOS@BAL: Martinez mashes his 22nd homer of the season

DESIGNATED HITTER
1. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox: 1,119,263
2. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees: 478,872
3. Evan Gattis, Astros: 363,362
4. Shohei Ohtani, Angels: 350,579
5. Edwin Encarnacion, Indians: 260,915

With Ohtani out with an elbow injury and Gattis continuing to assert himself as one of the most productive players in baseball over the past month, those two flipped rankings in this week's update. But the top two spots are unchanged, and Martinez is well on his way to a much-deserved first All-Star selection since 2015, and his first turn as a starter.

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.

Mets' Ramos to have season-ending surgery

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

DENVER -- As they were beginning the process of selling off veteran pieces last summer, the Mets briefly became Trade Deadline buyers, acquiring reliever AJ Ramos from the Marlins. Their thinking, at the time, was that Ramos could play a pivotal role for their 2018 bullpen.

The reality turned out to be something quite different. The Mets announced Tuesday that Ramos will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, ending his season and perhaps his Mets career.

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DENVER -- As they were beginning the process of selling off veteran pieces last summer, the Mets briefly became Trade Deadline buyers, acquiring reliever AJ Ramos from the Marlins. Their thinking, at the time, was that Ramos could play a pivotal role for their 2018 bullpen.

The reality turned out to be something quite different. The Mets announced Tuesday that Ramos will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, ending his season and perhaps his Mets career.

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In 28 appearances this year, Ramos posted a 6.41 ERA, insisting he was healthy until the Mets finally placed him on the disabled list May 27. Ramos briefly debated the benefits of surgery versus more conservative rehabilitation, but ultimately decided to schedule the operation for Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

Ramos can become a free agent after the season, meaning his Mets career likely just ended with a 5.59 ERA over parts of two seasons. That was hardly what the Mets envisioned when they acquired him from the Marlins for prospects Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes.

Instead, the Mets built their 2018 bullpen around Ramos, incumbent closer Jeurys Familia and free-agent acquisition Anthony Swarzak. Familia has struggled at times in the closer's role, blowing four of his 18 save opportunities, while Swarzak spent all of April and May on the disabled list. The Mets entered Tuesday's play ranked 27th in MLB with a 4.52 bullpen ERA.

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

New York Mets, AJ Ramos

MLB Buzz: D-backs, O's chat about Machado

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.

O's, D-backs have talked Machado trade
June 19: The Orioles and D-backs have engaged in discussions regarding a potential trade for Manny Machado, according to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, and dialogue remains open between the two clubs.

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

O's, D-backs have talked Machado trade
June 19: The Orioles and D-backs have engaged in discussions regarding a potential trade for Manny Machado, according to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, and dialogue remains open between the two clubs.

Morosi described the trade talks as "due diligence on Arizona's part as the team's needs become clear." The two clubs also reportedly discussed a Machado trade this past offseason. Arizona currently holds the top spot in the National League West, but the second-place Dodgers narrowed the gap when they defeated the Cubs in Game 1 of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.

It's unclear whether the D-backs are interested in acquiring Machado to play shortstop or third base.

The 25-year-old would be an offensive upgrade over starting third baseman Jake Lamb and shortstop Nick Ahmed, as he's hitting .310 with 18 homers, 53 RBIs and a .945 OPS over 69 games for the Orioles in 2018 and owns a lifetime 118 wRC+.

But Machado has struggled defensively in his first season as the O's primary shortstop, recording -15 defensive runs saved (DRS). Ahmed, meanwhile, has notched six DRS. Machado has proven to be a stellar defender at the hot corner in the past, posting 81 DRS as a third baseman during his career and winning two AL Gold Glove Awards at the position.

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.

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.

Yanks, M's looking to acquire Happ

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.

Video: Morosi on potential trade fits for J.A. Happ

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.

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.

Escobar comes up clutch, lifts Twins over Red Sox

Shortstop leads Majors with 32 doubles, on pace for 75 this season
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Escobar wasn't among the leaders at shortstop in the latest ballot update for the All-Star Game released on Tuesday, but he's continuing to build his case to be a first-time All-Star.

Vote Escobar and the Twins into the All-Star Game

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Escobar wasn't among the leaders at shortstop in the latest ballot update for the All-Star Game released on Tuesday, but he's continuing to build his case to be a first-time All-Star.

Vote Escobar and the Twins into the All-Star Game

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Escobar had a go-ahead two-run double off Red Sox ace Chris Sale in the sixth. And after reliever Zach Duke couldn't hold a one-run lead in the eighth, Escobar smacked another double that brought home the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning to lift the Twins to a 6-2 win in the series opener at Target Field.

Escobar leads the Majors with 32 doubles, and he's on pace for 75 this season, which would break Earl Webb's all-time record of 67 set in 1931 with the Red Sox. Along with Eddie Rosario, Escobar has paced the Twins' offense, and he came up huge again, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs after setting a career high with three doubles on Sunday.

Video: BOS@MIN: Escobar plates LaMarre, Rosario with double

"I marvel at it," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's a high number for the stage of the season where we're at. It's unprecedented territory as far as Twins history, and really, I don't know if he can keep up that kind of torrid pace, but we're seeing a guy who is supremely confident fill in some of the holes he had."

With two runners on and one out in the eighth, the Red Sox brought in hard-throwing reliever Joe Kelly to face Escobar. But Escobar jumped on a 2-2 fastball, ripping it to left-center field, with center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. misplaying it for an error, allowing both runners to score and Escobar to reach third on an RBI single. Two batters later, Robbie Grossman put the game away with a two-run triple.

"If they don't catch the ball, I'm going to run to second base -- 100 percent," Escobar said. "My mentality when I make contact with the ball is to run all the way to second base. I don't know what happened, why he didn't catch the ball. But it's OK, I made it to third base."

The Twins relinquished a 2-1 lead in the eighth, when Duke gave up a game-tying RBI single to Sandy Leon with two outs. That spoiled a strong