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On record-setting night, AL outslugs NL

MLB.com @castrovince

WASHINGTON -- The ball wasn't flying out of Nationals Park quite as frequently as it did during Bryce Harper's heroic hometown homer binge a night earlier, but it was flying all the same in a dinger-driven, record-breaking 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

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WASHINGTON -- The ball wasn't flying out of Nationals Park quite as frequently as it did during Bryce Harper's heroic hometown homer binge a night earlier, but it was flying all the same in a dinger-driven, record-breaking 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

Video: 2018 All-Star Game sets new record with 10 home runs

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In the end, the two standout swats were the back-to-back solo shots hit by Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer -- off a Dodgers pitcher (Ross Stripling), no less -- in the top of the 10th inning of what became an 8-6 victory for the American League.

Video: 2018 ASG: Bregman wins MVP, gives car to his mother

Bregman was given the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet for his role in the AL's sixth straight win in the Midsummer Classic.

"I took a cutter down the middle of the first pitch and kind of went into battle mode and just was trying to put a line drive in play, and it left the yard," said Bregman. "It was crazy. It was a lot of fun."

But while the result reflects the AL's recent dominance in this summer showcase and, in a way, the Astros' standing as defending champs, the game itself was reflective of the homer-happy times we live in.

Video: 2018 ASG: AL bash 5 homers to earn extra-innings win

"It was like a regular-season game with the home runs accounting for pretty much everything," said Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ, who made a rare turn in the "closer" role by getting the save in the 10th. "Maybe a few less walks than normal, but pretty standard stuff. We were commenting in the bullpen that that's the way it's going these days."

The two teams combined for 10 homers, destroying the previous record of six that had last been reached in 1971 by some gentlemen named Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente -- Hall of Famers, all.

Video: 2018 ASG: NL crush 5 home runs in Washington, D.C.

Maybe not all of the blasts on this night were hit by guys who are Cooperstown-bound. But Bregman, Springer, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Willson Contreras, Trevor Story, Jean Segura, Christian Yelich, Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto collectively put up a performance for the All-Star ages. All but one of the game's 14 runs was driven in by a long ball.

Video: 2018 ASG: Segura clobbers a go-ahead 3-run HR

"To kind of empty your tank and hit homers at this event is probably the best thing imaginable," said AL and Astros manager AJ Hinch. "Just to have that kind of emotion that comes with the home run. Especially when the big boys hit it, and especially when the Astros hit it."

Video: 2018 ASG: Hinch on Bregman, Springer in All-Star Game

The AL seemingly had the game in hand thanks to Segura's pinch-hit, three-run homer off Josh Hader in the top of the eighth. But Gennett wowed the crowd and stunned the junior circuit by taking Mariners closer Edwin Diaz deep in the bottom of the ninth to tie it.

To extras it went, and it didn't take long for Bregman and Springer to summon the Fall Classic magic of old. The AL added another run on -- of all things -- a sacrifice fly from Michael Brantley. And though Votto's solo shot in the bottom of the 10th kept things interesting, Happ was able to close it out before any more dinger drama developed.

Video: 2018 ASG: Sale K's 1 in scoreless 1st inning

So this was a night for watching it fly and letting it fly. AL starter Chris Sale threw a fastball clocked by Statcast™ at 100.7 mph -- his fastest pitch since 2010. NL starter Max Scherzer threw his four fastest pitchers of the season en route to striking out four in two innings of work.

Video: 2018 ASG: Scherzer fans 4 batters in ASG start

The All-Stars capitalized on their opportunity to showcase their skills in the nation's capital, and they let their personalities show, too, with in-game selfies and mic'd-up position players. Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor felt so bad when he couldn't muscle a drive over the wall that he dropped down and did some pushups. It was that kind of night.

Video: 2018 ASG: Lindor hits the grass for some pushups

There was even some off-the-field drama developing, with reports swirling about Manny Machado possibly heading to the Dodgers as he played what might have been his last game in a Baltimore Orioles uniform. In an in-game interview with FOX Sports and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, Machado acknowledged the not-so-subtle storyline by saying, "If this is the last time, hopefully I treated them well, I did everything I could for the organization."

Video: 2018 ASG: Machado talks All-Star Game, trade rumors

The AL could be losing one of its signature stars. But it won a game that very much resembled a Derby.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gennett's game-tying homer might get lost to history, given the end result, but he still put himself in a pretty cool spot in the All-Star history books. When he hit his two-run, 396-foot blast off Diaz, Gennett became just the third player to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of a Midsummer Classic, joining Ralph Kiner in 1950 and Fred McGriff in 1994. That sent the All-Star Game into extras for a second consecutive year. The last time that had happened was 1966-67.

Video: 2018 ASG: Gennett hits game-tying HR in the 9th

SOUND SMART
This was the first game in MLB history -- regular season, postseason or All-Star -- in which five different players homered for each team.

HE SAID IT
"In the beginning, it was, 'Is anybody going to get a hit other than a homer?' And at the end, it was, 'Are we going to have enough pitching to get out of this mess?'" -- Hinch

UP NEXT
Oh yes, they'll meet again. The 90th All-Star Game will take place on July 9, 2019, at Cleveland's Progressive Field, which last hosted the Midsummer Classic in 1997 (when it was still known as Jacobs Field). The AL will take an All-Star edge into that contest, having broken the all-time tie Tuesday by improving to 44-43-2 against the NL.

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.

Alex Bregman, Willson Contreras, Scooter Gennett, Aaron Judge, Jean Segura, George Springer, Trevor Story, Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Christian Yelich

Machado to Dodgers trade reportedly 'happening'

MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

WASHINGTON -- Orioles shortstop Manny Machado played five innings in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, going hitless in two at-bats and leaving shortly before 11 p.m. in what is expected to be his swan song in black and orange.

On record-setting night, AL outslugs NL

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WASHINGTON -- Orioles shortstop Manny Machado played five innings in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, going hitless in two at-bats and leaving shortly before 11 p.m. in what is expected to be his swan song in black and orange.

On record-setting night, AL outslugs NL

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Baltimore is closing in on a deal that would send the 26-year-old superstar to the Dodgers, multiple sources confirmed to MLB.com late Tuesday night. The deal is not done, though it's close enough that -- barring a medical issue -- it would be a major upset if Machado isn't traded before Friday.

What the O's would get back is one of the items still being worked out.

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal -- who interviewed Machado in the American League dugout during the All-Star Game -- first reported that the deal is "happening," though Machado said he hadn't heard anything.

"It was a tremendous honor to wear this uniform," Machado said of the possible finality of him in an Orioles jersey. "They gave me the opportunity to come up and play in the big leagues. ... If this is the last time, hopefully I treated them well and did everything I can for the organization."

Video: Machado discusses trade rumors, his fresh haircut

Machado did not talk to the media upon leaving Nationals Park, but he stopped to speak to former Orioles teammate Nick Markakis and hugged family and friends in the tunnel.

Machado will be a free agent after this season, but even if he ends up a half-season rental for the Dodgers, he could be a huge difference-maker in the National League West race. The Dodgers, who entered the All-Star break leading the division by a half-game over the D-backs at 53-43, lost star shortstop Corey Seager for the season due to Tommy John surgery. And Machado is having a career year offensively, hitting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs entering the second half.

Tweet from @MLB: 🤔 pic.twitter.com/N1qvMsollj

Machado declined Tuesday afternoon to talk about what it might be like to join a team such as the Dodgers, and also didn't want to speculate about whether he'd still be with the Orioles when they travel to Toronto to open the second half later this week.

"I don't expect anything, to be honest," Machado said. "I'm not trying to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I'll be there [in Toronto]."

Video: Machado talks about his potential landing spot

The Orioles, seeking young, controllable pitchers this winter when dangling Machado, have now aggressively pursued the best package possible. Of particular interest to the O's, who love power hitters, would be 21-year-old Yusniel Diaz, who is currently with the Dodgers' Double-A club. Diaz hit two home runs in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the Dodgers' organization, according to MLB Pipeline.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Barring last-minute change, #Orioles��� return for Machado will include only prospects, no #Dodgers major leaguers, sources tell The Athletic.

According to NBC Los Angeles, the deal also includes right-hander Dustin May (Dodgers' No. 10 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) and middle infielder Errol Robinson (No. 18), with the Orioles sending the Dodgers cash and potentially international bonus pool money. The clubs have not confirmed.

Tweet from @michaeljduarte: Sources believe the deal agreed upon between #Dodgers and #Orioles is Yusniel Diaz, Dustin May, and Errol Robinson heading to Baltimore for Manny Machado and cash and possibly bonus pool $. Again, not official as teams have yet to announce. Still fluid.

New York Post's Joel Sherman weighed in as well, reporting that the deal could include as many as five prospects going to Baltimore.

Tweet from @Joelsherman1: Hear not finalized but expectation is tmrw, Thurs latest #Dodgers will get Machado with as many as 5 prospects going to #Orioles. Balt in current version does not eat any {{field}}lt;/a>

Considered the best available player in advance of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Machado has been linked to more than a half-dozen teams, though suitors started to bow out as talks progressed. The Orioles took Machado out of Sunday's game in the fifth inning due to muddy field conditions, tipping their hand as to just how close they are to dealing the superstar.

Machado is expected to be the first of several potential midseason trades for the Orioles, who have gotten interest about pending free agents, including closer Zach Britton, reliever Brad Brach and center fielder Adam Jones.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado

Bregman's heroics earn him special ASG MVP

Astros 3B hits go-ahead HR in 10th, has family connection to Ted Williams
MLB.com @feinsand

WASHINGTON -- As Alex Bregman glanced down at the award he had just been presented with, something just felt right.

"My grandfather was the general counsel for the Washington Senators, and my dad grew up on Ted Williams' lap," Bregman said after winning the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. "So to see 'Ted Williams Most Valuable Player' on this trophy is pretty special."

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WASHINGTON -- As Alex Bregman glanced down at the award he had just been presented with, something just felt right.

"My grandfather was the general counsel for the Washington Senators, and my dad grew up on Ted Williams' lap," Bregman said after winning the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. "So to see 'Ted Williams Most Valuable Player' on this trophy is pretty special."

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Bregman's father, Sam, watched from the side, a look of pride engulfing his face. Sam's father had negotiated the deal for Williams to become the Senators manager years ago, exposing him to greatness at an early age.

Video: Bregman wins ASG MVP after tie-breaking HR in 10th

Now his son, the 24-year-old third baseman from the World Series champion Astros, was holding an award donning none other than Williams' name thanks to his go-ahead home run off Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling in the top of the 10th inning.

The American League held on for an 8-6 win over the National League in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, the AL's sixth consecutive victory in the Midsummer Classic.

AL manager AJ Hinch, who doubles as Bregman's manager in Houston, seemed equally proud and impressed after watching yet another clutch at-bat by the young, budding superstar.

Video: 2018 ASG: Bregman hits go-ahead HR in 10th

"He just never ceases to amaze me with how controlled he is in the big moments," Hinch said. "Whether it's any part of the game, any situation, any pitcher, any pressure situation -- he's had some of the biggest walk-offs in franchise history. He obviously loves the moment."

Bregman had barely high-fived his teammates in the dugout when George Springer -- one of six Astros selected to the AL roster -- belted his own shot, going back to back with Bregman to give the AL a two-run edge.

"It's kind of one of those things where he had a big swing and I'm just trying to hit a ball hard, have a lot of fun in there," Springer said. "I was able to not miss it."

Video: 2018 ASG: Bregman, Springer go back-to-back in 10th

"Normally when we go back to back, I have to hit it after Springer does because he leads it off, so it was pretty cool to see him go back to back," Bregman said. "I think George Springer is going to be hot for the second half now. The back-to-back push."

Bregman might only be in his second full season in the Majors, but he's already proven to be one of the best big-moment players in the league. He played a starring role in the Astros' title run last fall, both at the plate and in the field, making one memorable play after another to help lead Houston to its first World Series title.

"His heartbeat's perfect," Hinch said. "So is his execution in big moments."

Video: 2018 ASG: Hinch talks Bregman's passion for the game

Bregman struggled to explain why he seems to thrive when the pressure rises.

"I don't know; I think it's fun," he said. "I like competing. I like going head to head, the best man win. I feel like I've been in those situations a lot in two years, and I've failed them probably just as much as I've succeeded in them. But I think that the times you fail in those moments, it gets you better for the next time you're in that situation. Just try and learn, and to do it today was cool."

Video: MLB Tonight talks with Bregman after his ASG MVP win

Hinch credits Bregman's natural curiosity about the game, noting, "He's a baseball rat, through and through." The manager observed Bregman talking with nearly every player in the AL clubhouse during the past couple of days, trying to pick up any nugget he could along the way.

"He's always studying, he's always thinking, he's always watching," Hinch said. "He's a smart player. I've watched him ask a million questions to different players that have come through here. I'm not sure if anyone that I've come across in the big leagues loves baseball more than Alex Bregman. It starts with that and he continues to get better."

Bregman rattled off a half-dozen names of players whose brains he picked this week, both pitchers and hitters. Even after an exhausting night filled with emotion, the sparkle in his eye as he discussed these moments displayed precisely what Hinch had described.

"Just to be able to hang out with guys like [Mike] Trout and [Aaron] Judge and [Mookie] Betts and just be able to pick their brain and talk the game with them for two days, and to be able to play, compete in the Home Run Derby," Bregman said. "It's something I've watched every year, growing up as a kid. That was really special. I know my family had a lot of fun watching it. Then today, to be able to be on the field, let alone be able to hit the go-ahead homer is, I don't know, I'm on cloud nine."

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Houston Astros, Alex Bregman

10 homers smash All-Star Game record

Astros' Alex Bregman, George Springer go back-to-back for AL squad
MLB.com @AndrewSimonMLB

The 2018 All-Stars crushed 10 home runs Tuesday night, smashing the previous record of six in a single Midsummer Classic, previously set in 1951 and matched in '54 and '71.

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The 2018 All-Stars crushed 10 home runs Tuesday night, smashing the previous record of six in a single Midsummer Classic, previously set in 1951 and matched in '54 and '71.

Video: 2018 ASG: Gennett crushes game-tying HR in 9th

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Scooter Gennett provided the record-breaking two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth inning, which also tied the game for the National League. But the American League followed with big flies of its own from Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer in the 10th, extending the new mark and putting the AL back in front. Joey Votto added one more for good measure, but the AL hung on for an 8-6 victory at Nationals Park in the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

Video: 2018 ASG: AL bash 5 homers to earn extra-innings win

No All-Star Game had even seen six homers in 47 years. That 1971 Midsummer Classic at Tiger Stadium had some serious star power involved. The AL took a 6-4 victory that year behind homers from Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson and Harmon Killebrew, overcoming NL big flies off the bats of Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente. All six of those home run hitters are Hall of Famers.

On Tuesday, Aaron Judge got things started with a solo shot off NL starter Max Scherzer in the second inning, and Mike Trout added on with another solo blast in the third against Jacob deGrom. The NL clawed back with two solo homers of its own, from Willson Contreras in the third and Trevor Story in the seventh before Jean Segura struck the big blow of the night with an eighth-inning three-run shot against Josh Hader to give the AL a 5-2 lead. Christian Yelich got a run back and tied the All-Star Game record with his eighth-inning, opposite-field solo shot against Charlie Morton.

Video: 2018 ASG: NL crush 5 home runs in Washington, D.C.

Then, Gennett struck. With one out and one on, facing hard-throwing Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, the Reds' second baseman crushed a ball over the right-field wall to tie the game and set a new mark for All-Star Game slugging.

The game went to extra innings, and the dingers didn't stop there. Leading off, Bregman ripped a solo shot against the Dodgers' Ross Stripling, and Springer took the very next pitch the opposite way for an insurance run. Michael Brantley added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to extend the AL's lead to 8-5 and provide the first run of the game that didn't come via the homer.

Video: 2018 ASG: Brantley plates Segura with sac fly in 10th

Votto's solo shot off J.A. Happ in the bottom of the 10th wasn't enough to complete another NL comeback, but it did mean that both teams finished with five homers, something that no All-Star squad had ever done. The record was four, with the AL doing that in 1954 and the NL in '51, '60 and '81.

In fact, It was the first time that five different players have homered for each team in the same game -- not just in an All-Star Game, but also in the regular season or postseason, according to ESPN.

Here are some other facts and figures to know from the 2018 All-Star Game:

AL KEEPS STREAKING

• This was the sixth straight victory for the AL, although none of those have been blowouts, each coming by three runs or fewer. The AL now has taken 19 of the past 22 Midsummer Classics going back to 1997.

• The AL leads the all-time All-Star series, 44-43-2. It is the first time the AL has led the series since it was 17-16-1 in 1963.

BREGMAN COMES UP BIG

• When Bregman stepped to the plate in the top of the 10th, there had only been four extra-inning home runs in All-Star Game history -- Robinson Cano's last year, Tony Perez's in 1967, Stan Musial's in '55 and Red Schoendienst's in '50. All of those were go-ahead home runs. Bregman provided the fifth -- and his teammate Springer quickly followed with the sixth.

• The two Astros going back-to-back put them in rare company. They're just the third pair of teammates to homer in the same inning of an All-Star Game, and the second pair to go back-to-back. The Royals' Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez both homered off Johnny Cueto in the second inning of the 2016 All-Star Game, and the Dodgers' Steve Garvey and Jim Wynn went back-to-back off Vida Blue in the second inning in 1975.

Video: 2018 ASG: Bregman, Springer launch back-to-back HRs

• This isn't the first time Bregman and Springer have hit back-to-back homers. They did it just last month, on June 20 against the Rays, but in reverse order. Springer, batting first, and Bregman, batting second, hit homers off Nathan Eovaldi leading off the sixth inning in Houston.

• Bregman's tiebreaking home run earned him the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. That's the second time in recent seasons that a player from the defending World Series champions won the All-Star Game MVP the following year. Hosmer did it in 2016 after winning the World Series with Kansas City in '15.

• The Astros are the seventh team all-time to have the World Series MVP in one season followed by the All-Star Game MVP the next. The others: Perez and Hosmer for the Royals (2015-16), Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew for the Red Sox (2007-08), Troy Glaus and Garret Anderson for the Angels (2002-03), Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter for the Yankees (1999-2000), Pete Rose and George Foster for the Reds (1975-76) and Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson for the Orioles (1970-71).

HOMERS GALORE

• Gennett's game-tying homer in the ninth off Diaz made Gennett just the third player to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning or later of an All-Star Game. Ralph Kiner was the first to do it in 1950, followed by Fred McGriff in 1994.

Video: 2018 ASG: Segura clobbers a go-ahead 3-run HR

• Stepping to the plate in a 2-2 game in the eighth, Segura un-tied the All-Star Game with one big swing. The AL has now gotten a late-game go-ahead home run in two straight All-Star Games -- from a pair of Mariners. Last year, Robinson Cano hit what would be the game-winning home run in the 10th inning of the All-Star Game.

Video: Must C Crushed: Judge launches a solo homer in 2nd

• Judge became the first Yankees player to homer in an All-Star Game since Jason Giambi took Billy Wagner deep in 2003. The last Yankee to go deep as a starter was Alfonso Soriano, who did it the previous year, against Eric Gagne.

• Contreras got the NL on the board in the third inning by lining a 97.8-mph fastball from Rays left-hander Blake Snell at 108.8 mph over the left-field wall for a solo shot. Contreras' home run came on the very first pitch he saw in an All-Star Game. Interestingly, he also homered on the first pitch he saw in his Major League career, on June 19, 2016. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Contreras is the first player in MLB history to homer on the first pitch of his career and his first pitch seen in an All-Star Game.

Video: 2018 ASG: Contreras crushes 108.8-MPH homer off Snell

TROUT AMAZES AGAIN

• After going 1-for-2 with a walk and a home run in his sixth career All-Star Game, Trout improved his overall line in the Midsummer Classic to 7-for-15 with two doubles, a triple, two homers and three walks. His .467 batting average ranks fourth in All-Star Game history, while his 1.133 slugging percentage ranks first, passing Alfonso Soriano (1.000).

• Trout worked Scherzer for a tough eight-pitch walk in the first inning and now has reached base safely in his first plate appearance in each of his six All-Star Games. He came off the bench to single off R.A. Dickey in 2012, and then as a starter doubled off Matt Harvey in '13, tripled off Adam Wainwright in '14, homered off Zack Greinke in '15, and singled off Johnny Cueto in '16, before missing last year's game due to injury.

Video: 2018 ASG: Statcast™ measures Trout's 401-ft. HR in ASG

• Trout had plenty more in store, lining a solo homer to left field off deGrom in the third inning to extend the AL's lead to 2-0. Trout has a hit in each of his first six career All-Star Game appearances, becoming only the third player in Major League history to accomplish that feat -- he joins Hall of Famers Willie Mays (1954-59) and Joe Morgan (1965, '67, '72-75).

• Trout is just the third AL player to hit two All-Star Game home runs before the age of 27, joining Al Kaline and Mickey Mantle. Along with those homers, Trout has a triple and two doubles in his All-Star Game career. The only player with more total extra-base hits for the AL in the Midsummer Classic is Ted Williams, who had seven.

• Overall, Trout is the eighth player in All-Star Game history to hit safely in at least six straight, and it's an illustrious list. Morgan, Mantle and Dave Winfield are tied for the record with seven straight games. Trout now joins Mays, Stan Musial, Johnny Bench and Nellie Fox with six straight.

HERE COMES THE HEAT

• There were 363 pitches thrown by 18 pitchers Tuesday, about 60 percent of which were four- or two-seam fastballs. Here is a breakdown of the astonishing velocity that was on display:

100+ mph: three pitches by one pitcher (Chris Sale)
99+ mph: 18 pitches by four pitchers
98+ mph: 55 pitches by 10 pitchers
97+ mph: 99 pitches by 13 pitchers
96+ mph: 145 pitches by 15 pitchers
95+ mph: 176 pitches by 15 pitchers

Video: 2018 ASG: Sale K's 1 in scoreless 1st inning

• Of the 18 pitchers who appeared in the game, Ross Stripling had the lowest max velocity, at 93.8 mph.

Video: 2018 ASG: Scherzer whiffs Altuve on 98.2-mph heater

• Scherzer's fastest pitch this season is 97.3 mph, but he brought out a little extra in the first inning. The righty threw his four fastest pitches of 2018 in the opening frame, including a 98.2 mph heater to whiff Jose Altuve. He topped out at 98.5 mph.

• Sale also let it eat when he took the mound. He hit triple digits on the radar gun three times in the first inning, and his final pitch of the frame was a 100.7 mph heater to get Freddie Freeman to fly out. Sale has never thrown a pitch that hard as a starting pitcher in a Major League game. He threw two pitches that fast as a rookie reliever in 2010.

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

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

7 best moments from the All-Star Game

Memorable Midsummer Classic had all a fan could want from baseball in 2018
MLB.com @RichardJustice

WASHINGTON -- The 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was filled with thrills and chills and spills, and the final few innings might have been as good as the Midsummer Classic has ever been.

Go ahead and quibble about Three True Outcomes if you must because this All-Star Game definitely had those: 10 home runs, 25 strikeouts and nine walks.

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WASHINGTON -- The 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was filled with thrills and chills and spills, and the final few innings might have been as good as the Midsummer Classic has ever been.

Go ahead and quibble about Three True Outcomes if you must because this All-Star Game definitely had those: 10 home runs, 25 strikeouts and nine walks.

View Full Game Coverage

"Standard operation nowadays, right?" American League manager AJ Hinch quipped.

Ask yourself this: Was it entertaining? Was it exciting? Did the players wearing microphones and taking selfies and the managers letting us in on their discussions and the sheer joy of the players add something? Sure, it did. The AL's 8-6 victory over the National League Tuesday night at Nationals Park was ridiculously good.

"I think it's cool how MLB let us have our phones, just going out there and being able to take a picture was really cool," Mike Trout said.

Tweet from @MikeTrout: Always something special #AllStarGameThank you for the hospitality DC!!! pic.twitter.com/F43MN0dZLQ

Did we mention that the final three innings were pretty good? That's when 10 of the 14 runs were scored and six of the 10 home runs were hit. Jean Segura homered for the AL in the top of the eighth. Christian Yelich responded in the bottom of the inning. Scooter Gennett's homer tied it in the bottom of the ninth. Alex Bregman and George Springer answered for the AL in the top of the 10th. This was the first time any game (regular season, All-Star or postseason) featured five different players homering for each side.

Let's review the seven best moments of a cool, beautiful evening in the nation's capital:

1. Houston's rockets

Back to the one moment that ought to define everything: that would be the smiles. In the top of the 10th inning, a pair of Houston Astros, Bregman (who was the All-Star MVP) and Springer (who was the 2017 World Series MVP), hit back-to-back home runs to get the lead back for the American Leaguers. They both were wearing wide grins when they returned to the dugout, where they were greeted by bear hugs, slaps on the back and showers of sunflower seeds, water and who knows what else?

Video: 2018 ASG: Bregman, Springer launch back-to-back HRs

2. Harper pays Trout the ultimate compliment

When FOX's Joe Buck asked Bryce Harper, playing center field early in the game, if he agreed that Trout was the best player on the planet, Harper spoke for the entire baseball world: "If you don't know that, you haven't been keeping up." As Bregman would clarify later: "Mike Trout's on another planet."

Video: 2018 ASG: Harper mic'd up at the 2018 All-Star Game

3. Segura and Gennett play "Can you top this?" 

Segura's three-run homer off Josh Hader in the eighth inning looked like it would be the difference, and it came one pitch after Joey Votto dropped a popup near the dugout railing. Segura punctuated his blast with a point to the dugout and an epic bat flip as the AL took a 5-2 lead.

Video: 2018 ASG: Segura clobbers a go-ahead 3-run HR

An inning later, Gennett seemingly bailed out Votto, his Reds teammate, with a dramatic game-tying two-run homer off of Edwin Diaz, Segura's fellow Mariner, to send the All-Star Game into extra innings for the second straight year.

Video: 2018 ASG: Gennett crushes game-tying HR in 9th

4. Altuve ends his "slump"

When Jose Altuve singled in the top of the fifth inning, it was his first hit in 10 career at-bats in the All-Star Game. As he rounded first base, he broke into a huge smile that only got wider when he saw that his Astros teammate, Springer, had asked for the baseball. Normally, singles in the fifth inning do not become souvenirs. Springer, though, wanted to preserve the moment and maybe, you know, rib his buddy a bit. "I'm happy they're happy because I finally got my hit," Altuve said.

Video: 2018 ASG: Altuve collects his 1st All-Star Game hit

5. Matt and Manny's photo op

Did you catch Orioles (for now) shortstop Manny Machado posing for a selfie with Matt Kemp? That one lit up social media, for sure. If reports are correct -- and if there are no last-minute holdups -- they'll be teammates as early as Wednesday after a Machado-to-the-Dodgers trade is completed. Machado seemed emotional to be wearing the Orioles uniform for the final time and also excited about the new world he's about to enter.

Video: 2018 ASG: Kemp doubles, takes selfie with Machado

6. JV's bold prediction

In the AL dugout, Justin Verlander loudly predicted Judge's second-inning home run off Max Scherzer. "I was getting ready to go hit and Verlander goes, 'I've got a really good feeling, man. I think you're gonna hit a homer this at-bat, so just get ready,'" Judge said. "That first one I fouled off, was just like, there's no chance with the way Scherzer was throwing it. But I was able to get that second one. It was a pretty cool moment."

Video: 2018 ASG: Hinch talks Verlander calling Judge homer

7. Happ gets his first save

Hinch showed why players love playing for him when he was asked his reaction to Gennett's game-tying home run. "My first thought was directed right at J.A. Happ," Hinch said. Happ is a former Astros pitcher who made friends throughout the organization during his three seasons with the team (2010-12, before Hinch arrived).

Hinch told Happ, now with the Blue Jays, before the game he didn't know if he'd get him into his first All-Star Game. For players in their first All-Star Game at 35, it's a special thing. "I was thrilled for a veteran like J.A. Happ who has waited so long for this stage," Hinch said.

Happ has pitched in 272 regular-season games and never gotten a save. But he did Tuesday night.

Video: 2018 ASG: Happ retires Cain to secure the AL's win

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Watch Jean Segura's massive three-run homer from Nelson Cruz's seat in the dugout

The All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was tied at 2 in the top of the seventh when Jean Segura strode to the plate. A late addition to the AL roster after winning the Final Vote competition, his teammates were pretty glad he made the squad as he blasted Josh Hader's eighth pitch of the at-bat way out of the park. The homer gave the AL a 5-2 lead and Segura was sure to point to his buddies in the dugout.

Matt Kemp hit a double and then took a selfie with Manny Machado at second base

During the 2017 All-Star Game, Nelson Cruz set a trend by taking a selfie with home-plate umpire Joe West. So, when the 2018 festivities rolled around to Nationals Park on Tuesday, other players were determined to join the party.

When Matt Kemp hit a double in the second inning, he rolled into second base, where Manny Machado (his possible future teammate) was covering the bag -- and also the selfie game.

Justin Verlander totally predicted Aaron Judge's All-Star Game homer off Max Scherzer

The All-Star Game presented by Mastercard brought together players from all across MLB -- blending rivals in the same dugout and giving players a chance to have fun with temporary teammates they'd otherwise consider the enemy.

Take Justin Verlander, for example. The Astros veteran is no stranger to the Midsummer Classic (this was his seventh All-Star selection to date), and he brought his phone along for some prime-time social media work.

Trout homers, now has a hit in 6 straight ASG

Harper on Angels superstar after clout: 'I love watching him play'
MLB.com @feinsand

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper was the star of the show Monday night, but even the Nationals superstar knows who the best player in baseball is: Mike Trout.

"If you don't, then you're not watching," Harper said on the FOX broadcast in the third inning during Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. "This guy is day in and day out, year in and year out, one of the best in all of baseball."

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WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper was the star of the show Monday night, but even the Nationals superstar knows who the best player in baseball is: Mike Trout.

"If you don't, then you're not watching," Harper said on the FOX broadcast in the third inning during Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. "This guy is day in and day out, year in and year out, one of the best in all of baseball."

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Video: 2018 ASG: Harper mic'd up at the 2018 All-Star Game

The subject came up after Trout obliterated a Jacob deGrom two-seam fastball, sending it into the American League bullpen in left-center field. Harper, who was joining the broadcast from the field during the half-inning, knew Trout had gone yard right away.

"That's gone," Harper said, as he watched the ball sail toward the outfield. "How good is he, huh? I love watching him play, man. Special player."

Trout finished his night 1-for-2 with a walk in the AL's 8-6, 10-inning victory, giving him a hit in all six of his All-Star Game appearances. (He was chosen for a seventh but did not play due to injury.)

Video: 2018 ASG: Trout talks with booth while in the field

Trout joined Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Willie Mays as the only players with a hit in each of their first six All-Star Games after becoming the fourth American Leaguer to start six Midsummer Classics before his 27th birthday. The latter list is populated by more Hall of Famers: Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Ivan Rodriguez.

Trout also became the third AL player with two career All-Star Game homers before turning 27. The two others: Al Kaline and Mantle.

"I just get a pitch and barrel it. That's how I get hits," Trout said. "It's always good to get out there and get a hit, get some ABs and it was just a good experience."

• Trout gives weather report during All-Star Game

Since Trout was born in August 1991, Alfonso Soriano has more All-Star homers than any other player, hitting three. Behind him? A five-way tie between Trout, Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Andruw Jones and Roberto Alomar with two apiece.

"For me, it's just trying to keep it simple," Trout said. "I can't really keep up with trying to do too much, just keep it simple, keep my swing short."

Video: MLB Tonight compares Mike Trout with Mickey Mantle

His third-inning home run came two innings after Trout battled National League starter Max Scherzer for an eight-pitch walk in the first inning, denying Scherzer a 1-2-3 inning after the Nationals right-hander struck out the AL's first two batters of the night.

In the third, deGrom got ahead of Trout, 1-2, before trying to finish him off. Trout turned on the 92-mph pitch and sent the ball soaring into the AL bullpen in left-center, doubling his team's lead to 2-0.

"deGrom's a good pitcher, man," Trout said during an in-game interview on FOX. "I just got a pitch down where I like it and put the barrel on it, and it went over the fence."

Although his home run was his highlight, Trout seemed more excited by the opportunity to have his cell phone with him in the outfield, allowing him to take a selfie with fellow outfield starters Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts during a pitching change.

Tweet from @MikeTrout: Always something special #AllStarGameThank you for the hospitality DC!!! pic.twitter.com/F43MN0dZLQ

"I think the fans want to see that. I enjoyed it," Trout said. "The fans see us on the field, but not what we're doing in the clubhouse or the dugout or in the outfield, and that was a cool moment."

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout

Gennett delivers dramatic 9th-inning homer

MLB.com

For the briefest of moments, it appeared Scooter Gennett might have added "All-Star hero" to the rapidly growing list of accomplishments he's piled up this year.

Instead, he'll have to settle for a heck of memory. Gennett and teammate Joey Votto both homered in the late innings of a record-setting Midsummer Classic on Tuesday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., but it wasn't enough for the National League in an 8-6 loss. Gennett hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, and Votto a solo shot in the 10th of the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

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For the briefest of moments, it appeared Scooter Gennett might have added "All-Star hero" to the rapidly growing list of accomplishments he's piled up this year.

Instead, he'll have to settle for a heck of memory. Gennett and teammate Joey Votto both homered in the late innings of a record-setting Midsummer Classic on Tuesday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., but it wasn't enough for the National League in an 8-6 loss. Gennett hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, and Votto a solo shot in the 10th of the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

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Gennett was the last position player on the National League roster to appear in Tuesday night's game, but he certainly made the most of his opportunity. Gennett -- appearing in his first All-Star Game -- came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning in a pinch-hit situation, representing the tying run as the American League held a 5-3 lead.

After Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto drew a one-out walk, Gennett took a fastball inside for a ball, and when a second pitch caught a piece of the plate on the inner-half, the Reds slugger pummeled it over the right-field wall for a home run to force extra innings.

The ball came off the bat at 100 mph and and traveled 396 feet, according to Statcast™.

It was another chapter in what has been a storybook season for Gennett, a Cincinnati-area native, who is having a second consecutive productive season for the Reds. Gennett is a first-time All-Star after a first half in which he led the NL in batting average at .326, ranked sixth in RBIs with 63 and is tied for fifth with a 3.4 offensive WAR. Gennett hit 16 home runs in the first half and is on pace to break his career-high for home runs in a season, 27, a mark he set in his first season with Cincinnati in 2017.

When asked if his All-Star experience was enhanced by the fact that he had previously been waived by the Brewers, Gennett was purely focused on the moment.

"I think even if I didn't get waived, it would still feel the same," Gennett said. "It would still feel amazing, and it's an honor. ... Being picked up by the Reds and then me making the All-Star team, it might make some people look really good, it might make some people look like they made a bad decision, but ultimately, I don't care too much about those things. It's just an honor to be here and be a part of it."

Votto, who entered the game in the top of the sixth inning at first base in place of Freddie Freeman, went 1-for-3 with a home run, which came in the bottom of the 10th inning after the AL plated three runs in the top half. He jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ and hammered it over the right-field wall for his first hit in an All-Star game.

Video: 2018 ASG: Votto crushes solo homer in the 10th inning

"Every time I have an opportunity to join the National League roster, I am grateful. I'm very proud," Votto said Monday.

Votto leads the NL in on-base percentage and is third in walks with 73. He's hit nine home runs and has driven in 50 runs this season.

Eugenio Suarez also entered the game in the sixth inning at third base in place of Rockies' third baseman Nolan Arenado. He fielded a ground ball in the sixth and seventh innings and thew to Votto for a couple of putouts. Suarez came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning against Astros right-hander Charlie Morton. Suarez fell behind in the count, 0-2, but reached base when Morton ran a curveball in and hit the Reds' slugger. Suarez reached second base and was the recipient from some playful ribbing from Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor that was caught on FOX's television broadcast.

Video: 2018 ASG: Suarez, Votto team up to nab Gomes at first

"It hit you, it's OK," Lindor said. "Don't cry."

Suarez chuckled in response. He struck out in his other at-bat in the ninth inning after Gennett's game-tying long ball.

It has been a career year for the Reds' third baseman who appeared in his first ever All-Star Game on Tuesday evening. Suarez signed a seven-year, $66 million deal during Spring Training and is batting .312/.399/.574 with 19 home runs and 71 RBIs, which ranks second in the NL. Suarez is tied with Arenado for the NL lead in offensive WAR (3.7), third in OPS (.973) and tied for fifth in batting average (.312), despite having missed two weeks in April due to a broken thumb he suffered when he was hit by a pitch in Pittsburgh.

Brian Rippee is a reporter for MLB.com.

Cincinnati Reds, Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto

Trade Talk: Machado, Happ, Choo, Bundy

The latest news and rumors leading up to July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline
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.

Machado appears bound for LA
July 17: We may have a winner in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported "with more certainty" on Tuesday night that Machado will be dealt to the Dodgers.

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

Machado appears bound for LA
July 17: We may have a winner in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported "with more certainty" on Tuesday night that Machado will be dealt to the Dodgers.

Among the few remaining hurdles, according to Rosenthal, was the exact return heading to Baltimore beyond outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 84 prospect in the game and the Dodgers' No. 4 prospect. MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli said sources have told her the same information.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Can report with more certainty: Machado to #Dodgers happening. Among remaining questions, in addition to specifics of return beyond OF Yusniel Diaz: How much money, if any, #Orioles will send #Dodgers to secure a better package and help ease LAD���s luxury-tax concerns.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Dodgers are believed to be sending four other prospects to Baltimore in the deal, but will not receive any cash from the Orioles in exchange. He notes that Los Angeles will nevertheless remain under the luxury tax threshold. 

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Machado deal to dodgers is agreed upon, tho could be still some medical/approval to go. Press conference slated for Wednesday or Thursday. Many prospects going to orioles (believed to be 5). No $ in deal (LA will remain under threshold anyway)

As recently as Tuesday morning, the battle over Machado included the Brewers and Phillies, who seemed to move to the front of the pack on Monday night, when they indicated they were willing to include right-handed pitching prospect Adonis Medina in a deal, per a report from MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.

Though Machado represented the O's in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli was told it would be a "major upset" if he is still with the club when the regular season resumes on Friday, and USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported via Twitter that a Machado deal is expected to come on Wednesday, "barring a last-minute snag." More >

Video: Machado talks trade rumors, craziest one he's heard

Phillies interested in Happ, not currently pursuing Hamels
July 17: While they remain among the front-runners for Manny Machado and are also discussing Zach Britton with the Orioles, the Phillies have "definite interest" in veteran Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ as well, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia

Though Happ, 35, has struggled of late (6.84 ERA over his past five starts), he was nevertheless selected to the American League All-Star team following a strong start to the season (3.48 ERA through June 13). The southpaw, who is in the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract with Toronto, was selected by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2004 MLB Draft.

The Phillies have also been connected to the Rangers' Cole Hamels, another lefty who began his career with Philadelphia, but Salisbury notes "there has been no evidence to date that the Phils are pursuing Hamels." The 34-year-old has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for 2019.

Choo drawing little trade interest; Hamels, Beltre also lacking suitors
July 17: While the Rangers are expected to be Trade Deadline sellers, they may have trouble finding attractive deals for many of their key trade chips. Even Shin-Soo Choo, who entered the All-Star break on a 51-game on-base streak, is drawing little interest, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Choo is owed $42 million over 2019-20 as well as the remainder of the $20 million on his deal for this season, and he also offers little defensive value, which may be why teams aren't lining up to deal for the 36-year-old.

Per Grant, the market is also tepid for starter Cole Hamels and third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Hamels has struggled some this season, allowing 21 homers in 109 1/3 innings (1.7 HR/9), and he won't come cheap. The left-hander is owed the remainder of the $23.5 million on his contract for 2018 ($2.5 million of which is being paid by the Phillies), and he has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for '19.

Meanwhile, Beltre has been spending more time as the designated hitter due to injuries, and his OPS is just .739. There's also the question of whether he will consider waiving his full no-trade clause, which comes from him having 10-and-5 rights (10-plus years in the Majors, at least five with current team). The impending free agent reportedly would like to play with the Rangers in 2019 and may approve a trade only if it's the perfect situation.

O's also listening on Gausman, Bundy, Schoop?
July 17: In case you haven't noticed -- yeah, right -- most of the trade focus surrounding the Orioles has been on Manny Machado. But Baltimore has plenty of other assets that could be moved ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Lefty reliever Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones -- both free agents at the end of the 2018 season -- are chief among those names, but the club isn't limiting itself as it faces a rebuilding process. In fact, the O's reportedly are listening to offers on right-handed starters Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, along with second baseman Jonathan Schoop, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman notes in a New York Post story.

"I think their goal is to trade their walk-year guys, Machado, Britton, [Brad] Brach and Adam Jones, but they are not hanging up the phone if you ask on Gausman, Bundy or Schoop," a baseball executive told Sherman.

Given the O's desire to address their pitching, it would be surprising to see them deal either Gausman, who is 27 and under club control through 2020, or Bundy, a 25-year-old who won't reach free agency until after the 2021 season. Schoop, on the other hand, is due to hit the open market following the 2019 campaign, although his disappointing season so far (.229/.263/.389) means the club would be selling low on a 26-year-old who was an All-Star a year ago.

Phillies still likely to target shortstop if Machado pursuit falls short
July 17: The Dodgers have reportedly pulled in front of the Phillies and Brewers in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, with USA Today's Bob Nightengale writing that he's expected to be dealt to Los Angeles on Wednesday.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman via Twitter, Philadelphia is still likely to target a shortstop -- preferably one who can contribute with the bat -- if its pursuit of the Orioles star falls short.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Assuming phillies don���t land manny now, they���ll still be targeting a SS, preferably one who���s a threat with bat. Eduardo Escobar could make sense. Most SS potentially on market r glove guys: Iglesias, alcides, Rojas, old friend galvis, hechavarria

Heyman mentions the Twins' Eduardo Escobar, who can become a free agent at the end of this season, as a potential option. Escobar, 29, is hitting .271/.327/.507 with a Major League-leading 35 doubles and 14 homers in 2018, though he has slumped since being hit in the right elbow by a Rick Porcello pitch on June 21.

As Heyman notes, the Phils' choices could be limited beyond Escobar, as most of the shortstops potentially available for trade are glove-first players, including Jose Iglesias, Alcides Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Miguel Rojas and familiar face Freddy Galvis, who played with Philadelphia from 2012-17.

The Phillies have been seeking an upgrade for the left side of their infield, as third baseman Maikel Franco and shortstops Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford, who is on the disabled list with a fractured left hand, have struggled for much of the year, though Franco has picked up his production lately.

Britton's market picking up; Cubs among interested clubs
July 16: While the Cubs ended the first half with the National League's best record (55-38) and the fourth-best bullpen ERA (3.10) in the Majors, they are among the eight teams talking to the Orioles about closer Zach Britton, an industry source told Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

The Cubs also have Padres closer Brad Hand on their wish list, per Levine, though Hand will cost far more than Britton, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. Hand, meanwhile, is signed through 2020 with a $10 million team option for 2021.

There has been rejuvenated interest of late in Britton, who has made 15 appearances for the Orioles this season after returning from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles. Though he got off to a rough start, Britton has not given up a run over his past seven outings (seven innings) while showing a dramatic increase in velocity.

The Orioles would prefer to trade Britton and Manny Machado in separate deals, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal for FOX Sports. Rosenthal reports Baltimore feels the return for the pair would be greater if they weren't packaged together -- for example, the Astros have been interested in Britton, but are not in the market for a shortstop/third baseman.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: "The Orioles would prefer to separate Zach Britton from Manny Machado, believing the overall return would be greater if they were traded individually"- @Ken_Rosenthal pic.twitter.com/fcv9rn1omw

The Phillies have also been linked to Britton, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Red Sox "are being tied" to the southpaw as well.

Video: Heyman talks latest Machado, Britton, Happ rumors

Padres getting calls on Ross, Yates, Hand
July 16: Brad Hand isn't the only Padres pitcher to be highly coveted by contending clubs. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports San Diego has been "getting a lot of hits" on starter Tyson Ross and several relievers, including Hand and Kirby Yates. Sherman notes the Yankees are among the teams that have checked in with the Padres.

Ross, who can become a free agent at the end of this season, has posted a 4.32 ERA in 2018, though he had a much more impressive 3.32 mark through the end of June before allowing 15 runs over his first two starts of July.

Hand, 28, is among the best relievers in baseball, as he has posted a 2.66 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and an 11.8 K/9 rate since the outset of 2016. In exchange for the two-time All-Star, who is signed through 2020 with a $10 million team option for 2021, the Padres are believed to be asking for a package similar to those the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in two separate deals during 2016.

The Cubs also reportedly have Hand on their wish list, according to Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

Yates, meanwhile, has quietly recorded a 1.47 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and an 11.5 K/9 rate this season. The 31-year-old is controllable through 2020.

Rosenthal: 'Almost no doubt' Dodgers will add reliever
July 16: The Dodgers are expected to be a major player in the relief pitching market before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal noted in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

The Dodgers are seeking a bullpen arm who can pitch the eighth inning and also spell closer Kenley Jansen from time to time, according to Rosenthal, who said "there's almost no doubt" the club will trade for a reliever.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@kryptonic05 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/y7foYiKfyU

Los Angeles leaned heavily on Brandon Morrow during the 2017 postseason as a setup man for Jansen, but Morrow signed with the Cubs in the offseason.

Though Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani and Pedro Baez have had solid campaigns, all three are on the disabled list with arm injuries, and none is on the level of someone such as Zach Britton, Raisel Iglesias, Jeurys Familia or Kyle Barraclough.

Will Archer be traded?
July 16: The Rays face an interesting decision with Chris Archer, whose name has been floated among trade rumors for years. On one hand, they have a young core that has them above .500 and looks promising going forward, especially if Archer is a part of it. On the other, Tampa Bay could take advantage of a weak market for starters and put Archer in play.

"Given the state of the starting pitching market, the incentive for [the Rays] to move him might never be higher," MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal suggested in a Twitter question-and-answer session on @MLBONFOX.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@jboy819 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/Gm4QrCgP7Y

That said, Archer just came off the DL a week ago for a left abdominal strain that cost him more than a month of action and his performance so far this season has been somewhat inconsistent (4.29 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). In other words, making Archer available now might be undercutting his full value.

As a 29-year-old making $6.25 million this year and under contract for $7.5 million next year with club options for 2020 ($9M) and 2021 ($11M), Archer would be appealing to just about any club looking for rotation help -- not just 2018 contenders. His team-friendly contract also allows the cost-conscious Rays to be patient with their prized right-hander.

Amid trade rumors, deGrom addresses his future
July 16: As Jacob deGrom continues to be at the center of trade speculation, the All-Star right-hander made it clear he's open to staying with the Mets long term.

deGrom's agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports initially suggested Monday that the Mets might consider trading their ace sooner than later if they don't plan to offer him a contract extension, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: More from Van Wagenen: ���If the Mets don���t share same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now.The inertia of current situation could complicate Jacob���s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.���

The 30-year-old deGrom, who leads MLB with a 1.68 ERA and is under club control through 2020, responded to questions at All-Star media day in Washington, D.C., by stating: "We've said multiple times that we're open to talking [about an] extension. It's kind of up to [the Mets] what they want to do." More >

Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors

Astros might stand pat at Trade Deadline
July 16: The Astros have reportedly discussed dealing for a catcher and a reliever, but there's a chance they won't make any major moves before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@nnickk22 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/4gWhpCLIMM

With backstop Brian McCann (right knee surgery) expected to return by September and Max Stassi providing solid production (.792 OPS), Rosenthal notes the Astros are more likely to get a reliever than a catcher.

Per Rosenthal, Houston is seeking someone who can be a "true difference-maker" in the bullpen, such as Zach Britton, Brad Hand or Raisel Iglesias.

But with the ability to shift either Lance McCullers Jr. or Charlie Morton to the 'pen during the postseason, as they did last year when they won the World Series, the Astros may not feel a sense of urgency to add a big-name reliever.

Braves not expected to pursue big-name rentals
July 16: The Braves have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season, unexpectedly putting the team in the "buyer" category as executive vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos prepares for his first Trade Deadline at the helm. But judging by Anthopoulos' comments in a two-part Q&A with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves aren't planning to mortgage their bright future for a short-term boost.

"We would prefer not to go after rentals unless the acquisition cost just makes so much sense for us," Anthopoulos said. "There's a lot of pain that has gone into putting together this young talent. We're not ready to throw that all away just because of one season."

MLB Pipeline: Braves Top 30 prospects

Earlier this month, the Braves were mentioned among the contenders for Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, but they appear to have fallen out of the race as the Dodgers, Phillies and Brewers are reportedly leading. Atlanta has also been connected to Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Both players can become free agents after this season.

One area Anthopoulos could look to address is the bullpen, especially with closer Arodys Vizcaino going back on the DL on Saturday with right shoulder inflammation. The Braves entered the All-Star break with the 19th-best bullpen ERA in the Majors (4.24), and many of their key relievers are inexperienced. However, Atlanta could have limited options if free-agents-to-be such as the Orioles' Zach Britton and the Mets' Jeurys Familia are off the table. More >

Angels unlikely to deal Skaggs or Heaney
July 16: With a 49-48 record at the end of the first half, the Angels remain on the fringe of postseason contention, but they are nine games out of an AL Wild Card spot. That has sparked speculation that the club might consider selling by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, with southpaw starters Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney mentioned as potential pieces.

That no longer appears to be the case, however, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports via Twitter.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #Angels have no interest in trading Heaney or Skaggs, per source - team needs them to compete in ���19. As I said Saturday, LAA drawing interest in controllable relievers - Parker, Alvarez, Bedrosian, Anderson. Open on any of them, but will want good returns to give up control.

With superstar Mike Trout smack in the middle of his prime and under contract through 2020, the Angels want to win in this window while they can. Both Skaggs (through '20) and Heaney (through '21) are under club control beyond this season, meaning they can be a part of that direction.

It had previously been reported by MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the Yankees have recently been scouting Angels games with eyes on Skaggs and Heaney, in particular.

Nationals could 'revisit' Realmuto trade discussions
July 15: The Nationals were believed to have moved on from Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto due to Miami's lofty asking price, but league sources say that Washington could "revisit" its pursuit of the backstop, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for Fancred Sports.

Some think the Nats might consider including top prospect Victor Robles (No. 5 overall, per MLB Pipeline) in a package for Realmuto, who will start at catcher for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

Per Heyman, the Marlins have long sought Robles and/or infielder Carter Kieboom (Washington's No. 2 prospect, No. 62 overall) from the Nationals, who discussed Realmuto with Miami in the offseason and reached out again several weeks ago but have been unwilling to include the aforementioned prospects to this point.

The Nationals have also been connected to Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, who played in Washington from 2010-16, but Ramos suffered a left hamstring injury Saturday and will miss the All-Star Game.

Listen: Mark Feinsand joins the Morning Lineup Podcast to discuss latest rumors

Are Pirates still on track to sell at Trade Deadline?
July 16: The Pirates were seemingly en route to be Trade Deadline sellers just over a week ago, but the club has ripped off an 8-1 stretch -- including a five-game sweep over the Brewers -- to potentially change its plans.

As Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes, general manager Neal Huntington said before this past week that a 4-4 record in the next eight games wouldn't be enough to convince him to keep the team together beyond the Trade Deadline. But Pittsburgh's red-hot run has put pressure on Huntington to hold off on a major teardown.

True, the Bucs are still only 48-49, putting them in fourth place in the National League Central, and their financial resources remain limited, so it's unlikely they'll significantly add to the roster between now and July 31.

But if Pittsburgh continues to play well coming out of the All-Star break, the onus will be on Huntington to keep veterans such as Jordy Mercer, Corey Dickerson, Ivan Nova, David Freese and Josh Harrison past July 31. The Pirates are also without one of their most valuable trade chips, as catcher Francisco Cervelli returned to the 7-day disabled list Saturday with recurring concussion symptoms.

Cardinals could sell if struggles continue after All-Star break
July 15: The Cardinals picked up a win in their final game before the All-Star break after dismissing manager Mike Matheny on Saturday, but if their recent struggles continue to begin the second half, the expectation is that St. Louis will "seriously consider selling," according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

And if that happens, the Cardinals could shake up the starting pitcher market in a big way by making right-hander Carlos Martinez available.

As Sherman notes, St. Louis' strength is young arms, so the club could use Martinez to address other problems on the roster. Per Sherman, outside executives believe the Cardinals can get peak value for Martinez in a market lacking an ace. The 26-year-old is in the second year of a five-year, $51 million contract with team options for 2022 ($17 million) and 2023 ($18 million).

The Cardinals will enter the All-Star break with a 48-46 record, 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs in the National League Central (five games behind the second-placed Brewers) and four games out in the NL Wild Card race. They'll open the second half with eight games on the road, including five at Wrigley Field.

Red Sox, Braves interested in Moose
July 15: The trade market for impending free agent Mike Moustakas is developing, with the Red Sox and Braves among the teams interested in acquiring him before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick via Twitter.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: The #RedSox and #Braves are both interested in Mike Moustakas as a trade deadline acquisition, sources say. The #Yankees have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot. There's enough of a market for Moose that it's more likely than not the Royals deal him this month.

However, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand notes in a tweet that the Royals may need to wait to trade Moustakas until after Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is dealt.

Tweet from @Feinsand: According to a source, the Royals are trying to find a match for a Mike Moustakas deal, but it appears KC will have to wait until Manny Machado gets dealt first. Manny could be the domino that starts a number of things in motion.

Kansas City could see the list of Moustakas suitors grow once Machado is moved, as some of the clubs that are pursuing the All-Star shortstop may turn their attention to the Royals third baseman if they miss out on Machado.

It's unclear what Boston's interest in Moustakas means for Rafael Devers, who is on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. Devers, 21, has recorded an underwhelming .715 OPS this season compared to Moustakas' .772 mark.

The Braves have received better-than-expected production from Johan Camargo at the hot corner, though the 24-year-old has posted a .385 OPS with 10 strikeouts in his past nine games.

The Yankees have also been linked to Moustakas, though they were reportedly interested in him to play first base rather than third. Greg Bird has solidified first base for New York lately by producing five homers, 15 RBIs and a .922 OPS over his past 14 games.

Video: Slugger Moustakas delivering at the plate, in field

Could Reds move Gennett?
July 15: Scooter Gennett has made it known that he wants to remain with the Reds -- and based on his conversations with the front office, shared in an MLB.com exclusive, he expects to remain with the club past the Deadline -- but the two sides haven't spoken much about a contract extension, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal for FOX Sports.

Gennett -- a first-time All-Star this season -- has emerged as a surprising force in Cincinnati's lineup after being claimed off waivers from the Brewers in March 2017, batting .309/.356/.529 with 43 homers and 159 RBIs in 232 games in a Reds uniform.

Gennett is in the midst of a career year, and the Reds could look to sell high on the 28-year-old, who is under team control for one more season. Entering Sunday, the left-handed slugger led the National League at his position in batting average and OPS while ranking second in RBIs and fourth in runs and homers.

Cincinnati has infielder Nick Senzel -- the No. 4 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline -- waiting in the wings, giving the team some incentive to move Gennett, especially if it meant upgrading a pitching staff that currently ranks 13th in the NL with a 4.67 ERA. However, Senzel would be unable to provide immediate help, considering he underwent season-ending surgery in late June to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger.

Video: Scooter Gennett continues to amaze in 2018

Olney: NL teams at 'forefront' of Familia trade talks
July 15: With all the talk surrounding Mets starters Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, closer Jeurys Familia has flown under the radar. But Familia remains one of the best relievers available, and ESPN's Buster Olney reports via Twitter that a number of National League teams "appear to be at the forefront" of trade discussions for the impending free agent.

Olney mentions the Phillies and Giants as two of the clubs that are interested, though he notes Philadelphia may wait until its talks with the Orioles regarding Manny Machado and Zach Britton are resolved before honing in on Familia. The Braves, Cubs and Dodgers are also among the NL contenders that could use help in the bullpen. As for clubs in the AL, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Red Soxhave inquired about Familia

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: NL teams appear to be at the forefront of the talks about the Mets' Jeurys Familia, who is among the best available relievers. Phillies interested (although they may wait until Britton/Machado talks resolved), Giants, etc.

Familia is peaking at the right time, tossing seven straight scoreless appearances with one hit allowed to open July after posting a 6.94 ERA with a 2.31 WHIP from May 23 through the end of June.

Twins open to trading Odorizzi, Gibson
July 15: The Twins' rotation could look strikingly different after the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as the club is reportedly willing to trade a number of its veteran starters.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Minnesota is said to be open to dealing Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi, who are both controllable through 2019.

Gibson, 30, is having a career year, as his 3.42 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 rate would all be personal bests. Odorizzi, 28, owns an unimpressive 4.54 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP, but he's striking out more than a batter per inning (9.4 K/9) and has been a solid mid-rotation option over the past five seasons (3.91 ERA, 1.25 WHIP).

Lance Lynn is another obvious trade candidate, as he can become a free agent at the end of this season. After struggling in his first eight starts (7.47 ERA), Lynn has posted a 3.67 ERA over his past 10 outings.

And though Ervin Santana has yet to pitch in the Majors in 2018 after undergoing finger surgery in February, he's currently on a rehab assignment and was an All-Star last year. With a $14 million team option and a $1 million buyout for '19, Santana could be a reasonable trade target for a rotation-needy club if he proves to be healthy before July 31.

Will Mariners trade for rotation help?
July 15: Though the Mariners haven't made the postseason since 2001, rank 15th in the Majors in rotation ERA (4.09) and currently have both James Paxton and Felix Hernandez on the disabled list, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes that the Mariners' rotation isn't "a lock to be upgraded at the Trade Deadline."

Per Divish, Erasmo Ramirez's impending return from a strained teres major muscle in his right shoulder makes it unlikely Seattle will trade for a "replacement-level starting pitcher," as Ramirez can fill that role.

General manager Jerry Dipoto may look to swing a deal if it considerably improves the rotation, but as Divish points out, Seattle might not have the prospects to acquire a front-of-the-rotation starter such as the Rays' Chris Archer.

The Mariners have been linked to the Rangers' Cole Hamels, but according to Divish, sources say Seattle's interest in the left-hander was "greatly overplayed."

Divish also notes that some people in the Mariners ownership group and upper-level management aren't in favor of trading for rental players, which could potentially rule out free-agent-to-be J.A. Happ, another pitcher who has been connected to Seattle.

D-backs seeking starting pitcher
July 15: The D-backs are in the market for a starting pitcher, according to reporter Robert Murray, recently of FanRag sports. Arizona's starting rotation, which entered Sunday ranked ninth in the National League with a 4.09 ERA, currently consists of Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley. The No. 5 slot is open for now, with Clay Buchholz (strained left oblique) and Shelby Miller (right elbow inflammation) on the disabled list.

Greinke and Corbin have provided the D-backs with an excellent one-two punch -- entering Sunday with a combined 3.14 ERA in 39 starts -- but both Godley (4.61 ERA) and Ray (5.03 ERA) have struggled in 2018 after strong '17 campaigns.

There are several viable starters likely to be available leading up to the Deadline, including the Rangers' Cole Hamels and the Blue Jays' J.A. Happ, or Arizona could choose to make a bigger splash by acquiring an ace like the Mets' Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard.