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Walk-off bunt caps Braves' late rally vs. Mets

Special to MLB.com

ATLANTA -- A night after they were shut down by Mets closer Jeurys Familia, the Braves got their revenge on him Saturday at SunTrust Park, walking off with a 4-3 win on Ender Inciarte's perfectly placed bunt single.

Down 3-2 in the ninth, Dansby Swanson drew a leadoff walk and scored on Johan Camargo's RBI triple. With runners on the corners and one out, Camargo slid headfirst into home plate to end the game when Inciarte bunted down the first-base side.

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ATLANTA -- A night after they were shut down by Mets closer Jeurys Familia, the Braves got their revenge on him Saturday at SunTrust Park, walking off with a 4-3 win on Ender Inciarte's perfectly placed bunt single.

Down 3-2 in the ninth, Dansby Swanson drew a leadoff walk and scored on Johan Camargo's RBI triple. With runners on the corners and one out, Camargo slid headfirst into home plate to end the game when Inciarte bunted down the first-base side.

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The top of the eighth was a nightmare for young second baseman Ozzie Albies, who didn't make it to cover first base on Jose Reyes' bunt. Then, with runners on first and second and no outs, Michael Conforto grounded to third base on what looked to be a 5-4-3 double play, but Albies could not hold on to the throw from Camargo. Though Reyes was originally called out, a replay review overturned the call. The runs later came in to score on Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run single to right. The sloppy inning continued when Inciarte, a two-time Gold Glove Award-winning center fielder, booted a Jay Bruce single.

Albies redeemed himself in the bottom of the inning, drawing a one-out walk to set the stage for Freddie Freeman's two-run double to left to make it a 3-2 game.

Aimee Sachs is a contributor to MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Atlanta Braves

Yanks to call up top prospect Gleyber Torres

Infielder set to come up before Sunday's game against Blue Jays
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Gleyber Torres is about to try on his Yankees pinstripes.

The 21-year-old infielder is on his way to New York and will be added to the active roster prior to Sunday's game against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, a source confirmed to MLB.com. The club has not made a formal announcement.

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NEW YORK -- Gleyber Torres is about to try on his Yankees pinstripes.

The 21-year-old infielder is on his way to New York and will be added to the active roster prior to Sunday's game against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, a source confirmed to MLB.com. The club has not made a formal announcement.

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"I'm super happy," Torres told reporters in Moosic, Pa., where he was removed after six innings in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 6-5 loss to Toledo. "It's like a dream is coming true. I'm happy for my family."

Torres, baseball's No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was off to a hot start in the Minors this year, batting .347/.393/.510 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in 14 games in Triple-A.

What to expect from Torres in big leagues

Initially believing that he had been pulled from Saturday's game for showing frustration on a fifth-inning groundout to the pitcher, Torres beamed after learning of his promotion from manager Bobby Mitchell, and then celebrated with his RailRiders teammates. Torres' first call was to his parents, whom he said cried after hearing the news.

Torres competed for the Yankees' starting second-base job in Spring Training, but he showed signs of rust as he returned from season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow and was optioned to Triple-A on March 13.

"100 percent, super excited," Torres said. "Last year is like a tough year for me. The spring was a little difficult, but coming into the season and now going to the big leagues, I'm super excited and happy. I can't wait for the first game."

Video: DET@NYY: Torres makes a great sliding play at second

It is not yet clear how the Yankees intend to deploy Torres, but it is possible that he could replace infielder Tyler Wade, who made the Opening Day roster but has gone 3-for-35 (.086) in 13 games. Manager Aaron Boone has been offering playing time to Miguel Andujar and Ronald Torreyes over Wade.

While Torres is a natural shortstop, the Yankees have been working to expand his versatility over the last calendar year. Torres started eight of his 13 games this season at third base, and he started at second base in both of his last two games.

"If he comes over to play with us, we're going to receive him with open arms," Andujar said after the Yankees' 9-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday. "He's a good friend and a really good ballplayer who has a lot of talent."

Video: Top Prospects: Gleyber Torres, SS, Yankees

Had Torres not been injured on a headfirst slide into home plate last June, general manager Brian Cashman has speculated that Torres would have been promoted to the big leagues, perhaps reducing the urgency for the midseason trade that imported third baseman Todd Frazier.

Cashman repeatedly said that service time would not be a consideration in evaluating Torres' readiness, but his slow spring made it an easy call for the club to have him begin the year in Triple-A. Because Torres spent more than 20 days in the Minors, his free agency will be delayed until after the 2024 season, meaning he will be under team control for seven years rather than six.

The last younger position player to debut for the Yankees at any time was Melky Cabrera, who debuted at 20 years, 330 days on July 7, 2005. The youngest position player to debut for the team before July 1 was Derek Jeter on May 29, 1995.

New York acquired Torres from the Cubs in July 2016 as part of the Aroldis Chapman deal. Torres ended that season by becoming the youngest Most Valuable Player and batting champion (.403) in Arizona Fall League history, earning those honors at age 19.

"Any player who plays baseball dreams of playing in the big leagues," Torres said. "For sure, it's my dream."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007.

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Crew wins on Aguilar walk-off HR after epic AB

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- An error tied it for the Brewers, and an epic at-bat won it.

Travis Shaw homered for the second straight day, walked twice and scored three runs, including the tying tally with two outs in the eighth inning on a Marlins error, before Jesus Aguilar won it for Milwaukee in the bottom of the ninth. The Brewers' stunning 6-5 win was their fifth victory in a row.

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MILWAUKEE -- An error tied it for the Brewers, and an epic at-bat won it.

Travis Shaw homered for the second straight day, walked twice and scored three runs, including the tying tally with two outs in the eighth inning on a Marlins error, before Jesus Aguilar won it for Milwaukee in the bottom of the ninth. The Brewers' stunning 6-5 win was their fifth victory in a row.

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Aguilar, who entered the game at first base with a double switch to start the ninth inning, won a 13-pitch battle with Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa leading off the bottom of the ninth. Aguilar fell behind 0-2 before battling back into the at-bat, flicking seven foul balls before lining the winning homer to center field.

It was the Brewers' third walk-off win this season, their second walk-off homer. Ryan Braun beat the Cardinals with one on April 3.

Video: MIA@MIL: Aguilar talks about his walk-off home run

The Brewers faced a 5-4 deficit in the eighth after relievers Jacob Barnes, Josh Hader and Matt Albers worked a scoreless inning apiece in relief of starter Brent Suter. Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough retired the first two men he faced before Shaw's four-pitch walk gave him 12 this season, tying Lorenzo Cain's team lead. Eric Thames followed and walked, too.

Eric Sogard was up next, playing in place of injured shortstop Orlando Arcia. Sogard hit a popup to left field, where Derek Dietrich missed it. Shaw scored from second base, but Thames was out at the plate, with former Brewers infielder Yadiel Rivera recovering Dietrich's miss and throwing to catcher Bryan Holaday, who made a terrific diving play to tag Thames on the leg before he could score the go-ahead run.

Video: MIA@MIL: Shaw scores the tying run on fielding error

Jeremy Jeffress added another inning of scoreless relief to start the ninth before Aguilar's homer to earn the win.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Extra, extra: The Brewers cut the deficit to 4-3 by scoring two runs during a fourth-inning rally that began with Braun's double to center field. It was Braun's 700th career extra-base hit, tying him with Bobby Bonds for 188th all time, and his next targets include some former Brewers. Dante Bichette (and former Reds great George Foster) collected 702 extra-base hits, and Cecil Cooper had 703. Milwaukee Braves and Brewers legend Hank Aaron is the all-time leader, of course, with 1,477 extra-base hits.

UP NEXT
Junior Guerra has a 0.82 ERA in two excellent starts following a promotion from Triple-A Colorado Springs, and he'll try to make it three in a row in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. CT series finale against the Marlins as the Brewers go for a four-game sweep. Hitters are 5-for-36 (.139) against Guerra in his first two starts, including a no-decision against the Reds on Tuesday in which he allowed one hit in 5 2/3 innings. Caleb Smith will take the mound for the Marlins.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Jesus Aguilar

Trout homers again, hits AL-leading 8th blast

MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout crushed his second home run in as many days in the third inning of the Angels' game against the Giants on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

Trout launched a low 78 mph knucklecurve from left-hander Derek Holland over the left-center-field fence to tie the game at 2. The blast had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled an estimated 415 feet, according to Statcast™.

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ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout crushed his second home run in as many days in the third inning of the Angels' game against the Giants on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

Trout launched a low 78 mph knucklecurve from left-hander Derek Holland over the left-center-field fence to tie the game at 2. The blast had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled an estimated 415 feet, according to Statcast™.

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Trout now has eight home runs this season, which leads the American League and is tied with the Nationals' Bryce Harper for the most in the Majors.

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

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout

Joc launches birthday HR off Strasburg

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Joc Pederson gave himself a present on his 26th birthday Saturday, slugging a second-inning home run to center field off Stephen Strasburg in the Dodgers' game with the Nationals.

It was the first regular-season home run since July 26 for Pederson, who started in center field with Chris Taylor moving to the infield for his first start of the season at second base. Pederson drilled a 97-mph fastball, ending his homer drought at 46 games.

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LOS ANGELES -- Joc Pederson gave himself a present on his 26th birthday Saturday, slugging a second-inning home run to center field off Stephen Strasburg in the Dodgers' game with the Nationals.

It was the first regular-season home run since July 26 for Pederson, who started in center field with Chris Taylor moving to the infield for his first start of the season at second base. Pederson drilled a 97-mph fastball, ending his homer drought at 46 games.

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Before the game, manager Dave Roberts explained the shuffling to get Pederson in the lineup. Pederson entered the game batting .176.

"He's a big part of what we're trying to do," said Roberts. "I still want to be mindful of Joc staying current and getting those at-bats, because we're going to need him."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Joc Pederson

Almora Jr. goes long way to make grab for Cubs

Special to MLB.com

DENVER -- The Cubs got a huge defensive stop on an outstanding play by center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in the bottom of the third inning Saturday.

With the Cubs up 2-0, the Rockies had a man on second with two outs and Rockies leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu, a former batting champ, at the plate. He drove a ball 401 feet into the right-center gap, destined for a run-scoring extra-base hit. Almora raced toward the fence, catching the ball on the run with his back to the plate for a jaw-dropping basket catch as he hit the warning track.

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DENVER -- The Cubs got a huge defensive stop on an outstanding play by center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in the bottom of the third inning Saturday.

With the Cubs up 2-0, the Rockies had a man on second with two outs and Rockies leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu, a former batting champ, at the plate. He drove a ball 401 feet into the right-center gap, destined for a run-scoring extra-base hit. Almora raced toward the fence, catching the ball on the run with his back to the plate for a jaw-dropping basket catch as he hit the warning track.

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Statcast™ reports a 71 percent hit probability. Almora traveled 87 feet in 5.2 seconds to make the catch.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.

Chicago Cubs, Albert Almora Jr.

Keith Hernandez's cat at game ... in cutout form

Keith Hernandez was recently verified on Twitter and it didn't take long for him to leave us thoroughly entertained in the only way he knows how. Perhaps the most exciting moment was when he posted a video of him and his adorable cat, Hadji, of the two grabbing the morning paper:

Reddick's 2-homer night slams White Sox

Outfielder first in Astros history with two grand slams in April
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

CHICAGO -- Even though White Sox starter Lucas Giolito had walked him on four pitches in the first inning Saturday and had walked the first three Astros hitters ahead of him in the second inning, outfielder Josh Reddick wasn't about to let a fastball in the strike zone go past him.

Reddick mashed the first pitch Giolito threw to him in the second and sent it over the right-field wall for a game-breaking grand slam and added another homer in the fourth to back starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel in a 10-1 win over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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CHICAGO -- Even though White Sox starter Lucas Giolito had walked him on four pitches in the first inning Saturday and had walked the first three Astros hitters ahead of him in the second inning, outfielder Josh Reddick wasn't about to let a fastball in the strike zone go past him.

Reddick mashed the first pitch Giolito threw to him in the second and sent it over the right-field wall for a game-breaking grand slam and added another homer in the fourth to back starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel in a 10-1 win over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

The Astros have won five games in a row, outscoring their opponents 40-5 in the process, including 20-1 in the first two games against the White Sox. Houston has held the opposition to two runs or fewer in six consecutive games.

Video: HOU@CWS: Reddick belts his second homer of the game

Keuchel (1-3) earned his first win of the season by holding the White Sox to one run -- a solo homer in the fifth inning by Trayce Thompson -- and four hits in six innings. The Astros had scored six runs in the first four games Keuchel started before scoring four in both the first and second innings Saturday.

The last Astros player to hit two grand slams in a month was Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell in May 2001.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Josh Reddick

Farquhar stable after ruptured brain aneurysm

Messages of support pour in for White Sox reliever in critical condition
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- The focus of the White Sox clubhouse Saturday centered on reliever Danny Farquhar and really nothing more, with tests revealing he suffered a brain hemorrhage during the sixth inning of Friday night's 10-0 loss to the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Farquhar collapsed in the White Sox dugout after facing four batters, and the additional overnight testing at RUSH University Medical Center revealed that a ruptured aneurysm caused the brain bleed, according to the White Sox. Farquhar is currently stable but in critical condition in the neurosurgical ICU unit at RUSH and continues to receive treatment and close monitoring by Dr. Demetrius Lopes and the neurosurgical team.

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CHICAGO -- The focus of the White Sox clubhouse Saturday centered on reliever Danny Farquhar and really nothing more, with tests revealing he suffered a brain hemorrhage during the sixth inning of Friday night's 10-0 loss to the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Farquhar collapsed in the White Sox dugout after facing four batters, and the additional overnight testing at RUSH University Medical Center revealed that a ruptured aneurysm caused the brain bleed, according to the White Sox. Farquhar is currently stable but in critical condition in the neurosurgical ICU unit at RUSH and continues to receive treatment and close monitoring by Dr. Demetrius Lopes and the neurosurgical team.

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There was no discussion among the White Sox about not playing Saturday night against the Astros because of what had happened to their friend, and the team hung his jersey in the bullpen. There was plenty of conversation about thoughts and prayers for the 31-year-old Farquhar, his wife, Lexi, and their three children, Madison, Landon and Liam.

"It crushes us in this clubhouse, and nothing really matters baseball-wise when something like that happens," White Sox starter James Shields said. "When you see one of your brothers go down like that, it's not very fun to watch. He's such a resilient human being and we're praying for him. We hope everything goes well."

Tweet from @whitesox: ������ pic.twitter.com/JPC9IrNMqU

"He's alive, he's got a chance and that's what I'm hanging on to," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "And prayers are more necessary than talk."

Additional updates will be provided by the White Sox on Farquhar's health over the coming days as appropriate. But the club also asks that the privacy of the Farquhar family be respected at this time. Social media messages of hope from around baseball quickly came in for Farquhar, including from Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and his former teams from Tampa Bay and Seattle.

Tweet from @ARizzo44: Prayers for @whitesox Danny Farquhar. Another reminder how precious life is. Stay strong and keep fighting. My thoughts are with his family.

Houston shortstop Carlos Correa and manager AJ Hinch also talked about the tragedy hitting Farquhar during the course of Friday's game.

"It really is sad. I saw something going on when I was at shortstop in the dugout, but I didn't know what it was," Correa said. "I came here to watch my video and they told me that something happened to him. I asked the clubbies here what happened to him, and they didn't know at the time. Now that I know about the aneurysm and stuff, it's really sad. I'm wishing him the best, praying for him. Hopefully he gets better soon."

Tweet from @whitesox: Statement on Danny Farquhar. White Sox fans, please keep Danny and his family in your positive thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/4DdwnXbVXd

"I texted back and forth with [White Sox manager Rick Renteria], and it was a scary incident last night," Hinch said. "We could see across the way something was going on, and I think some of our guys saw him vomit, and then as the group went around him, it just became a scary scene. Then word trickles back, and then this morning getting that update is very scary. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and him, the White Sox, the team."

Video: Shields, Santiago pray for teammate Farquhar

Right-handed reliever Gregory Infante replaced Farquhar on the active roster, with Farquhar being placed on the 10-day disabled list. Renteria met with the White Sox early on Saturday, and the team will try to move on while always carrying thoughts of hope for Farquhar, who received immediate treatment from the White Sox medical staff and EMTs on Friday.

"We've got a good group of guys here and we're going to stick together," Shields said. "He's definitely stable from what we hear, but he's got a long way to go and he's fighting. One thing we know in this clubhouse is that Farqy, he's a fighter."

"Pray for him, pray for his family, pray for his kids," White Sox reliever Hector Santiago said. "We're in here worrying about him, but you can only do so much from our side of it, so just pray for the family and him and hope for the best."

"You don't lose sight of the reality of the circumstance and the situation he's in," said Renteria, who makes his offseason home in Temecula, Calif., as does Farquhar. "But these men know they can go out there and show him that they are thinking about him by the way they go about doing their business today."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Danny Farquhar

Belt's 2-run homer nearly robbed by Trout

Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Brandon Belt will gladly take Saturday's second-inning home run against the Angels, even if he appeared to get a little help with the final few inches of his long drive.

Belt's drive to right-center field reached the top of the wall just as Angels center fielder Mike Trout arrived. Trout appeared to time his jump perfectly, but the ball squirted from his glove and hit the auxiliary scoreboard on the other side of the wall before bouncing back onto the field of play.

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ANAHEIM -- Brandon Belt will gladly take Saturday's second-inning home run against the Angels, even if he appeared to get a little help with the final few inches of his long drive.

Belt's drive to right-center field reached the top of the wall just as Angels center fielder Mike Trout arrived. Trout appeared to time his jump perfectly, but the ball squirted from his glove and hit the auxiliary scoreboard on the other side of the wall before bouncing back onto the field of play.

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In previous seasons, the ball would have remained in play, but the Angels lowered the wall in right field from 18 feet to 8 feet.

Not knowing if it was a home run, Pablo Sandoval raced home and appeared to avoid the tag of Angels catcher Rene Rivera, but it did not matter once second-base umpire Marty Foster ruled that Belt had hit a home run.

Trout initially objected to the call on the field, apparently thinking he had prevented the ball from exiting the field of play, but the Angels elected to not utilize a replay.

Belt's fourth home run of the season came a day after his 30th birthday. Belt did not play in Friday's game.

The home run gave the Giants an early 2-0 lead in the interleague game, a day after they rolled to an 8-1 victory.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt

Posey out vs. Angels with back stiffness

Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Giants announced that Buster Posey was a late scratch Saturday due to back stiffness, replacing him in the lineup against the Angels with Pablo Sandoval.

Posey was scheduled to be the Giants' designated hitter for the interleague game in an American League Park. Andrew McCutchen was the Giants' DH on Friday and delivered a three-run home run.

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ANAHEIM -- The Giants announced that Buster Posey was a late scratch Saturday due to back stiffness, replacing him in the lineup against the Angels with Pablo Sandoval.

Posey was scheduled to be the Giants' designated hitter for the interleague game in an American League Park. Andrew McCutchen was the Giants' DH on Friday and delivered a three-run home run.

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Posey, who was previously reported to be dealing with a thumb issue, has gone 2-for-24 (.087) in his past six games, with a .125 on-base percentage. Posey was 0-for-4 in the series opener at Anaheim on Friday.

Since April 9, Sandoval has started just one game, going 0-for-3 at Arizona on Tuesday. The veteran is just 4-for-21 (.190) this season with a .261 on-base percentage.

Manager Bruce Bochy had targeted Sandoval for a probable start in Sunday's series finale against the Angels and possibly at the DH spot.

The severity of Posey's injury was not immediately known. Sandoval remained in the cleanup spot that Posey had previously occupied.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Buster Posey

Mets decide to shift Harvey to bullpen

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

ATLANTA -- The Mets allowed Matt Harvey to state his case, but in the end, there was no changing their minds. Nothing Harvey could say would sway the Mets from demoting him from the rotation to the bullpen, a move the team announced before Saturday's game against the Braves.

Mets officials colored it as a way for Harvey to work on his craft until they need him to start games again in the future. Just as Harvey could say nothing to influence the team, however, no words or platitudes could soothe his emotion.

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ATLANTA -- The Mets allowed Matt Harvey to state his case, but in the end, there was no changing their minds. Nothing Harvey could say would sway the Mets from demoting him from the rotation to the bullpen, a move the team announced before Saturday's game against the Braves.

Mets officials colored it as a way for Harvey to work on his craft until they need him to start games again in the future. Just as Harvey could say nothing to influence the team, however, no words or platitudes could soothe his emotion.

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"On a scale of 1 to 10, obviously I'm at a 10 with being pissed off," Harvey said, clarifying that he's angry both at the Mets and at himself. "My performance hasn't been there, and I just have to do whatever I have to do to get back in the starting rotation. Right now, that's go to the bullpen and work on some things, get things back to where I need to be."

Exclusively a starting pitcher throughout his professional career, Harvey's rotation status came into question when, after the right-hander allowed six runs in six innings on Thursday in Atlanta, Callaway declined to guarantee him another start. With Jason Vargas set to come off the disabled list next Saturday in San Diego, the Mets needed to shift someone out of the rotation. Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz, Callaway indicated, have both pitched well enough to stay.

Video: NYM@ATL: Harvey gets Inciarte looking

That left Harvey, whom the Mets could either demote to the bullpen or to the Minors -- the latter of which he could contractually refuse. Rather than broach that option, the Mets decided to move him to the bullpen, hoping he can grow from the experience.

"I want to make it clear: This is less about making Matt a reliever and more about getting him back to being a productive starter," assistant general manager John Ricco said. "Honestly, one of the reasons we brought in Mickey and [pitching coach] Dave Eiland were for their knowledge and expertise in this area. We have a lot of faith and confidence in what they're able to do."

The Mets' twin pitching gurus are no strangers to bullpen conversions; Callaway was involved in similar decisions with Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar in Cleveland, while Eiland's resume includes Danny Duffy and Wade Davis in Kansas City. All but Davis, who went on to become one of the Majors' best closers, returned to their respective rotations in short order.

Harvey will be available for the first time on Tuesday in St. Louis, and at least initially, the team will try to give him advance warning of his relief assignments. In the bullpen, the Mets hope, Harvey's history of control -- even with his struggles this year, he holds a 17-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio -- will help him succeed. They anticipate his average fastball and slider velocities will increase from what are currently career-low levels.

Tweet from @AnthonyDiComo: Matt Harvey's fastball and slider velocities are both down more than a full mph from last year. His fastball is also more than 4 mph slower than its 2013 peak. #Mets pic.twitter.com/cyQe8xI9yu

But multiple Mets officials painted Harvey's struggles -- he is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in four starts, and 5-9 with a 6.57 ERA since last season -- as more mental than physical. Harvey said on Friday that he is suffering no ill effects from his 2016 surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome, nor from the resulting shoulder weakness that afflicted him last summer.

"We know he's healthy," Ricco said. "He's feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the 'pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he's shown in the past."

Added Harvey: "I know when things click that I can be one of the best in baseball, and that's as a starting pitcher. Obviously, I didn't show that. I have to do everything I can to get back to where I want to be and be as dominant as I have been."

When Callaway and Eiland informed Harvey of their decision, he argued that point, reiterating that something clicked for him in retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced on Thursday. The Mets don't doubt that. Nor are they concerned that their decision left him, in Callaway's words, "pissed off right now, and motivated to show everybody that he can be a starter."

"It's a big decision," Callaway said. "Matt Harvey has pitched in meaningful games for the Mets in his career, and he's done some special things. I knew it wasn't going to be the most comfortable conversation. It's a tough message, but it sounds like he's going to embrace it, and go out there and get the job done."

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

New York Mets, Matt Harvey

Cubs' Bote gets hometown hit in 1st career AB

Denver-area native cracks double to right in front of family, friends
Special to MLB.com

DENVER -- Never mind the 41-degree temperature, Saturday night was a perfect night for baseball for Denver-area native David Bote, who made his Major League debut by knocking the first pitch he saw for an extra-base hit.

Bote, the Cubs' No. 14 prospect, was called up Saturday when Ben Zobrist went on the disabled list with tightness in his lower back. He started the game at third base and batted eighth, and after not seeing any action in the field in the first inning, he came up to bat with one out in the second and the Cubs ahead 2-0.

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DENVER -- Never mind the 41-degree temperature, Saturday night was a perfect night for baseball for Denver-area native David Bote, who made his Major League debut by knocking the first pitch he saw for an extra-base hit.

Bote, the Cubs' No. 14 prospect, was called up Saturday when Ben Zobrist went on the disabled list with tightness in his lower back. He started the game at third base and batted eighth, and after not seeing any action in the field in the first inning, he came up to bat with one out in the second and the Cubs ahead 2-0.

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With lefty Tyler Anderson on the mound, Bote drove the first pitch he saw the opposite way into the right-center gap for a standup double. Bote raised his hand triumphantly when he landed at second, acknowledging a huge cheering section of friends and family who had come out to see the Colorado native play his first game in the ballpark where he grew up watching baseball.

"Because of his bat, he can play all over the place," manager Joe Maddon said before the game. "He's a second baseman by trade, but he played some really good third base for us in Spring Training. You can throw him at shortstop if you want, and outfield.

"Here's the thing with a guy like him. We have a nice team, but if his bat's ready and there's a need, you want to be able to say, 'Bring him on up.'"

Bote's perfect day began in the wee hours of the morning when he got the call he'd been waiting seven years to answer.

"I got the call at midnight last night," a jubilant Bote said before Saturday's game. "My wife was sleeping, I was about ready to go to bed. The kids were sleeping, and she was like, 'Ssshhhh!' And I was like, 'Wait a second, this is an important phone call!' She got up and got really excited.

"They said, 'Hey, you're going to the big leagues tomorrow.' I was really excited. Really awesome moment. I was really blessed to have my wife and kids there with me in Des Moines in our apartment. It was a really special moment."

Though he has been a Cub since he was drafted in the 18th round of the 2012 Draft, Bote grew up watching the Rockies. He's the same age as the Rockies' franchise, and his earliest baseball memories are a mixture of his father's decades of coaching at the high-school level and watching the all-time Rockies greats define baseball in Colorado.

"I was born two days before their Opening Day here in Colorado, so I grew up watching Dante Bichette, Andres Galarraga, Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe, Todd Helton, all those guys," Bote said. "It's the same stadium, but it's fun knowing you belong there, you're going to work there, instead of going there for entertainment."

Video: CHC@COL: Bote's parents discuss his big league debut

Among his earliest memories at Coors Field was the game when watching baseball turned a corner for him. As a high-school shortstop, he sat in the left-field bleachers to study Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies and Tulowitzki with the Rockies.

"I didn't watch a single part of the game except those two play shortstop," Bote said. "I didn't see a single pitch, I didn't see any hits. I was just watching their movements, seeing their pre-pitch setups. I was just locked in on how they approached [the game]. At the time, I was a shortstop, probably 14 or 15. I was kind of like, 'This has something to it.'"

Bote remembered looking around the visitor's clubhouse on that tour and figuring out roughly where his locker would be someday. But the long journey he took to make the big leagues had him on the verge of giving up in 2016. He'd spent parts of five years in various levels of Class A Ball before finally clicking at Double-A in 2017.

"I really believe it's the culmination of six years," Bote said of his callup. "The hard times, really tough times. Just grind through it, grind through it. If I didn't have my wife, I'd probably be out of baseball. I was going back to high-A to play every day in 2016, and I was like, 'I'm done. I'm over it.' She was the one that said, 'Hey, we didn't stay in Class A ball for four years for you to give up now.'"

His wife and kids and other family members and friends accounted for 32 tickets Bote left at Will Call Saturday, and while he'll have his own cheering section in the stands, he also has at least one enthusiastic fan in the visitor's dugout.

"I love that he's from down the street. I didn't even know that," Maddon said. "If it wasn't the right matchup, he wouldn't be starting. I like getting first-time guys out there fast. But left-handed pitcher in Colorado, Major League debut. It couldn't have been more perfect."

On paper, Bote looks capable of filling Zobrist's versatile shoes. He's played every position but pitcher and catcher through his Minor League career.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.

Chicago Cubs, David Bote

Moncada pulled after 2nd inning by Renteria

MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada was removed from Saturday's 10-1 loss to the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field after the second inning. The move was termed a manager's decision made by Rick Renteria.

Moncada grounded out to third baseman Alex Bregman for the second out of the inning but appeared to slow down momentarily as he moved down the line. Bregman's throw was off-line, but first baseman Yuli Gurriel was able to apply the tag. Renteria stresses hustling at all times, most likely leading to Leury Garcia replacing Moncada in the third inning with Houston holding an 8-0 lead.

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CHICAGO -- White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada was removed from Saturday's 10-1 loss to the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field after the second inning. The move was termed a manager's decision made by Rick Renteria.

Moncada grounded out to third baseman Alex Bregman for the second out of the inning but appeared to slow down momentarily as he moved down the line. Bregman's throw was off-line, but first baseman Yuli Gurriel was able to apply the tag. Renteria stresses hustling at all times, most likely leading to Leury Garcia replacing Moncada in the third inning with Houston holding an 8-0 lead.

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Moncada batted sixth on Saturday, marking the first time this season he was not in the leadoff position.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chica