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Padres lose no-hitter in 8th, win game in 9th

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- From about the fourth inning at Chase Field on Friday night, the thoughts started popping into Tyson Ross' head. He had to find a way to keep them out.

"I realized, this is why the guys won't talk to me," Ross said.

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PHOENIX -- From about the fourth inning at Chase Field on Friday night, the thoughts started popping into Tyson Ross' head. He had to find a way to keep them out.

"I realized, this is why the guys won't talk to me," Ross said.

View Full Game Coverage

He was flirting with the first no-hitter in Padres history. He was rolling. Dominating.

In the eighth inning, it all ended when D-backs pinch-hitter Christian Walker hit a line drive over the head of center fielder Franchy Cordero, who misplayed the ball. Not only did that RBI double end the no-no, but it tied the game, 1-1, and set the stage for a ninth-inning rally and a 4-1 win.

"It wasn't the cleanest break," Padres manager Andy Green said of Cordero's misread. "I know he's the type of kid that'll go home thinking about that, how he should've made that catch. Franchy gives everything he has out there."

Video: SD@ARI: Walker ties game, breaks up no-hitter in 8th

To top it off, the ball had a catch probability of 99 percent, per Statcast™. The play should've been made. (To give some context on that catch probability, take a look at this Carlos Gomez catch below from 2016, which was basically identical in terms of the distance Cordero needed to cover and the time he had to do it. Gomez converted it with ease. You can find a full breakdown here.)

Video: SD@ARI: Statcast™ compares two 99% probability catches

Nonetheless, the no-hitter was over.

"To be honest, that specific situation, I think the pressure's on him there," Walker said of his at-bat. "I watched a lot of at-bats, I watched him throw a lot of pitches that game, from the dugout, from the TV inside."

After the no-no was lost, the Padres still had a game to win. Against D-backs closer Brad Boxberger, they went to work.

Christian Villanueva hit the single that scored the go-ahead run, and the D-backs kicked the ball around to allow two more Padres runs to score.

Video: SD@ARI: Villanueva scores Myers with go-ahead single

The Padres are still the only franchise in the Majors that doesn't have a no-hitter to their credit.

It took 127 pitches for the D-backs to get a hit off of Ross. That was a new career-high, topping the 120 he threw when he tossed a complete game shutout and three-hitter against Cincinnati on July 2, 2014.

Green visited the mound earlier in the eighth inning.

"Just wanted to make sure he had gas left in the tank," Green said. "And it was clear he was really close to empty."

Then moments later, he added:

"I probably could've been lobbied."

Green later said that he intended to pull Ross after Walker's at-bat, regardless of how it went. While Ross shined, striking out 10 to go along with allowing a hit and a run, Green had warmed up reliever Craig Stammen from the eighth inning, just in case.

Ross had other ideas.

"If I'd have gotten [Walker] out, I'd have gutted it out," he said. "Even to have them go to the bullpen right there and have them finish it out, that would've been pretty cool. I would've done my best [to lobby Green]."

Video: SD@ARI: Ross, Hedges, Green discuss near no-hitter

Ross becomes the latest Padres pitcher to come close of achieving the elusive feat, only to fall just short. He was four outs away.

But Friday is a highlight in Ross' career, which has recently taken twists and turns.

Ross started on Opening Day for the Padres in 2016. Then he missed the rest of the season because of right shoulder inflammation. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in October 2016, and started just 10 games for the Texas Rangers last season.

If Friday night was any indication, it's clear he still has it. He now holds a 2.81 ERA through four starts this year.

"He's a tall guy and he throws from a pretty high arm slot," said the D-backs' Daniel Descalso. "It seems like he's got that kind of get-me-over slider when he needs to throw a strike that's not as sharp, and then he goes to a sharp, more downer slider that's tough to lay off of because it's got to start really high up there for it to be a strike."

Video: SD@ARI: Ross strikes out Descalso swinging in the 1st

After the game, Green said each potential no-hitter is unique. In this case, Ross isn't a young, prized talent the organization needed to protect. He's a veteran, someone who's shown he's capable of going deep into games. A guy who's pitched near the top of the rotation -- when healthy -- for years.

So Green gave Ross, as he put it, "a leash as long as humanly possible." Ross, who went as far as he could before Brad Hand got the last four outs, fell just short of a milestone.

"I definitely know that we have yet to get a no-hitter," Ross said. "We have yet to win a World Series. Hopefully, we can do both of those here in the near future. Tonight was a good effort. Got close, but no cigar."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Asuaje with the assist: While Ross' no-hitter was still going on in the eighth inning, one play perhaps helped save the game for the Padres. Second baseman Carlos Asuaje fielded a ground ball, and with his team up a run, fired home to Austin Hedges.

The runner was out and the Padres maintained the lead, if only for a few minutes.

"That play is all reactions," Asuaje said. "To be honest, as soon as it was hit to me, I knew we had him. It was kind of an in-between play, but in my head I knew I had to time to get it and get rid of it before the guy could score."

SOUND SMART
Cordero's fourth-inning home run went 489 feet, per Statcast™. It's the longest homer any Padre has hit in the Statcast™ era that goes back to 2015, and because it left the bat at 116.3 mph, it's also the hardest-hit ball of any San Diego player since then. The home run was the longest at Chase Field in the Statcast™ era.

Video: SD@ARI: Cordero crushes 489-ft. HR at 116.3 mph

HE SAID IT
"I don't know how they said it wasn't 500 feet. Pretty sure it was." -- Green, on Cordero's home run

Video: SDP@ARI: Green on Ross's performance in 4-1 win

UP NEXT
Clayton Richard will take the hill for the Padres in Game 2 of a three-game series against the D-backs. While fantastic on Opening Day, Richard has struggled since, logging three five-inning starts in which he's allowed 13 earned runs. The Padres will face Zack Godley, who has impressed for the D-backs early on this season.

Justin Toscano is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

San Diego Padres, Tyson Ross

Red Sox now 17-2, thanks to Moreland's slam

Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- With the eyes of the nation turned to the Red Sox and their historic start, manager Alex Cora reminded his team on Friday to "stay humble, stay hungry."

Unfazed by the spotlight, Boston continued its march into the record books with a 7-3 win in Oakland in Friday night's series opener behind a three-run homer from Jackie Bradley Jr. and a Mitch Moreland grand slam. The Red Sox improved to 17-2, becoming the fifth team in the live-ball era to win 17 of its first 19 games, and the first to do so since the 1987 Brewers.

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OAKLAND -- With the eyes of the nation turned to the Red Sox and their historic start, manager Alex Cora reminded his team on Friday to "stay humble, stay hungry."

Unfazed by the spotlight, Boston continued its march into the record books with a 7-3 win in Oakland in Friday night's series opener behind a three-run homer from Jackie Bradley Jr. and a Mitch Moreland grand slam. The Red Sox improved to 17-2, becoming the fifth team in the live-ball era to win 17 of its first 19 games, and the first to do so since the 1987 Brewers.

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Two of the other four teams to start 17-2, the 1984 Tigers and the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, went on to win the World Series.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

"There's a lot of people watching the team now, and there's a lot of people talking about the team," Cora said. "You can't help it. You flip the channels, and they're talking about what's going on. But they're humble and hungry, and they're still doing it, and that makes me prouder."

After Oakland jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Boston left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who was making his 2018 debut, the Red Sox bats picked up their power surge right where they left off in Anaheim.

Bradley's long ball in the second tied the game before Moreland's slam in the sixth put Boston ahead for good.

"Really, in that situation, I'm just trying to go up there and get a pitch up in the zone," Moreland said. "It just happened to be a slider that kind of popped up out of his hand, and I was able to put a good swing on it."

Moreland's shot was Boston's MLB-leading fifth grand slam in its last 12 games. The Red Sox did not hit one in 2017. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the first time Boston has ever hit five grand slams before May 1.

Bradley and Moreland's homers were Boston's 12th and 13th on this road trip. The 11 long balls the Red Sox hit in Anaheim before coming to Oakland were their third-most ever in a three-game series. The Sox entered the game with 24 dingers, sixth in the Majors.

Amazing facts from Red Sox's historic start

Under Cora, Boston's lineup entered the season looking to be more aggressive at swinging at pitches in the zone. Moreland's first-pitch grand slam was Boston's sixth homer of the year on the first pitch of the at-bat.

"Regardless of who's on the mound, you look for pitches in the middle of the zone," Cora said. "And if they get it, they're going to drive it."

Despite Pomeranz's short outing, the Boston bullpen combined for 5 1/3 innings of shutout relief, headlined by three scoreless innings from Hector Velazquez. Red Sox relievers have not allowed a run in their last 19 2/3 innings.

Video: Red Sox clicking on all cylinders early in the season

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Barnes escapes a jam:
Oakland had its best chance to cut into Boston's lead in the seventh, when the A's loaded the bases with a Lowrie double, a Khris Davis hit-by-pitch and Matt Olson's two-out single. The A's sent up pinch-hitter Matt Joyce to face Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes, and the right-hander silenced a crowd of 23,473 by getting Joyce to swing through a 3-2 fastball.

"[Pitching coach] Dana [LeVangie] had told us earlier in the day that Joyce is a pinch-hitter in a situation like that, so I kind of had a good game plan," Barnes said. "I'd faced him a few times before. It's being competitive in the zone, throwing pitches and not giving in at the same time, and it ultimately comes down to executing."

Video: BOS@OAK: Barnes escapes a bases-loaded jam in the 8th

JBJ goes yard again: Bradley's blast traveled an estimated 436 feet to right and left his bat at 106 mph, according to Statcast™. It is the fourth-longest homer of his career as measured by Statcast™, just five feet shy of his career-long of 441 feet. It was Bradley's second in four games.

"Just a good pitch to hit in the zone," Bradley said. "I couldn't be too picky. I had two strikes on me. He was doing a really good job keeping the ball down, and on that particular pitch, he left it up. I was able to put a good swing on it."

Video: BOS@OAK: Bradley Jr. clobbers a three-run homer 

POMERANZ CAN'T FIND RHYTHM
Pomeranz had struggled in the spring with finding his mechanics while dealing with a mild flexor strain in his throwing arm, and in his return from injury, he had trouble shaking off the rust in a 47-pitch first inning in which he allowed three runs.

"I think it's a result of the first [start]," Pomeranz said. "Mechanically, I didn't really feel like I had much rhythm out there tonight, and after a certain point, I just stopped trying to. I just started trying to locate and started pitching better."

Pomeranz found his groove after focusing less on his velocity and starting to emphasize location and mixing up his pitches. Seven of the 11 outs he recorded came on strikeouts, including four straight spanning the second and third innings.

Video: BOS@OAK: Pomeranz strikes out the side in the 3rd

VELAZQUEZ'S REDEMPTION
Last season, Velazquez allowed six earned runs in five innings in a MLB debut to forget at the Oakland Coliseum. But as he bounced around between starting and relief roles, he found a niche as an effective long reliever.

"I honestly really wanted to get back here," Velazquez said through a translator. "I had it in my mind, I called it into existence, and I knew that I had what it took to pitch well here. Like we say in Mexico, I was ready to get my revenge. Thankfully, God gave me the opportunity to get that tonight."

Velazquez earned the win after pitching three shutout innings in relief of Pomeranz, scattering four hits while striking out one batter.

"It's funny, because I look up at one point at the scoreboard, and they show the ERA of him here, and I remember [LeVangie] talking about his outing here last year, and he struggled. I was like, 'Oh my God, what am I doing?'" Cora joked. "But he was outstanding."

Video: BOS@OAK: Velazquez strikes out Chapman on a foul tip 

SOUND SMART
Boston's +70 run differential is the second-best in the modern era (since 1900) for a team that won at least 17 of its first 19 games. Only the 1918 New York Giants had a better mark, with a +75 run differential during an 18-1 start. The 2018 Sox lead the way among 17-2 teams, though, with the 1981 Oakland A's next at +64.

HE SAID IT
"This team right now, it's fun to play on. I don't think any score is really out of our reach at this point -- we have so much confidence going up to the plate." -- Pomeranz

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Bradley's homer would not have tied the game if a long foul down the right-field line by Oakland's Chad Pinder in the bottom of the first had drifted a foot or so to the left. The foul traveled a Statcast-estimated 400 feet and was judged to be foul by first-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.

A crew-chief review was initiated after A's manager Bob Melvin conferred with the umpires. The call was upheld. Pinder was eventually called out on strikes, leaving Oakland's lead at 3-0.

Video: BOS@OAK: Umpires review Pinder's deep foul to right

UP NEXT
Chris Sale has allowed one or fewer runs in each of his four starts to begin the 2018 campaign, and he has some good company: Roger Clemens was the last Red Sox starter to accomplish that feat, in 1991. Sale will look to extend that stellar start Saturday at 9:05 p.m. ET against Sean Manaea and the A's.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Boston Red Sox, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mitch Moreland

Scherzer fans 9, outduels Kershaw in LA

MLB.com @JamalCollier

LOS ANGELES -- Rarely does a matchup in April draw this much anticipation, but then again, rarely do two of the best pitchers of their generation face off. On a clear and crisp night at a packed Dodger Stadium, 50,211 witnessed just the 10th showdown between three-time Cy Young Award winners -- Max Scherzer of the Nationals and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.

Their head-to-head meetings have been limited. They squared off in Game 1 of the 2016 National League Division Series, but their last regular-season meeting was in 2008, when neither pitcher owned a Cy Young Award. In a rare showdown between the two on Friday night, Scherzer got the best of Kershaw, spinning six innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts to lead Washington to a 5-2 victory. Meanwhile, the Nats' offense pestered Kershaw for four runs on nine hits in seven innings.

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LOS ANGELES -- Rarely does a matchup in April draw this much anticipation, but then again, rarely do two of the best pitchers of their generation face off. On a clear and crisp night at a packed Dodger Stadium, 50,211 witnessed just the 10th showdown between three-time Cy Young Award winners -- Max Scherzer of the Nationals and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.

Their head-to-head meetings have been limited. They squared off in Game 1 of the 2016 National League Division Series, but their last regular-season meeting was in 2008, when neither pitcher owned a Cy Young Award. In a rare showdown between the two on Friday night, Scherzer got the best of Kershaw, spinning six innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts to lead Washington to a 5-2 victory. Meanwhile, the Nats' offense pestered Kershaw for four runs on nine hits in seven innings.

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"I've always said you don't measure yourself against the worst," Scherzer said. "You measure yourself against the best. I've always thought that."

It's the first time the Nationals have beaten Kershaw since 2010, and they did so because of their aggressive game plan to swing early in the count. Three pitches into the game, they put themselves on the board.

Video: WSH@LAD: Harper grounds an RBI single to right field

Trea Turner doubled on Kershaw's first pitch. Howie Kendrick flied out to center field on the next pitch, advancing Turner to third. Then, with the infield drawn in, Bryce Harper roped a single into right field on the third pitch for his 19th RBI of the season. After a wild pitch put Harper on second, Ryan Zimmerman doubled him home to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

"There's really no choice," Zimmerman said of the Nats' aggressiveness against Kershaw. "He's going to come right at you. You're not going to get his pitch count up. He doesn't walk a ton of people. Might as well be ready to try to hit the first pitch you can."

Video: WSH@LAD: Zimmerman plates Harper with an RBI double

The Nationals -- still missing three of their best hitters -- would continue to hound Kershaw. They rallied in the fifth inning to set up a third run after a double and bloop single set the stage for a safety squeeze from Turner. In the sixth, they collected three singles, the last of which Michael A. Taylor punched into center field to extend the lead to 4-0.

"Usually you can come back from two [runs down], but it's tough against Max," Kershaw said. "I can get through seven [innings] and two [runs], but I had those two tack-ons late that you can't have. We had opportunities, Max limited the damage."

The Dodgers did not make it easy on Scherzer. Aside from his 1-2-3 second inning, they put runners on in each inning, starting with Chris Taylor's leadoff triple in the first. The Dodgers drew three walks and scattered four hits, but aside from a run-scoring hit from Yasiel Puig in the sixth, Scherzer limited the damage and wove his way out of trouble all night.

Video: WSH@LAD: Puig lines an RBI single to left field

With the capacity crowd and a marquee pitching matchup, Nationals left-hander Sammy Solis compared this game to a playoff atmosphere.

"You want to treat every game the same, but a packed house, Friday night at Dodger Stadium, it's always exciting," Solis said. "The heart starts pumping a little more than it usually does."

Video: WSH@LAD: Doolittle retires Seager to earn fourth save

HE SAID IT
"His fastball is dominant. His fastball is the separator for him. The life and carry he has on that ball, it's really hard for me to hit, it's just a really good fastball." -- Kershaw, on Scherzer

"He attacks the zone, doesn't walk guys. He brings it every single time. That's just the on-surface stuff that you know is going on between his ears. He goes out there and competes as well as anybody and attacks the zone." -- Scherzer, on Kershaw

Video: WSH@LAD: Kershaw escapes jam with 6-4-3 DP in the 5th

WHAT'S NEXT?
The Nationals will send their second ace to the mound when Stephen Strasburg takes on the Dodgers on Saturday night at 9:10 p.m. ET. Strasburg has 26 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings to start the season. Hyun-Jin Ryu will be the opposing pitcher for Los Angeles.

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

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman

Slumping Yo comes through for Mets in 12th

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

ATLANTA -- Yoenis Cespedes, in his own words, is "lost" at the plate. Since April 8, Cespedes has struck out in 44 percent of his plate appearances, including four whiffs in his first five trips to the plate on Friday. He is batting .200 over that stretch. He leads the Major Leagues in strikeouts. Unsure quite how to emerge from this, Cespedes is even considering picking up golf, a hobby he swore off late last season.

With that as a backdrop, Mets manager Mickey Callaway keeps sticking Cespedes in his starting lineup. Why wouldn't he? Even at the depths of his struggles, Cespedes has found a way to contribute, singling home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning on Friday to lift the Mets to a 5-3 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park. It was Cespedes' third go-ahead hit in that same 12-game stretch that has seen him struggle so deeply.

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ATLANTA -- Yoenis Cespedes, in his own words, is "lost" at the plate. Since April 8, Cespedes has struck out in 44 percent of his plate appearances, including four whiffs in his first five trips to the plate on Friday. He is batting .200 over that stretch. He leads the Major Leagues in strikeouts. Unsure quite how to emerge from this, Cespedes is even considering picking up golf, a hobby he swore off late last season.

With that as a backdrop, Mets manager Mickey Callaway keeps sticking Cespedes in his starting lineup. Why wouldn't he? Even at the depths of his struggles, Cespedes has found a way to contribute, singling home the go-ahead run in the 12th inning on Friday to lift the Mets to a 5-3 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park. It was Cespedes' third go-ahead hit in that same 12-game stretch that has seen him struggle so deeply.

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"I don't think he worries about what's happened," Callaway said. "He just comes here to play baseball. You can tell he loves it. And that approach usually ends up working out in the long run."

Video: NYM@ATL: Mets talk about 12-inning win over Braves

Unable to convert on earlier rallies, the Mets received a spark when Braves reliever Josh Ravin hit Robert Gsellman with a pitch to open the 12th. Gsellman moved to second on a bunt, then scored when Cespedes grounded a single into right field. One batter later, Asdrubal Cabrera added an insurance run with an RBI double.

Video: NYM@ATL: Cabrera extends Mets' lead with RBI double

Already sporting two shutout innings on his ledger, Gsellman gave way to Jeurys Familia, who pitched a perfect bottom of the 12th for the save.

"I just try to focus myself, and forget about whatever happened before," Cespedes said of his knack for collecting key RBIs despite the slump. "I just tried to hit the ball, and that's what I did."

Video: NYM@ATL: Familia gets Bourjos out, picks up the save

In the past, when faced with slumps, Cespedes would rise early, grab his golf clubs and head to a local course in whatever city the Mets happened to be in. Golfing, Cespedes says, helped him establish the muscle memory of keeping his hands tight to his body, preventing his shoulder from flying open during baseball swings.

But when a photographer spotted Cespedes playing while nursing a quadriceps injury two years ago, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson called it "bad optics." A year later, Cespedes vowed to quit. For the first time in his career, he is instead watching video of his at-bats, trying to visualize the mechanical tweaks he used to make on the course.

Cespedes doesn't feel it's working; frustrated by his slump, Cespedes says he is considering playing golf again -- something the Mets won't mind if it coincides with an increase in his production. For most of Friday's win, they again relied on other players, turning an Amed Rosario RBI double, a Michael Conforto sacrifice fly and a Wilmer Flores run-scoring single into a 3-2 lead for Noah Syndergaard.

Video: NYM@ATL: Flores drives in Frazier with a single

But Syndergaard, who allowed his first run on an Ozzie Albies homer in the first inning, gave back the lead on a Ryan Flaherty RBI double in the fourth inning and a Kurt Suzuki sac fly in the sixth. The Mets and Braves traded zeros for five more innings before Cespedes came through in the 12th.

"I'm kind of disappointed and frustrated with how I've been throwing ever since the season started," said Syndergaard, who received a no-decision. "I feel like I've had some pretty dominant stuff but haven't done much dominating."

Video: NYM@ATL: Albies homers on Thor's 99.6-mph heater

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Gsellman became the first pitcher to earn the win and score the game-winning run in extra innings since Matt Albers two years ago. In addition to scoring after Ravin brushed his jersey with a pitch to lead off the 12th, Gsellman delivered two shutout innings, striking out Preston Tucker with two men on base and two outs in the 11th.

Video: NYM@ATL: Gsellman fans Tucker and leaves two on base

"It was a great team win," Gsellman said. "It was fun to be out there on the bases and run."

Video: NYM@ATL: Gsellman gets hit by a pitch in the 12th

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Mets catchers were 0-for-21 attempting to throw out basestealers before Tomas Nido nailed Flaherty at second base in the seventh inning, ensuring Flaherty's leadoff walk would result in no damage. Although the Mets had caught two prior basestealers, both were the result of pitcher pickoff throws to first base. No other Major League team entered Friday with more than 15 stolen bases against it.

"It's awesome to get that speed off those bases," Nido said. "It definitely feels really good. And to help out the team feels really good." 

Video: NYM@ATL: Lugo fans Camargo, Nido throws out Flaherty

HE SAID IT
"I'm definitely the fastest pitcher. … Noah's not even close." -- Gsellman, who scored from second base on Cespedes' single

Tweet from @Mets: Who is the fastest pitcher on the team? @robgsellman, @Noahsyndergaard talk amongst yourselves. 😂😂 #MetsWin pic.twitter.com/x17xqOBtyy

"He actually said that? He mentioned my name? He's not the fastest pitcher. That's a joke for him to say that. I'm going to have to reprimand him tonight, make him sit there for a little bit, make him think about what he's done. Send him to his room. Take away his Christmas presents." -- Syndergaard

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Twice in three innings, Flores made an out on the bases. The second of those instances occurred in the sixth, when Flores attempted to score from first on Jay Bruce's double (which snapped an 0-for-19). Although Tucker's throw from left field was off-line, catcher Kurt Suzuki sprawled out to tag Flores just before he touched home plate. Callaway challenged, but the call was upheld.

Video: NYM@ATL: Mets challenge play at the plate in the 6th

UP NEXT
The last time Jacob deGrom took the mound, he became the first Mets starter to throw a pitch in the eighth inning of a game. Although the Mets ultimately lost, deGrom will seek similar efficiency when he starts tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET at SunTrust Park. Julio Teheran gets the nod for the Braves.

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

New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes

You'll never guess who hit 2018's longest HR

Franchy's titanic blast puts Padres on the board, but his misplay in center is costly
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- A prodigious fourth-inning blast to open the scoring. An untimely eighth-inning misplay that both squandered right-hander Tyson Ross's bid for the first no-hitter in Padres history and a lead. And then a sacrifice bunt in the ninth that contributed to the winning rally in a 4-1 victory over the NL West-leading D-backs at Chase Field on Friday night.

It was quite a night for Padres outfielder Franchy Cordero, as is often the case with talented young players with only 39 games in the big leagues.

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PHOENIX -- A prodigious fourth-inning blast to open the scoring. An untimely eighth-inning misplay that both squandered right-hander Tyson Ross's bid for the first no-hitter in Padres history and a lead. And then a sacrifice bunt in the ninth that contributed to the winning rally in a 4-1 victory over the NL West-leading D-backs at Chase Field on Friday night.

It was quite a night for Padres outfielder Franchy Cordero, as is often the case with talented young players with only 39 games in the big leagues.

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The play that will be played and replayed from this game is the one that might have cost Ross a no-hitter. There were two outs in the eighth, with the Padres up 1-0 with a man on second base. Ross was over his career high for pitches thrown in a start, so whether he would or could have finished a no-hitter will forever remain an unanswered question.

D-backs pinch-hitter Christian Walker made it a moot point, lining a ball to center field straight at Cordero.

"It was a ball that was hit hard and it was going right over my head," Cordero said.

He hesitated, taking a step in at first, then turned and started running back towards the wall. The ball landed just out of his reach, an RBI double that ended the no-hitter and tied the game.

It wasn't exactly lightly hit at 102 mph off the bat, but it also shouldn't have been a terribly difficult play for Cordero to make. That's reflected in the 99 percent Statcast™ Catch Probability, which is to say that similar opportunities -- based on time, distance, and direction -- since 2015 have been made almost every single time. That's easily seen when you compare Cordero's opportunity to a nearly identical Carlos Gomez catch from 2016.

 Video: SD@ARI: Statcast™ compares two 99% probability catches

It's not just the visuals, either; the numbers here are all but exactly the same. Cordero started 332 feet from home plate, and needed to run 50 feet in 4.7 seconds, straight back. Gomez started 331 feet from home, and needed to run 50 feet in 4.8 seconds. They were, essentially, the same play. One looked routine. One ended a no-hitter.

"It wasn't the cleanest break," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I know he's the type of kid that'll go home thinking about that, how he should've made that catch. Franchy gives everything he has out there. He's plenty fast enough to make some amazing plays, and he's done that. That one was just a tough read off the bat."

That he rebounded from that play to lay down a beautiful sacrifice bunt that helped Eric Hosmer advance to third, and eventually score during the ninth-inning rally spoke volumes about Cordero's resilience.

"The bunt was nice, too," Green said. "Getting that down, making them make a play. We wouldn't have even been in that situation if Franchy hadn't swung the bat like he did earlier in the game."

And swing the bat he did. He absolutely crushed a solo home run in the fourth, a 489-foot blast that gave the Padres the 1-0 lead that they were trying to protect pretty much the entire game.

The ball, which hit off Chase Field's center-field scoreboard, was the longest by any Padres player in the Statcast™ era. It had an exit velocity of 116.3 mph, making it the hardest hit ball by a Padre and it was the longest home run at Chase Field recorded by Statcast™.

"I don't know how they said that wasn't 500 feet," Green said. "Pretty sure it was."

After the game, Cordero was asked if he'd ever hit a ball like that. Before he could answer, someone else did.

"Nope, I can tell you that right away," said Hosmer, who was at the locker right next to Cordero's. "I haven't seen a ball like that."

Cordero, who acknowledged he missed a few pitches last series against the Dodgers, made up for those with one swing.

"Honestly, I'm just happy to be able to go out and execute a swing like that," Cordero said through an interpreter. "I've never done anything like that, but yeah, I'm glad the work's showing up."

He now has three home runs -- equaling his 2017 total -- in 34 at-bats this season.

"It's an electric bat," Green said. "Put the ball in play and it doesn't stay in play often, actually. There's a ton of power there. He's always hitting balls hard."

Justin Toscano is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

San Diego Padres, Franchy Cordero

Verlander, Astros back in first place

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

CHICAGO -- There was dominant starting pitching, of course. There were a couple of big swings of the bat by Carlos Correa and a mad dash around the bases by George Springer. The Astros are back to playing their brand of baseball.

Justin Verlander tossed six scoreless innings to win his 10th consecutive regular-season decision and Correa homered twice to lead the Astros to their fourth consecutive victory, 10-0, over the White Sox in the series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday night. With the win, the defending World Series champions reclaimed sole possession of first place in the American League West for the first time since April 9. They lead the Angels by a half-game.

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CHICAGO -- There was dominant starting pitching, of course. There were a couple of big swings of the bat by Carlos Correa and a mad dash around the bases by George Springer. The Astros are back to playing their brand of baseball.

Justin Verlander tossed six scoreless innings to win his 10th consecutive regular-season decision and Correa homered twice to lead the Astros to their fourth consecutive victory, 10-0, over the White Sox in the series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday night. With the win, the defending World Series champions reclaimed sole possession of first place in the American League West for the first time since April 9. They lead the Angels by a half-game.

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"That was one of our best games, obviously, in all facets," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "We made some pretty good defensive plays, we swung the bats. We've been pitching like this almost the entire year. A really good night for us."

Video: HOU@CWS: Correa launches a pair of home runs

Verlander (3-0) improved to 10-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last 13 regular-season starts, including 8-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 10 starts with the Astros. He has yet to allow a run on the road this season, a stretch totaling 19 innings. Astros starting pitchers are 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA in the team's last eight games, striking out 72 in 56 innings.

"That's what we talked about in spring," Verlander said. "Every guy has the ability to go out there and shut an offense down, and over the course of the season that plays pretty well. I don't know if anybody expected us to start off this well, but we probably did. It's fun to be a part of."

White Sox starter James Shields held the Astros scoreless for three innings before Houston broke through with five runs in the fourth inning, including a two-run double by Springer, who ended up scoring on the play when an errant throw to the plate hit Marwin Gonzalez as Gonzalez was sliding home.

Video: HOU@CWS: Springer races home for Little League dinger

"That's a long run from home to home on a dead sprint, but it's all good. I'm glad to help the team," said Springer, who drove in four runs.

Another two-run double by Springer and a two-run homer by Correa in the sixth pushed the lead to 9-0, marking the second consecutive game Houston has scored nine runs. Correa homered again in the ninth. The Astros have scored 26 runs in their past three games, one more than in their previous seven games combined.

"We feel good," Correa said. "We've been swinging the bat better. It was about time. We had a sluggish week last week I feel like and this is what we like to do, this is what we do as a team when we put great at-bats together. Hopefully we can keep it rolling."

Video: HOU@CWS: Springer lines a two-run double to right

Yuli might not be the best Gurriel we'll see in 2018

SOUND SMART
Astros catcher Brian McCann, who had two walks and a hit Friday, has a .490 on-base percentage this season. His career high is .388 in 2006.

HE SAID IT
"You know, after the way he had been jubilant about some of the other things, I was just as jubilant about that. Very thankful he gave me an out."
-- Verlander, who took offense to Chicago's Tim Anderson celebrating a single in the fifth and then running to second on a 3-0 count. Verlander tried to pick off Anderson at second and wound up getting Omar Narvaez, who had walked, out at second base instead.

Video: HOU@CWS: Verlander, Altuve team up for strange out

UP NEXT
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (0-3, 3.52 ERA) will start Saturday's 6:10 p.m. CT game against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, facing Lucas Giolito. Keuchel is searching for his first win, but threw a complete game in his most recent outing Monday at Seattle.

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

Houston Astros

Stanton puts emphatic end to homerless drought

Austin launches third dinger off Estrada this season
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton gave his new fans something to cheer about early in the Yankees' 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night, snapping a 50 at-bat homerless drought with a two-run drive to right field off starter Marco Estrada.

Stanton's third-inning blast marked his first time clearing the fences since April 4 vs. Tampa Bay, coming one game after manager Aaron Boone relocated the reigning National League MVP Award winner to the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Stanton's homer gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead at the time.

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NEW YORK -- Giancarlo Stanton gave his new fans something to cheer about early in the Yankees' 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night, snapping a 50 at-bat homerless drought with a two-run drive to right field off starter Marco Estrada.

Stanton's third-inning blast marked his first time clearing the fences since April 4 vs. Tampa Bay, coming one game after manager Aaron Boone relocated the reigning National League MVP Award winner to the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Stanton's homer gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead at the time.

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"We're all here for the same goal," Stanton said. "For me to help contribute, even though we didn't get the win, it's good."

Video: TOR@NYY: Sterling 'sings' about Stanton's home run

The slugger has heard boos in the Bronx to open his pinstriped career, entering play on Friday with four hits in 38 home at-bats (.105). Stanton finished the evening 1-for-4, and Boone said that he has seen Stanton working deeper counts of late.

"Pitch recognition, controlling the zone, I thought he did more of that tonight," Boone said. "He just missed one his first time up as well. Hopefully he's gaining a little bit of traction, starting to come around a little bit. Obviously that's huge for us. It's nice to see him having a couple of days of quality at-bats."

According to Statcast™, Stanton's homer had an exit velocity of 110 mph and traveled a projected 377 feet. When he took his position for the top of the fourth inning, Stanton received a standing ovation from the fans in right field.

The 50 at-bat homerless streak was the ninth longest of Stanton's career. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Stanton's longest was 93 at-bats, spanning 27 games with the Marlins from Sept. 20, 2011, to April 28, 2012. He had a 55 at-bat streak from May 9-24 last season, en route to pacing the Majors with 59 homers.

"It kind of builds up and you try to simplify things," Stanton said. "You block out all the noise as much as possible and remember this is a kid's game. Remember how you were back when you were a kid, go out there and prepare. Let what happened happen."

It was the third two-run homer of the game, with Tyler Austin and Toronto's Teoscar Hernandez also slugging deep drives. Austin's new favorite pitcher appears to be Estrada, who has now served up all three of the Yankees' first baseman's home runs this season.

Video: TOR@NYY: Austin hammers a two-run homer to right

Austin struck against the right-hander in the second inning, lifting an opposite-field fly ball to right field that carried over Curtis Granderson's head into the seats.

On March 31 at Rogers Centre, Austin homered twice off Estrada in the Yankees' 5-3 loss. Austin now has 10 big league homers, with Estrada the only pitcher that he has taken deep more than once. Nine of Austin's homers have either tied the game or given the Yankees a lead.

Austin is continuing to play while his five-game suspension is appealed. Austin and Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly were disciplined for their involvement in a benches-clearing incident on April 11 at Fenway Park.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Tyler Austin, Giancarlo Stanton

Red-hot Baez fuels Cubs' 7-run 6th, rout of Rox

Special to MLB.com

DENVER -- After staring down a potential fourth weather-induced postponement in a single week, the Cubs drove the clouds from Coors Field on Friday night. Javier Baez blasted four hits and drove in four runs, and the Cubs broke open a close game with a seven-run outburst in the sixth inning en route to a 16-5 win over the Rockies in the series opener.

Baez started the offense in the first frame with a two-run homer to right -- his sixth of the season. He singled in the third inning and doubled to left and scored in the Cubs' two-run fifth.

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DENVER -- After staring down a potential fourth weather-induced postponement in a single week, the Cubs drove the clouds from Coors Field on Friday night. Javier Baez blasted four hits and drove in four runs, and the Cubs broke open a close game with a seven-run outburst in the sixth inning en route to a 16-5 win over the Rockies in the series opener.

Baez started the offense in the first frame with a two-run homer to right -- his sixth of the season. He singled in the third inning and doubled to left and scored in the Cubs' two-run fifth.

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"I'm seeing the ball right when [the pitcher] releases it," Baez said of his recent tear that finds him hitting .400 (14-for-35) with three doubles, a triple, six homers, and 16 RBIs over his last eight games. "I'm not trying to go [opposite field], but a lot of hits are being hit that way. I'm just trying to stay to the middle, keep the same approach and keep doing my routine."

Video: CHC@COL: Cubs discuss big 16-5 win over Rockies

The Cubs followed his lead and batted around in the sixth, with the first six batters reaching base before the Rockies could record an out. Addison Russell led off with a single to right and Jason Heyward followed with a triple to left-center. Pinch-hitter Tommy La Stella walked, and Albert Almora Jr. drove in a run with a bloop single to right. Baez's two-run single was followed by a double to center from Kris Bryant and a two-out three-run homer from Kyle Schwarber, his fourth of the season.

Video: CHC@COL: Schwarber's mammoth three-run home run

"When the whole group adopts a method, and they feed off one another, and they're capable ..." manager Joe Maddon said, interrupting himself as he analyzed the offensive outburst over the last two games. "... These guys have been to the World Series, they've won one, they've been in the NLCS every year, they know what's going on. But I've often talked about, the one area -- we have not had mature at-bats. We can't say we're inexperienced anymore. We have experience, but we're still young. We have to get rid of that youth involvement in the at-bat and we'll play some really nice baseball."

The Cubs' approach showed, with Maddon citing 13 of their 18 hits were to the opposite field, as they knocked out Rockies Opening Day starter Jon Gray in the sixth, leaving him with seven runs (five earned) on his line. They also knocked out Bryan Shaw in the same inning after tagging him for five runs on four hits and a walk.

Six Cubs -- Almora (4), Baez (4), Schwarber (3), Russell (2), Heyward (2) and Bryant (2) -- all had multihit games, with Almora and Baez going 8-for-12 with six runs and five RBIs from the top two spots in the lineup. Almora's four hits and four runs were career highs.

"We've all seen Javy at his potential," Almora said of his partner at the top of the order. "It's impressive, and I'm just glad that I could be on base for him or be on the top step when he comes back in after hitting a homer. That goes for everybody. We're just feeding off each other. And I'm having a lot of fun."

Video: CHC@COL: Almora Jr. tallies four hits in Coors field

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks had a solid outing in hitters-friendly Coors Field, holding the Rockies to three runs on five hits over five innings. After the three-run first, he only let one Rockie -- Gray -- get to second base, as he walked none, hit one batter and struck out six before turning it over to Mike Montgomery, who pitched three innings of one-run ball.

"It was still a battle the whole way," Hendricks said. "Deep counts, a lot of pitches, able to get through it, I guess. You saw a lot from our lineup today, really. That's what won the game. They gave me two right away, I give three right back. For them to stay on those at-bats, come back and get that many runs for me, that was the ballgame."

Video: CHC@COL: Hendricks sends down Iannetta looking

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Cubs won a big replay review in a tied game when Baez was initially called out going from second to third on a grounder to short by Bryant in the fifth inning. Shortstop Trevor Story elected to throw to third, hoping Nolan Arenado could tag the lead runner. After the Cubs challenged, the call was overturned when it was determined Baez slid in safely just ahead of Arenado's tag.

Video: CHC@COL: Baez avoids tag, safe at third after review

Baez scored on a grounder to second by Anthony Rizzo, and Bryant scored on Arenado's throwing error a batter later. The Cubs went ahead 5-3, and both runs were unearned.

Video: CHC@COL: Bryant scores on errant throw by Arenado

"To be honest, I forgot K.B. was hitting; I thought it was Rizz," Baez said of his miscalculation on the defensive shift that would have been in place for Rizzo. "I thought the shortstop was behind the bag and saw the first hop was pretty high, and I went for it."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Gray singled to center to lead off the fifth, and DJ LeMahieu followed with a tough grounder up the middle. Russell got to the ball from short and flipped it to Baez, who made a nifty barehanded catch a split second before Gray slid into the bag, killing a potential rally in its tracks as Hendricks retired the next two batters to end the inning.

"His defense and baserunning skills are as good as it gets," Maddon said of the complete package Baez offers his club.

Video: CHC@COLL: Baez makes smooth play on fielder's choice

SOUND SMART
The Cubs scored a season-high 16 runs in the game. It's the most runs they've scored against the Rockies since scoring 17 on July 26, 1996, also at Coors Field.

HE SAID IT
"You can call us the Chicago Bulls right now. We play like every third day, maybe twice a week. We'd like to get back to a regular baseball schedule." -- Maddon, after three Cubs games were postponed by weather this week (and five in three weeks)

UP NEXT
Yu Darvish makes his fourth start of the season Saturday, facing Tyler Anderson and the Rockies in a 7:10 p.m. CT tilt. Darvish has never pitched at Coors Field before, but he faced the Rockies once in L.A. last year, throwing 4 1/3 innings and allowing five runs on five hits.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com.

Chicago Cubs, Javier Baez

Ronald Torreyes hit a single even though he wasn't holding the bat when it hit the ball

Yankees infielder Ronald Torreyes is off to a hot start to the 2018 season. After the Yankees' 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday, Torreyes' batting average sits at a zesty .438.

When you're hot, you're hot. So, when Danny Barnes threw him a two-strike slider that broke out of his reach, Torreyes literally threw his bat at it.

Farquhar faints in dugout, taken to hospital

Veteran reliever responsive after losing consciousness after working 6th inning
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar fainted in the dugout after completing the top of the 6th inning of Friday's 10-0 loss to the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field. He was attended to immediately by White Sox medical personnel and EMTs, and regained consciousness by the time he left the ballpark with the EMTs.

The veteran reliever was taken by ambulance to Rush University Medical Center, where he's receiving treatment and undergoing further testing.

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CHICAGO -- White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar fainted in the dugout after completing the top of the 6th inning of Friday's 10-0 loss to the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field. He was attended to immediately by White Sox medical personnel and EMTs, and regained consciousness by the time he left the ballpark with the EMTs.

The veteran reliever was taken by ambulance to Rush University Medical Center, where he's receiving treatment and undergoing further testing.

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"That was pretty scary, to be honest with you," said White Sox starting pitcher James Shields, whom Farquhar replaced in the sixth after Shields threw 111 pitches. "I don't really know the full extent of the situation to be honest with you.

"I do know he wasn't conscious when he left [the dugout]. But from what I'm hearing right now, he's responding to questions. So we're all praying for him. Good news is he's responding. We don't know how serious it is. We'll find out later."

Video: HOU@CWS: Renteria on Farquhar fainting in the dugout

Aaron Bummer was warming up in the bullpen and eventually replaced Farquhar to start the seventh. He didn't see what happened with Farquhar but knew something was going on because Farquhar apparently was planning on going back into the game.

"Then as soon as the inning started we got a phone call that said I was going into the game," Bummer said. "It's really scary, man. He's in our thoughts and prayers.

"Hopefully everything is OK. We have a lot of questions and not many answers. But we can hope for the best and hope that he's back with us tomorrow. You never want anything like that to happen on the field or off the field to anybody you know. It's always a scary situation."

When asked if players planned to go visit Farquhar, Bummer pointed out most of the players had just come in off the field and still were processing what happened. White Sox manager Rick Renteria hoped to have more information on Farquhar by Saturday, with the health of a valued teammate far more important than any on-field result.

"It takes your breath away a little bit," Renteria said. "One of your guys is down there and you have no idea what's going on. The medical staff was there right away the whole time and you know they called into the EMTs and somebody was already caring for him before they even got up.

"As I was made aware, he was conscious as he was leaving with the EMTs. When one of your teammates or anybody you know has an episode, even if it's not a teammate, something is going on, you realize everything else you keep in perspective. Everything has its place. It's one of our guys, so we are glad he was conscious when he left here.

"Your focus shifts from what's going on on the field," Renteria added. "Everybody was there and aware of what was going on. But at the end of the day, I don't know that we panicked. We were just watching him and making sure that they were trying to get him back to consciousness."

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

Tigers make young fan's day with ASG tickets

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Kyle Van Houten thought he was headed to Comerica Park to catch a Friday night game with his parents. He had no idea Michael Fulmer would be receiving his ceremonial first pitch, or that nearly two dozen family and friends would be with him for it.

"I thought it would be good," said the young resident of Howell, Mich., "but I didn't think it could possibly be this good."

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DETROIT -- Kyle Van Houten thought he was headed to Comerica Park to catch a Friday night game with his parents. He had no idea Michael Fulmer would be receiving his ceremonial first pitch, or that nearly two dozen family and friends would be with him for it.

"I thought it would be good," said the young resident of Howell, Mich., "but I didn't think it could possibly be this good."

View Full Game Coverage

Van Houten was even more surprised when the Tigers' All-Star grabbed the microphone on the field.

"Enjoy your trip to this year's All-Star Game," Fulmer said as teammates Victor Martinez, Jose Iglesias and Francisco Liriano joined them in front of the dugout, complete with a giant ticket to the July 17 Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park and a flight to Washington, D.C.

"I wasn't nervous about the first pitch, but everything that happened after," Kyle said before the Tigers' 3-2 loss to the Royals in Game 2 of a doubleheader.

The evening was in honor of Make-A-Wish's World Wish Day, celebrated on April 29. Make-A-Wish has launched a month-long campaign to grant as many wishes as possible, highlighting how a wish can give people the mental strength to battle illness.

For Van Houten, the All-Star Game is the completion of a baseball journey that has taken him to every Major League park over the last decade. What began with a love of baseball became a journey that has helped lift him through his battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

"It definitely makes it worth it, all the struggles I've had to go through, to have moments like this," Van Houten said.

His love of baseball began, of course, with Tigers games, begging his parents to let him stay up and watch Justin Verlander try to finish off a no-hit bid. They went to games at Comerica Park, which led them to go to games when they traveled east to visit family in New Jersey. Sometimes they'd catch a game in New York, sometimes Pittsburgh, sometimes Philadelphia.

Video: KC@DET: Fulmer on strong start in Game 1, giving back

"When we started this, he hadn't even been diagnosed," his father, Keith Van Houten, said.

As Kyle's battle began, his love for the game grew stronger. They'd plan his visits to his specialist in Cincinnati around Reds homestands so they could catch a game. When his older brother, Jack, did a bicycle ride through the Midwest to raise money for MD research, they saw the Twins, Brewers and White Sox along the way.

As the condition progressed, the trips became more important. Keith and Julie Van Houten marveled at how vividly Kyle could remember even minute details from each game, each park.

"We didn't know the whole baseball plan," his mother said. "We didn't know how crazy he'd get into it."

Along the way, they found a player who felt the same about their cause. Rick Porcello met Kyle and his family through a mutual acquaintance eight years ago. Porcello was pitching for the Tigers at the time and he took a keen interest, inviting Van Houten to games, bringing him to the clubhouse to meet players, and keeping in touch. Their friendship continued after Porcello was traded to the Red Sox.

"He's been an inspiration," Julie Van Houten said. "We were sad to see him leave, but we still love the Tigers."

The Tigers, too, have kept involved with the cause.

The final stop on their ballpark tour was Wrigley Field last summer, before Kyle began classes at Bowling Green State University. He's a business major at BGSU, but he hosts a baseball show on the campus radio station.

"He's 18 already, and he's going to finish his first year at college," Julie Van Houten said. "We're so proud of him. It's just amazing."

Keith picked him up from Bowling Green earlier on Friday. Their trip up I-75 included a lengthy discussion of Kyle's ideas for rules changes in baseball, from expanded rosters to pace of play.

He had a lot more to discuss on the way home, including planning at least one more baseball trip.

"We've had a lot of struggles. He's had a lot of struggles to deal with," Keith said. "But there's been good times as well, and today's one of them. We can't thank the Tigers and Make-A-Wish enough for what they've done."

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Michael Fulmer, Jose Iglesias, Victor Martinez