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Will any ace shake up the playoff race via trade?

MLB.com @feinsand

Of all the stars that move on every year leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, few have the same impact as a No. 1 starter.

From Randy Johnson's superb stretch with the 1998 Astros to Justin Verlander's remarkable run with Houston last year, a bona fide ace can turn a fringe contender into a championship-caliber team in the blink of an eye.

Of all the stars that move on every year leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, few have the same impact as a No. 1 starter.

From Randy Johnson's superb stretch with the 1998 Astros to Justin Verlander's remarkable run with Houston last year, a bona fide ace can turn a fringe contender into a championship-caliber team in the blink of an eye.

The Brewers rode CC Sabathia's powerful left arm to a postseason berth in 2008, while Cliff Lee paid dividends for the Phillies in 2009, then again for the Rangers in 2010. Remember David Price's second-half performance for Toronto in 2015? Dominant.

Who could be this year's version of these season-altering acquisitions?

"There aren't that many good names out there," one National League general manager said.

Granted, there are still more than two months before the July 31 deadline, leaving plenty of time for teams to go into sell mode. But a quick scan of rosters around the league indicates that the biggest arms likely to be moved might not be of a race-changing caliber.

"If there are frontline starters out there, they're probably already on good teams," another NL executive said. "There does seem to be a lull in the market when it comes to frontline starters, so teams may pivot away from that."

Of the seven teams that have already lost at least 30 games this season -- a decent proxy for teams that might be "sellers" -- the most interesting names include Texas' Cole Hamels ($22.5 million salary this season; $20 million club option for 2019 with $6 million buyout), Kansas City's Danny Duffy (owed $46 million from 2019-21), San Diego's Clayton Richard ($3 million in 2019) and Tyson Ross (free agent after the season), Miami's Dan Straily and Baltimore's Kevin Gausman (two more arbitration-eligible years each beyond 2018).

Aside from Hamels, it's not the most proven group of arms we've seen heading into trade season.

"The teams that have sold have already sold those assets," an American League GM said. "Chris Sale was moved, [Jose Quintana] was moved, Verlander was moved. Before that, Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake were moved. There are guys off the second tier of teams that could become available, but sitting here in mid-May, I can't say, come hell or high water, that they will be there. Could Chris Archer be on the market? Could one of the Twins or Blue Jays pitchers be on the market? Chances are, somebody that we can't prognosticate right now will be in that group."

Tampa Bay's Archer and Detroit's Michael Fulmer are the two names most often mentioned in potential trade conversations, but neither team appears to have any urgency to move them. Archer is owed $7.5 million next year and has a pair of club-friendly options for 2020 ($9 million) and 2021 ($11 million). Fulmer won't even reach the first of his four arbitration-eligible seasons until the end of this year, meaning the Tigers control him through 2022.

Video: DET@PIT: Fulmer K's nine over six shutout innings

What's more, each comes with some red flags. Fulmer missed most of last season after undergoing elbow surgery, while Archer's ERA currently sits at 4.68, and was above 4.00 in each of the previous two seasons.

"The Rays have been very unrealistic in their expectations to this point," said the second NL executive. "If that doesn't change, they'll probably keep him."

Sonny Gray joined Verlander and Yu Darvish as the big-name starters moved last summer, going from the Athletics to the Yankees in one of the bigger pre-Deadline deals. The consensus within the industry is that the Yankees will try to add another starter this summer, though Brian Cashman's modus operandi in recent years has been to acquire younger, controllable players, which wouldn't fit the description of a pitcher such as Hamels.

"They talked about [Gerrit] Cole in the offseason, they talked about Fulmer in the offseason; that's what they're looking for, not a rental," the NL GM said. "Cash just got a new deal, he has a young team; I don't think there's any pressure on him whatsoever."

For teams seeking a high-impact rental, the most notable starters potentially headed for free agency are Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel, Patrick Corbin and Charlie Morton, none of whom figures to be traded by their respective teams.

Lance Lynn hasn't been able to replicate his years of National League success in the American League, so even if the Twins throw in the towel, it's hard to imagine that Lynn would be the difference-making arm a contender would turn to. Perhaps Ervin Santana, who has missed the entire season thus far following finger surgery, or Jake Odorizzi (one more year of control) could get moved, though neither adds much intimidation factor to a team's rotation.

"Trying to predict who the big starter will be at the deadline will be difficult," a second AL GM said. "It's going to be a lot of bullpen pieces. Teams are going to pluck off a lot of relievers."

The biggest wild card of the summer pitching market might wind up being Matt Harvey, who is working to regain his old form in Cincinnati after being designated for assignment and later traded by the Mets.

Video: PIT@CIN: Harvey punches out 5 in 6 strong innings

No matter how you slice it, the current landscape doesn't appear to include the potential for a race-altering starter to be moved. But that doesn't mean we won't see teams deal for arms with the hope of catching lightning in a bottle.

"The good money is that somebody will be available who has a chance to be at least a mid-rotation starter," the first AL GM said. "I think it will be more in the Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana types -- a nice pitcher that, if you really like him, he's a 2; if you're more realistic, he's a 3 -- than anybody who is going to do what Verlander did last year. The free agent class might offer that up. I'm not sure the Trade Deadline will."

Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com.

Chris Archer, Michael Fulmer, Cole Hamels, Matt Harvey, Justin Verlander

Gomez comes off DL, Font added to roster

MLB.com

The Rays activated outfielder Carlos Gomez from the disabled list and added right-hander Wilmer Font to their 25-man roster on Saturday.

Gomez, who was out with a right groin strain, homered twice in a simulated game on Friday. Font, who had been designated for assignment by the A's on Wednesday, was acquired Friday in exchange for Minor League right-hander Peter Bayer.

The Rays activated outfielder Carlos Gomez from the disabled list and added right-hander Wilmer Font to their 25-man roster on Saturday.

Gomez, who was out with a right groin strain, homered twice in a simulated game on Friday. Font, who had been designated for assignment by the A's on Wednesday, was acquired Friday in exchange for Minor League right-hander Peter Bayer.

Tampa Bay Rays, Wilmer Font, Carlos Gomez

MLB's 15 best under-22 duos of all time

MLB.com @castrovince

Albies and Acuna: Baseball's newest source of alliterative elegance is enough to inspire rapture (from Atlantans), revulsion (from opponents) and research (from me). Because let there be no mistaking that what the 21-year-old Ozzie Albies and 20-year-old Ronald Acuna Jr. are doing at the top of the Atlanta order is rare.

Oh, sure, there have been some astounding seasons from players who have not yet hit the age (22) once celebrated by Taylor Swift. But when you take Albies and Acuna in tandem, there aren't very many statistical comparables to these Baby Braves.

Albies and Acuna: Baseball's newest source of alliterative elegance is enough to inspire rapture (from Atlantans), revulsion (from opponents) and research (from me). Because let there be no mistaking that what the 21-year-old Ozzie Albies and 20-year-old Ronald Acuna Jr. are doing at the top of the Atlanta order is rare.

Oh, sure, there have been some astounding seasons from players who have not yet hit the age (22) once celebrated by Taylor Swift. But when you take Albies and Acuna in tandem, there aren't very many statistical comparables to these Baby Braves.

Albies, who has probably already banged out another couple extra-base hits just in the time you've been reading this, has already been worth 1.7 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball Reference), as of this writing. Acuna was on pace to be worth at least 1.0 WAR.

Even if we just set the bar there -- just one win above replacement-level (and Acuna has shown plenty of potential to cruise past that mark) -- how unusual is it for a club to possess two everyday players south of 22 who make that level of contribution in a single season?

Well, does 15 times in 117 completed seasons strike you as unusual?

To be clear, we're focusing this discussion, which is possible thanks to the help of Baseball Reference's Play Index, solely on position-player combos, as that is most comparable to what we're seeing down in Atlanta right now. But a quick shoutout to Mark Prior-Carlos Zambrano (2002 Cubs), Mark Gubicza-Bret Saberhagen (1984 Royals), Don Drysdale-Sandy Koufax ('57 Brooklyn Dodgers) and all the other precocious pitching pairs that have graced our game over the years.

On to the list of position-player pups. And just for fun, let's rank 'em.

15. Braggo Roth (21) and Ray Schalk (21), 1914 White Sox
Schalk, a catcher, finished sixth in the Chalmers Award (read: Most Valuable Player) voting, but, as you might suspect, the guy nicknamed Braggo (because of his boastful nature) is more interesting here. The South Siders purchased his contract from the Kansas City Blues of the American Association in August, and he played well. When his outfield defense slipped the next season, the White Sox dealt him to Cleveland as part of the trade for none other than "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and, well, you know where that led.

14. Gus Bell (21) and Danny O'Connell (21), 1950 Pirates
These two rookies were, fortunately, more distinguished than the team logo at the time. O'Connell was added midseason and wound up finishing third in the Rookie of the Year vote before missing the 1951-52 season while serving in the Korean War. Bell went on to become a four-time All-Star with the Reds.

13. Bob Coluccio (21) and Darrell Porter (21), 1973 Brewers
Though Porter, who finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in '73, had a long career that featured four All-Star appearances and a World Series MVP turn in 1982, his legacy unfortunately includes the battles with substance abuse that ultimately led to his tragic death at age 50. Coluccio's big league success was short-lived. He logged just 246 more games through 1978 after hitting 15 homers, 21 doubles and eight triples in this rookie effort.

12. Dave Cash (21) and Richie Hebner (21), 1969 Pirates
Hebner was handed the third-base job as a rookie after Maury Wills was taken by the Expos in the expansion draft. He responded with a .301 average and .801 OPS and would go on to play in the bigs into the 1985 season. Cash, a second baseman, was a late-season callup who showed the flashes of the solid singles hitter and reliable defender he'd become.

11. Milt May (20) and Rennie Stennett (20), 1971 Pirates
Just a couple kids helping out a World Series winner. No biggie.

May made the most of his limited role as a backup catcher and pinch-hitter (.750 OPS in 49 games) and then had a pinch-hit RBI single to drive in the winning run in Game 4 of the Fall Classic. (May went on to briefly replace Roberto Clemente in the outfield after Clemente's death prior to the 1973 season.) Stennett had an .834 OPS in 50 games and was the leadoff hitter for the Majors' first all-black and Latino lineup on Sept. 1 of that year.

10. Rocco Baldelli (21) and Carl Crawford (21), 2003 Devil Rays
We'll always be left to wonder what kind of career Baldelli could have had if a cell condition that caused muscle fatigue hadn't begun hampering him in 2005. But in '03, he and Crawford made for an electric rookie pairing in the then-still-bedeviled Rays' outfield. They combined for 169 runs scored, with Crawford stealing 55 bags and Baldelli 27 while providing terrific defense, as well.

Video: Under-22 duos: Baldelli, Crawford from the 2003 Rays

9. Tommy Davis (21) and Willie Davis (20), 1960 Dodgers
Willie Davis was a late-season callup who needed just 22 games to compile his 1.0 WAR, and he officially supplanted Duke Snider in center field the following season. Tommy Davis (no relation) was in the rookie year of a long career that would see him win consecutive batting titles in 1962 and '63.

8. Luis Castillo (20) and Edgar Renteria (19), 1996 Marlins
Installed as the Marlins' starting shortstop in May, Renteria was the runner-up to the Dodgers' Todd Hollandsworth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, with a .309 batting average and .358 OBP. The following year, he came through with the World Series-winning hit -- and not for the last time. Castillo spent most of the year in Double-A and didn't join the big club until August. But in just 41 games, he made a major defensive impact at second base and stole 17 bags.

Video: Under-22 duos: Castillo, Renteria of the '96 Marlins

7. Freddie Freeman (21) and Jason Heyward (21), 2011 Braves
Yes, the Braves have been here before.

Actually, the '11 season marked a pretty severe statistical regression for Heyward from his NL Rookie of the Year runner-up performance a year earlier. His OPS dipped from .849 to .708, but his defense helped his overall WAR score (ask the Cubs about that). Freeman, with a .282/.346/.448 slash, was the rookie runner-up this time around. Teammate Craig Kimbrel edged him for that honor. But at 23, Kimbrel was an old man, by comparison.

Video: Under-22 duos: Freeman, Heyward for the 2011 Braves

6. Eric Hosmer (21) and Salvador Perez (21), 2011 Royals
Clearly, 2011 was a good year to be 21 (although in truth, is there really a bad year to be 21?). The 2011 Royals, meanwhile, weren't very good, but the seeds of their eventual back-to-back American League titles and '15 World Series championship were sewn right here (Mike Moustakas and Greg Holland were also rookies on the 2011 team). Hosmer closed with a sizzling September (.349/.360/.557 slash), and Perez joined the club in August and churned out a .331/.361/.473 with excellent defense behind the dish.

Video: Under-22 duos: Hosmer and Perez for the 2011 Royals

5. Gary Carter (21) and Larry Parrish (21), 1975 Expos
The Giants' John "The Count" Montefusco was the NL Rookie of the Year in '75, but Carter (.270 average, 17 homers, 68 RBIs) finished second and Parrish (.274, 10, 65) finished in a tie for third. Carter was named to the first of his 11 All-Star teams. But while the Hall of Famer will be remembered as one of the greatest catchers of all-time, he actually logged more innings in right field in '75.

4. Joe Morgan (21) and Rusty Staub (21), 1965 Astros
Though they were both just 21, Staub had the better part of two big league seasons under his belt by the time the 1965 season -- Houston's first after the transition to the name Astros from Colt .45s -- dawned. Staub took a major step forward as a hitter, with a .256/.339/.412 slash while serving as the primary right fielder. But the future Hall of Famer Morgan was the real revelation, drawing a Major League-high 97 walks while hitting a respectable .271. He finished second to Jim Lefebvre in the NL Rookie of the Year vote.

3. Alan Trammell (20) and Lou Whitaker (21), 1978 Tigers
Trammell is finally headed to Cooperstown this summer. And if there's any justice, Whitaker, his longtime double-play partner, will join him in 2020 (after the next modern era committee ballot). Though they both came up late in the '77 season, this was their first full year of making magic in the middle of the diamond together. The Tigers, not coincidentally, had their first winning season in five years.

Video: Under-22 duos: Trammell, Whitaker of the '78 Tigers

2. Bobby Doerr (21) and Ted Williams (20), 1939 Red Sox
This was Teddy Ballgame's rookie year, and his .327 average, 31 homers, 44 doubles and 11 triples were a reasonable sign of things to come. Doerr was in his second season as a Red Sox regular and, with a .318 average and .813 OPS, was just beginning to flash the bat that would eventually make him a nine-time All-Star. They had polar-opposite personalities -- Williams bombastic, Doerr genteel -- but these two teammates helped restore the Red Sox, turning them into a serious threat to the Yankees' supremacy in the AL.

1. Orlando Cepeda (21) and Willie McCovey (21), 1959 Giants
Albies and Acuna can only hope to be on the same overall career track as these two Hall of Famers. But there was awkwardness to the Cepeda-McCovey arrangement because they both played first base.

McCovey followed in Cepeda's '58 footsteps with a unanimous win in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, needing just 52 games to sway the voters with his .354 average, 13 homers, nine doubles and five triples in 192 at-bats. When McCovey arrived, Cepeda shifted to third base to accommodate McCovey at first. That lasted all of a few games before Cepeda was moved to the outfield, and a few years later, the Giants moved McCovey to the outfield to appease an unhappy Cepeda.

It finally ended with the Giants making a regrettable trade of Cepeda to the Cardinals for Ray Sadecki in 1966 -- a deal that may have cost them the pennant. (You paying attention, Atlanta? Don't trade Albies or Acuna!)

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

Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Eric Hosmer, Ronald Acuna Jr., Salvador Perez

Gleyber homers in 4th straight, makes history

Torres' go-ahead HR in 7th sends Yankees past Halos
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- In a meeting between two of this season's most exciting rookies, Gleyber Torres outshone Shohei Ohtani. The Yankees newcomer became the youngest player in American League history to homer in four consecutive games on Friday night, belting a go-ahead seventh-inning blast to carry the Yankees past the Angels, 2-1.

Torres has gone deep in five of his past six contests, including a barreled seventh-inning drive off reliever Jim Johnson that carried over the right-field fence for the wunderkind's ninth big league homer -- all of which have come in Torres' past 16 games.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- In a meeting between two of this season's most exciting rookies, Gleyber Torres outshone Shohei Ohtani. The Yankees newcomer became the youngest player in American League history to homer in four consecutive games on Friday night, belting a go-ahead seventh-inning blast to carry the Yankees past the Angels, 2-1.

Torres has gone deep in five of his past six contests, including a barreled seventh-inning drive off reliever Jim Johnson that carried over the right-field fence for the wunderkind's ninth big league homer -- all of which have come in Torres' past 16 games.

View Full Game Coverage

"I'm not a home run guy; I'm a contact guy," Torres said. "But I feel pretty good right now. I helped the team and I feel great for that. I feel great because I helped the team and we won. That's what's most important."

Video: LAA@NYY: Judge's defense, Torres' HR spark Yanks' win

According to Elias Sports, Torres (21 years, 163 days) became the fourth-youngest player in the Modern Era (since 1900) to homer in four straight games. The others: Miguel Cabrera in 2004 (20, 362); Andruw Jones in 1998 (21, 139); and Albert Pujols in 2001 (21, 147).

Video: Torres belts 5 homers over the Yankees' last 4 games

"I've had that conversation with him where he says, 'I've been preparing for this my whole life,' and certainly the last couple of years coming up in the Minor Leagues," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I think he just plays the game with a lot of confidence. I think his intelligence is very evident. When you combine intelligence and instincts and talent, you're looking at what has been a very special player for us."

Video: LAA@NYY: Boone discusses Torres' homer, Judge

While Ohtani's first career game in the Bronx resulted in three hitless at-bats and a walk, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year offered two reminders of why opponents would be wise not to run on his gifted right arm. Aaron Judge came up firing to throw out Kole Calhoun at home plate in the third inning and Martin Maldonado at second base in the seventh, limiting traffic on the basepaths for Yankees hurlers.

"It's fun," Judge said. "As an outfielder, that's what you live for -- moments like that. Runners on in a big situation, getting a chance to throw a guy out, you hear the crowd getting excited. That's fun. Don't overthink it. Don't think about pressure. Just go out there and have fun and make a play. What's the worst thing that could happen?"

Video: Must C Cannon: Judge shows off arm twice vs. Angels

Torres drove in both Yankees runs, having also knocked one home with a second-inning infield single, and made a nifty play to rob Mike Trout of a hit in the eighth. Chad Green pitched a scoreless frame to pick up the win in relief of Luis Severino, who allowed a run on four hits over six innings. Aroldis Chapman recorded the final four outs as the Yankees defeated the Angels for the fourth time in as many tries this season.

While he had trouble commanding his slider early, Severino kept the Angels off the board through the first four innings, helped by the 100.5 mph rocket from Judge that cut down Calhoun to end the third. Trout evened the score with his 16th homer, a fifth-inning blast off Severino that reached the second deck in right field.

Video: LAA@NYY: Trout crushes 16th homer of the season

"It was a bad pitch," Severino said. "I was trying to go down, and I left it in the middle. He's a good hitter, and he hit a good fastball there."

That was the last hit off Severino, who walked four and struck out five, tossing 99 pitches (63 for strikes). Judge contributed another assist behind Green in the seventh, firing a seemingly effortless strike to Didi Gregorius from the 314-foot marker in right field that cut down Maldonado attempting to stretch a single into a double.

Video: LAA@NYY: Severino K's 5, allows 1 run over 6 innings

"I've probably made that play a thousand times pregame," Judge said. "It's just like practice. Keep a routine, keep it simple, don't overthink it. The biggest thing is just make sure you catch the ball cleanly and keep an accurate throw. That's the biggest thing. Just replaying what I did in practice. That's all."

Heaney worked 6 1/3 innings, limiting New York to a run on four hits. The left-hander walked three and struck out five in the 97-pitch effort. The Angels, who were swept by the Yankees in a three-game series at Anaheim in April, fell to 10-29 (including the postseason) in the Bronx since the current Yankee Stadium opened in 2009.

Video: LAA@NYY: Chapman strikes out Maldonado for 4-out save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The sellout crowd of 46,056 was treated to a power-vs.-power showdown between Ohtani and Chapman in the eighth inning. Chapman entered in relief of David Robertson and advanced the potential tying run to second base with a wild pitch, and Ohtani had the audience buzzing as he lined a 100.3 mph fastball down the left-field line foul for strike two.

"It was a big situation," Ohtani said through an interpreter. "Obviously I really wanted to get a base hit, but I wasn't able to come through. All his pitches were really fast, really powerful. Some of the contact I made I thought was pretty good contact."

Video: LAA@NYY: Chapman gets Ohtani after battle in the 8th

Chapman's fifth pitch of the at-bat was a 101.9 mph fastball, which Ohtani chopped to Gregorius for an inning-ending groundout.

"It was a good battle," Boone said. "It was fun to watch those two go at it. You could feel a little bit of electricity with those two. Ohtani had some good swings on him but Chappy was able to finish him off."

HE SAID IT
"It's not the power, he's just a good hitter. He's a good hitter that can hit it to all parts of the ballpark. He can pull it, go with it, he's been working counts. It's been fun to watch him these past couple weeks, just how professional his at-bats have been. No situation has been too big for him. Doesn't matter if we're down couple runs, up a couple runs or need a big hit, he always comes through. He never looks like the moment is too big for him." -- Judge, on Torres

Video: LAA@NYY: Torres opens scoring with RBI infield single

UP NEXT
The Yankees continue their three-game series with the Angels on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET) as right-hander Sonny Gray takes the ball for his 10th start of the season. Gray (3-3, 5.48 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season, having allowed one run on four hits over eight innings in a win at Kansas City. The Angels will recall rookie right-hander Jaime Barria (3-1, 2.13) from Triple-A Salt Lake to make the start.

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

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Vlad Jr. goes back-to-back with Bichette

MLB.com @wboor

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continued to wow the baseball world on Friday night as the 19-year-old raised his Minor League-leading average to .435 by going 3-for-4 with his 10th homer of the season -- the second half of back-to-back jacks with fellow phenom Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays' top two prospects helped power Double-A New Hampshire to a 10-3 win over Hartford.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continued to wow the baseball world on Friday night as the 19-year-old raised his Minor League-leading average to .435 by going 3-for-4 with his 10th homer of the season -- the second half of back-to-back jacks with fellow phenom Bo Bichette. The Blue Jays' top two prospects helped power Double-A New Hampshire to a 10-3 win over Hartford.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Guerrero (MLB's No. 2 overall prospect) and Bichette (No. 11) went deep on consecutive pitches in the seventh inning and combined to go 6-for-8 with six RBIs and five runs scored.

Guerrero has hits in 13 of his past 14 games and has reached base in 33 straight contests, the longest streak in the Eastern League this year. The youngest player in all of Double-A, Guerrero has strung together four straight multihit performances and is hitting .553 (21-for-38) over his past 10 games.

While Guerrero seemingly steals the headlines on a nightly basis, Bichette also had a big day, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs to go with his third homer of the year, a three-run shot. The 20-year-old infielder is off to a relatively slow start (.261/.337/.422) after hitting .362 last year to become the first teenager since 1963 to lead the Minors in batting average.

Watch: MiLB Video

The duo is often talked about together and has certainly given Blue Jays fans plenty of reason to be excited for the future. Friday's back-to-back homers marked the second time in as many nights that the organization's top two prospects went deep in the same inning, as they each homered in the fifth inning of Thursday's game as well.

While Guerrero and Bichette were providing the offense, Jon Harris (Blue Jays No. 30), gave up two unearned runs over 7 1/3 innings on the mound.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Toronto Blue Jays

Injury updates: Cespedes, Prado, Kershaw

MLB.com

Here's a roundup of the latest injury news across the Majors.

Yoenis Cespedes, Mets
Cespedes took a significant step in his recovery from a strained right hip flexor, beginning a running progression on the field at Miller Park before the Mets' game against the Brewers. He had previously only been hitting and throwing. The 32-year-old slugger, who has been on the DL since May 14 after initially hurting the hip on May 6, is hitting .255/.316/.474 with eight home runs in 37 games this season. More >

Here's a roundup of the latest injury news across the Majors.

Yoenis Cespedes, Mets
Cespedes took a significant step in his recovery from a strained right hip flexor, beginning a running progression on the field at Miller Park before the Mets' game against the Brewers. He had previously only been hitting and throwing. The 32-year-old slugger, who has been on the DL since May 14 after initially hurting the hip on May 6, is hitting .255/.316/.474 with eight home runs in 37 games this season. More >

Martin Prado, Marlins
Prado, who was limited to 37 games last season with hamstring injuries, limped off the field with a left hamstring strain after reaching first base on an error during Friday's game vs. the Nationals, exiting the contest in the sixth inning. He is listed as day to day. The 34-year-old infielder is slashing .194/.242/.226 in 24 games for Miami this season. More >

Video: WSH@MIA: Mattingly provides an update on Prado

Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, Dodgers
Kershaw and Hill are each slated to throw in a simulated game Saturday. Kershaw has been on the disabled list with left biceps tendinitis and hasn't pitched in a game since May 1. He'll pitch four innings in the sim game, with a chance to show he's ready to pitch five days later rather than go out on a Minor League rehab assignment. Hill left his last start on May 19 after only two pitches due to a ruptured blister on his pitching hand, and he has been limited to 24 2/3 innings this season due to blisters. More >

Dee Gordon, Mariners
Gordon took ground balls and did some pregame infield work prior to Seattle's series opener with Minnesota at Safeco Field. The second baseman was placed on the 10-day DL with a broken right big toe last Monday, and he's eligible to come off the DL on Thursday.

"It's calmed down, which is exactly what we were hoping would happen," manager Scott Servais said. "We needed to give it some time. Originally, I thought it would be only about 10 days. Everybody said I'm crazy. I still think it's going to be the 10-day period and you can still call me crazy, but I think that's what we're looking at." More >

Troy Tulowitzki, Blue Jays
Tulowitzki has been cleared by doctors to take the next step in his rehab from surgery to remove bone spurs from both feet, but is still "a ways away" from returning to the Blue Jays, according to manager John Gibbons. Tulowitzki, whose 2017 season ended due to a right ankle injury last July, has been cleared to run on flat ground. The 33-year-old shortstop hit .249/.300/.378 with seven home runs in 66 games for Toronto last season. More >

Mark Trumbo, Orioles
Trumbo injured his right knee earlier in the week during a game against the White Sox in Chicago, and an MRI on Friday revealed arthritis and runner's knee, but no structural damage. Trumbo had missed the beginning of the season with a hamstring injury, has hit .309/.317/.469 with seven doubles and two homers. More >

Bradley Zimmer, Indians
Zimmer could return to the Indians sooner than initially expected, according to manager Terry Francona. The 25-year-old center fielder suffered a left rib contusion on May 15 when he slammed into the wall in right-center field at Yankee Stadium trying to make a play. Zimmer is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Saturday. Fellow outfielders Brandon Guyer (left cervical strain) and Lonnie Chisenhall (right calf strain) will also have rehab stints with Akron this weekend. More >

Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin, Nationals
Murphy will be heading out on a rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday. The 33-year-old second baseman underwent right knee surgery last October after hitting .322/.384/.543 with a National League-best 43 doubles and 23 homers in 144 games for Washington.

"That's great news for us and definitely headed in the right direction," said manager Dave Martinez, who noted that Murphy has played sparingly in extended spring games because of the weather and an illness. "He's played the last couple of days, four or five innings, and now he's ready for a rehab assignment."

Goodwin, who has been on the DL with a left wrist contusion, will join Murphy in a rehab stint with Harrisburg. The 27-year-old outfielder is hitting .250 (6-for-24) with a homer and two steals in 13 games this season. More >

Starling Marte, Pirates
Marte, who has been sidelined with a right oblique strain, ran the bases, took early batting practice and went through a full pregame workout Friday. Pittsburgh's center fielder is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday, and depending on how he feels, may be activated then. Marte got off to a strong start to the season at the plate prior to the injury, hitting .308/.366/.503 with six homers and 10 steals in 41 games. More >

Carlos Rodon, White Sox
Rodon was making a rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte when he was hit in the forehead by a third-inning line drive Thursday night. He had a laceration that required staples, but is on track to make his next rehab start as he gets closer to returning to the White Sox following offseason left shoulder surgery. More >

Ryan Madson, Nationals
Madson was placed on the 10-day DL (retroactive to May 17) with a strained pectoral muscle and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. The right-hander hasn't pitched since May 13, due in part to weather postponements, so it's unclear how the injury developed. Though he has a 4.19 ERA this season, his FIP is 2.16. More >

Khris Davis, Athletics
Davis exited Sunday's 9-2 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto in the fourth inning with a strained right groin. He appeared to sustain the injury during a check-swing before jogging slowly to first base on a double-play grounder.

Manager Bob Melvin said he didn't yet know of any return timetable for Davis, who is slashing .238/.310/.503 with 13 homers. Davis will be evaluated before Tuesday's home series opener vs. Seattle. More >

Video: OAK@TOR: Davis exits game with leg injury in the 4th

Astros rout Tribe with 11 runs in final 2 innings

Altuve hits game-tying double in 8th as Houston turns deficit into lopsided win
Special to MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- After a pitchers' duel between former Cy Young Award winners on Friday, the Astros finally broke through once Indians ace Corey Kluber left the game.

Kluber stymied the Astros for 6 1/3 scoreless innings, bettering counterpart Dallas Keuchel, but Jose Altuve's game-tying two-run double sparked a four-run eighth inning against the Indians' top relievers. A massive output the following inning helped the Astros to an 11-2 win at Progressive Field, their fifth straight victory.

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CLEVELAND -- After a pitchers' duel between former Cy Young Award winners on Friday, the Astros finally broke through once Indians ace Corey Kluber left the game.

Kluber stymied the Astros for 6 1/3 scoreless innings, bettering counterpart Dallas Keuchel, but Jose Altuve's game-tying two-run double sparked a four-run eighth inning against the Indians' top relievers. A massive output the following inning helped the Astros to an 11-2 win at Progressive Field, their fifth straight victory.

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These late-inning rallies have become commonplace for the Astros, who did all of their scoring in the last two frames. They now lead the league with 99 runs from the seventh inning on.

"We had a really good energy in the last three innings," Marwin Gonzalez said. "We're playing 100 percent baseball. We never give up. They have good pitching, and they shut us down for seven innings, but that's what this team is capable of doing, and that's what's special about this team. We can do damage in one or two innings."

George Springer led off the eighth against Andrew Miller with a double to left field, and Alex Bregman then worked a five-pitch walk. Altuve jumped on a first-pitch slider, driving the ball into the left-field corner to tie the game at 2 and end Miller's night.

Video: HOU@CLE: Altuve ties game with 2-run double in 8th

Closer Cody Allen came in to put out the fire, but could not stop the Astros' offense. Altuve advanced to third on Carlos Correa's groundout and scored the go-ahead run on a safety squeeze by Gonzalez that left both runners safe.

Video: HOU@CLE: Gonzalez plates go-ahead run on squeeze bunt

"Obviously we're trying to score one run there, and Marwin's as good as anybody we have at that play," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "We have one of the fastest baserunners at third base. They're playing the infield in for a reason. The game's on the line. To be able to execute a play like that is huge."

Things kept unravelling for Allen, as he gave up a single to Yuli Gurriel, hit Evan Gattis with a pitch and walked Max Stassi with the bases loaded before being removed for Dan Otero. Although Otero stopped the eighth-inning rally, Houston poured on seven more runs in the ninth, highlighted by Gattis' two-run single and a towering Springer three-run homer to cap the scoring.

Video: HOU@CLE: Springer launches a 3-run home run to left

The Astros came into the game just 1-16 when trailing after seven innings, with the lone win coming on May 15 against the Angels. The comeback win secured the season series for the Astros, as they took a 4-1 lead with two games remaining.

"It seems like until we see the 27th out against us, we're going to keep playing," Altuve said. "We can hit homers with Springer, Bregman, Marwin. We can bunt. We can play defense. That's why this team is special: We do a little bit of everything."

Keuchel was excellent over six innings by generating 12 ground balls -- nine of which went for outs -- and striking out five, but he was outdueled by Kluber. The Indians' ace struck out seven, with no walks, and had only two innings with multiple baserunners.

Video: HOU@CLE: Keuchel fans 5, allows 2 runs in 6 innings

The Astros' saving grace vs. Kluber was that they worked his pitch count high enough to chase him after starting a rally in the seventh. They came up empty-handed when J.D. Davis grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, but they got to the Indians' bullpen in the eighth, a unit that now has a Major League-high 6.23 ERA.

"That's the key," Gonzalez said. "It's no secret that they're having a hard time right now. They have a pretty good bullpen, but they're having a hard time. When you have a pitcher like Kluber, you want to get him out as soon as possible. He threw the ball really good today, as always, but we got the best part of the game in the last three innings."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Springer had an odd moment in the first inning after opening the game with a single to right field. On a 3-2 count to Bregman, the next hitter, Springer attempted to steal second base but pulled up early after Bregman struck out, perhaps thinking the pitch was ball four. Yan Gomes' throw beat him by so much that Springer turned around to head back to the dugout before being tagged out.

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

"That was not a good play, and he knows it," Hinch said. "The point of that play is to just start the runners. Bregman's having a really good at-bat, but you've got to keep playing, and he knows it. He made a mental mistake."

Astros' Springer, Gattis have bad luck on bases

HE SAID IT
"We won the latter half of the game pretty convincingly because we just continued to have really good at-bats. In the eighth inning, we had 10 quality at-bats. You put those at-bats together against the likes of Miller and Allen, that's a good sign." -- Hinch

UP NEXT
Lance McCullers Jr. had perhaps his best start of the season against the Indians on Sunday, when he threw seven innings of scoreless one-hit baseball. He struck out eight while issuing two walks. McCullers hasn't given up a home run in six straight starts. Carlos Carrasco starts for the Tribe at 6:15 p.m. CT on FOX.

Ben Weinrib is a contributor to MLB.com.

Houston Astros, Jose Altuve

Mock Draft: Callis makes picks for entire 1st round

MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

This first-round projection looks an awful lot like my previous one from two weeks ago, with only the fourth and fifth picks flipping among the first nine. And it closely resembles Jonathan Mayo's predictions from last week, with our first seven selections matching.

This first-round projection looks an awful lot like my previous one from two weeks ago, with only the fourth and fifth picks flipping among the first nine. And it closely resembles Jonathan Mayo's predictions from last week, with our first seven selections matching.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

That's not to say the top of the Draft is locking into place. While Auburn right-hander Casey Mize remains the front-runner to go No. 1 overall, the Tigers still are considering four alternatives. It continues to look like college players will monopolize the first six picks, and clubs are busy scurrying from conference tournament to conference tournament this week to evaluate them, and others who will fit later in the first round.

Further complicating matters is the high school pitching. It's plentiful, with at least 11 legitimate first-round candidates, but it's also a demographic that scares a lot of clubs because of the risk involved. All 11 won't go in the first round, several will go lower than where their talent alone will dictate and three of them (Mason Denaburg, Ethan Hankins, Mike Vasil) missed time this spring with physical ailments.

Ten days away from the start of the Draft, here's our best guess as to how the first round plays out:

1. Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn

Mize's last two regular-season starts were his worst of the year, but his combination of stuff and precision is still unparalleled in this Draft. Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart appears to be Plan B, and Detroit also is keeping tabs on Wichita State third baseman Alec Bohm, Wisconsin high school outfielder Jarred Kelenic and Florida right-hander Brady Singer.

2. Giants: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech

Mize and Bart, easily the best catcher available, likely will go 1-2 or 2-1. If San Francisco decides to take a deep discount to save extra money for later picks, it could cut a deal with California high school right-hander Cole Winn.

Video: Draft Report: Joey Bart, College catcher

3. Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State

All of the teams in the top four are doing their due diligence on Bohm, the consensus best college position player in terms of hitting for both average and power. Philadelphia almost certainly will take a college performer, with Oregon State second baseman Nick Madrigal and Singer the other leading candidates.

4. White Sox: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida

If the top three picks unfold as expected, Chicago will choose between Kelenic, Madrigal, Singer and South Alabama outfielder Travis Swaggerty. MLB Pipeline's No. 1-rated prospect entering the year, Singer would be the best fit for the White Sox current needs, not that need will drive a choice this high.

5. Reds: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State

Cincinnati would pounce on Bart or Singer. If that's not an option, the choice will come down to Madigral, Arizona prep left-hander Matthew Liberatore and Jonathan India. Madrigal is the best hitter in the Draft, just like Nick Senzel was when the Reds made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2016.

Video: Draft Report: Nick Madrigal, College 2B/SS

6. Mets: Jonathan India, 3B, Florida

Unless one of the five selections above unexpectedly drops, New York will consider India, Kelenic, Liberatore and Swaggerty. The Mets are leaning college and that probably means India, who had a breakout season as the Southeastern Conference player of the year.

7. Padres: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Glendale, Ariz.)

The run on collegians figures to stop here, though San Diego does like Swaggerty. The Padres are expected to choose from the top tier of high school arms: Liberatore, right-hander Carter Stewart (Florida), left-hander Ryan Weathers (Tennessee) and Winn. Liberatore is the consensus top prep pitching prospect, but all four guys are in play.

8. Braves: Nolan Gorman, 3B, O'Connor HS (Phoenix)

Atlanta is associated with mostly high schoolers. The Braves appear to prefer Gorman -- the best power hitter in the Draft, but also a bit of a polarizing prospect who might slide into the mid-teens if he doesn't go here -- to Kelenic. The prep pitchers also will be in play, starting with Weathers.

Video: Draft Report: Nolan Gorman, High School 3B

9. Athletics: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama

Oakland looks destined to take a position player, though Liberatore could change that. Swaggerty has some of the best all-around tools in the college ranks and gets the nod over Kelenic and Gorman.

10. Pirates: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (Nacogdoches, Texas)

Rodriguez has more helium than any first-rounder right now, which could vault him all the way into the top 10 to a club focusing on high school arms. Stewart, Weathers and Winn also are in Pittsburgh's mix.

11. Orioles: Cole Winn, RHP, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS

Baltimore is targeting the same prep pitchers as Pittsburgh. If the Orioles go for a college arm, this could be the high-water mark for Stetson right-hander Logan Gilbert.

12. Blue Jays: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha (Wis.) West HS

Every Draft has a guy who seems to be considered by several teams, but doesn't quite make it to their top choice, and this year that may be Kelenic. The best high school hitter available, he may not be able to overcome the preference for collegians at the top or for prep arms right ahead of Toronto. If he's gone, the Blue Jays are on more prep bats such as Gorman, outfielder/wide receiver Jordyn Adams (North Carolina) and others who could drop into the 20s if they don't go 12 or 13: shortstop Xavier Edwards (Florida), third baseman Jordan Groshans (Texas) and catcher Noah Naylor (Canada).

Video: Draft Report: Jarred Kelenic, High School outfielder

13. Marlins: Triston Casas, 1B, American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.)

Miami is pursuing a lot of the same high school bats as Toronto, as well as two more in Casas, who has power to rival Gorman's, and outfielder Connor Scott (Florida).

14. Mariners: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi

After sliding out of the top 10 and possibly into the 20s, Rolison reversed course with a strong outing Wednesday at the SEC tournament. The best bet is that Seattle takes him or one of the other college arms on the second tier behind Mize and Singer: Gilbert, Florida right-hander Jackson Kowar and South Florida left-hander Shane McClanahan. The Mariners likely would take one of the college hitters projected above here and possibly Oregon State outfielder Trevor Larnach.

15. Rangers: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (Melbourne, Fla.)

With a fastball that reaches 98 mph and a super-spin curveball, Stewart shouldn't last 15 picks, but high school right-handers often last longer than they should. If he's gone, Winn or Weathers also would be attractive.

Video: Draft Report: Carter Stewart, High School pitcher

16. Rays: Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (Tampa)

Tampa Bay is another club in the market for high school bats. The Rays have three first-round choices and the second-largest bonus pool at $12,415,600, so they're in great position to make a run at Adams, who is signed to play football at North Carolina, where his father Deke is a defensive line coach. Or they could take another speedy outfielder in Scott and save their cash for later picks.

17. Angels: Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto (Tenn.) HS

College arms such as Gilbert, Kowar and McClanahan would be tempting, but Weathers would be hard to pass up. Los Angeles also has shown interest in Adams and Georgia prep right-hander Ethan Hankins, MLB Pipeline's top-rated high school prospect, until he battled a muscular issue in the area of his pitching shoulder.

18. Royals: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (Cary, N.C.)

Kansas City can match Tampa Bay's three first-rounders and has the largest bonus pool at $12,781,900. If the Royals want Adams, they probably have to take him here to ensure they get him. The same is true of Groshans, whom they have covered heavily. One of the top-tier high school arms would be hard to pass up if they got to 18.

19. Cardinals: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson

Unless some of the first tier of prep pitchers lasts longer than expected, the second tier of college arms should start to come off the board around here. St. Louis gets mentioned mostly with pitchers ...

20. Twins: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida

... as does Minnesota, which wouldn't be adverse to a high school arm, but figures to be mostly looking at collegians. The Twins also are monitoring a number of high school shortstops such as Edwards, Jeremiah Jackson (Alabama) and Osiris Johnson (California) -- but apparently not the more expensive Brice Turang (California).

21. Brewers: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida

A lefty who can hit 100 mph and mix in a plus changeup, McClanahan looked to be solidly in the 6-12 range until he started scuffling with his control and command over his last six starts. Falling this far might be a bit extreme. Milwaukee isn't wed to any particular demographic and is one of several landing spots for Larnach in the 20s.

Video: Draft Report: Shane McClanahan, College pitcher

22. Rockies: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Ringgold, Ga.)

Wilcox has the potential for three plus pitches and isn't far behind the top group of high school pitchers. Colorado also has been tied to another Georgia prepster, switch-hitting and switch-throwing catcher Anthony Seigler.

23. Yankees: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Corona, Calif.)

Turang was mentioned as a candidate to go No. 1 overall entering last summer, and while he hasn't lived up to those expectations, he's still a talented shortstop in a Draft thin at that position. A variety of high school position players get mentioned with New York, including Adams, Casas, Edwards and outfielder Mike Siani (Pennsylvania).

24. Cubs: Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State

Chicago has had a lot of success taking the best college bat available in the first round, which would make Larnach a fit. The Cubs would love for one of the prime college or high school arms to get to No. 24. They're also the peak for players such as Indiana high school outfielder Nick Schnell or Stanford shortstop Nico Hoerner, though this would be a bit high for both.

25. D-backs: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma

A year after taking an accomplished college bat in Pavin Smith at No. 7, Arizona could go the same route with Walker. Other college position player options include Clemson first baseman Seth Beer, Duke outfielder Griffin Conine, Missouri State shortstop Jeremy Eierman, Larnach and Virginia outfielder Jake McCarthy. It's no secret that the D-backs love prep shortstop Matt McLain, but No. 25 is rich for him.

Video: Draft Report: Steele Walker, College outfielder

26. Red Sox: Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia (Texas) HS

Unless someone with a higher ceiling slides, Boston could grab one of the better all-around high school bats in Groshans. The Red Sox probably would consider several of the college position players mentioned with the D-backs above.

27. Nationals: Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island (Fla.) HS

Washington has had a lot of success buying low on pitchers with physical questions such as Lucas Giolito (first round, 2012), Erick Fedde (first round, 2014) and Jesus Luzardo (third round, 2016). That makes it an obvious target for Denaburg (biceps tendintis), Hankins and Massachusetts high school right-hander Mike Vasil (elbow soreness). Back on the mound Tuesday, Denaburg struck out Casas twice and showed the same upper-first-round form he displayed before getting sidelined.

28. Astros: Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS (Chicago)

A run of high school outfielders should start around here. Adams and Scott won't last much longer if they haven't been taken, while Parker Meadows (Georgia), Schnell, Siani and Thomas may not get to pick No. 40. Naylor and Seigler are two non-outfield possibilities.

Video: Draft Report: Alek Thomas, HS outfielder

29. Indians: Noah Naylor, C, St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS (Mississauga, Ont.)

Cleveland has two selections toward the end of the first round and could double up on prep bats unless one of the premium high school arms makes his way to No. 29. Besides Naylor, the Indians also are watching the outfield group mentioned with the Astros, plus Edwards and Georgia high school catchers Will Banfield and Seigler.

30. Dodgers: Jameson Hannah, OF, Dallas Baptist

An outfielder is a good guess for Los Angeles, whether it be sweet-swinging collegians Hannah or Walker or one of the high schoolers.

31. Rays: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Cumming, Ga.)

Hankins does have a clean MRI and could go much higher than this, though only Kansas City can match Tampa Bay's ability to pay him. If the Rays take a pitcher at 18 and Adams is still on the board, he'd be an obvious choice.

Video: Draft Report: Ethan Hankins, High School pitcher

32. Rays: Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson

Scouts either love Beer's track record of production or hate his all-bat profile and lack of success with wood bats. He'll go in the first round somewhere and there's buzz that he could land in the top 20, but he's a total wild card.

33. Royals: Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville (Ga.) HS

Groshans would be the guy if he gets this far, which probably won't happen. Seigler has the up-the-middle athleticism Kansas City covets. The Royals also could take a shortstop such as Oregon State's Cadyn Grenier or Jackson.

34. Royals: Mike Vasil, RHP, Boston College HS (Boston)

Kansas City figures to take at least one pitcher with its three first-rounders. Vasil looked healthy while touching 95 mph on Tuesday. The Royals also could grab high school right-handers J.T. Ginn (Mississippi) or Kumar Rocker (Georgia), who have first-round arms and will command those type of bonuses even if they slide into the second round.

35. Indians: Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek, Fla.)

The high demand for shortstops and the relatively short supply makes it increasingly unlikely that Edwards and his all-around skills make it out of the first round.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Mookie hits 17th HR, J.D. slugs 16th for Sox

Special to MLB.com

BOSTON -- In an Interleague battle of East divisional leaders, it was the Red Sox who took the first game of their three-game set versus Atlanta, 6-2, by way of the long ball.

The Braves took the early advantage, getting to Eduardo Rodriguez when Nick Markakis plated two with a double in the top of the third inning for a 2-0 lead.

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BOSTON -- In an Interleague battle of East divisional leaders, it was the Red Sox who took the first game of their three-game set versus Atlanta, 6-2, by way of the long ball.

The Braves took the early advantage, getting to Eduardo Rodriguez when Nick Markakis plated two with a double in the top of the third inning for a 2-0 lead.

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Though Boston's bats were dormant early versus Julio Teheran, registering just one hit through the first three innings, they figured out the Braves starter and homered their way right back into it.

Leading off the fourth, slugger J.D. Martinez connected on his 16th home run of the season, a missile which scraped the top of the front ledge of the Green Monster and momentarily pulled him even with teammate Mookie Betts for the Major League home run lead.

Video: ATL@BOS: Bogaerts crushes a solo homer to left field

Two batters later Xander Bogaerts would go the extra mile, clearing everything in left field with a projected 381-foot blast, according to Statcast™, that exited the park and landed on Landsdowne Street, pulling the Red Sox even at 2.

Boston would pull ahead in the fifth when Andrew Benintendi scored Jackie Bradley Jr., who hit a one-out triple to the triangle, with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Video: ATL@BOS: Betts clobbers his 17th homer, a 2-run jack

Betts gave Boston some breathing room with his 17th home run, a two-run shot in the seventh inning, and Mitch Moreland cleaned things up with a 443-foot solo blast to dead center in the eighth to cap the long-ball party

"It's good to see," said manager Alex Cora. "I do think that although sometimes we expand the strike zone, we're staying aggressive regardless of the count. Seeing a lot of two-strike homers. That's good to see. They did damage. They're doing a good job of it. Just hope we can continue it."

Video: ATL@BOS: Cora talks about offense in win over Braves

"Today, I don't think we had a ton of hits. But the ones we did have counted," Moreland added. "It's nice to never feel like you're out of the game. One swing of the bat can get you right back in it. It's a lot easier to put up crooked numbers that way. Hopefully we continue to build on that."

Rodriguez, who allowed six hits over the first three innings, settled in after the third, striking out four and allowing just two walks over the next 2 2/3 frames.

For his efforts, the left-hander was rewarded with his fifth win of the season after striking out seven in his 5 2/3 innings.

"I'm just thinking right now I've got to work on getting deeper in games," Rodriguez said. "Overall, it was really good, and all my pitches were working really good."

Video: ATL@BOS: Rodriguez fans Inciarte in the 6th inning

"He was working on that cutter to lefties, and he was getting away with it," said Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte. "That inning we scored the two runs, I felt it was a good time to score more runs. We put a good swing on it and couldn't find the holes. He did a good job tonight."

Teheran proved the tough-luck loser on the night after allowing only four hits over six innings.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
While the four home runs were certainly key to the Red Sox's victory, a hit that came up one base short proved to be tantamount toward the cause. In the bottom of the fifth, with the game tied at 2 and one out, Bradley roped a first-pitch fastball to the triangle in center field and would come around to score the decisive run.

"We do feel offensively we're going to be better," said Cora. "There are certainly guys that struggle the first part of the season, but they're working at it and getting better. You can see the progress with Jackie."

Video: ATL@BOS: Benintendi plates Bradley Jr. on a sac fly

SOUND SMART
• This was the fourth time this season that Boston had four or more home runs in a game and third straight home game in which they hit at least three. They are 19-4 in games with multiple home runs this year.

• Over the last six games, the Red Sox's bullpen has not allowed a run in 18 1/3 innings.

HE SAID IT
"You ever see the Dragon Ball? We call them Goku and Vegeta. They do something crazy every time they go out there." -- Rodriguez, on what the team has been calling Martinez and Betts of late, referencing the Japanese anime show Dragon Ball Z

UP NEXT
The Red Sox will continue their three-game set versus the team that they shared this city with, albeit some time ago. Middleboro, Mass., native Sean Newcomb will make his Fenway Park debut Saturday at 1:05 p.m. ET for the Braves against the team he grew up rooting for. Boston will counter with Drew Pomeranz, who has been unable to make it past four innings in each of his last two starts.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.

Boston Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Eduardo Rodriguez

Finch provides guidance at Breakthrough Series

Special to MLB.com

COMPTON, Calif. -- For Jayden Clark, the opportunity to showcase her skills and learn from Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch at the annual Softball Breakthrough Series helped the Florida prep athlete achieve her dream of playing college softball.

Clark was on the verge of giving up on the game before attending a Softball Breakthrough Series event last year, where Finch delivered a pep talk that steered the teen back into the sport she loves.

COMPTON, Calif. -- For Jayden Clark, the opportunity to showcase her skills and learn from Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch at the annual Softball Breakthrough Series helped the Florida prep athlete achieve her dream of playing college softball.

Clark was on the verge of giving up on the game before attending a Softball Breakthrough Series event last year, where Finch delivered a pep talk that steered the teen back into the sport she loves.

"I was quitting, because it just wasn't sticking with me and I felt like I was going into a slump," said Clark, who is now committed to playing softball at South Florida State College. "But when I met Jennie -- she has the best personality all the way around. She just told me to not get down on myself. She understood what I was going through.

"She also gave me her glasses, and ever since then, I haven't dropped a ball in the outfield with them. That's my good-luck charm."

Clark was one of 60 high-school softball players from 18 states and Puerto Rico who were invited to participate in this year's Softball Breakthrough Series, held at Major League Baseball's Youth Academy in Compton. It's a special development camp operated by MLB and USA Softball that serves as a showcase for college recruiters.

Tweet from @JALaymance: Pitching lessons from @JennieFinch at today's Softball Breakthrough Series development camp in Compton. @MLB_YA @USASoftball pic.twitter.com/uWoGZ6ItGI

"For these young ladies, it's just being out here meeting girls from all over the country and sharing the struggles, sharing the excitement for the game," said Finch, the youth softball ambassador for MLB. "Sports are so important. For these girls to have this opportunity to come out and learn from the best, it's way beyond the softball field. It's life lessons, it's an experience they will never forget."

Finch and her fellow softball Olympians know all about success and struggles, but it's important for the next generation of athletes to understand that failure can lead to triumph.

"We're all going to fail, and that's what we tried to tell them: We're Olympians, yes, but we've failed, we've probably failed more than you've tried," Finch said. "That's what it takes and that's what builds and shapes the character that you are. Don't be afraid to fail."

An extension of the Baseball Breakthrough Series, which was established in 2008, the Softball Breakthrough Series is completely expense-free for participants. Attendees showcase their skills to college recruiters while receiving on-field instruction and presentations from some of the nation's top softball figures.

Friday's workouts, part of a five-day program, featured defensive and offensive drills and breakout sessions with instructors, including baserunning, situational offense and defense and hitting. The workouts continue through Sunday before the participants play in exhibition games.

In addition to the on-field action, participants receive daily presentations from notable figures connected to baseball and softball. The presentations provide mentorship, tips on the collegiate recruiting process and information about careers within the baseball industry.

"Ultimately, we use this game for a bigger, better purpose," Finch said. "It's the determination, it's the grit, it's the sacrifice, it's the teamwork, it's the leadership skills, all of those things that will help them beyond softball and in life, no matter if they're playing or not playing."

Austin Laymance is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Mariners acquire Colome, Span from Rays

Club sends out young arms Moore, Romero in deal to bolster depth
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Any question about the Mariners' belief in their ability to contend even with Robinson Cano suspended for half the season was answered Friday when general manager Jerry Dipoto engineered a trade with the Rays to bolster his club's chances to compete in the tough American League West.

Dipoto improved both his bullpen and outfield with a two-for-two deal, acquiring Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome, veteran outfielder Denard Span and cash for Minor League starters Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

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SEATTLE -- Any question about the Mariners' belief in their ability to contend even with Robinson Cano suspended for half the season was answered Friday when general manager Jerry Dipoto engineered a trade with the Rays to bolster his club's chances to compete in the tough American League West.

Dipoto improved both his bullpen and outfield with a two-for-two deal, acquiring Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome, veteran outfielder Denard Span and cash for Minor League starters Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

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The Mariners had gone 6-3 since Cano's 80-game suspension and were 29-20 going into Friday's series opener with the Twins despite injuries to Dee Gordon, Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger.

Cruz and Haniger are back now, Gordon is about a week from returning and the club will add a power arm to the back of its bullpen and a veteran in Span who helps bolster the outfield now that Gordon has moved back to second base in Cano's absence.

"I think it's an awesome message that [despite] everything we've dealt with in the last 8 to 10 days here, that we're all in on this season," manager Scott Servais said. "That even though we had a setback with Robbie and the injury and suspension, it's not going to derail us. Our eyes are set on the goal and that's getting to the playoffs and I think this helps us."

The Mariners are adding roughly $10 million in remaining 2018 salary with the two veterans, but they had about $12 million of payroll open up with the suspension of Cano. According to the Associated Press, they're receiving $4.75 million in cash from the Rays as part of the deal.

"Denard Span's skill set fits our team quite well," Dipoto said. "And the impact we felt like we were getting in Alex Colome trumps what we thought we could get into in the starting pitching market, while leaving ourselves some wiggle room that if a starter or something otherwise is needed as we get [further] into the season, we still aren't entirely cut off. We have the ability to go for it if we can."

Video: MIN@SEA: Dipoto on Mariners acquiring Colome, Span

To make room on the 40-man roster, Seattle transferred right-handed pitcher David Phelps to the 60-day disabled list.

The Mariners already have an established closer in Edwin Diaz, but Colome adds another late-inning setup option to go with Juan Nicasio and Nick Vincent. The Mariners lost Phelps to Tommy John surgery this past spring, so Colome essentially fills that primary setup role.

Colome, a 29-year-old right-hander, was an All-Star in 2016 for the Rays when he posted a 1.91 ERA and 37 saves. He racked up a Major League-leading 47 saves with a 3.24 ERA last year.

Colome struggled early this season and has a 4.15 ERA with 11 saves and 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings over 23 appearances. But in his last 17 outings dating back to April 17, his ERA is 2.16 and opposing batters are hitting .194 against him.

Video: BOS@TB: Colome earns his 11th save as Rays win, 6-3

The six-year veteran is earning $5.3 million this season and has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before becoming a free agent in 2021.

Span is in the final year of a contract that is paying him $11 million this year, with the Giants absorbing $2 million of that as part of their trade for Evan Longoria in December. Span does have a $12 million team option for 2019, with a $4 million buyout.

Span has primarily played center field throughout his 11-year career with the Twins, Nationals, Giants and Rays, putting up a career .282/.348/.396 line. But he's been in left much of this year for the Rays, and Dipoto indicated the veteran would play mostly left field for the Mariners as well.

"He's a pro," Dipoto said. "I'm sure his comfort zone would most likely be in center, but at the same time he's playing left for the Rays and I feel like that's the place he fits best for us and it gives Scott the ability with him and Mitch Haniger and Guillermo [Heredia] and Denard to have four outfielders who will play anywhere you need them to play.

"They can serve as a kind of rotating group and I'm sure on most days you'll see Haniger in right, Heredia in center and left field will be mostly Denard Span and that gives [Ben Gamel] the ability to roam and give the other guys a break and I'm sure he'll still be getting at-bats as if he were playing regularly."

Video: TB@BOS: Span rips inside-the-park HR vs. Price

Span has posted a.238/.364/.385 line with four homers and 28 RBIs in 43 games after the Tampa native was acquired from the Giants to play in his hometown last December.

"Obviously, we've been playing here better of late, but you know, this is part of the business," Span told reporters in Tampa Bay. "I'm just happy that I have a job and somebody wants me. So I'm looking forward to going to Seattle, even though it hasn't sunk in yet. I'm looking forward to this new challenge. …They're in a position to win. They saw an opportunity to get myself and Colome. They're trying to win over there."

To acquire the two veterans, the Mariners gave up a pair of young pitching prospects. Moore, who turns 24 next week, went 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA in 59 innings over 11 outings, including nine starts, last year for Seattle. The 2015 second-round Draft choice out of Oregon State is 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA in nine starts for Double-A Arkansas this season.

Romero, 20, was a 15th-round Draft pick out of Eastern Florida State who has been impressive for Class A Clinton this season, going 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in nine starts and striking out 54 batters in 44 innings. 

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Colome, Andrew Moore, Denard Span