The Kansas City Royals doubled their pleasure Wednesday night. Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas stroked RBI doubles in the sixth inning, helping the Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 3-2. Perez, Gordon and Moustakas, who snapped an 0-for-14 skid, doubled in a nine-pitch, four-batter span off Twins starter Phil Hughes to give the Royals a 3-1 lead.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 31st, 2014
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With the deadline on top of us, let’s take a look at the closer situations around the league.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 30th, 2014
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In Wednesday’s Daily Dose, Ryan Boyer dissects trade rumors involving Jon Lester, David Price, Cole Hamels and others.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 30th, 2014
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In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitching prospect who has thrown 100 mile per hour fastballs but has never been drafted. Brandon Poulson was pitching earlier this month for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in the collegiate Sacramento Rural League. Now, the Twins are about to give him $250,000. ”It’s a great story,” Twins West Coast scouting supervisor Sean Johnson said Tuesday.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 29th, 2014
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A day after Greg Maddux was enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame , Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Vance Worley nearly achieved a “Maddux” — the Internet-recognized feat of throwing a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches.
But this wasn’t any complete game. It was a 5-0 shutout against the San Francisco Giants in which Worley gave up four hits and struck out three. He completely dominated the Giants, handing them their second shutout loss in three games. 
Yes, we said Vance Worley did this. The same Vance Worley who was a big-league castoff after a 7.21 ERA in 2013.
He ended up one pitch away from the Maddux, however. Worley finished with 100 pitches exactly, one too many for Maddux status. Blame a ninth-inning triple by Hunter Pence. It wasn’t a Maddux, but a great performance still, the best of Worley’s career, and he certainly won’t worry too much about that one pitch.
This is the high point in his return to the big leagues. After that ugly 2013 with the Minnesota Twins, Worley was traded to Pittsburgh this spring for cash or a player to be named.
He was sent to the minors first, but Worley worked his way back into the Pirates rotation and is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight games since joining the big-league team in mid June.
Greg Maddux, since you’re probably wondering, threw a Maddux 13 times .

JAYS, DICKEY DOMINATE RED SOX The recipe for the Toronto Blue Jays’ rout of the Boston Red Sox on Monday night: two homers from Melky Cabrera, 14 total hits and 10 strikeouts from starting pitcher R.A. Dickey.
It wasn’t even close. The Jays won 14-1 , crushing the Red Sox like the windshield of an ill-placed car behind the Green Monster. Dickey had his good knuckleball going, even though he didn’t exactly need it because of all those runs:

”I kind of wish they could divide them up over, like, three starts,” he said. ”(I) almost kind of wish we’d have only scored two runs because I felt like I had that kind of knuckleball tonight and saved this outing for when I gave up five, but I’ll take it.”

This was Toronto’s third straight win. They’re 2 1/2 games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East.
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MARLINS COME BACK, STUN NATS The Washington Nationals took a 6-0 lead into the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins, a lead that’s generally pretty safe no matter who’s across the field. But the still-hanging-around Marlins scored seven runs in the final three innings to stun the first-place Nats, concluding the 7-6 comeback win on a walk-off single by Jeff Baker with two outs in the ninth.
The Marlins scored four runs in that ninth inning, and skipper Mike Redmond did not shy away from declaring this the biggest win of the Marlins’ season :

”At this stage, that’s got to be the biggest game of the year – right? – with where we are in the standings, and where we’ve got to go,” manager Mike Redmond said. ”These guys understand that.”

The Marlins are a surprising 52-53. Playoffs don’t seem particularly likely, but they’re 4 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot and six out in the NL East. Like a six-run comeback, it’s not impossible.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 29th, 2014
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The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Danny Valencia from the Kansas City Royals on Monday in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and right-hander Liam Hendriks.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 28th, 2014
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When Detroit reliever Willie Hernandez won the MVP in 1984, he pitched in 80 games. The current trend in bullpen management – in which the best relievers are used primarily in the ninth inning to close out victories – didn’t start until later. Now many teams take specialization a step further, assigning the closer to the ninth inning and another setup man to the eighth. ”They like their roles, they kind of know when they’ve got to get out there, they know what time they’ve got to be there, they know when to get loose and what their roles might be.” Over the course of a 162-game season, there’s something to be said for establishing a sense of routine – and limiting certain relievers to certain situations can help control workloads.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 28th, 2014
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Frank Thomas is one of the most physically imposing players ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. However, the 6-foot-5 slugger, whose playing weight was 240 pounds, was the only one of six inductees Sunday reduced to tears during the ceremony in front of an estimated crowd of 48,000 in the field behind the Clark Athletic Center. Immortalized along with Thomas — nicknamed “The Big Hurt” — were pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and managers Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre. Thomas hit 521 home runs in his 19-year career from 1990-2008 with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 27th, 2014
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Chris Sale proved once again why he is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball Saturday night. The lanky Chicago left-hander struck out 12 Minnesota Twins over eight shutout innings in a 7-0 White Sox rout at Target Field. The 12 punch-outs marked the 15th time in Sale’s career that he has fanned double-digit batters — tying him with Juan Pizarro for second on the White Sox all-time list in double-digit strikeout games. Sale completed his 75th start Saturday.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 27th, 2014
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Chris Sale tied a season high with 12 strikeouts in eight dominant innings, Alexei Ramirez hit his 10th homer, and the Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota 7-0 on Saturday night for their third straight win over the Twins. Sale (10-1) scattered five hits – all singles – and became the first White Sox starter to win 10 of his first 11 decisions in a season since Mark Buehrle in 2005. Chicago had its way against Twins starter Logan Darnell (0-1) in his first major league start. A day after being recalled to fill in for injured Kyle Gibson, Darnell allowed seven runs and 11 hits while striking out seven in five innings.

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Post info: By Puckett&Herbeck on July 26th, 2014
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