MLB In Full Bloom - Carlos Santana Continues To Surge - 7/28/2014

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Carlos Santana continued his two-month surge over the weekend as he capped it all off with a two-homer, four RBI game against the Royals on Sunday. In his last seven games, Santana went 15-for-27 with six home runs, 10 RBI, eight runs scored and he even added a stolen base. That brilliance included five home runs during the four-game series with the Royals. In the series, Santana went 9-for-14 with five walks and reached base in 15 of his 20 plate appearances. In the season's first two months, Santana was ice cold combining for a .159 BA over his first 50 games. That stretch was punctuated with a concussion Santana suffered from taking a foul tip off his mask in late May, keeping him out for nine games. Santana returned to the lineup on June 6th and hit .308 last month and in June while playing primarily first base. July is shaping up to be his best month yet. After Sunday's game, Santana has eight home runs and 18 RBI through 23 games this month, and five of his six multi-hit games have come within the past week. After Sunday, Santana's season batting average is up to .232.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Josh Harrison had a monster day on Sunday afternoon in Colorado as he went 4-for-6 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases in the Pirates' 7-5 victory over the Rockies. Harrison was 5-for-27 since the All-Star break before Sunday's performance. He's now hitting .294 with six homers and 13 stolen bases this year.
  • John Jaso went 2-for-5 and drove home three runs on Sunday as the Athletics earned a 9-3 victory over the Rangers in Texas. Jaso has been one of the better offensive catchers in the American League this season, slashing .286 with eight homers and 38 RBI.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu picked up his 12th victory of the season on Sunday as he allowed three runs on six hits over his six innings of work. Ryu racked up seven strikeouts on the night while walking just one. The Giants got single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings against the left-hander. The last one on a solo blast by Buster Posey. Ryu will carry a 3.44 ERA into his next start against the Cubs.
  • Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and a stolen base in Sunday's loss to Miami. The home run was Altuve's fourth of the season and the stolen base was his 42nd. The 24-year-old second baseman leads MLB in hits (148), batting average (.344), multi-hit games (46) and three-hit games (18).
  • Jedd Gyorko (foot) was activated by the Padres from the 15-day disabled list today. Gyorko wound up missing close to two months with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He has batted just .162 in 221 plate appearances before the injury, but the second baseman is capable of much better now that he is healthy.
  • Starling Marte is eligible to return from the 7-day concussion disabled list on Wednesday, but it appears that he is still experiencing concussion symptoms. According to Pirates GM Neal Huntington, Marte has had very good stretches, but hasn't felt quite right other times. The Pittsburgh GM added that the longer Marte remains out, the better the chance he will need a rehab assignment. Marte was hit by a Jamey Wright fastball July 18 and last played three days thereafter before heading to the disabled list.
  • After snapping a 17-game losing streak on Saturday in the Bronx, the Toronto Blue Jays won their first series against the Yankees in New York on Sunday in two years. The Blue Jays won for the seventh time in 10 games following the All-Star break. But their first series win in New York against the AL East rival since Aug. 27-29, 2012.
  • Greg Maddux was enshrined into the Hall of Fame on Sunday along with Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa, and Bobby Cox. Maddux's career was one of the best in the history of baseball. Without ranking him, I think few would argue he's not among the 10 best pitchers in history. In 1985, Maddux's second pro season after being selected in the second round, he was 13-9 with a 3.19 ERA for Class A Peoria. After the season, Cubs scout Duffy Dyer submitted a scouting report to the organization that he is "not strong enough to be a starter." In the comments, it notes that he "ran out of gas" and didn't pitch well in the last third of the season. Not that it mattered, Maddux pitched very well in Double-A and Triple-A the next season, earning a trip to the majors. He was an All-Star for the first time in 1988 and won his first Cy Young in 1992.

MLB In Full Bloom - Tyson Ross Dominates & Padres Offense Erupts - 7/25/2014

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Tyson Ross continued his dominance Thursday night against the Cubs over six innings to earn the victory. Ross was in control from the first inning and he piled up a season-high 11 strikeouts over six innings in a victory over the Cubs. He surrendered just one run on five hits and a walk last night. Ross began missing bats at an impressive rate during his breakout 2013 campaign, and has carried over that success right into this season. Through Thursday, his 143 strikeouts tie him with teammate Ian Kennedy for third in the National League, trailing only Johnny Cueto and Stephen Strasburg. With Thursday’s victory at Wrigley, Ross now owns a 1.89 ERA over 19 innings in his last three starts away from Petco Park. He’ll try to earn his 10th victory when he faces the Cardinals at home on Tuesday. As for Padres offense which ranks last in the National League in runs scored, batting average, and on-base percentage, they erupted in the sixth inning. In that frame, they scored nine runs on eight hits, all singles, in 15 plate appearances. The Padres won 13-3 and won the three game series against the Cubs.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Corey Kluber had a perfect game going into the seventh inning and he pitched nine innings of one-run (unearned) ball, but the Indians lost in 14 innings to the Royals on Thursday. Kluber's bid for a perfect game ended with one out in the seventh inning when Omar Infante singled on a line drive to center field. Kluber lost his shutout in the eighth when a poor defensive play by Ryan Raburn allowed Mike Moustakas to round the bases on a double and a two-base error.  Kluber went nine innings but the Indians needed 14 before they were dispatched. Kluber allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out 10. He now has a 2.77 ERA and will face the Mariners next week.
  • Matt Garza threw eight innings of one-run ball against the Mets and got a win on Thursday. Garza had a miserable outing last Saturday against the Nationals, but bounced back nicely against the Mets. He made only one damaging mistake, serving up a solo home run to Lucas Duda in the seventh. Overall, he allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out four. He now owns a 3.87 ERA. He'll face the Rays on the road in his next start.
  • Brandon McCarthy pitched six innings and allowed just one run Thursday in a win over the Rangers. Combining his last two starts with the Diamondbacks and his first three with the Yankees, McCarthy is 4-0 with a 1.72 ERA since June 27. He has benefited from an easy schedule and that will continue Monday when he faces the Rangers again.
  • Brandon Moss hit a grand slam, drew a walk and scored two runs Thursday against Houston. That's his third grand slam this season, which is the most in the majors. Moss has an eight-game hitting streak going and he's had exactly one hit in each of those eight games. Half of those hits have been homers.
  • Phil Hughes (contusion) left Thursday's game due to a right shin contusion. He limped off the field after being struck with a comebacker in the fourth inning, and the ailment is now officially being called a shin contusion. He may end up questionable for his next start, but it will likely depend on the severity of the bruise and how well he's able to push off that leg. Hughes had allowed two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts before exiting.
  • David Ortiz (back) will be re-evaluated on Friday before it's determined how much time he might miss. Ortiz left Wednesday's game after feeling "like a little pop or something" in his upper back during his final at-bat. Fantasy owners should expect the worst, but hope for the best.
  • Cooperstown will host the annual Hall of Fame inductions this weekend and they are expected massive crowds. Brad Horn, the Hall's vice president of communications and education, said the best guess is that some 40,000 fans will find their way to the museum and various festivities. Cooperstown, N.Y., has a little more than 1,800 full-time residents. A typical induction weekend crowd runs between 15,000 and 20,000. The population will change dramatically this weekend when six honorees that includes Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre.

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