The reigning NL Rookie of the Year retired his final 23 batters following a first-inning single, and Lucas Duda hit two long homers to nearly the same spot Thursday during the New York Mets’ 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. In his latest stingy start at Citi Field, the only blemish was Matt Carpenter’s clean single with one out in the first. John Mayberry Jr. put the slumping Mets lineup on the scoreboard with an RBI single in the fourth.

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Post info: By GoBucs on May 21st, 2015
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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. Joe Mauer’s long-running power drought is over, and he could not have possibly picked a better time to snap it. With the Twins and Pirates tied in the 13th inning at PNC Park, Mauer smacked Antonio Bastardo’s 0-1 pitch into the right field bleachers for a go-ahead solo home run that held up as the difference in Minnesota’s 4-3 victory. The home run was Mauer’s first of the season. In fact, it was his first since Aug. 17 of last year, which covers a span of 76 games and 322 plate appearances. But you’d hardly know that based on the swing or the result. Looking comfortable against a left-handed pitcher, Mauer turned on the pitch like we’ve seen so many times in the past and gave it a ride. Vintage Mauer, you might say, and as a result the Twins are now a comfortable six games over .500. The home run helped Minnesota avoid what could have been a difficult loss to swallow. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, the offense went silent allowing Pittsburgh to chip away before tying it in the eighth on Andrew McCutchen’s home run. After sweeping the brief two-game series, Minnesota will move on to Chicago for a weekend series with the White Sox. ASTROS KEEP ROLLING IN AL WEST One slip up against the Oakland A’s on Monday is all that stands between the Houston Astros and an eight-game winning streak. This comes less than three weeks after Houston won 10 straight, including sweeps against those same A’s, the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. It goes without saying that they remain the biggest surprise in MLB this season, and with Wednesday’s 6-1 win against Oakland, they maintained the second-best record in MLB behind only the St. Louis Cardinals. On the pitching side, Dallas Keuchel has been the foundation of their hot start. He improved to 6-0 Wednesday, pitching seven innings and allowing just one unearned run. He joins Cardinals’ right-hander Michael Wacha as the only pitchers with at least six decision to remain undefeated. Felix Hernandez and Bartolo Colon also have six victories. Offensively, it was another balanced attack. George Springer, Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Marisnick each had two hits, but the biggest came from Evan Gattis. His go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth was Houston’s league-leading 61st long ball of the season and the blow Oakland simply couldn’t recover from. Also worth noting, Jose Altuve was 0-for-5. He’s mired in a 2-for-20 slump over his last five games, but the Astros continue picking him up. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] MARLINS STILL WINLESS IN DAN JENNINGS ERA The Dan Jennings era is off to a miserable start in Miami and Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks was another befitting of the chaos and apparent lack of direction or organization that engulfs the franchise. The Marlins were carved up by Arizona rookie Chase Anderson, who allowed just one run on four hits over eight innings. That continued a brutal stretch on offense, but Miami was no better defensively, committing an error and permitting six D-Backs stolen bases. A.J. Pollock paced the aggressive attack with three steals, including a steal of home on a botched rundown. Tuffy Gosewisch, Nick Ahmad and Aaron Hill each swiped one bag as Miami could find no answers. Of the six steals, five led to runs. Pollock reached four times overall and touched home all four times. David Peralta knocked him in on three occasions. The Marlins are now 0-3 under Jennings after being swept in Mike Redmond’s final three games against Atlanta. They have one more against Arizona before welcoming the Baltimore Orioles this weekend. LINCECUM SILENCES DODGERS WITH VINTAGE OUTING Apparently Wednesday was a night for vintage performances. Aside from David Letterman’s heartfelt goodbye on the Late Show and Joe Mauer’s first home run since 2014, San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum was pretty close to his Cy Young form in helping his squad shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0. Through not necessarily overpowering, Lincecum had Los Angeles off balance for the duration of his seven innings, allowing just three hits. He walked two, another encouraging number, and struck out four, which helped keep the pitch count manageable. Jean Machi, Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt recorded the final six outs as San Francisco extended its winning streak to five and moved to within 2 1/2 games of Los Angeles. Buster Posey had three hits, including a two-run homer off Yimi Garcia.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Over his career, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez has done one thing consistently well: Smash home runs with incredible power.  He was at it again Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins. In the fourth inning, Alvarez stepped to the plate against Ricky Nolasco.  On the third pitch of the at-bat, he struck. Alvarez annihilated a 91 mph fastball from Nolasco, sending it deep to right field. The ball traveled so far, in fact, that it completely cleared the stadium. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] To make the feat more impressive, Alvarez’s home run should have landed in the Allegheny River, which surrounds the outside of the park. We say “should have” because the ball actually landed in a boat parked in the river. Given Alvarez’s Herculean feats of power, we’re surprised the boat didn’t immediately sink.  Alvarez would also single during the contest. He finished 2 for 5, with one run scored and one RBI. His impressive power would wind up being all for naught, as the team lost the game 8-5. Most stadiums play security videos prior to each game warning fans to be aware of flying bats and balls. The Pirates might want to consider putting those on TVs just outside the stadium now. That way, they are covered when Alvarez eventually does sink a boat.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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Post info: By GoBucs on May 20th, 2015
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A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:

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Brian Dozier got Minnesota started with a home run in the first inning and Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run shot in a six-run second as the Twins built an early 7-0 lead then held on for an 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. The highlight for the Pirates came in the bottom of the Twins’ big inning. Pedro Alvarez hit a 461-foot home run that landed in a boat docked along the Allegheny River beyond the right-field stands.

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Post info: By GoBucs on May 19th, 2015
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Francisco Liriano hasn’t faced the Minnesota Twins since 2012, the same year they gave up on the oft-injured former phenom and shipped him out of town. Less than a year after the trade he began reviving his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who send the left-hander to the mound in the opener of a two-game series against the visiting Twins on Tuesday night. He made three more trips to the disabled list with arm and shoulder problems before the Twins traded him to the Chicago White Sox in July 2012. The Pirates took a chance on Liriano with a one-year deal in 2013, and he’s been a part of two playoff teams while posting a 3.17 ERA in 62 regular-season starts.

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A New York state judge put off a decision in the television revenue dispute between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals after listening to four hours of arguments. Supreme Court Justice Lawrence K. Marks said Monday he will issue a written opinion. Marks put a preliminary injunction in place last August, preventing the Nationals’ from breaking their deal with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is controlled by the Orioles.

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The ball from Travis Wood’s first career save was thrown into the stands at Wrigley Field, and the veteran left-hander insisted it was no big deal. ”I can grab any dirty ball and write on it.” Wood is bringing the same attitude to his move from the rotation to the bullpen for the Chicago Cubs. He made his first relief appearance since 2011 in a 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday and pitched a perfect ninth to close out Chicago’s sixth straight win. ”Whatever I can do to help the team win,” Wood said before the Cubs’ 3-0 loss to the Pirates on Sunday.

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NEW YORK (AP) — There were seven shutouts in 15 games in the major leagues Sunday, only the ninth day with at least seven blankings in major league history.

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Post info: By GoBucs on May 17th, 2015
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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. Two of baseball’s most disappointing teams took the field together on Saturday night and actually produced the most entertaining game of the day. The Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers went back-and-forth from the beginning, each scoring at least one in the first seven half innings. The Rangers finally took the lead and control with a three-run fifth inning, but that eventually slipped away when Cleveland scored three of their own in the ninth to secure a 10-8 victory. There were several key hits in a game that saw 27 total, but none were bigger than Jason Kipnis’ two-run go-ahead homer in the ninth off Neftali Feliz. That was the difference maker to which the Rangers had no answer. By the same token, the game might have been over if not for Brett Hayes hard take out slide at second, which prevented a game-ending double play one batter earlier. For Kipnis, the home run completed his fifth three-hit game in Cleveland’s last seven. He’s on a nine-game hitting streak overall. Lonnie Chisenhall also had three hits, while three other Indians had two. For the Rangers, seven different batters drove in one run. Shin-soo Choo, Thomas Field and Robinson Chirinos each homered. Somewhat surprisingly, Cody Allen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. It was only the second 1-2-3 inning in the game and the first for Indians pitching. CUBS EXTEND WINNING STREAK TO SIX The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field have been especially accommodating for the Chicago Cubs this week. After sweeping a four-game series from the New York Mets, the Cubs are on the verge of completing a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates after winning 4-1 on Saturday. That makes it a perfect 6-0 home stand so far, and a perfect 6-0 record since the new bleachers opening in left field. A big bounce for the Cubs considering they’d lost seven of their previous nine, including four of six to the Milwaukee Brewers. Saturday’s game didn’t have nearly as much drama as Friday’s, which ended in the 12th inning when Gregory Polanco fell down chasing a fly ball. Jon Lester is a big reason for that, as he limited Pittsburgh to one run while scattering nine hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked one. Considering how depleted both bullpens were following Friday’s marathon, that was a much needed start for Chicago. Even still, they were forced to call on usual starter Travis Wood for the ninth inning save attempt. It was Wood’s first relief appearance since 2011 with Cincinnati, and he handled it flawlessly, retiring all three batters on fly balls. Offensively, Kris Bryant reached base four more times. It’s the fifth time he’s done that already this season, which is one behind teammate Anthony Rizzo and Miami’s Dee Gordon for the MLB lead. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] HUNTER PENCE RETURNS WITH A BANG The San Francisco Giants welcomed back outfielder Hunter Pence with open arms on Saturday. Pence was forced to miss the team’s first 38 games while recovering from a fractured left forearm, but he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, finishing with two hits, a walk and three runs scored in the Giants 11-2 victory. Pence was in the middle of three multi-run innings for the Giants. He doubled and scored in their two-run third inning. He singled and scored in their two-run fourth. One frame later, he walked and scored again as San Francisco blew the game wide open. It wasn’t all Pence’s doing, of course. Brandon Crawford had three hits, including a grand slam, with six RBIs. Brandon Belt also had three hits including a homer. With that said though, Pence was definitely a catalyst, and as long as he’s healthy will remain as such for an offense that desperately needs one. RED SOX KNOCK KING FELIX OFF HIS THRONE Temporarily, we should add. On the rare occasion when Felix Hernandez struggles, one can safely bet he’ll bounce back in the next one. But the next one is the next one. The one on Saturday was not so good by Felix’s standards, as he allowed four runs, seven hits and four walks over six innings of a 4-2 loss to Boston. Hernandez was bitten by the long ball early. Pablo Sandoval unloaded a solo shot in the second. In the third, David Ortiz ended a string of 64 at-bats without a home run with a solo shot of his own. That streak traced all the way back to April 24.  For Hernandez, it’s the second straight outing he’s allowed two home runs. That’s after allowing just two in his first six starts combined. The four walks were also a season high. Hernandez falls to 6-1 on the season.  For Boston, Rick Porcello matched Hernandez early and finisher stronger, lasting 6 2/3 innings. He allowed just two runs on five hits and walked two. He’s 4-2 and the Red Sox are back to one game under .500 at 18-19.   More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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