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2:40 AM ET, June 21, 2013

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 Top News: 
Troy Renck / On the Rox:
Jeff Francis accepts minor-league assignment for Rockies, heads to Colorado Springs  —  Jeff Francis pitches in spring training a few years back.  He accepted a minor-league assignment to remain with the Rockies organization.  (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)
Discussion: MLB Rumors and HardballTalk
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Jordan Zimmermann, Adam LaRoche spoil Roy Oswalt's return  —  WASHINGTON — Jordan Zimmermann pitched eight innings to win his 10th game, Adam LaRoche had three hits including a two-run triple and the Nationals spoiled Roy Oswalt's return to the majors with a 5-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
Discussion: Purple Row
Canadian Press:
Longoria homers twice, Moore ends skid, Rays beat Yankees  —  NEW YORK — Evan Longoria homered twice and drove in three runs, Matt Moore ended a personal three-game skid and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 8-3 Thursday night.  —  Yunel Escobar also homered as Tampa Bay sent …
Discussion: DRaysBay
RELATED:
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays win first of season at Fenway
Discussion: USA Today and HardballTalk
Associated Press:
Jennings, Hellickson Help Rays Top Red Sox, 6-2
Associated Press:
Ian Kinsler helps Rangers repel A's, close AL West gap  —  ARLINGTON, Texas — When the ball caromed away from Texas Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry, he quickly recovered to get it and throw to shortstop Elvis Andrus.  The game was over after a perfect relay to the plate.
Discussion: Athletics Nation and ESPN
RELATED:
Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com:
Soria begins rehab assignment in Double-A  —  ARLINGTON — Joakim Soria will begin his rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Thursday.  Soria is scheduled to pitch an inning in the first of multiple appearances with the team.  —  Soria threw two live batting-practice sessions during …
Discussion: HardballTalk
Metsblog:
Jon Niese leaves game with ‘left shoulder discomfort’  —  Jon Niese left Thursday night's game in the fourth inning with what the team described as discomfort in his left shoulder.  —  10:40 pm: Terry Collins told reporters after the game that Niese will go for an MRI in New York on Friday.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
RELATED:
John Harper / NY Daily News:
Mets manager Terry Collins, now armed with pitchers Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, should stay with Mets
Discussion: Metsblog
Canadian Press:
Ciriaco's big hits, flashy defence carry Padres past Dodgers  —  SAN DIEGO — Newcomer Pedro Ciriaco tripled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and hit a two-run homer in the eighth to lead the San Diego Padres to a 6-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.
Discussion: Gaslamp Ball and ESPN
Matthew Cerrone / Metsblog:
Final Score: Mets 4 Braves 3  —  The Least You Should Know:  —  David Wright his two solo home runs, Andrew Brown hit another, and Josh Satin had a pinch-hit RBI double, as the Mets completed taking three of five games from the Braves to win their first series in Atlanta since 2011.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
RELATED:
Canadian Press:
Johnson's three-run homer helps Braves beat Mets
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
Jon Heyman / CBSSports.com:
(USATSI)  —  NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez's recent progress is said by people around the Yankees to have been dramatic, with one person calling it “fantastic” and another even speculating A-Rod could possibly begin to play rehab games just after the All-Star break.
MLB.com:
Benoit Leyland's first option in closer situation  —  DETROIT — Before Jose Valverde rejoined the Tigers at the end of April, manager Jim Leyland had a bullpen by committee, but had Joaquin Benoit as his preferred option.  —  “On a lot of the days, if it's doable, I think [Joaquin] …
Discussion: HardballTalk
David Pinto / baseballmusings.com:
Living Up to Expectations  —  Oswaldo Arcia homered for the Twins this afternoon, scoring the first run of the game in the second inning as the White Sox trail 3-1 in the fourth.  The 22-year-old rookie is off to a nice start, with 33 hits, fifteen of them going for extra bases.
Discussion: Twinkie Town
Chris Abshire / MLB.com:
Crowe to disabled list after collision with wall  —  HOUSTON — The Astros placed right-fielder Trevor Crowe on the 15-day disabled list after he sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder during the sixth inning of Thursday's 7-4 win over the Brewers.  —  Crowe smashed the shoulder …
Discussion: The Crawfish Boxes
 
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 More News: 
csnphilly.com:
Papelbon blows save, debates Phils' fundamentals
Discussion: NESN.com and HardballTalk
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Sox's Ventura in Manto's corner
Discussion: HardballTalk
Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com:
Pujols finally feels like the Albert of old
Discussion: Halos Heaven and HardballTalk
Bill Ladson / MLB.com:
Unlike last year, Nats may be Deadline players
Discussion: MLB Rumors
 Earlier Picks: 
Lester Munson / ESPN:
San Jose suit appears to be strong
Discussion: HardballTalk
NY Daily News:
Joe Torre's daughter Cristina saves falling baby with perfect catch
Discussion: HardballTalk and CBSSports.com
Fox Sports:
Manny ‘invigorated’ for return to US
Discussion: NESN.com, MLB Rumors and SI Wire
Reuters:
Yankees Impressed With First Look at LA's Puig
Discussion: True Blue LA
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Stephanie Webber / Us Weekly:
Justin Bartha, Wife Lia Smith Welcome Baby Girl

Michael Fleeman / People.com:
Lindsay Lohan Reveals She Had a Miscarriage

Alexis Tereszcuk / RADAR:
Broke & Faking It For The Cameras! ‘RHOA’ Star Kenya Moore Under Fire For Money Woes

 
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