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5:05 PM ET, September 13, 2017


 Top News: 
Matt Carlson / UPI:
Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant breaks out in win over New York Mets  —  CHICAGO — Kris Bryant picked the right time to rediscover his long-ball swing.  —  With Chicago's first-place lead in the National League Central dwindling, the Cubs couldn't afford to wait much longer.
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
With 18 games to go, the 6 remaining playoff scenarios for the Cubs  —  Kyle Schwarber discusses the race in the NL Central after the Cubs beat the Mets on Sept. 12, 2017.  (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  Only a week ago it seemed a foregone conclusion the Cubs …
Joe Totoraitis / Associated Press:
Brewers beat Cole, Pirates 5-2
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs welcome comparisons, contrasts from 2015
Discussion: Beyond the Box Score
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Robert Gsellman struggles in loss to Cubs that guarantees Mets won't finish over .500
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Jeff Passan / Yahoo Sports:
Shohei Otani will leave hundreds of millions of dollars on the table to play in MLB next season … It isn't about the money.  Athletes reflexively say this, and sports fans roll their eyes, because of course it's about the money.  It's always about the money.  Then along comes
Shohei Otani expected to make way to MLB next season  —  Japanese sensation Shohei Otani, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher and left-handed hitter, is expected to be posted by his team and play in Major League Baseball in 2018, according to multiple reports.
ESPN:   Shohei Otani and why being Babe Ruth isn't all it's cracked up to be
Reports: Japanese MVP Shohei Otani expects to be in MLB in 2018
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Joe Lyons / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Flaherty makes third start for Cardinals; Piscotty in right  —  Jack Flaherty makes his third major-league start Tuesday, taking on the Cincinnati Reds and fellow rookie righthander Tyler Mahle in a 7:15 p.m. game at Busch Stadium.  —  The Cardinals, who've won four in a row …
Bucky Dent / UPI:
St. Louis Cardinals pound Cincinnati Reds, 13-4  —  ST. LOUIS — Between Triple-A Memphis and St. Louis, Paul DeJong has belted 35 homers this year.  —  “Time to set a new goal,” he said.  “I could say 37, but 40 sounds better than 37.”  —  Given the rate at which he's hitting them …
Joe Lyons / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Molina's 2-run double puts Cards on top 2-1 after an inning
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Fowler better but not ready to play; Sierra returns
What is wrong with the Dodgers?  —  Flash back to the final week of August.  The Los Angeles Dodgers were 50-plus games over .500 and had already piled up 90 victories, and the conversations were about record-breaking win totals and October parade routes through Los Angeles.  Then everything changed.
Andy McCullough / The Charlotte Observer:
Kershaw starts it and Jansen finishes it as Dodgers end dubious streak
Discussion: Baseball Prospectus
Jeff Faraudo / Mercury News:
Clayton Kershaw stifles Giants as Dodgers end skid, clinch playoff bid
Rays to return home on Friday to play Red Sox, Cubs  —  NEW YORK — The Tampa Bay Rays will return home to Florida following Hurricane Irma for what is now a truncated five-game homestand against the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs.  —  A three-game series against the New York Yankees …
Fox News:
Preview: Rays finish up ‘home’ series against Yankees at Citi Field
Discussion: DRaysBay and Pinstripe Alley
John Harper / New York Daily News:   Indians' recent surge just another reason Yankees should keep fighting for division title
Zachary Ripple / New York Daily News:
SEE IT: Sprinkler system turns on and interrupts Indians-Tigers game … Not even a sprinkler shower can cool down the scorching-hot Indians.  —  In the middle of the Indians-Tigers game in Cleveland on Wednesday, the outfield sprinkler system turned on, interrupting play for a few minutes.
Phil Rosenthal / Chicago Tribune:
Indians win again — that's 20 in a row, one off Cubs' 1935 mark
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
How soon before Tigers can be contenders again? Use Indians as template
David Driver / UPI:
Atlanta Braves: Julio Tehren shuts down Washington Nationals  —  WASHINGTON — Julio Teheran pitched seven strong innings, Freddie Freeman was 3-for-5 with a three-run homer, and Ozzie Albies went 3-for-5 with a solo shot as the Atlanta Braves crushed the Washington Nationals 8-0 on Tuesday night.
Chelsea Janes / Washington Post:
Gio Gonzalez reaches important milestone in otherwise listless night for Nationals
Option vests for Nationals' Gio Gonzalez, securing $12M payday
Astros skipping Lance McCullers Jr. start over arm fatigue  —  The Houston Astros scratched Lance McCullers Jr. from his scheduled start Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels after the injury-plagued right-hander reported arm fatigue and soreness while playing catch.
Discussion: FanRag Sports
Associated Press:
Justin Verlander gives up 1 hit in Astros' 1-0 win vs. Angels
Discussion: The Crawfish Boxes
Pedro Moura / The Charlotte Observer:   Verlander, Astros blank Angels
Stephen Hawkins / The Charlotte Observer:
Big shots by Gamel, Seager push Mariners past Rangers 10-3  —  Kyle Seager put himself in some elite Seattle Mariners company with another big blast against Texas.  —  Seager and Ben Gamel both hit three-run homers to help power the Mariners to a 10-3 victory Tuesday night in a matchup of wild card hopefuls.
Discussion: Lookout Landing
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Rangers Reaction: Whatever is going on with Napoli is a bit peculiar
Discussion: Minor League Ball
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning News:   ‘Go get ‘em kid’: Rangers’ 10-3 stumble made Willie Calhoun's debut look even better
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Jaime Garcia appears upset with Joe Girardi after getting pulled by Yankees manager  —  Jaime Garcia looked pretty mad about getting pulled.  —  Garcia, who was making his first start since Aug. 30, appeared to say something as he walked off the mound after being lifted by Joe Girardi with two outs in the fifth inning on Wednesday.
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:   Yankees manager Joe Girardi hopes Greg Bird can return to lineup Friday against Orioles
ABC News:
Gonzalez homers twice, Rockies beat Diamondbacks again, 4-2  —  Carlos Gonzalez has finally found his swing, and that's very good news for the Colorado Rockies.  —  The veteran slugger homered twice and the Rockies won their sixth game in a row, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 …
Discussion: AZ Snake Pit
Cleveland Indians: Ace reliever Andrew Miller to return Thursday  —  Andrew Miller is scheduled to return from the disabled list on Thursday and work his way back into a significant role in the Cleveland Indians bullpen.  —  Miller will be on a strict schedule when he returns.
Nationals' Jayson Werth returns after 5-game absence  —  Left fielder Jayson Werth will return for the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night, but second baseman Daniel Murphy is out with a stiff neck.  —  Werth had missed Washington's past five games with a sore left shoulder.
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 More News: 
USA Today:
Dennis Eckersley shares details of David Price confrontation: 'Dude doesn't like me'
Patrick Saunders / Denver Post:
Rockies' Jonathan Lucroy, making positive impact behind the plate, open to returning to Colorado
Each likely playoff team's biggest pitching question
Marc Carig / Newsday:
Mets' Sandy Alderson gets early jump on crafting a 2018 bullpen
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
San Francisco Chronicle:
A's want to build new ballpark next to Laney College in Oakland
 Earlier Picks: 
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Dan Warthen, Mets pitchers continue to try and adapt to power-hitting league
Matt Gelb / The Charlotte Observer:
Hoskins' blasts lead Phillies over Marlins in 15 innings
Fox News:
Twins set Target Field record, mash 7 homers to rout Padres
Daily Dose: Windians

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