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8:50 AM ET, May 17, 2018


 Top News: 
Associated Press:
Verlander throws 5-hit shutout, Astros blank Angels 2-0  —  Houston took two of three in the series and holds a two-game lead in the AL West over the Angels.  —  ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Justin Verlander pitched a five-hitter for his first shutout in three years and Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer …
Dylan Hernandez / Los Angeles Times:
Astros wear orange but have a better blueprint than Dodgers  —  Three weeks after the Houston Astros won the World Series, Carlos Correa was back in a training facility less than 20 miles from his team's home stadium.  —  “The World Series didn't make us comfortable,” Correa said.
David SchoenfieldESPN Senior / ESPN:
Real or not?  J.D. Martinez giving Red Sox power bat they needed  —  J.D. Martinez waited and waited and waited.  The Boston Red Sox waited and waited and waited.  Finally, in what always felt like a preordained outcome, the two sides agreed to a contract in late February.
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Associated Press:
Altuve's late 3-run double propels Astros past Angels, 5-3
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Messages received: Carpenter, Fowler stir to send Cards to win vs. Twins  —  MINNEAPOLIS  • It's become customary for Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to let his position players know who is in the lineup and where before the game, often with a message he sends to their phones the night before.
Brian Hall / Associated Press:
Fowler, Carpenter get going in Cardinals' 7-5 win over Twins  —  St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Miles Mikolas takes a moment following a mound visit after Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler drove in a run in the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Minneapolis.  (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Cardinals sending Carlos Martinez for another series of exams on muscle strain
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Carpenter, Fowler lead sunny afternoon revival in 7-5 victory
Ken Powtak / Associated Press:
Red Sox avoid sweep with 6-4 win over A's  —  Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, right, is congratulated by J.D. Martinez as he crosses home plate after his three-run home run off Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Dull during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
Associated Press:
Red Sox manager Alex Cora surprised by Carson Smith's injury comment  —  BOSTON — Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he was surprised to hear that reliever Carson Smith feels that fatigue could have contributed to his dislocated pitching shoulder.  —  Smith was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday.
Discussion: Over the Monster
Blake Swihart's agent asks Red Sox for trade
Discussion: Athletics Nation
Giants' Brandon Belt says plate umpire cheated him to ‘get the game over with’  —  A series-ending loss to the National League-worst Reds wasn't the only thing that left Giants slugger Brandon Belt raw on Wednesday.  —  It was how that 6-3 defeat ended that rubbed the left fielder the wrong way.
Jorge L. Ortiz / USA Today:   Giants slugger Brandon Belt questions umpire's integrity after questionable call ends game
Jake Seiner / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Happ reaches 3 times, allows 2 runners as Jays thump Mets  —  Grounds crew members work on the infield during the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in New York.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Baseball notebook: Mets place Cespedes on the disabled list  —  Yoenis Cespedes spent about a week trying to play through his latest lower body injury.  Now, he and the New York Mets are opting to play it safe.  —  The team placed Cespedes, an outfielder, on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday …
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Mets' Yoenis Cespedes heads to DL with hip flexor strain
Discussion: MLB Daily Dish
Scott Lauber /
Gabe Kapler explains unorthodox ninth-inning bullpen decision  —  BALTIMORE — Edubray Ramos had struck out Baltimore Orioles boppers Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo — on six pitches, no less — in a classic save situation Wednesday when Phillies manager Gabe Kapler signaled to the bullpen for embattled closer Hector Neris.
Todd Karpovich / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Pivetta strikes out 11, Phillies beat Orioles 4-1
Discussion: and The Good Phight
Bob McManaman / Arizona Republic:
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers … CONNECT  —  You'd think after becoming the first Diamondbacks pitcher in franchise history to face three different Cy Young Award winners in a row that nothing could faze right-hander Matt Koch.  Especially after the way things worked out for him.
Richard Morin / Arizona Republic:   Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Next Slide  —  PHOENIX - The way the Milwaukee Brewers' bullpen …
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays journal: Ex-Hernando High standout Christian Arroyo gets called up  —  KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Rays' decision to be cautious with RF Carlos Gomez's groin tightness got Hernando High product Christian Arroyo a late-night phone call, an early morning flight from Durham, N.C. …
Tampa Bay Times:
Rays call up Hernando High's Christian Arroyo, put Carlos Gomez on DL
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Jeff Sanders / The Charlotte Observer:
With mom by his side, Franmil Reyes looking to stick with Padres  —  SAN DIEGO  —  A mother emerged from the tunnel leading out to the field at Petco Park and searched for her boy.  At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Franmil Reyes is one of the most imposing figures to ever pull a Padres jersey …
Associated Press:
Derek Jeter staying positive despite frustrations with Marlins' record, attendance  —  MIAMI — Derek Jeter was chatting with a cluster of fans during Miami Marlins batting practice Wednesday when a preschooler wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers cap asked him to sign a baseball.
George Sipple / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers prospect mailbag: Is Derek Hill considered a bust?  —  Welcome to the weekly Detroit Tigers prospects mailbag, which is now open to any of your questions.  Submit questions on Twitter @GeorgeSipple or by email at … Don't write him off yet, Philip.
Associated Press:
Ficociello, Salter lift Erie over Binghamton 10-3  —  BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) — Dominic Ficociello doubled three times, driving home two runs as the Erie SeaWolves topped the Binghamton Rumble Ponies 10-3 on Wednesday.  With the loss, the Rumble Ponies snapped a five-game winning streak.
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 More News: 
Charles Odum / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Acuna gets big hit as Braves score 3 in 8th, beat Cubs 4-1
Discussion: Talking Chop
Associated Press:
Wade leads Lake County over South Bend 5-2
Associated Press:
Perez induces double play, leads Scranton/WB to 3-1 win over Lehigh Valley
Associated Press:
Plutko, Cabrera lead Columbus to 6-1 win over Gwinnett
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Colon shakes off liner to stomach, Rangers beat Mariners 5-1
Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers shut out from first place with 6-0 loss to Indians
Howard Fendrich / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Yanks-Nats series postponed by rain; 2 games set for June 18
Linh Ta / Des Moines Register:
Iowa Cubs and Round Rock Express show off their moves in a dance-off
 Earlier Picks: 
Associated Press:
Back-to-back homers by Arozarena, Thomas fuel Springfield win
Chelsea Janes / Washington Post:
Austin Voth will be 26th man for Wednesday night's Nationals-Yankees game, if they play it
Associated Press:
Soto's homer leads Harrisburg to 5-2 win over Bowie
Scott Lauber /
Nick Pivetta, with career-high 11 strikeouts, dominates Orioles as Phillies win again
Associated Press:
Alburquerque induces flyout, leads Buffalo to 5-4 win over Pawtucket
Associated Press:
Oxnevad, Woodman carry Palm Beach to 5-2 win over Clearwater
John Fay / USA Today:
Joey Votto says he ‘overstepped’ with strong comments on struggling Reds
Scott Boeck / KHOU-TV:
Justin Verlander anticipated a PED denial from Robinson Cano - who did not disappoint

From WeSmirch:

Justin Kroll / Variety:
Maroon 5 to Perform at Super Bowl Halftime

Sarah Hearon / Us Weekly:
Kim Zolciak Confirms She Had a Breast Reduction: ‘Feeling Fab at 40’

Melody Chiu /
Joe Alwyn Says He and Taylor Swift ‘Have Been Successfully Very Private’ in Their Relationship

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