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10:10 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.
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays morning after: Tough challenge ahead in Anaheim  —  Having swept one of the lesser American League teams in the Royals, the Rays tonight open a four-game series against one of the better in the Angels.  —  “It'll be challenging,” manager Kevin Cash said.
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
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.
Discussion: Over the Monster
Associated Press:
Red Sox manager Alex Cora surprised by Carson Smith's injury comment
Discussion: Over the Monster
John Rowe /
Blue Jays crush Mets as Zack Wheeler, lineup struggle  —  NEW YORK - There's nothing more maddening for a manager and pitching coach than trying to put Zack Wheeler's starts into perspective.  —  There are days, says Mets manager Mickey Callaway, when the righthander is brilliant.
Jake Seiner / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Happ reaches 3 times, allows 2 runners as Jays thump Mets
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Baseball notebook: Mets place Cespedes on the disabled list
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Matt Breen /
Phillies finally have tough decisions with starting rotation |  Extra Innings  —  What will Gabe Kapler do today?  Kapler has certainly kept it interesting so far, and Wednesday's 4-1 win over Baltimore was no different.  He called on Hector Neris to record just the final out of the ninth inning …
Scott Lauber /   Gabe Kapler explains unorthodox ninth-inning bullpen decision
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 …
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
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
MLB roundup: Acuna lifts Braves over Cubs  —  Ronald Acuna Jr. drove in Ozzie Albies with the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning to send the Atlanta Braves past the visiting Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Wednesday night.  —  Carl Edwards Jr. allowed five straight baserunners in Atlanta's three-run eighth …
Discussion: Associated Press
Charles Odum / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Acuna gets big hit as Braves score 3 in 8th, beat Cubs 4-1
Discussion: Talking Chop and Bleed Cubbie Blue
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 …
David SchoenfieldESPN Senior / ESPN:
Could speedy Cardinals of '80s compete in today's game?  —  If you're of a certain age and we're talking baseball, when I say “1987,” your brain probably automatically goes to “rabbit ball year.”  Before the bombardment of home runs last season, there was 1987, the original Year of the Home Run.
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Matheny would welcome rule against defensive shifts  —  MINNEAPOLIS  • Only the rival Chicago Cubs have shifted their defense less this season than the Cardinals, and still manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday he'd be fine if they didn't shift at all.  He would welcome a rule …
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.
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
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 More News: 
Jack Moore / The Hardball Times:
The Rise of the New Fireman, Josh Hader
Associated Press:
Wade leads Lake County over South Bend 5-2
George Sipple / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers prospect mailbag: Is Derek Hill considered a bust?
Associated Press:
Perez induces double play, leads Scranton/WB to 3-1 win over Lehigh Valley
Associated Press:
Ficociello, Salter lift Erie over Binghamton 10-3
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
Marc Topkin / Tampa Bay Times:
Rays journal: Ex-Hernando High standout Christian Arroyo gets called up
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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
Associated Press:
Alburquerque induces flyout, leads Buffalo to 5-4 win over Pawtucket

From WeSmirch:

Dominic Patten / Deadline:
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Daniel Goldblatt / The Blast:
Beyoncé's Former Drummer Claims Singer Molested Her with ‘Dark Magic,’ ‘Extreme Witchcraft’

Marisa Guthrie / Hollywood Reporter:
LeBron James Is Already Winning Hollywood

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