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7:00 AM ET, September 15, 2018

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 Top News: 
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Cubs know they won't get any sympathy for a 30-day work stretch  —  Javy Baez discusses his game-winning bunt against the Nationals on Sept. 13, 2018, in Washington.  (Paul Sullivan/Chicago Tribune)  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The heaviest thing most baseball players lift during a game is a bat …
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ESPN:
Cubs return home to face Reds  —  CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs have a razor-thin margin for error as they attempt to hold onto first place in the National League Central down the stretch.  —  So if there was a time when a team that has already experienced its share of injuries this season …
Chicago Tribune:
NL Central tracker: Cubs magic number down to 14, but Brewers keep pace  —  Chicago Tribune  —  The Cubs reduced their magic number for winning their third consecutive National League Central title to 14, edging the Reds 3-2 on Friday night at Wrigley Field.
David Haugh / Chicago Tribune:   Column: Cubs need an unlikely leader to emerge from their battered bullpen
Phil Rogers / Chicago Tribune:   Cubs closer Pedro Strop out for rest of regular season with moderate left hamstring strain
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:   7 candidates to replace Pedro Strop as Cubs closer
ESPN:
Clay Buchholz's resurgent season with D-backs ends early  —  Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Clay Buchholz won't pitch again this season, manager Torey Lovullo said Friday night.  —  Buchholz was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday because of tightness in his right elbow …
RELATED:
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Diamondbacks pitcher Clay Buchholz's season likely over due to flexor strain in elbow  —  HOUSTON - Right-hander Clay Buchholz was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his right arm, a similar injury to the one that bothered him off and on for years before eventually requiring surgery last year.
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Last Slide  —  HOUSTON - When Brad Ziegler took the mound in the seventh inning on Friday night at Minute Maid Park, it marked the 76th time he had appeared in a game this season, the most in the National League.  —  Ziegler is not alone among Diamondbacks relievers on that list.
Nick Piecoro / Arizona Republic:
Jon Jay's bizarre triple lifts Diamondbacks to much-needed win over Astros  —  HOUSTON - A small shard of wood broke off Jon Jay's bat in the eighth inning on Friday night, and in the moment Jay did not seem to know just what had happened.  He stood briefly in the box after his swing, as he would after a foul ball.
Joe Lyons / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Flaherty-Buehler rematch highlights Cards vs. Dodgers  —  Two of baseball's top young righthanders — Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals and the Dodgers' Walker Buehler — will square off Friday in a 7:15 p.m. showdown at Busch Stadium.  —  Los Angeles won 9-7 in the opening game of the four-game series …
Discussion: True Blue LA
RELATED:
ESPN:
Dodgers paying back Cardinals  —  ST. LOUIS — The Los Angeles Dodgers' goal of turning the tables on the St. Louis Cardinals is well within reach heading into the third game of a four-game series on Saturday at Busch Stadium.  —  Three weeks after the Cardinals rolled to a three-game sweep in Los Angeles …
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Cardinals notebook: Bader works overtime on swing  —  With his hitting coach leaning nearby and several other coaches scattered around Busch Stadium's field, Harrison Bader, the Cardinals' perpetual motion center fielder, slowed long enough to take batting practice alone Friday, hours before the game.
Eddie Matz / ESPN:   'It's like group therapy': How a rookie skipper won over the Cards clubhouse
Bobby Nightengale / Cincinnati.com:
Learning the outfield could help Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel reach the Majors  —  Scott Schebler talks about Luis Castillo's start and the Reds' 3-1 victory over the Dodgers.  The Reds have a 6-0 record vs. the Dodgers this year.  Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati Enquirer  —  CONNECT
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Bobby Nightengale / Cincinnati.com:
Cincinnati Reds reliever Lucas Sims possibly out for season with injury  —  Scott Schebler talks about Luis Castillo's start and the Reds' 3-1 victory over the Dodgers.  The Reds have a 6-0 record vs. the Dodgers this year.  Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati Enquirer  —  CONNECT
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:   Former Reds exec Bob Miller of Nats auctions World Series ring for colleague with leukemia
ESPN:
Mets' Noah Syndergaard on Boston rodent: New York rats way worse  —  Noah Syndergaard's first start at historic Fenway Park was everything the right-hander could have asked for.  —  Seven shutout innings.  Three hits allowed.  An 8-0 New York Mets win.  —  The only thing not that impressive to Thor?
RELATED:
ESPN:
Boston's Porcello looks to right himself vs. Mets  —  BOSTON — Rick Porcello will be counted on to be one of the Boston Red Sox starters in the coming postseason.  —  But the veteran right-hander, who won the Cy Young Award two years ago, will use the rest of September to straighten himself …
Rob Bradford / WEEI:
Betts: Red Sox must carry sense of urgency into postseason
ESPN:
Gregory Polanco likely to miss 7-9 months after shoulder surgery  —  PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates say right fielder Gregory Polanco could be out until June after having surgery on his left shoulder.  —  Polanco dislocated his throwing shoulder on an awkward slide into second base on a double last Friday against Miami.
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
MLB: Cubs' Strop is out for season  —  It looks like the back end of the Chicago Cubs' bullpen will be a big question mark down the stretch.  —  Pedro Strop will miss the rest of the regular season with a left hamstring strain, leaving the NL Central leaders with a closer-by-committee approach …
Associated Press:
Kansas City Royals beat Minnesota Twins 8-4 to lower Cleveland Indians' magic number to 1  —  Salvador Perez's walk-off grand slam provided the difference.  —  KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Salvador Perez capped Kansas City's five-run ninth inning with a game-ending grand slam …
Peter Schmuck / Baltimore Sun:
Trey Mancini homers twice, but Orioles' pitching crisis continues in 8-6 loss to White Sox  —  Orioles manager Buck Showalter has spent the past week trying desperately to backfill his beleaguered starting rotation, but if it isn't one minor disaster it's another.
Discussion: Camden Chat and South Side Sox
RELATED:
ESPN:
White Sox look to take season series from Orioles  —  BALTIMORE — On Saturday, the Chicago White Sox will have the chance to accomplish something they haven't done in 10 years — win a season series against the Baltimore Orioles  —  A victory for the White Sox would give Chicago a 4-2 lead …
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
WATCH: Josh Donaldson hits first home run as member of Cleveland Indians  —  Third baseman Josh Donaldson hit his first home run as a member of the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning of Friday's game against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.  —  CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians …
Discussion: Plain Dealer
RELATED:
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
RECAP: Cleveland Indians' ninth-inning rally falls short in 5-4 loss to Detroit Tigers  —  The Cleveland Indians' ninth-inning rally fall a run short, as they dropped a 5-4 decision to the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field Friday night.  —  10:17 p.m.-INDIANS' NINTH-INNING RALLY FALLS SHORT AGAINST TIGERS
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Mark Didtler / Associated Press:
Khris Davis homers as A's edge Rays in 10 to win another one-run game  —  Tampa Bay Rays' C.J. Cron breaks his bat as he lines out during the 10th inning of Friday's loss to the A's.  —  Khris Davis helped Oakland win another close one.  —  Davis led off the 10th inning …
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Braves, Giants franchises molded by 1993, MLB's last great pennant race  —  SAN FRANCISCO — The last great pennant race left some with the most beautiful memories in their careers and others with the ugliest of scars.  —  It created the most radical change in baseball's playoff format …
George Henry / Star Tribune:
Acuna goes 4 for 5, Braves win 6th straight  —  ATLANTA — Ronald Acuna Jr. struck out twice and reached base once in his first six at-bats against Nationals ace Max Scherzer.  —  “I think it helps having some previous at-bats against him,” Acuna said through a translator.  “I just went in with the same approach.
Discussion: Federal Baseball
Ryan Gorcey / The San Francisco Examiner:
Chris Stratton throws first career complete game, shuts out Rockies as Giants break losing streak  —  AT&T PARK — In back-to-back starts against the Colorado Rockies earlier this summer, Chris Stratton couldn't get out of the sixth inning.  —  The 28-year old righty, in his first full season in the majors …
 
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 More News: 
Bernie Wilson / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Profar, Mendez lead Rangers to 4-0 win over Padres
Discussion: Gaslamp Ball
Jim Salisbury / MLB Baseball News, Scores …:
Phillies 14, Marlins 2: First impressions after a big night by Aaron Altherr
Discussion: The Good Phight
ESPN:
Mets' David Wright could pinch hit before farewell game
Tom Haudricourt / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
How the Brewers' rotation defied low expectations
David Wellham / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Braves to begin sales of single-game NLDS tickets next week
Phil Rogers / Chicago Tribune:
Kyle Schwarber not in lineup against Matt Harvey, Reds
Larry McShane / New York Daily News:
David Wright finale turns meaningless Mets game into city's hottest ticket next week
 Earlier Picks: 
USA Today:
Yankees activate Aaron Judge from DL, but will be limited
Daily Record:
Last Slide  —  The Yankees open their final home stand …
New York Daily News:
New book “Baseball Cop” explores MLB's investigation into the Biogenesis PED scandal by one of the men who uncovered it
Bob Ford / Philly.com:
The 2018 Phillies. So what the heck was that?
Ramona Shelburne / ESPN:
Matt Kemp is finally home again in LA
Scott Boeck / USA Today:
MLB playoff picture: Updated look at division, wild card races
 

 
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