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Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 with two homers, three runs and five RBI in Sunday's 9-6 win against the Tigers.

Quite the outburst from a career .374 slugger who entered the contest with five home runs on the year. He doesn't contribute elite numbers in any fantasy category, leaving him with limited value in mixed leagues, but Brantley is hitting a solid .280 and is on pace for 13 homers, 15 steals and 83 RBI.
Sun, Jul 7, 2013 05:30:00 PM

Hisashi Iwakuma improved to 9-5 after holding the Indians to two runs over seven innings in Tuesday's win.

Iwakuma won for the first time in more than two weeks, a long overdue achievement. The right-hander held the Indians to six hits and a walk while striking out six. He rounds out the month of July with a strong 2.32 ERA. Overall, he has a 3.06 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP and a 94/9 K/BB ratio. Iwakuma will wrap up the Mariners' road trip on Sunday when he takes on the Orioles.
Jul 29 - 10:57 PM

FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports that the Mariners are talking to the Twins about Josh Willingham.

It's not surprising, as the M's have been searching for a right-handed bat and Willingham is one of the better ones available. At this point, it's not clear how far along the talks are between the two clubs. Willingham entered play Tuesday batting just .219/.361/.421, but he's slugged 10 homers over 57 games.
Jul 29 - 10:48 PM

Alex Cobb struck out 12 while allowing one run over eight innings, and the Rays beat the Brewers 5-1 on Tuesday.

Cobb has now turned in back-to-back double-digit strikeout games, as he struck out 10 in a win over the Cardinals his last time out. The right-hander gave up just three hits, all singles, while walking two on the night. He's in the midst of a five-game winning streak that has his record over .500 for the first time this season at 7-6. The A's are the next team that will try to stop Cobb, as the two clubs will meet in Oakland on Monday.
Jul 29 - 10:42 PM

WEEI.com's Rob Bradford was told by a rival general manager that a Jon Lester trade is likely to be completed late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

The Red Sox have already scratched Lester from his scheduled start Wednesday, suggesting a deal is imminent. The Brewers, Blue Jays and Orioles, three teams that have been connected to Lester, have been ruled out as potential landing spots. The Pirates, Mariners, Cardinals, Dodgers and Marlins are among the clubs that have been linked to Lester.
Jul 29 - 10:41 PM

Jose Abreu went 3-for-4, hitting a two-run home run and a two-run double in Tuesday's trampling of the Tigers.

Abreu added insult to injury, smoking his 31st home run in the seventh inning, accounting for the fifth and sixth runs in a seven-run frame. In the eighth, Abreu doubled in a pair of runs to make it 11-2. As a result, Abreu now leads the big leagues in RBI with 83. Just for good measure, the Cuban rookie also has a fantastic .299/.349/.632 slash line.
Jul 29 - 10:37 PM

Marcus Stroman improved to 7-2, allowing one run over seven innings as the Blue Jays hung on to victory against the Red Sox on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Stroman has quickly shown that he belongs in the big leagues. He held the Red Sox to six hits and two walks while striking out eight. Since moving into the rotation at the end of May, the right-hander has a 2.12 ERA in 11 starts spanning 68 innings. The talented rookie will look to keep it going on Monday, when he takes on the Astros in a road start.
Jul 29 - 10:19 PM

Jason Vargas (appendectomy) could rejoin the Royals' rotation on Saturday in Oakland.

Vargas threw a four-inning simulated game on Tuesday with no issues. "He threw four innings, 15 pitches each inning. He had much more life on his pitches, much better command on his pitches, so he looked really good," manager Ned Yost said. Yost said "we'll see" when asked about Vargas starting Saturday, but it sounds like the club is leaning that way. We'll know for sure in a day or two.
Jul 29 - 10:17 PM

Chase Utley blasted a grand slam into the upper deck in right field at Citi Field on Tuesday. It was his only hit in four plate appearances as the Phillies went on to an easy victory.

Utley took reliever Josh Edgin out to right field to break the game wide open at 6-0 in the seventh. It's the fifth grand slam of the veteran second baseman's career, and his first since 2010. The 35-year-old is having another productive year, slashing .291/.353/.439 with nine home runs and 54 RBI.
Jul 29 - 10:05 PM

Cole Hamels picked up his eighth win of the season after shutting the Mets out over eight innings on Tuesday.

Hamels' name has been bandied about in trade rumors lately, but the lefty was able to ignore the distractions and continue his run of strong pitching. Including Tuesday's outing, in which he allowed six hits, walked none, and struck out eight, Hamels has a 1.58 ERA in 12 starts since the beginning of June. Overall, he has a 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 133/39 K/BB ratio. Hamels will wrap up the Phillies' road trip on Sunday against the Nationals.
Jul 29 - 10:02 PM

Mike Leake finished out the month of July with a superb start, shutting the D'Backs out over 7 2/3 innings to pick up his eighth win on Tuesday.

The last two months haven't been so kind to the right-hander, as he entered June with a 2.92 ERA and exits July at 3.53. On this night, however, he was dominant, limiting the Arizona lineup to five hits while walking none and striking out eight. Leake left with two outs in the eighth after hitting Miguel Montero with a pitch to put runners on first and second, but reliever Jonathan Broxton retired Mark Trumbo to the threat. Leake will try to begin August on the right foot when he faces the Marlins on the road next Sunday.
Jul 29 - 9:51 PM

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Diamondbacks are shopping Gerardo Parra.

The D'Backs are open for business, as they're also listening on Addison Reed, Aaron Hill, Oliver Perez, Martin Prado and Josh Collmenter. Crasnick notes that Arizona "loves Parra's makeup," but he'll be arbitration-eligible for a final time this winter and has only a .657 OPS this season.
Jul 29 - 8:53 PM




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