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12hBradford Doolittle

Don't call Heyward a bust: No reason to think Cubs blew it with big-money signing

Jason Heyward, a $184 million mistake? Hardly. Bradford Doolittle explains why it is far too soon to discount the outfielder's worth to the Cubs.

Getty Images, AP Photos
11hChristopher Crawford

September call-ups preview: Prospects to watch

Christopher Crawford looks at prospects who could get called up after rosters expand in September and make an impact at the big league level, such as Dodgers pitcher Jose De Leon.

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Hanley's grand slam clears the monster (0:31)
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Hernandez flies into the wall to rob Goldschmidt (0:29)
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Gomez's grand slam gives the Rangers a big lead (0:34)
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Stephen A. is steaming about Tebow comparisons to Jeter and Harper (2:14)
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Tigers walk off to sweep White Sox (0:39)
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Rob Zastryzny needs a nickname (1:12)
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Who are the top X-factor players in MLB? (2:35)
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Tebow pursuing what he's 'passionate about' (1:22)
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Stark: We've been down this road before with Kershaw (1:27)
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McAllister makes hacky sack-esque catch (0:30)
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Is Davis' bat snap better than Bo's bat snap? (0:35)
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Tebow mashes a homer (0:17)
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Tebow shows off his glove (0:18)
USA TODAY Sports, Icon Sportswire
2dKeith Law

Why September call-ups are no longer a big deal

Let's face it: The quality of September call-ups these days just isn't what it used to be. Keith Law explains why -- and how -- times have changed.

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Who's the best shortstop in the game? (2:57)
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports
12hBuster Olney

Players who are pivotal to playoff races

Buster Olney highlights players such as Yoenis Cespedes who will play key roles in their teams' playoff chances, and explains why they're so crucial.

Now

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cardinals finally have settled on a unified theory for why they have been so much better on the road (40-24) than at home (30-37). Their powerful offense doesn't make as big a mark at their home stadium, a pitcher's park. The Cardinals are averaging more than a run per game more on the road (5.53 runs per game) than at home (4.40 RPG). They are hitting, on average 1.59 home runs a game on the road and 1.28 home runs a game at home. Manager Mike Matheny finally acknowledges this discrepancy, which he quibbled with earlier this season. "That's the only viable explanation and I've been asked this question so many times," Matheny said.

ESPN Stats and Information  

Stephen Cardullo has a home run in both games of the Rockies' doubleheader Wednesday. It is also his 29th birthday. The last player prior to Cardullo to hit a homer in both games of a doubleheader on his birthday was Hall of Famer Tony Pérez in 1972.

ESPN Stats and Information  

Kris Bryant hit his 36th homer of the season Wednesday. Elias notes that only two reigning Rookie of the Year winners have ever hit more in a season. Ryan Howard hit 58 in 2006 and Ryan Braun hit 37 in 2008.

Bryant's 36th HR gives Cubs early lead

Kris Bryant became the first Cubs player since Aramis Ramirez in 2006 to reach the 36-HR mark with this solo home run in the first inning against the Pirates.

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Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Marcell Ozuna departed Wednesday's Mets-Marlins game in the fourth inning with a sore left wrist. Jeff Francoeur entered in the Marlins outfield.

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Chase Utley's leadoff HR in Game 2 of Wednesday's doubleheader is the Dodgers' first RBI hit since the third inning Saturday.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Was Wilmer Flores being in the lineup to deliver a two-run homer against debuting Marlins right-hander Jake Esch more luck than shrewd strategy? Manager Terry Collins initially placed Flores at first base on Wednesday because he was 2-for-5 with a homer, two RBIs and a walk in his career against right-hander David Phelps. When Collins learned late that Phelps had been placed on the DL with an oblique strain and Esch had been promoted from Triple-A New Orleans, Collins decided to leave Flores in the lineup, since the Mets did not have a good handle on Esch's strengths anyway. James Loney, not Flores, typically starts at first base against right-handed pitchers. Flores delivered a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

An industry source says the Orioles are "in the process" of getting a deal done to acquire outfielder Michael Bourn from the Diamondbacks. The deal would make Bourn the second OF today to join the Orioles, who are dealing with injuries to CF Adam Jones, as well as Jones' backup, rookie Joey Rickard. Earlier on Wednesday, Baltimore claimed veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs off waivers from the Rangers. The 33-year ol Bourn ranks sixth among active players with 339 career steals.

ESPN Stats and Information  

Max Kepler's home run in the 3rd inning was the 1,034th homer in MLB during August. That is the most home runs hit in the month of August in MLB history. It is the 2nd-most homers hit in any month in MLB history (1,069 in May 2000).

Bucci Mane @Buccigross

Kris Bryant will be the 4th player to win Rookie of the Year and then League MVP the next season, (Ripken Jr., Ryan Howard, & Pedroia)

Gorkys' glove stymies Goldschmidt

Gorkys Hernandez raced back and robbed Paul Goldschmidt of extra bases in the Giants' 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks.

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Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Well that didn't take long. With fans at Camden Yards still taking their seats, Jose Bautista deposited the very first pitch from Yovani Gallardo over the left centerfield wall to give the Blue Jays an early 1-0 lead over the Orioles.

Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

Mark Teixeira has apparently recovered from his neck woes sufficiently to return to the Yankees lineup after missing two games, but Aaron Judge, who hit his first HR in 15 days in Tuesday's 5-4 Yankees win over the Kansas City Royals, gets a seat on the bench tonight against RHP Ian Kennedy. "Just a day," said manager Joe Girardi. Here's the Yankees lineup: Gardner lf, Ellsbury cf, Sanchez c, Teixeira 1b, Gregorius ss, Castro 2b, McCann DH, Headley 3b, Hicks rf, Cessa p

Rockies pinch hitter blasts first career HR

Stephen Cardullo was called up last week and came off the bench today to hit his first MLB home run in the Rockies' 7-0 win over the Dodgers.

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Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

The Yankees made two trades on Wednesday, the day before rosters expand, sending OF Ben Gamel, named International League Player of the Year on Tuesday, to Seattle for a couple on teenage RHPs, Juan De Paula and Jio Orozco. Both pitched in rookie ball this season. The Yankees also announced they had acquired OF Eric Young Jr. from Milwaukee in exchange for cash considerations. Young, a former Met, Colorado Rockie and Atlanta Brave, played in AAA this year and was assigned to the Yankees Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate. But Joe Girardi indicated he is likely to join the Yankees tomorrow when rosters expand to 40.