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Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Joe Maddon says things are progressing well with his injured pitchers as John Lackey (shoulder) and Hector Rondon (triceps) have been throwing while Pedro Strop is also taking steps in his rehab from a knee injury.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

David Ortiz has more career doubles than Hank Aaron. Let that sink in for a moment. Ortiz's 625th double, a ground-ruler in the third inning at Fenway, moves him past Aaron and into 10th place on the all-time list.

Katie Strang ESPN.com 

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who gave up a home run and double in consecutive at-bats in the first inning, has retired seven straight since that point. He's aiming to record his ninth straight quality start tonight; 33-year-old ace's resurgence this season has been critical to keeping the Tigers in playoff race, particularly considering the number of injuries and lack of experience within current rotation.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Anthony Rizzo and Clayton Kershaw talk before the Cubs/Dodgers game on Friday.

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN

Steve Stricker throws out first pitch at CitiField, then Mets hit back-to-back home runs to start. Maybe the Phillies should've signed him.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Red Sox load the bases with one out in the bottom of the first inning and, naturally, the next two batters -- in this case, Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. -- strike out. The Sox lead the league in runs, but they're only 24-for-113 (.212) with the bases loaded.

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Former Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, on joining the Dodgers: "I'm ready to play in October. That is my goal and I'm excited."

Mark Simon ESPN Staff 

For the second time in club history, the Mets hit back-to-back home runs to start a game. José Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera went deep. The only other instance was by Reyes and Ruben Gotay against the Reds in 2007. Amazingly, Gotay homered a few minutes before Reyes on Friday -- for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Clayton Kershaw said it was tough to see his buddy A.J. Ellis get traded Thursday, but has only heard good things about Carlos Ruiz. Chase Utley spoke highly of Ruiz and that was good enough for Kershaw.

Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

Yankees and Orioles trading HRs in the first inning, only Mark Teixeira's was a 2-run shot, negating Manny Machado's solo blast into Monument Park off Luis Cessa. Gary Sanchez -- who else? -- was on base (single) when Teixeira hit No. 11 into the Yankees bullpen. It was also Teixeira's 202nd HR as a Yankee, tying him with Hall of Famer Bill Dickey for 16th place on the team's all-time HR list.

Katie Strang ESPN.com 

Before Justin Verlander takes the mound tonight for Tigers, a note on tomorrow's starter -- rookie Michael Fulmer: Manager Brad Ausmus said the team will push back again with an upcoming off day on Thursday in a continued effort to monitor his workload and limit his innings: "Although he won't agree with it, we think it's to his advantage." The 23-year-old was pushed back amid this most recent turn of the rotation as well. He will face the Angels on Saturday having last pitched on August 19.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

With 14 wins in 17 games, the Royals have pulled within four games of the second AL wild-card berth. The key to their success: "The bullpen hasn't given up a run in who knows how long," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It's been nearly 40 innings." Boston, on the other hand, has lost eight of its last 13 one-run games largely because it lacks defined bullpen roles other than closer Craig Kimbrel. Should be an interesting three-game series at Fenway.

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

Adam Wainwright seemed more visibly frustrated than usual in a 10-6 loss to the New York Mets Thursday night. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny discussed Wainwright's demeanor and what he expects from his erstwhile ace going into the big games to come. Wainwright has a 4.67 ERA, the highest on the staff.

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Wallace Matthews ESPN Staff Writer 

It may just be temporary, but right now it appears that a pair of Yankees who are owed $60 million through 2018 have lost their everyday jobs to rookies. Already, Brian McCann's catching duties have been usurped by the red-hot Gary Sanchez, and tonight, Ronald Torreyes will start his sixth game out of the last 7 at third base, displacing Chase Headley. (Headley is DH-ing tonight in place of McCann, who has suffered a death in his family). Torreyes went 9-for-16 on the just-completed west coast trip and Joe Girardi said, "He was on fire on that trip, so we're playing the hot hand."

Darren Rovell ESPN Senior Writer 

This Day In 1989: Chris Drury gives up only five hits & drives in two, leading Trumbull, Conn., to the Little League title

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Here's the Mets lineup for Friday's 7:10 p.m. ET series opener against the Phillies at Citi Field. Jay Bruce returns from calf tightness. Jose Reyes - 3B Asdrubal Cabrera - SS Yoenis Cespedes - LF Neil Walker - 2B Wilmer Flores - 1B Jay Bruce - RF Justin Ruggiano - CF Travis d'Arnaud - C Bartolo Colon - RHP