Weekly MLB Report: New York Yankees Sweep Subway Series From New York Mets, Close In On First Place
As the 2012 Major League Baseball season inches toward the all-star break, the divisional races are beginning to tighten. Here's a look at what's happening in Major League Baseball:
Russell Martin's Walk-Off Homer Gives Yankees Sweep of Subway Series
New York Yankees' catcher Russell Martin's ninth-inning home run on Sunday afternoon against the New York Mets - his second of the day - gave the Yankees a sweep of the three-game series against their cross-town rivals. The Yankees are now 7-2 in June and trail the first-place Tampa Bay Rays by just a half-game in the American League East.
Seattle Mariners Throw Combined No-Hitter Against the Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle starting pitcher Kevin Millwood and five members of the Mariners' bullpen combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers, 1-0, on Friday night in Seattle. Millwood went six innings without giving up a hit, but he tweaked his groin while warming up for the seventh. Relievers Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen chipped in to keep the Dodgers from recording a hit and gave the Mariners the 10th combined no-hitter in MLB history.
Preliminary All-Star Balloting Results Announced
Five Texas Rangers led their respective positions when the first balloting results for the 2012 All-Star Game were released last week. Top overall vote-getter Josh Hamilton (2,587,991) and Nelson Cruz both held AL outfield spots, while second baseman Ian Kinsler, third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher Mike Napoli also were at the top of the AL results. Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder Matt Kemp led all NL vote-getters with 1,952,910. St. Louis Cardinal Carlos Beltran and Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun filled out the National League outfield spots. Balloting will remain open until June 28. The MLB All-Star Game is July 10 in Kansas City.
Play of the Week: Mitch Maier, Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals (24-34) haven't had much to cheer about this season. This catch by right fielder Mitch Maier on Sunday on a ball hit by Pittsburgh Pirates' slugger Andrew McCutchen is one of the few exceptions. Click the arrow to watch this great catch by Maier:
Upcoming Series to Watch: Pittsburgh Pirates at Baltimore Orioles
Two of the most unlikely divisional contenders meet in Baltimore's Camden Yards for a three-game series starting Tuesday night. The Baltimore Orioles (34-26) are currently in third place in the American League East, but sit just a game back of the first-place Tampa Bay Rays. Baltimore will welcome back second baseman Brian Roberts, who has not played since May 2011 because of concussion-like symptoms first suffered in 2010. At 12-3, the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-27) have the best record in baseball since May 25. They are tied with the Cincinnati Reds for first place in the National League Central. Former Oriole Erik Bedard (4-6, 3.59) will start for the Pirates in Thursday's series finale.
Fantasy Player to Add: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
While he has cooled off from a blistering start, Cincinnati Reds' third baseman Todd Frazier looks like he has the goods to stick in the major leagues. Through 38 games, Frazier has seven home runs and 22 RBIs. He also has an on-base-plus-slugging percentage right around .900. He's a keeper even when Scott Rolen comes back, which should be soon.
Fantasy Player to Drop: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates
After a recent 0-for-18 slump helped pull his average down to .200, Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has now been dropped from fourth to fifth in the Pirates' batting order. Alvarez may turn it around, but there are other alternatives out there until he does.
Other MLB News: Red Sox Set Sell Out Streak, Astros Sign First-Overall Pick and More
The Boston Red Sox sold out Fenway Park for the 745th consecutive time on Sunday, a 4-3 loss to Washington. The sellout gave the Red Sox the record for the longest regular-season streak in major U.S. sports history… Cleveland Indians' closer Chris Perez got sick on the mound as he finished the St. Louis Cardinals off for his AL-best 20th save on Sunday. Perez claimed he had consumed warm water before pitching the ninth in the Indians' 4-1 win… Former Los Angeles Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda was released from a New York hospital just days after suffering a mild heart attack…The Houston Astros drafted and signed Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa with the No. 1 overall pick in Monday's First-Year Player Draft…Texas Rangers' slugger Josh Hamilton, who leads all of MLB with 22 home runs, announced he will skip this year's home run derby at the All-Star Game in Kansas City.