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13hBradford 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.

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Bryant's 36th HR of season gives Cubs early lead (0:25)
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Hanley's grand slam clears the monster (0:31)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images
2hWallace Matthews

Which new Yankees will we see Thursday?

With baseball rosters expanding Thursday as the calendar hits September, Rob Refsnyder and Luis Severino are among players the Yankees could bring up.

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Hernandez flies into the wall to rob Goldschmidt (0:29)
Getty Images, AP Photos
12hChristopher 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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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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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
13hBuster 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.

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Bucci Mane @Buccigross

Brian Dozier: 13th HR this August, most by a Twins player in a month since Hall-of-Famer Harmon Killebrew had 14 in June 1964.

ESPN Stats and Information  

Ricky Nolasco needed just 94 pitches for his shutout Wednesday. A shutout with fewer than 100 pitches thrown is known as a "Maddux", named after Greg Maddux, who was known for the feat. Nolasco's start is the third Maddux this season. The other two belong to Kendall Graveman and Jered Weaver.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Further making his case for league MVP Kris Bryant is 2 for 2 with a HR and 2 runs scored giving him 111 runs scored on the season. He's also made 3 good def plays in the field including a diving catch of a line drive to save a run. The Cubs lead the Pirates 2-0 in the 5th.

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

When Yadier Molina hit Matt Garza's pitch over the left-field wall in the fourth inning in Milwaukee, he established a new team record. The Cardinals have hit at least one home run in 20 straight games. That is a franchise record. They have hit 189 home runs this season, 46 shy of the franchise record set in 2000.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Bartolo Colon and Ichiro Suzuki are a combined 86 years, 48 days old. Their matchup Wednesday is the oldest batter-pitcher matchup since Jamie Moyer faced Henry Blanco and John McDonald on May 16, 2012, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Moyer did the heavy lifting. He was 49 years old and in his final MLB season.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Kris Bryant knocked in his 90th run with his 36th home run on Wednesday, the most by a Cub since Aramis Ramirez (38) in 2006. It's also the second straight year Bryant has reached 90 runs driven in.

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.

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Willson Contreras is ready for some Wednesday Night Baseball!

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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).