Miguel Gonzalez returned home to deliver one of his best performances of the season. The Baltimore right-hander pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings and permitted just three hits, leading the Orioles to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night in front of 35,353 at Angel Stadium. “I like pitching here in Anaheim, especially in front of friends and family,” said Gonzalez, who grew up in a suburb northwest of Los Angeles. The Orioles (55-44) needed their fourth victory in six contests to maintain their four-game lead over the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 23rd, 2014
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Hat turned backward, Jeremy Jeffress grinned, leaned back and enjoyed the view from the Milwaukee Brewers’ dugout. Milwaukee called up the right-hander from Triple-A Nashville this week to help bolster the bullpen. He might be best known for his inclusion in the six-player deal that brought ace Zack Greinke from Kansas City to Milwaukee in December 2010. Jeffress considers his return to Milwaukee a homecoming. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 22nd, 2014
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Center fielder Adam Jones hit a pair of two-run home runs to give the Baltimore Orioles a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night in front of 39,028 at Angel Stadium. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 22nd, 2014
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Matthew Pouliot has some trade thoughts and wonders what’s in store for Joc Pederson and Oscar Taveras in the Strike Zone. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 21st, 2014
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The New York Yankees came out swinging Sunday in response to a story that ran in the New York Post that tickets for Derek Jeter’s Yankee Stadium farewell game on Sept. 7 have skyrocketed in price. While the Post reported that the ticket hikes are occurring on the secondary market — that is, for resale on ticket-broker sites — the newspaper also wrote that the Yankees “hiked the cheapest tickets on its Web site from $16 to $250 before quickly selling out.” The Yankees released a statement Sunday that the team has not and will not increase ticket prices for games this season. “The New York Yankees have not, did not, and will not raise any ticket prices for the game to be played in Yankee Stadium on September 7, or for that matter, any other game to be played at Yankee Stadium this season,” the statement read. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 21st, 2014
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The Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants are the teams most interested in acquiring veteran second baseman Chase Utley from the Philadelphia Phillies, according to the Boston Globe. Blue Jays second basemen have combined to hit just .254 this season. They have used Steve Tolleson, Brett Lawrie, Munenori Kawasaki and Ryan Goins, among others, at the position. The Giants have also struggled to get production at second base. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 20th, 2014
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Center fielder Adam Jones hit a three-run homer and tied his career high with five RBIs Saturday night, leading the Baltimore Orioles to an 8-4 victory over the Oakland A’s at O.co Coliseum. Shortstop J.J. Hardy and first baseman Chris Davis hit solo home runs for the Orioles, who took over the major-league lead for homer with 119, two more than Toronto. Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis went 4-for-5, tying his season high for hits, and scored twice. Left fielder Steve Pearce went 3-for-4 with two doubles and scored twice. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 20th, 2014
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(Adds late games) July 18 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Friday’s Major League Baseball Games – - Red Sox 5, Royals 4 Rookie third baseman Xander Bogaerts and pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes both hammered two-run homers in the sixth inning as Boston charged from behind for a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Outfielder Brock Holt drove in the other Boston run with a second-inning single. – - Yankees 4, Reds 3 Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to help the New York Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. … View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

Post info: By JaysFan74 on July 19th, 2014
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The Boston Red Sox, getting a rare power display in the sixth inning, edged the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Friday night for their fifth win in the last six games. “Before the break and first day after the break, our goal hasn’t changed,” left fielder Jonny Gomes said after hitting a pinch-hit two-run homer — Boston’s second two-run shot of the sixth inning — to produce another win coming out of the All-Star break. “Our goal is still win the division and win that last game of the year,” Gomes said. The recent run has improved the Red Sox’s record to 44-52 — still a very long way to go. View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

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Note: The All-Star break is upon us and The Stew is using the downtime to size up contenders for the year-end awards. We’ve already looked at Rookie of the Year and MVP candidates . Now let’s turn our attention to AL and NL MVP hopefuls.
The top Cy Young candidates usually post great numbers while pitching full seasons for contending teams. Those criteria hurt pitchers in respective ways like Clayton Kershaw (back injury), Henderson Alvarez (plays for Marlins) and Stephen Strasburg (3.48 ERA, albeit with good peripheral stats). In that sense, the Cy also requires some luck to win it. Everything must come together, and that usually happens for only a select few.
NATIONAL LEAGUE The Frontrunner : Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals He started the All-Star game for the National League after posting a 1.83 ERA and a 5.5 wins above replacement (via Baseball Reference) in 138 innings. His performance against the American League at Target Field doesn’t matter, but don’t be surprised if the words Waino used to describe how he pitched to Derek Jeter affects his status among some of the wrong-headed Cy voters. Still, he’s in great shape to land his first career Cy Young nod, after finishing second twice (in 2010 and 2013) and third (2009) once.
In the conversation : Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds He’s second in the league with 141 strikeouts, and is second among qualifiers with a 2.13 ERA — doubly impressive for someone who pitches home games at Great American Ball Park. Leads league with 143 2/3 innings, nearly 50 percent more than Clayton Kershaw.
The Question Mark : Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers As we wrote earlier in the season , Kershaw missing several starts at the start of the season because of a back injury probably is going to cost him votes. He’s on track for 26 or 27 starts, which will diminish the impact of his numbers no matter how well he pitches. So far, he’s posted a 1.78 ERA and a 126-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 starts covering 96 1/3 innings. He’s also managed to compile a 4.4 bWAR, second-most to Waino in the NL.
The Dark Horse : Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers Hurt by having Kershaw as a teammate and vote siphoner, but could lead the league in ERA before the season ends. Posted a 2.73 ERA with 127-22 strikeout-to-walk ratio so far.
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AMERICAN LEAGUE The Frontrunner : Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners The starter for the AL in the All-Star game, it just looks like King Felix’s time to get crowned Cy Young for the second time in his career. Second to David Price with 154 strikeouts and Chris Sale with a 2.12 ERA, he also has the Mariners’ improved record going for him (or not working against him). Even if they slip out of the race, Hernandez will be right there with the top vote-getters — as long as he keeps pitching like a king. Regardless, he’s the guy you want on the mound.
In the conversation : Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays Off to the best start of his career, posting a 2.64 ERA and 4.3 WAR through 19 starts. His 4.30 expected fielding independent pitching indicates that his awesome numbers won’t last, but Buehrle always has outperformed expectations. If the Blue Jays stay in the race, there’s a good chance he’ll stay in the Cy race. Also in the conversation : David Price, Tampa Bay Rays. Only 18th in ERA, but could get on a role and be right among the top contenders (unless he’s traded to an NL team and it gets complicated).
The Question Mark : Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees Might have been the frontrunner by going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA until he was sidelined by an elbow injury. Tanaka might end up having Tommy John surgery, which would knock him out of contention for sure, but even if he doesn’t, his chances are significantly diminished already. Regardless, the majors have added another dominant right-handed talent from Japan like that of Yu Darvish. Hopefully, he regains his health quickly. Also a question mark: Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox. The second-best pitcher in the league, but only a remote contender for the same reason as Kershaw — a lack of innings because of an injury.
The Dark Horse: Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics Finally putting it all together — talent, health, luck — Kazmir has been the best pitcher on the best team in the league, posting a 2.38 ERA and a .577 on-base plus slugging against. If he keeps it up and the A’s win, he’ll get a lot of support. And if Felix slips… Even Darker Horse: Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels.
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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!
Follow @AnswerDave View full post on Yahoo Sports – MLB – Toronto Blue Jays News

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