Jose Altuve had three hits and scored the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning to help the Houston Astros complete a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 6-5 win on Wednesday night. Altuve stole second and reached third on a lineout. The Astros trailed early before taking a 5-3 lead after a four-run fifth inning.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on July 2nd, 2015
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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. If for some reason you’re still not convinced the Houston Astros are for real, perhaps their three-game sweep of the defending AL champion Kansas City Royals will be the tipping point. The Astros completed with the sweep with a hard fought 6-5 victory on Wednesday night. After falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, Houston rallied to score five in the middle to take the lead. Chris Carter’s 100th career home run opened their scoring. After Marwin Gonzalez homer and likely All-Star Jose Altuve tied the game with an RBI single, Evan Gattis put them ahead with a two-run single in the fifth. The resilient Royals didn’t fade away either, tying the game again in the seventh on Jarrod Dyson’s two-run double. Houston scored the winner in their half of the seventh on Carter’s fielder’s choice. Not exactly the most thrilling winning run, but very fitting for the Astros. With the win, Houston now owns the AL’s second best record at 47-34. They’re only percentage points between Kansas City, who is now 44-31. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] The only dark cloud hovering over the victory in the condition of outfielder George Springer. Springer was hit with a pitch on the wrist and left the game with a reported contusion. However, the team didn’t sound overly optimistic about his condition following the game. AJ said he’s not optimistic Springer will avoid the DL. #Astros — Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 2, 2015 JUSTIN BOUR LAUNCHES THREE-RUN WALKOFF HOMER The Miami Marlins aren’t contenders, but they’re starting to look like awfully good spoilers. Since losing Giancarlo Stanton a broken hamate bone on Friday, they’ve gone 3-1 against the Los Angeles and San Francisco Giants, including a dramatic 6-5 walkoff win against San Francisco on Wednesday night. Justin Bour, who arrived on the scene earlier this season by breaking up Shelby Miller’s no-hit bid, was the hero. After Christian Yelich and Adeiny Hechevarria started the ninth inning with single against Giants’ closer Santiago Casilla, Bour lifted off, depositing a three-run shot into the right field seats. The home run was Bour’s seventh of the season. More importantly for Miami, it completed a rare late comeback. Miami had been 0-38 when trailing after seven innings. It also helped them overcome hitting into a franchise record five double plays during the game. Four of those double plays career against Giants starter Chris Heston, who was in line for his ninth victory before the ninth inning. Now the Giants will focus on avoiding on Thursday, and it won’t be easy with Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez making his return from Tommy John surgery. BLUE JAYS ERUPT ON CANADA DAY Wednesday was a day of celebration in Canada, and the Toronto Blue Jays offense provided plenty of fireworks to make the celebration even grander. In an 11-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox, the Blue Jays connected for five home runs, including two from first baseman Justin Smoak. Toronto also got a three-run shot from Edwin Encarnacion, which opened the scoring in the first inning. Jose Bautista and All-Star voting leader Josh Donaldson each added a two-run solo later in the game to complete a thrilling performance for the 45,392 at Rogers Centre. Jose Reyes did not homer, but contributed four hits and scored four runs. Donaldson, Smoak and Kevin Pillar each had three hits in the 16-hit attack. [ David Price joins The StewPod to talk social media, baseball brotherhood and more. ] On the hill, Toronto’s Mark Buehrle improved to 9-4 with six innings of one-run. Buehrle’s remarkable season of run support continued as Toronto has now topped 10 runs in six of his 16 outings On the side, Rick Porcello was lit up for seven runs over two innings, including three home runs. His ERA ballooned to 6.08 over 94 2/3 innings. CUBS SILENCE METS WITH ANOTHER SHUTOUT For the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, offense has been difficult to come by in recent days. Well, for the Mets it’s actually been much longer, but you get the point. With that in mind, both were probably hoping their three-game series this week would prove fruitful. Not necessarily from an offensive standpoint, since both teams are also pitching very well, but in terms of getting much needed wins since scoring one run might be enough.  In Tuesday’s series opener, one run was enough for the Cubs to be victorious. The same was true again on Wednesday, as the Cubs walked away with a 2-0 win in 11 innings.  How the Cubs rallied was actually quite fitting given how the teams are playing. With runners on first and second, Chris Coghlan laced a single to right field that should have scored a run or loaded of the bases. It did neither. Anthony Rizzo was held at third base while Kris Bryant continued around second bases completely unaware that Rizzo wasn’t head home.  Bryant was tagged, which seemed to set the stage for another missed opportunity. However, Starlin Castro with about a 75 infield single to get Rizzo home. Miguel Montero then followed with an RBI single to make it an insurmountable two run lead.  The no-decsion were to Jon Lester and Bartolo Colon. Each pitched seven scoreless innings. Perhaos more notable, each was 0 for 2 at the plate. Colon lined out to right field with the bases loaded in the second inning. That may have been New York’s best chance.  The Cubs will now go for the sweep on Thursday. The Mets will just try to score one run for Jacob deGrom. 

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on July 2nd, 2015
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Brad Johnson covers the latest in the world of closers and base thieves.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on July 1st, 2015
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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. Move over Felix Hernandez, the Seattle Mariners have apparently discovered a new ace. Mike Montgomery dazzled again Tuesday, leading the M’s to a 5-0 victory over the San Diego Padres. It wasn’t the first time Montgomery tossed a complete game shutout this season. In fact, he did it in his previous start. This two-game stretch puts him in rare company. Mike Montgomery of the #Mariners is just the eighth pitcher since 2010 with back-to-back shutouts. Max Scherzer also did it this year. — David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) July 1, 2015 Montgomery was absolutely filthy during Tuesday’s contest. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Yangervis Solarte doubled with one out. That was the only hit Montgomery would allow during the start. Over his nine shutout innings, Montgomery gave up just one hit. He walked four and struck out seven. After six starts in the majors this season, Montgomery has a 1.62 ERA.  KEUCHEL CAN’T BE STOPPED The Houston Astros have the best record in the American League. A big part of that has been pitcher Dallas Keuchel. The 27-year-old ace was fantastic again Wednesday during a 4-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Houston has now won three straight contests, two of which of come against the Royals. Kansas City entered the series with just one fewer win than Houston, but the Astros have asserted their dominance thus far. [ On this week's StewPod: Looking back at a fun week in baseball with Jeff Passan ] Keuchel, once again, was phenomenal. He allowed seven hits over eight shutout innings. Keuchel struck out seven and did not allow a walk during the contest.  Though it may seem crazy, Keuchel has actually put himself in MVP conversation this season. There is a not-entirely-crazy case to be made that, at this point, Dallas Keuchel has been the AL’s MVP. — David Cameron (@DCameronFG) July 1, 2015 That’s a significant development for a pitcher whose career ERA in the majors was 5.20 entering 2014. With the win, the Astros improved to 46-34 on the year. The club holds a four-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West. DANNY SALAZAR COMES THROUGH FOR TRIBE A day after his teammate flirted with a no-hitter Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar decided to do the same. Salazar was perfect through five innings during a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. On Monday, rookie Cody Anderson carried a perfect game into the seventh. Salazar didn’t make it that far, but still managed an impressive outing. Salazar was perfect through the first five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth. He walked the leadoff man, ending the bid for perfection. The no-hitter ended just two hitters later as Curt Casali doubled to left. Salazar would make it out of the inning without giving up any runs. He eventually would allow the Rays to get on the board, but that didn’t happen until the eighth inning. Logan Forsythe walked to start things off, and came in to score on an Asdrubal Cabrera double. Salazar would wind up giving up one more run, but it came on an error. With the win, Salazar improved to 7-3 on the year. He has a 3.80 ERA over 14 starts. BOSTON HANGS ON AGAINST THE JAYS Boston Red Sox rookie Eduardo Rodriguez had a tough task Tuesday. Rodriguez had to shutdown the lefty-mashing Toronto Blue Jays. He was successful, inching out the 4-3 victory. While the game wound up being close at the end, that wasn’t due to Rodriguez. The youngster was fantastic, giving up just one earned run against the potent Blue Jays lineup. Over six innings, Rodriguez allowed one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out four during the outing. It was the team’s bullpen that made things interesting. Tommy Layne replaced Rodriguez to start the seventh, and found himself in some trouble. Following a Kevin Pillar single, Layne gave up a two run homer to Jose Reyes to bring the score within one run. Alexi Ogando entered at that point, and managed to keep Josh Donaldson from extending the inning. Ogando remained in the game during the eighth, tossing a perfect frame despite facing the meat of the Jays lineup.  [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] Koji Uehara got the call in the ninth, and was able to close things out without any issues. With the win, the Red Sox improved to 36-43 on the year. The club currently resides in last place in the American League East. Want to see more from Tuesday’s slate of games? Check out  our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on July 1st, 2015
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Buchholz pitched eight strong innings to win his third straight start, Xander Bogaerts drove in two runs and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Monday night. Buchholz (6-6) improved to 10-3 with a 2.21 ERA in 15 career starts in Toronto as the Red Sox won back-to-back games for the first time since June 19. ”I like pitching here,” Buchholz said.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on June 30th, 2015
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No one’s ever going to accuse Pablo Sandoval of having the most self control in baseball. His Instagram-in-the-bathroom stunt  a couple weeks proves that. As does what Sandoval did Monday night in the Boston Red Sox’s 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. What you see above is an R.A. Dickey knuckleball that crossed the plate at about the same height as Sandoval’s head. Conventional wisdom might say “don’t swing at that, this isn’t a video game.” But Sandoval’s eyes got big and he took a cut at it. Not only that, but he put it in play. It wasn’t a hit. Just your typical head-high groundout. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] Because this is baseball and there are stats about everything , we learned that Sandoval’s almost-over-his-head hack was something special. Take it away, ESPN Stats & Info : Pablo Sandoval grounded out in 2nd inn on a pitch that was 5.1 ft above the ground — highest pitch put in play by any player in last 5 yrs. — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 30, 2015 Congrats, Panda. Somewhere when this was happening, Vlad Guerrero smiled real big but didn’t know why. The brethren of bad-ball hitters is strong.  Here’s another look at the pitch with some context, because LOL, geez: Pablo Sandoval an adherent to the knuckleball philosophy of “if it’s high let it fly.” Check out what he swung at: pic.twitter.com/JN6rv8Eo9u — Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 29, 2015 Since Sandoval never ceases to amaze us — good, bad or otherwise — we’ll point you toward another play from Monday’s game, in which the Red Sox had Russell Martin in a rundown and Sandoval dove to tag him out. We’re talking full horizontal here. 

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on June 30th, 2015
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Mike Napoli was tossed in the second inning of Sunday’s Boston Red Sox game in St. Pete against the Tampa Bay Rays, appearing to get livid about a third strike call from first-year umpire Tripp Gibson. But before you sweep this away as another tough day for Napoli (who is hitting .203) or another sign of Red Sox frustration (the AL East cellar isn’t fun), there’s actually a more interesting story here than a called third strike and an angry K victim. If you listen to Napoli and manager John Farrell they’ll tell you Napoli wasn’t sent to the showers because he wasn’t happy with the call. He was actually tossed, they say, because he didn’t pick up his bat. Here’s Napoli’s explanation of what happened, via The Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber : “First of all, it was a ball,” Napoli said of a low, outside slider from Rays ace Chris Archer   that was called a strike by Gibson. “And I thought I walked, so that’s why I dropped my bat. I had a conversation with (Gibson) and told him I thought it was a ball, and he said it was a good pitch. Started taking off my batting gloves, starting walking back to the dugout, and he told me I forgot my bat. I kind of stopped a little bit, and he told me to come pick up my bat. I pointed to the bat boy who picks up our bats, and he tossed me. “So when he tossed me, I told him how I felt. I mean, I was walking away, I was going back to the dugout, and he was telling me to come back and pick up my bat when it was over. It’s kind of embarrassing. I don’t know how you can throw someone out for that. I’m not trying to get thrown out in the second inning. We’ve got a short bench.”

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on June 29th, 2015
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A look at what's happening all around the major leagues Monday:

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on June 29th, 2015
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The Tampa Bay Rays have purchased the contract of three-time All-Star Grady Sizemore from Class A Charlotte. The 32-year old outfielder joined the Rays on Sunday and was the designated hitter against Boston. ”We’re going to face a string of right-handed pitching here these upcoming games, and hopefully he can provide a little boost in our lineup,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on June 28th, 2015
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(Adds later game) June 27 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights from Saturday’s Major League Baseball games: – - – - LA Angels 4, Seattle 2 Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano left Saturday’s 4-2 loss against the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth inning after being hit in the head by an errant throw. Cano was injured after hitting into a double play. The throw from Angels shortstop Taylor Featherston hit Cano in the head and he underwent Major League Baseball’s concussion protocol test in the bottom of the seventh.

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