Phillies

Best of MLB: Wil Myers hits for first cycle of 2017 in Padres' win

Best of MLB: Wil Myers hits for first cycle of 2017 in Padres' win

DENVER -- Andy Green started screaming "three!" the moment Wil Myers ripped a line drive to the left-center gap leading off the eighth inning.

The San Diego slugger couldn't hear his manager because he was yelling, too. Sort of.

"I was screaming three to myself," Myers said. "Inside. I wasn't screaming out loud."

Myers stumbled around second base but easily made it to third for a triple that completed the first cycle of his career, and the Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 on Monday night (see full recap).

Harper has 4 hits, 3 RBIs as Nationals rout Cardinals 14-6
WASHINGTON -- If nothing else, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper spent some quality time with Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter on Monday night.

Harper tied a career high with four hits, all singles, and reached base in all six plate appearances to help Washington to a 14-6 rout of St. Louis.

"I got to know Carpenter a little bit more than I have, so that was good," Harper deadpanned. "He's a great guy."

Harper drove in three runs during his first four-hit game since April 17, 2013 (see full recap).

Pineda takes perfect game into 7th; Yanks beat Rays 8-1
NEW YORK -- As Michael Pineda threw strike after strike and got out after out, the excitement of the home opener crowd at Yankee Stadium increased and its noise-level rose.

"You're thinking is it's going to be another special day here at the Stadium," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Pineda retired his first 20 batters, striking out half of them with a darting fastball, a diving slider and a moving changeup.

Could he? Would he (see full recap)?

Cotton dazzles as A's spoil Royals' home opener with 2-0 win
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Oakland starter Jharel Cotton kept getting interrupted during his warmups Monday, first by Melissa Ethridge rocking out the National Anthem, then by a flyover from a B2 bomber, and finally by an emotional tribute to the late Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura.

It was the only time Cotton ever looked out of sync.

The young pitcher breezed through seven innings, allowing a pair of singles and three walks, and got just enough offense from Khris Davis' two-run homer to help the Athletics spoil Kansas City's home opener with a 2-0 victory at sun-splashed Kauffman Stadium (see full recap).

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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AP Images

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.