Phillies

Chris Sale, Johnny Cueto to start All-Star Game in San Diego

Chris Sale, Johnny Cueto to start All-Star Game in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox will start for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game and Johnny Cueto of the San Francisco Giants for the National League.

Sale, a 27-year-old left-hander, is 14-3 with a 3.38 ERA and leads the major leagues in wins. He has 123 strikeouts and just 26 walks in 125 innings, and batters are hitting .225 against him.

"There are no repercussions that come from the game other than having fun and competing," he said Monday. "I fully intend to go out there and giving it all I got for that inning or two, whatever it might be."

Cueto, a 30-year-old right-hander who left Kansas City to sign with the Giants last offseason, tops NL pitchers in victories. He is 13-1 with a 2.47 ERA, striking out 115 in 131 1/3 innings. He has won 10 consecutive decisions since an April 21 loss to Arizona.

His path to the starting nod became clearer when Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard got hurt, Stephen Strasburg pulled out of the game because of a recent disabled list stint and Madison Bumgarner was ruled out because he started Sunday.

"I was just happy to be participating in the game," Cueto said through a translator. "But I'm very happy."

Cueto impressed New York Mets manager Terry Collins with a two-hitter for Kansas City in Game 2 of last year's World Series, the first complete game by an AL pitcher in the Series since Jack Morris in 1991.

"That was the best outing I've ever seen him have," Collins said.

AL manager Ned Yost's batting order has Houston second baseman Jose Altuve leading off, followed by Angels center fielder Mike Trout, Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, Boston designated hitter David Ortiz, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez and Boston left fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

Collins has Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist leading off, followed by Washington right fielder Bryce Harper, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, San Diego's Wil Myers at designated hitter, San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Miami center fielder Marcell Ozuna, Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez and Cubs shortstop Addison Russell.

Ozuna and Gonzalez are replacements for the Cubs' Dexter Fowler and the Mets' Yoenis Cespedes, who are hurt.

Yost said Corey Kluber, Cole Hamels, Aaron Sanchez and Jose Quintana will follow Sale to the mound.

The AL will be the home team for the game at Petco Park because this is the second straight year of at least four in which the NL will host the All-Stars. The AL has a 10-3 advantage since the All-Star Game has determined home-field advantage in the World Series.

"It's vitally important," said Yost, whose Royals swept the first two games at Kauffman Stadium last year. "We've got a room full of tremendously talented players and if we win this game it's going to affect somebody or somebodies in that room."

MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

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MLB Playoffs: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS

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HOUSTON — Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dusty Baker fired by Nationals after 2 NL East titles

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Dusty Baker fired by Nationals after 2 NL East titles

WASHINGTON -- Dusty Baker's time as the manager of the Washington Nationals is over after two seasons, two NL East titles and zero playoff series victories.

The Nationals announced Friday that they would not be bringing Baker back. His two-year deal with the club is expiring.

The contracts for the members of Baker's coaching staff also are finished. The team said it will work with its new manager to fill those positions.

The moves come the week after Washington was eliminated from its NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs with a 9-8 loss at home in Game 5. The Nationals also were bounced from the postseason in the NLDS round in 2016 -- also with a Game 5 loss at home by one run, that time against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

This outcome, essentially, is what Baker was worried about as far back as spring training in February, when he made clear his desire for a new contract, knowing his was up after 2017.

Before the series against the Cubs began, Baker was asked about his possible future in Washington.

"I've given some thought to some things, but we were told that we were waiting until after the season to make a determination," he said at the time. "There's a good chance I'll be back."

He expected negotiations to pick up after the season ended (see full story).

Turner, Taylor repay Dodgers' patience by sharing NLCS MVP
CHICAGO -- Justin Turner and Chris Taylor shared MVP honors in the NL Championship Series, repaying a Dodgers organization willing to roll the dice on players whose big league careers were stalled.

In Turner's case, it was then-bench coach Tim Wallach who rediscovered him playing in a Cal State-Fullerton alumni baseball game four years ago, after his career appeared all but over.

In Taylor's case, it was Los Angeles' willingness to gamble that an offseason of grueling workouts would enable the young utilityman to rebuild his swing in a matter of months.

The co-MVPs turned up in the interview room together after the Dodgers eliminated the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs 11-1 in Game 5. They were champagne-soaked with hats turned backward, a pair of goggles still perched on Turner's head. Fittingly, they doused each other with praise.

"He's a dynamic player and a table setter," said Turner, who hit .333 for the series, with two home runs and seven RBIs. "When he goes, we usually go as a team."

"I talk to him as much as I can. He's one of the reasons I decided to make the changes I did," said Taylor, who finished at .316 with two homers and three RBIs. Both men also walked five times, as many as the entire Cubs roster (see full story).

Rare Jackie Robinson rookie jersey up for auction
NEW YORK -- A rare jersey from Jackie Robinson's historic rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers 70 years ago could be available for someone with a few spare millions.

The jersey, part of a Heroes of Sports offering by Heritage Auctions, has been certified by Mears, one of the top memorabilia authentication companies. It is accompanied by a letter from Robinson's widow, Rachel, saying it is the one brought home by the Hall of Famer at the end of the 1947 season, when he became the first black player in the majors and earned Rookie of the Year honors.

"This is the only one known from the `47 season, the only one that survived," Chris Ivy, Heritage's director of sports auctions, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "It stayed in his closet for five decades plus until it was eventually sold to a private collector in the early 2000s."

The online auction opened Friday and closes at 11 p.m. on Nov. 19. The entire collection is from one owner and can be viewed on Heritage's website. Other items available for bidding include Babe Ruth's pants from the Hall of Fame induction in 1939, Keith Hernandez's 1978 Gold Glove award, a Wilt Chamberlain jersey from 1966, Bill Vukovich's Indianapolis 500 trophy from 1953 and Muhammad Ali's shoes from his fight against Ken Norton in 1973.

Ivy said the Robinson jersey has been valued at more than $3 million. He wouldn't be surprised to see it exceed that.

"It's tough to estimate a piece like this -- it's a one of a kind," he said. "As far as collectibles a rookie (jersey) is always sought after, something that's significant."