Phillies

MLB Notes: Jason Motte may need elbow surgery

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MLB Notes: Jason Motte may need elbow surgery

Despite Roy Halladay's struggles in his first two starts of the season, GM Ruben Amaro said the pitcher will get all the time he needs to turn it around (see story).

Here is a look at the news around baseball:

Motte may need surgery
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte faces reconstructive elbow surgery if his condition does not improve in the next three weeks or so.

Motte, who had a career-high 42 saves last season, has been shut down since late March because of a strained right elbow. He was not cleared to throw after an MRI exam Tuesday didn't show sufficient improvement.

General manager John Mozeliak said the team should have a good idea by early May whether the 30-year-old Motte would be able to pitch this season.

The news comes a day after stand-in closer Mitchell Boggs was charged with six earned runs in one-third of an inning in the Cincinnati Reds' nine-run ninth inning (see full story).

-The Associated Press

Halos place Weaver on DL
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday placed ace Jered Weaver on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left elbow.

The right-hander, who was diagnosed with a non-displaced radial head fracture, is expected to miss at least four weeks.

Weaver left Sunday's loss against the Texas Rangers early after jamming his non-throwing arm while dodging a line drive. He was initially said to have suffered a strained elbow.

The Angels called up right-hander Dane De La Rosa from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace Weaver on the roster.

De La Rosa was acquired in a trade last month from Tampa Bay in exchange for right-hander Steven Geltz (see full story).

-The Associated Press

Jeter running again
CLEVELAND -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter ran on a field for the first time in several weeks, his biggest steps yet in his comeback from injury.

Manager Joe Girardi said Jeter did some sprints, took grounders and hit indoors at the team's training complex in Tampa, Fla.

Girardi has been watching videotapes of Jeter's workouts and said the perennial All-Star "looked as good as at any point that I had seen him in spring training."

Jeter hasn't played since March 23, when his left ankle bothered him while running. He was placed on the disabled list on March 31 and there's no timetable on when the 38-year-old will be activated.

Girardi said Jeter is "ramping" up his activity each day and the plan is for him to run again on Wednesday. Jeter had only been running on an underwater treadmill. (see full story).

-The Associated Press

MLB Playoffs: Javier Baez snaps out of funk to help Cubs avoid sweep

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MLB Playoffs: Javier Baez snaps out of funk to help Cubs avoid sweep

CHICAGO -- Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Chicago Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

Jake Arrieta pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning to held the defending World Series champion Cubs close their deficit to 3-1. Manager Joe Maddon got ejected for the second time in this series in the eighth, and a packed Wrigley Field crowd watched Davis get Cody Bellinger to ground into a game-ending double play.

Maddon was heavily criticized for not using Davis during a 4-1 loss in Game 2. This time, the Cubs closer threw 48 pitches to finish the job.

Willson Contreras also homered for the Cubs. Bellinger and Justin Turner connected for the Dodgers, who had won a team-record six straight playoff games.

Game 5 is Thursday, with Jose Quintana pitching for Chicago against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (see full recap).

Tanaka, Yankees blank Astros to take ALCS lead
NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the New York Yankees finally solved Houston Astros nemesis Dallas Keuchel, beating the ace lefty 5-0 on Wednesday for a 3-2 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Gary Sanchez hit an RBI single off Keuchel and later homered to help the wild-card Yankees win for the third straight day at home and move within one victory of their first trip to the World Series since 2009.

The teams head back to Houston for Game 6 on Friday night, when Justin Verlander and the reeling Astros will try to regain their footing following an off day and force a decisive Game 7. Luis Severino is scheduled to start for New York.

Just days ago, Houston was up two games to none and appeared to be closing in on its second World Series appearance. But the Astros, like defending AL champion Cleveland before them, have been unable to put away these poised Yankees, who improved to 6-0 at home in this postseason in front of their cheering, chanting fans (see full recap).

MLB Playoffs: Yankees storm back for win over Astros to even ALCS

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MLB Playoffs: Yankees storm back for win over Astros to even ALCS

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge ignited a rousing rally with a home run, then doubled during a four-run eighth inning to spur the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 6-4 Tuesday night and level the AL Championship Series 2-2.

The Yankees trailed 4-0 against starter Lance McCullers Jr. until Judge homered leading off the seventh. He tied it with a line drive that nearly left the park in the eighth and scored on Gary Sanchez's go-ahead two-run double off loser Ken Giles.

The Yankees have rallied from a second straight 0-2 series deficit -- they beat Cleveland in the Division Series by winning three in a row to take that best-of-five matchup.

Aroldis Chapman struck out two in a perfect ninth, and New York improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs.

Masahiro Tanaka pitches for New York against Dallas Keuchel in Game 5 Wednesday and rematch of the opener, won by the Astros 2-1 (see full recap).

Dodgers on brink of World Series after shutout
CHICAGO -- Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series.

Andre Ethier also went deep and Taylor added an RBI triple in the fifth as Los Angeles set a franchise record with its sixth consecutive playoff win. Yasiel Puig had two more hits in another entertaining performance that included an impressive bat flip -- on a long foul ball in the first inning.

Looking for a four-game sweep and their 22nd NL pennant, the Dodgers will send Alex Wood to the mound Wednesday night at Wrigley Field with a chance to reach the World Series for the first time since their last championship in 1988. Jake Arrieta, eligible for free agency after the season, pitches for the Cubs in what could be his final start with the team.

Los Angeles was eliminated by Chicago in the NLCS last year, but this is a different group of Dodgers. The lineup is patient and pesky and the pitching staff is much deeper, especially since Darvish was acquired in a trade with Texas in the final minutes before the July 31 deadline (see full recap).