Phillies

Best of MLB: Christian Vazquez walk-off HR caps wild Red Sox win

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Best of MLB: Christian Vazquez walk-off HR caps wild Red Sox win

BOSTON -- Christian Vazquez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox pulled off the final rally of a wild game Tuesday night, beating the Cleveland Indians 12-10 despite an astonishing catch by center fielder Austin Jackson.

In the fifth inning, Jackson robbed Hanley Ramirez of a leadoff homer with a leaping grab in the right-center triangle at Fenway Park. Jackson reached way above the wall and tumbled head over heels into the Red Sox bullpen, steadying himself by holding onto the fence with his right arm. Following a soft landing, Jackson stood up and showed umpires he indeed had the ball, to the amazement of players on both sides.

A replay review confirmed Jackson held on for the catch.

Cleveland, which tied it on Fancisco Lindor's leadoff homer in the top of the ninth and added a run on a wild pitch, blew the lead for the third and last time in the bottom of the ninth in a game the Indians led 5-0 after two innings (see full recap).

Lester stars on mound, at plate in Cubs' rout
CHICAGO -- Jon Lester hit his first major league homer and struck out nine to reach 2,000 for his career, helping the Chicago Cubs pound the Arizona Diamondbacks 16-4 on Tuesday night.

Anthony Rizzo went deep twice and Ian Happ and Javier Baez also connected as Chicago kicked off a six-game homestand with its 14th win in 17 games since the All-Star break. Rizzo, Baez and Albert Almora Jr. each drove in three runs, and Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras had two RBIs apiece.

The NL Central leaders rapped out 17 hits in their highest-scoring game of the season and stayed 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee.

With two outs and Happ on first in the third, Lester drove a 2-2 pitch from Patrick Corbin over the wall in center to make it 8-1. The crowd of 40,709 roared as Lester trotted around the bases and kept cheering until he popped out of the dugout for a curtain call (see full recap).

Marlins rally past Nationals after Scherzer exits
MIAMI -- Max Scherzer hit his first career homer to help build a six-run lead, but he pitched only one inning before departing with a neck spasm, and the Miami Marlins rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 7-6 Tuesday.

Scherzer slept funny and left the game as a precaution, the Nationals said.

The Marlins took the lead with a four-run fifth inning. Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run homer off Matt Albers (5-2), and Derek Dietrich's RBI triple put Miami ahead 7-6.

Six pitchers combined to blank Washington over the final 7 2/3 innings. Dustin McGowan (7-1) pitched two scoreless innings during Miami's comeback.

Brad Ziegler, promoted to closer after A.J. Ramos was traded last week, pitched the ninth and worked around a pair of two-out singles for his 86th career save and first this year. Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to end the game (see full recap).

Are Phillies' odds to win National League an overreaction by Vegas?

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Are Phillies' odds to win National League an overreaction by Vegas?

On opening day, the Phillies' odds to win the National League were 40/1.

A week before the trade deadline, they are 6/1, according to Bovada.

The Phils have come a long, long way since those final few days of March and the national perception of this team has changed completely. 

As of Thursday, the only two teams with shorter odds to win the NL pennant were the Dodgers (3/1) and Cubs (7/2). These odds were released after the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado.

It's interesting to see the Phillies so high on the list, even though they entered Sunday's doubleheader a dozen games over .500 and with the NL's second-best record. Vegas obviously expects the Phillies to add a piece or two before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The other reason the Phils' odds are shorter than those of the Diamondbacks (15/2) and Brewers (8/1) is that the Phillies are favored to win the NL East. So even if teams like Arizona and Milwaukee have more talent or end up with a better record than the Phillies, those clubs would most likely be participating in the wild-card game. The Dodgers and Cubs are heavily favored to hold on to win their divisions.

The Phillies are narrowly favored to win the NL East. They are +155, while the Braves are +165 and the Nationals are +200. (This means that a $100 bet on the Phillies would win you $155.)

The Braves entered Sunday a half-game behind the Phillies. They've won two in a row after losing eight of 10. 

As for the Nationals, things just keep getting worse. Washington is a game under .500 at 48-49, and they've taken L's both on and off the field this weekend. There was the dugout confrontation between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg on Friday, and then the news Sunday that All-Star closer Sean Doolittle is dealing with a stress reaction in his foot that will keep him out at least another few weeks.

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Phillies-Padres postponed, rescheduled as part of doubleheader Sunday

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Phillies-Padres postponed, rescheduled as part of doubleheader Sunday

Saturday night’s Phillies-San Diego Padres game has been postponed because of rain.

The game will be made up Sunday as part of a separate admission doubleheader.

The start of Sunday’s regularly scheduled game (game 50 ticket) will be moved from 1:30 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. Gates will open at 11:05 a.m.

The makeup game (game 49 ticket) will start at 6:05 p.m. According to the team, fans holding tickets for Saturday night's game may use them for Sunday night’s 6:05 p.m. game. Fans unable to attend that game may exchange them for any remaining home game this season.

Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta will be the Phillies’ starting pitchers in Sunday’s doubleheader. Pivetta will start Game 1 and Velasquez will take the mound for Game 2.

The Phillies returned from the All-Star break and posted an 11-5 win over the Padres on Friday night. That game began a stretch of 19 of 29 games against non-contending teams for the Phillies.

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