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Best of MLB: Yan Gomes' walk-off homer caps Indians' comeback

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Best of MLB: Yan Gomes' walk-off homer caps Indians' comeback

CLEVELAND -- Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning off closer Greg Holland as the Cleveland Indians rallied for four runs in their last at-bat for Corey Kluber and beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1 on Tuesday night.

After Austin Jackson tied it with a two-out bloop RBI single, Gomes connected on the first pitch from Holland (2-3), driving it into the seats in center field to touch off a wild celebration in Progressive Field.

Gomes flung his helmet and skipped around the bases as the Indians players danced out of their dugout at the improbable walk-off win.

Kluber (10-3) deserved it. The right-hander gave up three hits, struck out 11, threw his second straight complete game and continued his dominance since returning from the disabled list on June 1 (see full recap).

Sale strikes out 13 as Red Sox stay hot
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Chris Sale allowed two hits in eight innings and struck out 13, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday for their seventh straight victory.

Sale (14-4) reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season, the first time that's been done since Randy Johnson in 2002.

The win pushed Boston's AL East lead over the New York Yankees to four games.

Dustin Pedroia, back in the Boston lineup as a DH after a stint on the disabled list with left knee inflammation, scored the first run on a fielder's choice in the fourth. A bad throw by Austin Pruitt (6-3) prevented a possible inning-ending double play on Rafael Devers' chopper to the mound.

It was the only run allowed by Pruitt in his fourth major league start. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win at Houston last Wednesday.

Sale (14-4) gave up singles to Wilson Ramos in the fifth and Peter Bourjos in the sixth. The Rays did not get a runner to second base until the seventh, when Sale followed a walk to Logan Morrison with a wild pitch. It was his only walk (see full recap).

Stanton hits MLB-leading 38th HR in Marlins’ win
WASHINGTON -- Giancarlo Stanton hit his career-high and major league-leading 38th home run of the season and drove in three runs as the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Stanton crushed a first-pitch fastball from A.J. Cole (1-2) deep into the center-field stands in the fifth for a 4-1 lead following singles by Miguel Rojas and Dee Gordon.

Derek Dietrich also homered and drove in three runs for the Marlins, who scored seven runs on six hits. Gordon's RBI double and Dietrich's two-run single put Miami up 7-1 in the seventh.

Vance Worley (2-2) thwarted the Nationals for the second time in nine days. He allowed one run on six hits over six innings after holding Washington to two hits during seven shutout frames in Miami's 7-0 win on July 31.

Bryce Harper went hitless but drove in two runs for Washington.

Stanton's hit 37 home runs in 2012 and 2014. The slugger has 31 home runs all-time against Washington and his 18 at Nationals Park are the most by any visiting player (see full recap).

Phillies' other trade options if they can't land Manny Machado

Phillies' other trade options if they can't land Manny Machado

There's no player on the trade market who could replicate for the Phillies the impact Manny Machado would make in August and September. 

There's definitely no player who would invigorate the fan base as much.

But if the Dodgers do end up beating the Phillies' offer for the best available player, the Phils will still look to make other upgrades.

That could involve acquiring a solid, non-star player for the left side of the infield, in addition to pitching help.

If the Phils can't add huge run production to their lineup, their focus could shift to players who'd assist in run prevention.

Here are some names to keep in mind:

Royals super-utilityman Whit Merrifield

There has been reported interest from the Phillies in Merrifield, and the two organizations have already scouted each other because of the earlier interest in Mike Moustakas.

Merrifield can play all over the diamond — first, second, third and all three outfield spots. If Maikel Franco is going well, you could play him in the outfield. If Franco is slumping, he could play third base. But acquiring Merrifield would be just as much about the future as this year.

Merrifield doesn't have nearly the raw power of a Machado or a Moustakas, but he's a proven .290-.300 hitter with gap power, speed and defensive versatility. He led the AL in steals (34) last season and has the third-most doubles (30) in the majors this season.

He would not be cheap to acquire. Merrifield is making $570,000 this season and will be inexpensive again in 2019 before his arbitration years begin. All told, Merrifield is under club control through the end of 2022. These are his prime years and he'll be underpaid for them relative to his performance.

Merrifield is not the same caliber player as Machado, but the cost in trade could end up being similar because Machado is a two-month rental and Merrifield comes with 4½ years of team control. That is a major, major difference that might offset the gap in talent between the two players.

Twins 3B/SS/2B Eduardo Escobar

Another name connected to the Phillies. Escobar, 29, is having a career year, hitting .271/.327/.507 for the Twins with a majors-leading 35 doubles, 14 homers and 57 RBI. 

He's been one of the most clutch players in baseball this season, hitting .367 with a 1.112 OPS with runners in scoring position. That's not exactly a sustainable long-term skill, but it's worth mentioning.

The switch-hitting Escobar would be a rental. He's a free agent at season's end. Thus, it would be cheaper to acquire him than Merrifield.

Top-tier relievers

If the Phils don't get Machado, they could instead land a combination of a bat and a bullpen piece to try to match his overall value.

Zach Britton. Jeurys Familia. Brad Hand. Raisel Iglesias. Felipe Vazquez.

Britton would be the cheapest option because he's a free agent after the season. We've known the Phillies have interest in him, and they could still pursue him even if Machado heads out West.

Britton's velocity has returned. He's back to throwing that power sinker in the mid-to-high 90s. His left-handedness would give the Phillies the matchup reliever they need, along with an experienced ninth-inning option that could allow Seranthony Dominguez to be used in a high-leverage role earlier in the game.

If you can't make a move that allows you to comfortably outscore your opponents moving forward, shortening the game is another way to remain in contention.

Baseball has changed. Having upper-echelon relievers in October is more meaningful now than ever before.

Blue Jays pieces

Jim Salisbury reported Monday that as the Phillies await an answer from the Orioles, they're also interested in Blue Jays lefty and former Phillie J.A. Happ.

Acquiring Happ would give the Phils a left-handed starting pitcher, which they haven't had since September 2016. That move could then allow them to move a Vince Velasquez or Nick Pivetta to the bullpen. Both are high-velocity, strikeout pitchers and both could thrive in a bullpen role. Their velocity and K-rates may even increase.

Imagine the Phillies being up 3-2 with two outs in the sixth inning and their starter at 105 pitches. A combination of Pat Neshek and Velasquez or Pivetta could get you all the way to the ninth. It would also give the Phillies a look at one of those young starting pitchers in that different role to gauge whether it makes the most sense for them long term.

Happ isn't the only Blue Jay to monitor, though. Yangervis Solarte has power and can play every infield position. He also has fair-market club options beyond this year — $5.5 million next season, $8 million the following season.

Curtis Granderson could help, too, as the missing power bat off the bench. Granderson was 0 for 13 heading into the All-Star break, but from June 7 to July 7, he hit .319/.373/.623 with six doubles and five homers.

No, he's not some big-time difference-maker in 2018, but Granderson is a markedly better and more dangerous hitter than the Phillies currently have on the bench.

It's not nearly as sexy of a trade, but acquiring a package of Happ, Granderson and Solarte could improve the Phillies in four different areas: rotation, bullpen, infield and bench.

Josh Donaldson, a much bigger name and more impactful power bat when healthy, is also worth keeping in the back of your mind. Donaldson has been out with a calf injury since Memorial Day but has resumed running and doing baseball activities and could be back by the end of the month. 

He's a free agent after the season as well. The contract status combined with all the time missed over the last two seasons will decrease the price tag. 

But if he's healthy and ready to go, this is a former MVP who hit .282/.377/.524 over the last five seasons with an average of 33 homers and 98 RBI.

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Manny Machado trade update: Dodgers now seem to have edge over Phillies

Manny Machado trade update: Dodgers now seem to have edge over Phillies

Losing out to Los Angeles on two superstars in two months will be tough for Philly fans to take, but momentum now appears to be on the Dodgers' side in acquiring Manny Machado.

Barring a last-minute change, the Orioles are expected to trade Machado to the Dodgers on Wednesday, according to a report Tuesday by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.

As our Jim Salisbury has reported, the Phillies have been awaiting an answer from the Orioles. They've been aggressive in pursuing Machado, but the Dodgers just have a prospect group that is perceived to be better.

Fancred's Jon Heyman reported Tuesday that Dodgers top prospect Yusniel Diaz, an outfielder, is part of their offer for Machado. Diaz was ranked by Baseball America as the 51st-best prospect in the game. He was a $15.5 million international free-agent signee out of Cuba in 2015.

Machado makes every bit as much sense for the Dodgers as he does the Phillies. The Dodgers are in clear win-now mode and their window won't remain open forever. Corey Seager, their superstar shortstop, is out for the season with an elbow injury. After a slow start, L.A. has caught fire and leads the NL West by a half-game over the Diamondbacks, two games over the Rockies and four over the Giants.

Acquiring Machado would be a clear separator for the Dodgers, not only in their division race but in the playoffs. It would make them the NL favorite after a World Series loss a year ago.

Obviously, this could be a ploy by the Orioles to get the Phillies to increase their offer. As Salisbury first reported, the Phils are willing to include No. 2 prospect Adonis Medina.

But the O's are in a position where they need to feel like they've won the trade. They waited way too long to break up their core and face a painful near future because of it. They have a weak farm system that needs to be bolstered in the trade of their best asset, Machado.

And while the Phillies do have depth in terms of talented young pitchers, Baltimore could see a higher ceiling with a player like Diaz. Quantity vs. quality is always a topic when it comes to midseason trades and teams often veer toward the higher-quality package.

This isn't over yet though, folks. These trade talks are extremely fluid and the Phillies have the clear desire to land the trade deadline's biggest fish.

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