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Rangers DH Mitch Moreland (elbow) hopes to return to lineup on Saturday


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(2:03 am ET) Rangers designated hitter Mitch Moreland sat out of Friday's game against the Mariners with a sore elbow but said afterwards that he's feeling better and hopes to play Saturday, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Moreland has played in nine of the Rangers' 11 games this season, hitting .259 with a homer, two doubles and five RBI.


A-Rod hits two homers, adds go-ahead RBI in Yankees' victory


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/17/2015) Alex Rodriguez carried the Yankees Friday in Tampa, hitting two home runs and delivering the go-ahead RBI single in the team's win.

Rodriguez's first homer traveled 471 feet, the furthest homer hit this season.

He drove in four runs overall.

"Without Alex we're going to lose that ball game," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Just a great night for Alex."

The two-homer game was Rodriguez's first since May 23, 2012.

When asked if he was surprised by his strong start, Rodrigues said yes.

"I am," Rodriguez said when asked if he is surprised by his start. '"Hopefully it keeps going."




Rangers' Mitch Moreland (elbow) out of lineup Friday, available off bench


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/17/2015) Designated hitter Mitch Moreland is out of the Rangers' starting lineup Friday with a sore left elbow but manager Jeff Banister said he could be available off the bench, reports Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"He came in [Friday] and felt sore so we felt the best course would be to get him checked out," manager Jeff Banister said, per MLB.com. "We feel confident he can be a player for us later in the game."

Moreland has played in nine of the Rangers' 10 games this season, hitting .259 with a homer, two doubles and five RBI.


V-Mart held out of starting lineup again Friday vs. White Sox


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Although the Tigers are back in an AL park Friday after playing their three previous games in an NL park, DH Victor Martinez did not return to the starting lineup. Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes started at DH on Friday against the White Sox.

Martinez has not started since Sunday at Cleveland. He was available as a pinch-hitter during the Pittsburgh series and is available to pinch-hit Friday, per MLive.com. He is expected back in the starting lineup Saturday.

Manager Brad Ausmus confirmed Martinez isn't dealing with a back injury, which surfaced in multiple reports Friday morning after the Tigers lineup was released. Ausmus did mention Martinez winced in a pinch-hit at-bat Tuesday because he tweaked his surgically repaired left knee.

"He'll be back in there tomorrow," Ausmus said Friday. "I just wanted to give him one more day off the left side. The left side's the weaker side.

"We'll give him a day off today, then we have a couple of lefties. He'll be back in there. Hopefully these three days will help that calm down."

Despite Martinez's absence, the Tigers are still favored (-170) for Friday's game.


Twins 1B Vargas raises eyebrows with Thursday blast


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Twins first baseman Kennys Vargas didn't just hit a home run Thursday against Kansas City. He sent a missile off the facade of the second deck.

The baseball left the yard in quite a hurry and tied a game Minnesota eventually won. The homer gave his team momentum, but it also opened a few eyes.

"It was fast, yeah," Vargas told ESPN about the speed in which the ball rocketed out. "The first base coach, he told me, like, 'Wow! I've never seen that.'"

Vargas added a single to raise his batting average to .250 on the year.


Twins' Vargas, Plouffe have good track record vs. Indians' Kluber


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) When the Twins and Indians open a three-game series Friday, Cleveland will be sending ace Corey Kluber to the mound. Twins DH Kennys Vargas and third baseman Trevor Plouffe have fairly good history against the 2014 AL Cy Young award winner.

Vargas went 4 for 11 (.364) with one double, one home run and two RBI against Kluber last season, while Plouffe is batting .360 (9 for 25) with one double, two home runs and seven RBI in his career against Kluber.

Kluber is 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 10 career starts against the Twins. He went 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts against the AL Central foe last season and is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five starts at Target Field.


Yankees' Carlos Beltran drives in two runs Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran went 1 for 3 with a two-run double in his team's 7-5 loss to the Orioles Wednesday.

Beltran's third-inning double put his team in front and gave him his fourth two-bagger of the season.

"He just missed a three-run homer too," manager Joe Girardi said after the game, per The Journal News. "I thought Carlos swung the bat better tonight as well. I thought he centered a lot of balls."

Beltran, who also drew a walk Wednesday, has hit .171/.211/.286 in 35 at-bats.


Athletics' Billy Butler sets franchise record in loss Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler went 1 for 4 in his team's 6-1 loss to the Astros Wednesday.

Butler has picked up at least one hit in each of the first 10 games of the season, making him the first player in franchise history to open his A's career with a hit in 10 straight games, per CSNBayArea.com. With Wednesday's single, he has hit .359/.405/.513 with one home run and six RBI in 39 at-bats.


Astros' Evan Gattis slugs first home run Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis went 1 for 4 with a solo home run in his team's 6-1 win over the A's Wednesday.

Gattis went hitless in his first five games of the season but has managed a hit in each of his last three games, culminating with his first home run of the year Wednesday.

"It was pretty exciting when he got back to the dugout," manager A.J. Hinch said after the game, per the Associated Press. "Everyone in that clubhouse knows how much he's grinding to try to break out. So maybe this is a sign of things to come. He certainly takes every at-bat as if it's his last at-bat."

Even with the homer, Gattis has hit just .094/.121/.188 in 32 at-bats.


Yankees' Alex Rodriguez slugs home run in Wednesday's loss


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez went 2 for 3 with a walk and a solo home run in his team's 7-5 loss to the Orioles Wednesday.

It's just the second multihit game of the season for Rodriguez, who smacked his home run off Baltimore starter Bud Norris in the fourth inning.

"That one felt amazing off the bat," Rodriguez said after the game, per MLB.com. "We've shown flashes of good things in all four facets of our game. The key for us is to collectively get them all working in the same direction, get them in sync. Once we do that we can get on a roll."

He's 8 for 28 with two home runs and seven RBI in nine games while seeing time at first base, third base and designated hitter. He's four home runs from tying Willie Mays on the all-time list.


Rays' John Jaso to miss more time than expected


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday that designated hitter John Jaso (wrist) will likely be out longer than initially expected, MLB.com reports.

"It's just such a tricky injury, it's a wrist ... you've got to get the swelling out of there totally before you he can really grab a bat," Cash said. "I know he's doing different drills. Top hand stuff. We don't want him to aggravate it, re-injure it or anything. So you have to kind of let it cool off."

Jaso suffered a wrist contusion while sliding into second base on Opening Day and was later placed on the disabled list. He's first eligible to be activated April 22, but it sounds as if he'll need longer to recover.


Tigers' Ausmus: V-Mart available to pinch-hit Wednesday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Tigers DH Victor Martinez will be available to pinch-hit Wednesday at Pittsburgh, manager Brad Ausmus said. However, Martinez will not take batting practice, per the Detroit Free Press.

Ausmus showed some concern after Tuesday's game when it appeared Martinez might be dealing with a back injury during a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning.

Martinez, who has not started the last three games with Detroit in an NL park, is batting .261 (6 for 23) with no home runs and three RBI in eight games.


Mariners' Rickie Weeks leading off Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Mariners left fielder Rickie Weeks is leading off for a second straight game Monday against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers are sending a second consecutive lefty to the mound in the form of Brett Anderson, leading to Weeks sticking atop the lineup for two days in a row. He went 2 for 4 with one RBI Tuesday and is hitting .211/.250/.368 with one home run in 19 at-bats.

The Mariners are underdogs (+124) against the Dodgers Wednesday.


Yankees slot Alex Rodriguez at DH Wednesday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) The Yankees will lineup Alex Rodriguez at designated hitter Wednesday against the Orioles after getting the day of Tuesday, reports NJ.com.

Rodriguez, who is batting sixth in the game, is hitting .313 with a home run and six RBI when slotted as the designated hitter this season. The Yankees are currently the underdogs (+115) against Baltimore.


Hinch blames struggles of DH Gattis on new environment


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Astros manager A.J. Hinch has been motivated to defend struggling designated hitter Evan Gattis, who has just two hits in 28 at-bats to start the season.

Gattis, who arrived in Houston via trade wth Atlanta, slammed 82 extra-base hits with the Braves over the last two years combined. He has two measly singles so far in 2015.

"There's always an adjustment to a new team," Hinch told MLB Network Radio. "There's probably a little extra frustration when the hits aren't coming."

The good news for Gattis is that his two hits have come in the last two games, indicating that he could be emerging from his slump.


Yankees' Jeff Pentland on A-Rod: 'He believes he can hit'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez has gotten off to a fairly decent start in 2015 after sitting out in 2014 due to a season-long suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez is batting just .240, but he has a .345 on-base percentage, .440 slugging percentage, three extra-base hits and six RBI in eight games.

"He believes he can hit," hitting coach Jeff Pentland said of what has impressed him about Rodriguez, per NJ.com. "More than anything else, he had something to prove in spring training, and he had something to prove to his teammates. More than anything else, to his teammates.

"He cares very much what other players around him think. I think he's passed the test. He's very thorough. He's very knowledgeable. Everything that comes out of his mouth about hitting is pretty much right on."

One weakness in Rodriguez's offensive game is his 11 strikeouts.

"But it's not on fastballs," Pentland said. "When you mature, I think there's always a concern of whether you can catch up to the fastball. That has not been an issue and I have told him that. I told him, I said, 'Look, these pitchers are giving you a heck of a lot of respect. I see them pitching around you a lot of the time. You need to keep your plate discipline and understand that there are certain at-bats, they're not going to want anything to do with you.'"


Red Sox rest David Ortiz with day game following night game


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Red Sox DH David Ortiz was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday against the Nationals for just the second time in nine games this season and first time with Boston playing in an AL park. He sat out April 8 since the Red Sox were playing in an NL park and manager John Farrell wanted to start Mike Napoli at first base.

On Wednesday, Farrell said everything is fine with Ortiz. He just wanted to rest the veteran slugger because of a day game after a night game.

Ortiz is batting .222 (6 for 27) with two home runs and three RBI in his last six games.


Tigers' Ausmus a little concerned about Victor Martinez


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus admitted he was concerned after watching DH Victor Martinez take some uncomfortable swings as a pinch-hitter Tuesday against the Pirates. Although Martinez was grabbing at his back after striking out in the ninth inning, he said he didn't tweak anything.

"Yeah, he didn't look great at the end there," Ausmus said, "so I'll talk with him in the next 24 hours and see how he's feeling."

Martinez is not expected to start again Wednesday, as the Tigers finish out a three-game series in an NL park. The Tigers are off Thursday before starting a 10-game homestand against the White Sox, Yankees and Indians.


Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran each drive in runs for Yankees


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran each doubled and knocked in a run for the Yankees on Tuesday. 

Teixeira doubled in a run in the sixth, capping a one-for-four day. He's hitting .240, with two doubles and five RBI. 

Beltran doubled in the first and drove in a run with a groundout later in the game. He went one for four, lifting his average to .156, with three doubles and four RBI. 


Twins' Vargas, Santana tweaking swings from both sides of plate


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Twins switch hitters Kennys Vargas and Danny Santana are both working to calibrate their swings from both sides on a daily basis, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Wednesday. 

"I never feel 100 percent from both sides of the plate," said Vargas. "When my right side is good, my left is like 50 percent. It's never the same. I try to maintain both swings, but it's tough."

Vargas is hitting .400 (4 for 10) against left-handers and .091 (1 for 11) against right-handers this season. Santana is batting .250 (3 for 12) against right-handers and .167 (2 for 12) against southpaws.

"I never feel good from both sides," Santana said. "It's always better from one side than the other. Never the same."


Rangers move Odor, Moreland to top of lineup


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor has been moved to the leadoff spot for Tuesday's game against the Angels.

Odor has batted in the bottom third of the lineup in each of the team's first eight games, hitting .160/.323/.360 in 31 at-bats. He said his approach will stay the same in the leadoff spot, FOX Sports Southwest reports.

Center fielder Leonys Martin, who has also struggled early, has been moved to the No. 8 spot.

"Leonys is going to be our lead-off hitter," manager Jeff Banister said, per the Dallas Morning News. "That structure has been a little inconsistent. More than anything else, I wanted to give it a different look. There are times when you give the lineup a different look."

In addition, designated hitter Mitch Moreland will bat second Tuesday. He has yet to bat higher than fifth this season while hitting .217/.321/.435 in 23 at-bats.

The Rangers are home underdogs (+104) against the Angels Tuesday, per VegasInsider.com.


Yankees' Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez out of lineup Tuesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and designated hitter Alex Rodriguez are not in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Orioles.

Gardner is out of the lineup as expected after getting hit on the wrist by a pitch Monday. While he may be able to pinch run or serve as a defensive replacement Tuesday, he's unlikely to bat, the New York Daily News reports. Manager Joe Girardi hopes Gardner's ready to return to the starting lineup by Friday.

Rodriguez made his first start at third base Monday. With both players sidelined, Garrett Jones will bat sixth and DH, and Chris Young will bat seventh and man left field.

"You can't forget (that) it’s a long season," Joe Girardi said, per NJ.com. "When he's going good, you're going to want to keep him in there every day. That's how your guys get fatigued and that's how they end up injuring something in their leg. I have to guard against that. That's why I thought today was a great day to give him off."

The Yankees are underdogs (+110) against the Orioles Tuesday, per VegasInsider.com.


Tigers' Rajai Davis leading off Tuesday vs. Pirates


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis is in the starting lineup and leading off in his team's matchup with the Pirates Tuesday.

Davis has just one hit in eight at-bats this season, but he's 4 for 9 with three extra-base hits against Tuesday starter A.J. Burnett in his career. With Davis in the lineup, Anthony Gose is on the bench.

Designated hitter Victor Martinez remains out of the lineup with the Tigers playing in a National League park Tuesday. The Tigers are underdogs (+110) against the Pirates, per VegasInsider.com.


Yankees' Alex Rodriguez: 'I'm so focused on baseball'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez drew his first start at third base since Sept. 2013 Monday, going 0 for 4 and striking out twice, and he said after the game that he's remaining focused on his game in his new role with the Yankees, MLB.com reports.

"I'm so focused on baseball," Rodriguez said. "One day I'm at third, one day I'm at first, maybe tomorrow I'm at DH. I have a lot on my plate right now, and I'm having a lot of fun doing it. Tonight was a big win."

Rodriguez is five home runs away from tying Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list, and he said Monday he's pleased to have home-run leader Barry Bonds, who is a godson to Mays, cheering for him to continue to climb the home-run ladder.

"Anyone that supports me at this point, it's well appreciated," Rodriguez said. "It's not taken for granted, that's for sure. But my focus continues to stay between the lines."

Rodriguez has hit .250/.357/.458 with one home run and six RBI in 24 at-bats over seven games.


Red Sox's Ortiz: Mookie Betts is 'going to be a superstar'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts delivered several amazing plays in Monday's 9-4 win over the Nationals, prompting designated hitter David Ortiz to call the young outfielder a future superstar, MLB.com reports.

"He's a kid, an unbelievable athlete," Ortiz said. "It's how hard he works and the way he tries to do something different every day. At that age, as smart as he is, his athleticism and the way he approaches the game, it's a no-doubter that he's going to be a superstar."

Betts robbed Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper of a home run in the top of the first inning. He then drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the first and stole second base and third base on the same play when he noticed the Nationals weren't covering third. He then delivered a three-run home run over the Green Monster in the bottom of the second inning and added an RBI infield single in the bottom of the third.

"That he's just 22 years old, that's the surprising part," said shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who is also 22. "He takes advantage of everything you give him, any mistake. I've talked to him a few days. I've seen him go through a few tough days. I told him, 'Don't change anything; just really be yourself.'"

Betts has hit .233/.294/.467 with two home runs, six RBI and two stolen bases in 30 at-bats.


 
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Fantasy over/under: 25 home runs in 2015 for Javier Baez