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Ian Kennedy posted by Padres Fan

Born December 19, 1984, Ian Kennedy plays MLB for San Diego Padres as their pitcher. Kennedy throws five types of pitches, including two-seam and four-seam fastballs at around 90 to 95 mph, a knuckle-curve at around 75 to 78 mph, a Vulcan changeup that is above average, and a cutter at around 85 mph. Kennedy started playing baseball in school and he was awarded many "valuable player" awards. In college, he played for University of Southern California and again received several awards and broke school records.

Kennedy started his professional baseball career in 2006, when he was drafted in the first round by the New York Yankees. He pitched for New York Penn League's team, Staten Island Yankees for 2.2 innings. In 2007, he played 63 innings for Tampa Yankees of Florida State League and posted record of 6-1, 1.29 ERA, and struck out 72. This earned him a promotion to Trenton Thunder, Double-A team of the Eastern League, where his record was 5-1, ERA was 2.59, and he struck out 57.

In September 2007, Kennedy made his debut in MLB, playing for the Yankees as a replacement for Mike Mussina. In seven innings, he struck out six, and allowed three runs and five hits. In December 2009, Kennedy was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and started with two scoreless innings for his new team. However, in April he had his first victory playing 8 innings, where he struck out six, and allowed six hits and four runs. In August, while pitching against the San Diego Padres, Kennedy struck out 12 and allowed only a single hit, which is his career best. In July 2013, Kennedy was traded to the San Diego Padres, and was immediately included in the rotation of the team. In 2014, Kennedy made his 200th strikeout, which made him the fourth pitcher of the Padres to reach this record.

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A baseball read to hold you over until Opening Day posted by David

If you’re looking for a baseball book that will keep you entertained until Opening Day, check out Dirk Hayhurst’s The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran.  The book details Hayhurst’s 2007 season at three different levels of the minors.  He describes long bus rides, living with host families, Kangaroo Court, and battling the urge to give up on a dream.  It’s an honest story about the arduous journey it takes so many ballplayers to reach their ultimate goal, knowing they may never achieve it.

Hayhurst has since made it to the majors, pitching in 25 games, making three starts, and compiling a 0-2 record and a 5.72 ERA for the Padres and Blue Jays.  The Kent State University graduate’s book received rave reviews from Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, Tom Verducci and Tim Kurkjian, and made The New York Times Bestseller list.

Hayhurst also played for my hometown’s college summer league team, the Bethesda Big Train, back in 2001.  After missing all of 2010 with a shoulder injury, he signed a minor league contract with the Rays and will hope to spend this season in Tampa Bay.  Dirk Hayhurst, best of luck.

A big step in my career

After spending last season working for the Toledo Mud Hens, I’ll start a new job next month in the Research Department at MLB Network.  I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work with baseball people who love the game as much as I do.  The researchers support the on-air personalities by providing statistical and analytical information for each broadcast.  In addition to Bob Costas and Peter Gammons, MLB Network on-air personalities include retired ballplayers Sean Casey, Bill Ripken, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, and John Smoltz.  Since I’ll be living so close to New York City, hopefully I’ll make it to Citi Field and New Yankee Stadium this year for the first time.

Continue reading "A baseball read to hold you over until Opening Day"


Trevor Time calls it a day posted by David

Trevor Hoffman, Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader, announced his retirement this week after an illustrious 18-year big league career.  The seven-time All-Star finishes his career with 601 saves, a 61-75 record, a 2.87 ERA, and 1,133 strikeouts.  In 1089.1 innings pitched – spanning 1035 games – he surrendered exactly 100 home runs.  Hoffman spent the bulk of his career with the Padres, with whom he won four division titles and one National League pennant.

Hoffman was drafted as a position player, but after hitting .249 and .212 in his first two seasons in the low levels of the minors, the Reds turned him into a pitcher.  Hoffman found immediate success on the mound, going on to become a dominant closer for nearly two decades, but Cincinnati lost him to the Marlins in the 1992 Expansion Draft.  After half a season in the majors, he was traded to San Diego in a deal that sent Gary Sheffield to Florida.  Hoffman would spend the next 15 and a half seasons in a Padres uniform.

Hoffman’s best season came in 1998, when he recorded 53 saves (at the time, tied for second in a season), boasted an ERA of just 1.48 and a WHIP of 0.85, and allowed only two home runs.  In 73 innings, Hoffman struck out 86 batters while walking 21.  That same year, he came in second in Cy Young Award voting despite receiving more first-place votes (13) than the winner, Tom Glavine (11).  In an MVP race that saw sluggers Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire finish first and second, Hoffman came in

Continue reading "Trevor Time calls it a day"


Another Triple Crown candidate storms to the top posted by David

Albert Pujols and Joey Votto have been battling each other all year, but Carlos Gonzalez has leap-frogged the front-runners in the Triple Crown race.  Gonzalez leads the National League in hitting (.337), is tied with Votto for the league lead with 100 Runs Batted In, and with 32 home runs is just five back of Pujols, two behind Adam Dunn, and tied with Votto and Mark Reynolds.  While he may have the best shot at the Triple Crown, I suspect Gonzalez’s home-road splits (.387/.435/.783 at Coors Field, .288/.310/.450 on the road) will keep the voters from naming him the NL MVP.

How 'bout that?

How about Joakim Soria?  The Mexicutioner has very quietly put together an outstanding season in Kansas City – a 1.71 ERA, 37 saves, and 63 strikeouts compared to just 14 walks.  The Royals’ closer allowed zero runs in the entire month of August (12 innings, 12 strikeouts, eight hits, and two walks) and has continued his scoreless streak through the first week of September.  Though Mariano Rivera is having one of his finest seasons at the age of 40, Soria has been the best closer in baseball this year.

How about Nelson Cruz?  Three trips to the Disabled List have kept him from putting together an MVP-caliber season, but the guy can flat out hit the ball, and despite his size (6’2”, 240), Cruz can run pretty well too – he’s racked up 15 stolen bases to go with his .313 batting average, 17 home runs, and .567 slugging percentage.  If anybody likes playing at Rangers ballpark, it’s Cruz, whose line at home is a robust .359/.414/.660 – a sure way to become a hometown favorite.

Continue reading "Another Triple Crown candidate storms to the top"


Will Chipper hang 'em up? posted by David

Chipper Jones is out for the year with a torn ACL, but let’s hope this isn’t it for the man who has played his entire major league career for manager Bobby Cox.  Chipper has made it known since last season that retirement could be around the corner, but like Baseball Tonight’s Eduardo Perez, I don’t see Chipper calling it quits now that his season has ended unexpectedly.  He wants to go out on his own terms, and these aren’t them.  At 38, his career is nearing the end, but I find it hard to believe that he will be able to say good-bye after watching from the bench as his team battles for the National League crown.

If he’s truly done, Chipper’s numbers speak for themselves: a .306 career batting average and .405 On-Base Percentage, 436 home runs, 147 stolen bases, 2,490 hits, two Silver Sluggers and an MVP award.  The six-time All-Star won a batting title at the age of 36, hitting a staggering .364 to edge Albert Pujols, who hit .357.  He is also tied for the most home runs in a season by a switch-hitter (45 in 1999; Lance Berkman accomplished the feat in 2006).  A little known fact about Chipper is that he and Paul Waner hold the Major League record for most consecutive games with an extra-base hit (14).  Chipper will join Waner in Cooperstown as soon as he is eligible.

How ‘bout that?

How about Jered Weaver?  The 27-year-old righty leads the majors with 182 strikeouts and is having his best season (11-7, 2.87 Earned Run Average) since his rookie year (2006), when he went 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA.  Since the All-Star break, Weaver has been even better, posting a 1.93 ERA, limiting opponents to a .204 batting average, and averaging seven innings per outing over six starts.  With the Rangers playing so well in the AL West, the Angels are unlikely to win the division for the fourth straight year and may even finish under .500 for the first time since 2003, but they have to be pleased with how their ace has pitched this season.

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Michael McGauley

"Time for the Giants to Focus on the Rockies and Not Wednesday's Disaster" posted by Michael McGauley

Okay Giants' fans, it's time to get over Wednesday's loss, and get ready for the Rockies Friday night. Hey, I can be just as greedy as anyone, especially when it comes to a potential three-game sweep of the defending N.L. Champion Phillies. Everything was looking good: Lincecum on the mound, a three-run lead in the top of the 9th, and Brian Wilson getting loose in the pen should Timmy run out of gas. Then, with one out, a four-pitch walk to Shane Victorino, Bochy yanks Lincecum after 106 pitches, and Wilson cannot close the door. Jayson Werth's bases-clearing bloop double down the right field line tied the game at 4-4. In my opinion, total fluke! Wilson had not allowed a single run all season, and actually retired the first batter he faced. There were two outs before Utley singled and Howard walked to load the bases. Listen, if Wilson had finished off the game as he usually does, we wouldn't be having this endless discussion about Bochy's ill-fated pitching change. If he had left Timmy finish the game and he blew it, the same people would be criticizing Bochy FOR NOT making a move. It's really an impossible position for the skipper. I don't mind seeing Lincecum throw 120 pitches, but you have to figure it will make a difference later in the season once he exceeds the 200-inning plateau. If Bochy can save him, and limit the pitch count here and there, it could keep him fresher into September, and that's really the big picture. Don't pound your horses into the ground in April. Yes, it would have been nice to see the complete game, but IT IS Wilson's job to slam the door, and Wednesday just wasn't his day.

Continue reading ""Time for the Giants to Focus on ..."

Jeff Lewis

The Chicago cubs 2010 posted by Jeff Lewis

    After two consecutive years of winning the National League Central Division, the Chicago Cubs watched their hated rivals the St. Louis Cardinals win it. In order for this not happen again, the Cubs have some concerns they have to address in order to get back to their winning ways.

    First, they have to get rid of Milton Bradley. This guy was a cancer on and off the field. He was quoted saying that he does not like the Cubs fans. I am here to tell you that the feeling is mutual. The Cubs general manager, Jim Hendry, needs to get this guy off this team no matter how. If that involves eating majority of his contract in a trade, then that's the way it needs to be done. There have been a few teams mentioned in trade talks for Bradley. The Tampa Bay Rays, the San Diego Padres, and the team that keeps getting mentioned the most the Texas Rangers. It doesn't matter what team the Cubs get the deal done with, as long as this guy is off the team come next year.

    Second, the Cubs need a lead-off hitter and center-fielder. These two go together, because the Cubs can fill both of these holes with one player. Coco Crisp. Crisp is a great player. He has speed, he is a descent outfielder, and he can hit. He did have a down year last year, but he played for the Kansas City Royals. Put a good team behind Coco he will shine! Look what he did in Boston an few years ago. There have been rumors that the Cubs are in the Curtis Garnderson sweepstakes. Grandy would be a good fit with the Cubs, and probably benefit from the National League style of play. The one downside to getting Garndy is that he can't hit left-handed pitchers. So the Cubs would have to find someone to platoon with Grandy in center when they are facing a lefty. With the Cubs payroll, I don't see that happening. Crisp should be Hendry's guy, but we will see what happens.

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Michael McGauley

"Carney Lansford the Scape Goat for Giants' Offensive Struggles" posted by Michael McGauley


  Do we really blame Carney Lansford for a bunch of over-anxious, free-swinging hitters?  The stats certainly don't lie.  Only the Padres, Pirates, and Astros scored fewer runs than the Giants' 657 runs in 2009.  San Francisco's 122 home runs was second-to-last in the N.L., behind only the Mets, who stroked just 95 homers with a half-injured team in their brand-new, spacious Citi Field. Walks: 392 for the Giants was dead last in the league (the Rockies had 660 walks to lead the league). And that leads us to on-base percentage; where the Giants ranked last at .309!  That is just dismal, anemic, pitiful....any other good adjectives to throw in there?

  Bottom line, this has been a consistent problem for the Giants for several years now. They never really replaced Bonds and Kent - the last time they had a legitimate three-four combination in the batting order.  Yes, they've built up the pitching big time. Yes, Pablo Sandoval can rake. But that's not enough -- we need two or three more hitters like Pablo. Hey, you've got to give up something to get something, and the time is now to part with a starting pitcher, and acquire a bat. It's not the most desirable scenario, but consider the lack of available sticks in free agency. In addition, they will have to invest some money to keep the young guys happy (Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson are due for BIG raises, and I say, give them whatever they want!).

  Back to Lansford, I don't blame him. He won a batting title (1981 with Boston), and knows how to hit. That doesn't always translate into being able to teach others how to do the same however. Just to use a brief basketball analogy -- how good of a coach was Magic Johnson with the Lakers? Same idea, but on a smaller scale. Lansford is bright and knowledgeable, but without a couple of big thumpers, this line-up loaded with number two and number six hitters (besides Sandoval) is not going to get the job done. We all know this. The Giants know this. But for some reason, they felt like they had to make a statement with this firing. The rest of the staff was retained by the way, when it was officially announced that Bruce Bochy would be returning for two more years with a club option for a third year. Same goes for GM Brian Sabean.

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Debbie Donner

Barmes' Unbelievable Catch - Was It Real? posted by Debbie Donner

Of course we all know by now that Barmes' unbelievable catch was just that. More of an acting job than catching. To his credit, he did make an outstanding defensive play, getting two outs off the pop-up by Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick, that would have otherwise tied the game.  Seeing this catch brought back bad memories from two years ago, when the Rockies beat the Padres in a tie-breaker game for a play-off spot, because of a bad call at home plate.  Did Holliday really touch home plate or not?  I think not, after they showed the play over and over again.  Those dang Rockies are always gettin' lucky.  I'm real close to rooting for the Dodgers in this last series coming up between them and the Rockies.  The bad call at home plate from two years ago just stings too much still.  So what do you think?  Should the MLB use instant-replay challenges like they do in the NFL? At least during post-season games? Hmmm.

The past two days were thoroughly enjoyable though, watching the Padres take both games against the Dodgers.  Another great finish by the Pads late-inning pitchers.  If they should end up losing Heath Bell to another team next season, Gregerson has my vote as the Padres' next closer.  Or Adams if he can stay healthy.  With Clayton Richard's one-hit shutout and Kouz's three-run shot, the Padres made sure the Dodgers are going to have to work for the NL West title.  I'm not sure what's been going on with the Dodgers lately, losing six of their last ten games.  They went so strong all season I think maybe they're spent.  Or maybe Manny's hair is just too long now.  I think it's getting in his way.  Vin Scully even noticed it last night too.  Maybe if Manny would cut his dreads it might change the bad mojo.  Just a thought.

Continue reading "Barmes' Unbelievable Catch - Was It Real?"

Debbie Donner

San Diego Padres - Lookin' Good! posted by Debbie Donner

Woohoo! Lovin' my Pads these days!  After taking three out of four games against the Pirates to win their fourth consecutive series, the Padres are headed to Colorado to hopefully continue their role as spoiler in the NL West.  What a difference from last season, when the Padres were hard-pressed to come back in a game, any time they were down by two or more runs.  This season, how many times have they been down by four, five, even six runs, and they fight back to win a game. I love it! 

 I am so proud of this 2009 San Diego team.  They started off strong at the beginning of the season, in spite of having several inexperienced youngsters on the team  They hit a long rough patch when they were suddenly inundated with injuries prior to the All-Star break, losing some key veteran players, and suddenly the San Diego Padres were more like the "San Diego Rookies."  But man, have these young players stepped up! I mean, obviously they are going to be eager to prove themselves, and I think they have done just that.  Cabrera, Venable, Headly, Blanks, Gwynn - they have been impressive.  And of course our remaining veterans have done no less - Gonzalez, Eckstein, Kouzmanoff.  Is Brian Giles still on the team?  JK, but seriously, we probably don't even need him now, so I'm wondering what will happen for him next season.

I am very excited about next season.  These Padres have shown a tremendous amount of heart as a team, especially during the second half.  And finally we seem to have a solid starting rotation of pitchers and a strong bullpen.  And our late relievers?  Adams, Gregerson, Thatcher (coming around this season), and closer Heath Bell?  Pitchers that I think other teams are not looking forward to facing these days.  So awesome.  If they can keep this group of players together, I think this could be at least, a division-winning ball club in another season or two.  go Pads!

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Baseball-Highlights of Sunday's Major League Baseball games (Reuters)

(Adds late game) May 17 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's Major League Baseball games. - - - Nationals 10, Padres 5 Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper clubbed three-run homers as the Washington Nationals routed the San Diego Padres 10-5 to record their third straight victory. Harper went 3-for-3 and fell a double shy of the cycle while driving in four runs and scoring three. The home run was Harper's National League-leading 14th of the season. The Nationals (22-17) remained a half-game back of the New York Mets in the NL East, while San Diego fell to 19-20. ... [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Nationals put OF Werth on DL, recall INF Difo from Double-A (The Associated Press)

Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a bruised left wrist after getting hit by a pitch. Washington also recalled infielder Wilmer Difo from Double-A Harrisburg before Tuesday night's game against the New York Yankees Werth was hit on the wrist Friday against the San Diego Padres. Difo is considered one of the Nationals' top prospects and recently was promoted to Harrisburg, hitting .308 in 52 at-bats. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Buster Posey plays the hero during excellent Bumgarner/Kershaw duel (Big League Stew)

Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw may have pitched well Tuesday, but Buster Posey was the real hero during the pitcher's duel. [ It's not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball! ] Posey picked up two hits, knocking in the only two runs Bumgarner would need in order to win the game. He would kick things off with an RBI single in the first inning, and then came back with a solo home run off Kershaw to open the fourth. Posey finished 2 for 4, with one scored and two RBI during the contest. Both Bumgarner and Kershaw turned in excellent performances. Kershaw gave up two earned runs on seven hits over seven innings of work. He struck out eight and did not issue any walks. Unfortunately for him, that wasn't enough. Bumgarner was even better, allowing just one earned run on five hits over eight innings. He struck out nine and walked one, earning his second win of the year.  JERED WEAVER FALTERS AGAIN Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver would probably like a do-over for the season's first month. The 32-year-old turned in another tough start Tuesday, losing 6-2 against the Oakland Athletics. All six runs were charged to Weaver during the contest. Things did not start out well for the ace. With the bases loaded in the first inning, Weaver allowed a two-run single against Josh Reddick. He then gave up a three-run shot to Brett Lawrie.  Weaver would recover, tossing four scoreless frames before allowing his sixth and final run in the sixthinning. When all was said and done, Weaver allowed six runs on six hits in seven innings. He struck out one, but did not issue any walks. With the loss, Weaver drops to 0-3 on the season. It's the first time in his career Weaver has gone winless after his first five starts.  Despite the slow start, manager Mike Scioscia remains encouraged , according to's Alden Gonzalez.  "His stuff is not that far away from when he won 20 games," Scioscia said of Weaver, who got to 20 wins in 2012 and led the American League with 18 wins last season. "At times, you'll see the ball come out like you expect with Jered, but right now, he's trying to find a release point and a mechanical solution that will let him be in sync to where his complicated delivery adds deception but gets him that crisp fastball. Right now, it's something he's searching for, and he's really not that far away. His stuff is still going to play, and in a big way." The Angels are 9-11 to kick off the season. Weaver has posted a 5.83 ERA over 29 1/3 innings.   HOUSTON CONTINUES TO PILE IT ON The Houston Astros continued their offensive surge Tuesday against the San Diego Padres. The Astros scored 14 runs on 17 hits en route to a 14-3 victory. The top of the team's lineup was responsible for a big chunk of damage. The club's first five batters accounted for 12 hits, eight runs and 10 RBI during the contest. Jose Altuve picked up four of those hits, while George Springer was responsible for five RBI.  Springer, Evan Gattis and Chris Carter all added home runs during the victory. The win pushes the Astros to 13-7 on the year. The club has now won five straight games.  BLUE JAYS OUT-SLUG RED SOX   Despite allowed six runs over four innings, Toronto Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison escaped with a no-decision Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox. Hutchison wasn't particularly sharp, giving up five walks against zero strikeouts during the contest. Things were rough early, as the Red Sox tagged Hutchison for four runs in the second inning. Hutchison didn't give up a ton of hard contact during the inning, but the hits kept finding holes. Hutchison was taken off the hook by Clay Buchholz. Buchholz pitched well to kick things off, but fell apart in the third. He failed to get out of the inning, giving up five runs before he was pulled. Buchholz lasted just 2 2/3 innings.  [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] The Blue Jays would continue to pile it on, eventually winning the game 11-8. The middle of the lineup did the most damage. Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion combined to go 7-14, with six runs scored and seven RBI.  Bautista and Donaldson each added their fifth home runs of the year during the contest, bringing the Blue Jays to 10-11 on the season. Want to see more from Tuesday's slate of games? Check out  our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Rasmus drives in 3, Astros beat Padres 9-4 for 4th straight (The Associated Press)

The surprising Houston Astros continued their winning ways thanks to a resilient lineup and some timely home runs. Colby Rasmus homered and drove in three runs as the Astros beat the San Diego Padres 9-4 Monday night for their fourth straight victory. Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro also homered for the AL West leaders, who have won nine of 10. Jose Altuve had two hits and an RBI double against San Diego ace James Shields in the opener of a three-game interleague series. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Mookie Betts' walk-off single leads Red Sox over Blue Jays (Big League Stew)

Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts entered the season with enormous expectations, but has gotten off to a slow start to begin the year. That may have changed Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays. With men on first and second, Betts delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning. Betts stepped to the plate against rookie Miguel Castro, and, on the second pitch he saw, hit a ground ball into center for the game-winning hit.  [ There's still time to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball! ] Betts was a consistent force throughout the contest, reaching base four times. After walking in the first, Betts doubled in the fifth and added a single in the eighth. With the performance, Betts raised his average to .218. Both teams suffered injuries during the contest. Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval had to exit the game early due to a neck injury. He's expected back in the lineup Tuesday.  Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes managed to play the entire game, but was placed on the 15-day disabled list once the contest was completed. Reyes has been dealing with a rib injury for most of the season, but aggravated the issue Monday. This is the third straight season in which Reyes has made a trip to the DL in April. He was hitting .250/.266/.300 over 66 plate appearances. MURPHY BACKS GEE'S DOMINANT PERFORMANCE Dillon Gee was masterful for the New York Mets on Monday against the Miami Marlins. Gee allowed one run on six hits over 7 2/3 innings. He stuck out three and did not issue any walks during the performance. Gee only needed 70 pitches in order to get the job done. Gee was matched throughout the start by Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart. Cosart gave up just two hits over eight strong innings, putting him in line for the win. That changed in the ninth inning. With Steve Cishek on for the save, the Mets began their rally.  Juan Lagares doubled to kick things off. That was followed up by a walk to Lucas Duda. With men on first and second, and one out, Daniel Murphy stepped to the plate. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Murphy clobbered an 89 mph sinker out to right for a three-run shot.  [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] Jeurys Familia came on for the save in the bottom of the ninth, and tossed a perfect inning. Familia is a perfect nine-for-nine in save opportunities this season. With the win, the Mets improved to 15-5. HOUSTON CAN'T STOP WINNING Don't look now, but the Houston Astros are the leaders in the American League West. Houston continued their April dominance, winning their fourth straight game Monday against the San Diego Padres. With the win, the Astros will post their first winning record in April since 2006. A win tonight guarantees the Astros their first winning record in April since 2006. — Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 28, 2015 Jose Altuve has continued to be a force at the top of the lineup, but the team was also helped by both Colby Rasmus and Jed Lowrie on Monday. The trio combined for six of the team's 10 hits, and five of the club's nine RBI during the contest. The club may be without Lowrie for some time, however. Lowrie scored on a base hit in the ninth inning, but slid into home awkwardly. He's slated to have an MRI on Tuesday. Lowrie flying to Houston for MRI tomorrow — Brian McTaggart ⚾️ (@brianmctaggart) April 28, 2015 The 31-year-old Lowrie is hitting .300/.432/.567, with four home runs, over 74 plate appearances. TAIJUAN WALKER SETTLES IN AGAINST TEXAS The Seattle Mariners expected big things from Taijuan Walker this season. After the 22-year-old posted big numbers in spring training, it was assumed he was ready for a breakout. That wasn't the case during his first three starts. Walker was rocked during his first two appearances, giving up 14 earned runs in just 7 1/3 innings. While his third outing was better, Walker lasted 5 1/3 innings due to control issues. In his fourth outing, against the Texas Rangers, Walker flashed the potential he showed in March. Walker allowed one unearned run over seven strong innings. He struck out five and walked one during the outing, earning his first win of the year. With the performance, Walker lowered his ERA to 6.86.  Want to see more from Sunday's slate of games? Check out  our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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