Nieuwenhuis powers Brewers' win vs. Cubs

Nieuwenhuis powers Brewers' win vs. Cubs

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Montgomery won't want to remember his Cubs debut. Kirk Nieuwenhuis greeted the left-hander with a three-run homer in the eighth inning, his second home run of the game and first off a southpaw this season, to lead the Brewers to a 6-1 victory over the Cubs on Saturday night. Chicago acquired Montgomery from the Mariners on Wednesday.

"For Montgomery, that's just unfortunate," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I hope he just files that very quickly because it looked like his stuff was outstanding. They beat us, they just beat us. Give them credit."

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nieuwenhuis a much different hitter at home

Brewers outfielder continues to mash at Miller Park with two-homer game

Nieuwenhuis a much different hitter at home

MILWAUKEE -- The Journey song "Any Way You Want It" wasn't playing in the Brewers' clubhouse following a 6-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday at Miller Park, but it may need to become the theme for Kirk Nieuwenhuis on the team's next road trip.

Nieuwenhuis entered the game with pronounced home/road splits on the season, and following his two homers Saturday, there was an even starker contrast between those figures. Now, to get Nieuwenhuis' performance on the road up to the same level that it is at Miller Park, he may get things any way he wants to make sure he feels at home.

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Versatile Perez an asset for Brewers

Counsell likes what he's seen from utility man this season

Versatile Perez an asset for Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- Hernan Perez believes in second chances, and he's being rewarded for it.

The Brewers utility man is in the midst of a season that has caught the eye of his manager Craig Counsell, thanks in part to signing a Minor League deal with the Crew 10 days after the club removed him from the 40-man roster.

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guerra looks to continue strong rookie campaign

Guerra looks to continue strong rookie campaign

When the Brewers and Cubs face off for the finale of their three-game series on Sunday at Miller Park, the pitching matchup will feature starting pitchers aged 32 and 31. Both are having impressive campaigns, but there is one main difference: One is a four-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, the other is a rookie.

Jon Lester, 32, will make his 20th start of the season for the Cubs after allowing just a solo homer over 7 2/3 impressive innings against the Mets on Monday. The left-hander has delivered quality starts in 15 of his 19 appearances to lead the Cubs, who are 13-6 in games he has pitched.

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diaz among top prospect performers Saturday

Brewers prospect caps huge game with walk-off shot; Indians' No. 2 notches season-high four hits

Diaz among top prospect performers Saturday

The Midwest League is notorious for dampening the power of young hitters. Apparently no one told that to Isan Diaz.

The Brewers' No. 11 prospect slugged a pair of home runs on Saturday, including a walk-off shot to propel Class A Wisconsin past Lake County, 9-8. Diaz also hit a triple in the contest en route to finishing 3-for-4, while his six RBIs represented a new career high.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Torres goes about his business, deflects rumors

Brewers reliever enjoying solid campaign, makes highlight-reel play

Torres goes about his business, deflects rumors

MILWAUKEE -- For much of the season, Carlos Torres has quietly gone about his job of successfully occupying various roles in the Brewers' bullpen, but the right-hander made a statement with a highlight-reel play and two scoreless innings in relief in Friday's 5-2 loss against the Cubs.

Torres saved a run with a diving tag of Addison Russell on an attempted squeeze bunt in the sixth, a play that helped lower his ERA to 3.02 -- a mark that may draw notice from contenders as the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Early deficit too much for Crew to overcome

Early deficit too much for Crew to overcome

MILWAUKEE -- How much did the Cubs miss Dexter Fowler? A lot. Playing his first game since June 18, Fowler smacked a leadoff home run and a two-run double, finishing a triple shy of the cycle to back Jason Hammel and lead the Cubs to a 5-2 victory on Friday over the Brewers at Miller Park.

"It was a wonderful evening for him, and it's really apparent how important he is to us," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Fowler.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo, Lucroy join forces to fight cancer

All-Stars encourage fans in Illinois, Wisconsin to donate to non-profit organizations

Rizzo, Lucroy join forces to fight cancer

MILWAUKEE -- A pair of All-Stars and rivals on the field are teaming up off of it.

Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo are joining forces in support of the "Cancer Knows No Borders" campaign as they hope to encourage residents of Wisconsin and Illinois to donate to their choice of two cancer non-profit organizations, each of which is represented by one of the All-Stars.

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Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillips among top prospect performers Friday

Mariners slugger makes immediate impact with new team; top Twins prospect fires eight strong

Phillips among top prospect performers Friday

Dan Vogelbach sure knows how to make an introduction. Playing in his first game with Triple-A Tacoma since being traded from the Cubs to the Mariners on Wednesday, Seattle's new No. 15 prospect went 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

The 23-year-old wasted no time showing off his power stroke, hitting his 17th homer of the season in his first at-bat with Tacoma. After hitting that solo blast to right field in the second inning, Vogelbach followed up with an RBI double to left in the third.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers can't pick up Garza, drop rubber game

Brewers can't pick up Garza, drop rubber game

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' Opening Day starter finally returned to top-of-the-rotation form Thursday night. Left-hander Francisco Liriano struck out 13 without a walk and led the Pirates to a 5-3 win over the Brewers at PNC Park.

Liriano had been unreliable for the better part of the season, going 1-6 with a 6.02 ERA in his past nine starts, leaving the Pirates with yet another question mark in their struggling rotation. He made progress earlier this month, but he took a big step forward as he held the Brewers to one run -- a Jonathan Villar solo shot to center field -- over his first six innings in the rubber game. Milwaukee tacked on two more runs, one of them charged to Liriano, in a sloppy seventh, but Liriano earned the standing ovation he received as he walked into the dugout after 6 2/3 innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crew sticking by scuffling Garza, Anderson

Vet puts club in hole by allowing 3-run HR in 1st

Crew sticking by scuffling Garza, Anderson

PITTSBURGH -- Chase Anderson said he'll be fine once he finds his fastball command. Matt Garza said he'll be fine once he commits to offspeed stuff earlier in outings. And Brewers manager Craig Counsell, confronted with the ongoing struggles of those two starting pitchers, said the team will plow forward without altering its rotation.

"We're going to go with those guys right now," Counsell said after Garza's five-inning outing in Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Houser undergoes Tommy John surgery

Prospect Houser undergoes Tommy John surgery

PITTSBURGH -- One of the prospects acquired in the Brewers' biggest Trade Deadline deal a year ago underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on Thursday.

Right-hander Adrian Houser, who pitched in two Major League games for Milwaukee last September, had the surgery in Milwaukee and is expected to be sidelined at least 12 months. Brewers head physician William Raasch performed the surgery.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coles on Griffey: 'Best player I've ever seen'

Brewers hitting coach reflects on playing with Hall of Famer in Seattle

Coles on Griffey: 'Best player I've ever seen'

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers hitting coach Darnell Coles will be busy Sunday morning getting players ready for the finale of a three-game series against the Cubs. But if time allows, you can bet he will find a television tuned to MLB Network.

Ken Griffey Jr., a favorite teammate of Coles' with the Mariners in 1989 and '90, will be inducted along with Mike Piazza in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Coles witnessed the beginning of Griffey's greatness firsthand.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cooperstown collection underway at Miller Park

Hall of Fame Tour a natural fit in Milwaukee, where Hank Aaron got his start

Cooperstown collection underway at Miller Park

Thousands of fans will converge upon Cooperstown to watch as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza become immortalized in the Hall of Fame this weekend. But for many of those who can't attend Induction Weekend, the Hall of Fame has brought its relics to them.

Baseball's Hall of Fame tour rolled into Milwaukee -- a city more than 300 times the size of Cooperstown -- on July 15, bringing with it an exciting opportunity to catch a glimpse of the game's past. The Tour launched on July 3 at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa, where fans got the first taste of the state-of-the-art baseball experience. Davenport is a mere 90 minutes south of the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville, where Commissioner Rob Manfred unveiled the plans for the traveling exhibit, becoming the first active Commissioner to make a pilgrimage to the storied location.

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Allison Duffy-Davis is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers get best of Bucs in see-saw battle

Brewers get best of Bucs in see-saw battle

PITTSBURGH -- After being dealt back-to-back walk-off losses, the Brewers walked off the field at PNC Park on Wednesday night with a 9-5 win over the Pirates following one of their best offensive performances of the season.

Milwaukee lost three of its first four games coming out of the All-Star break, the last two in especially frustrating fashion -- a passed ball on Sunday and a Little League homer on Tuesday. Neither team looked particularly crisp in the three-hour, 43-minute affair before a sold-out crowd of 36,717, but the Brewers put together a balanced offensive attack against Pirates starter Jeff Locke and four Pittsburgh relievers.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians reportedly pursuing Lucroy

Indians reportedly pursuing Lucroy

PITTSBURGH -- The Indians are among the clubs in trade talks with the Brewers regarding catcher/first baseman Jonathan Lucroy, according to reports from MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi and ESPN's Buster Olney.

A source told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that the Indians' current focus is on improving the bullpen, but the club is open-minded to other avenues to improve the roster. Brewers assistant GM Matt Arnold, who joined his team at PNC Park before Lucroy drove in three runs in a 9-5 win over the Pirates on Wednesday night, declined comment on reports about the Indians' interest.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nelson sympathizes with Taillon after scare

Nelson sympathizes with Taillon after scare

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, who knows precisely what it feels like to be hit in the head by a screaming line drive, said he was fine with the Pirates' decision Tuesday to stick with Jameson Taillon after a similar scare.

Taillon was hit in the back of the head by a 105 mph line drive in the second inning and remained in the game to pitch six strong frames. Last September, Nelson was struck on the right side of his head by a 108 mph line drive and was removed from the game immediately.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez in the middle of everything in Pittsburgh

Third basemen plates both Brewers runs, hits liner off Pirates' pitcher's head

Perez in the middle of everything in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- The brief look of terror on Hernan Perez's face told the story. This was one base hit the Brewers' utility man would have given back.

Perez's 105-mph line drive (according to Statcast™) produced a scary moment in the second inning of the Brewers' 3-2 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park. It hit Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon in the back of the head before caroming into left field for a single. The center field camera caught Perez grimacing the moment the baseball made impact.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers rally late but fall in walk-off to Bucs

Brewers rally late but fall in walk-off to Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Just when it seemed like the Pirates might be in for another long day, Josh Harrison brought things to a quick, decisive and wild close Tuesday night at PNC Park. Harrison led off the bottom of the ninth by ripping a triple into center field and completed the walk-off, Little League homer as the Pirates beat the Brewers, 3-2.

Before Tuesday's game, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talked to his team about Murphy's law, the adage that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Pittsburgh saw it play out throughout an injury-plagued, up-and-down first half. They saw a condensed version in effect Sunday, when a two-out, two-strike solo homer off rock-steady closer Mark Melancon led to an 18-inning marathon. And it looked like recent history might repeat itself Tuesday. Down to their last strike in the top of the ninth, the Brewers tied the game on a Hernan Perez hit to center field off Melancon.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Deja Crew: J-Hay tags Thornburg with winner

Bucs' second baseman repeats history with walk-off hit off Brewers' reliever

Deja Crew: J-Hay tags Thornburg with winner

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg has won most of his career matchups against Pirates infielder Josh Harrison. But when Harrison has won the at-bat, he's also won the game.

Harrison delivered his second game-ending hit off Thornburg in as many seasons, racing around the bases on a ninth-inning triple and an error for a 3-2 Pirates win at Miller Park. It conjured memories of last Sept. 13, when Harrison yanked a single to left field off Thornburg for a 7-6 Pirates win in 11 innings.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jeffress, Smith not concerned by trade talk

Relievers' strong years generating rumors of potential deals

Jeffress, Smith not concerned by trade talk

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers relievers and best buddies Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith expressed the same sentiment this week when asked about the growing chorus of trade rumors with their names attached.

"I just don't listen to it," Jeffress said. "I've got a job to do here."

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Second rounder Erceg promoted to Class A

Third baseman will share time with fellow hot corner prospect Gatewood

Second rounder Erceg promoted to Class A

PITTSBURGH -- Barely a month after signing his first professional contract, Brewers second round Draft pick Lucas Erceg has earned a promotion.

The third baseman is moving from Rookie-level Helena to Class A Wisconsin, where he will join a roster that already features a top third-base prospect in Jake Gatewood. After breaking into the pro ranks as a shortstop, Gatewood is in his first full season at the hot corner, and Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan said the team has a plan in place to keep both players in the starting lineup full-time.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers to see heavy dose of Pirates, Cubs

Nine of Milwaukee's next 13 games against Pittsburgh, Chicago

Brewers to see heavy dose of Pirates, Cubs

PITTSBURGH -- The Brewers' work week consists of three games against the Pirates at PNC Park followed by three games against the Cubs at home.

If you are a Brewers fan, get used to it. You're going to be seeing those teams a lot.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rested Davies sharp in return from Minors

Right-hander tosses seven scoreless innings against Reds

Rested Davies sharp in return from Minors

CINCINNATI -- His catcher and manager agreed this was Zach Davies' finest start of the season. In the end, that praise was all Davies had to show for it.

In his return from what amounted to a paper move to Triple-A, Davies delivered seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss to the Reds decided on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth. Davies and Reds starter Dan Straily combined to pitch the bulk of the 20th 1-0 game in the 14-year history of Great American Ball Park.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lucroy wins '16 Heart and Hustle award for Crew

Award recognizes passion, desire and work ethic

Lucroy wins '16 Heart and Hustle award for Crew

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced the 30 preliminary winners of the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday, honoring one player from each of the 30 Major League teams.

The Heart and Hustle Award, given annually, celebrates active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It's the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players, and voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brewers fall despite Davies' strong effort

Brewers fall despite Davies' strong effort

CINCINNATI -- The pitching for both the Reds and Brewers was airtight all afternoon on Sunday until Milwaukee let the wrong guy get on base: Billy Hamilton. The speedster scored from third base on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Reds a 1-0 walk-off victory at Great American Ball Park and two of three games in the series.

A streak of 16 Reds batters in a row were retired until Hamilton walked with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against reliever Tyler Thornburg. Lefty Will Smith took over to face Joey Votto, who went into a 3-0 count before drawing a walk with a full-count to put Hamilton in scoring position. Hamilton stole third base without a throw against Smith as Jay Bruce batted. A 1-0 curveball to Bruce got away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Hamilton was able to score with a headfirst slide into the plate as a desperation throw was nowhere close.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lucroy shoulders blame for Hamilton's dash

Speedster scores walk-off run on passed ball vs. Brewers

Lucroy shoulders blame for Hamilton's dash

CINCINNATI -- With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg just needed to retire Billy Hamilton to send the scoreless game into extra innings. Instead, he walked him.

Hamilton, one of the game's fastest players, has a tendency to wreak havoc on the bases and make it difficult for pitchers. Hamilton did just that, advancing to second on a Will Smith walk to Joey Votto and stealing third before scoring on a curveball in the dirt to Jay Bruce that bounced away from Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, his fifth passed ball of the year, giving the Reds the 1-0 walkoff win on Sunday at Great American Ball Park

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Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.