MLB 2016: Key dates for the upcoming season

. View gallery It begins with four Sunday games, and just picks up stream from there. Here are a handful of dates to mark on the schedule: SUNDAY, APRIL 3 New York Mets at Kansas City Royals : Eric Hosmer and company celebrate Kansas City’s 2015 championship one more time before kicking off their title defense against the same team they defeated in the World Series last year. The Mets re-signed slugger Yoenis Cespedes after a few anxious moments over the winter, and Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom lead one of the majors’ best rotations. The Royals also return […]

Phils’ Velasquez named 5th starter, shuts out Jays in loss

. View gallery Philadelphia Phillies’ Darin Ruf connects for a home run off Toronto Blue Jays’ Randy Choate … DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — Philadelphia right-hander Vince Velasquez was named the Phillies’ fifth starter on Monday morning, then made his bosses look good in the afternoon by shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays for six innings in a 2-1 loss. ”Velasquez was outstanding today,” manager Pete Mackanin said. Velasquez held Toronto to two hits and three walks. He struck out eight of the 21 batters he faced. ”It wasn’t easy,” he said. ”I just try to go out and pitch, […]

Teixeira homers, Yankees beat Tigers 3-2

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and Dustin Ackley had a two-run double in the eighth to help the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Monday night. Teixeira, hitting .143, has gone 1 for 3 in consecutive games after getting four hits in his first 36 spring training at-bats. ”I think he’s getting pretty close to being ready,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton hit consecutive solo homers in the sixth for the Tigers. Detroit has gone deep 41 times this spring, the most […]

Big-spending Tigers hope to return to top of AL Central

. View gallery DETROIT (AP) — Ian Kinsler felt a few butterflies while traveling to spring training this year, an unexpected sign of nerves for a veteran player. ”Maybe it was because of the way the season went last year,” he said. After four straight division titles, Detroit’s run atop the AL Central came to an abrupt end in 2015, and now the high-priced Tigers have to prove their best days aren’t behind them. They added two big names via free agency in Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann , but it remains to be seen whether Detroit has done […]

Castro, Reed, Singleton lead Astros split squad over Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Most of the Houston Astros regulars were in Mexico City for a split-squad game, but the ones who stayed behind hammered the Detroit Tigers 8-3 on Sunday. The Astros, playing without manager A.J. Hinche, who was in Mexico City, scored early and often, taking an 8-1 lead into the seventh inning. Jason Castro , A.J. Reed and Jon Singleton homered. Scott Feldman pitched four innings, allowing five hits and one run. But the brightest spot for Houston was Luke Gregerson , who saved a team-high 31 games last season and whom the Astros plan to […]

MLB season preview: Can new leadership get Dodgers over the hump?

Editor’s Note: With the arrival of baseball season we’re previewing each MLB team, from worst to best. We’ll look at their key offseason moves, projected lineup, best and worst possible outcomes plus examine the team’s fantasy implications with the help of friends from Roto Arcade. Our daily series continues with No. 5: The Los Angeles Dodgers . Achieving success hasn’t been a problem for the Dodgers. They enter the 2016 season having won three straight NL West championships, and they certainly have the talent to do it again. Fulfilling postseason expectations is where the Dodgers have fallen short. And […]

The Tigers turned an unusual triple play that no one will remember

If a team turns a triple play in a spring training game that was ultimately washed away by rain, did the triple play really happen? That philosophical thought experiment doesn’t require much thought at all. As long as there was a camera around to document it, which was the case during Friday’s abbreviated Braves-Tigers Grapefruit League game, it happened. But will it be remembered seeing as though it was never officially entered into the spring training history books that don’t really count anyway? Unfortunately, probably not, even though it also happened to be one of the weirdest triple plays […]

Justin Upton hits 1st HRs in Tigers uniform in 6-5 win

. View gallery CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Detroit outfielder Justin Upton hit his first two home runs in a Tigers uniform in a 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. Upton, who signed a six-year, $132 million free-agent contract with Detroit in January, entered the day hitting .189 (7-for-37) with one extra base hit, a double, in 15 games this spring. But he launched a two-out, solo home run off of Philadelphia left-hander James Russell in the first inning and then added a second solo shot off of right-hander Luis Garcia in the sixth inning. ”Probably the last […]