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Bronx bristle: Yanks growing moustaches during winning streak

A winning streak grows, and so does the hair: Brett Gardner gets Yankees to sprout moustaches
Howie Rumberg, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - There's something hairy going on in the New York Yankees clubhouse.

Moustaches in various stages of growth have been sprouting on the upper lips of an increasing number of players during the team's recent run of wins in seven of eight games.

Brett Gardner had the idea in Tampa while New York was sweeping the Rays to help turn around a 3-6 start, and he's been recruiting participants along the way.

Rays hit 3 homers in 12-3 victory over Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays hit 3 homers in 12-3 victory over Toronto Blue Jays
Dick Scanlon, The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - James Loney and Drew Smyly departed Tampa Bay's crowded disabled list and helped the Rays to a runaway win.

Loney, Rene Rivera and Tim Beckham each hit a two-run homer, and the Tampa Bay beat the Toronto Blue Jays 12-3 on Friday night.

Smyly came within one out of winning his first start of the season. The left-hander gave up two runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Jury's still out on Rogers Centre's new turf

Jury's still out on Rogers Centre's new field; Jays see pros and cons to turf
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The jury is still out on the new turf at Rogers Centre.

While Blue Jays infielders Josh Donaldson and Devon Travis acknowledge they've had to make adjustments to account for the softer, slower surface, they also say they feel less wear and tear on their bodies. But the Baltimore Orioles were not impressed by the new turf earlier this week and reportedly considered boycotting a game after shortstop Jimmy Paredes was hit in the face by a ball that took a weird bounce during batting practice.

Benches clear between Royals, White Sox

Benches clear in seventh inning between Royals, White Sox, five players ejected.
The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Benches cleared at the end of the seventh inning of Thursday's game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.

Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura snagged a grounder from Chicago outfielder Adam Eaton and the pair appeared to exchange words before Ventura threw to first to end the inning. After the play, players from both dugouts and bullpens ran onto the field. Several punches were thrown.

Hutchison pitches gem in Blue Jays win

Hutchison pitches gem in Blue Jays 7-6 win over Orioles; Toronto completes sweep
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Drew Hutchison may have been flirting with a perfect game for five innings, but he didn't notice.

He struck out seven over eight innings as the Toronto Blue Jays routed the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 on Thursday to complete a three-game series sweep.

"I think you're just out there concentrating on one guy at a time," said Hutchison when asked about the possibility of a perfect game after retiring the first 15 batters he faced. "I wasn't really thinking about it."

Jays place Navarro on 15-day DL, recall Thole

Blue Jays place Navarro on 15-day DL with strained left hamstring, call up Thole
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The Blue Jays have placed catcher Dioner Navarro on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalled catcher Josh Thole from triple-A Buffalo.

The switch-hitting Navarro is batting .276 with four RBIs in eight games. The move is retroactive to April 22.

"It's not even disappointing, it's just part of the business," said Navarro. "The only person that doesn't get hurt is the one that doesn't play. I've been through this before.

Travis leads Blue Jays to 4-2 win in return

Rookie Travis leads Blue Jays to 4-2 win over Orioles in return from rib injury
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Devon Travis knew exactly who to thank for his success on Wednesday night.

The Blue Jays rookie second baseman had three hits, including the go-ahead two-run homer, as Toronto topped the Baltimore Orioles 4-2.

Travis missed the first game of the series with sore ribs after being hit by a pitch in the Blue Jays' 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday and made sure to thank Toronto's training staff for getting him healthy enough to play.

Jays' Bautista out with strained shoulder

Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista out with strained shoulder v. Orioles
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Jose Bautista is avoiding aggravating an injured shoulder — not a vengeful Baltimore Orioles team.

Bautista was not in the lineup for the Toronto Blue Jays' 4-2 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night after an MRI revealed he has a strained right shoulder.

Bautista had been struggling with nagging shoulder pain, but injured himself throwing from right field to first base in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 13-6 win over Baltimore.

Reds' Bryan Price sorry for bad words, sticks by sentiment

Reds manager Bryan Price sorry for naughty language, firm on sentiment that reporters too nosy
Genaro C. Armas, The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - Cincinnati manager Bryan Price is sorry for using foul language in a pregame tirade. Everything in between the bad words remains fair game.

The Reds skipper stood firm on his stance that media shouldn't report developments he thinks would put his team at a competitive disadvantage.

"I think probably before we get started it's appropriate that I acknowledge the events of yesterday before the game," Price told reporters before Tuesday night's game at Milwaukee.

US-Cuba relations challenge ballplayers choosing pro path

US-Cuba diplomacy challenges ballplayers, families as they consider paths toward staying pro
Ricardo Zuniga, The Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Yasmany Tomas had three choices to continue his baseball career: stay in Cuba and make up to $2,500 a month, play in Japan with a shot at a million dollar contract, or give up family and life in the island on hopes of hitting the jackpot in the major leagues.

The 24-year-old Cuban slugger opted for life in the U.S., and all the changes that come with it, signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $68.5 million for six seasons.

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