Joe Mauer leads Home Run Derby voting despite 3 homers

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In addition to the usual All-Star game balloting MLB is also running a vote for fans to select the Home Run Derby participants. Albert Pujols is leading the National League and Joe Mauer is leading the American League.
Mauer and Pujols both hit five homers in the opening round of the Home Run Derby last year before Pujols prevailed in a “swing-off” that knocked Mauer out. However, last year Mauer showed by far the most power of his career with 28 homers, including 15 at the All-Star break. This year? Mauer has just three homers, which ranks tied for 196th in MLB.
Paul Konerko, Miguel Cabrera, and Jose Bautista are tied for the MLB lead with 20 long balls and 84 different guys are already in double-digits, so Mauer’s single-digit total is going to look awfully weird as an on-screen graphic when he’s swinging for the fences alongside the actual power hitters.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.

Video: Blue Jays walk off against the Athletics again, this time with a grand slam

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The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.

Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.