Mets and Twins reportedly front-runners for Ted Lilly

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Now that Cliff Lee is off the market contending teams in need of rotation help are turning their attention to pitchers like Ted Lilly.
He’s an impending free agent earning $12 million in the final season of a four-year, $40 million deal and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Lilly “met with general manager Jim Hendry to discuss his future before Thursday night’s game with the Phillies.”
Hendry declined to comment about the meeting, while Lilly simply told Sullivan: “I don’t know if I have the right to discuss that. Write whatever you want.”
And so he did. Sullivan notes that “Hendry would like to keep Lilly, but he doesn’t know if the Cubs can meet his free agent demands in November so he has to consider getting something in return.” He also adds that the Mets and Twins are the most likely suitors for Lilly, which matches an earlier report from Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com in Minnesota.
While certainly not in Lee’s stratosphere, Lilly is 47-34 with a 3.75 ERA in 110 starts for the Cubs, including a 4.08 ERA in 97 innings this year. However, he finished the first half with back-to-back clunkers and because he’ll likely be a Type A free agent this offseason the Cubs can choose to simply take a pair of compensatory draft picks for letting him walk if they aren’t satisfied with any of the trade packages being offered.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.