Josh Hamilton's fractured ribs feeling better after injections

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Josh Hamilton reported feeling better yesterday after receiving an epidural injection and several cortisone shots for his fractured ribs earlier this week, but there’s still no timetable yet for his return.
Hamilton rode a stationary bike for 15 minutes yesterday and also did what T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com described as “some light exercises.” Here’s what he said afterward:

Today was the first day I got my breath going and was out of breath. That’s encouraging. The shots seem to be helping with the pain factor. I’m going to keep doing something every day as long as it’s not setting me back.

Upon being diagnosed with the rib fractures Hamilton expressed hope that he could rejoin the lineup for the final 4-5 games of the season, but according to Sullivan the goal is now for the MVP candidate to return for the final three games with an eye toward getting him “12-15 at-bats in preparation for the playoffs.”

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.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.