Corey Hart batting second tonight against Dodgers

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Corey Hart will bat second for just the second time this season tonight against the Dodgers, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Hart is batting just .236/.263/.327 with five doubles and one RBI over his first 57 plate appearances since returning from an oblique injury on April 26, but has eight hits in his last 25 at-bats (.320) and has hit safely in each of his last six games.

Brewers’ No. 2 hitters have combined to bat just .220/.274/.317 so far this season, so Hart has the potential to provide a huge boost offensively if he’s right. The 29-year-old outfielder was the primary No. 2 hitter for the Brewers last season and finished with a career-best 31 homers and 102 RBI. He has primarily batted sixth and seventh since returning from the DL.

Carlos Gomez, who has batted second in 30 games this season, was dropped to the No. 8 spot for tonight’s game.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.