Ailing Alex Rodriguez pulls out of All-Star Game

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As speculated earlier, Alex Rodriguez has joined Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera in pulling out of the All-Star Game.

No replacement was announced, but we’re guessing will soon announce that Kevin Youkilis and Jhonny Peralta have been added to the squad as reserves.  Adrian Beltre and Asdrubal Cabrera figure to move into the starting lineup in place of Rodriguez and Jeter, respectively.

That could leave the AL with the following lineup:

CF Curtis Granderson
SS Cabrera
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Jose Bautista
LF Josh Hamilton
DH David Ortiz
3B Beltre
2B Robinson Cano
C Alex Avila

The AL has six left-handed hitters starting, so there will only be so much splitting them up.

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.