Report: Matt Murton to remain in Japan

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Many have assumed that Matt Murton will attempt a comeback in the majors at some point. While it may happen someday, it apparently won’t be in 2012.

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker hears that Murton will remain with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League.

Murton, 30, left for Japan following the 2009 season. He batted .349 and broke Ichiro’s single-season hit record in his first year with the Tigers and while offense was down league-wide in NPB this season, he still managed to hit .311 with 13 homers and 60 RBI over 142 games.

Murton, a supplemental first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2003, batted .286/.352/.436 over parts of five seasons in the majors between the Cubs, Rockies and Athletics.

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.