You’ll never guess which team has the AL’s best record since the All-Star break

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Over in the National League the top records since the All-Star break belong to teams that have been strong all season: Cincinnati, Washington, Atlanta.

However, as Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes the American League’s top post-break record belongs to the team that had the league’s worst record going into the break.

Seattle went 36-51 in the first half, but the Mariners are now 23-13 in the second half and tied with the Rays for the AL’s top mark during that time. And the doubly amazing part is that they had a five-game losing streak within that, meaning the Mariners went 23-8 surrounding the five losses in a row.

They’re still in last place in the AL West at 59-64 overall, but thanks to the second Wild Card being added the Mariners are now at least on the fringes of contention. With just two more wins they’ll match their 2010 win total and eight more wins will match their 2011 win total.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.