Chris Davis keeps pace with Miguel Cabrera, hits 45th homer in Orioles win

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Miguel Cabrera went deep for home run #40 this afternoon, creeping closer and closer to the Major League lead in his quest to obtain a second consecutive Triple Crown. Current leader Chris Davis, though, blasted his 45th home run of the season to keep pace, a two-run blast in the eighth inning against Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona. The homer put the O’s up 7-2, and reliever Josh Stinson pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down the victory.

Overall, Davis went 4-for-5 with the homer, a double, two RBI, and three runs scored.

Cabrera leads the AL in batting average, .360 to Mike Trout’s .333. He leads Davis in RBI, 120 to 115, and trails him in home runs, 45 to 40. While the races in the AL East and NL Central certainly portend to be captivating down the stretch, so too will the back-and-forth between the game’s two best sluggers in Cabrera and Davis.

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.