Yasiel Puig makes presence known in postseason debut

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Batting fifth for just the second time as a major leaguer, Yasiel Puig went 2-for-3 and collected an outfield assist in his first postseason game as the Dodgers beat the Braves 6-1 on Thursday.

Puig had mostly been hitting at the top of the order, but manager Don Mattingly opted to drop him to the middle with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier sidelined.

Puig got his first at-bat in the second, singled into center and then hustled his way to third on another single to center. He went on to score on Skip Schumaker’s sac fly, giving the Dodgers their first run.

The outfield assist came in the bottom of the second on a little fly to shallow right with Evan Gattis on first. Puig didn’t appear to intentionally deke Gattis, but with the way he kept his glove down to his side as he was coming in on the ball, Gattis apparently thought it was going to drop. It turned into an easy double play for the Dodgers.

Puig singled again in the third and was hit by a pitch in the fifth. He struck out in his last two at-bats in the sixth and ninth.

Report: Red Sox, Yankees have contacted Marlins about Martin Prado

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With just over a month to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, trade rumors are beginning to crop up. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox and Yankees have each reached out to the Marlins about infielder Martin Prado.

The Marlins enter play Wednesday 35-40 and in third place in the NL East. They are expected to continue to sell after trading shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays. However, as the club itself is in the middle of rumors with a handful of prospective new owners, major pieces like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich probably won’t be moved until that is settled.

Prado, 33, is hitting .277/.299/.398 with two home runs and nine RBI in 87 plate appearances. He has played in only 21 games due to calf and hamstring injuries. When he’s healthy, though, he is typically productive and he can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Prado is under contract for the next two seasons as well, at $13.5 million and $15 million.

With either the Red Sox or Yankees, Prado would likely assume third base. The Red Sox have gotten a major league-worst .562 out of its third basemen while the Yankees have gotten a .678 OPS, 24th out of 30 teams.

Carl Edwards, Jr.’s reason for skipping the Cubs’ visit to the White House is… interesting

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The Cubs oddly made an extra visit to the White House on Tuesday. After winning the World Series, the team visited then-President Barack Obama — a Chicago sports fan — in January before he left office. But they went back today for an “informal” visit with President Trump.

The Cubs, however, have ties to the Republican party and to Trump. The Ricketts family are Republican donors and Cubs owner Tom’s brother Todd was Trump’s nominee for deputy secretary of commerce. Manager Joe Maddon is also longtime friends with Lou Barletta, the Republican representative from Hazleton, PA.

Some players chose not to join their Cubs teammates for a trip to the White House. 10 players, to be exact, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. None of those players declining to go offered a political reason, understandably so. But reliever Carl Edwards, Jr.’s excuse made a lot of sense. He said, “I’m trying to go see like the dinosaur museums.” Indeed, Edwards could have spent the afternoon at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Other players declining to visit the White House included Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon, Jason Heyward, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and Addison Russell.