Gerrit Cole throws five shutout innings in rehab start

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On the disabled list with a strained lat muscle, Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole tossed five shutout innings Monday in a minor-league rehab start at Triple-A.

He allowed five hits, striking out seven and walking three while throwing 81 pitches. That suggests he might be ready to come off the DL and rejoin the rotation, except the Pirates have indicated they’ll be patient with his timetable.

Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that making one more rehab start and then coming off the shelf on August 8 remains the most likely scenario unless last night’s outing changes the Pirates’ plans.

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.