Author: D.J. Short

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 04:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets stands on second base after hitting a double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on June 4, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Daniel Murphy nearing return to Mets

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UPDATE: According to the Mets’ official Twitter account, manager Terry Collins said he’s hopeful Murphy will return on Tuesday.

11:33 a.m. ET: The Mets have scored two runs or fewer in five straight games and eight out of their last nine, but they are about to get some help for their struggling offense.

No, I’m not talking about a trade, but Daniel Murphy is close to returning from the disabled list. Out since June 4 with a strained quad, Murphy went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI on Friday in his second minor league rehab game with High-A St. Lucie. He also played eight innings at third base.

According to Kieran Darcy of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said yesterday that Murphy would be re-evaluated on Saturday morning, so it’s possible he could be activated as soon as today. If not, his return will come Sunday or early next week.

With David Wright’s status in limbo due to a back injury, Murphy will take over as the starting third baseman. The Mets are also expected to move Wilmer Flores over to second base and play Ruben Tejada at shortstop.

Murphy, 30, is batting .283/.335/.414 with four home runs and 29 RBI over 55 games this season.

Brett Anderson proving to be a wise gamble for Dodgers

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 26: Brett Anderson #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the second inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 26, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers signed left-hander Brett Anderson to a one-year, $10 million contract over the winter even though injuries had limited him to a total of 123 innings at the major league level between 2012-2014. It has proven to be a wise gamble thus far.

Anderson struck out a season-high 10 batters over seven innings of one-run ball in a 7-1 win over the Marlins last night. He gave up just five hits and one walk, with the only run scoring on a ground out from Adeiny Hechavarria in the first inning. Amazingly, he allowed just one fly ball in the 25 batters he faced while inducing 13 grounders.

Anderson now has a 3.13 ERA and 62/24 K/BB ratio in 89 innings across 15 starts this season. Meanwhile, his ground ball rate of 68.7 percent is the highest among major league starters. The 27-year-old has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six out of his last seven starts and has gone at least seven innings in four of them. He has already logged his most innings in a season since his age-22 season in 2010 with the Athletics. His career veered off track after that due to a long list of injuries, but not only is he healthy right now, he’s thriving. It’s easy to get overlooked on a staff which also includes Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, but his steady presence has been important for a rotation which has lost Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy to injury.

UPDATE: Giancarlo Stanton to miss 4-6 weeks with broken hamate bone

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 15:  Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins looks on during the game against the New York Yankees at Marlins Park on June 15, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that Stanton needs surgery for a broken hamate bone and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. This confirms a report from ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian.

9:30 a.m. ET: Troubling news here for the Marlins, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that slugger Giancarlo Stanton has a broken bone in his left hand. Exact details aren’t yet known, but Stanton was set to undergo X-rays after feeling pain in his hand during last night’s game.

According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Stanton said he began feeling discomfort in the sixth inning last night when he swung and missed against Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson. He could be seen shaking his hand before continuing the at-bat, which ended with a strikeout:

“It’s just pain where I grip the bat,” Stanton said. “I think it just kind of got worse and worse.”

Stanton stayed in the game and struck out again in the ninth inning, this time against right-hander Pedro Baez. He was in obvious pain. You can watch the initial injury and his ninth-inning at-bat below:

You can’t help but be worried about a possible hamate bone injury, which would likely put him out for several weeks. It’s also the kind of injury that is known to sap a player’s power upon their return. Stanton is a ton of fun to watch regardless of your rooting interest. It’s a big loss for baseball in general.

Stanton currently leads the majors with 27 home runs and 67 RBI.

Video: Steven Souza Jr. makes running catch, flips head-first into stands

souza
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It stinks that Giancarlo Stanton is going to be out for a while with a broken bone in his hand, so let’s watch a neat play from Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to try to cheer ourselves up:

This is in a completely different category than the Josh Donaldson catch from the other day. In fact, it’s a lot closer to the Derek Jeter play, where the momentum took him into the stands. Still, the concentration needed to make this play and hang on to the ball while not seriously injuring himself was pretty impressive.

Settling the Score: Friday’s results

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 26: Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #32 of the Seattle Mariners reacts as he returns to the dugout after getting the final out of the seventh inning to complete his appearance on his way to the win against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 26, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Taijuan Walker’s promising spring training didn’t translate to the early part of the regular season, but he’s starting to look like the pitcher the Mariners have been waiting on.

Walker tossed seven innings of one-run ball last night as part of a 7-1 win over the Angels. The 22-year-old right-hander gave up a solo homer to Mike Trout in the first inning, but that ended up being the only damage against him all night. He scattered seven hits while walking none and striking out six. Charlie Furbush and Carson Smith combined for a scoreless eighth inning before Fernando Rodney got his first save in nearly a month.

As for the offense, Brad Miller and Nelson Cruz each had RBI doubles while Robinson Cano hit a solo home run. Could Cano finally be heating up? He has two homers over his last four games after hitting just two of his first 67 games combined.

Walker struggled to the tune of a 7.33 ERA and 39/23 K/BB ratio in 43 innings over his first nine starts this season, but he has made massive strides of late, especially with his control. He has 1.91 ERA over his last six starts to go with 44 strikeouts and just three walks in 42 1/3 innings. That’ll work.

Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:

Indians 3, Orioles 4

Nationals 5, Phillies 2

Rangers 2, Blue Jays 12

Braves 2, Pirates 3 (10 innings)

White Sox 4, Tigers 5

Reds 1, Mets 2

Red Sox 4, Rays 3 (10 innings)

Dodgers 7, Marlins 1

Cubs 2, Cardinals 3 (10 innings)

Yankees 3, Astros 2

Twins 4, Brewers 10

Mariners 3, Angels 1

Diamondbacks 2, Padres 4

Mariners 3, Angels 1

Rockies 8, Giants 6

Royals 5, Athletics 2