MLB “stars” sweep five-game series against Chinese Taipei

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We did it! … Or something.

According to Doug Miller of MLB.com, a group of Major League Baseball players (some stars, others not) captured a 6-4 victory Sunday at Cheng-Ching Lake Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, finishing up a five-game sweep of a Chinese Taipei team led by Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang.

Yankees Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano were the main attraction, and were even invited to pose in the Chinese Taipei team picture taken right after the conclusion of the five-game set.

Three of the five contests were decided by fewer than three runs and MLB team manager Bruce Bochy noticed daily improvement from the opposition.

“It could have gone either way,” said Bochy. “Sure, we won five games, but you could see their confidence growing and they were playing right there with us. It’s good for baseball and for Taiwan. A lot of these are young players playing against the best players in the world, and they were fighting hard. It was a great experience for all of us. We’ve had a great time.”

MLB.com produced some excellent videos throughout the visit, including this one of a player-run clinic.

The roster for the Taiwan series, excluding Cano and Granderson, consisted of Pablo Sandoval (Giants), Logan Morrison (Marlins), Drew Butera (Twins), Jeff Mathis (Angels), Erick Aybar (Angels), Michael Morse (Nationals), Ryan Roberts (Diamondbacks), Danny Valencia (Twins), Emilio Bonifacio (Marlins), Bill Bray (Reds), Ross Detwiler (Nationals), Dillon Gee (Mets), Collin Balester (Nationals), Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles), Mark Melancon (Astros) and Jose Veras (Pirates).

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.