Juan Uribe puts Dodgers ahead of Braves with two-run blast in eighth inning

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The Dodgers are three outs away from finishing off the Braves. And they owe it to Juan Uribe.

While some wondered whether Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez would turn to Craig Kimbrel for a six-out save, he went with David Carpenter in the bottom of the eighth inning. The plan quickly backfired, as he gave up a leadoff double to Yasiel Puig. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly then called for Juan Uribe to bunt Puig over to third, but he fouled off the first two pitches before it was called off. It all worked out in the end, as Uribe eventually blasted a go-ahead two-run homer into the seats in left field. And that’s why you don’t bunt, folks.

The Dodgers will carry a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth inning. Kenley Jansen will attempt to end the Braves’ season.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.