The Kansas City Royals earned a reputation for being a scrappy bunch last year, when they stole bases and dazzled on defense and used old-school small ball to reach Game 7 of the World Series. Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura snagged a grounder from Chicago outfielder Adam Eaton and the pair appeared to exchange words before Ventura threw to first to end the inning. Several punches were thrown and Kansas City’s Ventura, Lorenzo Cain and Edinson Volquez were ejected along with Chicago’s Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija. In the top of the fifth, Sale hit Mike Moustakas, leading to warnings for both benches.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 24th, 2015
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Drew Smyly hasn’t been stretched out during his rehab stint but with Tampa Bay’s starting rotation ravaged by injury and the back end struggling, the Rays are ready to activate him from the disabled list. He’ll start Friday night’s series opener against a Toronto Blue Jays team led by the red-hot Josh Donaldson, who has given Smyly trouble in the past. Sidelined with left shoulder tendinitis, Smyly was one of four Tampa Bay starting pitchers to begin the season on the DL. The Rays (8-8) were considering giving him another start in the minors, but with the back end of their rotation posting a 9.26 ERA, they will take their chances with Smyly.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 24th, 2015
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Lucas Duda and the New York Mets are playing so well they’re practically giddy. Duda hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning that sent the Mets to their 10th consecutive victory Wednesday night, 3-2 over the Atlanta Braves. It’s hard to do.” Wilmer Flores hit a tying homer and an RBI single for the Mets (12-3), on their longest winning streak since taking 10 straight in July 2008. Despite injuries to several key players, New York is off to its best start since the 1986 World Series champions opened 13-3.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 23rd, 2015
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Mets ace Matt Harvey has a mild left ankle sprain but the team says he will make his next scheduled start Saturday at Yankee Stadium. ”We’re still good to go for Saturday and I just kind of wanted to know why I wasn’t getting better and what was going on.” New York manager Terry Collins said he didn’t even know about Harvey’s ankle issue until a couple of days ago when the right-hander asked to have it looked at.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 23rd, 2015
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Sample size can be a dangerous thing. After two weeks, some surprising clubs have gotten off to hot starts, and have found themselves near the top of their respective divisions. While winning a ton of games in April doesn’t guarantee success, it’s certainly helpful . [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ] It’s usually unwise to dramatically alter our opinions after just two weeks of play, but that’s exactly what we’re doing here. If you had to pick one surprising team you think is for real, which team would you pick?  NEW YORK METS While the first two weeks have brought forth concerns about their health, the key takeaway about the New York Mets is such: They know how to win ballgames. The Mets, 11-3, have the best record in the NL, and are winners of nine straight. Their strength has been pitching — with Matt Harvey returning in ace form and Bartolo Colton impressing as an elder statesman. Their ERA is good, their strikeouts are nice and they’ve given up the second fewest walks in MLB. Pitching wins, all year long, so that’s the best reason for optimism about the Mets. They’ll probably need another bat, and they can’t sustain too many more injuries, but these Mets have every opportunity to make a run. Especially with the Marlins underwhelming and the Nats only playing so-so. (Mike Oz)

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Post info: By Chipper on April 22nd, 2015
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Catcher Kevin Plawecki trotted onto the field, shook hands with umpire crew chief Jerry Meals and promptly bounced a practice throw down to second base. ”A little bit nervous,” Plawecki said. Plawecki contributed with his bat and glove as the banged-up New York Mets won their ninth straight game, beating the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Tuesday night. A highly regarded prospect, Plawecki got two hits, scored twice and threw out a runner trying to advance on a ball in the dirt.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 22nd, 2015
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ATLANTA (AP) — Left-hander Ian Thomas has been recalled by the Atlanta from Triple-A Gwinnett.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 21st, 2015
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A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:

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Post info: By Chipper on April 21st, 2015
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(Reuters) – Atlanta Braves reliever Andrew McKirahan has been suspended for 80 games after failing a drug test, Major League Baseball said on Monday. The 25-year-old left-handed pitcher tested positive for Ipamorelin, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. McKirahan, who was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 21st round of the 2011 amateur draft, appeared in three games for Atlanta this season and compiled a 4.15 earned run average in 4-1/3 innings. “We are disappointed in the decision Andrew made,” Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 20th, 2015
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One week of winning baseball from Matt Harvey and the Mets has created something new at Citi Field this season: noise. New York wrapped up a wildly eventful stretch of home games Sunday by holding off the Miami Marlins 7-6 for its eighth straight victory, matching the team’s longest winning streak in five years. ”We can’t let it affect us,” said Harvey, the All-Star ace who has won his first three outings since returning from Tommy John surgery. ”Bad combo,” general manager Sandy Alderson said.

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Post info: By Chipper on April 20th, 2015
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