DETROIT (AP) — James McCann hasn't hit many homers in the major leagues. But when he has connected, he's done it with style.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 22nd, 2015
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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. Back in San Diego where he starred at the University of San Diego between 2011 and 2013, Kris Bryant had every reason to be comfortable. He was definitely feeling good on Thursday night. Bryant launched a two-run homer in the first inning of the Cubs’ 3-0 win over the Padres and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Chicago is 8-2 during that stretch and 23-17 on the season, which has them in one of the two wild-card spots in the National League. “I’m glad [Bryant] was able to come through for the hometown crowd – that was nice,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon after the game. It was a good night overall for the Cubs’ kids. 25-year-old starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks pitched a complete game shutout, the first of his career, and 21-year-old second baseman Addison Russell hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot in the seventh. This is exactly what baseball fans on the North Side of Chicago were hoping to see this season. Maddon’s men, especially the young ones, are on a roll and are giving everyone reason to believe they’re only going to get better. MCCANN DELIVERS WALKOFF HOMER AS TIGERS TOP ASTROS IN EXTRAS James McCann was the man of the moment in Detroit, delivering a walkoff home run in the 11th inning to lift the Tigers to a 6-5 win against the visiting Houston Astros. The only reason the game needed extra innings was because Detroit had blown a five-run lead, allowing three runs in the seventh, one in the eighth, and one more in the ninth to make the score 5-5. When McCann stepped in the box to lead off the bottom of the 11th, he quickly went down 0-2, but he hit the third pitch he saw from Astros left-hander Tony Sipp over the left field wall just out of outfielder Colby Rasmus’ reach. [ Woah, The Stew has a podcast now?! Yep, you should listen. ] It was a heck of a time for McCann, 24, to come up with his second career home run, the first was an inside-the-parker in late April, and he hopes he can continue to contribute for the Tigers as he gets more playing time with starting catcher Alex Avila currently on the DL. ”I’m not sure what I’m going to do for an encore,” McCann told reporters . ”I’m hoping to play long enough up here to hit a bunch of normal homers, too.” JENNINGS STILL SEEKING FIRST MANAGERIAL WIN WITH MARLINS Six runs and 12 hits wasn’t enough to get Dan Jennings his first win as Marlins manager. Miami lost to Arizona 7-6 , dropping Jennings to 0-4 since he took over for Mike Redmond on Monday. Dating back to Redmond’s finals series in charge, the Marlins have lost seven straight. The difference between the two teams in this latest loss was an RBI infield single by Diamdonbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock in the eighth. Mat Latos got the start for Miami and his tough start to the season continued, as he couldn’t get out of the sixth and left the game with six earned runs against next to his name. The results so far are not changing the perception around baseball that moving Jennings from his role as GM to field manager was a headscratching decision by the Marlins organization, one that has earned a deserved reputation for its bumbling ineptitude . Jennings can only hope he can pick up win No. 1 at some point this weekend with Miami hosting Baltimore for a three-game series. BLUE JAYS’ BATS LEAD THEM TO WIN OVER ANGELS When the Toronto Blue Jays’ offence is clicking, there isn’t much an opposing pitcher can do about it. Toronto tagged Angels starter Matt Shoemaker for all eight of their runs in an 8-4 win . A three-run blast by Edwin Encarnacion in the fifth did the brunt of the damage while R.A. Dickey did his part as well, pitching a complete game and striking out six to improve to 2-5 in 2015. The problem is that when the Blue Jays’ offence isn’t hot, they’re in trouble. Toronto is 17-4 when scoring more than five runs and 2-20 when they score four or fewer. Questions about whether John Gibbons will make it through the season as the club’s manager popped up this week, though those concerns would be put to rest with a couple consistent weeks of all-around play. As it stands the Blue Jays are 4 1/2 games back of the Rays, who now hold the top spot in the AL East after blanking the A’s 3-0 . Want to see more from Thursday’s slate of games? Check out  our scoreboard . More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew   on Yahoo Sports . Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 22nd, 2015
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Brad Johnson covers the latest in the world of closers and stolen bases.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 21st, 2015
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Take a look around the league with Big League Stew’s daily wrap up. We’ll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats. Joe Mauer’s long-running power drought is over, and he could not have possibly picked a better time to snap it. With the Twins and Pirates tied in the 13th inning at PNC Park, Mauer smacked Antonio Bastardo’s 0-1 pitch into right field bleachers for a go-ahead solo home run that held up as the difference in Minnesota’s 4-3 victory. The home run was Mauer’s first of the season. In fact, it was his first since Aug. 17 of last year, which covers a span of 76 games and 322 plate appearances. But you’d hardly know that based on the swing or the result. Looking comfortable against a left-handed pitcher, Mauer turned on the pitch like we’ve seen so many times in the past and gave it a ride. Vintage Mauer, you might say, and as a result the Twins are now a comfortable six games over .500. The home run helped Minnesota avoid what could have been a difficult loss to swallow. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, the offense went silent allowing Pittsburgh to chip away before tying it in the eighth on Andrew McCutchen’s home run. After sweeping the brief two-game series, Minnesota will move on to Chicago for a weekend series with the White Sox. ASTROS KEEP ROLLING IN AL WEST One slip up against the Oakland A’s on Monday is all that stands between the Houston Astros and an eight-game winning streak. This comes less than three weeks after Houston won 10 straight, including sweeps against those same A’s, the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. It goes without saying that they remain the biggest surprise in MLB this season, and with Wednesday’s 6-1 win against Oakland, they maintained the second-best record in MLB behind only the St. Louis Cardinals. On the pitching side, Dallas Keuchel has been the foundation of their hot start. He improved to 6-0 Wednesday, pitching seven innings and allowing just one unearned run. He joins Cardinals’ right-hander Michael Wacha as the only pitchers with at least six decision to remain undefeated. Felix Hernandez and Bartolo Colon also have six victories. Offensively, it was another balanced attack. George Springer, Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Marisnick each had two hits, but the biggest came from Evan Gattis. His go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth was Houston’s league-leading 61st long ball of the season and the blow Oakland simply couldn’t recover from. Also worth noting, Jose Altuve was 0-for-5. He’s mired in a 2-for-20 slump over his last five games, but the Astros continue picking him up. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] MARLINS STILL WINLESS IN DAN JENNINGS ERA The Dan Jennings era is off to a miserable start in Miami and Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks was another befiting of the chaos and apparent lack of direction or organization that engulfs the franchise. The Marlins were carved up by Arizona rookie Chase Anderson, who allowed just one run on four hits over eight innings. That continued a brutal stretch on offense, but Miami was no better defensively, committing an error and permitting six D-Backs stolen bases. A.J. Pollock paced the aggressive attack with three steals, including a steal of home on a botched rundown. Tuffy Gosewisch, Nick Ahmad and Aaron Hill each swiped one bag as Miami could find no answers. Of the six steals, five led to runs. Pollock reached four times overall and touched home all four times. David Peralta knocked him in on three occasions. The Marlins are now 0-3 under Jennings after being swept in Mike Redmond’s final three games against Atlanta. They have one more against Arizona before welcoming the Baltimore Orioles this weekend. LINCECUM SILENCES DODGERS WITH VINTAGE OUTING Apparently Wednesday was a night for vintage performances. Aside from David Letterman’s heartfelt goodbye on the Late Show and Joe Mauer’s first home run since 2014, San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum was pretty close to his Cy Young form in helping his squad shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0. Through not necessarily overpowering, Lincecum had Los Angeles off balance for the duration of his seven innings, allowing just three hits. He walked two, another encouraging number, and struck out four, which helped keep the pitch count manageable. Jean Machi, Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt recorded the final six outs as San Francisco extended its winning to five and moved to within 2 1/2 games of Los Angeles. Buster Posey had three hits, including a two-run homer off Yimi Garcia.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 21st, 2015
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A combination of home runs and solid starting pitching has helped the Houston Astros get off to the best 40-game start in franchise history. Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus each hit two-run homers, Roberto Hernandez pitched six strong innings, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-4 on Tuesday night. Houston improved to 26-14 for the team’s best start and the best record in the American League this season.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 20th, 2015
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A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 20th, 2015
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Lance McCullers sure knows how to make an entrance in style: the 21-year-old right-hander donned Batman cleats in his major-league debut Monday night for the Houston Astros. It turns out McCullers, who gave up one run in 4 2/3 innings and received a no-decision as the Astros lost 2-1 to Oakland, has been wearing the superhero spikes in the minors all season. From Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle : “I was talking to (George) Springer, and I said something about the cleats, and he said, ‘Wear them, man. Go out there and do what you’ve been doing,’” said McCullers. “I love Batman. I have the trilogy and I have some other stuff.” Here’s a closer look at the Caped Crusader themed cleats: Closeup shot of the awesome Batman cleats @LMcCullers_41 is wearing for his MLB debut. #Represent #Whiff pic.twitter.com/xm41v2crp3 — #VoteAstros (@astros) May 19, 2015 Pretty spiffy. [ Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness. ] What’s not clear is whether McCullers’ choice of footwear is in compliance with MLB’s uniform policy. If it is indeed deemed to violate the ban of “corporate logos or other identifying marks on equipment,” McCullers will likely escape with a warning according to the Chronicle because it would be a first-time violation. We’ll see if the Dark Knight (or at least his cleats) rises again in McCullers’ next start. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew   on Yahoo Sports . Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter. Follow @israelfehr “corporate logos or other identifying marks on equipment.”

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 19th, 2015
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The Oakland Athletics finally got the performance they have needed out of their bullpen and did something they have struggled at this season – win a one-run game. Brett Lawrie hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth, and the Oakland bullpen combined for 4 2-3 scoreless innings as the Athletics snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night. The loss snapped Houston’s five-game winning streak.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 19th, 2015
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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 18th, 2015
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Jeff Samardzija spent the first two days of the series catching up with old friends. Avisal Garcia hit a two-run homer, Alexei Ramirez had two hits and two RBIs, and Samardzija pitched eight strong innings to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Athletics 7-3 Sunday for their first series sweep in Oakland in 18 years. ”We haven’t had too many good trips here,” White Sox manager Robin Venture said. We counted on that and those guys did it.” Jose Abreu and Gordon Beckham also drove in runs for the White Sox, who won their sixth straight and reached .500 for the first time this season.

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Post info: By HoustonAstrosFan on May 18th, 2015
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