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Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake watches from the dugout during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)

After whiffing on Cole Hamels, the San Francisco Giants got starter Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds for a pair of prospects on Thursday night. The 27-year-old Leake has allowed only two earned runs in his last four starts, all victories. Overall, Leake is 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 21 starts this season.

Posted: July 31, 2015, 5:54 am

Houston Astros rip the jersey off Jason Castro, center, after he hit a walkoff three-run home run to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 in the ninth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Few expected the Houston Astros to be contenders entering this season. Jason Castro hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Astros a 3-0 victory and a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night. It was 0-0 to start the bottom of the ninth inning.

Posted: July 31, 2015, 4:42 am

FILE - In this July 21, 2015, file photo, Miami Marlins starting pitcher Mat Latos throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers have bolstered their pitching staff, acquiring from the Marlins and Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from the Atlanta Braves in a 13-player deal Thursday, July 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their pitching staff on the eve of the trade deadline, completing a 13-player deal with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins that sent two starters and two relievers to the NL West leaders on Thursday. Clinging to a half-game lead over San Francisco, the Dodgers acquired right-hander Mat Latos from the Marlins and left-hander Alex Wood from the Braves, two pitchers who can move right into the rotation behind aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Also, Los Angeles obtained relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from Atlanta, adding needed depth to the bullpen.

Posted: July 31, 2015, 2:23 am

Milwaukee Brewers' Carlos Gomez (27) throws his helmet after an officials' review called him out stealing second during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Monday, July 27, 2015, in San Francisco. The Giants won 4-2. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Astros have added another bat to their lineup as they make a push for the postseason, acquiring two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers. Houston also received right-hander Mike Fiers in the deal and sent four prospects to the Brewers: left-hander Josh Hader, right-hander Adrian Houser and outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana. ''This was a move with an eye toward this year, next year and the year after that, more so than five or seven years from now,'' Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said.

Posted: July 31, 2015, 1:54 am

Tiger Woods watches his shot on the 17th fairway during the first round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., Thursday, July 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Tiger Woods took a conservative 3-wood off the first hole Thursday in the Quicken Loans National when many players were hitting driver. On the third hole, he missed the green well left and had to get up-and-down for bogey. Woods got a fortunate deflection off a marshal left of the green on the par-5 fifth.

Posted: July 31, 2015, 1:33 am
Photos: 2015 MLB Trade Deadline Tracker
Posted: July 28, 2015, 2:16 am
Giants acquire RHP Leake in trade with Reds
Posted: July 31, 2015, 5:43 am
Sources: Padres talk Kimbrel with Yanks, Astros
Posted: July 31, 2015, 1:38 pm
Judge to NFL, union: Try to settle differences
Posted: July 30, 2015, 8:50 pm
Posted: July 31, 2015, 12:42 pm
Preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's FA Women's Cup final between Chelsea Ladies and Notts County Ladies.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 12:17 pm
Notts County stand to lose money from playing in the Women's FA Cup, even if they win Saturday's final at Wembley.
Posted: July 31, 2015, 11:50 am
Posted: July 31, 2015, 11:48 am

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3 Most Popular Spartacus’ Articles

Giants pick up Reds starter Leake

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates(Reuters) - The San Francisco Giants made a deal for one of the hottest pitchers in baseball on Thursday by acquiring right-handed starter Mike Leake in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants sent minor league players Keury Mella and Adam Duvall to the Reds in exchange for the red-hot Leake. The 27-year-old has surrendered just two runs in his last four starts, two of them shutouts. He is 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA this season and should bolster the rotation of the defending World Series champions. San Francisco (56-45) trail the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers by a half-game. ...

Castro homers in bottom of ninth as Astros beat Angels

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros(The Sports Xchange) - Catcher Jason Castro slugged a walk-off home run with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Houston Astros completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-0 win Thursday night at Minute Maid Park. Castro was batting .111 (6-for-54) with runners in scoring position before crushing a 1-2 fastball from Angels right-hander Fernando Salas (2-2) out to right field, scoring both third baseman Jed Lowrie and designated hitter Marwin Gonzalez. ...

Pre-Civil War baseball card fetches $179K at auction

A rare pre-Civil War baseball card featuring the 1860s Brooklyn Atlantics is pictured in this handout photoA rare pre-Civil War baseball card that was handed down as an heirloom within the family of a ballplayer for more than 150 years fetched $179,250 at an auction in Chicago on Thursday. The Brooklyn Atlantics team card from around 1860 was sold at Heritage Auction’s Platinum Night Sports Auctions, which coincides with the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. The auction featured a variety of collectable sports memorabilia items, including a New York Yankees game jersey worn by Mickey Mantle in 1966 that sold for $322,650 and the shoes worn by Muhammad Ali in the 1975 “Thrilla in Manila” bout against Joe Frazier.

Blue Jays build on Price boost by downing Royals

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays(The Sports Xchange) - The Toronto Blue Jays backed up the acquisition of ace pitcher David Price from the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon by blasting three home runs to defeat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 in the evening. The capture of Price came two days after a trade with the Colorado Rockies took shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins to the club, who hope the new recruits will help them go deep into the playoffs. Early indications suggest the team have responded positively with catcher Dioner Navarro blasting a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Blue Jays a lead they never relinquished.

Ace helps Ishikawa grab share of National lead

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa watches his drive on the third hole during the first round of the Quicken Loans National on July 30, 2015 in Gainesville, VirginiaJapan's Ryo Ishikawa fired a hole-in-one during a sparkling eight-under-par 63 to grab a share of the lead at the US PGA Quicken Loans National. The 23-year-old Asian star also reeled off six birdies in a row to match two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen, a South African twice Ishikawa's age, atop the leaderboard at the 7,385-yard Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. "It was a great day for my putting," said Ishikawa after his best round of the year.

Patient Tiger's turnaround boosts confidence

Tiger Woods hits his second shot on the 17th hole during the first round of the Quicken Loans National at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club on July 30, 2015 in Gainesville, VirginiaStruggling tournament host Tiger Woods recovered from another woeful start with a back-nine birdie binge to spark some confidence that the form which won 14 major titles might return consistently. Former world number one Woods opened with bogeys on three of his first four holes but rallied to start the back nine with four consecutive birdies to fire a three-under par 68 to share 27th at the US PGA Quicken Loans National. "It was nice to actually turn it around," Woods said.

Not so hard for 'Big Easy' after kidney stone worries

Els of South Africa watches his tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland(Reuters) - Ernie Els put behind him a fear over potential kidney stones and the disadvantage of no pre-tournament practice rounds this week as he surged into contention for the Quicken Loans National in Virginia on Thursday. The big South African, who has struggled for consistency on the 2014-15 PGA Tour, fired a seven-under-par 64 on a rain-softened layout at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville to end the opening round just one stroke off the lead. Els was delighted to shoot his lowest score on the U.S. circuit this season, having pulled out of Wednesday's pro-am competition after experiencing pain in his right side before medical tests confirmed it was just a muscle spasm.

Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Latest Quicken Loans National leaderboard

July 31 (Infostrada Sports) - Latest leaderboard in the first round from the U.S. PGA Tour Quicken Loans National at the par-71 course on Thursday in Gainesville, Virginia holesplayed rounds -8 Retief Goosen (South Africa) 18 63 Ryo Ishikawa (Japan) 18 63 -7 Kevin Chappell (U.S.) 18 64 Justin Leonard (U.S.) 18 64 Ernie Els (South Africa) 18 64 -6 Mark Hubbard (U.S.) 18 65 Andy Sullivan (Britain) 18 65 Steve Wheatcroft (U.S.) 18 65 Jeff Overton (U.S.) 18 65 -5 Patrick Rodgers (U.S.) 18 66 Arjun Atwal (India) 18 66 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain) 18 66 Ollie Schniederjans (U.S. ... Goosen and Ishikawa set pace, Woods five back

Goosen of South Africa watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland(Reuters) - Veteran South African Retief Goosen drew on good memories of past Presidents Cups played at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club as he charged into a tie for the first-round lead at the Quicken Loans National in Virginia on Thursday. Goosen covered his back nine in a sparkling four-under 31 to finish level with 23-year-old Japanese Ryo Ishikawa, who reeled off five consecutive birdies on his front nine before recording a hole-in-one at the par-three fourth after the turn. South African Ernie Els and Americans Justin Leonard and Kevin Chappell fired 64s while tournament host Tiger Woods recovered from a poor start to open with a 68 after play was suspended for 97 minutes due to the threat of lightning.

Toronto land Price, Dodgers pull off blockbuster

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays(Reuters) - The Toronto Blue Jays added another big weapon to their roster by acquiring Detroit Tigers ace David Price on Tuesday while the Los Angeles Dodgers landed pitcher Alex Wood as part of a 13-player, three-team blockbuster. The Blue Jays, who at 51-51 were two games out of the American League's second Wild Card playoff spot, took a big step toward returning to the playoffs for the first time since 1993 with the deal that came one day before MLB's trade deadline. Toronto are sending their top pitching prospect, left-hander Daniel Norris, and two other promising lefties to Detroit for 2012 Cy Young Award winner Price, who is 9-4 this season with a 2.53 earned run average.

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