Bellinger buoyed by tight-knit group of friends

Bellinger buoyed by tight-knit group of friends

CHICAGO -- Throw the accolades away -- the Little League World Series run, the Major League scouts and the stardom his friends thought was inevitable -- and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was just like any other 17-year-old kid during his senior year of high school.

Each half day at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., Bellinger and his friends would feast on burritos from Los Favoritos Taco Shop -- a Chandler-area staple -- then follow it up with your typical afternoon of trash talk, talking about the future and a good old video game tournament.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Sources: LA 'confident' it can acquire ace

Sources: LA 'confident' it can acquire ace

The Dodgers are increasingly confident they will acquire a significant starting pitcher -- the Rangers' Yu Darvish, the A's Sonny Gray or the Tigers' Justin Verlander --- by Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, sources told MLB.com on Thursday.

To date, the Dodgers have had heavier conversations on Darvish and Gray than Verlander, the sources said.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ping pong event attracts celebs, raises money

Ping pong event attracts celebs, raises money

LOS ANGELES -- For one night, Dodger Stadium played host to a competitive ping pong tournament, hosted by ace Clayton Kershaw and his wife, Ellen.

The fifth annual "Ping Pong 4 Purpose" event was held on Thursday night to help raise money for Kershaw's Challenge, a charity foundation that focuses on at-risk children across America, Africa and the Dominican Republic. The Los Angeles-based Dream Center and the CURE International hospital in the Dominican Republic were the two beneficiaries from Thursday's event, Clayton said.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walk-off wonders: Dodgers rally to stun Twins

Walk-off wonders: Dodgers rally to stun Twins

LOS ANGELES -- After falling behind by five runs, Justin Turner capped another thrilling Dodgers comeback by singling home Austin Barnes with two out in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 walk-off win over the Twins Wednesday night, completing a sweep of their Interleague Series and adding to their five-game win streak.

"J.T. hasn't had a lot of hits lately, but he's feeling good at the plate and any time the game's on the line, I'll take my chances with J.T.," said manager Dave Roberts, whose club has 29 comeback wins and a Major League-best eight walk-off wins.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No timeline determined for Kershaw's return

Lefty says lower-back pain not as bad as injury in 2016

No timeline determined for Kershaw's return

LOS ANGELES --- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said the lower back strain that landed him on the 10-day disabled list, is not as "painful" as the herniated disk injury he sustained last season that caused him to miss two months.

"Last year I couldn't sit," Kershaw said on Wednesday. "Couldn't really bend in any way. This one isn't near [as bad] in any way. Just trying to play that balance of wanting to do a lot, but having to make sure not to do it worse before it heals, so that's where we're at."

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers turn to Wood in opener vs. Giants

Dodgers turn to Wood in opener vs. Giants

Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood will try to get back on track after taking his first loss of the season, while Matt Moore of the Giants seeks his first win in more than a month in a matchup of two left-handers in the opener on Friday at Dodger Stadium.

Wood (11-1, 2.17 ERA) has been dominant in the Dodgers' rotation after beginning the year in the bullpen. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in 11 of his 15 starts, and his ERA would be the second lowest in the Majors if he had enough innings to qualify.

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Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verdugo looking to heat up

Verdugo looking to heat up

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in today's Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Alex Verdugo (Dodgers' No. 2), Oklahoma City vs. Reno (8:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After a homer, Puig gave his hitting coach a kiss

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After a homer, Puig gave his hitting coach a kiss

Yasiel Puig has never been one to mask his emotions. Whether it's anger, joy or love, if Puig's feeling that emotion, he's going to wear it on his sleeve.

After hitting a home run over the left field wall in the 5th inning of the Dodgers' 6-5 win over the Twins Wednesday night, Puig celebrated by thanking the man behind his homer: Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward. Puig showed his gratitude the only way he knows how: Fully.

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Three pinch-hits go a long ways in comeback

Even with a short bench, the Dodgers rally against Twins

Three pinch-hits go a long ways in comeback

LOS ANGELES --- The Dodgers continue to find ways win, as evidenced by erasing a five-run deficit to notch their 29th come-from-behind win of the season, beating the Twins, 6-5, on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles (71-31) moved to 40 games above .500 for the first time since 1974 and did it with a short bench, getting a little help from Chase Utley, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Barnes in pinch-hitting roles that help set up the comeback.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baby Kershaws take over Dodger Stadium

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Baby Kershaws take over Dodger Stadium

Clayton Kershaw may be sidelined with a lower back injury, but MLB.com's Joshua Thornton noted on Wednesday that the lefty says it isn't as painful as the one he had last season. With that bit of potential good news on the table, he and his family spent the evening at Dodger Stadium on his bobblehead night. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Dodgers' reality: This dominance assures nothing

Recent history hasn't been favorable for regular-season juggernauts

Dodgers' reality: This dominance assures nothing

The Dodgers are in rarified air. But it's the regular season. And that's not enough to satisfy the Dodgers.

So yes, it's encouraging to know that on Tuesday, they became only the fifth team in the expansion era to reach 70 victories in the first 101 games of a season. Sure, it's exciting to have opened up a 12-game lead in the National League West. And any team would welcome a stretch like the Dodgers are enjoying; heading into Wednesday night's game against the Twins, they have won 35 of their past 41 games.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buehler lights out in start for OKC

Buehler lights out in start for OKC

Jose Siri extended his hitting streak to 31 games, the longest in the Minor Leagues this season, on Wednesday, and he did so in style, hitting a pair of home runs and going 3-for-4 with four RBIs for Class A Dayton.

Siri, the Reds' No. 24 prospect, extended his streak on the game's first pitch, turning on a fastball to left field for a leadoff home run. He added three-run shot in the seventh inning, as well as a double in the ninth, though it wasn't enough to keep the Dragons from dropping the contest to Lansing, 11-7.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Taylor's tear continues as LA reaches 70 wins

Taylor's tear continues as LA reaches 70 wins

LOS ANGELES -- Chris Taylor continued his torrid July with a pair of doubles and three RBIs as the Dodgers beat the Twins, 6-2, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium to become the fifth team in the expansion era to reach 70 wins by its 101st game. Los Angeles also increased its division lead over Arizona to a season-high 12 1/2 games while dropping Minnesota below .500 for the first time since late April.

"I just learned we won 70 games. I've got such narrow vision," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "It's a credit to the guys in the clubhouse. But we've got a lot of work to do."

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Double-switch snafu leads to 18-minute delay

Dodgers point out mistake in Twins' move during odd sequence

Double-switch snafu leads to 18-minute delay

LOS ANGELES --- One pitch after Twins manager Paul Molitor made a double switch with one out in the bottom of the sixth in the Dodgers' 6-2 win, manager Dave Roberts called over to home-plate umpire Lance Barrett.

As it had been relayed to the Dodgers by Barrett, Molitor had subbed righty Ryan Pressly for left fielder Eddie Rosario in the No. 5 spot and Ehire Adrianza for pitcher Trevor Hildenberger in the No. 9 spot, but when Pressly threw his first pitch to Yasiel Puig, Rosario was still in left, Adrianza was at shortstop and No. 7 hitter Jorge Polanco had left the game.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ravin's first save shows Dodgers' relief depth

Ravin's first save shows Dodgers' relief depth

LOS ANGELES -- It didn't take 18 minutes to sort out, but there was a second unusual rule that came into play in the Dodgers' 6-2 win over the Twins Tuesday night.

Josh Ravin, recalled on Monday from Triple-A Oklahoma City, pitched the final three innings for the Dodgers and was credited with his first Major League save, which came as a total surprise to him.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Buehler is Dodgers' new No. 1 prospect

Pitcher jumps to No. 13 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100

Buehler is Dodgers' new No. 1 prospect

LOS ANGELES -- Pitcher Walker Buehler, whose promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this month signaled his fast track to the Major Leagues, also proved to be on the fastest track in MLBPipeline.com's update of the Top 100 Prospects.

Buehler, now the top prospect in the Dodgers' system after ranking third in the preseason Top 30, also made the highest leap on the Top 100 Prospects list, shooting from No. 80 in the preseason rankings to No. 13. Cody Bellinger, who was No. 13 coming into the season, has graduated from the list.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stewart steps into Kershaw's rotation spot

Stewart steps into Kershaw's rotation spot

LOS ANGELES --- With Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list with a lower back strain, manager Dave Roberts will insert righty Brock Stewart into the Dodgers' starting rotation.

Roberts said Tuesday the club is still not ready put a timetable on Kershaw, who was placed on the DL Monday after making an early exit to his Sunday start.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Ace in cards? Yanks, Nats, Dodgers eye prize

Gray, Verlander available, while Darvish could be at right price

Ace in cards? Yanks, Nats, Dodgers eye prize

The starting-pitching market is turning into a game of three-card monte, and everybody is trying to find the ace.

According to a source, the Yankees, Nationals and Dodgers are all increasing their efforts to land a top-notch starter, but at the moment, only two are available for certain -- Sonny Gray and Justin Verlander -- while a third (Yu Darvish) might be the most desirable for this year's stretch run if he's made available.

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Mark Feinsand, executive reporter for MLB.com, has covered the Yankees and MLB since 2001 for the New York Daily News and MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Allen's life expertly examined by Kashatus

Allen's life expertly examined by Kashatus

In December 2014, Dick Allen missed being elected to the Hall of Fame by one Veterans Committee vote. To his supporters, it was bittersweet result. To come so close and miss was disappointing. But it also was an impressive showing for a candidate who had never come close to the required 75 percent during his 15 years of eligibility for the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot.

Allen's case has been championed for several years now by a vocal group of passionate supporters. And the latest public manifestation of that backing is "Dick Allen: The Life and Times of a Baseball Immortal."

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Paul Hagen, a reporter for MLB.com, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2013 for a lifetime of excellence in baseball writing. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'The Secret of Ebbets Field' a fun tale for kids

Seidman's new book offers unique fictional fantasy look at 1955 Dodgers

'The Secret of Ebbets Field' a fun tale for kids

Eli Schwartz is 11 years old living in an orphanage in Brooklyn. His life is made complicated by an evil headmaster named Reiger and a bully, Marty, so he takes his mind off his troubles by dreaming of playing for the Dodgers. Who, at this moment in 1955, are playing the Yankees in the World Series.

Then, one day, Eli overhears another boy talking about a million-dollar treasure secreted somewhere at the Dodgers' home ballpark. And with that "The Secret of Ebbets Field," a fantastical romp targeted at kids between eight and 12, is off and running.

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Paul Hagen, a reporter for MLB.com, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2013 for a lifetime of excellence in baseball writing. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verdugo, Calhoun homer for OKC

Verdugo, Calhoun homer for OKC

Shane Bieber has passed every test the Indians have thrown his way this season, a trend that continued Tuesday with his scoreless debut for Double-A Akron.

Starting for Akron in game one of a doubleheader against Binghamton, Bieber, the Indians' No. 13 prospect, limited opposing hitters to five hits over 6 2/3 innings. He found the zone with 65 of his 94 pitches, striking out five and walking one, and generated another nine outs on the ground.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bellinger's blast in 8th saves the day for LA

Bellinger's blast in 8th saves the day for LA

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Monday night showed they haven't forgotten how to win after a Clayton Kershaw injury, as rookie Cody Bellinger slugged a clutch three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 6-4 comeback victory in their Interleague series opener at Dodger Stadium.

Bellinger's one-out homer to center off Taylor Rogers was his 28th, tying Jose Abreu for second-most after 80 MLB games (Rudy York had 30 from 1934-37). The win extended the Dodgers' MLB record of winning 47 consecutive games in which they led at any point. The Dodgers' 69 wins in the first 100 games are the second-most in the National League since 1969 (Cincinnati had 70 in '70). This was the Dodgers' 26th comeback win and sixth when they trail after seven innings.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bellinger gets curtain call amid MVP chants

Bellinger gets curtain call amid MVP chants

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger yelled, frustrated moments after he fouled a 78-mph curveball from Twins lefty Taylor Rogers down the right-field line, upset that he missed a chance at a home run.

"It was a good pitch to hit and I pulled off it," Bellinger said after the Dodgers' 6-4 win on Monday. "I was kind of mad at myself."

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paredes, 30, gets the win in big league debut

Paredes, 30, gets the win in big league debut

LOS ANGELES -- Edward Paredes has been a Minor League lifer, so when Triple-A pitching coach Matt Herges told him Sunday night that he had been called up to the Major Leagues for the first time, how did Paredes react?

"I didn't believe it," he said. "I asked, 'Are you sure?'"

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon has faced Cody and Clay Bellinger

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Colon has faced Cody and Clay Bellinger

Bartolo Colon has been a presence in baseball since 1997. Distinguished careers have started and ended, all while the burly right-hander kept pitching. The amusing byproduct of spending 20 years in the Majors, however, is that the next generation is now around to face Colon.

For example, take Cody Bellinger. On Monday night at Dodger Stadium, Colon took the mound for the Twins and faced the up-and-coming star in the second inning. He triumphed by inducing a fly ball to left field.

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LA adds Paredes, Ravin, options Thompson

Ryu activated, but Kershaw and McCarthy land on DL

LA adds Paredes, Ravin, options Thompson

LOS ANGELES --- The Dodgers on Monday recalled right-handed reliever Josh Ravin from Triple-A Oklahoma City, selected the contract of OKC lefty Edward Paredes, activated lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu from the 10-day disabled list, optioned Trayce Thompson to OKC and placed pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Brandon McCarthy on the DL.

Ravin, 29, joins the Dodgers for the third time. He struck out two in two innings vs. the Reds on June 17 in his lone appearance this season. He is 3-0 with two saves and a 4.66 ERA in the Minors this year. Paredes has never appeared in the Major Leagues. The 30-year-old went a combined 1-2 with one save and a 2.23 ERA in 30 games between OKC and Double-A Tulsa.

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Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendall hits first professional homer

Kendall hits first professional homer

In many ways, Monday belonged to Ronald Acuna.

Acuna made the largest jump of any player in MLB Pipeline's freshly revamped Top 100 Prospects list, going from No. 86 all the way up to No. 8, as well as from No. 7 to No. 1 on the Braves' new Top 30 list.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers get walk-off win after losing Kershaw

Dodgers get walk-off win after losing Kershaw

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers rallied for a wild 5-4 walk-off win over the Braves on Sunday with Logan Forsythe's one-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, overcoming the loss of MLB wins leader Clayton Kershaw after two innings to another lower back injury and closer Kenley Jansen's first blown save of the year.

"We won a game, and we've got to make sure Clayton's fine, and we're holding out hope," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles and covered the Braves on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Sources: Dodgers showing interest in Darvish

Sources: Dodgers showing interest in Darvish

The Dodgers have shown strong interest in trading for Rangers ace Yu Darvish, sources told MLB.com.

And that was before Dodgers icon Clayton Kershaw left Sunday's start with right lower back tightness.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.