It was less than two years ago that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds faced off in the NL wild-card game. Pittsburgh won that game and is still a contender in the National League while Cincinnati has taken a step back since then and is trying to rebuild. Even though they’re trending in opposite directions, there continues to be animosity between the two NL Central rivals. In 52 games since 2013, #Reds and #Pirates have hit each other a combined 62 times. 34 Reds hit, 28 Pirates. — C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) August 2, 2015 A day after Reds outfielder Marlon Byrd felt that he was drilled deliberately by Pirates right-hander Joe Blanton, the beef hit a boiling point Sunday at Great American Ballpark. [ Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today! ] With Pittsburgh leading 3-0 in the top of the eighth inning, Reds reliever Pedro Villareal hit Pirates star center fielder Andrew McCutchen with a fastball square in the back. Pirates reliever Tony Watson then hit Brandon Phillips with a fastball in the bottom of the eighth and that caused the benches to clear. After a few minutes of mostly yelling but also some pushing and shoving. Byrd and Joey Votto were ejected on the Reds’ side and Pirates infielder Sean Rodriguez got the boot too. It seemed like that was going to be the end of it, but a cutter got away from Pirates closer Mark Melancon in the ninth and hit Tucker Barnhart. Melancon was immediately tossed and so was manager Clint Hurdle after he came out to argue the decision. The Pirates held on for a 3-0 win to improve to 61-43, the second best record in the NL next to St. Louis. That’s exactly what McCutchen is taking from Sunday’s emotional contest. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] #Pirates McCutchen on beanballs: ‘I don’t know what it is. We’re too busy winning.’ — C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) August 2, 2015 Until Cincinnati turns it around on the field, Pittsburgh will be able to hold that fact over the Reds, regardless of how tense things get during a given game. 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 Larkin01 on August 3rd, 2015
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In this week’s 10 Degrees, Jeff Passan sorts through the trade deadline rubble to see which teams are ready to make a push.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on August 3rd, 2015
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Both benches and bullpens cleared and there was some shoving after Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips was hit by a pitch by Pittsburgh left-hander Tony Watson in the eighth inning on Sunday. The Pirates were leading 3-0 when Reds reliever Pedro Villareal hit All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen in the top of the inning. Watson appeared to retaliate by hitting Phillips in the bottom of the inning, prompting both teams to leave their dugouts and bullpens and gather between the mound and the plate.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on August 2nd, 2015
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Manager Bruce Bochy was quite familiar with Mike Leake long before the San Francisco Giants acquired him prior to the trade deadline. As a preteen, Leake played on a travel team out of San Diego that included Bochy’s son Brett and Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg. Mike, he stood out,” Bochy said.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on August 2nd, 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. It seems Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are taking turns being the New York Yankees offensive leader. That’s pretty impressive considering Yankees fans didn’t know what to expect from either, with A-Rod coming off his suspension and hip surgery and Mark Teixeira battling back from wrist problems. On Friday, it was definitely Teixeira’s turn to do the damage. New York’s first baseman muscled up to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in their 13-6 victory against the Chicago White Sox. Batting right-handed against White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, Teixeira launched a second-inning grand slam that broke the game wide open early. Two innings later, Teixeira stepped up left-handed against Matt Albers and connected for a two-run blast. In doing so, Teixeira has now homered from both sides 14 times, which sets a new MLB record. Teixeira has now homered from both sides of the plate 14 times, a MLB record. He was tied with Nick Swisher. — Scot Gregor (@scotgregor) August 1, 2015 To have 14 multi-homer games in a career would be pretty remarkable. The added caveat of homering from each side only makes it more special. Teixeira finished the game with three hits, adding a double in the fifth, while driving in six. Rodriguez was far from quiet too. He reached base five times and scored four times as New York slugged its way to victory. STARLING MARTE SAVES THE DAY Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte was a man on a mission in the ninth inning of their 5-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds. With no margin for error, Marte made two terrific defensive plays that helped preserve the victory and extend Mark Melancon’s 21-game scoreless streak.   In that ninth inning alone, Marte cut down Brandon Phillips at home plate as he attempted to score the tying run. Home Run derby champion Todd Frazier started the play by lacing a single to left that Marte fielded and fired home for the second out of the frame.  One batter later, Marlon Byrd lined a 3-2 breaking ball toward Marte that he caught with a dive just before the ball landed on the grass. It was a somewhat risky play. With the runners moving and two outs, both would have scored easily and given Cincinnati a walkoff win had the ball squirted away from Marte. As it turned out, he made the play, and the Pirates escaped with a huge victory.  With the win, Pittsburgh finished July with a league-best 17-9 record. They’re currently 5 1/2 behind St. Louis in the NL Central while maintaining a four-game lead in the NL wild-card race.  TEMPERS FLARE AS RANGERS TOP GIANTS Friday night was a rough night for San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.  The 2014 World Series MVP was touched up for six runs in the first two innings during San Francisco’s 6-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. A rare bad start to be sure, and his frustrations seemed to spill over into the fourth inning when he reacted unfavorably to a reaction from Delino DeShields.  DeShields had just  popped out to second base to end the inning when he tossed his bat down in his own fit of frustration. That didn’t appeal to Bumgarner, who then exchanged words with DeShields. At that point the benches emptied but nothing came of it other than Bumgarner getting into a shouting match with  Adrian Beltre.  It was quite strange, but thankfully it didn’t escalate beyond words.  DeShields also had an RBI single against Bumgarner in the second inning but there didn’t appear to be any issues there. Beltre and Elvis Andrus each homered, but nothing there appeared to tick off Bumgarner either. The general feeling is Bumgarner just doesn’t like when an opponent feels comfortable enough to express anger that he missed a hittable pitch.  It’s a unique way of thinking, but Bumgarner is competitive enough that it makes sense. Thankfully, we’ll never have that problem with him.  ORIOLES RALLY TO UPEND TIGERS A six-run deficit was nothing for the hot-hitting Baltimore Orioles.  Starting in the fourth inning, Baltimore scored eight unanswered runs over three innings to take the lead and ultimately walk away with an 8-7 victory.  Adam Jones delivered perhaps the biggest swing when he cracked a three-run homer off Detroit starter Buck Farmer. That cut the deficit to 6-4. One inning later, Manny Machado put them ahead for good with a two-run shot against Jose Valdez.  The Orioles found themselves in a similar position one night earlier against Detroit, but fell short 9-8. That made Friday’s comeback all the more important as Baltimore attempts to stay above water in the AL East. With the win, they remained six games behind the Yankees and tied with the Blue Jays. They’re also very much alive in the wild card race at one game behind Minnesota.  Whew.  Thus concludes a wild July in MLB. Bring on August.  Want to see more from Friday’s slate of games? Check out our scoreboard . 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 Larkin01 on August 1st, 2015
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Mark Teixeira has a chance to do something Saturday night that has been accomplished four times in baseball history and never in the illustrious history of the New York Yankees. Judging by his success against Chicago White Sox starter John Danks, he certainly has a chance. Teixeira can become the first Yankee and fifth hitter to post three consecutive multihomer efforts as these clubs continue a three-game series in Chicago.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on August 1st, 2015
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MLB has hit its 4 p.m. EDT deadline for trades in which players don’t have to pass through waivers first. The Blue Jays have acquired Ben Revere from the Phillies for minor league pitchers Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero. The Blue Jays already added Mark Lowe on Friday and will soon be introducing ace David Price, obtained from Detroit on Sunday.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 31st, 2015
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(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. …

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 31st, 2015
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Brandon Moss was sorry to see close friend David Murphy traded earlier this week by the Indians. Moss was dealt Thursday to the St. Louis Cardinals, who were in the market for an outfielder after seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday re-injured his right quadriceps on Wednesday. In exchange for Moss, who was in his first season with the Indians, the Indians received minor league pitcher Rob Kaminsky, a first-round pick in 2013.

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 30th, 2015
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A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:

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Post info: By Larkin01 on July 30th, 2015
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