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Soto, 19, hits 3-run HR, Nats rip Padres

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, wasn't sure his towering drive would clear the fence in left-center field. He was the only one.

Soto hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

"I didn't think it was going to go out of the park," said Soto, who also singled in four at-bats. "I just run hard, the same what I do in the minor leagues. Then I heard the noise and I know it's gone."

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MLB, USA Baseball form faster youth game

NEW YORK (AP) MLB and USA Baseball are promoting a modified version of youth baseball that picks up the pace and gets players more active with fewer innings, batters and pitches.

Hit and Run Baseball is part of the MLB's Play Ball initiative announced Tuesday. Hall of Famer and special adviser Cal Ripken is leading the cause.

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Cards' Mikolas shuts out Royals, now 6-0

ST. LOUIS (AP) Miles Mikolas was pitching in Japan a year ago. Now he's one of the top pitchers in the majors.

Mikolas pitched a four-hitter for his first career shutout and Tyler O'Neill homered for the third straight game and drove in four runs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

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Torres hits 2 HRs as Yankees deny Colon

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Gleyber Torres was only three months old when Bartolo Colon made his major league debut.

Now Torres is a rookie second baseman helping the New York Yankees in a power stretch never accomplished by past Bronx Bombers - none of those teams with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris or Reggie Jackson.

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Pivetta goes 7 as Phillies blank Braves

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Phillies are a win away from first place.

OK, it's May - but for a team stuck for years in the bottom of the National League, it's starting to feel a bit like September.

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Gonzalez's hit lifts Rockies by Dodgers

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Dodgers brought a four-game winning streak back home and couldn't get out of their own way.

Three hits, three errors and Matt Kemp getting thrown out diving back into first base to end the game added up to a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

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Twins rally, spoil Gardenhire's return

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) While Jose Berrios struggled through a four-start stretch that began in mid-April, the Minnesota Twins were reeling for most of that time.

His last two turns have been masterpieces, and maybe the injury-affected Twins have found a groove again.

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Vargas sharp after skipped, Mets' run 4

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Mets probably won't skip Jason Vargas' next start.

Vargas returned to the rotation with five excellent innings, AJ Ramos pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 2-0 on Monday night.

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Twins designate P Hughes for assignment

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Twins designated pitcher Phil Hughes for assignment on Monday night, an expensive decision to dump the right-hander after continued struggles recovering from rib surgeries.

Hughes, who is making $13.2 million this season and due the same salary in 2019, has a 6.75 ERA in 12 innings. He was dropped from the rotation after two starts and made five relief appearances. Twins manager Paul Molitor said Hughes was not asked to accept a minor league demotion.

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