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Melky Cabrera makes the right move

San Francisco Giants’ suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera’s decision to disqualify himself from the batting title was impressive. He could be the Kelli White of baseball’s steroid scandal if he openly talked about why he decided to cheat.

No one knows how much the Baltimore Orioles will pitch Dylan Bundy, but if they make the playoffs and add the 19-year-old right-hander to the postseason roster, he and Bryce Harper will become the 11th and 12th teenagers to advance to the playoffs, the last one being Andruw Jones with the 1996 Atlanta Braves. The first was Fred Lindstrom, who was 18 when he got 10 hits for the New York Giants in the 1924 World Series.

The Texas Rangers have a tough choice to make on whether to go with Derek Holland, Yu Darvish or Matt Harrison for the No. 1 starter’s spot in the playoffs. Holland is 6-0 with a 2.19 earned-run average in nine September starts the last two years.

Darvish was throwing curveballs in the mid-60s to go with a mid-90s fastball in his victory against the Angels on Thursday. He looks capable of a strong playoff run.

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No team is making more pitching changes in September than the Giants. Bruce Bochy is averaging six pitchers per game since rosters expanded.

Josh Hamilton’s latest absence from the Rangers was because of “blurry vision” reportedly from a sinus infection. Every game he sits out makes it less likely that some team such as the Detroit Tigers or Milwaukee Brewers will give him the megadeal that Texas isn’t inclined to offer.

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez reminds scouts of Ivan Rodriguez in how he makes snap pickoff throws to catch runners napping. His pickoff of Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox from third base Thursday was his eighth this season. He’s throwing out 47% of would-be base stealers, just behind Cincinnati’s Ryan Hanigan (49%) among catchers who have caught at least 50 games.

The Royals are strongly considering a run at Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Carlos Villanueva, who will be a free agent. He could be a fit for the Chicago Cubs as well.

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Congrats to Australian right-hander Liam Hendriks, who got a shaving cream pie in the face after his first big league victory, which came in his 18th career start. “If he makes us wait that long for the next one, it’s gasoline,” Minnesota Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire joked.

The New York Mets are likely to move Lucas Duda to first base next year, making Ike Davis expendable in the off-season. Davis is hitting only .225 but began the weekend with 27 home runs and 81 runs batted in.

Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne is working as pitching coach for France in the World Baseball Classic qualifier. New Hall of Fame member Barry Larkin has agreed to manage Brazil in its November qualifier in Panama.

Clint Eastwood’s film “Trouble With the Curve” opened to mixed reviews this weekend. The movie that baseball people are waiting for is “42,” a story on Jackie Robinson’s life featuring Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as Robinson.

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—Phil Rogers


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