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Orioles RHP Gausman to start opener

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) The Baltimore Orioles will have a new starter for their April 3 opener for the first time in the last four years.

Manager Buck Showalter said Monday that right-hander Kevin Gausman to start against Toronto.

The move to start the 26-year-old Gausman wasn't unexpected. Showalter had ruled right-hander Chris Tillman out of the opener when spring training began last month because of a sore right shoulder.

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Champion Cubs stacked for Series repeat

CHICAGO (AP) Somewhere along the line, at some point on the way to a historic World Series title, Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs figured out how much they enjoyed winning together at the big league level.

They tasted the champagne, and decided they wanted to do it again.

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Mets dealing with injuries again

NEW YORK (AP) Injuries hit the New York Mets where it hurt last season, and they're becoming a pain again.

With a week to go before opening day, those familiar reports of aches and irritation were cropping up at camp. Part-time center fielder Juan Lagares strained an oblique and, more unsettling, pitcher Steven Matz was scratched from a scheduled start because of tenderness in his left elbow.

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Royals OF Soler hurts oblique, DL likely

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Royals outfielder Jorge Soler will likely begin his first season in Kansas City on the disabled list after straining his oblique in a minor league game.

Soler, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in December for closer Wade Davis, hurt himself on a swing Sunday. Soler went for an MRI on Monday, which revealed a Grade 1 strain. He'll rest for five to seven days before slowly resuming baseball activities, meaning he'll miss the Royals' opener next Monday at Minnesota.

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Nationals release 42-year-old P Nathan

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Veteran reliever Joe Nathan has been released by the Washington Nationals, ending his bid to make the team a week before opening day.

The Nationals also unconditionally released another righty reliever on Monday, Matt Albers.

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Talented Dodgers look to stay healthy

LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw was lost for 10 weeks in the second half of the season, they had a record 28 players go on the disabled list, and the Los Angeles Dodgers still won 91 games and their fourth consecutive NL West title last season.

Dave Roberts survived plenty of adversity in his first year as manager while having his optimism regularly tested.

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Nats need Harper, Strasburg to shine

WASHINGTON (AP) Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg will forever be linked as consecutive No. 1 overall draft picks who were supposed to become the superstars that would lead the Washington Nationals to a World Series championship.

Well, the club in the nation's capital is still waiting to win one postseason series with that pair.

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Giants eye bounce-back from playoff exit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Last season took a little longer for Bruce Bochy to get over.

Same goes for many of his San Francisco players. An even year ended with the Giants short-handed this time, unable to get past the eventual champion Chicago Cubs in the NL Division Series.

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Cardinals not conceding, eye postseason

ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals have been the gold standard of the NL Central for the better part of this century, having won nine division titles and reached the postseason 12 times.

That history of Midwestern success is a primary reason why St. Louis enters this season not quite ready to concede anything to its rivals up north.

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Rangers release veteran 1B Loney

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) The Texas Rangers have released veteran first baseman James Loney from his minor league contract.

A week before the season opener, the Rangers also Monday optioned knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa to Triple-A Round Rock and reassigned outfielder Jared Hoying to minor league camp.

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