It’s the first Saturday in July, and we have all 30 MLB teams in action as we near baseball’s All-Star Break. The All-Star festivities kick off on Sunday with the Futures Game, the Home Run Derby Monday and will conclude with the All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Below you can find our daily roundup, with all the latest news, notes, and scores. Be sure to check back throughout the night to see the biggest stories in baseball on Saturday. But first, when it comes to all things All-Star related, we’ve got you covered.

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Saturday, July 6 scores

Rays finally beat Yankees, do so in walk-off fashion

The Rays entered Saturday’s home tilt against the Yankees with a 2019 record of just 2-9 against the Bronx Bombers. Over that span, the Rays had been outscored by a margin of 68-33. Suffice it to say, the Rays badly needed to break through against the squadron they’re pursuing in the AL East. 

Things looked grim for a while, as Aaron Hicks stunned Tampa by tying the game with two outs in the top of the ninth: 

Adding to the angst is that the Rays are coming off extra-innings losses in the first two games of this series. Relevant shade: 

You can be forgiven if, in the moments after Hicks’ clutch blast, you assumed another loss in extras was headed the Rays’ way. 

Well, let’s jump ahead in the action to two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Travis d’Arnaud at the plate: 

There’s that reasonably cool foghorn! That blast puts the Rays now 7 1/2 games back of the Yankees and gives them a chance to split this four-game set with a win on Sunday. The victimized Chad Green entered this one with a 5.64 ERA for the season, so he’s done nothing to improve his standing in the Yankee bullpen.

As for the host Rays, they’re celebrating their first walk-off win since May 29. And it was a sorely needed one.

Roberto Perez is having a year

The contending Indians this past offseason traded away catcher Yan Gomes, which by default made Roberto Perez the primary guy behind the plate. Perez wasn’t much of a hitter — he had a career OPS+ of 70 heading into this season — but he’s a good pitch-framer, and he can tame opposing base-runners. 

Heading into the break, Perez has indeed been a defensive force — Baseball Prospectus grades him as the fourth-best defensive catcher in all of baseball this season (and that’s in keeping with Perez’s history) — and the bat surprisingly has been better than ever. 

Speaking of which, in the Battle of Ohio on Saturday Perez launched his 16th home run of the season: 

Perez entered 2019 with 21 career homers. With his four-hit day against the Reds, Perez is now slashing .256/.346/.528 in 233 plate appearances. That’s obviously excellent production for a skilled defensive catcher who’s logged more than 500 innings behind the dish thus far. 

At this point it’s worth noting that, no, Perez is not presently on the AL All-Star roster. This year’s Midsummer Classic will be in Cleveland, so finding a spot for Perez would not only have been merited but also pleasing to the hometown fans. Alas and alack, our world is a flawed one.

Here’s a pitcher stealing a base in an Expos uniform

The headline is doing the heavy lifting here. As advertised, here’s a pitcher — no less a moundsman than Max Scherzer — stealing a base while wearing Montreal Expos garb: 

The Washington Nationals were of course the Montreal Expos until they relocated to D.C. prior to the 2005 season, so that explains the fashion choices. Closer look incoming: 

As for the digits on the second career steal for Scherzer: 

Yes, a secondary lead that gets you more than halfway to second base is strongly indicative of a pitcher who considers you to be something less than a daredevil haste merchant. Relevant: 

Noble company, that. As for Mr. Scherzer’s work on the mound, it was characteristic: 

He goes into the break with 181 strikeouts on the season. Oh, and to bring it full circle: 

Secondary leads and secondary offerings.

Quick hits