The Upper Deck

Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare. If you have videos, GIFs, photos or stories you want us to know about and feature in this space, send to Vince Lara on Twitter at @vincelara.

OK José

Astros second baseman José Altuve mashed a two-run homer in the ninth to help propel a five-run rally in Houston’s 6-1 win against the Royals on Thursday night. Astros starter Lance McCullers took a no-hit bid into the 7th inning.

The Naturals?

A pair of plays during Thursday’s game were reminiscent of the great Robert Redford movie. First, there was Bryce Harper hitting the cover of the ball. While Harper’s hit did not go very far, it was an impressive feat nonetheless.

Then there was Triple-A Iowa third baseman Chris Dominguez doing another Roy Hobbs impression. Dominguez smashed a ball so hard off the scoreboard in left field that one of the panels went out. Wasn’t a foul ball, but maybe a fowl ball?

Air Buxton
In 2015, Baseball America rated Byron Buxton an 80 in speed on the 20-80 scout scale and an 80 in defense, the top marks in both categories. He’s done nothing to show that was off. Buxton used those tools Thursday night to rob Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano of a hit. Cano’s reaction says it all.

Major Little League Baseball

Willy Garcia had a double, but after a throwing error by the Rays he tried to get to third base. When Tampa shortstop Tim Beckham tossed the ball into left field, Garcia figured he’d try for the Little League home run and touch all the bases in one play. Unfortunately for him, Rays left fielder Peter Bourjus was backing up the play unlike most Little League left fielders, who are usually picking daisies.

Cowabunga, Dude
The Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pirates, showed off their uniforms for Saturday and Sunday’s Nickelodeon Weekend promotion. Hashtag Turtle Power!

Happenings at Baseball America

The NCAA super regionals get going Friday. Baseball America has you covered with previews of all the matchups. Also on the college side, Baseball America announced its All-America teams on Thursday. Prepare for the MLB Draft with Baseball America’s state reports.

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