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Cards Ink Garcia; 2nd Half Preview

>>Cards Ink Garcia To Four-Year Deal

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals have signed pitcher Jaime Garcia to a four-year contract with two club options.  Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but multiple media outlets have reported the contract will pay Garcia $27.5-million for the four guaranteed years.  The 25-year-old Garcia has developed into one of the best young pitchers in baseball.  He made 10 appearances for St. Louis in 2008 but truly blossomed in 2010, when he went 13-and-8 with a 2.70 earned run average in 28 starts.  Through 19 starts this season, he is 9-and-3 with a 3.22 ERA and two shutouts.  He has also struck out 100 batters and walked 32 in 117-and-a-third innings.  Garcia is playing this season on a one-year deal worth $437-thousand.

>>MLB's Second Half Kicks Off

(Undated)  --  The second half of the Major League Baseball season kicks off this evening.  A trio of National League games and four American League contests open up tonight's second half action.  Prince Fielder's three-run blast propeled the NL to a 5-1 win over the AL in Tuesday night's 82nd annual Midsummer Classic from Chase Field in Phoenix to give the Senior Circuit home-field advantage in this year's World Series.  The NL has won back-to-back All-Star Game's after losing the previous 13 in-a-row.  The Philadelphia Phillies hold an MLB-best mark of 57-and-34 through the first half of the season, while the Boston Red Sox have the second best record and tops in the AL at 55-and-35.  The New York Yankees are just one game back of their rivals at 53-and-35.  Boston's Adrian Gonzalez and Mets' Jose Reyes each have a batting average of .354 to lead their respective league's.  Gonzalez has also knocked in 77 runs to lead the AL and Fielder's 72 RBI are tops in the NL.  Toronto's Jose Bautista has 31 bombs to lead all hitters going into the break.

>>Brewers' Fielder Named MVP Of ASG

(Phoenix, AZ)  --  Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday.  Fielder belted a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning as the National League defeated the American League 5-1 at Chase Field.  Fielder is the first member of the Brewers to ever win MVP honors.  Fielder was also the first Brewer to ever hit a home run in the All-Star Game.  With the victory, the National League secured homefield advantage in this year's World Series.  After going winless in 13 straight Midsummer Classics, the NL has won the last two.

  7:05 p.m. - Florida Marlins at Chicago Cubs
  7:40 p.m. - Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies
  9:05 p.m. - San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres

  6:05 p.m. - Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles
  6:07 p.m. - New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
  7:10 p.m. - Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
  9:10 p.m. - Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners

>>Mets Ship K-Rod To Brewers

(Flushing, NY)  --  The New York Mets have traded closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers.  The Mets will receive two players to be named later in the deal.  Rodriguez is 2-and-2 with 23 saves and a 3.16 ERA this season.  The 29-year-old Rodriguez compiled a single-season record 62 saves while with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2008.  K-Rod has gone 32-and-27 with 291 saves and a 2.54 ERA in 10 big league seasons. Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin says acquiring pitcher K-Rod was a move he could not pass up.

>>Sprint Cup Series Heads To Loudon

(Loudon, NH)  --  NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend for Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301.  The driver to beat this week is certainly Kyle Busch, as he is riding high into New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend after winning two of the three NASCAR national touring series races this past week at Kentucky.  Busch claimed NASCAR win number-98 in last Thursday's Camping World Truck Series event and then number-99 in Saturday's Sprint Cup Series race.  His next win will make him just the third NASCAR driver with 100 or more victories to his credit.  Richard Petty holds the record with 200 wins.  Last season, Jimmie Johnson won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 after taking the lead from Kurt Busch with less than two laps remaining.

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