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Toni Braxton’s baby boy is growing up!

The Grammy Award-winning singer posted images of her youngest son Diezel Braxton-Lewis, 18, on June 5, announcing that he is on his way to college. Braxton announced the young man would be attending Howard University, per Atlanta Black Star.

“Congratulations @diezel.braxton! Mom is so proud of you. ???? Howard University here he comes!” posted the singer alongside a photo of herself kissing her son Diezel on the cheek as her eldest son Denim stands beside them smiling.

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A post shared by Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton)

Diezel graduated from Fusion Academy in Los Angeles, California, a private school that focuses on in-person, virtual, or hybrid learning.

Diezel and Denim are Braxton’s sons with ex-husband, former Mint Condition member Keri Lewis. The couple was together for over a decade, ending their marriage in 2013. Lewis also posted an image in celebration of his son’s big day.


“Congratulations young King!! Words can not describe how proud of you I am @diezel.braxton!! Howard University next!!,” he wrote.

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A post shared by Keri Lewis (@_keri_lewis_)

Also Read:
Dionne Warwick doesn’t know if Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton are icons: ‘I’ll have to give it some thought’

Throughout the years, Braxton has been open about her son’s struggle with autism. However, in 2016, she announced he is no longer showing symptoms of the disorder that disrupts the ability to communicate and interact.

“My youngest son, as everyone knows, my son Diezel suffers from — or I should say suffered from autism. I am one of the lucky parents,” she said during the interview with Access Hollywood, as reported by theGrio. “Early diagnosis changes everything. I will tell you this. I will shout it from the rooftops.”

She described her son as having been “off the spectrum” when he was diagnosed but now claims that he shows no signs of autism, continuing to say that “our lives have changed.”

Diezel was diagnosed with the disease at the age of three, and Braxton said that shortly after her son’s diagnosis, she received a call from Suzanne Wright, the co-founder of Autism Speaks. Wright helped her through the challenge of raising her son by suggesting programs and offering help.

“She’s been an advocate in helping me so much. I miss her already. I mean, I can’t believe she’s gone,” Braxton said. Wright passed in 2016 at the age of 79.

Toni Braxton, Diezel Braxton-Lewis, Denim braxton Image: Screenshot Instagram Also Read:
Toni Braxton, 53, unveils bald head and fit physique in bikini post

Braxton has had her own bouts of sickness as well. Back in March 2020, Braxton sat down with theGrio and opened up about her battle with lupus, as well as her music.

“When I was first diagnosed, I felt that I had no one to help me,” she told theGrio‘s Cortney Wills. “I always try to be vocal and educate people. I remember being afraid, and I don’t want anyone to feel that feeling that I had.”

“The doctors told me I could never perform again,” she continued. “I have systemic lupus. My lupus loves my heart. It loves my microvascular system. It loves my blood, so I get blood clots. The chronic pain and fatigue associated with it were overwhelming for me initially.”

Additional reporting by Jared Alexander

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

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He wants his son back: Father of Dodgers Andrew Toles refuses to lose son to schizophrenia

Best TV shows with the worst endings Workers are resigning at record rates. Thats good for the economy.

Andrew Toles is still on the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster but hasn’t played baseball in three years.

© Rick Scuteri, USA TODAY Sports Andrew Toles did not play in the majors last season.

The Dodgers won the World Series last year, but while they were celebrating on the field in Arlington, Texas, Toles was in a hospital room in Florida.

Toles is unaware of the Dodgers’ accomplishment, his family says, unable to watch baseball or anything else on TV, let alone talk about baseball.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

Toles, 29, who has been in and out of too many mental-health clinics and hospitals to count, in and out of too many homeless shelters to keep track, suffers from schizophrenia, the cruel and ruthless mental illness that threatens to completely shred a person’s pride and dignity.

“He’s not really living, but just floating," Morgan Toles, Andrew’s sister, an assistant basketball coach at Florida State, tells USA TODAY Sports. “It’s almost zombie-like. I don’t know if he’ll ever get better. None of us do.

“But, at least, we’re not worrying whether he’s alive.’’

Toles was arrested last summer when he was found homeless, asleep behind a Fed Ex Building at the Key West International Airport in Florida. He has been in at least 20 mental health clinics since 2019, a year after leaving the Dodgers.

Now, Toles is back home in Fairburn, Georgia. He lives just around the corner from a man who gets up at 2 a.m. most mornings, hauls chemicals in his truck for a living, and never lets a day go by without making sure Toles is eating, taking his medication and is safe from his demons.

The man has been so distraught with worry, he sometimes cries himself to sleep, wanting so badly to make things right, but overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness.

© The Associated Press Andrew Toles hit .462 with a 1.082 OPS during the 2016 NLCS against the Cubs.

It’s Alvin Toles, Andrew’s dad.

Alvin Toles is a single father now, separated from his wife, with Toles’ mental illness fracturing the family, as he takes care of Andrew and 22-year-old daughter, Kasey.

“This has kind of torn my family apart, it’s worn on everybody,’’ Morgan Toles said. “I try not to think about it. It breaks my heart thinking about what my Dad is going through.

“He’ll call me and check in, and see what’s going on, and I’ll hear his voice crack. I’ve heard him cry more than I ever have in my life. He keeps saying, 'Everything will be OK,' and doesn’t want to burden me with anything, but I know he’s hurting.

“I worry about him, he’s carrying so much.’’

Alvin Toles, 58, who spent four years playing for the New Orleans Saints after starring at the University of Tennessee, concedes that he cries at times when no one is looking. He wants to stay strong for his family. If he fell apart, what would happen to his family? The medical expenses pile up, with a new $24,000 due in legal fees for a court-appointed lawyer that was no longer needed.

  • ARRESTED: Family sought help for their son, former Dodgers outfielder

So, he prays. He prays for strength. He prays for guidance. And, of course, he prays for Andrew.

© The Associated Press Andrew Toles was arrested last summer when he was found homeless, asleep behind a Fed Ex Building at the Key West International Airport in Florida.

“I just want him to have a chance in life,’’ Alvin Toles softly says. “That’s all. Just to be healthy, live a normal life. I’d do anything for my son and my kids, and I know their mother cares a great deal, too."

It was Alvin who got into his car the morning of Dec. 19, 2020, getting a tip that his son was wandering around the streets in West Palm Beach, Florida. He found him a day later, calling it a miracle from God.

Alvin Toles worked with attorney Audra Simovitch to gain legal guardianship over his adult son, assuring that Andrew would receive the best health care, and not be locked up in a state institute and simply heavily medicated with little chance of improvement.

Toles is traumatized by hospitals, his dad said, and refuses to step inside the doors. The mental-health clinics didn’t work either with Toles constantly fleeing when he felt he was healthy.

So, once Alvin Toles gained guardianship this past November, he was finally able to take his son back home, living just 50 yards apart from one another.

“I give Alvin a lot of credit for trying to help,’’ Simovitch says. “He’s dealing with a lot. I’ve seen a lot of families give up. It’s just too hard on them. Otherwise, Andrew might be like most people, and still wandering the streets.’’

Gwendale Boyd-Willis, 45, the goddaughter of Alvin and Vicky Toles who is a chaplain in the Atlanta area, says it’s difficult to describe the love Alvin has for his son. He takes Andrew out for meals. He’ll clean his house. Some days they’ll just silently sit together for hours. And they’ll pray.

“It’s heartbreaking to see this happen," says Boyd, diagnosed with bipolar when she was 17. “Mental illness is just now getting the attention of people now when it should have been a long time ago. I can’t imagine what Alvin is going through as a parent. He’s been a phenomenal father.

“The strength it takes to go through all of this, it’s a wonder he hasn’t had a breakdown, because when it’s your child, that’s a lot of heavy weight and stress.’’

It’s Father’s Day on Sunday. Alvin Toles will go to church. He’ll see Andrew. He’ll have a barbeque with his stepfather. And he’ll see Andrew again before bed.

There likely will be more tears, too.

“We are having challenges,’’ Alvin Toles says, “but nothing that God and I can’t handle. Schizophrenia, it’s just so tough. I mean, he can’t even watch TV. He hears voices and the TV at the same time, so it’s kind of confusing. I’ve seen him looking at some baseball games on his laptop, but I don’t think he really understands what’s going on.

“I don’t think he understands that the Dodgers won the World Series.’’

The Dodgers continue to show support and empathy towards Toles, keeping him on their restricted list, letting him know that he’s still part of the organization. Toles spent parts of three years with the Dodgers, hitting .286 with a .792 OPS, and being a one-man show in the 2016 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs, hitting .462 with a 1.082 OPS.

“His name will pop up randomly in our clubhouse,’’ Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He fit in with us so fondly and was so adored. It’s just sad to see what has transpired and knowing that a lot of it is out of his control.

“Man, I would love to see him. I’d love to put my arms around him. I miss him. I really miss him.’’

Maybe one day, Alvin Toles said, he could take Andrew to a Dodgers game when they come to Atlanta. Maybe it would be good for him to see familiar faces again like Justin Turner. Maybe, there would be a sense of normalcy.

© The Associated Press Andrew Toles played in parts of three seasons (2016-18) with the Dodgers.

The real dream, Alvin Toles says, is for his son to have a real life. He talks about working one day building homes, teaching his son the nuances of construction work and working side by side.

Together.

Every single day.

And celebrating the greatest Father’s Day of his life.

“My Dad is such a strong person, so resilient,’’ Morgan Toles says. “He’ll never give up helping Andrew, even when the days are the darkest and he doesn’t know how it will end.

“I never told him this before, but I’m just so proud to have him as a Dad. Me and my siblings are so lucky to have him as our dad.’’

One day, maybe Andrew will be able to convey the same sentiments, knowing that his Dad’s love never wavered, not even in the worst of times, always there when Andrew needed him the most.

“People want to assume that we want Andrew to be who he was before,’’ Morgan Toles said. “That’s not true. We just want him to be happy and healthy. He could be a garbage man. He can be a yoga instructor. We just want him to be healthy.

“My dad just wants to get back to some type of normalcy.

“Really, he just wants his son back.’’

Enough is enough

Please, pitchers, can you stop with all of the complaints?

Sure, the timing isn’t the greatest for baseball’s crackdown on illegal foreign substances, but when was the perfect time?

The warnings were given in March. The evidence was collected in April and May. The number of pitchers blatantly cheating was staggering, with every team in baseball guilty of having someone of their pitching staff using foreign substances to increase their spin rates.

It starts Monday with umpires checking starting pitchers at least twice a game and relievers at least once, making sure they are not using anything on their hands except for the rosin bag.

© Jeffrey T. Barnes, AP New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is among the pitchers upset with Major League Baseball's crackdown on foreign substances.

Pitchers are outraged that the crackdown starts in the middle of the season, but they’re the ones who ignored the warnings, laughed at the threats, leaving MLB no choice but to institute the crackdown after watching the cheaters suffocate the life out of the game.

Certainly, it already has begun working simply since MLB informed the owners on June 3 that the crackdown is coming.

Take a look for yourselves:

In the two months pitchers flaunted the illegal foreign no-substance rule, hitters batted .236 with a .312 on-base percentage, .395 slugging percentage and a .707 OPS.

Since June 3: .247, .316 on-base percnreage, .416 slugging percentage, .732 OPS.

Home runs are up.

Strikeouts are down.

Spin rates are way down.

And the art of pitching is about to go way up.

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer, with his spin rate down 210 rpm on his four-seam fastball in recent weeks, threw seven shutout innings against the Diamondbacks in his last start, permitting just three hits while striking out eight, mixing in an array of all his pitches.

New York Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, with his spin rate down from his season average of 2,549 to 2,347 in his last start, allowed four hits and two runs in eight innings against the powerful Toronto Blue Jays lineup in his last start, while striking out four batters.

They still dominated without the use of Spider Tack and every other type of goop on their fingers, while the game still had plenty of action.

It may be quite refreshing this summer watching pitchers actually pitch instead of loading up with illegal substances and throwing the ball past everybody.

And, please, while we’re at it, can we stop with the narrative that pitchers will suddenly lose control without the use of foreign substances.

Guess what?

It’s bogus. Hitters have been hit with more pitches than at any time in history this season. Maybe it was actually the sticky stuff that led to the plethora of hit batters, with pitches looking like Wiffle Balls flying in the air without anyone knowing where it’s going.

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“I’ve seen some pitches this year,’’ says Yankees infielder D.J. LeMahieu, “I’ve never seen in my whole career.’’

Maybe now we will go back to the days where pitchers actually pitch, and hitters actually have a chance to hit.

“I think it goes back to the pitcher is actually learning how to pitch and actually locating pitches,’’ Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez says. “Now, you can (still) throw as hard as you can, but you actually have to control it … as versus before when you throw it as hard as you can and you didn’t know where it went.”

Amen.

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Full screen 1/75 SLIDES © Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports June 19: The Seattle Mariners' J.P. Crawford celebrates after hitting a grand slam home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at T-Mobile Park. 2/75 SLIDES © Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports June 18: The Washington Nationals' Yan Gomes (center) is doused by teammates Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell after hitting a walk-off single against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. 3/75 SLIDES © Ray Acevedo, USA TODAY Sports June 17: San Diego Padres catcher Victor Caratini celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off home run against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park. 4/75 SLIDES © Michael McLoone, USA TODAY Sports June 16: Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto celebrates after scoring a run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh inning at American Family Field. Slideshow continues on the next slide 5/75 SLIDES © John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports June 15: San Francisco Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski watches the ball clear the wall after hitting a grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth inning at Oracle Park. 6/75 SLIDES © Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports June 13: Los Angeles Angels shortstop Jose Iglesias throws to first base after forcing out the Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte at second base during the fourth inning at Chase Field. The Angels won the game, 8-1. 7/75 SLIDES © Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports June 12: Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson tags Miami Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar out while turning a double play in the third inning at LoanDepot Park. 8/75 SLIDES © Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports June 11: Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo celebrates with Enrique Hernandez after hitting a walk-off single against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. 9/75 SLIDES © Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports June 10: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias pitches to the Pittsburgh Pirates' Adam Frazier (26) during the first inning at PNC Park. The Dodgers won the game, 6-3. Slideshow continues on the next slide 10/75 SLIDES © Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports June 9: The Philadelphia Phillies' Luke Williams (30) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off home run against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park. 11/75 SLIDES © Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports June 8: The Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Braves won the game, 9-5. 12/75 SLIDES © Paul Rutherford, USA TODAY Sports June 7: The Boston Red Sox's Marwin Gonzalez (12) is tagged out by Miami Marlins shortstop Jazz Chisholm Jr (2) during the fifth inning at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won the game, 5-3. 13/75 SLIDES © Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports June 6: Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Erik Gonzalez tags out the Miami Marlins' Jon Berti out second base on a steal attempt during the sixth inning at PNC Park. 14/75 SLIDES © Darren Yamashita, USA TODAY Sports June 5: San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria (10) and shortstop Brandon Crawford fall to the ground after a collision during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Oracle Park. Slideshow continues on the next slide 15/75 SLIDES © Benny Sieu, USA TODAY Sports June 4: Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta acknowledges fans after taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on his 25th birthday. 16/75 SLIDES © Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports June 3: San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. scores a run ahead of the tag by New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker during the fifth inning at Petco Park. 17/75 SLIDES © Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports June 2: Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts attempts to catch a fly ball during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. 18/75 SLIDES © Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports June 1: The Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras slides past third base into umpire Dan Iassogna after being tagged out by San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado during the third inning at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the game, 4-3. 19/75 SLIDES © David Richard, USA TODAY Sports May 31: The Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson (7) reacts as he is chased by Cleveland shortstop Yu Chang during a rundown in the second inning at Progressive Field. 20/75 SLIDES © Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports May 29: The Milwaukee Brewers' Luis Urias is safe as Washington Nationals shortstop Jordy Mercer (27) attempts to apply a tag during the fourth inning of Game 2 of a doubleheader at Nationals Park. The Brewers won the game, 6-2. 21/75 SLIDES © Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports May 28: Detroit Tigers left fielder Robbie Grossman celebrates with teammates as he approaches home plate after hitting a two-run, walk-off home run in the 10th inning to beat the New York Yankees. 22/75 SLIDES © Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports May 27: Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Will Craig (left) chases the Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez in a run-down between home plate and first base allowing Willson Contreras (40) to score a run as Pirates catcher Michael Perez (right) takes a throw during the third inning at PNC Park. Baez wound up on second base during the play. The Cubs won the game, 5-3. 23/75 SLIDES © Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports May 25: Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker slides safely into third base after advancing on a sacrifice fly during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. 24/75 SLIDES © Jonathan Dyer, USA TODAY Sports May 24: Tampa Bay Rays infielder Taylor Walls (6) scores in the 11th inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. The Rays won 14-8 for their 11th straight win. 25/75 SLIDES © Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports May 23: The Colorado Rockies celebrate a walk-off home run by shortstop Trevor Story in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. 26/75 SLIDES © Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports May 22: Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. 27/75 SLIDES © Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports May 21: San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. flips his bat after hitting a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the second inning. 28/75 SLIDES © Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports May 19: Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas tags out the Philadelphia Phillies' Andrew McCutchen (22) during the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. The Marlins won the game, 3-1. 29/75 SLIDES © Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports May 17: The Washington Nationals' Starlin Castro tags out the Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo at second base during the third inning at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the game, 7-3. 30/75 SLIDES © David Berding, USA TODAY Sports May 16: Oakland Athletics left fielder Mark Canha catches a fly ball for an out against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field. The A's won the game, 7-6. 31/75 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports May 15: The Texas Rangers' Willie Calhoun fouls the ball off his face while batting against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the game, 6-5. 32/75 SLIDES © Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports May 14: Seattle Mariners left fielder Jarred Kelenic takes a curtain call after hitting a two-run home run against Cleveland during the third inning at T-Mobile Park. It was Kelenic's first hit. 33/75 SLIDES © Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports May 13: Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez blows a bubble during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. 34/75 SLIDES © Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports May 12: The San Diego Padres' Jake Cronenworth slides out into home against Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Diaz in the eighth inning at Coors Field. 35/75 SLIDES © Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports May 11: Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. cannot catch a ball hit by the Toronto Blue Jays' Jonathan Davis during the eighth inning at Truist Park. The Blue Jays won the game, 5-3. 36/75 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports May 10: Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh (20) tosses the ball to starting pitcher Junior Guerra as the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve runs to first during the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park. 37/75 SLIDES © Darren Yamashita, USA TODAY Sports May 9: Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Manuel Margot dives for but is unable to catch a fly ball during the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. The Rays won the game, 4-3. 38/75 SLIDES © Jason Getz, USA TODAY Sports May 8: Atlanta Braves third baseman Pablo Sandoval celebrates after hitting a game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Truist Park. 39/75 SLIDES © Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports May 7: Cincinnati starter Wade Miley embraces catcher Tucker Barnhart (16) after throwing a no-hitter against Cleveland in the Reds' 3-0 win. 40/75 SLIDES © Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports May 6: The Minnesota Twins' Nick Gordon steals second against the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Target Field. The Rangers won the game, 4-3, in 10 innings. 41/75 SLIDES © Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports May 5: Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Colin Moran cannot get to the throw by third baseman Erik Gonzalez allowing the San Diego Padres' Tommy Pham (28) to reach on an error during the first inning at Petco Park. The Padres won the game, 4-2. 42/75 SLIDES © Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports May 4: The Chicago Cubs' Jake Marisnick scores against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the game, 7-1. 43/75 SLIDES © Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports May 3: The Phillie Phantic taunts Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Adrian Houser (right) and catcher Luke Maile as they walk across the outfield to start the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won the game, 4-3. 44/75 SLIDES © David Banks, USA TODAY Sports May 2: Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada (10) and shortstop Tim Anderson can't catch a pop up hit by Cleveland's Jake Bauers during the fourth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Cleveland won the game, 5-0. 45/75 SLIDES © Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports May 1: San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado gestures after hitting a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning. 46/75 SLIDES © Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports April 30: The Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off home run in the 10th inning against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. 47/75 SLIDES © Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports April 29: Boston Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez crashes into the wall while chasing a home run ball hit by the Texas Rangers' Isiah Kiner-Falefa at Globe Life Field. 48/75 SLIDES © Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports April 28: Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper walks off the field after he was hit by a pitch from St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Genesis Cabrera, 49/75 SLIDES © Jonathan Dyer, USA TODAY Sports April 27: The Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits a grand slam off Washington's Max Scherzer in the third inning. He finished with three home runs and seven RBI. 50/75 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports April 26: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve forces the Seattle Mariners' Dylan Moore out at second base as he fumbles the throw to first base at in the second inning at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the game, 5-2. 51/75 SLIDES © Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports April 25: Colorado left fielder Raimel Tapia celebrates his RBI double in the fourth inning at Coors Field as the Rockies routed the Philadelphia Phillies 12-2. 52/75 SLIDES © Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports April 24: San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. flips his bat after hitting his second home run of the game off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer at Dodger Stadium. But the Dodgers overcame Tatis' power display to win 5-4. 53/75 SLIDES © Wendell Cruz, USA TODAY Sports April 23: New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and catcher Tomas Nido celebrate after defeating the Washington Nationals 6-0 at Citi Field. DeGrom struck out a career-high 15 in the complete game victory. 54/75 SLIDES © Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports April 22: The Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras scores as New York Mets catcher James McCann applies a late tag during the third inning at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the game, 4-3. 55/75 SLIDES © Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports April 21: Colorado Rockies second baseman Garrett Hampson and shortstop Trevor Story (27) celebrate after a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros at Coors Field. 56/75 SLIDES © Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports April 20: The Chicago Cubs' Jason Heyward slides to steal second base as New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor waits for the ball during the fourth inning at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the game, 3-1. 57/75 SLIDES © Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports April 19: The Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani shatters his bat in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium. The Rangers won the game, 6-4. 58/75 SLIDES © Peter Aiken, USA TODAY Sports April 18: Kansas City Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez forces out the Toronto Blue Jays' Joe Panik at second base during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won the game, 2-0. 59/75 SLIDES © Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports April 17: San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. reacts after striking out during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. 60/75 SLIDES © Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports April 16: San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates with third baseman Manny Machado after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. 61/75 SLIDES © Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports April 15: The Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson gets showered with water after getting the game-winning walk-off hit in the ninth inning to defeat the Miami Marlins 7-6 at Truist Park. 62/75 SLIDES © Kamil Krzaczynski, USA TODAY Sports April 14: Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon (center) celebrates with teammates after completing a no-hitter against Cleveland at Guaranteed Rate Field. 63/75 SLIDES © Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports April 13: Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton jumps up and attempts to catch a home run from the Boston Red Sox's Hunter Renfroe in the fifth inning at Target Field. The Red Sox won the game 4-2. 64/75 SLIDES © Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel April 12: The Milwaukee Brewers' Keston Hiura reacts after hitting an RBI single during a 6-3 Brewers win against the Chicago Cubs at American Family Field. 65/75 SLIDES © Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports April 11: Boston Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta slides to tag the Baltimore Orioles' Freddy Galvis (2) as home plate umpire Nick Mahrley (48) looks on during the third inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Red Sox won the game, 14-9. 66/75 SLIDES © Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports April 10: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy tags out Washington Nationals second baseman Starlin Castro for a double play. 67/75 SLIDES © Jim Cowsert, USA TODAY Sports April 9: San Diego Padres starting pitcher Joe Musgrove celebrates with teammates after throwing a no-hitter, the first in franchise history, against the Texas Rangers. 68/75 SLIDES © Joe Puetz, USA TODAY Sports April 8: St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. 69/75 SLIDES © Vincent Carchietta, USA TODAY Sports April 7: Baltimore Orioles catcher Pedro Severino tags out New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela in the 11th inning to end the game. 70/75 SLIDES © Brian Fluharty, USA TODAY Sports April 6: Red Sox left fielder J.D. Martinez is mobbed by his teammates after driving in the game winning run. 71/75 SLIDES © Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports April 5: White Sox DH Yermin Mercedes doubles against the Mariners. 72/75 SLIDES © Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Spor April 4: Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani reacts after a strike out for the final out of the third inning. 73/75 SLIDES © Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports April 3: Twins outfielders Jake Cave, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler celebrate after defeating the Brewers. 74/75 SLIDES © Justin Edmonds, Getty Images April 2: Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer delivers a pitch. 75/75 SLIDES © Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports April 1: Giants stand during a pregame ceremony during Opeining Day in Seattle. 75/75 SLIDES Around the bases

► Can someone please steal the Houston Astros’ offensive playbook, or at least copy it?

It’s OK, no cheating is involved.

The Astros are hitting like they’re going back in time.

They entered Saturday leading the major leagues with a .274 batting average, .344 on-base percentage, .451 slugging percentage, .794 OPS, and the most important stat of all: Runs.

Yes, they even have more hits (653) than strikeouts (500), while ranking just eighth in home runs.

In this era of launch angle and strikeouts, the Astros are proving that the old-school approach still can work, and that strikeouts suffocate the life out of offenses.

“You’ve got to have pride,” said Astros manager Dusty Baker. “They say strikeouts aren’t important, but you see how many games we’ve won just by putting the ball in play.”

► The Curse of the No-Hitter: The Baltimore Orioles haven’t won a road game since John Means’ nine-inning no-hitter on May 5 in Seattle, dropping 19 in a row.

The Arizona Diamondbacks haven’t won a road game since Madison Bumgarner’s seven-inning no-hitter on May 25 against Atlanta, losing an MLB-record 23 in a row.

► You think Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper hates the role of villain on the road just about everywhere he goes?

Guess again.

“I love the boos and the hate a little bit,” Harper says. “I’ve been hearing it since I was 12 or 13 years old, so it’s kind of normal. That’s sports. That’s fan bases.

► Cool moment for Dodgers outfielder Steven Souza Jr., who hadn’t been back in uniform at Chase Field since he slipped on home plate and tore three ligaments in his left knee in a spring-training game March 25, 2019.

So what does he do? He homers Friday night in his first game back, screams, and tried not to cry when his foot hit home plate.

“The last moment that I had here wasn’t a great one,” Souza said. “So I was more fired up that I could kind of erase that and put that really in the past and celebrate this one.”

► Just in case you were wondering, 1906 was the last time the Cubs and White Sox played against one another in the World Series.

Both Chicago teams are in first place.

► Still hard to fathom that New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom has driven in seven runs at the plate, and given up just four earned runs on the mound.

► The Toronto Blue Jays don’t expect to be permitted to play a home game in Toronto until 2022.

“When we finally get back to Toronto,’’ Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro says, “you’re going to have a team that any adversity or any tough times we experience are going to pale in comparison to what we’re having to go through over the past two seasons.”

► So much for superstition. Cubs shortstop Javy Baez has saved for his own memorabilia every bat he has used to hit a homer, never using the same bat again.

► The Giants, the second-fastest team to hit 100 home runs, are on pace to hit a whopping 235 homers this year.

How staggering is the homer number considering they play 81 home games in the most pitching-friendly ballpark in the majors?

The franchise record is 235, set in 2001, with 73 of those homers coming from Barry Bonds.

It’s also the last time they hit 200 homers in a season.

► While all eyes have been on deGrom this year, Walker Buehler of the Dodgers hasn’t lost a game in is past 29 starts, dating back to Sept. 21, 2019.

He entered Saturday’s game having pitched at least six innings in each of his first 13 starts, allowing two or fewer runs in 10 of the starts.

Oh, and he’s doing it by sheer pitching, with just one double-digit strikeout game this season.

► Nothing like giving up homers to royalty, well, at least the sons and grandsons of royalty.

Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta has given up five of his last 16 homers to the sons or grandsons of Hall of Famers and All-Stars:

  • Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr., son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero
  • Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Fame Craig Biggio
  • Bo Bichette, son of All-Star outfielder Dante Bichette
  • Adalberto Mondesi, son of All-Star outfielder Raul Mondesi.

► Can you imagine how good the Brewers could be if they actually had any offense?

They’re hanging with the Chicago Cubs despite a pathetic slash line of .208/.298/.365 with a .600 OPS.

Their slash line ranking: last/ 28th/29th, 29th OPS.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'He wants his son back:' Father of Dodgers' Andrew Toles refuses to lose son to schizophrenia

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