By Sam McPherson

With just about one month left before the 2016 MLB All-Star Game, the baseball action is getting better and better. Take a peek at what went down last week!

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This just in: Bryce Harper is pretty good

Last season, the Washington Nationals superstar won the National League MVP Award, when he hit .330 with 42 home runs while scoring 118 runs. Harper’s 1.109 OPS at age 22 represented one of the best seasons in the sport’s history. So why should MLB fans be surprised at anything Harper does? After all, Harper was the NL Rookie of the Year at age 19 back in 2012 as well.

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He’s only hitting .249 so far this season, but Harper’s HR against the St. Louis Cardinals—without batting gloves—was truly impressive considering where it landed. Perhaps he has superhuman grips or maybe even the strongest wrists in the game. No matter what, though, it is clear that Harper never will cease to amaze baseball fans everywhere.

Mookie Betts hits three HRs against Baltimore

The Red Sox outfielder hit 23 HRs in his first 197 games for Boston, but in just 57 games this season, the 23-year-old Betts has 14 HRs already. He also leads the American League in runs scored (53) as the Red Sox are contending in the AL East Division once again. His performance last Tuesday in Baltimore certainly got the Orioles’ attention.

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Notice how the first HR goes to center field, the second to left and the third to right. Even Bryce Harper might not be able to pull that miracle off (with or without the batting gloves). Now, Red Sox fans have a Mookie of their own to celebrate and love—while the $72.5 million Boston spent on Rusney Castillo now looks like a waste of money. 

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Astros make a charge, just as expected

The Houston Astros were one of the best stories in 2015, and expectations were high for the team this year. However, a 17-28 start to the season buried the Astros in the standings. But after winning six of seven games last week, Houston finds itself at 28-30 with a big series against division-leading, in-state rival Texas this week. The Astros could make some noise with a series win, and perhaps Houston can position itself for a strong second half of the season now, too. The Astros swept division nemesis Oakland over the weekend: After going just 12-26 against the A’s in 2013 and 2014, Houston has turned the tables on Oakland since then, winning 14 of 25 since the start of the 2015 season. Yes, the AL West is up for grabs once again.

Is that a football score? Mariners 16, Padres 13

The San Diego Padres are going nowhere fast in 2016, but they do play in some interesting games. Think of the walk-off games they’ve won and lost in the last couple of weeks. Well, the Padres distinguished themselves again this week by blowing a 10-run lead at home against the Seattle Mariners on June 2. Isn’t Petco Park supposed to be hard on the hitters?

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Leading 12-2 at the beginning of the sixth inning, five different San Diego pitchers combined to give up 14 runs over the next two innings. By the time the Padres came to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning, they were losing, 16-12. Seattle’s Kyle Seager (five RBI) and Dae-ho Lee (four RBI) did most of the damage for the Mariners in the big comeback victory. Remember this win come September if Seattle still is fighting for the AL West Division title.

The worst team in the NL gets a series split with one of the best

The San Francisco Giants came into Atlanta last week with the second-best record in the NL (32-20). Meanwhile, the Braves had the worst record (14-35). Naturally, Atlanta won the opener of a four-game series, and two nights later, the Braves handed the Giants their first walk-off loss of the season—after San Francisco already had notched five walk-off wins of its own. However, with a chance to win the series on Thursday, Atlanta came up short, losing 6-0 after giving up three home runs in one inning. Strangely, the Braves couldn’t score in either loss to the Giants last week, but gaining a series split was a nice confidence boost for the young, rebuilding Atlanta club. Conversely, it was probably a big disappointment to San Francisco, which also lost clubhouse leader Hunter Pence for two months to a hamstring injury suffered in the series.

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Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf and fantasy sports for CBS Local. He also is an Ironman triathlete and certified triathlon coach. Follow him on Twitter @sxmcp, because he’s quite prolific despite also being a college English professor and a certified copy editor.