Today is Sunday, April 30, 2017.
|Sunday, April 30, 2017|
|National Basketball Assoc.|
|Wizards||vs.||Celtics||1:00 (EDT) Preview|
Celtics, Wizards renew intense rivalry in playoffs
Saturday, April 29 at 9:13 PM (EDT)
BOSTON -- "These teams don't like each other."
You've heard the cliche thousands of times if you're a sports fan. Sometimes it's justified. Sometimes it's a bit overblown.
The Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics, who open their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Sunday at TD Garden, really don't like each other.
The season series between the teams, even at 2-2 (both teams winning their two home games), featured all kinds of rudeness, some of it even threatening to pour off the court -- as members of the Boston police stood in the hallway between the locker rooms after one game.
The Wizards even wore black to a home game against the Celtics.
But Washington guard Bradley Beal, talking to reporters Saturday, said, "It's basketball -- we're not fighting out here ... gonna keep it clean."
Now, whether or not the teams can do anything really mean to each other Sunday could be in doubt because they could be too tired to do anything but play basketball.
Both wrapped up their first-round series with Game 6 wins on Friday night and now have to play again some 40 hours later.
And on the Boston side, top scorer Isaiah Thomas flew from Chicago to Tacoma, Wash., for his sister's funeral and is due back in time for the game.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens made it clear Friday night he was not requiring his best player to get back for the game. But Thomas, who played the entire first round just after his sister's passing, is expected back.
"His plan is to come back today," Stevens told reporters at Saturday's practice. "But like I said last night, if it becomes too much and he needs to stay, whatever he needs."
On Friday, Stevens said, "Tomorrow's a lot more important than Sunday."
Team president Danny Ainge and assistant coach Jerome Allen accompanied Thomas to the Pacific Northwest.
"If we would have played Tuesday, I was gone, I was going," Stevens said. "With this turnaround, Danny went, Jerome Allen went out there. We all send our best. It's hard to think about how he feels right now."
Thomas' teammate, Avery Bradley, who also grew up in Tacoma, said members of his family would represent him at the funeral.
Thomas averaged 27.8 points per game against the Wizards and their talented backcourt this season.
On the other side, John Wall averaged 17.8 points and 8.3 rebounds but shot just 37.3 percent from the floor and 15.4 percent on 3-pointers against Boston. Beal scored 22 per game while shooting 47.8 percent overall and from behind the arc. Backup Kelly Oubre Jr. has done a good job defending Thomas this season.
Washington's Otto Porter Jr. played well against Boston, averaging 17 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and notching 34/14 while hitting 14 of 19 shots in one win. He has helped the Wizards control the boards against the Celtics.
Wall and Beal, who could be the most talented guard tandem in the league, combined for 73 points in the elimination win Friday night.
Wall, who averaged 29.5 points and 10.3 assists in the series against Atlanta, scored 19 fourth-quarter points and had a huge block as the Wizards blew 19 of a 22-point lead before Wall made sure they didn't blow it and force Game 7.
"We've been in this situation before, but we probably didn't have the confidence to close like we did late in the game," Wall said. "Now we do."
The Wizards will have to do it without Ian Mahinmi for at least Game 1. He remains out with a calf injury after missing the entire first round.
|Trail Blazers||vs.||Warriors||3:00 (EDT)|
|Jazz||vs.||Clippers||3:30 (EDT) Preview|
Clippers, Jazz prepare for Game 7 in L.A.
Saturday, April 29 at 9:13 PM (EDT)
LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul was adamant the sun would not set on Paul Pierce's NBA run in Salt Lake City on Friday night.
"I looked over at 'Truth' during one of (those) timeouts and I said 'You're not ending your career in Utah,' " said Paul, referring to Pierce's popular nickname. "We told him that. We just said we want to keep this thing going for him. Paul was big tonight. Like the 3 he hit over there on the wing, and stuff like that. Just his energy and his voice in those different timeouts I think was huge for us."
With a crucial 98-93 victory over the Utah Jazz in Game 6, the Clippers will attempt to extend the career of the 39-year-old Pierce, who is retiring at season's end, and capture the series Sunday in Game 7 at Staples Center.
The winner advances to the second round to meet the Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven affair beginning Tuesday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
Paul, whose two late free throws sealed the win against the Jazz, led the charge by scoring 29 points, dishing eight assists and allowing the Clippers to avoid elimination in the opening round for the second straight season. The Portland Trail Blazers bounced them last season in six games, aided by injuries to Paul and Blake Griffin.
And as Paul loathes to hear, the point guard has never guided a team past the second round.
"This is what we talked about before (Game 6)," said Paul, who has become the Clippers' main force offensively with Griffin out of the playoffs again, this time with an injury to his big toe. "Doc (Rivers) said to go out there and give yourself a chance. We knew we couldn't win both games (Friday), and we wanted to give ourselves a chance."
Utah will have another opportunity to end Pierce's career on Sunday despite missing a chance on its home court. After the Jazz won Game 5 on Tuesday at Staples, All-Star forward Gordon Hayward made it clear he didn't want to return for a Game 7.
Hayward, though, is humming a different tune now.
"We've come a long way from where we were three years ago," Hayward told the Salt Lake Tribune. "If you had told me at the beginning of the year you'd be in a Game 7 against the Clippers in L.A., I'd have been like, 'Bring it on.' "
The Jazz will be forced to bring their best with center Rudy Gobert hobbling again. Gobert, who sustained a hyperextended left knee in Game 1 that kept him out of the lineup for two games, sprained his ankle in the second half of Game 6 and was forced to the bench because of it during critical stretches.
Gobert said the ankle wouldn't hinder him Sunday.
"I sprained it on somebody's foot," said Gobert, who finished with 15 points, nine boards and three blocks, according to the Tribune. "I tried to run through it, but that didn't work out. I've had a lot of sprained ankles before. I will be good."
|Saturday, April 29, 2017|
|National Basketball Assoc.|
|Sunday, April 30, 2017|
|Major League Baseball|
|Cubs||vs.||Red Sox||8:08 (EDT) Preview|
Cubs, Red Sox set for marquee rubber match
Saturday, April 29 at 9:21 PM (EDT)
BOSTON -- It's safe to say that this weekend's Chicago Cubs-Boston Red Sox series is living up to the hype.
After tight-roping out a dramatic 5-4 win in Friday's series opener, Boston dropped the middle game of the set to Chicago on Saturday after the Cubs rallied for a 7-4 victory.
Now the Cubs and Red Sox are ready to settle the score in front of a national audience on Sunday night at Fenway Park.
"It's two really good teams playing the game properly and hard, and now it's 1-1," Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. "It's (a) go for the rubber match (Sunday)."
Chicago (13-10) hopes to get some better pitching after Jake Arrieta allowed four first-inning runs and five total on Friday and ex-Red Sox John Lackey gave up four on Saturday.
Maddon turns to right-hander Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.50 ERA) on Sunday. Hendricks has never faced the Red Sox or pitched at Fenway, but is 2-3 with a 3.94 ERA in nine interleague starts.
"I love those old ballparks," Hendricks, who pitched at Dartmouth College in nearby Hanover, N.H., told the Chicago Tribune. "It's going to be very cool to pitch there."
Hendricks is coming off a solid outing last Tuesday in Pittsburgh, holding the Pirates scoreless with six strikeouts over six innings en route to a 1-0 Cubs victory.
It was the first quality start of the year for Hendricks.
Only two current Red Sox batters have ever faced Hendricks, with Hanley Ramirez going 1-for-3 with an RBI and Josh Rutledge going hitless in four at-bats.
Boston (12-11) counters with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12 ERA), who like Hendricks has never faced Sunday's opponent. Rodriguez is 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA in four interleague outings.
Rodriguez turned in his best start of the season last Sunday in Baltimore, allowing just one hit over six innings with seven strikeouts in an eventual 6-2 Boston victory.
"I think with each outing he's gained a little momentum," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "And when I say that, there's been times where he's shown flashes of dominance, and that's getting longer with each outing he's had.
However, the young hurler permitted a career worst-tying five walks against the Baltimore Orioles. Rodriguez has walked a team-worst 12 batters through four games this season.
"The walk totals are more than we would have thought," Farrell said. "They've been probably a little bit too frequent for a guy who's typically been a good strike thrower."
Ben Zobrist is the only Cubs batter who has seen Rodriguez in regular-season game action before Sunday, going 0-for-3.
Fans with tickets to Sunday's game will also be treated to a special photo-op.
Both "curse-breaking" World Series trophies will be on display -- Boston's from 2004 and Chicago's from last year -- in the Gate K/B concourse after the gates open at 6:35 p.m. ET.
Fans will be allowed to take pictures with both trophies. The teams are asking for a $20 suggested donation to benefit the Red Sox Foundation and Cubs Charities.
|Orioles||vs.||Yankees||1:05 (EDT) Preview|
Surging Yankees seeking sweep of Orioles
Saturday, April 29 at 6:42 PM (EDT)
NEW YORK -- A year ago, an awful April doomed the New York Yankees and forced them to spend the rest of the year attempting to gain ground in an unsuccessful playoff pursuit.
This year, a stellar opening month is helping the Yankees immensely.
New York looks to cap a strong April by a completing a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
After Aaron Judge hit his 10th home run, Brett Gardner homered twice and Austin Romine drove in career-high five RBIs in Saturday's 12-4 win, the Yankees are 14-3 in their last 17 games following a 1-4 start.
"I feel like we've gotten off to a great start to the season, but it's up to us to keep it going," Gardner said.
Judge has totaled 10 home runs, 22 runs scored and 11 walks to go along with a .301 average and .393 on-base percentage. His numbers are part of the reason for New York's best 22-game start since also going 15-7 in the first 22 games of the 2010 season.
"You think about where we were a year ago and we were really struggling," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And you think about where we were the first five games and we were really struggling.
"It's good to see that we're playing a lot better and we need to continue to do that. These are important games."
It's also a stark reversal of last season when the Yankees stumbled to an 8-14 start through the end of April. New York ultimately wound up starting 8-17 and did not get its 16th win until beating the Chicago White Sox on May 15.
The Yankees have 15 wins before May for the first time since 2013 and 10th time since 1988. The only three times in that span that New York reached 16 wins by the end of April were 2013, 2003 and 1998.
The Orioles have been outscored 22-4 since the top of the seventh inning Friday, when they held an 11-4 lead. Baltimore clinched its first series loss Saturday and is on its second losing streak of the season.
Despite allowing eight home runs and 26 runs in the first two games, the Orioles (14-8) matched their best start since 2006 (also 14-8 in 2012).
However, the rough showings by their bullpen Friday and starter Ubaldo Jimenez on Saturday raised the team ERA to 4.24. It also means that Baltimore will make at least one move to add another arm to its bullpen, which entered the series as the fifth-best in the majors.
"We weren't able to put anything together today," Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said. "Pitchers had a rough time, hitters had a rough time. But the thing about it is our pitchers have kept us in the game for the most part this entire month. They've really been the main reason why we're in the spot we are, so we're not going to hit the panic button or try to reinvent the wheel with these guys.
Rookie Jordan Montgomery (1-1, 3.78) will make his fourth start and do so on six days of rest. A week ago in Pittsburgh, he allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings of a 2-1 loss.
Montgomery will be making his third home start. He picked up a no-decision in his major league debut against Tampa Bay on April 12 and recorded his first win with six-plus effective innings against the Chicago White Sox on April 17.
Wade Miley (1-1, 2.08 ERA) will make his second start against the Yankees this season. He took a no-decision on April 9 in Baltimore, allowing one hit but tying a career-high with seven walks in five innings of an eventual 7-3 Yankees' win.
The left-hander has been inconsistent with the strike zone through four starts. After facing the Yankees, he issued one walk in his next 14 innings in starts against the Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds but permitted six free passes in a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
Miley is facing the Yankees for the fourth time since joining the Orioles in a trade from the Seattle Mariners. In eight lifetime starts against New York, he is 0-3 with a 4.96 ERA and it includes a no-decision in a 19-inning win for the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on April 10, 2015.
|Rays||vs.||Blue Jays||1:07 (EDT) Preview|
Blue Jays look for first series win vs. Rays
Saturday, April 29 at 8:29 PM (EDT)
TORONT0 -- The Toronto Blue Jays have a chance to win a series for the first time this season Sunday when they play the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays' 4-1 victory over the Rays on Saturday sets up a rubber match in the three-game set on Sunday.
Rays manager Kevin Cash referred to the game Saturday as a "quiet day at the plate" for his team, especially after bashing three home runs in the eighth inning and another in the ninth in a 7-4 comeback win Friday.
Probably more important for the Blue Jays on Sunday will be the return of Aaron Sanchez, who has not pitched since April 14 because of a blister on the middle finger of his right hand.
The Rays (12-13) will go with Chris Archer.
Tampa Bay is 4-2 against Toronto this season.
"They had the No. 1 fans in the American League last year, as far as attendance-wise," Archer said on Saturday. "So it's always a good atmosphere here, it's always a good club. So I'm looking forward to going out there and facing them."
The 7-17 Blue Jays have not given their fans much of a chance to make noise this season, but the return of Sanchez should provide some cheer for them.
The 24-year-old, who was 15-2 last season and led the American League with a 3.00 earned-run average, had part of the nail removed from the blistered finger April 18.
He had a side session Friday and declared himself ready to start Sunday.
"Everything was good," Sanchez said. "Mechanics were good, the ball came out easy. No pain around the finger. No pain around any of the nail. So, it's back to hopefully the schedule as planned."
In two starts this season, he is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA.
"We're certainly going to be cautious with him," Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said. "He hasn't been in a game in a little bit, obviously, a number of days. We'll watch him closely, monitor him and we'll make a decision when the time comes during the course of the game. We don't expect him to throw 110 pitches."
Sanchez and Archer have opposed each other already this season -- on April 8, at Tropicana Field when both pitched well but did not factor in the decision, a 3-2 Rays victory in 11 innings.
Sanchez allowed four hits, three walks and one run and had six strikeouts in seven innings in that start. He is 1-1 with a 1.27 ERA in 12 career games (four starts) against the Rays. He has held Tampa Bay to 21 hits over 35 1/3 innings and has 32 strikeouts.
Archer allowed three home runs over a span of five batters in the sixth and seventh innings Monday against the Baltimore Orioles, a 6-3 loss. Until then, he had not allowed a home run in his first 30 1/3 innings of the season.
He allowed five hits, three walks and two runs with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings April 8 against Toronto.
He is 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 20 career starts against the Blue Jays. He is 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in nine starts at the Rogers Centre. He has allowed two or fewer runs against the Blue Jays in six straight starts and in 11 of his past 12 against them.
Archer leads the majors with 127 starts since June 1, 2013.
The Rays likely will be without right fielder Steven Souza Jr. Sunday after he was hit on the hand by right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning Saturday.
X-rays were negative and the injury has been diagnosed as a contusion of the left hand. He is to be further evaluated and is being listed as day-to-day. He said that he would know more about his playing status Sunday morning.
|Mariners||vs.||Indians||1:10 (EDT) Preview|
Mariners wrap up 10-game trek at Indians
Saturday, April 29 at 9:34 PM (EDT)
CLEVELAND -- After a bizarre game on Saturday, in which Cleveland fell behind by three runs in the top of the first inning and scored four runs in the bottom of the first for a 4-3 victory, the Indians and Seattle Mariners will conclude their series Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Sunday's game will be the finale of a 10-game, 11-day, three-city road trip for the Mariners, who continue to be plagued by a flurry of injuries. On Saturday, Seattle placed right-hander Evan Scribner on the disabled list with a strained flexor, bringing the number of Mariners currently on the disabled list to seven.
Seattle is 4-5 on the trip, winning two of three games in Detroit before coming to Cleveland where they have split the first two games with the Indians.
"We get a chance to win another series tomorrow," said Mariners manager Scott Servais following the loss Saturday. "That's our goal, to keep winning series."
Seattle did get designated hitter Nelson Cruz back in its lineup Saturday. Cruz, who missed Friday's game with a tight hamstring, homered in the first inning, giving the Mariners two of their three runs and one of their three hits in the game.
Seattle will send right-hander Chase De Jong (0-1, 5.79) to the mound Sunday. It will be De Jong's third major league appearance and his first career start. De Jong will be the second Mariners pitcher in three days to be facing the Indians for the first time in his career. Ariel Miranda beat Cleveland 3-1 Friday night.
Josh Tomlin (1-3, 9.33) will start for the Indians. He did not get a decision in his one start against the Mariners last year, giving up two runs and nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks over 6 1/3 innings.
In six career starts against Seattle, Tomlin is 4-1 with a 3.32 ERA. He has pitched 40 2/3 innings, striking out 37 with just five walks in those six starts. Tomlin, who led the American League last year in fewest walks per nine innings (1.0), has allowed two or fewer walks in 35 consecutive starts.
Tomlin, however, is off to a shaky start this season. His only win was an 11-4 victory over Minnesota on April 18, in which he pitched six innings and gave up three runs. In his other three starts, against Arizona, the White Sox and Houston, Tomlin has an 11.66 ERA.
The Indians' offense continues to be led by third baseman Jose Ramirez and shortstop Francisco Lindor, who are hitting .333 and .303, respectively. Ramirez has been hot since the start of the season.
He had a big two-run double in the first inning of Saturday's game. Ramirez has 21 RBIs, which ranks among the league leaders. That's the most RBIs through Cleveland's first 23 games of a season since Juan Gonzalez had 26 in 2001.
"He's just a good hitter," said Indians manager Terry Francona of Ramirez. "When he first came up, a lot of people thought he was just a utility player, but he's a middle-of-the-order bat."
To replace Scribner on the roster, the Mariners recalled outfielder Boog Powell from Triple-A Tacoma, where he was hitting .261 with no home runs and four RBI in 46 at bats.
|Pirates||vs.||Marlins||1:10 (EDT) Preview|
Marlins host Pirates in series finale
Sunday, April 30 at 12:04 AM (EDT)
MIAMI -- The finale of this weekend's Pittsburgh Pirates-Miami Marlins series won't offer a pitching matchup worthy of a marquee.
But perhaps the Pirates' vaunted rookie class of 2017 can spice things up before these teams part ways.
The Pirates start right-hander Chad Kuhl, a 24-year-old who is 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA in his two-year major league career. He is 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA this season.
The Marlins start right-hander Tom Koehler, a 30-year-old who is very reliable in his mediocrity, posting a career record of 36-49 with a 4.19 ERA. He is 1-1 this season with a 5.14 ERA and has averaged 10 wins in each of his past three years.
Kuhl didn't make it through the second inning in his most recent start, allowing eight hits, four walks and nine runs in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.
"I wasn't really good today," Kuhl told the media in a bit of an understatement. "I tried my best to extend the outing as long as possible."
Koehler, in contrast to Kuhl, won his most recent start, pitching six innings and allowing three runs against the host San Diego Padres.
"He was able to keep battling, which is what he does," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Koehler. "It didn't look like he had his good stuff (against San Diego). He missed some spots with his location. But he fought hard."
The Pirates, who ranked 27th in the majors in runs scored and 28th in homers entering Saturday, can certainly use a boost. Miami ranked a bit below average offensively: 18th in runs scored and 16th in homers.
Defensively, the Pirates are 26th in the majors in most errors committed while Miami is second in that category.
Pittsburgh has the edge with its pitching staff, ranking 10th with a 3.90 ERA. Miami is 23rd with a 4.34 ERA. Pittsburgh is tied for third in the majors in the number of quality starts. Meanwhile, there is only one team in the majors, the Tampa Bay Rays, who have fewer quality starts than the seven produced by Miami.
Four Pirates rookie hitters are making an impact, including starting first baseman Josh Bell, a switch hitter with power.
Bell, drafted in the second round out of a Texas high school in 2011, made his big-league debut last year, producing a .775 OPS. Now, the job at first base is his. He is below average defensively, but his bat is why he's in the majors.
But the Pirates rookie class is more than just Bell.
Because of the 80-game suspension given to 2016 All-Star and Gold Glove winner Starling Marte -- who is ineligible to play until July 17 -- the Pirates are starting rookie Jose Osuna in right.
In addition, rookie second baseman Gift Ngoepe made his first big-league start Friday, going 3-for-3.
And in Friday's game, Ngoepe and the Pirates' fourth rookie hitter, Alen Hanson, hit back-to-back triples.
"Gift and Alen give us a lot of speed," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Ngoepe and Osuna have made the longest journeys to the majors among these four Pirates.
The 27-year-old Ngoepe this week became the first native of an African nation to make the majors after originally signing in 2008. Osuna, a native of Venezuela, is only 25, but signed his first pro contract eight years ago in 2009.
Osuna was a pitcher initially, but showed a power bat and is now a first baseman/right fielder with a strong arm.
Hanson, a native of the Dominican Republic who was one of baseball's top-100 prospects as recently as 2014, has seen his stock as a middle infielder drop somewhat since then. He's a switch-hitter with excellent speed.
|White Sox||vs.||Tigers||1:10 (EDT) Preview|
Zimmermann, Tigers look to upend red-hot White Sox
Saturday, April 29 at 6:24 PM (EDT)
DETROIT -- Jordan Zimmermann enjoyed a sparkling first month in his first season with the Detroit Tigers.
Zimmermann's second April with the club hasn't gone as well, but getting through it in good health gives him reason for optimism.
The veteran right-hander won his first five starts in 2016 after being signed to a five-year, $110 million contract as a free agent. That earned him the American League Pitcher of the Month award but the remainder of his season was marred by groin and neck injuries. He finished the season with a 9-7 record and 4.87 ERA.
Zimmermann has been able to take the mound every fifth day this month but his pitches haven't missed a lot of bats. He's given up five runs in each of his last three starts, though good run support has helped him to a 2-1 record (although with a 6.35 ERA) entering his start against the visiting Chicago White Sox (13-9) on Sunday afternoon.
"Obviously, it's a little more difficult right now. It's been so long since I've been healthy and felt good that it's hard to remember what it felt like to be healthy and what's normal," Zimmermann said on Saturday. "Just going out there and getting more and more innings under my belt, it's just going to get better and better. Obviously, I had a big layoff, so just trying to get back in a groove and get the feel for things. I'm giving up a lot of runs but I'm also going six innings for the most part."
Zimmerman lasted six innings and allowed three home runs in his last start on Tuesday against Seattle, but the Tigers (11-12) scored a season-high in runs and rolled to a 19-9 win. He has a 3-1 record and 4.45 ERA in five career outings against the White Sox.
"The main thing is staying healthy and tweaking a few things along the way to get to a place where I feel comfortable every pitch with the same motion, the same everything," he said. "Basically repeating everything. I think that's what I'm a little off with right now. I feel good one pitch and the next pitch doesn't come out the way I'd like it to. So it's all about repetition and getting the same mechanics, and that will come in time."
Unlike Zimmermann, White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez has been lights out this season. He's 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA, including a dominant performance against Kansas City on Monday. He held the Royals to one unearned run on two hits over eight innings.
"He's just attacking the zone," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "His first pitch strikes have gone up over the last two or three starts. He's been commanding his secondary pitches very well. He's been the guy that's been able to use both sides of the plate very effectively and he's keeping the ball down."
Gonzalez is building off a strong finish to last season. He has a 2.54 ERA over his last 17 starts. He hasn't had much success against the Tigers over the years, posting a 2-4 record and 7.43 ERA in 10 career appearances.
The White Sox captured the first two contests of the three-game series to extend their winning streak to six games. They blew a two-run lead in the ninth on Saturday, then scored twice in the 10th with the aid of Melky Cabrera's leadoff homer to pull out a 6-4 victory.
"Whenever you give up a big inning to the other team, you want to jump back in the dugout and get it going again," closer David Robertson said. "Melky did a great job and the whole offense had some great at-bats. It was a big, strong, win for us."
|Mets||vs.||Nationals||1:35 (EDT) Preview|
Syndergaard aims to defeat Eaton-less Nationals
Saturday, April 29 at 8:47 PM (EDT)
WASHINGTON -- The weekend showdown in the National League East between the New York Mets and host Washington Nationals, who have combined for the past three division titles, has become one of attrition.
Mets slugging outfielder Yoneis Cespedes went on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a hamstring injury after he was hurt running out a hit on Thursday in Atlanta against the Braves.
On Friday night, Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton suffered a torn ACL while beating out an infield single in the ninth in a 7-5 loss to the Mets and will miss the rest of the season.
Eaton was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with what the team termed a left knee strain as they awaited results of his MRI exam. The severity became known later Saturday night.
The 28-year-old Eaton was hurt after beating out an infield single, when he stepped awkwardly on the bag and collapsed to the ground, grabbing at his left leg.
Eaton was unable to put any weight on his leg and had to be carried off the field by team trainers.
The series finale on Sunday will match two pitchers who have had their own health scares in the past year.
Right-hander Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73 ERA) of New York will face Joe Ross (1-0, 6.17) of the Nationals.
The Mets will go for the three-game sweep after they won 5-3 on Saturday, as leadoff man Michael Conforto belted two homers and had three hits.
"I think this is huge for us," New York manager Terry Collins said after Saturday's win. "Tomorrow is going to turn into a big day for us."
Syndergaard was scratched from his start on Thursday in Atlanta with a "tired arm," according to Collins. But he was put through a series of tests on Friday at Nationals Park and was deemed ready to start on Sunday.
"I'm pretty in tune with my body," Syndergaard told MLB.com, adding that he refused to undergo an MRI exam on his arm. "I knew there was nothing happening in there."
Ross, on the disabled list for 66 games last season with right shoulder inflammation, is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three career games (all starts) against the Mets.
Syndergaard is 2-3 with a 2.77 ERA in eight career starts against Washington. He has fanned 57 batters and walked 14 in 48 2/3 innings.
His last win against the Nationals came on May 17, 2016, when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 2-0 victory.
The Nationals called up rookie outfielder Rafael Bautista from Triple-A Syracuse to take the roster spot of Eaton. Michael A. Taylor started in center field on Saturday for the Nationals and had three hits.
Bautista was 2-for-5 for Syracuse on Friday at Norfolk and was hitting .291 with the Chiefs. He was not needed Saturday.
"In spring training I know he can hit that fastball. He's an outstanding outfielder," Washington manager Dusty Baker said of Bautista. "Runs exceptionally well. Has a good throwing arm and he pays attention, that's what I like most about him, that he pays attention."
|Athletics||vs.||Astros||2:10 (EDT) Preview|
Gurriel gives Astros flexibility in series with A's
Sunday, April 30 at 12:16 AM (EDT)
HOUSTON -- One night after his fifth multi-hit performance in his last seven starts, Yuli Gurriel found himself elevated in the lineup.
Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch made a point to note that Gurriel wasn't batting sixth Saturday night because of his torrid hitting. He made the change in the middle game of a three-game set with the Oakland Athletics that concludes Sunday because Gurriel's bat fit that slot in this lineup.
Saturday night marked the sixth time this season that Gurriel batted sixth, his highest spot in the order in 2017. He has mostly hit sixth, seventh or eighth, batting ninth just once.
Last season, his first with the Astros (15-9) after his defection from Cuba, Gurriel had 50 plate appearances in the two-hole, 12 batting cleanup, and 44 hitting fifth.
"Where I place him in the order is not indicative of my confidence, it's more of how he fits in our lineup with the rest of our guys," Hinch said. "It doesn't matter where he hits. He's comfortable hitting at the bottom, he's comfortable hitting in the six- or seven-hole.
"For a while I didn't want to move him; I didn't want to mess him up. But as I've moved him up, he's continued to hit so he can hit anywhere."
Gurriel went 1-for-4 in the Astros' 2-1 loss to the A's (11-13).
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 0.84 ERA) will start the series finale for Houston on Sunday looking to win the series and post his 11th consecutive quality start against Oakland.
Keuchel limited Oakland to one run, four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings in a 7-2 win on April 14 at Oakland Coliseum.
The Athletics will counter with right-hander Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.09 ERA), who is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three career starts against the Astros.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin continues to tweak his injury-ravaged lineup, inserting Ryan LaMarre in center field and Chad Pinder at shortstop to get both some plate appearances.
The Athletics have seven players on the disabled list, including center fielder Rajai Davis and shortstop Marcus Semien among three position players. Davis is close to returning from a hamstring injury.
"Jaff Decker has done a nice job for us, but Raj was a guy that we targeted to get the brunt of the time in center field," Melvin said. "Certainly the speed dynamic with he and Marcus out hurt us too. They're basically our only guys that give us some stolen base and speed threats so we're a little bit one-dimensional with those guys out of the lineup."
With Davis and right-hander Sonny Gray set to return soon, the Athletics have reinforcements coming. But until Oakland is made whole again, Melvin will make the best of what he has available.
"The trap is you don't want to look forward to that and need that," Melvin said. "You still have to play every single day, so it's more look for someone to get an opportunity and do well.
"We'll get these guys back and it will be a little bit of a shot in the arm when we do, but we can't look too far forward in trying to get these guys back."
|Braves||vs.||Brewers||2:10 (EDT) Preview|
Brewers try to cool off Braves' hot bats
Sunday, April 30 at 12:36 AM (EDT)
MILWAUKEE -- A week ago, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker insisted that his team was close to snapping out of an early-season offensive funk.
The Braves have made him look clairvoyant.
Averaging four runs a game through their first 20 contests this season, the Braves have put 21 on the board in their last two games at Milwaukee, where they will go for a series sweep Sunday afternoon against the Brewers at Miller Park.
"We knew that's what we were capable off," Snitker said Saturday after an 11-3 romp over the Brewers, powered by three home runs from Matt Kemp. "It's just one of those things where you have to grind away because you know it's in there. We get stretched out, play some consistent games. These guys get everyday at-bats and they start doing what they're capable of doing."
Snitker was especially pleased to see rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson snap out of his shell Saturday with a two-hit night that included his second home run of the season. Swanson had been off to a rough start this season, but has been showing signs of progress.
"It feels great, just where I'm at right now," Swanson said. "It is just kind of one of those things where you've been working toward something and finally you start to feel like it is paying off, it is a cool feeling.
"I'm just happy I can be surrounded by guys that keep you level-headed whether things are going great or they are not going well at all. That's what I am surrounded with here. I thank them as much as I can because they are so awesome and so much fun to be around."
Mike Foltynewicz takes the mound behind that Braves offensive group, looking for his first victory of the season.
He has made three career appearances against the Brewers, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He faced them once last season and did not take a decision after allowing a run on four hits while striking out seven.
The Braves will not have Brandon Phillips in the starting lineup Sunday. He returned to action Saturday after missing two games with a sore groin and felt fine, but Snitker said he wanted to avoid the quick turnaround and would limit Phillips to pinch-hitting duties in the series finale.
"That was kind of the plan," Snitker said. "I just don't like doing those guys coming back from those things on short days, when they don't get a full day. He'll be able to pinch-hit. But the plan was to play him after they loosened him all up (Saturday). Hopefully we can stay away from him (Sunday), then a night game on Monday, it'll be alike a day and a half almost off."
Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza will be tasked with slowing down the Braves' suddenly resurgent offense.
He is coming off his first start of the 2017 season, when he received no decision after allowing four runs -- one earned -- on four hits over four innings Monday against the Reds. Garza's start to the year was delayed by a groin strain suffered in his final Cactus League start.
He has made seven career starts against the Braves, going 1-4 with a 4.65 ERA.
Jimmy Nelson, the Brewers' starter on Saturday, had trouble controlling the Braves' attack.
"They put some good swings on some good pitches," Nelson said. "There were probably a couple of pitches where I could have had a different pitch selection. We might have had a different result."
|Reds||vs.||Cardinals||2:15 (EDT) Preview|
Reds, Cardinals hope for break in rain
Saturday, April 29 at 6:29 PM (EDT)
ST. LOUIS -- Eugenio Suarez and the Cincinnati Reds found out the hard way Friday night that you never take anything for granted on the bases against St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
After Devin Mesoraco drew a sixth-inning walk that filled the bases, Suarez trotted to third and then stopped about a step past third, believing time was about to be called and the Cardinals were about to make a pitching change.
Instead, Molina whipped a quick throw to third and Jedd Gyorko slapped a tag on Suarez for a stunning third out that erased a burgeoning two-out rally, helping St. Louis to a 7-5 win that put it above .500 for the first time since Opening Night.
"You've got to pay attention in the game," a chagrined Suarez said afterward. "I wasn't paying attention. My mistake."
Suarez should get a chance to avenge that gaffe Sunday when Cincinnati tries to salvage a split of what's now a two-game weekend series against the Cardinals (12-11).
Saturday's game was postponed around 10:30 a.m. CT, moments after hail pelted Busch Stadium. As it turned out, the rain left shortly after that and left a dry window long enough for a game to have been played, although thunderstorms rolled through town all night.
No makeup date was announced. The teams play one more series in St. Louis on Sept. 12-14 and have a mutual off-day on Sept. 11, one that isn't in violation of the rule that prohibits teams from playing more than 20 straight days.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny knew the season's third postponement was a possibility from the moment he heard an ominous weekend forecast calling for up to five inches of rain in St. Louis, but is hoping the weather will offer a break so that a second straight rainout doesn't occur.
"I imagine we'll sit here until the sun comes up the next day," Matheny said to mlb.com. "We have to play."
The pitching matchup remains the same as Saturday, with the Reds (10-13) matching Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 6.86 ERA) against Mike Leake (3-1, 1.32).
Arroyo has won his last two starts, downing the Chicago Cubs 7-5 on April 23 in his best outing of the year, allowing just three hits and two runs in six walk-free innings while fanning seven. Arroyo has been pounded most of his career against the Cardinals, though, going 8-18 with a 4.84 ERA in 40 outings.
That includes a 10-4 loss on April 8 in which he ceded six hits and six runs in four innings, issuing three walks and whiffing three. Aledmys Diaz was hardest on Arroyo, belting a solo homer in the first inning and a three-run shot in the fourth.
Leake owns three straight wins, including a 6-4 decision on April 23 in Milwaukee that saw him allow three hits and two runs in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts. His only loss was a 2-0 verdict on April 7 to his former Cincinnati teammates, against whom he's 0-3 with a 5.64 ERA in five starts.
|Twins||vs.||Royals||2:15 (EDT) Preview|
Rain keeps Royals from trying to end skid vs. Twins
Saturday, April 29 at 6:09 PM (EDT)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals did not get a chance to snap their eight-game losing streak on Saturday night.
Their game against the Minnesota Twins was rained out at Kauffman Stadium. It started raining during the night and continued all day, with the forecast calling for several more hours of non-stop rain.
The game will be rescheduled as a split doubleheader on July 1. The first game is scheduled for a 1:15 p.m. CDT start. The makeup will begin at 7:35 p.m. The stadium will be cleared after the first game. The gates will reopen at 6 p.m. for the second game.
The Saturday probables -- Phil Hughes for the Twins and Jason Hammel for the Royals -- will be moved back a day and start Sunday.
That means the Royals will miss Twins ace Ervin Santana, who has been shifted from a Sunday start to Tuesday with an day off Monday.
Santana is 4-0 with a microscopic 0.77 ERA. He will be working on six days of rest when he starts against the Oakland Athletics at Target Field.
The Royals' offense will be happy not to see Santana. The Royals have made even ordinary pitchers look like Cy Young candidates this season.
Kansas City has only three innings this year when they have scored more than two runs.
Royals manager Ned Yost hopes the offensive "outburst" Friday -- four runs and eight hits -- will continue into Sunday. It was only the second time in the last 11 games the Royals have scored more than three runs.
"I thought we swung the bats much, much better (Friday)," Yost said. "Salvy (Perez) just misses a second home run. We hit probably four or five balls right on the nose right to their defenders, so that's encouraging.
"Hoz (Eric Hosmer) and (Brandon) Moss, too, had some really good at-bats, so things are looking up for us offensively."
They could not look down. The Royals are already at the bottom, hitting .205 with 58 runs in 22 games, 14 of them losses.
The Twins trailed 4-2 entering the eighth when they scored four runs. It was the first time in 11 games this season the Twins won when trailing after seven innings.
"I think in today's game, generally it's tough to come back," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Teams that do well protect leads late. It's challenging. You've just got to hang in there. We got a misplay and took advantage."
The misplay was Royals right fielder Jorge Bonifacio dropping Max Kepler's line drive in the four-run eighth.
Miguel Sano has been salsa hot for the Twins with seven hits in his last 11 at-bats, including a home run and two-run double to tie it in the eighth.
"He hung the pitch -- a cookie," Sano said of Joakim Soria's hanging curveball in the eighth.
It was Sano's third career game with at least four RBIs.
"Miggy was pretty locked in throughout the night," Molitor said.
Few Twins have seen much of Hammel, who pitched most of the last three years with the Chicago Cubs.
Joe Mauer has faced Hammel 15 times with five hits, including a home run and double. He has an .898 OPS against Hammel.
Juan Castro is 2-for-9 and Brian Dozier 2-for-8 with a home run off Hammel. Sano is 1-for-2 with a walk.
Hammel, a 34-year-old right-hander, is 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in his career against the Twins. Hammel got a no-decision in an April 6 start at Minnesota, allowing three runs, six hits and four walks in five innings. He threw 95 pitches, 55 for strikes.
Hughes is 7-5 with a 4.91 ERA in 13 starts and one relief appearance against the Royals.
Alex Gordon has a .303 average (10-for-33) with four RBIs against Hughes. Brandon Moss is batting .263 with a home run and four RBIs against Hughes.
|Angels||vs.||Rangers||3:05 (EDT) Preview|
Angels' Ramirez faces Rangers' Perez in series finale
Sunday, April 30 at 12:14 AM (EDT)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Los Angeles Angels right-hander JC Ramirez (2-2, 4.43 ERA) appears to have found his groove after three turns in the rotation for the Angels.
Texas left-hander Martin Perez (1-3, 3.81 ERA) is still looking to find his.
The two square off Sunday when the Angels and Rangers play the rubber game of their three-game series at Globe Life Park.
Ramirez started the season in the bullpen before getting his first start April 14. He allowed five earned runs in that start, but followed it up by allowing three in his next start. In his last outing against Oakland, Ramirez allowed just two hits in seven innings in a 2-1 win over Oakland. Ramirez struck out seven in that start and will have a hard time topping that start Sunday.
That doesn't mean Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia doesn't think it can't happen.
"He keeps progressing," Scioscia said. "The start before he got on board and finished strong. So I think what we're seeing from JC is hopefully the evolution of a guy that is getting comfortable with that role, getting comfortable in getting into the 90- to 100-pitch count. He really was impressive in that last game."
If his history against Texas is any indication, Ramirez could be in for another good start Sunday. In seven relief appearances against the Rangers Ramirez is 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA.
Perez has decent career numbers against the Angels, going 2-3 with a 3.23 ERA in nine appearances. But Perez hasn't been able to put together a really strong start yet this year for Texas. He allowed just three runs in six innings in his last start, but after four great innings to start the game he allowed three in the fifth as the Rangers lost to Minnesota 3-2.
Perez believes he is trying to do too much with every pitch. It's not a recipe for success for him.
"Sometimes as a pitcher you can throw every pitch 100 percent," Perez said. "Sometimes you have to back up and throw like a BP fastball. Let's see how good I am and I know that I'm good so that's what I need. Sometimes you go 110 pitches 100 percent and you can throw seven innings or eight. If you try less and you throw that pitch 100 percent when you need it it's going to be a difference."
Putting maximum effort into each pitch is one of the reasons Perez thinks he has only totaled 26 innings pitched in his five starts. If he dials things back a little, he thinks he'll be able to pitch deeper into games.
Texas manager Jeff Banister likes that line of thinking.
"Every time he pitches we talk about that," Banister said. "It's managing your effort in the pitch. It's not gas pedal. Gas pedal down is effort on every single pitch. Throw everything with maximum effort. That's what he's talking about. Maximum effort makes everything flatten out. There's not enough separation and you don't have as much control."
|Padres||vs.||Giants||4:05 (EDT) Preview|
Padres ride momentum into series finale with Giants
Sunday, April 30 at 2:38 AM (EDT)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Diego Padres looks to win their second road series of the season while the San Francisco Giants seek their second anywhere when the clubs duel in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday.
The Padres, who are the losingest road team in the majors at 5-12, rebounded from a 4-3 defeat Friday and a 3-1 deficit Saturday to even the series at a win apiece on the strength of an eight-run sixth inning.
The win was the Padres' second in 10 road games since they capped a 2-1 series win at Colorado on April 12.
Left-hander Clayton Richard (2-3) authored one of the Padres' five road wins in impressive fashion in the season-opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He shut out the Dodgers on five hits over eight innings in a 4-0 victory.
He has since allowed 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings in two road starts, but pitched a 6-4 win over the Giants in San Francisco last September despite giving up 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Richard is 6-6 with a 4.01 ERA in 18 career meetings (15 starts) against the Giants.
Hoping to continue a trend of alternating wins and losses on its homestand, San Francisco counters with left-hander Ty Blach.
The second-year Giant pitched well in his first start of the season Tuesday against the Dodgers, but had the unfortunate task of having been matched up with Clayton Kershaw.
Blach took the loss in a 2-1 defeat despite allowing only two runs and four hits in five innings.
The Giants went on to split their four-game series against the Dodgers, their fourth consecutive non-winning series since beating Arizona two of three at home April 10-12.
Blach will have to deal with Padres first baseman Wil Myers, who is coming off a three-hit game in which he crushed a three-run homer to highlight a 12-4 victory.
The season-high 12 runs were the most the Padres scored at AT&T Park.
The bayside ballpark also rarely sees a home run hit as far as Myers' traveled Saturday night.
"That's my best bullet," he proudly boasted of the blast, his sixth homer of the season. "When you belt one like that, you want to see where it ends up. I'm happy to say I got all of it."
The home run came off rarely used Giants long reliever Chris Stratton, who was making his second appearance in Blach's old role as long reliever.
The Padres also teed off on Giants right-hander Neil Ramirez, who like Stratton was called upon in a close game because San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy wanted to give some of his key relievers, including closer Mark Melancon, a break after a series of tense games.
"We were trying to give some guys the day off," Bochy explained. "It's tough when your two guys you look at to give you length, they both struggled."
|Phillies||vs.||Dodgers||4:10 (EDT) Preview|
Phillies RHP Pivetta makes major-league debut vs. Dodgers
Sunday, April 30 at 3:08 AM (EDT)
LOS ANGELES -- A childhood dream will become a reality Sunday for Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta.
Pivetta will make his major-league debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Pivetta will oppose Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-4, 4.64) in the series finale at Dodger Stadium.
Pivetta, who was acquired by the Phillies from the Washington Nationals in 2015 for former closer Jonathan Papelbon, was called up last week to replace injured starter Aaron Nola, who is on the disabled list with a strained lower back.
Pivetta was initially scheduled to make his debut last Wednesday against the Miami Marlins, but the game was postponed because of rain and his start was pushed back.
But that didn't dampen his enthusiasm.
"It's so surreal being here," Pivetta told MLB.com on Saturday, referring to the major leagues. "It's met my expectations and more."
Pivetta was 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The 24-year-old struck out 24 and walked two in 19 innings.
"I'm happy that I'm throwing a day game tomorrow because I'll be able to wake up and I'll be on the mound," Pivetta said, according to MLB.com. "There's not a lot of sitting around and waiting. Right now, it's nice. I'm calm and easy. But I'm sure when I get out there it will be a lot different. There's going to be a lot more emotions."
Pivetta becomes the fourth Phillies player to make his debut this season. He joins Mark Leiter Jr., who pitched in relief Friday, first baseman Brock Stassi and catcher Andrew Knapp, who both homered in Saturday's crushing 6-5 loss to the Dodgers.
Pivetta's start could help the Phillies temporarily forget an unforgettable loss to the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig, rookie Cody Bellinger and pinch hitter Justin Turner hit consecutive home runs to lead off the ninth inning off closer Hector Neris.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a walk-off single to clinch it for the Dodgers.
"I don't know where this is going to take us, but sometimes in a season you look back at certain nights and games in a season that you can point to that the team kind of sustains some traction or gains some traction or kind of turned things around and really picked it up," manager Dave Roberts said. "This might be that day. It was nice to see these guys rewarded."
Roberts would enjoy watching Ryu earn his first win. Ryu pitched well in his last start on April 24 in a 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. He gave up a run on five hits in six innings with three strikeouts and a walk.
Ryu hasn't faced the Phillies since April 22, 2014. He allowed two runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings of a 3-2 loss by Los Angeles.
In two career starts against Philadelphia, Ryu has a 2.77 ERA and failed to figure into a decision in either outing.
In 28 career starts at Dodger Stadium, Ryu has posted a 11-9 record with a 3.26 ERA.
|Rockies||vs.||Diamondbacks||4:10 (EDT) Preview|
Desmond expected to make Rockies' debut
Sunday, April 30 at 2:22 AM (EDT)
PHOENIX -- Ian Desmond is expected to make his Colorado debut when the Rockies visit the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday in the finale of their three-game series.
Colorado manager Bud Black all but said Desmond will be activated for the game Sunday, when the first-place Rockies (16-9) will face a left-hander in Patrick Corbin. Desmond has been out since suffering a fractured wrist in spring training, but has shown no ill effects while hitting in extended spring training games Friday and Saturday.
"He looked great," Black said with a twinkle in his eye. "His timing is great. He's getting closer. Closer than you think."
First baseman Mark Reynolds has had a strong start in lieu of Desmond, and the Rockies have now said Desmond will also play some outfield this season after signing him to a five-year, $70 million free agent deal this winter with the intent of playing him at first base.
Reynolds was 2-for-5 with his eighth homer and a game-tying two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning of the Rockies' 7-6 victory on Saturday. Reynolds has a slash line of .311/.370/.633 with 23 RBIs.
"He's been a rock in the middle of our order," Black said. He's driven in runs. He's driven in big runs."
Colorado is 8-0 in one-run games and has six comeback victories. Meanwhile, Arizona has lost two-run leads twice in its last four games.
Corbin is 5-2 with a 4.99 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) in his career against the Rockies. He beat them three times in 2013 and twice in 2015, missing the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Colorado ended that five-game winning streak last season, when they had one victory and had 12 runs in 13 1/3 innings against him.
Corbin brings a streak of four straight quality starts into Sunday's game, although a lack of support has limited him to a 2-2 record despite a 2.52 ERA in that span. He gave up two runs in a season-long seven innings in a 9-3 victory over San Diego in his most recent start Tuesday.
The Rockies' German Marquez makes his second start of the season Sunday after giving up nine hits and eight earned runs in four innings of a 15-12 loss to Washington at Coors Field on Tuesday.
"Pitching fundamentals got him a little bit," Black said. "He's got to get the fastball in good spots, because he's a fastball pitcher."
Marquez made the Opening Day roster but was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque when left-hander Chris Rusin was activated from the disabled list April 9. Marquez made one career appearance against Arizona, pitching two scoreless innings of relief at Chase Field.
|Saturday, April 29, 2017|
|Major League Baseball|
Reynolds helps Rockies rally past D-Backs
Sunday, April 30 at 1:37 AM (EDT)
PHOENIX -- Colorado has demonstrated a knack for winning close games, and the Rockies did it in twos Saturday.
Mark Reynolds tied the game with a two-run, two-out single in the ninth inning off Fernando Rodney, and two wild pitches later the Rockies scored the winning run in a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Saturday.
Colorado is 8-0 in one-run games and has six comeback victories after overcoming a 6-2 deficit.
"These type of wins leave a real good taste in our mouth," manager Bud Black said. "It's a long year and you never know if you're going to do these sorts of things. But when you do them, you are capable of that again. So that's a good thing."
Pinch hitter Pat Valaika singled to open the ninth off Fernando Rodney (1-2), DJ LeMahieu walked with one out and the runners moved up on Nolan Arenado's slow grounder to third. After reaching a 3-0 count, Carlos Gonzalez was intentionally to bring up Reynolds.
"I know in our discussions we talked about who to attack in different situations, and in that particular matchup we didn't want to let Carlos beat us," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "We were trying to take our chances in a clean count with Mark Reynolds."
Reynolds singled into the hole between third and shortstop before Rodney threw two wild pitches, the second of which scored Gonzalez from third with the go-ahead run.
"My ball found a hole, wild pitch and we won," Reynolds said in summary. "We never quit."
Rodney has given up eight hits and eight runs in his last 1 2/3 innings while failing in two straight save situations. He has six saves and a 12.60 ERA.
"Another tough loss. I felt good, but I didn't get what I wanted tonight," said Rodney, who gave up five runs in the ninth inning in a 9-5 loss to San Diego on Wednesday.
"Everything that happened tonight, that's part of the job. Closer is not an easy job. I have my confidence for next time. I don't get frustrated."
Trevor Story, Reynolds and pinch hitter Alexi Amarista homered for the Rockies (16-9), who have won two straight and lead the NL West.
Arizona's Jake Lamb hit a 481-foot homer and Brandon Drury and Jeff Mathis hit bases-empty homers for the Diamondbacks (15-11), who have lost three of four. Lamb's homer was the longest in the majors this season.
Greg Holland pitched around a leadoff single in the ninth inning for his major league-high 11th save.
Carlos Estevez (3-0) got the victory, one of four Rockies relievers who threw one scoreless inning behind starter Tyler Anderson, who gave up six runs in five innings.
Arizona starter Greinke gave up seven hits and three runs on bases-empty homers in six-plus innings. He struck out nine and walked two.
Diamondbacks' pitchers set a National League record with at least 11 strikeouts in six straight games. They struck out 13 on Saturday. Cleveland holds the major league record with eight such games in 2014.
Drury led off the second with his first homer and Mathis hit his first two batters later for a 2-0 lead off Anderson. Story's homer leading off the third inning made it 2-1.
Yasmany Tomas' two-run double made it 4-1 and Lamb's two-run homer in the fifth inning gave Arizona a 6-1 lead.
Reynolds led off the sixth inning with his eighth homer, making it 6-2.
NOTES: RHP Shelby Miller (elbow inflammation) said Saturday he will undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in the near future. He was removed from Sunday's start with forearm tightness and received opinions from specialists Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews earlier this week. ... Colorado 1B Ian Desmond (fractured hand) had two doubles in an extended spring training game Saturday and his return appears imminent. "He's getting closer," manager Bud Black said. "Closer than you think." Desmond also will be used in the outfield when he returns, Black said. ... Arizona 3B Jake Lamb returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game when he was sent home with an illness.
Eight-run inning propels Padres past Giants
Sunday, April 30 at 1:52 AM (EDT)
SAN FRANCISCO -- With his blast heading toward the giant Coke bottle atop the left-field bleachers at AT&T Park on Saturday night, San Diego Padres first baseman Wil Myers had to watch.
"That's my best bullet," the slugger proudly boasted after he crushed a three-run home run to cap an eight-run sixth inning that allowed the Padres to erase a deficit en route to a 12-4 triumph over the San Francisco Giants.
Allen Cordoba added a three-run homer of his own as part of a 14-hit attack that allowed the Padres to put up a season-best run total and even the three-game series after having lost the opener 4-3 on Friday night.
The Padres exploded against the San Francisco bullpen after Giants starter Matt Cain had pitched five innings of one-run ball and left with a 3-1 lead.
A run-scoring double by Ryan Schimpf and an RBI single by Austin Hedges drew the Padres even against Giants right-hander Chris Stratton (0-1).
After Stratton walked Erick Aybar to load the bases, he was replaced by right-hander Neil Ramirez, who proceeded to walk pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez to force in the tie-breaking run.
"That's the key to the inning," Padres manager Andy Green said of Sanchez's walk, which came on a full count and was just his third of the season. "I don't think the guys realize how one at-bat affects the next. You get a walk, it puts pressure on the pitcher, forces him to come into the zone."
Manuel Margot's single and Cory Spangenberg's fielder's choice grounder produced two more runs before Myers unleashed a rocket that went two-thirds of the way up the bleachers, increasing the San Diego lead to 9-3.
"When you belt one like that, you want to see where it ends up," Myers said of his sixth homer of the season, which was conservatively measured at 433 feet. "I'm happy to say I got all of it."
Cordoba's home run, his second, also came against Ramirez and made it a 12-4 game an inning later.
"We were trying to give some guys the day off," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of using Stratton and Ramirez in a close game. "It's tough when your two guys you look at to give you length, they both struggled."
Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-3), lifted for a pinch hitter during the big sixth inning, got the win. He allowed three runs and five hits in his five innings.
Myers had three hits and Schimpf scored three runs for the Padres, who had lost six of their previous seven games overall and eight of their last nine on the road.
Schimpf, Hedges, Aybar, Margot and Yangervis Solarte had two hits apiece in San Diego's second win in six games on their current trip.
"That's the first time this year," Myers said of the offensive explosion, which resulted in four more runs than the Padres had scored in any previous game. "It would be good to build off that."
Conor Gillaspie had a double, single and two runs scored, and Eduardo Nunez collected a pair of hits for the Giants, who haven't won consecutive games since April 9-10.
Cain pitched around six hits before leaving for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning, having allowed just one run. He struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.
Seeking a fourth straight win, he did not get a decision.
It was Cain's fourth consecutive start allowing no more than one run in no fewer than five innings.
"It's been awhile," the veteran said of recapturing the form from earlier in his career. "It feels good. It definitely feels good. But the biggest thing for me is not being complacent with it."
NOTES: The Padres had never scored as many as 12 runs in a game at AT&T Park. They had a 15-run game at Candlestick Park in 1995. ... The Padres had totaled just 10 runs in the sixth inning of their first 25 games. ... San Diego's previous high for runs in an inning this season had been five in the ninth in an 8-5 win Wednesday at Arizona. ... The Giants have given up five or more runs in an inning four times this season. ... San Francisco's 12 runs allowed equaled a season high. ... The St. Louis Cardinals announced Friday that Padres bench coach Mark McGwire will be inducted into the franchise's Hall of Fame. The ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 26 and will also honor C Tim McCarver and 3B/OF Pepper Martin. ... Before the game, the Giants reinstated SS Brandon Crawford from the bereavement list and immediately placed him on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday.
Dodgers stun Phillies with four in ninth
Sunday, April 30 at 2:19 AM (EDT)
LOS ANGELES -- In almost a half-century of baseball, 65-year-old Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin couldn't recall a more devastating defeat.
"It's one of the worst losses I've ever been associated with, the way we lost," Mackanin said. "The way they tied it was tough to take. A real letdown tonight."
Adrian Gonzalez hit a walk-off single after Los Angeles homered three straight times to open the ninth inning, lifting the Dodgers to a 6-5 victory over the Phillies on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
Phillies closer Hector Neris (0-1) entered the ninth with his club leading 5-2 before serving up consecutive home runs to Yasiel Puig and rookie Cody Bellinger, who hit the second of his first two major league homers.
Puig jumped on a fastball for his fifth home run of the season, while Bellinger turned on a heater and smacked his solo shot off the right-field foul pole.
Justin Turner followed as a pinch-hitter and delivered his first homer of the season, hitting an 0-1 fastball off Neris, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games and tying the score at 5.
"Bad day," Nerris said.
Not for the Dodgers.
"It was extremely exciting. It was a great way to come back, one of those unexepected ways," said Gonzalez, who went 2-for-5. "One thing would have been a single, a walk and a three-run homer, but back-to-back-to-back like that (off) a very tough pitcher was pretty fun."
It was the first time the Dodgers drilled three long balls in a row since Hanley Ramirez, James Loney and Luis Cruz accomplished the feat Aug. 12, 2012 in Atlanta.
After Neris gave up a base hit to pinch-hitter Austin Barnes, Joely Rodriguez relieved him. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager lined a single to left off Rodriguez before Gonzalez punched the game-winner off the glove of third baseman Maikel Franco and past shortstop Freddy Galvis to plate Barnes.
"I've never been a part of anything like this," said Bellinger, who became the first Dodger since Puig to homer multiple times for his first big-league long balls. Puig did so on June 4, 2013, against the San Diego Padres.
"It was a crazy moment and I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm kind of speechless right now," Bellinger said.
Grant Dayton (1-0), who was activated from the 10-day disabled list earlier in the day, retired the side in the ninth for the win for the Dodgers (13-12).
Brook Stassi and Andrew Knapp homered for the Phillies (11-11), who dropped their second in a row.
Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy allowed four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings, but did not figure into the decision.
Neither did Zach Eflin, who allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks in seven innings for Philadelphia.
Andrew Toles smoked the second pitch he saw from Eflin for a leadoff home run and a 1-0 lead. It was the second career leadoff homer for Toles, who has gone deep four times this season.
Stassi launched his three-run blast off McCarthy after singles by Maikel Franco and Michael Saunders with one out in the fourth for a 3-1 edge. It was his second homer this season.
In the fifth, an RBI single by Daniel Nava scored Odubel Herrera, who led off the inning with a double to make it 4-1.
But it wouldn't hold up.
"What happened has happened, it's part of the game," said Franco, who was 2-for-5. "We can't force what happens today because it's happened already. Crazy things happen."
Bellinger hit his first home run off Eflin in the seventh.
NOTES: Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (blister on his middle pitching finger), who has been on the disabled list since April 6, threw a bullpen session that manager Dave Roberts called successful. Hill is scheduled to make a rehab start Thursday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. ... Phillies CF Odubel Herrera recorded the game's top defensive gem, robbing Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig of a base hit by diving and snagging a line drive in the fourth inning. ... The Dodgers reinstated LHP Grant Dayton (intercostal strain) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned RHP Josh Fields to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his major league debut and opposes Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-4, 4.64) in Sunday's series finale.
Conforto's HRs power Mets past Nationals
Saturday, April 29 at 8:55 PM (EDT)
WASHINGTON -- Michael Conforto said there was no panic when the New York Mets arrived in the nation's capital with a six-game losing streak late Thursday night.
And the outfielder certainly seems relaxed, as he homered twice and drove in three runs as the Mets beat the first-place Washington Nationals, 5-3, on Saturday, winning for the second straight day.
"It is huge; we had a feeling this was coming," said Conforto, standing by his locker after the game. "We are excited to keep this going."
It was the first career two-homer game for Conforto (3-for-4), whose solo shot in the eighth off lefty reliever Enny Romero gave the Mets a 4-2 lead. Both of his home runs came on 3-and-1 counts.
"It is early in the season and we had a rough patch," Conforto said. "Like I said there is no panic in here. We have all of the confidence in the world we can match up with those guys over there. I guess we were not backing down from anyone."
It was the second day in a row a young Mets hitter hit two home runs. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud went deep twice Friday against Max Scherzer.
"Today Michael had a huge day for us," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "When he gets his chance he needs to do something with it and he absolutely has. He has worked on his swing. He has done a tremendous job."
Washington's Ryan Zimmerman, who had three hits and three RBIs, hit a solo homer in the eighth off Addison Reed to trim the lead to 4-3. Zimmerman has 226 career homers, second most in Montreal/Washington franchise history.
He is hitting .410 with 11 homers, but the Mets' longballs continue to plague the Nationals' pitching staff.
"Michael Conforto continues to haunt us," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "They live and die by the homer, and we couldn't keep them in the ballpark. Stras was good. He was very good. We had action on getting a whole bunch more runs."
But New York's Jose Reyes, who had two hits, smashed a solo homer in the ninth off Shawn Kelley to make it 5-3.
Washington starter Stephen Strasburg (2-1) gave up six hits and three runs with two strikeouts and no walks in seven innings.
Zimmerman had a rare infield single to drive in a run in the fifth and trim the margin to 3-2.
That led to the exit of Mets starter Zack Wheeler, who was replaced by Josh Edgin. Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
"We are very excited to get him on track," Collins said of his closer.
Conforto, who has four home runs against Washington in the last nine days, gave his team a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer off Strasburg in the fifth.
"Just worrying about what I can control and let the other stuff take care of itself," Conforto said.
The Mets tied the game, 1-1, when the fifth as Reyes scored while d'Arnaud hit into a fielder's choice.
Red-hot Zimmerman had an RBI single to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead in the first. His hit drove in Michael A. Taylor, who doubled with one out and ended up with three hits.
"I really didn't have any expectations because he couldn't be as bad as he was last year," Baker said of Zimmerman. "Like I said, he was injured last year, he worked hard this winter.
"He had a full spring training, where last year he didn't. I had to really monitor his playing time, his at-bats. I don't have any expectations. I just want him to keep on rolling."
Taylor got the start after regular center fielder Adam Eaton went on the disabled list earlier in the day and is done for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, according to multiple reports Saturday night.
Baker and the team were unaware of the severity of the injury following the game as they were awaiting the medical results. Eaton sustained the injury in the ninth inning of Friday's game on a play at first base.
"We're waiting for the MRI," Baker said of Eaton. "It's not that easy. Not that many people work on Saturdays. We're hopeful that it's not as serious as it looked."
Wheeler gave up five hits and two runs (one earned) in 4 2/3 innings.
The winning pitcher was Hansel Robles (4-0), who recorded five outs without allowing a hit or run. T.J. Rivera also had two hits for the Mets.
The Nationals had a chance to add a run in the fourth. Jayson Werth stole second but was thrown out at third as he tried to advance. Werth and Baker claimed interference on Werth as he tried to leave second, but to no avail.
"And then you hear some jive explanation, it really didn't make sense to me," Baker said of hearing from the umpires on that play.
NOTES: The Nationals put CF Adam Eaton on the 10-day disabled list because of a left knee strain and called up OF Rafael Bautista from Triple-A Syracuse. Bautista entered this season as the No. 11 prospect in the Washington system, according to Baseball America. He was hitting .291 with Syracuse. ... Washington RHP Joe Ross (1-0, 6.17) will face Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 1.73) ... Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy hit .288 with 62 home runs with the Mets before joining Washington before the 2016 season.
Judge, Yankees stay hot, rout Orioles 12-4
Saturday, April 29 at 6:07 PM (EDT)
NEW YORK -- Told manager Joe Girardi said he might be on pace for 60 home runs, Aaron Judge laughed, shook his head and said: "Anything's possible. If we just keep winning I'll take it."
Told he is actually on pace for 74 home runs, Judge said: "We'll see what happens. Oh yeah, you guys are too much."
Regardless of projections, the New York Yankees can't get enough of watching and anticipating every time the 6-foot-6 right fielder steps to the plate.
Judge capped a stellar all-around showing by slugging his league-leading 10th home run and scoring four runs as New York continued its roll with a 12-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
Judge's 10 home runs have come in his last 16 games. He is one of six Yankees to hit at least 10 home runs through the first 22 games, joining a group that includes Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Babe Ruth, along with Alex Rodriguez and Graig Nettles.
"I'm not sure that you expect 10 home runs from anybody in a month," manager Joe Girardi said. "That'd be 60 a year. We knew he was extremely talented.
"I said all along if he gets the barrel to the ball, good things are going to happen and that's what he's done. Ten home runs, I don't think I would expect that from anybody."
Judge became the first American League player to reach double digits this season when he homered into the New York bullpen beyond the center-field wall on a 1-and-0 pitch from Jayson Aquino to account for New York's final two runs.
"I wouldn't say I'm amazed by it," New York left fielder Brett Gardner said. "I kind of expected it. The guy has a lot of talent."
Judge joined Ryan Zimmerman of Washington and Eric Thames of Milwaukee as the only players in the majors with 10 home runs this season.
Judge's home run occurred after he drew two walks, singled and scored each time he reached base. He raised his totals to 11 walks and 22 runs scored.
"He's not picking on us, he's picking on everybody," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.
Judge's latest blast capped New York's 14th win in 17 games. The run started when Judge hit his first home run April 9 in a 7-3 comeback victory in Baltimore.
Besides Judge, Gardner and Austin Romine combined for three home runs and nine RBIs. They drove in New York's first nine runs.
Gardner recorded his third career two home run game with a solo shot and three-run blast in his first two at-bats against Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1).
Gardner drove in his first runs of the season and also homered for the first time since July 30.
"Two or three years it seemed like," Gardner said.
Pineda allowed two unearned runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings while using his breaking ball to get seven of eight strikeouts.
Baltimore (14-8) lost its first series of the season as Jimenez was tagged for seven runs -- six earned -- and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. It was the second straight start Jimenez failed to get past the fourth.
"I have to find my fastball command," Jimenez said. "I have to stay ahead most of the time, that's what hurting me the most. Falling behind the count and then every time I come back, they hurt me."
Caleb Joseph hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning for Baltimore, which has been outscored, 22-4, since the top of the seventh inning on Friday.
Pineda struck out the side in the first, highlighted by winning a 12-pitch battle with Manny Machado. A few minutes later, Gardner slugged his seventh career leadoff home run into the right field seats.
The Yankees added four in the second, the first when Didi Gregorius scored on Romine's fly ball to right. Gardner made it 5-0 when he drove a 1-and-0 pitch into the New York bullpen beyond the center field fence with two runners on.
The Orioles scored two unearned runs in the sixth. Machado doubled and scored on third baseman Chase Headley's throwing error, and Mark Trumbo scored on a wild pitch by Adam Warren.
New York increased the lead to 9-2 when Romine drove a full count offering from Vidal Nuno into the left field seats with one out in the sixth.
The Yankees made it 10-2 on a double by Gregorius and two pitches later Judge homered again.
NOTES: Baltimore RHP Chris Tillman (right shoulder bursitis) will make a fourth rehab start Tuesday when he pitches for Triple-A Norfolk. ... Yankees C Gary Sanchez (strained biceps) took batting practice and did some running without any problems. He is slated to start a rehab assignment next week. ... Orioles LHP Zach Britton (strained left forearm) will continue his rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie on Sunday. ... New York manager Joe Girardi said he thought LHP Aroldis Chapman would be fine after Mark Trumbo's hit deflected off his pitching hand in the 10th inning on Friday.
|Rays||1||vs.||4||Blue Jays||Final Recap|
Smoak homers as Blue Jays end 3-game skid
Saturday, April 29 at 6:01 PM (EDT)
TORONTO -- The big hits and right times have been elusive for the Toronto Blue Jays during their April drought.
The Blue Jays got a couple Saturday afternoon in their 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Russell Martin delivered an RBI double in the fourth inning and Justin Smoak's two-run homer in the sixth provided the add-on runs so often lacking this season for skidding Toronto.
The timely hits made a winner of Blue Jays left-hander Francisco Liriano (2-2), who allowed four hits, four walks and one run and had six strikeouts in five-plus innings.
"We got the win, I wanted to pitch deeper into the game but it didn't happen," Liriano said. "Too many 3-2, 3-1 counts."
"We had a quiet day at the plate, we had a couple of innings where we had some chances to get some stuff going and weren't able to do so," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Liriano did a nice job of keeping us off-balance. It looked like he had both of his off-speed pitches going, a little cutter-slider and the changeup. ... His best pitches were made when guys were on base."
Struggling Toronto closer Roberto Osuna, who has been making some adjustments, pitched a perfect ninth to earn his second save in five opportunities.
Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese (1-1) allowed five hits, three walks and four runs (three earned) while striking out four in seven innings.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Blue Jays and manager John Gibbons sees better things coming for his team.
"I've said many times, as tough as things have been and they've been real tough, they compete, they play to win, they don't get down on things, which can be a hard battle," Gibbons said. "But after a tough loss (Friday) night, then you go back to that first game of the doubleheader (Thursday), they just keep coming at you.
"We think good things are on their way, we really do. But today was a huge game. It started with Liriano, did a heck of a job, battled a little at times with his command but got some big outs."
The Blue Jays scored (7-17) a run in the first inning on a throwing error by Rays shortstop Tim Beckham on a grounder by Kendrys Morales. Jose Bautista, who had walked with two out, came around from first to score on the errant throw.
The Rays (12-13) tied the game in the second on a reversed call. Liriano walked Beckham and Daniel Robertson with one out. Jesus Sucre singled to right but Beckham was called out at home on the throw from Bautista. The call was changed to safe after a video review.
Toronto regained the lead with one run in the fourth on a single by Smoak and a double by Martin.
Joe Biagini replaced Liriano with two on and none out in the sixth after Rickie Weeks Jr. walked and third baseman Chris Coghlan's error on a grounder by Corey Dickerson. Biagini kept the 2-1 lead intact with two strikeouts and a groundout and also pitched a scoreless seventh.
The bullpen has been having problems recently, but Gibbons saw hope.
"Joe Biagini coming in first and second, no outs, getting us out of that and pitching another inning And Osuna locking it down, that's big for Osuna," Gibbons said.
The Blue Jays added to the lead in the bottom of sixth on Smoak's fourth homer, a drive to center. It scored Bautista, who had walked, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout.
"It's kind of a tough one to swallow with that two-run home run," Andriese said. "I was trying to keep it to within striking distance but Smoak put a good swing on a good pitch. He got to the pitch. It could have been a better pitch but he put a good swing on it and that was it."
Joe Smith pitched around a single and a walk in the eighth inning for Toronto, which ended on a fly out to deep center by Logan Morrison.
|White Sox||6||vs.||4||Tigers||Final Recap|
White Sox beat Tigers on Cabrera's HR in 10th
Saturday, April 29 at 6:03 PM (EDT)
DETROIT -- The homerless droughts for Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu ended on Saturday. That allowed the Chicago White Sox to extend their winning streak.
Cabrera hit a home run to lead off the 10th inning and the White Sox pushed their winning streak to six games with a 6-4 victory over the slumping Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Cabrera's first homer of the season off Justin Wilson (1-1) gave closer David Robertson (1-0) the victory. Robertson blew a ninth-inning save opportunity by giving up two runs, then pitched a scoreless 10th.
"Big time," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Cabrera's breakthrough homer. "He went in there and got a pitch out over the plate and was able to drive it, fortunately for us, and the rest is kind of history. The guys went out, closed it out and did a nice job."
Abreu blasted his first two homers of the season for the White Sox (13-9).
Abreu, who hit at least 25 home runs in his first three seasons, had gone homerless for 20 games before his power outburst. He sustained a mild right hip flexor strain against Kansas City on Wednesday and did not play in the opener of the three-game series in Detroit.
"He is a process-oriented guy and today, he was very happy with the results and so were we," Renteria said. "Hopefully, it's something that will kind of kickstart him and continue to move him forward."
Avisail Garcia added an RBI double in the 10th.
White Sox starter Derek Holland gave up two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. Robertson was disappointed that he couldn't finish it off sooner and give Holland the win.
"I'm frustrated with my performance in that first inning. I felt like I was throwing some good pitches, it's just like everything kept finding a barrel," Robertson said. "It stinks when it happens but it does happen in baseball and it's tough."
Victor Martinez had a homer and two RBIs for the Tigers (11-12), who have lost four straight to drop below .500 for the first time this season.
Wilson had not given up a run in 11 appearances this season prior to Saturday.
"He wasn't going to be perfect all year. Just unfortunate timing," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "The truth is, he's usually pitching in extremely tight games, so there's not ever going to be a good time."
Detroit starter Michael Fulmer allowed three runs on four hits in six innings.
"You never feel good after a loss," Ausmus said. "We did a good job of fighting back. I thought Fulmer did a good job overall. We just couldn't hold them in the end."
The White Sox scored single runs off Fulmer in each of the first three innings. Todd Frazier knocked in the first when he punched an opposite-field single with two on and two out.
Detroit evened the score in the bottom of the inning on Martinez's RBI single, but Chicago regained the lead on Leury Garcia's sacrifice fly. Abreu's first homer the following inning gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead.
Justin Upton's two-out RBI single in the sixth made it a one-run game. Abreu launched his second homer off reliever Blaine Hardy with two out in the eighth.
Martinez started the ninth-inning rally with his first homer this season. One out later, John Hicks doubled and pinch-hitter Alex Avila knocked him in with a single.
NOTES: White Sox 1B Jose Abreu's two-homer game on Saturday was the seventh multi-hit homer game of his career. His most recent was last September against Minnesota. ... Tigers CF JaCoby Jones began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Saturday. He's expected to play four games with the Mud Hens before he's activated from the 10-day disabled list. Jones sustained a lip laceration when he was hit by a pitch in Minnesota last weekend. ... Detroit RF J.D. Martinez batted nine times in an extended spring-training game at Lakeland, Fla., on Friday. It's the first time he's faced live pitching in a game setting since he suffered a foot sprain in late March. He's expected to go on a rehab assignment before he is activated from the 10-day disabled list. ... White Sox RHP Anthony Swarzak, who pitched two-thirds of an inning Saturday, has not allowed a run in 12 1/3 innings while striking out 14 this season.
Reds-Cardinals postponed due to severe weather
Saturday, April 29 at 3:39 PM (EDT)
The Cincinnati Reds-St. Louis Cardinals game scheduled for Saturday afternoon was postponed due to severe weather.
The two teams will make up the game at Busch Stadium at a date and time yet to be determined.
The Carlos Martinez and Matt Carpenter double bobblehead promotion will be distributed prior to the rescheduled game, the Cardinals announced.
|Cubs||7||vs.||4||Red Sox||Final Recap|
Slumping Schwarber delivers key hit in Cubs' 7-4 win
Saturday, April 29 at 8:26 PM (EDT)
BOSTON -- Kyle Schwarber pulled off a pretty good David Ortiz impression on Saturday.
Schwarber, the Cubs' designated hitter for their interleague series with the Red Sox in Boston, channeled the recently retired DH and drove in the winning run in the late innings of Chicago's 7-4 win over Boston at Fenway Park.
"It's great to see him hang in there like that," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Schwarber, whose RBI single propelled Chicago's three-run seventh. "He's been struggling a bit, a lot of swing and miss going on."
Schwarber hadn't exactly been lighting the world on fire before that, going 1-for-8 with four strikeouts to open the series before his heroics.
He has fanned 34 times through 23 games, placing him among the major league leaders in strikeouts thus far.
"He's like a shooting guard in basketball. He's got to keep swinging, man. Got to keep shooting," Maddon said. "It's going to come to him, and when it does, the ball's going to fly really far."
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer, Miguel Montero and Ben Zobrist each added solo shots and Zobrist had another RBI for Chicago (13-10), which pulled even in its three-game series with Boston after Friday's 5-4 loss.
It was the first Fenway homer for Rizzo, once a top prospect in the Red Sox's system.
Cubs right-hander John Lackey (2-3) gave up four runs and eight hits -- two homers -- and a walk with four strikeouts in six innings.
Lackey, who spent three-plus seasons with Boston, was making his first start at Fenway since being traded by the Red Sox to St. Louis in July 2014.
"He's a pretty special teammate to play with," Lackey's former teammate Dustin Pedroia said. "He always gives his team a chance to win and that's what happened today. They just put a couple more up than we did."
But emotions weren't exactly bogging Lackey down.
"Not really. I've done it a couple other places," Lackey said of pitching at one of his former team's ballparks. "If it had been the first time (I've left) somewhere, it'd have probably been a little different, but I'm trying to win a game."
Chicago's Wade Davis captured his sixth save of the season with a scoreless ninth, striking out three.
Kris Bryant's second-inning double extended his hitting streak to 10 games for the Cubs.
Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi cracked homers for Boston (12-11), with Benintendi adding another RBI and Jackie Bradley Jr. also driving in a run.
Like Lackey, Red Sox right-hander Steven Wright (1-3) coughed up two homers. The knuckleballer allowed five runs, seven hits and a walk while striking out four in 6 1/3 innings.
Wright has surrendered nine homers this year after giving up only 12 last season, but Boston manager John Farrell insists he sees a pitcher on the upswing.
"I think with the exception of the 0-2 slow knuckleball that Steven threw to Rizzo (on the homer), this was his best knuckleball that he's had to date," Farrell said.
Schwarber broke a 4-4 tie with his bloop single to center to open the scoring in the seventh, plating Jon Jay from second.
Rizzo followed with a dribbler to first, which Boston first baseman Mitch Moreland fired to shortstop Xander Bogaerts at second for an out.
But Bogaerts made an ill-advised throw to reliever Ben Taylor as he covered first, and the ball sailed to the Red Sox dugout fence to allow Schwarber to trot home on the error.
Zobrist padded the lead with his solo shot into the Green Monster seats in left field with two outs in the ninth.
Boston built a 3-0 lead after Bradley's RBI single in the second, Benintendi's sacrifice fly in the third and Ramirez's solo shot over the Monster later in the inning.
Ramirez's homer was tracked at approximately 469 feet, the longest of the season at Fenway.
Rizzo shot his homer, his sixth of the year, over the Cubs' bullpen in right to bring Chicago within 3-2 in the fourth.
Benintendi restored Boston's two-run lead with his first-pitch blast off Lackey in the fifth.
But the Cubs again battled back to tie it as Zobrist's RBI groundout in the sixth made it a one-run game and Montero's leadoff homer in the seventh pulled them even.
NOTES: Chicago had not faced a knuckleballer before Saturday since May 26, 2011 vs. Toronto's R.A. Dickey, according to Fangraphs. "It'll probably be like some of those Wiffle ball games that I played in the cul-de-sac," the Cubs' Kris Bryant told MLB.com before the game. ... Boston LHP David Price (left elbow strain) threw 30 pitches over two simulated innings Saturday in which he faced live hitters for the first time since his spring training injury. He will throw a light bullpen session Monday. ... RHP Joe Kelly's 102.1 mph fastball on a 1-1 count to Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo in Friday's seventh inning tied Daniel Bard's July 30, 2009, offering as the fastest pitch in Red Sox history, according to Pitch FX. ... Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-1, 4.50 ERA) opposes Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 3.12 ERA) in Sunday's series finale.
Indians' four first-inning runs hold up in 4-3 win
Saturday, April 29 at 8:53 PM (EDT)
CLEVELAND -- What started out looking like a slugfest turned into nothing of the sort. Fast.
In a game in which everything happened in the first inning, the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Saturday at Progressive Field.
Cleveland starter Danny Salazar (2-2) gave up three runs on three hits in the first inning but then combined with two relievers to hold Seattle hitless and scoreless over the last eight innings.
"I would have not thought that would happen," said Indians manager Terry Francona.
"It was a crazy inning. Seven runs in the first and then nothing after that," said Seattle manager Scott Servais. "Unfortunately one bad inning can get you."
Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall had two-run hits in the first inning for Cleveland while Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager both hit homers for Seattle. After that?
"There wasn't a lot going on offensively," said Servais.
Salazar pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and three hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his sixth save of the season.
"Salazar throws really hard and has a lot of movement on his fastball. Then he's got that changeup and slider. His stuff is really good," said Seager.
"We just couldn't muster much against him," said Servais.
Seattle starter Yovani Gallardo (1-3) gave up four runs and six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in six innings.
In the first inning, the two teams had a combined 15 plate appearances that resulted in seven runs, six hits, three walks, two doubles, two home runs and three strikeouts.
Seattle reached Salazar for three runs in the top of the first after Salazar retired the first two batters of the game. With two outs and nobody on, Robinson Cano doubled to left field. Cruz belted his sixth home run over the wall in center field, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead.
Seager, the next hitter, also homered, also over the center field wall, pushing the Mariners' lead to 3-0.
"Three pitches, and they got all their runs," said Francona. "Danny's stuff was good, he was just throwing the ball to the wrong locations."
In the bottom of the first, Gallardo set the table for a four-run Cleveland rally. Gallardo walked the first two batters he faced, Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor, before Michael Brantley flied out for the first out.
But Edwin Encarnacion drew a walk, loading the bases, and Ramirez followed with a double down the right-field line, scoring Santana and Lindor to cut the Seattle lead to 3-2. Encarnacion went to third on Ramirez's hit before Gallardo struck out Jason Kipnis for the second out.
But Chisenhall stroked a single to center, scoring Encarnacion and Ramirez to give Cleveland a 4-3 lead.
"We put up three and then I give up four. That can't happen," Gallardo said. "I was falling behind hitters, then trying to finish them quick. I was being too fine and started walking guys."
After the first inning there were no runs scored and only three hits -- all by the Indians.
Andrew Miller and Allen followed Salazar to the mound, and the three pitchers combined to strikeout six of the last 11 batters to end the game.
"Their bullpen is very good," Servais said. "They've been through the wars and they make their pitches."
After the first inning, Salazar pitched 5 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings before being removed from the game in the seventh.
"We came back, which was huge, and we made it hold up," Francona said.
"I just tried to hold them right there. Attack the zone and get a lot of ground balls," Salazar said.
Gallardo pitched five scoreless innings after the first, giving up three hits. He was removed after the sixth.
NOTES: The Mariners placed RHP Evan Scribner on the disabled list with a strained flexor and recalled OF Boog Powell from Triple-A Tacoma. ... Seattle OF Nelson Cruz was back in the lineup after sitting out Friday's game with a tight left hamstring. ... Mariners 3B Kyle Seager is a career .342 hitter (53-155) vs. Cleveland with 17 doubles, five home runs and 14 RBIs. ... RHP Chase De Jong will start Sunday for Seattle. He will be the second Mariners pitcher in three days to make his first career appearance vs. the Indians. The other was LHP Ariel Miranda, who started Friday night. ... The Indians' .197 batting average with runners in scoring position was the third worst in the American League at the start of play Saturday, ahead of only Toronto (.186) and Kansas City (.159). ... RHP Josh Tomlin, who will start Sunday for Cleveland, has allowed two or fewer walks in 35 consecutive starts.
Triggs helps A's beat Astros, end five-game skid
Saturday, April 29 at 11:41 PM (EDT)
HOUSTON -- For the fourth time in five starts this season, Oakland Athletics right-hander Andrew Triggs pitched with an effectiveness that belied his relative inexperience as a starter.
At this level of performance, expectations will continue to rise.
Triggs rebounded splendidly from his worst outing of the season, recording a career-high nine strikeouts while pitching the scuffling Oakland Athletics to a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.
Triggs, who joined the rotation Aug. 11, limiting the Astros (15-9) to five hits, all singles. He did not walk a batter and lowered his ERA to 1.84 in his 12th career start. The seven innings pitched represented a career high for Triggs (4-1).
"We're not really swinging the bats right now. We scored two runs and you have a lineup that you expect to score a lot of runs," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "So to pitch as well as he did and go through the lineup three times, give us seven innings of work was pretty good. He had the one off outing (against the Seattle Mariners on April 23) and every (other) outing has been pretty spotless."
The Athletics (11-13) snapped a five-game skid by complementing Triggs' strong start with a pair of home runs.
Second baseman Jed Lowrie took Astros right-hander Joe Musgrove (1-2) deep in the fourth inning before left fielder Khris Davis cranked his fifth home run against the Astros this season and 10th overall the opposite way to right field off reliever Will Harris with two outs in the eighth.
Davis has hit three opposite-field homers this series, all against right-handers.
"The guy's got some sort of power," Lowrie said of Davis. "At this point I think it's fair to call it special."
Oakland needed Davis' insurance because Astros second baseman Jose Altuve belted a homer off Athletics southpaw Sean Doolittle with two outs in the eighth, his third homer halving the deficit. But Oakland closer Santiago Casilla got his fourth save by inducing a game-ending double play from catcher Brian McCann.
Musgrove carried the momentum he built down the stretch of his previous start against the Tampa Bay Rays, an outing that included Musgrove surrendering four runs on five hits in the first inning only to reel off five consecutive no-hit frames.
Against Oakland, Musgrove retired his first 10 batters.
Lowrie snapped that string with his second homer, ricocheting a 3-1 pitch off the upper-deck facade in right field.
"I made a mistake to Lowrie and those mistakes get made throughout the game," said Musgrove, who allowed one run and five hits over a season-high 6 1/3 innings. "But when you get behind a guy 3-0 the likelihood of him capitalizing on that mistake is much greater. I've just got to do a better job of executing a better pitch. I don't want to give in to him and try to fool him with some breaking stuff, I wanted to challenge him with the fastball and I just let it leak middle."
Triggs stranded two baserunners in the first, third and fourth innings. He found his groove in the fifth and retired the side in order over his final three frames. After squandering those early opportunities, the Astros didn't get any chances to rally until Triggs departed having not allowed an earned run for a fourth time.
"We just couldn't quite figure him out," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Triggs. "We never really looked comfortable against him. We got a couple balls we put in play really hard but he was pretty deceptive. He had two breaking balls, he threw strikes, he cross fired to righties. He kept the lefties off-balance. He's done this to the entire league except for one start, one swing where he gave up a grand slam. He was certainly impressive and we lost the battle at the critical times."
NOTES: Astros CF Jake Marisnick began a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi on Saturday, finishing 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored as the Hooks' designated hitter. Marisnick landed on the seven-day concussion disabled list April 25 after running into the outfield wall at Tampa Bay on Sunday. ... Athletics RHP Raul Alcantara was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, four days after being designated for assignment. Oakland also reinstated 2B Joey Wendle from the disabled list. Wendle landed on the DL on March 30 with a strained right shoulder. ... Athletics LHP Sean Manaea played catch out to 120 feet and showcased enough improvement that he will likely avoid a stint on the disabled list. Manaea was pulled from his last start Wednesday with shoulder tightness and is on course to have his next turn in the rotation skipped.
Kemp's three homers lead Braves past Brewers
Saturday, April 29 at 11:35 PM (EDT)
MILWAUKEE -- Matt Kemp had hit two home runs in a game 11 times before, but never in his 11-year career had he belted three.
That changed Saturday, though, as Kemp set a personal record with three of the Atlanta Braves' four home runs in an 11-3 romp over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
"It felt great," said Kemp, who has reached base in six straight games. "Especially the way were hit the ball today. offensively, we've been doing pretty good job of putting up runs. People are starting to go right now. That's a good sign."
He wasn't the only contributor on offense, either. The Braves combined for a season-high 20 hits -- their highest total since getting 21 on Sept. 2, 2008 -- with Kemp, Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis each recording three and Tyler Flowers leading the way with four.
The Braves had been averaging four runs per game through their first 20 contests but have put up 21 runs in their last two.
"How do you explain it?," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "A week ago, we were having a hard time hitting the gap but it can change that quick. It was nice having guys break out."
Atlanta's hot bats helped pick up left-hander Jamie Garcia, who struggled with his command and walked a season-high five batters but limited the Brewers to two runs on three hits with three strikeouts over six innings.
He looked like he might not make it long after allowing a bases-loaded walk in the first inning but escaped by getting Henan Perez to bounce into a double play.
He cruised from there, retiring nine of his next 10 batters.
"He did a great job of limiting damage," Snitker said. "Jamie just kept pitching and kept pitching."
Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson wasn't quite as lucky. He gave up 11 hits and a walk, but surrendered five runs over five innings, including Kemp's first home run -- a two-run shot to right in the fifth.
"He struggled tonight," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He left fastballs up, really. They are swinging the bats well. We're catching a team that's got a lot of guys hot right now."
Nelson, staked to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, avoided early jams with a pair of outfield assists but Freeman's RBI double in the third tied the game at 1 and the Braves took a 2-1 lead on Flowers' run-scoring single in the fourth.
But Nelson gave up a one-out double to Ender Inciarte in the fifth. He took third on an error by Jonathan Villar and scored on a passed ball.
Nelson retired Adonis Garcia on a bouncer to third but Freeman followed with a single and Kemp broke the game open, with a first-pitch homer to center, giving the Braves a 5-1 lead.
"They put some good swings on some good pitches," Nelson said. "There were probably a couple of pitches where I could have had a different pitch selection. We might have had a different result.
"Can't change the pitch I threw now."
Garcia retired nine in a row before a one-out pinch-hit single by Keon Broxton in the fifth. Walks to Jonathan Villar and Ryan Braun loaded the bases and Broxton scored on a wild pitch before Garcia escaped by getting pinch-hitter Jesus Aguilar to fly out to right.
Kemp's second home run came in the seventh, a one-out shot off Tommy Milone. Nick Markakis singled and scored on a base hit by Flowers and Dansby Swanson followed with a two-run homer to left.
Kemp struck once more in the eighth, this time off Jhan Marinez.
NOTES: Brewers RHP Junior Guerra threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Saturday as he works his way back from a calf injury suffered three innings into his Opening Day start. ... Braves RHP Mauricio Cabrera worked two scoreless innings Saturday in a minor league rehab appearance with Class A Florida. He's expected to continue his assignment next week with Triple-A Gwinett. Cabrera has been out all season with soreness in his right shoulder. ... Brewers 3B Travis Shaw suffered a right hand contusion after being hit by a Jamie Garcia pitch Saturday and left the game in the sixth inning.
Nova tosses three-hit shutout as Pirates jolt Marlins
Saturday, April 29 at 11:14 PM (EDT)
MIAMI -- Ivan Nova is proving to be a wise acquisition for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Nova pitched a three-hit shutout with no walks to lead Pittsburgh to a 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday night at Marlins Park.
Nova (3-2), who struck out seven and has allowed just one walk in 27 innings this season, lowered his ERA to 1.50.
"Again, no walks," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Nova, the ace the franchise acquired from the New York Yankees on Aug. 1 and then signed to a three-year, $27 million contract extension in December. "He only had three three-ball counts.
"That is the perfect recipe for somebody to pitch well. He used all four of his pitches very well."
It was the third career shutout for Nova (3-2), who did it twice for the Yankees in 2013. He blanked the Baltimore Orioles on three hits and one walk and did the same to the San Francisco Giants on six hits and one free pass.
On Saturday, Nova allowed a double by Martin Prado and two singles. Pinch hitter Derek Dietrich nearly homered to lead off the ninth, but his shot to right was foul by a couple of feet. Dietrich then hit a fly ball to center that was caught on the warning track.
Nova, who threw a season-high 95 pitches, has eight career complete games, including two this season.
"Every time you start, you want to think that way," Nova said when asked about pitching complete games. "A lot of the times, it doesn't happen. But when it does, it feels amazing."
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Nova was able to pitch to both sides of the plate.
"He gave us a lot of trouble with his sinker and some four-seamers," Mattingly said.
The Pirates (11-12) have won a season-best four games in a row and will try for a three-game sweep against the Marlins on Sunday. The Marlins have lost a season-worst four straight games.
Pittsburgh was led offensively by Gregory Polanco, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, one walk and one run scored. John Jaso added a homer, his first of the season, and two RBIs.
Marlins starter Dan Straily (1-2), who was coming off a 14-strikeout, no-walk performance in a road win against the San Diego Padres, was not nearly as sharp vs. Pittsburgh. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, three walks and three runs, striking out five.
Straily pitched well through five innings. The only damage he allowed during that portion of the game occurred in the second inning, when the Pirates took a 1-0 lead on Polanco's leadoff double to left and Jordy Mercer's two-out RBI single to center.
But after getting the first out in the sixth, Straily fell apart. He allowed a single by Josh Bell and then three straight walks, including an RBI free pass to Francisco Cervelli, who overcame an 0-2 count.
Mattingly brought in reliever Brad Ziegler, who walked Jaso on a low 3-2 pitch to force in a run, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead. Ziegler escaped more trouble when the next batter, Mercer, grounded into a double play.
Straily blamed some of his issues to the fact that he hadn't pitched since last Saturday, with the extended rest due to the team having a rain-out in Philadelphia.
"It felt a bit foreign being out there after a week off," Straily said. "I wouldn't say I lost command (in the sixth). I was trying to get them to offer at some pitches, and they never took."
The Pirates extended their lead to 4-0 in the ninth on Jaso's homer to right-center field. Not knowing for sure if the ball would clear the wall, Jaso sprinted hard to third before finally trotting home.
That was more than enough offense for Pittsburgh, and it was Miami's first shutout loss of the season, which only adds to the Marlins' frustrations.
"We haven't been playing well," Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich said. "(Nova) did a great job, and we didn't."
NOTES: Pirates 3B David Freese (hamstring) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 25. His roster spot was taken by OF Danny Ortiz, who made his major-league debut as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning. Ortiz was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. ... Marlins RHP Jose Urena set a Marlins record for a reliever by allowing 12 hits in Friday night's game. ... In three road starts this season, Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon is 2-0 and has allowed just one earned run in 19 innings. ... Pirates utility INF Adam Frazier (left hamstring) hasn't resumed baseball activities since landing on the disabled list on Monday. ... The pitching matchup for Sunday's series finale features Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (1-1, 5.14 ERA) vs. Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (1-2, 6.63).
Gomez hits for cycle as Rangers topple Angels
Saturday, April 29 at 11:40 PM (EDT)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas outfielder Carlos Gomez has spent most of April trying to get his batting average over the .200 mark.
Saturday night should help in a big way.
Gomez hit for the cycle for the second time in his career, going 4-for-4 and sparking the Rangers past the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 at Globe Life Park.
In becoming just the 10th player in Texas history to hit for the cycle, Gomez raised his average from .205 to .239. Along with way, he helped spark a four-run fifth inning that helped the Rangers overcome a 2-0 deficit and gave Texas some much-needed cushion with a two-run homer in the seventh off reliever Jose Valdez that completed the cycle.
Gomez also gave his son Yandel a nice birthday present on his eighth birthday.
"It's hard to do," said Gomez, whose first cycle came when he was with Minnesota on May 7, 2008. "It's exciting to do that. And you can enjoy it when you win. This month, we've been bouncing up and down a lot so two nights ago we had a great game and tonight we did this so I think we're going in the right direction and hopefully everything will start from here."
The cycle for Gomez helped make a winner of Yu Darvish (3-2), who struck out 10 and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings.
The Rangers got Darvish the run support he'd need in the bottom of the fifth inning when they scored four times off Jesse Chavez (2-4).
An RBI single from Nomar Mazara got the offense going, with Gomez tripling home Mazara to tie the game at 2. Rougned Odor then followed with his fourth homer of the season, and his first since April 7.
Darvish had to work around three walks in the sixth inning, but got Ben Revere to pop up with the bases loaded. Darvish threw 125 pitches, his most since May 9, 2014, when he threw 126.
"The situation was very similar to what I faced to what I faced when I was facing Oakland (a 4-2 loss on April 18) last time," Darvish said. "I just wanted to get the guys out. I feel like it was a test for me."
The Angels got to Darvish for the game's first two runs in the fourth inning. Kole Calhoun led off the inning with a single and scored after Mike Trout ripped an RBI double to left. After moving to third on an error, Trout scored on a sacrifice fly by Albert Pujols.
The Pujols at-bat provided early fireworks as he was almost hit in the face by a Darvish pitch and then exchanged words with Texas pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez, who is on the disabled list, as he was running to first.
"Chi Chi Rodriguez (cq) was popping off like he wanted to come out of the dugout," Pujols said. "I mean, I didn't appreciate that. That's why I was yelling at him. I wasn't yelling at Yu Darvish. In that situation, I know you don't want to try to hit. If you look, he was sitting away and the ball got away from him."
Chavez was charged with four earned runs on eight hits in six innings.
"I thought he did a real good job early of controlling the counts and hitting the spots," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "Then the fifth inning, after the double, he got (Delino) DeShields to pop up. They got some clutch hits and he couldn't close it out."
Texas had 10 hits and Los Angeles had six, with Trout's double extending his hitting streak to 13 games as part of his 2-for-3 night.
Los Angeles got an unearned run off Texas closer Matt Bush in the ninth.
NOTES: The Angels put LHP Tyler Skaggs on the disabled list with a strained right oblique and 1B C.J. Cron on the DL with a left foot contusion. Both were hurt in Friday's game. The Rangers called up RHPs Daniel Wright and Jose Alvarez to fill the roster spots. ... The RBI for Los Angeles DH Albert Pujols in the fourth inning moved him into a tie for 12th in the all-time RBI list with Ted Williams and Al Simmons at 1,839. ... Carlos Gomez's cycle was just the 10th in Rangers' history.
Twins-Royals rained out in K.C.
Saturday, April 29 at 3:37 PM (EDT)
Saturday night's game between the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals was postponed because of rain in the Kansas City area.
The game has been rescheduled for Saturday, July 1, as part of a day-night doubleheader.
Royals right-hander Jason Hammel was slated to throw opposite Twins righty Phil Hughes. The teams have not yet announced how the rainout will affect their pitching rotations with a Sunday afternoon game scheduled at Kauffman Stadium.
|Sunday, April 30, 2017|
|National Hockey League|
|Blues||vs.||Predators||3:00 (EDT) Preview|
Predators aim to regain form in Game 3 vs. Blues
Saturday, April 29 at 9:33 PM (EDT)
In a best-of-seven series, every road team talks about the need to earn a split in the first two games in order to steal home-ice advantage.
The Nashville Predators did just that in their Western Conference semifinal series with the St. Louis Blues, but they had reason to feel a little empty as they left Scottrade Center on Friday night. Leading 2-1 after Ryan Ellis' early third-period marker, Nashville couldn't hold back St. Louis' late push and allowed pair of goals to drop a 3-2 decision.
It was the first loss in six playoff games for the Predators, who try to regain the lead in the series on Sunday in Game 3 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
"You play some of the best teams in the league and it's tough to win every night," Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne said. "We battled back like we've done so many times and showed a lot of character, but it's a disappointing feeling when they score two goals in the third."
Vladimir Tarasenko spearheaded the Blues' attack in Game 2, scoring their first goal during a five-minute power play late in the first period and then wiring a wrister past Rinne at 16:09 of the third to snap a 2-2 deadlock.
It was a nice comeback for Tarasenko, who didn't make the scoresheet in Game 1 on Wednesday night when Nashville won 4-3. Considering he has accounted for 22 goals in 40 postseason matches, it shouldn't have been all that surprising.
"He's really got his stick going now," St. Louis goalie Jake Allen said of Tarasenko. "I think he was a little frustrated with himself in the first series. He's a premier goal scorer and to not be able to score in the first few games was tough on him and I think he took it to heart."
Tarasenko managed just a goal and two assists in the Blues' 4-1 first-round elimination of Minnesota, although his performance in that series looked better than the statistics suggest. He set up Joel Edmundson's overtime goal in Game 1 and got the first tally of Game 5.
Rinne and the Predators weren't fooled by Tarasenko's low numbers from the Minnesota series.
"He has a great shot for a reason," Rinne said. "He scores a lot of goals. I've got to be aware of when he's on the ice."
Despite its first taste of postseason defeat, Nashville has reason to feel it still has its best hockey ahead. Although they played the majority of each game in St. Louis with just 11 forwards after Kevin Fiala fractured his femur in Game 1 and Vernon Fiddler was ejected in Game 2, the Predators outshot the Blues in both contests and have outhit them as well.
With the next two games at home, Nashville figures to come out of the gate flying, much like St. Louis did in the first two contests. However, the Blues have been a better road team in the last two postseasons, going 6-4 last spring and 3-0 this year.
"We knew it was going to be a long series," Allen said. "I don't think either team thought it would be a sweep for one side or the other. That's going to be rare in these ages."
|Ducks||vs.||Oilers||7:00 (EDT) Preview|
Determined Ducks aim for different result vs. Oilers
Saturday, April 29 at 8:07 PM (EDT)
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Anaheim Ducks ticked off a lot of boxes in the first two games of their Western Conference second-round series.
They outshot the Edmonton Oilers 76-55 and held captain Connor McDavid (NHL-best 100 points) to just one assist.
The Ducks, however, dropped both contests and are now in desperation mode as the scene shifts to Rogers Place for Game 3 on Sunday.
Despite the series deficit, Anaheim generated more chances, won more faceoffs and had more puck possession. There really isn't much they need to change outside of three key areas:
--They need to get more traffic to the net.
"We didn't have enough net presence on the goaltender, (Cam) Talbot got to see too many pucks," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
--They need to stay out of the penalty box. The Oilers have scored three power-play goals over the first two games of the series, and the Ducks' penalty killing percentage through the postseason is a league-low 64 percent.
--Goalie John Gibson needs to match the stellar play of Oilers netminder Talbot. Talbot has been outstanding since getting the hook in a 7-0 loss to San Jose in Game 4 of the first round. Since then, he's got four wins. And when one netminder is playing out of his head, the one at the other end can't afford to give up bad goals. The goal that Gibson surrendered to Andrej Sekera early in Game 2 was one that an NHL goalie has to stop.
After Friday's 2-1 loss, the Ducks were talking about taking a lot of the good things they did into Sunday's game.
"I'd be really disappointed if we didn't play well," said captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has seven points in six playoff games. "We played pretty good hockey tonight. We have to make a few adjustments."
"We just have to keep doing what we're doing," Anaheim right winger Jakob Silfverberg said. "We're doing a lot of good things out there today. The last piece is missing and it's correctable."
As for the Oilers, they were talking like they'd lost Game 2 -- they know they need to be a lot better. They know they can't try to win the series simply by riding on their red-hot goalie.
"If we're going to play like that, it's going to be tough to ask for more from Talb's side," Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. "He was really good last night, so we've got to be on our toes to get the next win."
"There's going to be a lot of areas that we have to be better in," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "Just the overall intensity has to go up; battles for pucks, 10-foot races, 10-foot competitive situations. So, the good news is we had a great goaltender's performance, we were able to win the game -- now we've got some things to work on."
McLellan said that left winger Drake Caggiula, who left Game 2 with an undisclosed ailment and did not return, is "OK."
Ducks forward Nick Ritchie missed Game 2 with an illness and is questionable to play on Sunday.
With two days off between Games 3 and 4, the Ducks will jet off to Kelowna, B.C. for a mini-retreat rather than stay in hockey-mad Edmonton, where they'd likely get no peace.
The question is, will the retreat feel more like a wake should the Ducks trail three games to none -- or will Sunday give them a glimmer of hope?
|Saturday, April 29, 2017|
|National Hockey League|
Penguins clobber Capitals to take 2-0 series lead
Sunday, April 30 at 1:17 AM (EDT)
WASHINGTON -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are making the most of their opportunities against the Washington Capitals.
Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel each had two goals and an assist, Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves and the Penguins defeated the Capitals 6-2 on Saturday night to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal.
Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cullen each had a goal and an assist, and Sidney Crosby had two assists as Pittsburgh won despite again being outshot, this time 36-24, including 16-5 in the first period.
"It wasn't a situation where we had chance after chance after chance and I think we got some good looks and we put them in," Crosby said. "It's not always going got work like that, but you have to be able to win different ways and with the start we had we needed to find a way to get momentum back."
After winning twice in Washington, the Penguins host Game 3 on Monday night.
Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist for Washington, which has yet to lead in the series. Matt Niskanen added a goal and Alex Ovechkin had two assists. For the second game in a row, the Capitals had a huge lead in shot attempts (89-40).
Washington is two losses removed from again following a Presidents' Trophy win with a conference semifinal exit. The team held a players-only meeting after the game.
"Sometimes you need to hear more from your teammates than you do from your coach and tonight was one of those nights," T.J. Oshie said.
With Washington trailing 3-1 after two periods, goaltender Braden Holtby was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots.
"I thought on some of the goals he wasn't as sharp as he can be for us," coach Barry Trotz said. "He's a game-changer for us, so when he didn't change the game, I just looked to change the mojo a little bit."
Philipp Grubauer (six saves) came on and Kessel beat him for a power-play goal at 2:19 to make it 4-1.
Moments later Backstrom scored on Ovechkin's rebound at 3:44, but Pittsburgh made it 5-2 at 5:31. Malkin's deflection was initially waved off for goaltender interference, but the Penguins challenged and the call was overturned.
Guentzel added an empty-netter for his seventh goal of the playoffs.
"I have a lot of trust in this group," Trotz said. "They've responded all year and they will respond again."
The Capitals dominated the first period, but couldn't beat Fleury.
"Flower was great for us and he kept us in it," Kessel said. "Obviously, he's been special so far and he won us the game again."
Pittsburgh's Patric Hornqvist left the ice in obvious pain after blocking a shot late in the period. He went back to the locker room and did not return.
In the second period, with the Capitals on the power play, Cullen blocked Kevin Shattenkirk's shot from the point, poked the puck away from Shattenkirk and came in on Holtby ahead of the defense. Despite being hooked by Oshie, Cullen slid the puck through the five hole for a short-handed goal and a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.
"This group find ways to have success," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "When teams want to play an aggressive game against us, there's risk reward and so when we get high quality opportunities, that's when we believe our quick strike capability is at its best."
With Washington still on the power play, Niskanen, all alone in the slot, beat Fleury on a one-timer off a pass from Ovechkin.
The Penguins regained the lead at 13:04 when Crosby entered the zone and, with a trio of defenders closing on him, fed across to Kessel. Kessel's wrister went off Holtby's arm and in on Pittsburgh's 12th shot of the game.
Guentzel made it 3-1 with 3:46 left in the period when he kept the puck on a two-on-one and fired under Holtby's glove from the right circle for his sixth goal of the playoffs.
The play started when Crosby blocked a shot and got the puck to Guentzel while down on the ice.
"We played really, really well in the first period, didn't get rewarded," Niskanen said. "They capitalized on a couple of mistakes in the second, and that changed the game."
NOTES: Penguins F Carl Hagelin (lower body injury) played for the first time since March 10. To make room for Hagelin, Pittsburgh F Scott Wilson was a scratch. ... Washington D Karl Alzner (upper body injury) missed his sixth straight game. ... The Capitals made one lineup change, inserting RW Paul Carey on the fourth line and scratching RW Brett Connolly. ... With his two assists, C Sidney Crosby (148) moved ahead of Jaromir Jagr (147) for second place on the team's all-time postseason points list. ... Pittsburgh F Chris Kunitz passed Mario Lemieux for fifth place on the team's all-time postseason games played list with 108. ... Capitals RW T.J. Oshie had an assist and has earned nine points (three goals, six assists) in eight games this postseason.
Pageau's 4th goal lifts Senators in 2nd OT
Sunday, April 30 at 1:43 AM (EDT)
OTTAWA -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau was worried about his pregame routine before Saturday's 3 p.m. start at Canadian Tire Centre.
"I thought I ate too much," the Ottawa Senators center said. "I had two chicken parm."
Turns out it gave Pageau lots of energy as the Ottawa native capped a four-goal performance with late-game heroics against the New York Rangers.
Pageau started a natural hat trick on a deflection with 3:19 left in the third period. Another deflection with 62 seconds remaining tied it, and his wrist shot off a 2-on-1 break at 2:54 of double overtime gave the Senators an unlikely 6-5 victory over the Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The outburst capped the first four-goal performance in Senators' playoff history, and it gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead in the series.
Game 3 is set for Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
"I'm going to remember that for the rest of my life," said Pageau, who had 12 goals during the season. "But I don't want to stop there now. I want to turn the page as quick as possible and focus on the next game."
Marc Methot and Mark Stone also scored for the Senators.
Rookie defenseman Brady Skjei led the Rangers with two goals, while Michael Grabner, Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan each had one.
"Four goals, that's absolutely sick," Senators coach Guy Boucher said of Pageau's performance. "It's not just four goals, it the tying goal, it's the overtime one ... it couldn't happen to a better person. He's just so liked by his peers. When you ask players who they want to play with, the No. 1 name that always comes is Pageau's. Doesn't matter if it's an offensive player, a defensive player, it's always the name that comes up.
"Today is just another one of these nights you know why everybody wants to play with this guy. It's not just a big heart, it's not just a lot of character. He's a good hockey player and he's smart. That's why he's able to play the way he does."
Both goalies had their moments of weakness early on. Craig Anderson wound up making 43 saves while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 28 shots.
"You're never sure or safe or comfortable, you just play the game and you try to be in it, but all it takes like it happened there are two deflections.," Lundqvist said. "You sort of have it under control but it's a quick play. It's obviously hard to defend too when they find the stick like that. I wasn't moving as well as I've been in other games, so I have to take a day in order to recharge and get better."
The Rangers gave the Senators three power plays before the game was 11 minutes old, but Ottawa could not take advantage. Both teams wound up 0-for-4 with man-advantage opportunities.
"We kept the crowd at the edge of their seats all night," said Anderson, who was saved by a Kyle Turris stick check after he gave the puck away to Rick Nash behind the net earlier in overtime. "We've learned from our experience in the first round of the playoffs to stick with it and never give up.
"You just never know. You've just got to be ready for the next save and give your team a chance to be in it. You just never give up and never change your mindset."
Stepan admitted the Rangers were guilty of sitting with the lead.
"I think you're just playing safe," he said. "You're just trying to make sure you don't get beat and give an odd-man rush, so you stay tight and you give them a little too much space. I think it's human nature. It's a tough thing to be able to play on your toes with the lead in the second round of the playoffs. It's tough to understand that you've gotta make those plays and you've gotta be confident that you're sharp with it."
Rangers center and former Senator Mika Zibanejad expressed frustration and disappointment with the loss.
"We put ourselves in a good spot there with a lead," he said. "Little details again. They score to make it 5-4, get some momentum and get the tying goal there. It's just disappointing."
The Senators lost veteran winger Clarke MacArthur after he received a shoulder-to-shoulder hit by Ryan McDonagh in the first. MacArthur took two shifts in the second but did not return to the game. Boucher said MacArthur was "feeling better" before he left the building and listed him as day-to-day.
NOTES: Jean-Gabriel Pageau's hat trick was the second of career in playoff action. He also had one against the Montreal Canadiens on May 5, 2013. ... The goal by Senators D Marc Methot was his first since March 19, 2016. ... Rangers LW Michael Grabner scored his first career playoff short-handed goal in the opening period. He has 13 regular-season short-handed goals in his career. ... The Rangers made no lineup changes from Game 1. ... Senators LW Tom Pyatt has officially been cleared to return from injuries suffered in Game 4 of the first-round series with Boston, but coach Guy Boucher elected not to tinker with a winning lineup on Saturday. That means Senators D Chris Wideman, who played 76 games during the regular season and the first five against the Bruins, was scratched for a third consecutive time.