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Bill Madden: Albert Pujols and the cautionary tale of MLB's mega contracts

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — The Angels’ decision on Thursday to release Hall of Fame-bound slugger Albert Pujols with a little under $30 million owed him on the last year of his contract was both stunning and necessary even if a lot of people in baseball and the media viewed it as cold-hearted.

And from afar, it is understandable if Mets owner Steve Cohen ...Read more

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Randy and Raiko Arozarena have Tampa Bay fields covered

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Growing up in Cuba, the older boy preferred playing soccer. The younger brother liked baseball. As teenagers, for somewhat random reasons, they switched.

Both became pretty good, navigating personal tragedy with the death of their father, Jesus, and the upheaval of fleeing Cuba for Mexico, to play professionally.

Even ...Read more

Dodgers hold off Angels, 14-11, in wild game

Sports / Baseball /

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Some were hit hard, firm line drives and loud fly balls scattered around the park.

Some rolled along the ground, weak contact that kept on finding the right spots.

Once they started, they didn’t stop. Batter after batter. Hit after hit. Run scored after run scored.

During the Dodgers’ 13-run explosion between the ...Read more

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Phillies blow two three-run leads in 8-7, 12-inning loss to Braves

Sports / Baseball /

Héctor Neris was one strike away from giving the Phillies their longest winning streak in nearly three years. Then he made one of the worst pitches of his career.

And that wasn’t even the low point of the Phillies’ Saturday night in Atlanta.

The Phillies lost not one but two three-run leads in an 8-7, 12-inning crusher against the Braves,...Read more

Mariners find some offense and several ways to lose game against the Rangers

Sports / Baseball /

In a game that should’ve been a celebration of a rejuvenated offense and some much-needed production from some of the struggling bats in the bottom of the order, the Mariners found numerous ways to find a 9-8 defeat in what should’ve been an easy victory over the Texas Rangers.

On a designated bullpen day where a collection of relievers ...Read more

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Orioles rookie Zac Lowther's first start spoiled in 11-6 loss to Red Sox

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE — Zac Lowther was never the hardest-throwing Orioles pitching prospect leading up to his first major league start Saturday, though he may well work the quickest.

That could ultimately be what he remembers from Saturday’s debut as a big league starter: one that quickly got away from him.

In the Orioles’ 11-6 loss to the Boston ...Read more

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White Sox ride 8-run 1st inning to 9-1 rout of Royals

Sports / Baseball /

KANSAS CITY, MO. — The Chicago White Sox sent 13 batters to the plate during an eight-run first inning on the way to a 9-1 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.

Tim Anderson, Nick Madrigal and Yoán Moncada each had two hits in the inning. Anderson and Madrigal singled twice. Moncada had a two-run double and ...Read more

Mets win fourth in a row behind Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — The Mets’ 15th win of the year was executed well from both sides of the ball, and double-play partners Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil — fresh off a tunnel tussle — set the tone.

McNeil parked a two-run home run, his third of the season, to center field in the third inning of the Mets’ 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks on ...Read more

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Zack Scott admits Lindor-McNeil fictional rat story was 'not ideal'

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — Zack Scott, in his four months as Mets acting GM, has typically refrained from outlandish statements or unpopular assessments that may not sit well with his players.

But he went against the grain Saturday and honestly detailed how he would have handled the messy and heated situation in the Mets’ tunnel during Friday’s game. (...Read more

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Marlins' four-game win streak snapped as offense falls flat against Brewers

Sports / Baseball /

The Miami Marlins needed one pitch to get their first run against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. Miguel Rojas sent Adrian Houser’s first offering, a 93.6-mph fastball over the heart of the plate, a projected 408 feet to straightaway center for a solo home run, his second leadoff home run in a three-game span.

It took the Marlins until ...Read more

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Max Scherzer dominates, but Yankees hang around to win in extras

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — The Yankees were not going out without a fight. They won game two of their three-game series against the Washington Nationals, 4-3, Saturday at Yankee Stadium in the 11th inning, more than six hours after the first pitch was originally scheduled. And it was Gleyber Torres who came away with the walk-off hit in the eleventh hour.

...Read more

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Rays can't overcome Tyler Glasnow's rough start in loss to A's

Sports / Baseball /

Tyler Glasnow put the Rays in an early hole Saturday afternoon, and they couldn’t quite hit their way out of it, losing, 6-3, to the A’s.

That made two straight losses for the Rays (18-17) after a five-game win streak, as they wrap up a week-long West Coast road trip and a stretch of 30 games in 31 days with a Sunday matinee in Oakland, ...Read more

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Jacob deGrom 'ready to roll' for Sunday; Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo to start rehab assignments

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — Jacob deGrom’s minor injury scare is behind him.

The Mets ace is on track to make his start against the Diamondbacks in the series finale on Sunday at Citi Field after he missed his last outing due to right lat inflammation.

“Any time you’re talking about someone that special, it’s a relief whenever there is any kind of ...Read more

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Top of the order sparks Tigers in 7-3 win over Twins

Sports / Baseball /

DETROIT — AJ Hinch has been searching and searching, trying to find some kind of spark for the Tigers offense.

For one game at least, he found it.

Robbie Grossman and Harold Castro, hitting 1-2 in Hinch’s batting order, combined to get on base eight times Saturday and kick-started a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh that sent the...Read more

Giants' Gausman beats Padres again with help from Crawford, Belt

Sports / Baseball /

SAN FRANCISCO — The 90th birthday celebration for Willie Mays isn’t the only reason things are feeling nostalgic at Oracle Park.

Franchise mainstays Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt hit home runs and Kevin Gausman continued his dominance against the San Diego Padres Saturday in a 7-1 win by the Giants before a crowd of 9,764.

Now 20-13, ...Read more

Cardinals hold on for 9-8 victory vs. Rockies

Sports / Baseball /

ST. LOUIS — It took less than an inning for the Cardinals to run through all the various ways they want to head as an offense and reclaim the lead they lost, as sizable as it ever was.

They needed every morsel of it.

A four-run lead squandered in the top of the fifth inning Saturday was regained in the bottom half as the Cardinals laced ...Read more

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Cubs defeat Pirates, 3-2, notching 5th consecutive win as Matt Duffy and Jayson Heyward lead late rally

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — Matt Duffy’s seventh inning RBI single sent the Cubs to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday before a crowd of 10,343 at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs won their fifth straight game, moving over the .500 mark again at 17-16.

With the game tied 2-2 in the seventh, Jason Heyward lead off with a walk before stealing second base ...Read more

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Orioles outfielder Austin Hays and wife, Samantha, cherishing first mother's day with 'miracle baby' Levi

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE — Orioles outfielder Austin Hays was forced to consider that dad strength was real this spring after he hit a home run in the first game his newborn son attended.

He’d spent the winter surrounded by a more undeniable kind: a mother fighting for her baby, and a baby fighting to come home with his family.

That spring training game ...Read more

Sources: Gregory Polanco away from Pirates for violating COVID-19 protocols

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — Gregory Polanco is not with the Pirates and is currently back in Pittsburgh because he violated Major League Baseball's COVID-19 protocols while the team was in San Diego, multiple sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Pirates placed Polanco on the injured list ahead of Tuesday's game against the Padres with no designation. ...Read more

Austin Slater's home run gives Giants series-opening win over Padres

Sports / Baseball /

SAN FRANCISCO — Austin Slater hit a solo home run to lead off the seventh as the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 5-4 Friday night to open a three-game series at Oracle Park.

That the Giants (19-13) blew a four-run lead was secondary to taking a 1 1/2 game lead over the Padres (18-15) in the National League West on a night where...Read more