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Real-life Crash Davis retires after walkoff blast

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For Cody Decker, his 204th minor league home run was a walk-off blast in every sense of the word.

Yes, the two-run shot gave the Triple-A Reno Aces a 10-9 walk-off win Friday night, but the 32-year-old first baseman also chose that moment to walk off into the sunset, stealing a page from the script for the movie “Bull Durham.”

Decker, a real-life Crash Davis, retired as the active home run leader in the minor leagues.

“I never really knew I’d get the chance to do it,” Decker told TahoeOnStage.com about the fact he retired after hitting a game-winning homer. “It was a really special night and one of the best of my career, something I’ll never forget. The fact I got to share it with these teammates, you can’t beat it.”

Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 22nd round in 2009, Decker played 1,033 games over 11 seasons for 13 teams, retiring with a .260 batting average and 645 RBIs to go with his 204 homers. He hit .240 with seven homers and 21 RBIs for Reno — the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ affiliate in the Pacific Coast League — this season

Decker’s major league career consisted of eight games with the Padres in 2015 when he went 0-for-11 with one RBI.

The time in the minors, though, provided memories for a lifetime. None, though, may top the memories provided by his final at-bat and trip around the bases.

“That moment coming off the field is something I never knew would happen,” Decker told TahoeOnStage.com. “Getting all those hugs at home, then having a curtain call from the fans. It wasn’t just the fans which is amazing, it was my teammates on the top step both giving me a standing ovation.”



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Boone tossed after rant – My guys are savages

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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone went on a profane rant Thursday that seemed to spark his team’s rally from a slow start to a 6-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The rant came after rookie umpire Brennan Miller called Brett Gardner out on strikes in the second inning. Gardner returned to the dugout, where he slammed his bat into the bat rack nine times, then eight times into the dugout roof.

Microphones caught Boone’s yelling that the pitch was outside along with profanities to Miller, an International League crew chief who made his big league debut April 20 as a call-up umpire.

Miller said, “I heard you, Aaron,” and when Boone persisted, the umpire ejected him. Boone then ran out and kept up the argument, getting close to Miller’s face and clapping his hands for emphasis.

“My guys are f—ing savages in that f—ing box, right? And you’re having a piece of s— start to this game. I feel bad for you, but f—ing get better,” Boone said, going on to repeat his thoughts several times. He told Miller to “tighten it up right now, OK?”

Miller, umpiring behind the plate for the fifth time in a major league game, had called Aaron Judge out on strikes following DJ LeMahieu‘s leadoff double in the first. Gardner batted in the second after Gio Urshela‘s tying, two-run homer and was called out on a 1-2 pitch.

Boone was ejected for the third time this season and the seventh time in two years as a big league manager.

“Just a big game, and just felt like some things weren’t going our way there early, and it felt like it needed to be known,” Boone said after the game. “Sometimes in the heat of the battle, you just kind of utter some things.

“Certainly didn’t want anyone else getting tossed. We were pretty heated there, several of our guys there in the first couple of innings. So I just felt it was necessary in that spot to kind of take the attention off some of the other guys.”

Yankees pitcher Domingo German, who allowed back-to-back home runs to Austin Meadows and Yandy Diaz to leadoff the game, said Boone’s rant gave him a spark.

“I loved it,” German said through a translator. “Personally, I fed off that energy. It gave me a boost to concentrate and go out there, do my job and try to get this victory for him, because he went out there and fought for us. I felt that it was my responsibility to go back out there and return the favor.”

As for calling his players “savages,” Boone explained that they “make it hard on the pitcher all the time. That’s something that those guys take a lot of pride in as a lineup. You may have your way with us, you may have success against us, but I want you to feel us.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Strasburg gets 2 hits in one inning, including HR

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Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg singled and hit a 420-foot, three-run homer in the third inning of Thursday’s game against the Braves in Atlanta.

Strasburg led off the third inning with a single to center and scored the Nationals’ first run, tying the game.

The Nationals batted around, and when Strasburg came up the second time with two outs and two on, he drove a 92-mph fastball from Touki Toussaint deep to left for his fourth career homer. The blast was the longest by a pitcher this season and the longest by a Nationals pitcher since the Statcast era began in 2015.

Strasburg became the first pitcher to hit a home run and an additional base hit in the same inning since Edwin Jackson did it with the Diamondbacks against the Pirates on April 11, 2010.

Strasburg (11-4, 3.46 ERA) also struck out five Braves in the first three innings.

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Eovaldi strikes out side, set to join Boston bullpen

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Nathan Eovaldi struck out three in a scoreless inning of relief in his first rehab appearance for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday and is poised to join the Boston Red Sox bullpen this weekend.

The hard-throwing right-hander has been on the injured list since late April because of a sore elbow.

Eovaldi threw 11 of his 19 pitches for strikes and walked one during a 4-2 loss to visiting Louisville. He is set to travel with the Red Sox to Baltimore ahead of their series opener Friday and is expected to come off the IL on either Saturday or Sunday.

Eovaldi will pitch in relief when he rejoins the Red Sox, as the team previously announced.

“I feel really good. Fastball felt good, cutter felt good. I didn’t throw any splits today, but I threw two curveballs and they felt really good coming out of the hand,” Eovaldi told reporters Thursday. “I feel like I’ve gone through all the tests that I possibly can, so I feel like I’m ready to go. Mainly just use tomorrow as a recovery day and be ready to go either Saturday or Sunday.”

Eovaldi has no record and a 6.00 ERA in four starts this season after signing a four-year, $68 million contract to remain with the Red Sox last December.

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