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Padres vs. Mets – Game Recap – July 23, 2019

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NEW YORK — Robinson Cano hit three home runs, breaking loose from a season-long slump in a huge way and leading Jason Vargas and the New York Mets over the San Diego Padres 5-2 Tuesday night.

The 36-year-old Cano drove in all five runs and went 4-for-4. Vargas pitched one-hit ball for six shutout innings, possibly enhancing his trade value.

Cano began the day batting just .243 with six homers in his first season with the Mets. Yet before the game, manager Mickey Callaway expressed confidence that Cano would produce, putting him in the category of “Hall of Fame hitters.”

Cano homered three times in a game for the first time in his career. It was just the third three-homer game ever by a Mets player at home — Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis both did it in July 2015.

After singling in the first, Cano made it 1-0 in the fourth with his first home run at Citi Field since early April.

Cano hit a two-run homer off Chris Paddack (6-5) in the sixth and a two-run shot in the seventh off Logan Allen — both drives sailed into the second deck.

Of Cano’s nine homers this year, five have come since the All-Star break. This was his 23rd career multihomer game and first since 2017 with Seattle.

Yoenis Cespedes was the previous Mets player to hit three homers, doing it in 2017. The feat has been accomplished by 13th different Mets players, with Cespedes doing it twice.

Vargas (5-5) put on a pitching clinic, getting the San Diego hitters to consistently flail.

The 36-year-old left-hander gave up only a single to Eric Hosmer in the fifth, struck out eight and walked three. Rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. struck out three times and Manny Machado swung at a strike three that bounced.

Several scouts were at Citi Field, and no doubt the performance Vof argas piqued their interest as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.

Vargas’ hardest fastball was clocked at 84.6 mph — Paddack’s slowest changeup came in a tick faster 84.7.

The anticipated showdown between rookie stars Pete Alonso and Paddack didn’t amount to much — the slugging Alonso walked twice and grounded out against the young fireballer.

Edwin Diaz relieved with two on in the ninth and got his 22nd save in 26 chances, giving up an RBI double to Tatis before retiring Manuel Margot on a lineout with two on to end the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Padres: LHP Adrian Morejon “should be available” to pitch in relief during this three-game series, manager Andy Green said. The 20-year-old Cuban made his major league debut Sunday at Wrigley Field, giving up one run and three hits in 2 1/3 innings. Green said the Padres would consider using him as an opener over the weekend at home vs. the Giants.

Mets: Major league batting leader Jeff McNeil was hit in the right elbow by a Paddack pitch in the fifth. McNeil was checked by a trainer and stayed in. … RHP Zack Wheeler (shoulder impingement) threw batting practice on the field and could be activated Friday to pitch against the Pirates. “I’m 100%. Ready to go,” he said. Callaway said Wheeler, who last started on July 7, will be on a pitch count of 75-85 pitches. Wheeler (6-6, 4.69 ERA) has been the subject of trade rumors leading up to the July 31 deadline. “Last year was the same way,” he said.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP Dinelson Lamet (0-2, 5.14 ERA) makes his fourth start of the season. He won his major league debut in 2017 at Citi Field and went 7-8 overall, then missed last year after Tommy John surgery.

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (7-4, 4.36) is 4-0 in his past nine starts.

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Hamilton returns, inducted into Rangers’ hall

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Josh Hamilton said he had forgotten how the grass looked and smelled at the home of the Texas Rangers. He hadn’t been there since playing in the AL Division Series four years ago.

Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP the season the Rangers went to their first World Series, was back for the first time Saturday night for his induction into the team’s hall of fame.

“That was fun,” the five-time All-Star said after the team showed a video filled with highlights of his five-plus seasons in Texas, including big home runs and incredible catches in the outfield.

The slugger’s story is well-documented, from being the first overall pick out of high school in the 1999 amateur draft by Tampa Bay, to the drug and alcohol addictions that nearly destroyed his career. He was out of baseball for 3 1/2 years before his comeback, making his big league debut with Cincinnati in 2007 before being traded to the Rangers after that season.

“Looking back reminds me of God’s grace and his mercy,” said Hamilton, sharing his Christian faith during his induction speech. “Some people will say that I’m a hypocrite, or they have said it. I simply say I’m human. Y’all know my story. You can’t look at that and tell me that you think I did that all on my own, or with just willpower. It didn’t happen. That much willpower doesn’t exist in the world.”

Hamilton thanked a long list of people, including his parents and three daughters who were with him on the field. The 38-year-old fondly talked about the Rangers organization, including former coaches and teammates. General manager Jon Daniels, who traded top pitching prospect Edinson Volquez to the Reds for Hamilton, was there to unveil the player’s plaque.

The highlights included clips from his awe-inspiring display in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium in 2008, when he led the American League with 130 RBIs while hitting .304 with 32 homers in his first full season. He hit four homers in the 2010 AL Championship Series and had a four-homer game at Baltimore in 2012.

Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene, who during his time in office from 1987-97 played a major role in a getting the team a new stadium and keeping the Rangers in Arlington, was also inducted into the Rangers’ hall.

Hamilton hit .302 with 150 homers and 531 RBIs in 697 games with Texas. Over his entire eight big league seasons, Hamilton hit .290 with 200 homers and 701 RBIs in 1,027 games.

He left the Rangers in free agency after the 2012 season for a $125 million, five-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He was recovering from shoulder surgery when the Angels traded him back to Texas in 2015 after two injury-plagued seasons in Los Angeles. After 50 games in 2015, he had surgery on his left knee at least three times and never played again, even after going to spring training two more times.

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, who was in the visiting dugout Saturday night, was the first-round draft pick by Tampa Bay the year after Hamilton, and they came up in the Rays organization together.

“I grew up with him in the game and had a chance to watch him. He’s the single most talented baseball player I’ve ever been around,” Baldelli said. “If you drew up like a prototype kind of superhero type baseball player, like that’s what he was. He was a well above average runner. He had great instincts in the field. He had the best arm in baseball.”

With the induction of the former slugger and past mayor, there are now 22 people in the Rangers hall. Hamilton and Greene were the first inductees in three years since Michael Young, whose No. 10 jersey will be retired by the team in two weeks.

There are only 21 home games left at the current Globe Life Park in Arlington, which is in its 26th season. A new stadium with a retractable roof is nearly three-quarters complete across the street and will open for the 2020 season.

“It just adds significantly to the opportunity,” Greene, who supports the new stadium, said about being inducted in the stadium he helped build. “This is certainly a bittersweet season for us that love this place and have spent 25 years here.”

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Tigers vs. Rays – Game Recap – August 17, 2019

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Mike Brosseau’s pinch-hit RBI single in the 13th inning drove in Eric Sogard to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.

Sogard doubled off Matt Hall (0-1) with two outs and Tommy Pham was intentionally walked. Brosseau, batting for pitcher Colin Poche, singled to right-center field for the Rays’ first run since Wednesday, ending a streak of 29 scoreless innings.

Rays pitchers struck out a franchise-record 24 batters, including 13 in 20 hitless at bats against relievers. Six Tigers hitters struck out at least three times.

Poche (3-4) got the win after striking out two of the three Tigers he faced in the 13th.

The win kept the Rays one-half game ahead of Oakland for the American League’s second wild-card spot.

Detroit’s final hit was Niko Goodrum‘s one-out double in the seventh off Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough. The next eight Tigers struck out against three different relievers.

Yarbrough, who came one out short of pitching the Rays’ first complete game in three years on Sunday, is 6-0 with a 1.43 ERA over 56 2/3 innings in his last 11 appearances. He gave up three hits while striking out 10 in 6 1/3 innings.

Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed only one baserunner — on Pham’s double — in five innings, throwing 63 pitches and striking out five.

In nine at bats in the first two games of the series, Miguel Cabrera has struck out seven times and grounded into a double play.

ANDERSON’S K’s

Since allowing a double to Boston’s Andrew Benintendi, the first batter he faced as a Ray, Nick Anderson has retired 21 straight, 17 by strikeout. He struck out the side in the eighth inning Saturday. Anderson was acquired in a trade from Miami on July 31.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: C Grayson Greiner (lower back strain) moved from Class A Lakeland to Triple-A Toledo for the final step of his rehab process.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe, out since July 3 with a bruised right shin bone, will play with Class A Charlotte through Sunday at which time it will be determined if he will join Triple-A Durham. “It will be depended on if everybody feels he’s moving well,” manager Kevin Cash said. “If not we’ll just keep him at Charlotte.”

UP NEXT

Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (6-9) will pitch Sunday’s series finale. He has given up 11 earned runs over eight innings in his last two starts.

Rays: RHP Trevor Richards was added to the taxi squad from Triple-A Durham and is lined up to start or follow an opener Sunday. Acquired from Miami on July 31, Richards went 3-12 in 23 games, including 20 starts, for the Marlins.

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Yanks’ Boone, Gardner ejected again for ump tiff

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NEW YORK — Manager Aaron Boone, Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees again hammered away at the umpires Saturday, this time in prolonged rants that brought several members of the team spilling onto the field, while beating the Cleveland Indians 6-5.

For the third time in a month — each time with a minor league call-up umpire behind the plate — the team with the best record in the American League lost its temper in a big way. This episode led to Boone and Gardner as well as pitcher CC Sabathia, who is on the injured list, all being ejected.

The trouble began in the sixth inning after Triple-A ump Ben May called out Cameron Maybin on strikes. The final pitch to Maybin was, according to strike zone charts, a bit outside. He calmly stood and discussed it with May and went back to the bench.

Moments later, things heated up in a hurry.

Boone came rushing from the dugout to confront May, and engaged in an animated argument. When Boone returned to the bench, all seemed calm — for a moment, anyway.

That’s when Boone came back for another go at May, with crew chief Tom Hallion coming in from second base, trying to quell the beef. But at the same time, several Yankees were hollering from the dugout, engaging in a close-up argument with first-base ump Phil Cuzzi.

“Just in that couple innings, obviously we objected to a few calls,” Boone explained after the game. “I start in there not wanting to get one of our guys if I can out of that game, but you know I had some issues where I felt like something might have affected another, might affect [James] Paxton being in that game, so just voiced it.”

Gardner was then ejected after banging his bat against the dugout roof — it’s become his habit when he gets upset — and then he climbed over the railing to continue to the dispute with Cuzzi. Coaches Phil Nevin, Marcus Thames and Josh Paul also were on the field, holding back Gardner, who was also arguing with third-base umpire Todd Tichenor.

“Kinda crazy to be honest,” Gardner said. “Got ejected for hitting the top of the dugout with my bat, making too much noise I guess. I wasn’t happy about it, I didn’t feel like what I did warranted an ejection.”

Boone said he thought the umpires were looking for Gardner to repeat his previous assaults on dugout roofs.

“I think in this case, in kind of talking with Gardy and watching it back, I think it’s clearly something they were probably looking for with us,” the manager said. “I haven’t received any memos or anything saying that’s illegal. Gardy was saying nothing again other than, ‘Hey, this is a spot in the game, we’re fired up, we’re playing for a lot,’ and we get a little passionate in that dugout in spots, and Gardy I don’t think was doing anything more than that.”

Boone added that on the topic of hitting the roof, the Yankees would “work closely with the commissioner’s office and find out what’s acceptable and not and try and certainly be respectful of that, and try and do a better job of staying in the game.”

Gardner said he believes any potential rule limiting players’ expression from the dugout would not be good for the sport.

“I guess if we’re trying to make the game fun again, like a lot of guys say the last few years — I don’t think you want all the guys sitting in the dugout not being able to say anything or make any noise or anything like that,” Gardner said. “That wouldn’t be too much fun. I’m not saying what I did was right…But I probably wouldn’t do it again tomorrow.”

It was Gardner’s sixth ejection of his career and second in little more than a week.

Last Friday, Gardner was tossed after an incident in Toronto in which plate umpire Chris Segal heard some words from the dugout and singled out the outfielder. Gardner had been silent at the time but earlier had been slamming his bat into the roof of the dugout.

On July 18, Boone screamed and hollered at another rookie umpire, Brennan Miller, leading to the expletive-filled rant that prompted the manager to call his hitters “savages” in the batter’s box. That netted him a one-game suspension.

These frustrations have come as the Yankees are running away with the American League East, with an 11-game lead over their nearest rival.

“I think it got taken too far with sending Gardy out of that game again, but look we’re playing for a lot right now,” Boone said. “You can feel that with all our guys right now, we’re in this thing — we’re playing for keeps.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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