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Diamondbacks’ Ray exits game with back spasms

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DENVER — Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray left in the third inning against the Colorado Rockies with spasms in his lower back.

Ray took the mound in the bottom of the third Wednesday before being visited by manager Torey Lovullo. After a brief meeting, Ray slowly walked toward the dugout with the team trainer. Ray struck out two, walked two and allowed one run over two innings. He threw 45 pitches.

The 27-year-old Ray was replaced by right-hander Matt Andriese.

Ray is 10-7 with a 3.99 ERA this season.

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Teams spreading the love on Valentine’s Day

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It’s Feb. 14, and love is in the air across the sports world. Whatever team, player or league you support, you’re probably feeling the love today as teams are penning love poems and creating adorable Valentine’s Day cards for their fans. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals are letting the rest of the teams in MLB know how much they love them. Here are a dozen of the sweetest messages we’ve seen today.



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Dodgers’ Ross Stripling says he’d consider throwing at Astros hitters

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Ross Stripling, among the many Los Angeles Dodgers players who has expressed anger over the Houston Astros‘ sign-stealing scandal, was asked if he would consider throwing at Astros hitters if he were to face them this coming season.

Stripling thought about the question for a few seconds before arriving at an answer.

“I would lean toward yes,” he said. “In the right time and in the right place. Maybe I give up two runs the inning before and I got some anger going. Who knows? But yeah, it would certainly be on my mind.”

Stripling and the Dodgers are not scheduled to play the Astros in 2020, but the pitcher recently was almost traded to a Los Angeles Angels team that plays in the American League West and opens its season against division rival Houston for the first of at least 19 games in 2020.

Many throughout the league have expressed a similar sentiment, most famously Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger, who recently said that Astros hitters “shouldn’t be comfortable” in their at-bats. Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood noted that if it were a different time, Astros hitters might “get pegged every inning.”

Doing so in 2020 is a little tougher.

“Somebody will take it into their own hands, and they’ll get suspended more games than any of those guys got for the biggest cheating scandal in 100 years,” Wood said. “It’ll be pretty ironic when that happens, because I’m sure that’s how it’ll end up playing out.”

An investigation by Major League Baseball, sparked by comments pitcher Mike Fiers made to The Athletic in November, revealed that the Astros cheated by using a camera-based, sign-stealing system during the regular season and playoffs of their World Series-winning 2017.

Several of the Dodgers players who lost to Houston in that World Series have expressed anger both at the Astros’ methods and what they perceived to be a general lack of remorse from the culprits.

Cody Bellinger, among the most outspoken Friday, was asked about pitchers potentially throwing at Astros hitters this season.

“Hey, man, if that makes you feel better,” Bellinger said. “They’ve been stealing your signs for years and years, and you got a bigger ERA because of it and you lost money in arbitration because of it, so be it.”

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Bartolo Colon signs with Monclova Acereros of Mexican Baseball League

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MEXICO CITY — Bartolo Colon is headed to Mexico.

The right-hander, who will turn 47 in May, has signed with the Monclova Acereros of the Mexican Baseball League.

The Acereros, defending champions of the Triple-A circuit, announced the signing of the Dominican right-hander Friday. The team didn’t provide details of the contract.

“Bartolo Colon would be an important piece of the pitching staff of the current champions, becoming one of the bigger signings in our baseball history,” the team said in a press release. “The ‘Big Sexy’ show would be something the Monclova fans will be to enjoy.”

Colon hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2018 with the Texas Rangers.

He became the top winning pitcher born in Latin America, getting his 246th career victory on Aug. 7 against the Seattle Mariners.

Colon is 247-188 in 565 games — 552 as a starter — since his big league debut with Cleveland in 1997. He also was the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner while with the Angels.

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