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Veteran LHP Brett Anderson signs 1-year deal with Brewers

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MILWAUKEE — Left-hander Brett Anderson is the latest addition to the quickly transforming Milwaukee Brewers, agreeing Friday to a one-year contract.

The deal is for $5 million, with a chance to earn another $2 million in performance bonuses, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The 31-year-old left-hander was 13-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 31 starts with Oakland last season, when he had a $1.5 million base salary and earned $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts.

Anderson posted the lowest strikeout rate of any qualifying starter in baseball (just 12.1% of batters faced) yet still boasted a 2.7 bWAR (Baseball-Reference’s wins above replacement) thanks to a low walk rate and the third-best ground ball rate among starters.

“We looked at Brett as a pitcher who has proven throughout his career that when he’s able to stay healthy, he’s been effective,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said. “He’s someone who throws strikes consistently. He keeps the ball on the ground, and we like the additional left-handed presence he gives us in our rotation.”

Milwaukee has just 12 players left from the 25 on its Division Series roster against Washington.

Anderson has been hurt throughout his 11-year big league career. Anderson had back surgery for a herniated disk at the end of the 2014 season and again in 2016 for a bulging disk. He had Tommy John surgery in 2011 and has missed time with an oblique strain and broken finger.

“Any time there have been injuries and have missed time or a player has missed time because of an injury like Brett has over the course of his career, there’s going to be an increased emphasis placed on that,” Stearns said. “But we are comfortable, based on durability last year when he logged over 175 innings and made over 30 starts, that we have a player who is capable of making a similar output for us moving forward.”

Anderson is 59-61 with a 4.05 ERA and 682 strikeouts in 176 starts and 12 relief appearances, for the Athletics (2009-13, 2018-19), Colorado (2014), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2015-16), the Chicago Cubs (2017) and Toronto (2017).

“My goal first is just to be healthy,” Anderson said. “As far as teams go, I’ve been around the league a little while now, on both sides of it, but I wanted a team that’s going to be competitive. I’ve been on teams that haven’t been very good and on teams that have been pretty good, so it’s nice to have a competitive team. That was one of the biggest priorities. It’s a little bit similar to Oakland in that it’s a smaller market.”

Anderson has induced ground-ball outs 56.8% of the time over his career. Anderson began throwing a cutter last season, using it 14% of the time.

“Just something that wasn’t going away from righties, that I could jam them a little bit,” Anderson said. “I don’t have the same velocity on my fastball or arm speed on my slider that I had when I was 21, so I wanted another pitch tie up righties so they couldn’t dive over the plate on the sinker and changeup. It was an effective pitch for me. It’s not the best pitch; it’s a work in progress. But if I can get a pitch that’s trending in that direction, I’ll take it.”

Anderson will join right-handers Brandon Woodruff and Adrian Houser, and left-hander Eric Lauer, as rotation candidates.

“I think we’re making progress,” Stearns said. “We’re never going to close the door on increasing our depth and increasing our options but we do think we’re making progress toward filling out a starting rotation that’s going to be very competitive.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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New York Yankees hit 5 homers in inning for first time in franchise history

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NEW YORK — The Yankees hit five home runs in an inning for the first time in their history.

Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning from Toronto’s Chase Anderson on Thursday night. Voit’s home run was his major league-leading 20th.

Aaron Hicks struck out, and Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with home runs that gave the Yankees a 9-2 lead and chased Anderson.

The Yankees became the seventh team to hit five home runs in an inning. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, they’re the second team to do it off one pitcher. The Washington Nationals did it in 2017 against Michael Blazek and the Brewers..

The Yankees hit three consecutive homers for the first time since June 2017 at Toronto.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Minnesota Twins’ Josh Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt at plate after homer

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CHICAGO — The Minnesota TwinsJosh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. With Minnesota trailing 3-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at this point and go from here.”

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St. Louis Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson leaves start due to elbow tightness

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PITTSBURGH — St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Dakota Hudson left his start Thursday night after two innings because of right elbow tightness.

Hudson did not allow a run while walking two and giving up one hit against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts this season.

The Cardinals entered the night percentage points behind the Cincinnati Reds for second place in the NL Central, 5 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs. The top two finishers in each division advance to the expanded postseason this year, along with two wild cards.

Hudson was replaced by left-hander Austin Gomber with St. Louis leading 1-0.

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