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Chicago White Sox’s Yermin Mercedes has historic 5-for-5 night in first start

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Yermin Mercedes became the first player in the modern era to go 5-for-5 in his first career start, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 12-8 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night at Angels Stadium.

Mercedes, a 28-year-old catcher playing in his second career game, also drove in four runs in an extraordinary performance as Chicago’s designated hitter.

The only players since 1900 to get five hits in their first career start are Mercedes and Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators, who went 5-for-7 in 1933. Fred Clarke also did it for the Louisville Colonels in 1894.

Mercedes singled in his first at-bat in the third, delivered a two-run single in the fourth, then singled in the sixth and eighth innings before capping his night with a two-run double in the ninth.

Top White Sox prospect Andrew Vaughn went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run while playing 6 1/2 innings in his major league debut.

Vaughn, the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft, played left field and batted fifth one day before his 23rd birthday. With Eloy Jimenez out for most of the season, Vaughn is expected to play left field regularly for Chicago despite being a natural first baseman who only made his pro debut as an outfielder on March 26 in spring training.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. on 10-day injured list with shoulder trouble

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SAN DIEGO — Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday, a day after partially dislocating his left shoulder for the third time this season.

The Padres announced the move prior to their game against the Colorado Rockies. They also placed right-hander Chris Paddack on the IL with an oblique injury.

Tatis, the National League’s starting shortstop in the All-Star Game, was injured Friday night while sliding awkwardly into third base in the first inning against the Rockies. He was in pain as he was led off the field by manager Jayce Tingler and a trainer.

Tingler said Tatis was “a little bit more sore than maybe some of them we’ve had in the past.”

The Padres, who are in third place in the NL West and in control of the second wild-card spot, are keeping their fingers crossed that the electrifying 22-year-old Tatis will be back in 10 days.

Tatis leads the NL with 31 home runs. He’s hitting .292 with 70 RBIs.

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Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Daniel Brito suffers medical emergency, postponing Triple-A game

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Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Daniel Brito suffered a medical emergency during Saturday’s game between the Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs, forcing the Triple-A doubleheader in Rochester, New York, to be postponed.

The IronPigs third baseman began to wobble in the bottom of the first inning of the second game and had to be helped by the Red Wings manager — who was coaching in the third-base box. Brito then lay on the field for approximately 20 minutes and was administered oxygen by a paramedic, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. An ambulance eventually arrived and Brito was taken to a local hospital.

“In the best interest of the players and coaches for both teams, today’s Red Wings doubleheader has been suspended due to a medical emergency on the field in the bottom of the 1st inning,” the Red Wings said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Brito, a 23-year-old from Venezuela whom the Phillies signed in 2015, had recently made his debut in Triple-A.

Rochester won the opening game 3-0.



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Tony La Russa clear there’s ‘not going to be a closers controversy’ with first-place Chicago White Sox

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The only thing better than having one All-Star closer is having two. The Chicago White Sox acquired their second one on Friday when they traded infielder Nick Madrigal and pitcher Codi Heuer to their crosstown rival Cubs for righty Craig Kimbrel.

Kimbrel joins Liam Hendriks to form a dynamic duo at the back end of games.

The only question is, who gets the ninth?

“The day that they are both available it will be real clear, if we have the lead, who pitches the eighth and who pitches the ninth,” manager Tony La Russa said Saturday. “There’s not going to be a QB controversy, there’s not going to be a closers controversy. Let’s get the outs, let’s get the win and keep moving forward.”

La Russa intends on informing the pitchers of their roles before the game even starts and is mostly relying on availability as the determining factor from night to night. If the White Sox keep up their winning ways, they believe there will plenty of closing opportunities for both pitchers while keeping them both fresh as well.

“I’ll be closing games,” Kimbrel said on his first day with his new team. “I’ll be throwing in the eighth inning. The whole idea is to structure it in a way that we’re all healthy when October gets here.”

Checking egos at the door will be key to making it work. Hendriks has 26 saves this year while Kimbrel has 23.

“I’m just waiting for the phone to ring,” Hendriks said. “Whenever they call my name, I’ll be ready to go. We have no egos down there. There’s no one that is going to be pissed off with a diminished role. We just want to win.”

The White Sox could stake a claim to having the best rotation in the American League and now, the best bullpen. The trio of Michael Kopech, Kimbrel and Hendriks will take plenty of pressure off their starters.

“You look at what Kansas City was able to do in 2015,” Hendriks explained. “With the three headed monster back there, with Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland…We have some arms out there. It’s a fun time in that bullpen.”

The White Sox were starting to get concerned with Hendriks’ workload while their set-up men weren’t giving La Russa a lot of confidence this season, so the front office went out and got the best reliever on the market. The results could be devastating for opposing hitters.

“I see a lot of wins in this team’s future for the rest the year,” Kimbrel said. “I’m on-board to do whatever I need to do to help this team win.”

Hendriks added: “Getting Craig is a huge plus. I’m excited about learning from one of the best of all-time and now I get a chance to speak to him more on a baseball level.”

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