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Detroit Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull shuts down Mariners for MLB’s fifth no-hitter

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SEATTLE — Detroit Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull threw a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners in a 5-0 win Tuesday night, marking the fifth no-hitter of the major league season.

Only two runners reached base against Turnbull: Jarred Kelenic walked leading off the fourth inning, and Jose Marmolejos walked leading off the ninth.

Turnbull had nine strikeouts, relying heavily on his fastball but mixing in a strong slider to keep Seattle shut down. He threw 117 pitches, including 77 strikes.

Mitch Haniger was the closest to a hit for the Mariners, flying out to the wall in center field in the fourth inning. Haniger was also robbed of a hit by a diving stop from third baseman Jeimer Candelario leading off the seventh. The ball was recorded at 108 mph off Haniger’s bat, but Candelario snagged the one-hopper and made a strong throw to first base.

Turnbull completed the eighth no-hitter in Tigers’ history, and the first since Justin Verlander on May 7, 2011, against Toronto. Tuesday’s game marked the first time Turnbull pitched more than seven innings in 49 career starts.

Seattle was no-hit earlier this month by Baltimore’s John Means, and Cleveland’s Zach Plesac threatened to toss a no-no last week against the Mariners before it was broken up in the eighth inning.

The others to throw no-hitters this season were San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove against the Texas Rangers on April 9, Chicago White Sox right-hander Carlos Rodon against the Cleveland Indians on April 14 and Cincinnati Reds left-hander Wade Miley against the Indians on May 7.

There have been 10 games this season in which a pitcher took a no-hitter into at least the seventh inning, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Boston Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez exits with migraine symptoms

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BOSTON — Losing starter Eduardo Rodriguez once again to injury is not in the Boston Red Sox’s plans. The club is hoping for the best after Rodriguez had to be taken out in the second inning of Friday night’s game against the New York Yankees with what was later described by the Red Sox as “migraine symptoms.”

Rodriguez had a solid first inning, retiring the three Yankees he faced on 11 pitches. In the second frame, Rodriguez issued a lead-off walk to Gary Sanchez, followed by a hit by Gleyber Torres and an RBI double by Brett Gardner, which gave the Yankees an early 1-0 lead.

It was after facing Gardner that Rodriguez was approached by the Red Sox trainers and medical staff on the mound. After a short check-up, Rodriguez walked off the field under his own power, appearing dazed and covered with sweat, accompanied by the Red Sox trainers.

Right-hander Phillips Valdez took over for Rodriguez, who threw only 25 pitches.

After missing all of last season with heart complications due to myocarditis after contracting COVID-19, Rodriguez has returned to full health. Nonetheless, the 28-year-old lefty has logged a subpar 2021 season, which he has called the “hardest” of his career.

Manager Alex Cora has repeatedly praised Rodriguez and believes that he could return to his 2019 form and finish the year strong. Rodriguez came into Friday night’s game with a 7-2 record and a 5.19 ERA.

“I’m glad he’s healthy, I’m glad he’s throwing the ball well and we’ll count on him in the second part of the season,” Cora said ahead of the All-Star break. “Little by little, he keeps putting his pieces together. Now, he’s the guy we saw in 2019, the guy we saw in the playoffs in 2018.”

In his first game since the All-Star break on Friday, July 16, Rodriguez threw 5⅔ scoreless innings and struck out eight batters in Boston’s 4-0 win, precisely over the Yankees.

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Hearing for restraining order requested against Trevor Bauer postponed until Aug. 2

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LOS ANGELES — The civil hearing for a restraining order requested against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has been postponed to Aug. 2 after Bauer’s legal team requested more time to prepare a defense against witnesses and documents that it claimed to have received only recently.

Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman set aside Aug. 2, 3 and 19 for the hearing, which is expected to take between two and three days. The temporary restraining order against Bauer will remain in place until the hearing is complete. Bauer’s administrative leave expires on Tuesday, but Major League Baseball can extend it once again with consent by the MLB Players Association.

Bauer was present for the hearing in L.A. Superior Court on Friday, wearing a burgundy suit and quietly staring straight ahead throughout the proceedings. Also present was the woman who has accused him of sexual assault. Bauer’s legal team told the judge that it has advised him not to testify given the ongoing criminal investigation for alleged sexual assault. But the petitioner’s side stated that he must nonetheless take the stand, even if he utilizes his Fifth Amendment rights to not answer questions, to which the judge seemingly agreed. Both sides will call witnesses.

MLB and the City of Pasadena Police Department are conducting separate investigations into Bauer, who has been accused by a woman of choking her until she lost consciousness on multiple occasions, punching her in several areas of her body and leaving her with injuries that required hospitalization over the course of two sexual encounters earlier this year, according to a domestic violence restraining order that was filed in L.A. County Superior Court in late June, copies of which were obtained by ESPN.

The restraining order was executed as a temporary ex parte, which can be attained without input from the other party. Bauer’s side told the judge it plans to fight against the declaration “at great length” and previously issued a statement denying that Bauer had assaulted the woman, calling the encounters “wholly consensual.”

The Dodgers have canceled Bauer’s bobblehead night, which was scheduled for Aug. 19, and have removed all of his merchandise from the team and online stores, saying they “did not feel it was appropriate” given the investigations. Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, joined the Dodgers with a record-setting three-year, $102 million contract in February.

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Some players say Los Angeles Angels failing in treatment at minor league level, as GM vows to address it

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While consolidating the minor leagues during the 2020 season, Major League Baseball claimed that reducing and realigning its developmental leagues would increase player salaries at all levels, increase condition standards at ballparks and clubhouses, and create lower operating costs for teams.

Some minor league players in the Los Angeles Angels organization say that is not happening for them.

Kieran Lovegrove, an active pitcher for the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas, said he is living with six other teammates in a three-bedroom apartment, sleeping on a twin mattress, with one person sleeping in the kitchen and two others in the living room. Others like Shane Kelso — who spent part of the 2021 season with the low-A Inland Empire 66ers, another Angels affiliate, before retiring due to the living conditions for players — said four teammates bunked in a camper van in a trailer park while others lived out of cars.

“It’s gotten to the point now where there are guys who are in a serious mental health crisis because of how stressful money is here,” Lovegrove told ESPN. “I really do think it affects not only their play on the field, but I think it affects quality of life overall. We’re reaching a point now where this is actually becoming detrimental to the players’ overall health, and the owner not addressing it is [the organization] actively saying that they don’t care about the health of their players.”

Kelso said he was losing $1,000 a month from his savings and would have been broke before the end of the season had he not decided to retire; rent for his housing cost $2,000, but the team paid him $1,600 a month.

“People don’t understand the mental strain that comes along with that, that you don’t know how much money you’re going to have at the end of each month and not knowing how you’re going to make ends meet,” Kelso said. “I was a late-rounder. I didn’t sign for a lot of money. The vast majority of players are in my position.”

Lovegrove worked as a Lyft and Uber driver and as a warehouse worker for UPS and Best Buy in the offseason to supplement his minor league income and maintain his career pursuit in baseball. While Lovegrove remains on the minor league roster of the Trash Pandas, he said he is considering ending his baseball career after 2021 because of the financial and mental health strain of life in baseball.

One of the major issues facing minor leaguers, according to both Lovegrove and Kelso, is the lack of access to quality food. Kelso said the team expected him to consume between 3,500 and 4,500 calories a day but only fed players 800-1,200.

“That’s required for our job,” Kelso said. “If we don’t do that, our bodies fail and we can’t do it.”

Lovegrove said he witnessed the bodies of teammates break down because of the lack of healthy food options, with many defaulting to fast food like McDonald’s or Taco Bell.

“They were not receiving enough nutrition to maintain muscle mass,” Lovegrove said. “We had guys lose 5 pounds in two weeks.”

Lovegrove said that the living conditions for minor leaguers show that Angels owner Arte Moreno “really doesn’t give a s— about the winning side” of running a baseball team because of its failure to develop the next generation of baseball players.

“It’s frustrating when you’re sitting in the pen and you’re hearing guys just harp about how bad the ownership is and how bad the organization is because you don’t want guys to be somewhere that they are unhappy,” Lovegrove said. “Is Moreno completely out of touch with the reality of what it’s like to be a player? Probably. I don’t see that really changing because I don’t know that he really does care about the quality of the organization so much as the amount of money it produces.”

Moreno did not respond to ESPN after request for comment.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian responded in a statement through a team spokesperson.

“What is being reported is unacceptable, and we will look into it and address it,” Minasian said.

Lovegrove previously played in the Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. He said that there was a large gap between how he was treated previously versus in the Angels’ farm system.

“Cleveland redid their entire weight room, providing three meals a day. They were flying guys out,” Lovegrove said. “They were giving a lot of players, not just their top prospects, the opportunity to seriously improve themselves under the eye of the organization, and in doing so, I think they produced significantly better players than they would have had their system operated like the Angels.”

Kelso believes Moreno and the Angels are symptomatic of a bigger issue in baseball.

“They made the move to consolidate, so it gave the owners in the league more power that they can choose what they want to do with minor leaguers,” Kelso said. “There’s no longer a separate body that is Minor League Baseball. I don’t think that move was to improve living conditions or money [for players], because it didn’t. It made living situations worse.”

Teams across baseball are making changes to their minor league systems, including the Giants, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. The Giants previously were not paying salaries to players in extended spring training before changing their tune in June, according to SFGATE. The Red Sox are now offering additional benefits to minor leaguers, including extended spring training back pay and housing stipends retroactive to early May. The Mets joined 12 other teams in baseball in paying extended spring training players.

“It is time for the Los Angeles Angels and every other MLB team to take responsibility for housing their minor leaguers during the season,” said Harry Marino, a former minor leaguer and the director of the organization Advocates for Minor Leaguers. “The players will not be satisfied until that outcome is achieved. In the meantime, we should ask why we entrust our national pastime to billionaires who don’t care if their employees have a place to sleep at night.”

Lovegrove added that he is not concerned about his baseball career ending because of the decision to speak up against the Angels organization

“Arte Moreno wouldn’t have his kids live like this,” he said.

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