Devers hits 2 HR; Red Sox to host Yanks in AL wild-card game
The Boston Red Sox have clinched a playoff berth on the regular season’s final day and will host the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card game after coming back to beat the Washington Nationals 7-5 on a tiebreaking two-run homer by Rafael Devers in the ninth inning.
Mad Bum gets opener for D-backs; Kluber is Yanks' No. 2
He was 2-1 with a 6.35 ERA in three spring starts, including allowing six earned runs against Cincinnati on Friday. Alec Bohm had two hits, including his fourth double. AdFreddie Freeman had two hits, including a double and his first homer — a two-run shot in the sixth. Victor Robles had three hits, including his sixth double, with an RBI, and Kyle Schwarber doubled and walked three times. Adalberto Mondesi singled and homered and Jorge Soler had two hits, including a double.
Sigh and Cy: Bieber tagged, Bauer sharp in Dodgers debut
Bieber bounced back with a pair of strikeouts, but Nick Heath hit a single to put the Royals up 3-0. DODGERS 10, ROCKIES 0 (6 INNINGS)Trevor Bauer, pitching for the first time since signing a $102 million, three-year contract, debuted in Dodger blue with two scoreless innings. Jameson Taillon followed with a scoreless inning. CUBS 1, PADRES 0 (7)Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks struck out two in two scoreless innings. BREWERS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 1 (8)Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta each threw a scoreless inning for Milwaukee before Jordan Zimmermann gave up a run.
In-game video returning to baseball for 2021
“You’d come back in the dugout and you’d say, ‘Hey where was that pitch at?’” Owings said Monday. “It would be like it is on the MLB app where it just shows where the pitch crossed the plate. But Major League Baseball has cleared the way for the return of in-game video on dugout iPads beginning on opening day, with catcher signals clipped when they are displayed on a computer. “I think the fact that they would have it in the dugout is a step in the right direction.”How much in-game video helps depends on the hitter. ___AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP Sports Writers Pat Graham, Stephen Hawkins and Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.
Price, Posey, MLBers who opted out for virus excited for '21
“It definitely crossed my mind,” Price said Friday from Dodgers spring training in Glendale, Arizona. Traded from Boston to the Dodgers last February, the 35-year-old Price pitched in spring exhibitions for LA before deciding to go home. Instead of playing, he did what many Americans have done with their unexpected time — he watched a lot of TV. “It’s a lot easier said than done to take a step away from something you’ve done your entire life. “Being away from it for that time was tough.”___AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley and Sports Writer Beth Harris contributed.
Lefty Jon Lester finalizes $5M, 1-year deal with Nationals
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2020, file photo, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester throws to a Chicago White Sox batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago. A person with knowledge of the deal has confirmed to The Associated Press that left-hander Lester and the Washington Nationals have an agreement in principle in place for a one-year contract. Lester and the team had an agreement in principle in place last week, pending the successful completion of a physical exam. Lester pitched 61 innings across 12 starts in the truncated 2020 season, going 3-3 with a career-high 5.16 ERA for the Cubs. Lester is owed a $10 million buyout by Chicago: $2 million on each Dec. 31 from 2022 through 2026.
Brad Hand gets $10.5M from Nationals, $6.5M of it deferred
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand delivers in the ninth inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Red in Cleveland. Brad Hand has agreed in principle to join the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)WASHINGTON – Brad Hand knows his fastball's speed declined more than 2 mph over the past two seasons. So the Washington Nationals' new reliever is trying to reverse that trend. The deferred money will come in payments of $1.5 million due next Jan. 15, $3.5 million due Jan. 15, 2023, and $1.5 million due Jan. 15, 2024.
AP source: Nationals agree to sign All-Star closer Brad Hand
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand delivers in the ninth inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Red in Cleveland. Brad Hand has agreed in principle to join the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)WASHINGTON – All-Star closer Brad Hand has agreed to a deal with the Washington Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The 30-year-old left-hander is poised to become Washington’s closer after leading the majors with 16 saves during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. After tying for last place in the NL East, the Nationals have acquired Hand, starter Jon Lester (pending a physical), slugger Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Josh Bell.
AP source: Zimmerman, Nats agree at $1M, pending physical
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that Zimmerman agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract that would include additional bonus provisions. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)WASHINGTON – First baseman Ryan Zimmerman is returning to the Washington Nationals after sitting out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, agreeing in principle to a $1 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday. A second person confirmed to the AP there is an agreement in principle in place, without describing the terms. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical. ___More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Champs done: Time to look toward 2021 for eliminated Nats
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, file photo, The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros in Houston. A year after winning the World Series thanks to a historic turnaround, the Nationals woke up Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, with a 23-33 record and no mathematical chance of returning to the playoffs. There was no opportunity for a sellout crowd to roar during the raising of a championship banner or to witness a World Series ring ceremony. Most notably, World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg’s season lasted all of five innings before he was done because of a nerve issue in his throwing hand. The Nationals conclude their 60-game regular season with four games at home against the New York Mets, starting Thursday.
Leading Off: Phillies end layoff, visit Judge, Cole, Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi, left, talks with Bryce Harper, right, prior to a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)A look at what's happening around the majors today:BACK TO WORKThe Philadelphia Phillies face a difficult assignment in their long-awaited return to action. Although the Phillies didnt have any players test positive, their games last week were postponed as a cautionary measure. The Phillies got to work out again Saturday, and now come back from a weeklong layoff to face Gerrit Cole and the AL East-leading New York Yankees on the road. MISSING MANAGERThe Cleveland Indians likely will be missing manager Terry Francona for a second straight game when they visit Cincinnati.
LEADING OFF: Reds-Tigers debut MLB's 7-inning doubleheaders
Shortened doubleheaders are about to make their Major League Baseball debut. Baseball could see an unusually high number of doubleheaders due to positive coronavirus tests causing postponements, plus rainouts. I think thats a good rule change especially with the pitchers going down every day, Houston manager Dusty Baker said. The Angels expect to have Ohtani start their Sunday games this season. KERSHAWS BACKDodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is set to make his season debut when he faces the Diamondbacks at Arizona.
Cole, Stanton lead Yanks past Nats 4-1 in stormy MLB opener
Rain and lighting halt an opening day baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Washington. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (0-1) had struck out 11 and was still in the game for the Nationals when action stopped, his pitch count nearing 100. Even if the stadium was closed to the public, some folks did watch from balconies on at least one nearby high-rise building. Meanwhile, fake crowd noise was piped in through the stadium speakers, adding a bizarre element to eerie atmosphere. It does feel different.UP NEXTAfter Fridays day off, the series resumes Saturday night, with World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg pitching for Washington against New Yorks James Paxton.
LEADING OFF: Opening day in DC, Dodger Stadium amid pandemic
Later, Los Angeles lefty Clayton Kershaw takes on the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. This opening day doubleheader begins the most unusual year in the history of Major League Baseball. MLB players can put a patch with Black Lives Matter or United For Change on a jersey sleeve during opening day. The 27-year-old Betts helped beat the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series when he was the AL MVP for Boston. The six-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion and 2012 NL MVP and his wife have adopted twin identical girls who were born prematurely.
Opening day amid virus: Masked men, empty parks, odd sounds
DHs in the National League, well, OK. An automatic runner on second to start the 10th inning? If this is what its going to be, this is whats going to be, Scherzer said. Four months after the games were supposed to start, strange ball is better than no ball, right? Opening day brings a tasty doubleheader: a marquee pitching matchup in Washington, followed by the nightcap at Dodger Stadium when Clayton Kershaw taking on the San Francisco Giants. Is it going to be perfect the very first day? As manager Bob Melvin said.
AP sources: About 10 MLB umpires opt out over virus concerns
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)About 10 Major League Baseball umpires have opted out this season, choosing not to work games in the shortened schedule because of concerns over the coronavirus. There are 76 full-time MLB umpires and more than 20 of them are age 55 or over. A deal between MLB and its umpires reached during the virus shutdown ensured that if even one regular-season game was played this season, the umps were guaranteed 37.5% of their salaries. Minus 10 or more MLB umpires, many Triple-A umps will work the two-month season. Just as MLB redrew the schedule amid the virus outbreak, umpires are certain to see a shift, too.
Cardinals reliever Hicks opts out of playing; has diabetes
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks throws off the mound during baseball practice at Busch Stadium Friday, July 3, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)ST. LOUIS Hard-throwing St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks has opted out of playing this season, citing pre-existing health concerns. Hicks had been taking part in workouts at Busch Stadium, leading up to the Cardinals' opener on July 24 at home against Pittsburgh. We respect and understand Jordans decision to opt out this season, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said. Carlos Martinez led St. Louis with 24 saves last season, posting his first save on June 1.
Posey out for 2020 as MLB teams deal with churning rosters
Posey a six-time All-Star and 2012 NL MVP said his family finalized the adoption of identical twin girls this week. Holt has a young family and his wife is pregnant, but he decided to leave them at home while he went to Milwaukee for the next three months. First baseman and team leader Freddie Freeman, premier reliever Will Smith, right-hander Touki Toussaint and infielder Pete Kozma tested positive for coronavirus. Epstein said two coaches tested positive prior to the intake process. A front office member tested positive during the intake.
Safe at home? Off-field behavior will be decisive for MLB
Behavior away from the ballpark will be a big factor in determining whether Major League Baseball's attempt to salvage the 2020 season can succeed. And as Major League Baseball attempts to salvage the 2020 season, behavior away from the ballpark will help determine the outcome. Just like on the field, success will depend on how many players are safe at home. There's also worry regarding what happens when players are away from work and beyond whatever bubble can be created at the ballpark. Theyre in a sense bullet-proof, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
MLB releases pandemic-shortened schedule amid testing delays
The steady stream of players testing positive and opting out is leading to a growing unease that the full season might not be played. Theres a ton of players out there quoted saying this, but it almost feels like youre waiting on bad news, right? Youre waiting for travel restrictions to be shut down across the nation. Youre waiting for a second wave, where things become unplayable and sports take a backseat. MLB said it addressed delays caused by the holiday weekend, doesnt expect them to continue and commended teams for canceling workouts.
Nationals cancel workout because of COVID-19 testing delay
WASHINGTON The defending World Series champion Nationals canceled their workout Monday because of COVID-19 testing delays that general manager Mike Rizzo worried could endanger the baseball season. All players and staff were tested Friday, and Rizzo said the team still hasn't received those results. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families. Two Nationals players who took part in in-take testing last week tested positive. Martinez said some of the 60 players tested were still awaiting results.
Braves 'ultimate pro' OF Nick Markakis opts out of season
ATLANTA Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis opted out of the 2020 season on Monday due to increased concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Markakis is the second Atlanta veteran in two days to announce plans to sit out the 60-game season. Just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, it was tough, Markakis said. Braves first base coach Eric Young Sr. also will sit out the season. Markakis, Ender Inciarte and Adam Duvall were joined by rookies Cristian Pache and Drew Waters in the outfield competition.
Defending champion Nats return healthy, careful on protocols
Washington Nationals' Adam Eaton (2), left, speaks with a staff member as the Washington Nationals hold their first training camp work out at Nationals Stadium, Friday, July 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON Dave Martinez's mantra of going 1-0 every day followed the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title. When they resumed workouts Friday at summer training camp in the midst of a global pandemic, the manager's mantra remained. Only, it has a different meaning for the defending champions tiptoeing the health and safety protocols that made baseball feel anything but natural. Were so used to it being a long season and it actually becoming a marathon, Martinez said.
Zooming in to start unprecedented MLB summer camp amid virus
The Boston Red Sox are scheduled resume training camp Friday at Fenway. (AP Photo/Jimmy Golen)Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward was going to address his entire team before the start of MLB's unprecedented summer training camp, just like he did when spring training opened about 4 1/2 months ago. Things certainly are different for baseball's resumption amid the coronavirus pandemic, three weeks before the start of a 60-game regular season. Charlie Baker signed an order Thursday allowing the Red Sox to open Fenway Park without fans. The Chicago Cubs will open camp without left-handed pitcher Jos Quintana, who underwent surgery Thursday on his lacerated left thumb.
Roster shuffle: Plans change in MLB because of health issues
PHOENIX The Minnesota Twins have shuffled their on-field staff to protect the health of some of their older coaches. I think we all know that we're making the right decision, but that doesn't mean it feels good," Baldelli said. The defending World Series champion Nationals will begin their title defense without Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross, who both declined to play because of health concerns. We are one hundred percent supportive of their decision to not play this year, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said in a statement. Cleveland's 61-year-old manager Terry Francona said he's not nervous, even though he's had previous health issues.
Franco one of several top prospects picked for player pools
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Top prospect Wander Franco is part of the Tampa Bay Rays' 60-man player pool, and the Detroit Tigers are including their most heralded young pitchers as baseball gears up for its abbreviated season. Sunday was the deadline for teams to submit player pools, although additions can be made later. Pitcher Brendan McKay and infielder Vidal Brujan, two other top Tampa Bay prospects, also made the pool. They are some of our more advanced prospects," Rays general manager Erik Neander said. He's in their player pool, along with Matt Manning, Tarik Skubal, Alex Faedo and Franklin Perez.
AP source: Yankees vs champ Nationals in DC on opening day
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)NEW YORK Gerrit Cole could make his New York Yankees debut in a tasty opening-day treat for fans, facing Juan Soto and World Series champion Washington at Nationals Park. The Yankees and Nationals are set meet when the virus-delayed season begins next month, a person familiar with the game told The Associated Press on Saturday. He pitched the Houston Astros past the Nationals 7-1 last October for a 3-2 edge in the World Series. The Yankees and Nationals met twice this year, including New Yorks 6-3 win on March 12 on the final day before MLB stopped spring training because of the virus outbreak. The Yankees are hopeful that slugger Aaron Judge has fully recovered from a rib injury that bothered him during spring training in Florida.
Trump wins political support from key Nats players in White House fete
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Popular players on the Washington Nationals baseball team praised Donald Trump at Mondays White House celebration of their World Series championship, days after the polarizing U.S. president drew boos from fans and criticism from a pitcher on the underdog team. Ryan Zimmerman, the Washington franchises first-ever draft pick in 2005, went beyond the gratitude that other players expressed, voicing support for the Republican president. Pitcher Sean Doolittle declined the White House invitation, citing Trumps mimicking of a reporters disability on the campaign trail and policies that discriminate against LGBT people. Other Nationals players, including star third baseman Anthony Rendon, were absent but it was not immediately clear why. Slideshow (6 Images)Despite the political tenor of the remarks, the Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo appeared to praise the Nats for staying out of political issues.feeds.reuters.com
DC gives Washington Nationals victory parade
Thousands celebrated the Washington Nationals winning their first World Series by attending the victory parade on Novemeber 2, 2019. WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's been a little over a year since the Washington Capitals took home the Stanley Cup and partied their way through the nation's capital. On Saturday, Washington celebrated another victory with a parade. The parade continued down Constitution, and culminated in a rally at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Third Street NW. The parade began at 2 p.m., and yes, there were times the sounds of "Baby Shark" filled the Washington air.
Nationals score 6 runs in 10th, beat Marlins 10-4
Miguel Rojas #19 of the Miami Marlins hits a single against the Washington Nationals. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)MIAMI - Brian Dozier hit a go-ahead RBI single during Washington's six-run 10th inning, and the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 10-4 Saturday night. Adam Eaton had an RBI single and Juan Soto walked with the bases loaded. Washington squandered a 4-0 lead as the Marlins scored four runs in the eighth off reliever Fernando Rodney. Washington increased its advantage in the eighth on Robles' run-scoring single and a fielders' choice by Gomes that scored Zimmerman from third.
Nationals beat Marlins 9-3
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty ImagesWASHINGTON - Ryan Zimmerman celebrated his return from the injured list with one of Washington's four home runs and the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 9-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep. Rendon set a new Nationals (2005-present) single-season record for RBIs with 111. Starter Caleb Smith (8-9) gave up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. Rendon finished the three-game series 7 for 10 with three homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored. Soto went 7 for 12 with five doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four runs.
Scherzer fans 10, Nationals beat Marlins 6-1
MIAMI - Max Scherzer struck out 10 in eight innings and won his fifth straight start, leading the Washington Nationals over the Miami Marlins 6-1 on Tuesday night. Trea Turner hit a three-run homer and Juan Soto knocked in two runs for the Nationals, who have won six of eight. Curtis Granderson knocked in the Marlins' only run while Garrett Cooper had his 14-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 night. The Nationals scored three runs in the third on Soto's two-run single and a grounder by Howie Kendrick. Granderson's RBI single in the fourth was the first run Scherzer had allowed in 13 innings.