Phillies

Best of MLB: Michael Martinez pitches scoreless inning in Indians' loss

Best of MLB: Michael Martinez pitches scoreless inning in Indians' loss

CLEVELAND -- Tim Anderson homered on the game's first pitch, Matt Davidson added a three-run shot in a five-run first inning and the Chicago White Sox beat the slumping Cleveland Indians 10-4 on Thursday night.

The defending AL champions have lost five of six after sweeping Texas to begin the season and dropped to 4-5.

Anderson hit Josh Tomlin's first pitch onto the porch in left field while Davidson lined a two-out homer to right-center.

Cleveland used five pitchers in the first eight innings, forcing infielder Michael Martinez to work the ninth. Making his first career appearance on the mound, Martinez gave up a single but retired the other three hitters on grounders.

Avisail Garcia was 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Anthony Swarzak (1-0) relieved starter Miguel Gonzalez in the fifth and allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings.

Tomlin (0-2) gave up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, matching the shortest outing of his career (see full recap).

Darvish pitches 7 scoreless in Rangers' win over Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Yu Darvish pitched seven scoreless innings and Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff homer in the Texas Rangers' comprehensive 8-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

Nomar Mazara also homered and Robinson Chirinos drove in three runs for the Rangers, who took two of three from their AL West rivals.

Darvish (1-1) struck out 10 and limited the Halos to five singles and two walks, improving to 8-2 in his career against the Angels.

Except for Los Angeles' ninth-inning rally to a 10th-inning victory Tuesday, the Rangers thoroughly dominated the Angels, outscoring them 16-6 in the final two games.

Danny Espinosa hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth for the Angels, who were routed in the last two games of their homestand after a 4-0 start (see full recap).

Aaron Hicks homers twice to beat Rays, 3-2
NEW YORK -- Aaron Hicks homered twice, including a go-ahead, two-run drive in the seventh inning, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Thursday night to move above .500 for the first time this season.

Luis Severino (1-0) struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings, including four of his last five batters. The Yankees completed a three-game sweep and won their fourth in a row following a 1-4 start.

Hicks homered in the first off Matt Andriese batting left-handed and connected right-handed against Xavier Cedeno to erase a 2-1 deficit. Ronald Torreyes singled with one out in the seventh off Erasmo Ramirez, and Rays manager Kevin Cash brought in Cedeno (1-1), the only lefty in his bullpen. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a forceout, and Hicks sent a changeup into the left-field seats.

Acquired from Minnesota in November 2015, Hicks hit .217 with 31 RBIs in a miserable first season with New York (see full recap).

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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AP Images

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.