Best of MLB: Trevor Bauer tosses CG in Indians' 6th straight win

Best of MLB: Trevor Bauer tosses CG in Indians' 6th straight win

CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer threw a three-hitter for his second career complete game, Jason Kipnis hit a two-run homer and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight win.

Bauer (5-2) struck out 10, walked one and allowed only one runner past second base. It was the second straight three-hitter for the Indians, following Corey Kluber's in a 6-0 win over the Rays on Tuesday.

Kipnis' homer highlighted a three-run first inning off Chris Archer (4-10). Carlos Santana drove in two runs while Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor also had RBIs.

Cleveland leads the AL Central and has won 11 straight at Progressive Field. The Indians are also 11 games over .500 (41-30).

Corey Dickerson drove in the only run for Tampa Bay, which has lost seven straight (see full recap).

Hamels strong in Rangers' win over Reds
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cole Hamels struck out eight in six solid innings, Prince Fielder had a two-run single and the Texas Rangers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 on Wednesday night for a split in the two-game interleague series.

Ian Desmond hit his 12th homer for Texas after entering in the seventh inning on a night when the center fielder got a scheduled break from the starting lineup. Shin-Soo Choo led off the eighth with his second homer.

The Rangers, who have the American League's best record at 47-26, went ahead to stay with four runs in the fourth off Dan Straily (4-4). The Rangers had the bases loaded without a hit or a walk before Adrian Beltre had an RBI single and Fielder immediately followed with a hard liner to right.

Hamels (8-1) scattered five hits, walked two and allowed only one run while improving to 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five June starts since his only loss May 27 (see full recap).

Panik's two-run double caps Giants' rally
PITTSBURGH -- Buster Posey threw out John Jaso attempting to steal second base to end the game, Joe Panik's two-run double capped a three-run sixth inning, and the San Francisco Giants rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 on Wednesday night.

Panik put the Giants ahead after Ramiro Pena made it a one-run game with an RBI double earlier in the inning. NL West-leading San Francisco has won 11 of its last 13 and scored 73 runs in that stretch.

The Giants' Jeff Samardzija matched the shortest start of his nine-year career with just three innings and was tagged for six runs and six hits. However, five relievers followed with a combined six scoreless innings.

Rookie Derek Law (3-1), who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, pitched two innings after Samardzija for the win. Santiago Casilla worked around a leadoff single in the ninth for his 15th save, the game ending when Posey caught Jaso attempting to steal after Gregory Polanco struck out -- with Andrew McCutchen on deck.

Jared Hughes (0-1) gave up all three sixth-inning runs (see full recap).

Brushbacks, hit batsmen, ejections in Phils’ spring training game

NBC Sports Philadelphia

Brushbacks, hit batsmen, ejections in Phils’ spring training game


CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies bring extra pitchers over from the minor-league complex for bullpen depth every game in spring training. For the pitchers, it’s a nice little recognition of a job well done. They often don’t get in the game, but they get to put on a big-league uniform and put a day’s worth of big-league meal money in their pocket.
Parker Frazier got even more than that on Thursday. He not only got in the game. He got ejected.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a spring training game,” Frazier said with a laugh afterward. “I’ll take the first for something.”

Home plate umpire Tom Hallion gave Frazier the boot for hitting Detroit’s Derek Hill with a pitch in the eighth inning of a 6-2 loss. Frazier hit Hill with an offspeed pitch, so it clearly was not intentional. But Hallion had already issued warnings to both benches after Zach Eflin had hit Jose Iglesias and Detroit’s Matthew Boyd came in close twice against Odubel Herrera. In addition to Frazier, Hallion also ejected Phillies reliever Pedro Beato for hitting a batter in the ninth. Manager Gabe Kapler and bench coach Rob Thomson were ejected with Frazier and Beato, respectively.

It made for a crazy scene, especially in a spring training game.

Herrera believed that Boyd intentionally threw at him as retaliation for Iglesias getting hit. Boyd at first threw over Herrera’s head as Herrera tried to call timeout. He then came inside on Herrera. Herrera sidestepped the pitch and took first with a walk.

“He can’t hit me,” a defiant Herrera said afterward. “I’m took quick.”

Frazier definitely wasn’t trying to hit Hill, not with a slider.

“It was a slider that didn’t slide,” he joked.

Frazier is the 29-year-old son of former big-league pitcher George Frazier. He’s a career minor-leaguer who has been in pro ball since 2007 and pitched in the Rockies, Reds, White Sox, A’s and Diamondbacks organizations. He pitched the last three seasons in independent ball and is in Phillies camp for the first time.

Frazier’s fiancée and future in-laws were in from Oklahoma for the game. They expected to see him pitch at the minor-league complex, but instead got to see him experience an eventful day in big-league camp.

After being ejected, Frazier returned to the clubhouse. A text from his fiancée awaited him.

“They wanted to know what happened,” he said. “I told them accidental hit pitch.”

Kapler wouldn't discuss what he said to Hallion after Frazier's ejection. He said he would respect the umpire's decision because those are the rules.

But Kapler made it clear that he didn’t believe his pitchers were trying to hit anyone.

“We have a minor leaguer in the game and he’s just trying to make a good impression,” Kapler said. “He threw a slider that backed up and hit somebody. Beato is also trying to make a club and make a good impression. There’s no reason to not throw strikes. Balls will get away. It’s part of the game.”

Arrieta comes out strong, but Kapler remains vague on timetable

AP Images

Arrieta comes out strong, but Kapler remains vague on timetable

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Ever since Jake Arrieta flew into town on Air Middleton and raised expectations for 2018, Phillies officials have said they would take a methodical approach with getting him ready for the regular season.

The Phils followed that plan in holding Arrieta to two innings and 31 pitches in the right-hander’s hotly anticipated spring debut against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

“We had a very specific pitch count in mind and we feel like we executed the innings and the pitch count to a T,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We did not want to push the envelope at all. There’s no reason to. We’re focused on the long view.”

Arrieta struck out the first two batters of the game then allowed a solo home run to two-time American League MVP Miguel Cabrera, a double, a single and another run over the balance of his outing. He had hoped to go three innings, but understands the team’s plan.

“I'm on board with what these guys intend to do,” said the 32-year-old pitcher, who signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phils last week. “I know they have my health and the team's success over the long haul in mind. That's the most important thing moving forward.”

Kapler liked what he saw from Arrieta.

“It was a real positive outing,” he said. “We wanted to see health and strength. We saw both of those things and he threw strikes.”

Twenty-two of Arrieta’s 31 pitches were strikes.

Arrieta’s arm strength was impressive. He touched 95 mph on the stadium radar gun. He also threw several fastballs that registered 94. His fastball velocity had been a concern as it dropped from 94.9 mph in his Cy Young season of 2015 to 92.6 mph last season, according to PITCHf/x data.

“My timing and my delivery were nice,” Arrieta said. “The ball was coming out of my hand good. Even though I'm not particularly worried about velocity, the velocity was nice today. Sinking fastball was really good. I threw some good curveballs. The cutter wasn't necessarily great, along with the changeup. But those will come with repetition.”

Arrieta said he had “a ton of nervous energy” before the start.

“Now that it's over, I take a deep breath and I remember what it feels like to be in a game situation,” he said. “Umpires, crowd. It felt great. I'm healthy. The ball is coming out good. To get the first one out of the way — even though it is a little bit later — it's a good sign.”

Kapler continued to play things close to the vest with Arrieta’s timetable. What is clear, however, is that Arrieta will get one more start in Florida before camp breaks on Tuesday. He could build to around 50 pitches in that one and be ready to start in New York on April 2, 3 or 4. If the Phils decide that Arrieta needs two more outings to prepare for the regular season, he could debut on April 7 at home against Miami. Either way, he lines up to make 30-plus starts.