Edwin Encarnacion

MLB Notes: Cleveland Indians to host the 2019 MLB All-Star Game

MLB Notes: Cleveland Indians to host the 2019 MLB All-Star Game

Baseball's mid-summer classic is sliding back home to Cleveland in two years.

The Indians, who have been enjoying a renaissance on the field, will host the 90th All-Star Game in 2019 at Progressive Field, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Friday as a light snow fell at the downtown ballpark.

Cleveland last hosted the event in 1997, when Indians catcher Sandy Alomar hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to lead the AL to a win and earn MVP honors.

This will be the sixth time the game will be hosted by the Indians, the most among the teams.

Landing the game is another boost for the Indians, who won the pennant last year and took the Chicago Cubs to seven games before losing a dramatic World Series.

It's been a notable offseason for Cleveland, which added one of the game's elite sluggers by signing free agent Edwin Encarnacion.

Dodgers: Brandon Morrow agrees to minor-league deal
Right-hander Brandon Morrow has agreed to a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and will report to big league spring training.

The 32-year-old was 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 18 relief appearances for San Diego last year, when he dealt with shoulder issues and also pitched 20 games for the Arizona League Padres, Class A Lake Elsinore, Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A El Paso.

He is 45-43 with a 4.16 ERA in 113 starts and 141 relief appearances over 10 big league seasons that included time with Seattle (2007-09), Toronto (2010-14) and the Padres (2015-16).

Morrow's agreement was announced Thursday.

Cubs: Brett Anderson agrees to 1-year deal
The World Series champion Chicago Cubs added pitching depth, finalizing a $3.5 million, one-year contract with left-hander Brett Anderson on Thursday.

Anderson, who can make an additional $6.5 million in bonuses based on starts, figures to compete with Mike Montgomery for the fifth spot in the rotation behind Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. Anderson has dealt with several injuries during eight big league seasons and was limited to three starts and one relief appearance with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.

Anderson was sidelined until August because of surgery for a bulging disk in his back and developed a blister on his pitching hand that limited him to two games in September.

He was 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA in a career-high 31 starts in 2015 helping the Dodgers win the third of four straight NL West titles.

Anderson, who turns 29 on Feb. 1, is 38-43 with a 3.86 ERA in 115 starts and 12 relief appearances with Oakland (2009-13), Colorado (2014) and the Dodgers (2015-16).

He can make $500,000 for 11 starts, $750,000 apiece for 14 and 17, $1 million each for 20, 23 and 26, and $1.5 million for 29.

Royals: Gather to celebrate and remember Ventura

The Kansas City Royals gathered together Friday to celebrate the life of pitcher Yordano Ventura, who died Sunday in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.

Manager Ned Yost told Royals teammates, coaches, executives and support staff that he has struggled since Sunday's accident to figure out how to deal with the hole the 25-year-old's death will leave. He says he believes God has a plan for everyone, and vowed the team's bond will become stronger as they lean on faith and happy memories.

Pitcher Danny Duffy promised the Royals would use memories of Ventura's competitiveness to play every game in the next season with passion.

The meeting came hours before the team's annual FanFest, where more tributes to Ventura are planned.

MLB Playoffs: Edwin Encarnacion's HR gives Blue Jays wild win in 11

MLB Playoffs: Edwin Encarnacion's HR gives Blue Jays wild win in 11

BOX SCORE

TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion advanced Toronto to the AL Division Series in the Blue Jays' familiar manner -- with a big home run.

Encarnacion hit a three-run drive in the 11th inning off Ubaldo Jimenez , and Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 in Tuesday night's AL wild card game to advance to a Division Series matchup against old foe Texas.

"It was a very special moment and a very special opportunity," Encarnacion said through a translator.

Jose Bautista also homered for the Blue Jays , who open the Division Series on Tuesday at Texas. Encarnacion's homer brought back memories of the tiebreaking, three-run shot that Bautista hit in the seventh inning of Game 5 of last year's AL Division Series win over the Rangers, a shot punctuated by a memorable bat flip.

And the Blue Jays won their last World Series title in 1993 on Joe Carter's walkoff home run .

"I was looking for a fastball and I was trying to put the barrel on it, get a little bit in front because the infield was playing in, and I actually got it," Encarnacion said through a translator.

Jimenez relieved Brian Duensing with one out in the 11th, and Devon Travis singled in a 1-1 pitch. Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson singled on the next pitch, and Travis went all the way to third as left fielder Nolan Reimold bobbled the ball.

Encarnacion sent the following pitch, a 91 mph offering, soaring into the second deck in left. Encarnacion immediately knew it was gone and raised both arms in triumph, index fingers pointed skyward.

The crowd of 49,934 chanted "Eddie, Eddie!" as Encarnacion circled the bases before being greeted by a mob of teammates. Encarnacion matched his career-best with 42 home runs in the regular season.

Jimenez said he was trying to throw a low slider and induce a double play.

"It didn't do anything," Jimenez said. "It stayed up."

Orioles closer Zach Britton, who was perfect in 47 save chances during the regular season, never got in the game.

"Nobody has been pitching better for us than Ubaldo," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said . "It didn't work out."

Britton warmed up three times but didn't leave the bullpen.

"It's frustrating but it's not my call," Britton said. "It was just frustrating to have to sit there and watch."

Francisco Liriano retired five straight batters on four groundouts and a strikeout for the win after closer Roberto Osuna left with a sore shoulder .

"The doctor told me that I was going to be fine, I just need a couple of days," Osuna said. "I've been pitching a lot lately. They think it's just fatigue from the last couple of weeks."

Toronto beat Texas in five-game Division Series, sparked by Bautista's memorable homer. The teams brawled in May this year when Bautista was punched in the face by Rangers infielder Rougned Odor following a play at second base.

"It's going to be a very interesting series, and we're looking forward to it," Encarnacion said.

The roof was open at Rogers Centre, formerly SkyDome, where all 24 previous postseason games had been played with it closed.

Bautista led off the second against Chris Tillman with his fifth postseason homer. Mark Trumbo, who led the major leagues with 47 home runs, gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead in the fourth with a two-run homer off Marcus Stroman .

Ezequiel Carrera's RBI single chased Tillman in the fifth.

When Toronto pinch-hitter Melvin Upton Jr. flied out to the warning track in left field to end the seventh, Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim was nearly struck by a can that was thrown from the stands. Center fielder Adam Jones angrily gestured toward the seats, and Showalter came out to register his displeasure with the umpires.

"It's tough when you have that many people in the ballpark and one person does something that reflects poorly on all of them," Showalter said. "It can happen in any ballpark. I don't like anything that puts our guys in harm's way.

Blue Jays fans tossed bottles and debris on the field during game 5 against Texas last year, upset at the call that let Odor score from third after catcher Russell Martin's throw back to the mound deflected off Shin Soo Choo's bat.

Jones wasn't as diplomatic as his manager.

"That is about as pathetic as it gets," he said. "I hope they find the guy and press charges."

For starters
Stroman allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, struck out six and walked none. Tillman gave up two runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Web gem
Kevin Pillar made a diving catch on Manny Machado's liner to right-center in the fourth .

Extra, extra!
This was the second extra-inning wild card game. Kansas City rallied to beat Oakland 9-8 in 12 innings in 2014.

Robbie
Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who starred for the Blue Jays and Orioles, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.