joe maddon

Phillies add several notable names to minor-league coaching staff

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Phillies add several notable names to minor-league coaching staff

The Phillies are making life harder on Joe Maddon.

The Phils on Thursday announced some minor-league coaching hirings, including Gary Jones as the new manager of the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Jones was the Chicago Cubs' third base coach from 2014 to 2017. Prior to that, he had extensive experience as a minor-league coach. He managed minor-league clubs in the Athletics, Red Sox and Padres organizations and also spent seven years as a roving minor-league infield instructor for San Diego.

Jones is the third man the Phillies have plucked away from the Cubs this offseason. New hitting coach John Mallee served that role for Chicago from 2015-17, and new first base coach Jose Flores was the Cubs' minor-league field coordinator for five seasons.

At Lehigh Valley, Jones replaces Dusty Wathan, who was promoted to the Phillies' major-league staff as Gabe Kapler's third base coach.

Other notable hirings in the Phillies' minor-league system include former 1B Rico Brogna and infielder Wes Helms. Brogna will be a coach on Double A Reading's staff, while Helms will be on Jones' staff at Triple A.

Brogna was the Phillies' first baseman from 1997-2000. Helms spent one of his 13 big-league seasons with the Phillies, in 2007 as a platoon third baseman with Greg Dobbs and Abraham Nunez.

The Phillies also announced they're adding a second Gulf Coast League team, which will allow them more flexibility in finding playing time for their young prospects. It's a sign of improved young depth in the system, particularly in the area of international signings. The Yankees and Tigers also have two GCL teams.

"This is reflective of where we are as an organization," director of player development Joe Jordan said. "We need to make sure we have enough at-bats and innings for all the players so they can develop and be evaluated."

Jim Salisbury contributed to this report.

Best of MLB: Cubs top Rays in Joe Maddon's return to Tampa, push win streak to 7

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Best of MLB: Cubs top Rays in Joe Maddon's return to Tampa, push win streak to 7

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run and the Chicago Cubs extended their winning streak to a season-high seven by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Tuesday in manager Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field.

Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14, then left to manage Chicago and last year led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. Chicago entered with a 3 -game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

A crowd of 25,046, the largest at the Trop since opening day, gave Maddon a standing ovation in the middle of the first inning.

"I thought it was a quick nine years," he said of his time with the Rays. "I try to stay in the present tense, but that was a fast nine years and I have nothing but warm and fuzzies about it."

Montgomery (7-8) allowed one hit in six innings, a one-out homer in the sixth by Brad Miller. Montgomery struck out six, walked one and hit his first batter, Kevin Kiermaier.

Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis each followed with an inning of perfect relief to complete the one-hitter. Davis struck out the side and remained perfect in 32 save chances.

Schwarber homered in the second and Javier Baez hit an RBI double in the fifth against Chris Archer (9-11), who gave up four hits in six innings. Archer struck out six, riaising his total to 241 -- 11 shy of the team record he set two years ago. He is 2-6 in his last 14 starts (see full recap).

Brewers hold off Pirates to keep pace in NL Central
PITTSBURGH -- Chase Anderson had eight strikeouts in six innings, Domingo Santana homered and the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second straight day, 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The Brewers won for the ninth time in 11 games, keeping pace in the NL Central and wild-card races. They won for the fourth time in the past seven days against reeling Pittsburgh, which has lost a season-high seven consecutive games and 12 of 13.

It was the 12th shutout of the season for the Brewers, tied for the second-most in the NL.

Anderson (11-3) allowed five singles. Anthony Swarzak retired six of the seven batters he faced, and Corey Knebel earned a save with a perfect ninth. Seven of his 39 saves this season have come against the Pirates (see full recap).

Wild pitch in extras sends Red Sox past Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the game's lone run on a wild pitch by Brad Brach in the 11th inning, and the Boston Red Sox used six pitchers to silence the Baltimore Orioles' bats in a 1-0 victory Tuesday night.

Boston has won 10 of 13 to move a season-high 23 games over .500 (87-64) and draw closer to clinching a postseason berth. The Red Sox started the day with a three-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East.

It was the second straight tight, lengthy game between these AL East rivals. Boston won in 11 innings on Monday night and is 15-3 in extra-inning games.

With a runner on second and two outs in the 11th, Brach (4-5) walked Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts to load the bases for Mitch Moreland, who sidestepped a bouncing pitch from Brach that enabled Bradley to score without a throw (see full recap).

MLB season home run record set in Blue Jays' win over Royals
TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman pitched seven innings to win for the first time in six starts, Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Kansas City outfielder Alex Gordon's solo home run off Ryan Tepera in the eighth was the 5,694th of this major league season, breaking the record set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era. The record was broken with just less than two weeks remaining in the regular season.

There were 5,610 homers last year, an average of 2.31 per game, and this year's average of 2.53 entering Tuesday projects to 6,139. That would be up 47 percent from 4,186 in 2014.

Barney went 2 for 3 with three RBIs as the Blue Jays opened their final homestand on a winning note.

Stroman (12-8) allowed one run and four hits for his first victory since Aug. 16 against Tampa Bay (see full recap).

MLB Notes: Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to have Tommy John surgery

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MLB Notes: Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to have Tommy John surgery

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals announced Wednesday that closer Trevor Rosenthal was being moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL and that the right elbow injury would require Tommy John surgery.

"I think just the timing of it, being right in the middle of this race and the way my personal season had been taking shape and the way the team has been playing recently. Tough timing," Rosenthal said.

"It felt like we were getting in a groove, I was in a groove, and to kind of have this happen and take a piece away from a really good team is a little bit of a bummer."

Rosenthal, who recorded 93 saves in 2014-15, lost the closer's job a year ago to Seung Hwan Oh but reclaimed it this season after Oh struggled. Rosenthal recorded 11 saves, giving him 118 over the past four seasons.

Cardinals general manager Mike Girsch said Rosenthal will have surgery next week.

"We hoped for better news," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ". Somebody is going to have to step in. He was really throwing the ball well."

Red Sox: Team acquires OF Davis from A’s
CLEVELAND -- The AL East-leading Boston Red Sox have boosted their outfield depth by acquiring speedy Rajai Davis from the Oakland Athletics for a minor league outfielder.

The Red Sox sent 18-year-old Rafael Rincones to the last-place A's on Wednesday. Hours earlier, Boston put center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on the 10-day disabled list because of a sprained left thumb.

Davis is expected to join the Red Sox in Cleveland on Thursday for a game between division leaders. He hit .233 with 26 stolen bases, five home runs and 18 RBIs in 100 games with Oakland this season.

The 36-year-old Davis is in his 12th big league season. He led the American League with 43 steals last year for Cleveland, and also hit a big home run in Game 7 of the World Series off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman.

Davis also has played for Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and Detroit. He didn't play Wednesday in Oakland's 8-7 loss in 12 innings at Baltimore.

The Red Sox designated outfielder outfielder Steve Selsky for assignment.

Cubs: Rizzo’s eagerness to play 3B quickly wanes
CINCINNATI -- Anthony Rizzo didn't hesitate when Cubs manager Joe Maddon asked if he'd finish the game at third base, a position he'd never played at any point in his career.

Can't be that hard, right? Even if he is left-handed and would have to turn his body to throw to his normal spot at first base?

"I said `Yeah, I can play,'" Rizzo said on Wednesday . "I can field ground balls and throw. It's really as simple as you can make it."

Simple in theory. In practice, Rizzo discovered that it's a whole different world on the other side of the infield.

Just for fun, Maddon moved Rizzo to third base on Tuesday night after Kris Bryant got hit in the hand by a pitch and went for X-rays that were negative. Rizzo played his unaccustomed spot in the ninth inning and didn't get a ball hit his way as the Cubs finished off a 13-9 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Rizzo became only the third left-handed third baseman in Cubs history. The other two were in the 1800s. Although eager for the new experience, he started having second thoughts when he actually saw Joey Votto -- the Reds' first batter of the ninth inning -- dig in at the plate.

"I was not prepared at all," Rizzo said. "I've maybe taken ground balls there once this year, just to mess around."