MLB Notes: Owners approve sale of Marlins to Derek Jeter's group

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MLB Notes: Owners approve sale of Marlins to Derek Jeter's group

MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins are Derek Jeter's problem now.

Major league owners on Wednesday unanimously approved the sale of the woebegone franchise by Jeffrey Loria to an investment group led by Jeter and Bruce Sherman. The deal needed 75 percent approval.

A signed $1.2 billion agreement was submitted to Major League Baseball last month to sell the Marlins to a group led by Sherman, a venture capitalist who will be the controlling owner. Jeter, the former New York Yankees captain, plans to be a limited partner in charge of the business and baseball operations.

The closing on the sale is expected within a few days.

"I congratulate Mr. Sherman on receiving approval from the Major League Clubs as the new control person of the Marlins," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement, "and look forward to Mr. Jeter's ownership and CEO role following his extraordinary career as a player" (see full story).

Dodgers: Gonzalez to miss playoffs with back injury
LOS ANGELES -- Veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez will not be on the Dodgers' NL Division Series roster because of back tightness -- an injury that has plagued him all season -- and is expected to miss the entire postseason.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday that he and Gonzalez came to the decision mutually.

"As I talked to him, and seeing how his back is and how he's feeling, I was very disappointed," Roberts said. "But I think right now, as it stands, we're going to shut him down so we don't cause more damage, get him ready for next year, and expect him to respond to rest. If something unforeseen does happen to the active guys right now, we might try to revisit Adrian."

The 35-year-old Gonzalez started at first base on Tuesday and went 2-for-4 with a home run, his third this season. That was his first start in 15 days, and by Wednesday, the back problem had flared up again. He is batting .242 with 30 RBIs in 71 games.

Cody Bellinger, an NL Rookie of the Year candidate, figures to start at first base for Los Angeles in the postseason.

The Dodgers (101-57) have the best record in baseball and have clinched home-field advantage through the NLCS. They are still vying for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Giants: Cain to retire after start on Sunday
PHOENIX -- San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain says he'll retire after his start at home on Saturday against San Diego.

The 32-year-old Cain informed teammates of his decision in a closed meeting before Wednesday's game at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cain pitched the first perfect game in Giants history in 2012.

Cain, 3-11 this season, made his big-league debut with the Giants in 2005. He pitched in two of the Giants' three winning World Series appearances since 2010. The right-hander has a career record of 104-118 with a 3.69 ERA.

The three-time All-Star is nearing the end of his contract with the Giants, who have an option for one more season.

"His play on the field and community service exemplifies what a true big leaguer should be and he will definitely be missed," Giants President and CEO Larry Baer said in a statement. "On behalf of the Giants, I congratulate Matt on an outstanding career and wish him and his family all the best. He'll forever be a Giant."

Before the bottom of the first inning on Wednesday, the crowd at Chase Field was informed of Cain's retirement in a public address announcement. He doffed his cap to the fans and the Diamondbacks dugout in appreciation of the gesture.

MLB Notes: Astros acquire Justin Verlander to boost rotation

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MLB Notes: Astros acquire Justin Verlander to boost rotation

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros have acquired Justin Verlander in a trade with the Detroit Tigers.

The right-hander joins the American League West leaders and a rotation that includes Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers.

Astros owner Jim Crane says: "He adds a boost to our rotation. He's been pitching well. We think he'll give us some leadership. He's been in the playoffs before and adds a dimension we didn't have."

The 34-year-old Verlander, who won the Cy Young Award in 2011, is 10-8 with a 3.82 ERA this season. The Tigers will receive three minor league prospects.

Crane hopes Verlander is a piece that can help the Astros in the postseason. He says: "We hope it positions us to get into the playoffs, get by the first round, get into the second round and get to the world series and win it. That's what we've been working at and that's what we'll continue to work at and we want to win" (see full story).   

Giants: Bumgarner scratched with flu-like symptoms
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner was a late scratch for Thursday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals as a result of flu symptoms, the team announced.

Right-hander Matt Cain (3-10, 5.75 ERA) started in his place. The team has not yet announced when Bumgarner will return to the starting rotation.

Bumgarner (3-6, 2.85) is 3-3 in nine starts since coming off the disabled list on July 15 after spending nearly three months on it with a left shoulder AC sprain and bruised ribs. The 28-year-old lefthander suffered the injuries in a dirt-biking accident in Colorado on April 20.

Reds: Votto gives bat, jersey to 6-year-old cancer patient
CINCINNATI -- A young cancer patient got quite a souvenir when Reds star Joey Votto hit a home run. A couple of them, in fact.

After Votto rounded the bases in the seventh inning during a 7-2 win over the Mets on Thursday, he waved to 6-year-old Walter Herbert , who was sitting in the front row near the Cincinnati dugout and wearing a blue shirt that said: "BE KIND."

Votto high-fived the boy, then gave him a bat and a red No. 19 jersey while the game went on.

"We did not expect that," Walter's mom, Emily, said in an interview with The Associated Press after the game. "We thought he'd say hi when he recognized him. We were very surprised he went all out."

Votto declined to talk about his gesture after the game. Told that the family was thrilled, Votto said, "Well, that's what's important."

Bruce Bochy on Hector Neris: 'He's an idiot'

Bruce Bochy on Hector Neris: 'He's an idiot'

The Giants don't seem to be too fond of Hector Neris.

The Phillies on Sunday were clinging to a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when Neris entered the game. The reliever inherited runners on first and second with two outs and Giants All-Star catcher Buster Posey at the plate.

On a first-pitch fastball, Neris plunked Posey, who called out the Phillies' closer afterward.

"I'm pretty certain he hit me on purpose and it's just a shame because I wanted to compete in that at-bat," Posey said. "I guess he didn't feel he could get me out.
 
"It was a big spot. It would have been fun to hit."

In that situation, purposely hitting a batter makes little sense, as it advances the potential game-tying run into scoring position and puts the go-ahead run on base. Phillies manager Pete Mackanin acknowledged just that, while Neris denied any intention behind the hit by pitch. Despite the bases-loaded jam, Neris struck out Pablo Sandoval to escape before closing out the 5-2 win with a scoreless ninth inning.

Things didn't end there, though.

A day later, Giants manager Bruce Bochy had something to say about Neris.

"It wasn't just a little inside. The same guy … I'll say it, he's an idiot," Bochy said Monday before the Giants' series opener against the Brewers. "He showed it in Philadelphia when he was having words with (Eduardo) Nunez. I think that caused the radar to be up a little bit on what happened there."

The incident with Nunez in which Bochy refers to apparently happened during the Phillies' 9-7 win over the Giants on June 4 at Citizens Bank Park. According to CSNBayArea.com's Alex Pavlovic, Neris appeared to blow a kiss at Nunez after a ninth-inning strikeout. Following a game-ending punchout of Brandon Belt, it looks like Neris glances over at the Giants' dugout before catcher Cameron Rupp stops him.

None of the above explains why Neris would feel any intent to hit Posey in such a tight spot more than 2½ months later.

"You never know for sure, but it certainly didn't look good, did it?" Bochy said.

"It wasn't a glancing blow — it was at his ribs, on the backside of the ribs. So, no, I'm not surprised [Posey was upset]. I would have been upset, too.

"Anyway, that's behind us."

For now. 

While the Phillies and Giants don't play again this season, baseball players sure have great memories.