MLB Notes: Tim Tebow records first hit in spring training

MLB Notes: Tim Tebow records first hit in spring training

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Tim Tebow has gotten his first hit for the New York Mets.

The former NFL quarterback singled Monday in an exhibition game against Miami Marlins left-hander Kyle Lobstein.

Tebow was hitless in his first eight at-bats in spring training before his opposite-field single on a 2-2 pitch leading off the bottom of the fifth inning. He was then erased on a double-play grounder.

Playing left field, the former Heisman Trophy winner made a head-first diving catch in the second inning to rob Justin Bour of a hit.

Tebow batted eighth, and his appearance in the lineup was a surprise. On Friday, manager Terry Collins said there were no plans to bring back the 29-year-old Tebow after his second start.

But the Mets needed players because of the World Baseball Classic and multiple split-squad games and decided to have Tebow join them from their minor league camp.

Orioles: Alvarez returns as OF
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Pedro Alvarez will try shifting to the outfield in his return to the Baltimore Orioles.

A corner infielder with Pittsburgh and a designated hitter with Baltimore last year, Alvarez finalized a minor league contract Monday and would get a $2 million, one-year deal if added to the 40-man roster.

Alvarez says he is "looking forward to the opportunity to get to learn the position as best as possible. Obviously, whenever you try playing a new position you've got to put in a lot of work. And the one thing you can't replicate is game reps, so just looking forward to getting the opportunity to go out there and just play."

Blue Jays: Travis' status for opening day in doubt
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis ran sprints in the outfield Monday, still unsure of his status for opening day.

Travis has been slowed by a bone bruise on his right knee, which had offseason surgery to remove a small flap of cartilage.

"He's got to get moving quick to do that because he needs some work," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's cutting it close."

Travis is taking batting practice and could get some at-bats as a designated hitter in minor league games this week.

"It's kind of hit or miss," Gibbons said. "Some days he feels better than others but he's moving in the right direction."

Travis had issues with the knee during last year's postseason. He hit .300 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs in 101 regular-season games.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson, who injured his right calf while running sprints Feb. 17, is expected to play for the first time this year in the next couple days.

"He's real close," Gibbons said.

Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, hit .284 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs last season. He has been an All-Star in three straight seasons.

Mets: Nimmo returns from pulled hamstring
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Outfielder Brandon Nimmo is returning to the New York Mets' spring training camp after pulling his right hamstring while playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

Nimmo, who turns 24 on March 27, walked in the first inning Sunday at Guadalajara, Mexico, took a called third strike in the third, then left the game after consecutive triples by Puerto Rico in the fifth.

The Mets said Monday that Nimmo, a native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, will be re-evaluated once he arrives back at camp.

Nimmo homered against Venezuela on Saturday.

Best of MLB: Indians get walk-off win over Red Sox on error

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Best of MLB: Indians get walk-off win over Red Sox on error

CLEVELAND -- Brandon Guyer scored when first baseman Brock Holt threw away Roberto Perez's bunt in the 10th inning, lifting the Cleveland Indians over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Monday night in a matchup of first-place teams.

After Guyer's leadoff double against Brandon Workman (0-1), Holt fielded the bunted ball and tried to throw out Guyer at third. Guyer slid into the bag as the throw skipped past third baseman Rafael Devers, then got to his feet and raced across home plate. Teammates ran onto the field and doused Perez with water and white powder.

Perez also had a three-run homer in the second inning.

Cody Allen (1-6) allowed Christian Vazquez's leadoff single in the 10th, but retired the next three hitters. The inning ended when shortstop Francisco Lindor ran down Mookie Betts' popup in center field with his back to home plate.

Cleveland relief ace Andrew Miller left in the seventh inning after aggravating the patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Miller recently returned after over two weeks on the disabled list with the knee injury (see full recap).  

Albers gives Mariners win over former team
ATLANTA -- Andrew Albers worked into the sixth inning for his second straight win since coming up from the minors, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

Albers (2-0) also had the first hit and RBI of his career -- in his first big league at-bat.

The 31-year-old left-hander beat his former organization, having spent most of the season at the Braves' Triple-A club. He went 12-3 but never got a call to the big leagues.

Instead, Albers was dealt to the Mariners for cash on Aug. 11. He was called up by Seattle to make a start four days later, working six strong innings in a 3-1 win over Baltimore.

Now, after going just over four years between major league victories, Albers has two wins in less than a week.

Mike Foltynewicz (10-9) has lost four of his last five starts for Atlanta (see full recap).

Pollock’s 2-run blast lifts D-backs over Mets
NEW YORK -- A.J. Pollock hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

J.D. Martinez had an RBI single and left fielder David Peralta threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate for the Diamondbacks, who began the day with a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the second NL wild card. They are 4-0 against the Mets this season and have won nine of 10 meetings over the last two years.

Pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco walked to start the 10th. One out later, Pollock sent a 94 mph fastball from Eric Goeddel (0-1) over the center-field fence to put the Diamondbacks back in front after they squandered a 1-0 lead in the seventh.

Fernando Rodney gave up a leadoff homer to Michael Conforto before getting three outs for his 28th save in 33 tries.

Jimmie Sherfy (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for his first major league win (see full recap)

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 Hector 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.