MLB Notes: Mariners trade Kelley to Yankees


MLB Notes: Mariners trade Kelley to Yankees

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees added depth to their bullpen Wednesday night, acquiring right-hander Shawn Kelley from the Seattle Mariners for minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte.

The 28-year-old Kelley went 2-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 47 appearances for Seattle last season and figures to fill a middle-relief role with the Yankees. He was designated for assignment by the Mariners on Feb. 7 when the club signed catcher Kelly Shoppach.

About a week earlier, Kelley and the Mariners agreed to a $935,000, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Kelley is 10-9 with a 3.52 ERA in four big league seasons, all with Seattle.

Almonte, 23, batted .276 with four homers, 25 RBIs and 30 steals in 78 games for Double-A Trenton last season. He was an Eastern League midseason All-Star.

The Yankees and Mariners have been trading partners several times over the last couple of years, pulling off deals involving Ichiro Suzuki and Jesus Montero.

To make room for Kelley on the 40-man roster, the Yankees placed third baseman Alex Rodriguez on the 60-day disabled list. Rodriguez is recovering from hip surgery and is not expected back until at least the All-Star break.

New York's 40-man roster is now full (see full story).

Wainwright, Cards put talks on hold
JUPITER, Fla. -- Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals have put contract talks on hold, though neither side expects many obstacles to a long-term deal.

"No one has drawn any lines in the sand," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Tuesday.

Wainwright, 31, who is in the final year of a contact plus extension that will have paid him $36 million over six years, hopes talks will not become drawn out.

"There does need to be some urgency on both sides just to try to get this done if it's going to happen before the season starts, just for peace of mind for everyone," Wainwright said. He said the contract he signed during the 2008 spring training became a distraction.

Now, he says, he is in a different place.

"A player's first contact is the `I want to get settled contract, I want to get that nest egg,'" Wainwright said. "I thought about the risks every day when I went home, walking down the stairs, my bullpen sessions. I just said, `This is ridiculous.' Once you get that out of the way . financially I'm in a place where I don't have to worry about a contract as much."

Mozeliak wants to take no chances that this could linger (see full story).

Indians sign Matsuzaka to minor-league deal
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The last time a team brought Daisuke Matsuzaka into camp, it paid more than $100 million to get him.

On Wednesday, the Cleveland Indians brought him into camp to compete for the back end of their rotation with a deal that will make him just $1.5 million this season. He can earn an additional $2.5 million in performance bonuses.

A little different this time around.

"I just want him to be Daisuke," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

The Japanese right-hander and Francona have a history together, of course, while the latter was manager in Boston and Matsuzaka was a starter for the Red Sox. The two officially reunited on Wednesday here, and Francona said Matsuzaka threw 35 pitches. He described his delivery as "crisp" and it reminded him of how he looked "when he was healthy."

In 2007, Matsuzaka, 32, posted a 15-12 record with a 4.40 ERA as the Red Sox raced to a World Series title. He followed that with an 18-3 mark and a 2.90 ERA the next season (see full story).

Zach Eflin's strong start nullified as Phillies give up late lead in loss to Giants

Zach Eflin's strong start nullified as Phillies give up late lead in loss to Giants


SAN FRANCISCO – Coming into AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, was not an easy assignment for the sputtering Phillies on Friday night.
The Giants were on fire. They had won 11 of their previous 12 games to go 20 games over .500 and open a six-game lead in the National League West. They were 22-13 at home and were playing in front of their 444th straight sellout crowd.
On top of it all, the Phillies would be sending a rookie to the mound for his third big-league start.
But Zach Eflin ended up delivering a strong start for the Phillies – he left after six innings with a one-run lead – one that secured his place in the rotation for now.
In the end, the Phillies suffered a 5-4 loss to the high-flying Giants because the bullpen couldn’t protect a one-run lead in the seventh inning and the bats couldn’t do enough to capitalize on eight base runners in the final two innings (see Instant Replay).
“That’s what the game boiled down to,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
The loss was the Phils’ 27th in the last 34 games, dropping them to 31-44.
If there was a positive for the Phils it was that they continued to swing the bats well after breaking out for 38 hits and 22 runs the previous three games in Minnesota. The Phils had 10 hits, one more than the Giants, and six of them were for extra bases. They could have used one of those extra-base hits against the Giants’ bullpen in the eighth or ninth inning, but it never came.
At least it never came with runners on base.
Maikel Franco tripled to open the eighth and the Phils loaded the bases with one out. They scored twice in the inning on a base hit and a walk, but didn’t get the big hit they needed. Ditto for the ninth inning. San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla loaded the bases with two outs on a walk, a single and a hit batsman.
The Phils’ last gasp came down to rookie Tyler Goeddel. He tapped a ball up toward third base that had the look of a game-tying infield hit. The play at first base was bang-bang. It was reviewed. Goeddel was out by inches. Ball game.
“I thought I beat it,” Goeddel said. “Watching the replay, I guess I didn’t.”
The Phillies stranded 11 men in all.
Leaving men on base wasn’t the Phils’ only problem. Freddy Galvis got picked off first base with a man on second and two outs in the second.
The defense was shoddy. Ryan Howard started at first base and made two errors, one of which led to an unearned run in the first inning. That run eventually proved pivotal.
In the pivotal seventh inning, centerfielder Odubel Herrera failed to make a diving catch on a sinking liner by pinch-hitter Buster Posey. The ball hit Herrera’s glove.
“I thought he could have caught it,” Mackanin said. “It was huge.”
Posey’s hit put runners on first and second with no outs. The Giants rallied for four runs in the frame to come back from a 2-1 deficit and take a 5-2 lead.
Interestingly, Mackanin bypassed struggling veteran David Hernandez with a one-run lead in the seventh and went with Severino Gonzalez, who started the season in Double A.
“I had Hernandez [available] but he hasn’t been pitching well lately,” Mackanin said. “Severino is pitching better.”
Gonzalez gave up a leadoff hit. Giants manager Bruce Bochy sent up lefty-hitting Jarrett Parker. Mackanin countered with lefty reliever Elvis Araujo. Bochy yanked Parker for Posey, the all-star catcher who was getting a night off. Posey delivered. Araujo then retired just one of the next three lefty hitters, a stretch that culminated with lefty-hitting Brandon Belt smacking a three-run double to put the Giants ahead. They scored another run before the inning was over. It proved important as the Phillies closed the gap late.
“Bochy took a gamble using two players at once, including his only other catcher,” Mackanin said. “I didn't think he would use Posey that early. But that wasn’t the game. The game boiled down to us not capitalizing on our base runners the last two innings.”

If the environment seemed difficult for the Phillies on Friday night, it will be even more so on Saturday when they have to face Madison Bumgarner and his minuscule 1.85 ERA. 

Best of MLB: Adam Lind's 3-run homer gives Mariners walk-off win

Best of MLB: Adam Lind's 3-run homer gives Mariners walk-off win

SEATTLE -- Adam Lind hit a game-winning three-run home run in the ninth inning off St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal, and the Seattle Mariners rallied for a 4-3 win over the Cardinals on Friday night to snap a six-game losing streak.

The Mariners opened the ninth with a double by Kyle Seager and a walk to Dae-Ho Lee. Lind reached down and drove a 1-1 pitch out to right field for his fourth career walk-off home run. It was the third home run allowed this season by Rosenthal (2-3) and his third blown save.

St. Louis had scored three times in the eighth inning without the help of a base hit. Seattle reliever Joaquin Benoit issued three walks and a hit batter and Kyle Seager's error on Matt Holliday's hard ground ball allowed two runs to score (see full recap).

Tomas, Diamondbacks rally for win over Rockies
DENVER -- Yasmany Tomas homered twice and drove in four runs, Michael Bourn had a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Colorado Rockies 10-9 on Friday night.

Jean Segura had three hits and scored the winning run for the Diamondbacks, who have won seven of their last eight.

Tomas' solo shot with one out in the ninth off Carlos Estevez (1-5) tied the game. Segura doubled one out later and Bourn singled him home with a sharp liner to left.

Estevez also got the loss in Arizona's 7-6 win Thursday night.

Tomas hit a three-run homer in Arizona's six-run seventh for his third career multihomer game.

Josh Collmenter (1-0) pitched to one batter in the eighth and Brad Ziegler worked a shaky ninth for his 16th save (see full recap).

Contreras helps Cubs snap 4-game skid
MIAMI -- Rookie Willson Contreras homered and drove in three runs to help the Chicago Cubs break their longest losing streak of the season at four games by beating the Miami Marlins 5-4 Friday night.

Contreras hit a two-run homer in the Cubs' four-run first inning. His RBI single in the seventh put the team with the best record in the majors ahead to stay. He's batting .412 with eight RBIs after seven games in the big leagues.

While Contreras again excelled as a reinforcement for the injury-hampered NL Central leaders, they endured another setback when second baseman Ben Zobrist left the game after he was hit by a pitch on the left ankle.

Four pitchers held the Marlins to two hits, including Justin Bour's grand slam (see full recap).

Instant Replay: Giants 5, Phillies 4

Instant Replay: Giants 5, Phillies 4


SAN FRANCISCO — The Phillies’ bullpen could not hold a one-run lead in the seventh inning and the team suffered its 27th loss in the last 34 games on Friday night.
The Phils lost 5-4 after the San Francisco Giants rallied for four runs in the seventh inning.
Brandon Belt had the big hit in the inning for the Giants, a three-run double against lefty Elvis Araujo. The Giants added another run in the inning to go up, 5-2. The Phillies rallied for two runs in the eighth, but left the bases loaded in coming up short.
The Phillies have fallen to 31-44. The Giants lead the NL West at 48-27.
The Giants have sold out 444 consecutive games.
Starting pitching report
Any doubt that Zach Eflin’s spot in the rotation was safe was erased as the right-hander pitched six innings and gave up just one unearned run. Eflin scattered five hits, walked none and struck out one. He left with a one-run lead.
Since being tagged for nine runs in 2 2/3 innings in his major-league debut at Toronto, Eflin has pitched 11 2/3 innings and given up just two earned runs in two starts.
Giants starter Jake Peavy allowed two runs over seven innings for the win.
Bullpen report
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin bypassed struggling veteran David Hernandez and handed a 2-1 lead to Severino Gonzalez in the bottom of the seventh. Gonzalez allowed a ground-ball base hit. Mackanin went to Araujo and the Giants countered with pinch-hitter Buster Posey. He hit a playable liner to center field but it clanged off lunging Odubel Herrera’s glove for a single. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk, Belt broke the game wide open.
Giants reliever Cory Gearrin allowed two inherited runners to score, but managed to preserve the Giants' lead and leave the bases loaded in the eighth.

Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla got the final three outs. Casilla loaded the bases with two outs before retiring Tyler Goeddel to end the game.
At the plate
Ryan Howard started at first base and drove in the Phillies’ first run with a double. Herrera drove in the Phillies’ second run with a sacrifice fly. Freddy Galvis had an RBI single in the eighth.
Maikel Franco doubled and tripled.
The Phillies had six extra-base hits. Five came with the bases empty.

The Phils left 11 men on base.
Belt had two hits and three RBIs for the Giants. Angel Pagan had three hits and two RBIs.
In the field
Howard made an error at first base on the first ball the Giants put in play and it led to an unearned run.
Howard made a second fielding error later in the game. It would have resulted in a run if shortstop Freddy Galvis hadn't made a terrific charging play with a man on third to end the inning.
Reliever Andrew Bailey went on the disabled list and Edubray Ramos was called up to the majors for the first time (see story).
Vince Velasquez is ready to return to the rotation early next week. Who will he replace? (see story).
Up next
Jeremy Hellickson (4-6, 4.41) opposes Madison Bumgarner (8-3, 1.85) on Saturday night.