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Derek Jeter was given the day off today after playing the series opener against the Red Sox last night at Yankee Stadium. While Yankees manager Joe Girardi understands that fans came to the ballpark expecting Jeter to be in the lineup and are likely disappointed to see him on the bench, he told Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com that his first priority is to keep Jeter healthy for the long haul. As it should be.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on April 12th, 2014
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So far, so good for Grady Sizemore in his comeback bid with the Boston Red Sox. The 31-year-old outfielder has been among Boston’s most consistent players early in the season, and on Friday night was its most valuable as his three-run sixth inning homer off former teammate CC Sabathia capped a four-run inning and led the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees .
The home run came in support of Jon Lester, who allowed two earned runs over six and two-thirds innings to notch his first victory of the season despite a solid 2.57 ERA. Afterwards, it seemed Sizemore’s focus was on just that, supporting Lester and delivering that one key hit he needed to finally find some breathing room on the hill.
“Good to have a rally there in that inning,” Sizemore said. ”We’ve kind of struggled with Jon on the mound. It’s nice to pick him up and get some runs for him.”
With that attitude and some decent production to go with it, Sizemore won’t have any trouble winning over his new teammates. In fact, it seems he’s already well on his way.
David Ross on Grady Sizemore: “He’s been a big pickup for us, … and he’s easy on the eyes.”
— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) April 12, 2014
Sizemore concluded the night hitting 333/.394/.600 with two homers over nine games. Numbers he’ll obviously struggle to sustain, but well beyond what Boston could have hoped for early on.
The only downside for Boston: Edward Mujica picked up the save as manager John Farrell reports regular closer Koji Uehara experienced minor stiffness during pregame warm ups. He’s considered day-to-day.
PHILLIES BREAK OUT AGAINST JOSE FERNANDEZ: Facing Miami’s 21-year-old phenom isn’t the best recipe for breaking a four-game losing streak, but that’s exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies did in their 6-3 win on Friday night . Philadelphia was able to strike quickly, which is always important against baseball’s best hurlers. A two-spot in the first inning keyed by Marlon Byrd’s RBI double got the offense rolling and Fernandez’s pitch count up. They continued wearing him down in the third, scoring one more on Ryan Howard’s bases loaded walk. Then they applied the finishing touches in the fifth, breaking through for three more.
It was an unlikely but noteworthy outburst because it was the first time Fernandez has allowed more than three earned runs in a start since last May 27 against the Tampa Bay Rays, a stretch covering 22 starts. It had been since July 7 that he allowed more than two earned runs. Both quite impressive. It was also the first time in 17 starts that Fernandez has allowed more than five hits. According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark , that’s the longest such streak over the last 100 years.
The kid is special, but the Phillies obviously had his number on Friday.
ONE-HIT WONDER: Andrew Cashner was a popular pick for a true breakout season in 2014. You’ll have a difficult time convincing the Detroit Tigers it’s not in the cards after the 27-year-old right-hander shut them out on one hit in the Padres 6-0 victory . It’s actually the second one-hitter in Cashner’s 35 career starts, which should deeply concern San Diego’s foes in the NL West. The other came last Sept 16. against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The only blemish keeping Cashner from history was Rajai Davis’ bloop single just out of the reach of second baseman Jedd Gyorko with one-out in the sixth. That snapped a string of 14 straight batters retired after Miguel Cabrera reached on a Chase Headley error in the first inning. Cashner capped the outstanding effort with a career-high 11 strikeouts.
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MADISON BUMGARNER SLAMS HIS WAY TO VICTORY: San Francisco’s opening day starter took charge on both sides of the field in leading the Giants to a 6-5 victory at AT&T Park .
After spotting the Colorado Rockies an early three run lead, Bumgarner got San Francisco on the board with a third inning sacrifice fly that fell just a few feet shy of being a two-run homer. In his next at-bat two innings later, Bumgarner found the extra few feet and then some, clearing the wall by plenty for his third career home. And to make things even better, this time the bases were loaded, giving Bumgarner five RBIs on the night and the Giants a three run lead of their own.
That would prove important later as Colorado chipped away against the Giants bullpen. However, in the ninth, Sergio Romo shut things down quickly to preserve the win.
With the win, Bumgarner improves to 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA. And with the slam, he may move himself into consideration for pinch-hitting duties. His swing looked that good.
By the way, this was the first grand slam by a pitcher since Travis Wood hit one for the Chicago Cubs last May, so probably not as long ago as you thought.
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Michael Pineda is only the latest in a long line of pitchers suspected of nefarious conduct on the mound.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on April 11th, 2014
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The Yankees’ Michael Pineda openly had a mysterious substance on his pitching hand. It’s time for today’s pitchers to use more subterfuge.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on April 11th, 2014
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The White Sox outfield just took a huge hit only nine games into the 2014 season.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on April 10th, 2014
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The Boston Red Sox needed a big hit late in Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers , and once again it was “Big Papi” David Ortiz who came through, delivering a towering three-run homer that barely wrapped around Pesky’s Pole at Fenway Park. In fact, it was close to necessitate a review, and it also led to the slowest home run trot tracked by the Tater Trot Tracker on Twitter.
The slowest (non-injury) trot time I’ve recorded in more than 4 years was Bobby Abreu’s 31.56 sec trot. Papi beats that by almost 1.5 secs!
— Tater Trot Tracker (@TaterTrotTrkr) April 10, 2014
To be fair, Papi was only trying to tell if the HR was fair or foul (and the umps needed to review it!), but it’s still an official time
— Tater Trot Tracker (@TaterTrotTrkr) April 10, 2014
No sense wasting energy if it hooked foul, was probably Ortiz’s mindset.
The big fly came a half inning after Texas took a one-run lead on Alex Rios’ sacrifice fly. Manager Ron Washington brought in one of Ortiz’s biggest nemesis — small sample size and all — in left-hander Neal Cotts to prevent what happened from happening. Coming into Wednesday’s showdown, Cott had struck Ortiz out five times in six plate appearances. The other was a walk.
Give round seven to Ortiz, and give Boston a series victory.
TENSIONS RISE IN MINNESOTA: The benches emptied in Minnesota but no punches were thrown after A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson and Twins closer Glen Perkins exchanged words in tenth inning. Perkins actually struck out Donaldson to end the inning, but it’s reported his anger stemmed from Donaldson admiring a long foul ball a little too long earlier in the at-bat. Donaldson disagreed, and explained why in a much calmer fashion following the game.
”I don’t feel like I disrespected him at all. I’m up there trying to win a game for our team, and he’s trying to win a game for his team. Juices are flowing,” Donaldson said.
Oakland would go on to win the game 7-4 on Derek Norris’ three-run homer in the 11th. Of greatest concern to Oakland is the fact closer Jim Johnson’s ERA ballooned to 18.90 through his first five appearance of the season. He was on the verge of his second blown save and his third loss before being pulled in the ninth inning in favor of Dan Otero.
TIGERS SURVIVE LATE DODGERS RALLY: The A’s aren’t alone in their concern over their closing situation. The Detroit Tigers, who signed Joe Nathan to a two-year, $20 million deal on Dec. 4, could be searching for answers as well after the veteran allowed three ninth inning runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s the third consecutive appearance — including two blown saves — that Nathan has allowed a run. And to show the inconsistency of Detroit’s ‘pen as a whole, it’s the sixth consecutive game they’ve allowed a run in the ninth inning or later. Not good, but they were about overcome it Wednesday and pull out a 7-6 win in 10 innings thanks to Victor Martinez’s solo homer run off Kenley Jansen.
ERVIN SANTANA STRONG IN BRAVES DEBUT: A little behind schedule after signing a one-year, $14.1 million on March 12, Ervin Santana came out of the gates firing strikes in his Braves debut on Wednesday. In fact, Santana’s first 20 pitches all pierced the strike zone, and by the of the third inning his ratio was an astonishing 28-1. Santana ended up working eight scoreless frames on three hits and no walks. He also fanned six as the Braves held for a 4-3 win despite an unusually shaky ninth inning from Craig Kimbrel.
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BOSTON — Shane Victorino was back in the Red Sox clubhouse on Wednesday, hanging around his teammates, smiling wide. Since he was stricken with the flu last week, Victorino has been kept away from the team so as not to spread his germs, coming to Fenway to get treatment but staying away from anyone he may infect. “[Victorino] is on the field today with some ground-based conditioning work,” manager John Farrell said. “(His) baseball activity will start to ramp up over the weekend.”

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It wasn’t too long ago that John Lackey was despised by just about every Bostonian and New Englander around. Lackey was a pretty miserable human being, and is production on the mound went south. Then he had Tommy John surgery, disappeared from the public eye, and returned at the start of last season a completely different (and thinner) person. This John Lackey is a guy we can get behind – and have.

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DENVER — Boone Logan’s return from the disabled list prompted the Colorado Rockies to alter the makeup of their roster. The Rockies activated Logan on Monday, giving them a second left-hander in their bullpen. To clear a roster spot, Colorado optioned outfielder Corey Dickerson to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Rockies opened the season carrying six outfielders.

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