Mark Townsend

  • Dodgers outslug Padres, lose Brandon McCarthy to injury

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    Saturday night was bittersweet for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    The good news: Their bats were alive at one of baseball's most pitcher-friendly ballparks, Petco Park. In total, the Dodgers muscled up for four home runs in their 11-8 victory, including Adrian Gonzalez's NL-leading seventh. Gonzalez's three-run shot broke a 3-3 tie in the second inning, and the Dodgers never looked back from there.

    Andre Ethier got the scoring started with a two-run shot in the first. That was his second homer of the season. Howie Kendrick and Juan Uribe added insurance two-run homers in the fifth, which proved to be important in the outcome. 

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    The Rays received four hits from Evan Longoria in the victory.

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  • Adam Wainwright leaves game with left ankle injury suffered while batting

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

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    St. Louis Cardinals fans everywhere are holding their breath Saturday night after ace Adam Wainwright was helped off the field at Miller Park with a lower leg injury.

    Wainwright suffered the injury while batting in the fifth inning. As Wainwright skied a popup on the infield, his left ankle twisted in the box. He then planted his left leg to run, but came up immediately hobbled.

    Upon first look, it was difficult to tell which leg Wainwright was favoring or what the injury might be. Obviously, there's always concern about the knee or the Achilles tendon on such plays. However, the replay does point directly to the ankle, and as of right now that's how the Cardinals are labeling it. 

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    Wainwright suffered a left ankle injury and will be re-evaluated upon the team's return to St. Louis #STLCards

    Harris strikes Lind out with his first three ML pitches.

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  • Freddie Gray protestors flood Camden Street, attempt to disrupt Orioles game

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    On Saturday, protestors started gathering in the streets of Baltimore to express their anger over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man who suffered a spinal injury that allegedly occurred while he was being arrested by Baltimore police.

    According to reports early in the day, the protests were mostly peaceful. However, as the day has gone along, the protests have become most destructive, with numerous reports of protestors throwing objects at police dressed in riot gear, and breaking out windows in police cars and buildings around Camden and Howard Street, which is right outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles.

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    There was some brief talk on social media about whether or not the game should go on as scheduled on Saturday. It would appear the Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball never seriously entertained that thought as the game began on time. 

    Here's a look at the chaotic scene, courtesy of Encina and others. 

  • Adrian Gonzalez challenges radio host who called him slow to footrace

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    Folks, we need to make something perfectly clear here. There's a reason major league players are what they are, major leaguers. And there's a reason the rest of us are left to talk and write about their accomplishments. 

    They're the best in the world at what they do, and although we may think we have an advantage or two in some athletic capacity — in some cases, it's possible we do — it's best to just leave well enough alone. Don't poke the angry bears, as they say. And certainly don't question their abilities or challenge them to anything competitive, because you're going to get their best and probably feel bad about it later.

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    That moment finally came this week.

    Gonzalez's response? An open challenge to a footrace, which took place before Friday's game at Petco Park in San Diego.

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    Make it happen!

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  • Josh Hamilton as a Ranger: The highs, lows and memorable moments

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    The phrase "never say never" has never been more appropriate.

    A little more than two years after leaving the Texas Rangers in free agency, troubled outfielder Josh Hamilton is reportedly headed back to Texas via a stunning trade, which follows his much publicized relapse and falling out with the Los Angeles Angels.  It will reunite Hamilton with a team with which he shared many ups and downs.

    The deal has been agreed to, according to multiple reports and could become official in a matter of hours or days. According to Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers will take on less than $7 million of the $93 million remaining on Hamilton's contract. 

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    A few weeks later, he signed with the Angels. 

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  • Nolan Arenado saves Rockies again with two defensive gems

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    If the Gold Glove at third base in the National League is Nolan Arenado's to lose, all the other candidates might as well change positions or find a new goal for the year. Arenado has done nothing but add highlight reel plays to his already impressive resume, and the work he's currently doing could easily cement him as the man to beat for years to come.

    For example, take Friday night's defensive exhibition in Colorado's 6-4 win against the San Francisco Giants. At two key points in the game, Arenado stepped up to make exceptional defensive plays. The first saved Colorado at least one run, while getting them two outs. The second killed a rally before it could even get started, which helped Colorado hold on.

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    He quickly got to his feet and without hesitation ran three steps to third for the first out. That, also, was quite impressive.

    Simply amazing athleticism coupled with razor sharp awareness.

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  • Six players suspended following Royals-White Sox brawl

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    Major League Baseball worked overtime this weekend to hand down discipline following the wild brawl involving the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox on Thursday. 

    In a press release issued Saturday morning, the league announced six players have been suspended for their role in the brawl. Kansas City Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who has been involved in multiple incidents already this season, got hit the hardest. He received a seven-game suspension for his role in escalating tensions after getting into a heated exchange with Chicago's Adam Eaton.

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    It's reported that Sale attempted to get into the Royals clubhouse after his ejection, while the game was still on-going. Sale refused to confirm or deny those reports on Friday. 

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  • Orioles considered boycotting game due to Rogers Centre turf issues

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    Before the on field hostilities kicked in between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, it's reported the Orioles were already displeased by the ballpark's new artificial turf, which early in the season has played very soft and thick. That's led to several unusual hops and baseballs slowing down much quicker than on normal grass or typical turf surface. 

    In fact, according to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles may have been one step out the door, at one point even considering boycotting or flat out forfeiting Tuesday's game after infielder Jimmy Paredes was shaken up after taking a bad hop ground ball to the face.

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    Paredes was fine, but there were concerns about another bad hop, or worse yet, the turf potentially giving way leading to a season-changing knee or ankle injury.

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  • Josh Reddick nearly hit a walk-off Little League home run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    The Houston Astros and Oakland A's cornered the market on crazy on Friday night, so it would have been appropriate for Josh Reddick to dash home in the 10th inning with the game-winning run, which also would have doubled as a walk-off Little League home run. 

    The thing is, this game was so crazy, a crazy A's victory wasn't good enough. It needed to go another inning, where the first-place Astros — crazy, isn't it? — could prove their resilience before holding off another wild A's rally. 

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    Digest that.

    Now we'll continue.

    Reddick, eyeing a big finish, then charged home. Unfortunately for him, closer Luke Gregorson did his job backing up the plate. Reddick ended up being out by a good 10 feet, but man, the shot of the ball bouncing away and Reddick with his head down running hard was thrilling. 

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  • Phillies knock off Braves on Freddie Freeman's walk-off error

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The previously red hot Atlanta Braves were cooled off in New York to begin the week. Now it would appear they're frozen after dropping their weekend series opener 1-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies.

    The fact the game ended 1-0 is painful enough for Atlanta. That they only mustered two hits against Aaron Harang, who was in their rotation last season, adds some salt to the wound. But the kicker has to be their defense, which committed four errors on the evening. The final one led directly to the game's only run, as Freddie Freeman was unable to handle Ben Revere's ninth-inning chopper.

    Freeman and the entire infield were drawn in on the play to cut down the winning run at home. It might have worked, but the ball squirted away before Freeman could corral it, which allowed Freddy Galvis to sprint home. It goes down as a game-winning RBI for Revere, and a walk-off error for Freeman, who committed only five errors all last season.

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    Hint: They didn't win. 

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