As Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has learned, it’s four games and an undisclosed fine. Barnes was the Red Sox pitcher who threw a pitch Sunday near the head of Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado, a pitch that was in retaliation for Machado’s rough slide into second base Friday night that injured Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia.
They’ve won seven in a row and own the best record in baseball. Bryce Harper’s crushing at a level that even exceeds his 2015 form, when he did a mean Ted Williams impression for an entire season. Stephen Strasburg is healthy and riding a simplified approach to a terrific start. And they’ve gotten off to this roaring start despite their young star Trea Turner missing a week and a half to the disabled list (he’s now back). At this point the loaded Nationals have one and only one major Achilles heel: the bullpen. The good news is that the commodity that costs the least to acquire in trades is relief pitching. It might take a few weeks, but GM Mike Rizzo’s going to hit the trade market and reel
The Kansas City Royals were in a bit of an offensive rut heading into a Sunday matchup with the Texas Rangers. The Royals hadn’t scored more than three runs in 10 of their past 11 games. The Royals turned to their farm system, calling up outfield prospect Jorge Bonifacio on Friday, who at 23 years old was already somewhat of a stalwart in the minor leagues.