Potent quotables: Ortiz goes deep

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“That’s how you getting back to
hitting balls and start hitting well, put a good swing on a ball. Even
though you don’t get the good luck, it will come.”

– David Ortiz on his first multi-hit game since May 20.
In the sixth inning of Saturday’s 8-1 win over the Rangers he wrapped a
line drive around the “Pesky Pole” for his second home run in 194
at-bats this season — one that wouldn’t have left any other stadium in
the majors.

“Being honest — I don’t care what he said. I believe we’re a better team than them. I don’t care what he said.”

– Carlos Beltran, as the war of words with Adam LaRoche continues.

“My responsibility as a manager is to
25 guys, and the Florida Marlins, not just one guy. We’re trying to get
the win for the club.”

– Fredi Gonzalez on closer Matt Lindstrom, who was pulled in favor of Leo Nunez
after loading the bases with a three-run lead against the Giants on
Saturday. Nunez gave up a single Aaron Rowand to cut the lead to one
run, but was able to strike out Edgar Renteria to end it. Lindstrom is
11-for-13 in save opportunities this season, but has a 6.17 ERA and
1.84 WHIP.

“He’ll always be my guy. His stuff is
good. There’s nothing wrong with his stuff. His stuff is good. I think
it’s important for him to keep his confidence. I think the opposite of
how some other people think. My way of thinking is if you rest him or
do something else with him or put him somewhere else, I think that can
hurt his confidence. I’m speaking right from my heart. That’s how I
look at it because I played 20 years. I think I do know a little bit
about it. His stuff is still good.”

– Charlie Manuel gives a vote of confidence to his closer Brad Lidge following another blown save
against the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon. Lidge has blown six saves in
19 chances this season after going a perfect 41-for-41 last season.

“That first inning I was very
excited. I wasn’t pitching at all. I was just throwing. After that, I
was able to settle down and minimize damage. I hadn’t been out there in
a long time.”

– Kelvim Escobar on his first start since 2007
on Saturday against the Tigers. Escobar struggled with his command in
the first inning, allowing two quick runs. He struck out five over five
innings, but also walked four and threw just 51 of his 92 pitches for
strikes. Escobar missed all of 2008 following shoulder surgery.

Athletics trade Billy Burns to the Royals for Brett Eibner

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 13: Billy Burns #1 of the Oakland Athletics waits on deck to bat during the fourth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 13, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.

Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.

Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.

Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.

Nationals acquire closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 20:  Mark Melancon #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies on May 20, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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The Nationals announced on Saturday afternoon that the club acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for reliever Felipe Rivero and minor league pitcher Taylor Hearn.

Melancon, 31, put together another solid season for the Pirates, leaving the club with 30 saves, a 1.51 ERA, and a 38/9 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings. He led the majors last season with 51 saves and has a 1.80 ERA since joining the Pirates in 2013. Melancon is earning $9.65 million this season and can become eligible for free agency after the season.

With Melancon out of the picture, the Pirates intend to have Tony Watson take over the closer’s role.

Rivero, 25, has handled the seventh and eighth innings for the Nationals this season, compiling a 4.53 ERA and a 53/15 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. He’s just shy of one year of service time, so the Pirates will have control of him for a long time.

Hearn, 21, was rated the Nationals’ 27th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft but he didn’t sign and ended up going back to college. The Nationals took him in the fifth round of last year’s draft. This season, between rookie ball and Single-A Hagerstown, Hearn put up a 2.79 ERA and a 39/13 K/BB ratio in 29 innings. He’s a long way away from the majors, so he’s essentially a lottery ticket for the Pirates.

The Nationals needed an upgrade at closer as Jonathan Papelbon has struggled this season. The right-hander has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances, ballooning his ERA up to 4.41 with a 30/13 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. It will be interesting to see how Papelbon, who has never made a habit of letting his feelings go unspoken, handles a demotion to the eighth inning.