Quick hits: Rays rally for historic comeback

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– The Rays battled from eight runs down to complete the biggest comeback in the franchise’s history in a 10-9 win over the Blue Jays in 12 innings. The Rays trailed 9-1 at the end of six innings.

– Jayson Stark of ESPN.com
says the Phillies balked at the Blue Jays insistence on both J.A. Happ
and Kyle Drabek in a deal for Roy Halladay. And the Angels? Gordon Edes
of Yahoo.com reports they offered Jered Weaver and a choice of top infield or outfield prospects, including Brandon Wood. No dice.

– Chris Tillman is expected to make his major league debut
against the Royals on Wednesday. The bad news, it’s against Zack
Greinke. That Erik Bedard deal? Just call it the trade that keeps on
giving.

– In order to make room for Saturday’s starter Jon Niese, the Mets placed Gary Sheffield on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Jerry Manuel will soon leave his post to embark on his new trade as a fortune teller.

– Mark Buehrle will appear on The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, reading off a “Top 10” list alongside teammates Dewayne Wise and Josh Fields. It turns out Conan is just too Hollywood.

– The Athletics rallied for six runs in the seventh inning to end the Yankees eight-game winning streak on Saturday afternoon.

Pirates looking for outside outfield help

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is looking for outside outfield help in the wake of Starling Marte‘s 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. With Marte out of the picture, the club moved Andrew McCutchen back to center field and have played Adam Frazier, John Jaso, and Jose Osuna in right field. But, as Brink points out, Osuna and Jaso — neither an outfielder by trade — misplayed balls over the weekend against the Yankees.

Among available free agents, the pickings are slim. There’s Coco Crisp, Jeff Francoeur, Cole Gillespie, Kelly Johnson, and Nolan Reimold (who is currently in independent baseball). The Pirates may have to find themselves a trade partner. They could also try to talk Angel Pagan back into action, as the veteran outfielder recently said he’s taking the year off. The Pirates could also look at Leonys Martin, who was recently designated for assignment by the Mariners.

Matt Barnes ejected after throwing at Manny Machado’s head

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On Friday, tension between the Orioles and Red Sox rose when Manny Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia sliding into second base. Although the umpires found no fault with Machado’s slide, third base coach Brian Butterfield was later ejected, still feeling like Machado wronged the Red Sox. Pedroia exited the game and was not in the lineup on Saturday or Sunday. He’ll undergo an MRI for his left knee and ankle in Boston on Monday.

For what it’s worth, Pedroia didn’t seem to feel any bitterness towards Machado for his slide. As MLB.com’s Jeff Seidel reported, Pedroia said, “I don’t even know what the rule is. I’ve turned the best double play in the Major Leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a … rule. The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork.”

Tempers flared between the Red Sox and Orioles again on Sunday. In the bottom of the eighth inning with a runner on first base and one out with the Red Sox leading 6-0, reliever Matt Barnes threw a first-pitch fastball up-and-in to Machado. The ball actually hit Machado’s bat, so it counted as a foul ball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher ejected Barnes and the Red Sox brought in Joe Kelly. Machado doubled on the first pitch Kelly threw to put the Orioles on the board, but the Orioles ultimately lost 6-2.

MASN’s broadcast later showed Pedroia talking to Machado, seemingly clarifying that Barnes acted of his own volition without encouragement from Pedroia. “You know that,” Pedroia appeared to say. “It wasn’t me. It’s them.”

Update: Pedroia even apologized to Machado and the Orioles, per Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will likely look into Sunday’s incident. He could fine and/or suspend Barnes.

The Orioles and Red Sox meet again in Boston for a four-game series May 1-4. It will be interesting to see if the tension still remains then.