LaTroy Hawkins not the only pitcher cruisin' for a bruisin'

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Thanks to the wonderful Fack Youk for the heads up on this one:

Tampa Bay Rays RHP Matt Garza acknowledged it was more than
coincidence than he hit Mark Teixeira the inning after Yankees starter
Joba Chamberlain threw a pitch at the head of Evan Longoria, and noted
the Yankees threw inside to Longoria and hit him Monday too.

“I just kind of got tired of people brushing him back,” Garza
said. “It’s about time someone made a statement. They did it on Monday
night and we didn’t do anything, they didn’t do it too much (Tuesday)
and (Chamberlain) did it again tonight.

“I hate to be that guy, but someone had to take a stand and say,
“You know, we’re tired of it.” You can go after our best guy, well,
we’ll make some noise too, and that’s what happened.”

You know, part of being “that guy” in a beanball war entails giving a
totally deadpan statement to the media after the game that goes “I
guess that pitch to Teixeira got away from me.” Doing that and letting
your subsequent silence speak for itself is way more badass than
talking about just how much you stand up for your teammates. And it’s
way less likely to get Bob Watson on your butt and suspending you when
you’re trying to pitch your team back into a pennant race.

Jesus, can’t Sutcliffe hold a seminar on this stuff on an off day?

Watch: Mike Trout ties MLB record with his 25th home run

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It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:

In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.

Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.

Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.

Blue Jays acquire Tom Koehler from Marlins

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The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.

The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.

Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.