Report: Giants, Padres talk Kouzmanoff

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USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Giants have engaged the Padres on Kevin Kouzmanoff, though they haven’t come close to meeting the asking price yet.
It’d be of little surprise in one of new Padres GM Jed Hoyer’s first moves was to shed Kouzmanoff. The 28-year-old has some ability to hit for average and power, but his lousy approach at the plate has resulted in OBPs of .299 and .302 the last two years. Plus, the Padres have Chase Headley capable of stepping at third base.
According to Nightengale, the Giants are trying to swap two players they have no further use for — Fred Lewis and Kevin Frandsen — for Kouzmanoff. That’s not going to work, but the Padres probably would listen if they start talking prospects instead. They could also have some interest in Nate Schierholtz and/or John Bowker. Minnesota and Houston could be other possible destinations for Kouzmanoff. He’s still three years away from free agency and he shouldn’t make more than $2.5 million in arbitration, so he should have some value on the trade market.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.