After shopping around, Gomes re-signs with Reds

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Jonny Gomes spent the weekend searching for a better offer, but ultimately couldn’t land a major-league deal elsewhere and has decided to settle for re-signing with the Reds.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com and John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer say Gomes’ last-minute shopping coaxed the Reds’ into giving him a major-league deal, while Mark Sheldon of MLB.com says general manager Walt Jocketty told him it was a minor-league pact. And they’re all reporting from the same clubhouse!
Whatever the case, Gomes is essentially certain to be on the Opening Day roster regardless of the contract type and coming back to Cincinnati represents his best chance for semi-regular playing time. He’ll likely platoon with the left-handed-hitting Chris Dickerson in left field and should get 300 or so trips to the plate.
He ranked second on the Reds in OPS last season, batting .267/.338/.541 with 20 homers in 314 plate appearances, but was non-tendered in December and the market for right-handed platoon bats with limited defensive ability was extremely lacking this offseason. Jermaine Dye is still looking for work and the Gomes-like Marcus Thames managed only a minor-league deal from the Yankees.
UPDATE: Sheldon had it wrong. Gomes gets a big-league deal and a spot on the 40-man roster.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final seven Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.