Pirates calling up Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln

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After seeing first hand what a top prospect can do last night, the Pirates reportedly will call up both Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata from Triple-A in time for tonight’s game against the Nationals.
Lincoln went one spot after Evan Longoria as the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft, but missed all of 2007 following Tommy John elbow surgery. He’s bounced back pretty well, posting a 3.89 ERA and 97/24 K/BB ratio in 130 innings at Triple-A, but at 25 years old now projects as a potential middle-of-the-rotation starter at best rather than an ace.
Tabata was acquired from the Yankees in the mid-2008 deal for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte, and has seen his stock decline since showing lots of promise as a teenager in the low minors. Once thought to have middle-of-the-order upside he’s managed only 14 homers in 246 games between Double-A and Triple-A, but he’s still just 21 years old and should develop at least a bit more pop.
Plus, even if the power never arrives Tabata should be able to make an impact closer to the top of the Pirates’ lineup. He’s hit .290 at Double-A and Triple-A, getting on base at a solid .355 clip and swiping 54 bags at a 77 percent success rate. His raw numbers are nothing special, but for someone who’s been very young for every level of competition it’s definitely encouraging. Whether or not he’s ready for the majors right now is another matter entirely.

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)
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 six 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)
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.