The White Sox sweep the Braves, surge toward the top of the AL Central

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The White Sox completed a three-game sweep of your humble scribe’s Atlanta Braves today, winning 2-0 behind seven shutout innings from Gavin Floyd and a shutdown performance from Putz and Jenks. Floyd allowed only two hits and the Braves had only three baserunners the whole game in what looked and felt like your typical 2:17 getaway day special from the Bravos.

But I’ll have plenty of time to cry over the Braves later. The story today is the White Sox, who have now won nine straight games and — thanks to the Twins getting dropped by the Brewers once again this afternoon — now sit a mere two and a half games back.

The AL Central looks like it’s gonna be a wild one all summer, kiddos, so strap yourselves in.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.