Red Sox land Kevin Cash, send Angel Sanchez to Astros

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Alyson Footer, who works for the Astros as their director of social media, reports that Houston has traded 32-year-old catcher Kevin Cash to the Red Sox for shortstop Angel Sanchez.

It’s a pretty minor deal, but should work out well for both sides.  The Red Sox have been scrambling for a reliable backup since Victor Martinez hit the disabled list and Jason Varitek was promoted to starting duties.  The Astros, meanwhile, have been on the hunt for middle infield help since losing shortstop Tommy Manzella to a fractured left index finger.

Cash hit .207/.271/.333 with two home runs and one double in 61 plate appearances for the Astros this season.  He played for the Red Sox from 2007-2008.

Sanchez, 26, failed to get a hit in his three at-bats for the Red Sox this year.  He spent most of his time at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he batted .274/.348/.327 in 223 at-bats.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.