Seven RBI enough for Joe Mauer as Twins win 19-1

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Joe Mauer turned in his fourth career five-hit game and drove in a personal-best seven runs as the Twins steamrolled the Royals 19-1 on Monday night.
The reigning AL MVP was 5-for-5 with a three-run homer and a double before being removed for a pinch-hitter with a runner on in the eighth. Manager Ron Gardenhire offered him the chance to hit and go for a 6-for-6 night, but Mauer opted out. Drew Butera replaced him and promptly lined into a double play.
Mauer topped his previous high of six RBI, which he established in a 20-1 win over the White Sox on May 21, 2009.
Also notable from the game was that Danny Valencia, who didn’t have a homer in the majors or minors this season, went 4-for-4 with a grand slam and a walk. He entered the game with four extra-base hits — all doubles — and five RBI in 81 at-bats for the Twins.
He’s the first Twin ever to hit a grand slam for his first homer.
The Royals got their lone run on a Wilson Betemit double in the ninth to narrowly avoid their worst shutout loss ever. It wouldn’t have been the biggest margin of victory this season either way, though. The Brewers beat the Pirates 20-0 back on April 22.
The 18-run deficit was the Royals’ biggest since they lost to the A’s 21-3 on June 18, 2000.

Report: The White Sox and Diamondbacks are in on Manny Machado

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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.

The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.

The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.