Vin Mazzaro

Royals shut out Angels; Vin Mazzaro lowers ERA from 17.47 to 10.80

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I’ll assume Vin Mazzaro is more upbeat about this one than his last start, when he gave up six runs in five innings and yet still lowered his ERA from 22.74 to 17.47.

Mazzaro pitched seven scoreless innings despite failing to strike out a batter Sunday as the Royals beat the Angels 9-0 to win two out of three games in Anaheim.

The Angels hit into five double plays in the contest. Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo all grounded into one, while Hank Conger had his line drive turned into another.

Blake Wood took over in relief of Mazzaro to start the eighth and fanned the first batter he faced, Andrew Romine.  It was the Angels’ only strikeout of the game, making this the first shutout to feature just one strikeout since the A’s beat the Rangers 5-0 on Aug. 28, 2010.

The last shutout without a strikeout took place on May 17, 2006, when the Tigers beat the Twins 2-0.  Justin Verlander went eight in that one before Todd Jones finished up.

Alex Gordon went 3-for-5 and pounded out his 20th double for the Royals.  He drove in two.  Billy Butler and Chris Getz both had two hits and two RBI apiece. Mike Moustakas, who hit his first big-league homer las tnight, went 1-for-4 with a walk.

Mets’ Neil Walker expected to undergo season-ending back surgery

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.

If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.

Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.

Video: Stephen Cardullo celebrates his birthday by hitting a grand slam

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 31:  Stephen Cardullo #65 of the Colorado Rockies watches his first career Major League home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on August 31, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.

In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.

Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.