The Red Sox are interested in Matt Garza

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I’m struggling to recall the last time we heard something from Phil Rogers’ Sunday “Whispers” column that was both (a) juicy; and (b) actually happened, but this one at least has (a) covered:  The Red Sox are reportedly interested in Matt Garza. Rogers says that Garza is “high on the list.”

Which makes sense. Garza’s strikeout rate is way up from a year ago.  Blame some crappy defense behind him in Chicago and some bad luck for his record and ERA, but he’s still a fine pitcher who would be an awesome fit for a contender. But of course, the stuff that makes him so awesome — his stuff and, most especially the fact that he’s under team control for two and a half more years — makes it really unlikely that the Cubs would want to trade him.

So maybe he’s high on the Red Sox’ list of targets, but I can’t think of a reason why he’s be anywhere on the Cubs’ radar as trade fodder.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.

Bryce Harper sets April record for runs scored

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With four runs scored during Sunday’s 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper set a new April record for runs scored at 32, MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports. The record was previously held by Larry Walker, who scored 29 runs for the Rockies in April 1997.

Harper finished 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a solo home run (off of Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki) on the afternoon. He’s now hitting .391/.509/.772 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the year.