Indians rookie Jason Kipnis goes 5-for-5, scores four times

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Jason Kipnis, who already has a streak of homering in four straight games in his very young career, went 5-for-5 with a homer and four runs scored Wednesday in the Indians’ 10-3 win over the Tigers.  It was his sixth homer in 16 games as a major leaguer.

Kipnis became the first rookie to finish with five hits and four runs scored in a game since Mark Reynolds (May 25) and David Murphy (Aug. 22) both did so in 2007.  Andre Ethier also pulled off the feat on May 19, 2006.  No other active player had such a game as a rookie.

It’s also the earliest in a career that any player has had a 5-for-5 game since Houston’s Josh Anderson had one in his ninth game on Sept. 16, 2007.  Reynolds was in his 10th game when he did it earlier in 2007.  Austin Jackson did it in his 23rd game on April 30, 2010.

Finally, with the homer tonight, Kipnis became the first player to collect six homers in his first 16 games since Chris Davis and Taylor Teagarden did so for the Rangers in 2008.

Kipnis has struck out 20 times already and his defense has looked a little rough at times, but he certainly appears to be here to stay.  The converted outfielder has showed enough promise at second base to remain there for at least the beginning of 2012, and if he needs to move to left field at some point, he’ll likely have the bat to pull it off.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.