Alex Gordon interested in contract extension with Royals

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Alex Gordon revealed yesterday that his agent recently talked to Royals general manager Dayton Moore about a long-term contract extension.

Gordon made it clear that he wants to remain with the Royals, telling Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star:

Staying here? Heck, yeah. I love it here. I love the guys here. I love being close to home. I love the fans. I love everything about this place.

Despite seemingly being around forever Gordon is still just 27 years old and remains under team control for two more seasons via arbitration, so from the Royals’ point of view there’s no rush to get something done. Next year he’ll get a big raise from his current $1.4 million salary, but will likely still earn under $5 million.

After spending much of last year in the minors Gordon is finally having his long-awaited breakout season, hitting .298 with 14 homers, 36 doubles, and an .852 OPS in 116 games. The former No. 2 overall pick and one-time top prospect came into the season as a career .244 hitter with a .733 OPS in 408 games.

Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg to make his next scheduled start

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”

Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.

Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

John Lackey hit four White Sox batters today

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Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.

So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.