The Red Sox lose again

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Terry Francona: What’s our record, DeMarlo?
DeMarlo Hale: Eighty-seven and sixty-six.
Terry Francona: Eighty-seven … and sixty-six. How’d we ever win eighty-seven?
DeMarlo Hale: It’s a miracle.
Terry Francona: It’s a miracle.

Yep, the Sox dropped the front end of a double header against the O’s this afternoon. The score as 6-5. All six were given up while Kyle Weiland was on the hill.  He gives up runs in bunches, so that’s no surprise. On the bright side, he probably won’t be allowed another start this season, so that part of the Red Sox’ pain is likely over. Jeremy Guthrie was no great shakes himself, but he was able to get the win, which will now foreclose him, it seems, from losing 20, so that’s something good.

Homers from Robert Andino, Nolan Reimold and J.J. Hardy did the damage for the O’s. Darnell McDonald hit his own homer, but had all manner of adventures in the outfield to make up for it, handing the O’s a couple of runs when he lost a ball in the sun early on.  Even the cosmos have it in for Boston right now.

Their lead is down to one and a half games leading up to the nightcap this evening. Tampa Bay heads to Yankee Stadium tomorrow.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.