Braves escape seventh-inning jam, hold 3-2 lead on Phils

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Fortunately for the Braves, Jason Heyward’s struggle with the lights on a Raul Ibanez fly to right and Jack Wilson’s potentially huge error only cost Tim Hudson one run and the Braves are taking a 3-2 lead on the Phillies into the bottom of the seventh.

Wilson’s error on Carlos Ruiz’s grounder to short allowed one run and put the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on first.  However, Eric O’Flaherty took over for Hudson then and induced an inning-ending double play from Shane Victorino.

Hudson ended up allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings in what would be his 17th win if the Braves can hold on.  The Cards are up 6-0 on Houston, so it looks like the Braves will need the victory to force a one-game playoff.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.