Dan Uggla homers off reliever Cole Hamels as Braves take lead

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The Braves took a 3-1 lead on the Phillies in the third inning thanks to a homer from Dan Uggla off reliever Cole Hamels.

Joe Blanton got the start for Philadelphia tonight, but he was removed after allowing one run in two innings.  Hamels, tuning up for his Game 3 start next week, struggled initially in what was his first major league relief appearance after 180 starts.  He’s now given up nine homers this month after allowing just 10 in his first 26 starts.

The Phillies got their one run in the first before Tim Hudson settled down.  Hudson is at 61 pitches through four innings.

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.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.