There were three ninth inning rallies today

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Sure, the Giants’ win over the Reds had an assist from a bad call by an ump, but it still counts as a ninth inning rally.  As does the Heath Bell meltdown Aaron described earlier.

But those weren’t the only two. The Rays turned their caps inside out or whatever the hell passes for a rally cap these days and pulled victory from the jaws of defeat in the ninth themselves, beating the Angels 4-3.

The Angels led 3-2 as the bottom of the ninth began. But then B.J. Upton singled and Joe Maddon sent Brandon Allen up to pinch hit for Jose Molina.  The result:  Ball, ball, strike, strike, BOOM.  A 443-foot homer to win the game. Jordan Walden never even recorded an out.

The Angels are now 6-13. They are nine games back of the Rangers, for the largest deficit of any team in baseball.

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.