Brandon Morrow Reuters

Brandon Morrow dominates Mets in three-hit shutout

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The Mets were particularly vulnerable this afternoon with David Wright out of the starting lineup and Blue Jays’ right-hander Brandon Morrow took advantage, tossing a complete game three-hit shutout as part of a 2-0 victory.

Morrow struck out eight and walked one while throwing 76 out of 107 pitches for strikes. The Mets nearly had a rally going after Scott Hairston led off the ninth inning with a walk and Mike Baxter ripped one down the first base line for a potential double, but Jose Bautista made a quick throw from right field and shortstop Yunel Escobar slapped down the tag at second base. While replays showed that Escobar missed the tag on Baxter, second base umpire Brian Knight called him out. Oh, human element. Daniel Murphy then lined out to Escobar for the final out of the ballgame.

It was the second shutout of the season for Morrow, which leads the majors, and the third of his career. The 27-year-old right-hander is now 5-1 on the year with an outstanding 2.63 ERA and 54/17 K/BB ratio in 61 2/3 innings over nine starts.

The Jays have now won four straight, including two wins against the Yankees and two against the Mets, and sit at 23-18 on the young season.

Brett Lawrie will take a pay cut to avoid arbitration with White Sox

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Brett Lawrie #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ground ball during batting practice before the start of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.

The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.

Cubs sign LHP Brian Duensing to a one-year, $2 million deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Duensing #50 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the eleventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.