The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 10-8 last night without hitting a home run, just their second win this season without a homer, but they put on another power display this afternoon.
Franklin Morales was knocked around for six runs over just 3 1/3 innings as a Bombers cruised to a 6-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader.
Morales gave up four runs in the first inning, including a three-run home run by Nick Swisher and a solo shot by Andruw Jones. He served up back-to-back homers to Jones and Jayson Nix to begin the fourth inning and was pulled two batters later. The 25-year-old southpaw had allowed just four earned runs over 18 innings in his previous three starts and entered today’s action with a 2.51 ERA overall. It went up to 3.50 with the clunker, though he still has a good chance to keep a rotation spot even after Clay Buchholz returns from the disabled list.
Freddy Garcia was excellent against a weak Boston lineup, allowing one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings while striking out five and walking a pair. The only run scored when Mauro Gomez, who was filling in for third baseman Will Middlebrooks, delivered an RBI single in the fourth. CC Sabathia is expected to return from the disabled list after the All-Star break, so the Yankees will have to decide whether Garcia or David Phelps will remain in the rotation. Phelps gave up one run over 4 1/3 innings against the Rays on Wednesday while striking out eight.
The Yankees have won each of their first four games against the Red Sox this season. They’ll look to stay undefeated when Phil Hughes squares off against Felix Doubront in the nightcap.
When he’s not throwing baseballs, Twins pitcher Trevor May is an active gamer. He streams on Twitch, a very popular video game streaming site, fairly regularly and now he’s officially on an eSports team. Luminosity Gaming announced the organization added May last Friday. It appears he’ll be streaming and commentating on Overwatch, a multiplayer first-person shooter made by Blizzard Entertainment.
May is the only current athlete to be an active member of an eSports team. Former NBA player Rick Fox owns Echo Fox, an eSports team that sports players in games including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Mortal Kombat X. Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is also a known advocate of eSports.
The NBA in particular has been very active on the eSports front. Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov launched NRG eSports in November 2015. Shortly thereafter, Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan invested in the Immortals eSports team. Almost a year later, the 76ers acquired controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. The same month, the Wizards’ and Warriors’ owners launched a group called Axiomatic, which purchased a controlling stake in Team Liquid, a long-time Starcraft: Brood War website which has since branched out into other games. And also in September 2016, Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko bought team Renegades, moving them to a group house in Detroit. In December 2016, the Bucks submitted a deal to Riot Games in order to purchase Cloud9’s Challenger league spot for $2.5 million. The Rockets that month hired someone specifically for eSports development, focusing on strategy and investment. Last month, the Heat acquired a controlling stake in team Misfits.
Once an afterthought, eSports has grown considerably in recent years and now it should be considered a competitor to traditional sports. League of Legends, in particular, is quite popular, reaching nearly 15 million concurrent viewers at its peak in the most recent League of Legends World Championship. That championship featured a prize purse of $6.7 million with $2 million of it being split among winner SK Telecom T1’s members.
The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.
Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.