Yovani Gallardo fans career-high 14 in beating Pirates

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Given some extra rest around the All-Star break, Yovani Gallardo came out firing today, striking out a career-high 14 batters while allowing one run over seven innings against the Pirates.

Brewers pitching fanned 17 batters in all in Milwaukee’s 4-1 victory. It’s the fifth time this year a team has recorded 17 or more strikeouts in a nine-inning game. The Pirates have been involved in four of those games and they were the victims the last three times it’s happened:

April 13 – Dodgers fan 18 Padres in 9-8 win (Aaron Harang, 13 K)
May 3 – Pirates fan 17 Cardinals in 6-3 win (Erik Bedard, 11 K)
May 6 – Reds fan 17 Pirates in 5-0 win (Mat Latos, 11 K)
May 20 – Tigers fan 17 Pirates in 4-3 win (Max Scherzer, 15 K)

Gallardo, who hadn’t pitched in nine days, improved to 8-6 on the season. He’s allowed two runs over 19 2/3 innings in his last two starts. A.J. Burnett took the loss for Pittsburgh, snapping his career-best nine-game winning streak.

The Blue Jays are allergic to .500

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The Blue Jays dropped Thursday afternoon’s game to the Rangers 11-4, splitting the four-game home series. And, impressively, the Blue Jays failed for the ninth time to get back to .500. The club is now 35-37.

Here’s a look at all the times the Blue Jays could’ve evened out their won-lost record and what happened:

  • April 5 (0-1): Lost 3-1 to the Orioles
  • April 7 (1-2): Lost 10-8 to the Rays
  • June 1 (26-27): Lost 12-2 to the Yankees
  • June 3 (27-28): Lost 7-0 to the Yankees
  • June 5 (28-29): Lost 5-3 to the Athletics
  • June 13 (31-32): Lost 8-1 to the Rays
  • June 16 (32-33): Lost 11-4 to the White Sox
  • June 20 (34-35): Lost 6-1 to the Rangers
  • June 22 (35-36): Lost 11-4 to the Rangers

The Blue Jays are now a half-game behind the Orioles for fifth place in the AL East, but they’re only 5.5 games behind the first-place Yankees. Interestingly, if the Blue Jays played in the NL East and had the same record, they would be in second place. But even the Phillies — baseball’s worst team — have been at .500 or better for a few days: after winning Opening Day and after game Nos. 6, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Report: Marlins expected to trade Adeiny Hechavarria

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Marlins are expected to trade shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria in the next few days.

Hechavarria, 28, is currently on a rehab assignment for a strained left oblique. It’s the second time this season he’s hit the sidelines with an oblique injury. Hechavarria is also hitting a disappointing .277/.288/.385 over 67 plate appearances, which is marginally better than his career averages.

While the Marlins are shopping Hechavarria at depressed value, there are two factors that give him value: he still plays good defense, and he’s under team control through the 2018 season. Passan does estimate that Hechavarria will see a pay raise from $4.3 million this season to $6-7 million next season in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

Passan adds that while the Marlins aren’t yet willing to shop outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, relievers A.J. Ramos, David Phelps, and Kyle Barraclough are being made available.