Pedro Ciriaco

Angels beat the Red Sox in the stupidest game of 2012

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Craziest? Wildest? No, I’m sticking with stupidest.

The Angels edged the Red Sox 14-13 in 10 innings Thursday. Some highlights:

– Boston blew a six-run lead by giving up eight runs in the top of the third

– The Angels put together said eight-run inning without the benefit of an extra-base hit. They did, however, benefit from two bases-loaded walks by two different pitchers, a Pedro Ciriaco error and a dropped ball on a botched rundown.

– The Red Sox took the lead in the eighth and scored in both the ninth and 10th innings, yet lost the game.

– There were four blown saves, two from the current closers (Alfredo Aceves and Ernesto Frieri) and two from past closers (Andrew Bailey and Jason Isringhausen).

– Both closers came out for another inning after blowing their saves and gave up more runs. Aceves was horrible in allowing three runs in the ninth, yet was allowed to come back out and give up two more runs in the 10th. Frieri allowed a run in the ninth and a run in the 10th. The Red Sox may well have re-tied or won the game against Frieri in the 10th if Mike Trout hadn’t had Jacoby Ellsbury played perfectly on Ellsbury’s shot to the left-center gap.

– Vernon Wells hit a homer in the ninth that probably wasn’t a homer, except the Red Sox didn’t bother arguing it (the ball hit off the red line at the top of the Green Monster and bounced back into the field of play)

The Wells homer-double debacle probably didn’t matter, since the Angels followed his homer with three singles and two more runs anyway. Bobby Valentine deserves a whole lot of blame for being asleep at the wheel, though, not only for not arguing that play but for leaving Aceves in.

Some totals from the game:

Of the 18 starters tonight, seven players had at least three hits, 13 drove in at least one run and 15 scored at least once. Ciriaco had four hits and four runs scored for Boston, while Dustin Pedroia had four hits and five RBI. Trout went 3-for-6 with two RBI and two steals.

15 pitchers were used. Five of the seven Angels hurlers allowed at least a run, while only four of the Red Sox’s eight pitches gave up runs. Of course, the difference there was that Boston’s closer allowed five runs.

Report: Cardinals are scouting Cuban outfielder Luis Robert

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.

There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.

Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.

Cubs extend Pedro Strop through 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25:  Pedro Strop #46 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game One of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.

Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.

The Cubs replaced Aroldis Chapman with Wade Davis, so Strop and Hector Rondon will be bridging the gap to Davis this coming season.

Strop joined the Cubs along with Jake Arrieta in the July 2013 trade that sent Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Orioles. That trade panned out well for the Cubs.