Ricky Romero snaps 13-game losing streak

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It wasn’t pretty, as he gave up four runs in five innings with more walks than strikeouts, but Ricky Romero snapped his 13-game losing streak with a victory over the Orioles last night.

Toronto’s lineup handed Romero four runs of support in the first two innings and scored nine total runs, so like most “wins” it was heavily dependent on something other than the pitcher’s performance.

He’ll still take it, though, as Romero hadn’t won since way back on June 22. At that point he was 8-1 with a 4.34 ERA, but then he went through a brutal 15-start stretch in which Romero was 0-13 with a 7.42 ERA and more walks (53) than strikeouts (49) in 78 innings.

Last night’s outing wasn’t much to get excited about, but at this point even baby steps in the right direction probably seem pretty big for the 27-year-old former All-Star.

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.