Bombs away: Orioles tie franchise record with seven homers in win

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Chris Davis and rookie Manny Machado went deep twice apiece as the Orioles combined for seven homers Wednesday in beating the Blue Jays 12-2.

Baltimore remained 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees after New York won earlier in the day.

Nate McLouth opened the bottom of the first with a homer tonight, but it was then quiet until the fifth. That frame saw Jim Thome, Machado and Davis all leave the yard, giving the Orioles a 6-2 lead. After that, the team added another two-run homer each inning: Mark Reynolds in the sixth, Davis in the seventh and Machado in the eighth. Of course, they didn’t need a ninth.

It was the third time in Orioles history that the team has hit seven homers. The first was on May 17, 1967 against the Red Sox. Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Davey Johnson were among the seven who homered that day. The other time was on Aug. 26, 1985 against the Angels. Eddie Murray hit three homers and drove in nine in that one.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.