After failing to capitalize on early scoring threats against Phil Hughes, the Orioles have finally broken through against Phil Hughes. Nate McLouth led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo homer to right field to break a scoreless tie and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Hughes issued leadoff walks in three out of the first four innings, but managed to wiggle out of trouble each time. The Orioles are an astounding 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position so far tonight.
The Yankees have also had their fair share of chances against Joe Saunders, the most prominent of which was when Jayson Nix led off the bottom of the third inning with a double. However, Saunders managed to strike out Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira swinging. Yes, Joe Saunders actually did that.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.