Ryan Vogelsong fractured his pitching hand

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And he did it while batting:

Vogelsong was in the middle of easily his best start of the season when he swung at an inside pitch from Craig Stammen. The ball appeared to hit him squarely on the knuckles of his right hand, and Vogelsong was in obvious pain. He left the game and was replaced by pinch hitter Nick Noonan.

The damage: a dislocated joint in the pinky finger of his pitching hand and breaks above and below the finger. He’ll have surgery today and pins will be inserted. He’s going to be out at least six weeks.

Sadly, this came as Vogelsong was in the midst of his best start of what has been an otherwise awful season, having shut out the Nationals, allowing only three hits in five innings. Now it’s awful again.

Also awful: it looks like Chad Gaudin is the only real option to replace Vogelsong in the rotation. Barring a trade, of course.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.

Bryce Harper sets April record for runs scored

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With four runs scored during Sunday’s 23-5 drubbing of the Mets, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper set a new April record for runs scored at 32, MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin reports. The record was previously held by Larry Walker, who scored 29 runs for the Rockies in April 1997.

Harper finished 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and a solo home run (off of Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki) on the afternoon. He’s now hitting .391/.509/.772 with nine home runs and 26 RBI on the year.