David Wright

Hapless Marlins sweep Haplesser Mets

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The Mets had Matt Harvey on the mound today and they got three homers for the offense. That should be a sure recipe to snap a little two-game losing streak, right?

No, not even close. The Mets blew a 6-4 lead as the bullpen gave up seven runs in three innings Sunday in an 11-6 loss to the Marlins. It gave Miami its first three-game sweep of the season.

The Marlins were 13-41 and were averaging 2.7 runs per game this season before busting out for 24 runs in the three games against the Mets. Ed Lucas, a 31-year-old who just made his major league debut Thursday, went 4-for-4, and rookie Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs. Greg Dobbs punctuated the win with a three-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth.

Harvey had a rare off day for the Mets, giving up four runs in five innings, but he still left with the lead. Of course, that didn’t last. Scott Rice came in to start the sixth and followed up a groundout with three straight walks. For some reason, he was allowed to continue, and Ozuna delivered a two-run double to erase the lead.

Rice, whose only value is as a lefty specialist, was allowed to face seven batters in all and gave up four runs. He took his fourth loss to go along with three victories. It’s a truly remarkable number of decisions for a guy who should be getting one or two outs most games. He’s been involved in three more decisions than anyone else who could be considered a lefty specialist (Tampa Bay’s Jake McGee and the Yankees’ Boone Logan are both 2-2). It doesn’t make Terry Collins look good that the most inconsequential pitcher on the staff has been that much of a factor.

The lone good news for the Mets today was that Ike Davis had a two-run homer and an RBI single. The homer, which was estimated at over 420 feet, was his first since April 25.

The Mets are now 22-32 on the season. Only the Marlins and Brewers have worse records in the NL.

Phillies place Peter Bourjos on the DL and activate Aaron Altherr

Aaron Altherr
AP Photo/Winslow Townson
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The Phillies placed outfielder Peter Bourjos on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder sprain and activated outfielder Aaron Altherr from the 60-day disabled list, the club announced on Thursday.

Bourjos, 29, injured his shoulder robbing Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki of a hit on Tuesday. It was a pretty nifty grab. He hits the DL with an uninspiring .253/.290/.384 triple-slash line but he had been on a hot streak, compiling a .938 OPS between June 21 and July 21. It’s also bad timing for the Phillies, who probably would have traded Bourjos ahead of Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

Altherr, 25, suffered a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist on a diving catch attempt in early March during spring training. He impressed in 161 plate appearances last season, batting .241/.338/.489 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 25 runs scored, and six stolen bases. Altherr is in Thursday’s starting lineup, batting fifth and playing right field.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday’s action

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 02:  Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
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White Sox ace Chris Sale will return after serving his team-issued five-game suspension. He’ll take on the Cub’s John Lackey in an 8:05 PM EDT start at Wrigley Field.

The lefty protested wearing throwback uniforms, which featured collars, this past weekend. He reportedly got into a shouting match with White Sox coaches and front office staff, and took a knife to his uniform as well as those of his teammates. GM Rick Hahn punished Sale for three offenses: violating team rules, insubordination, and destroying team equipment.

Sale apologized to fans as well as to the bullpen, which had to pick him up when he was scratched from Saturday’s start. But he didn’t apologize for standing up for what he believed in.

This isn’t Sale’s first conflict with the White Sox organization. He was part of the spring training Drake LaRoche controversy. He also was part of the club’s recent protest against the Mariners’ policy that siphoned money from clubhouse attendants. As a result of what appears to be a contentious relationship between Sale and the White Sox, many think the club will trade him if they get an enticing offer. Pitchers like Sale, however, are tough to find, and he could be under team control through 2019 if the White Sox pick up his ’18 and ’19 club options.

Sale enters Thursday’s start leading the majors with 14 wins as well as a 3.18 ERA and a 129/29 K/BB ratio in 133 innings. Could it be his last start as a member of the White Sox?

The rest of Thursday’s action…

Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @ Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson), 7:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 7:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @ Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels), 8:05 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (David Price) @ Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver), 10:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark) @ San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto), 10:15 PM EDT