Settling the Score: Thursday’s results

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Craig is away today, so we’re going with a “Settling the Score” in lieu of the usual “And That Happened.” Don’t worry, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday.

While plenty of attention was focused on the 2013 First-Year Player Draft last night, there were some baseball games going on. And Yasiel Puig stole the show once again, as the Cuban outfielder smacked a dramatic grand slam in a 5-0 victory over the Braves.

Zack Greinke gave up four hits over seven shutout frames and struck out seven for his third win of the season. The Dodgers held a slim 1-0 lead before Puig broke things open with an opposite-field blast off Cody Gearrin with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. And yes, he got another curtain call at Dodger Stadium. He’s already making a habit out of those.

Puig is now hitting .438 (7-for-16) with three home runs, one double and nine RBI over his first four games in the big leagues. For the moment, all that talk about him saving the Dodgers’ season doesn’t sound like hyperbole.

Your Thursday box scores:

Rays 2, Tigers 5

Diamondbacks 8, Cardinals 12

Orioles 3, Astros 1

Phillies 5, Brewers 1

Twins 3, Royals 7

Rangers 3, Red Sox 6

Athletics 5, White Sox 4 (10 innings)

Padres 6, Rockies 5 (12 innings)

Yankees 6, Mariners 1

Mets/Nationals – PPD

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.