Justin Ruggiano

Marlins snap 22-inning scoreless streak with 1-0 victory over the Braves

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Before Braves reliever Jordan Walden uncorked a wild pitch with a runner on third base in the top of the ninth tonight, the Marlins hadn’t scored since the fifth inning on Thursday against the Pirates. As Adeiny Hechavarria crossed home plate on the errant pitch, he broke a scoreless tie, allowing for closer Steve Cishek to nail down the save.

Tonight’s game was a pitcher’s duel through and through. Braves starter Alex Wood held the Fish scoreless through six innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out seven. Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi was even better, shutting the Braves out over seven, allowing one hit and three walks while striking out eight. Both bullpens held the opposition down, Walden’s mistake aside.

Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano continued his extensive offensive slump. An 0-for-3 night left him hitless in his last 41 at-bats. His last hit came more than a month ago on July 8. The record for most consecutive hitless at-bats is 46, set by Eugenio Velez — then of the Dodgers — in September 2011.

The Braves, by the slimmest of margins, finally have their 14-game winning streak snapped. They lose for the first time since July 25 against the Mets.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.