Clay Buchholz could begin rehab assignment Sunday

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Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald has the story:

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark the calendar: Clay Buchholz could make his first minor league start Sunday.

Buchholz threw 46 pitches in a four-inning simulated game here today. He pitched to right-handed hitters David Ross, Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts and threw his full repertoire of pitches.

Buchholz is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday in Los Angeles and could then be cleared to head to Low-A Lowell to kick off a minor league rehab assignment.

Buchholz hasn’t appeared in a major league game since August 8 due to neck and shoulder troubles. If he does a three-game minor league rehab assignment, he should be ready to return on September 10.

The right-hander was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 12 starts before landing on the disabled list.

Report: Mets ownership backs Terry Collins

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The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.

Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.

Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.

Joe Mauer becomes first Twin to reach base seven times in a game since Rod Carew

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Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.

ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.

After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.