Red Sox grab early lead over Rays in Game 3 of ALDS

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The Red Sox could finish off a three-game sweep of the Rays tonight. They are off to a quick start on that end.

After Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off Game 3, Alex Cobb hit Shane Victorino with a pitch. Dustin Pedroia followed with a ground ball to third base, but Victorino’s take-out slide at second base caused a wild throw from Ben Zobrist which allowed Ellsbury to score the game’s first run. Cobb then walked David Ortiz, but was able to avoid any further damage by retiring Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava.

The Red Sox lead the Rays 1-0 as we move to the bottom of the first inning at Tropicana Field. Clay Buchholz is on the mound for Boston.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.