Twins “remain strongly interested” in Bronson Arroyo

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Even after signing free agents Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes to multi-year contracts and re-upping with Mike Pelfrey, the Twins are still trying to make improvements to a starting rotation that ranked last in the majors in 2013 with a hideous 5.26 ERA. The Astros finished second-worst with an ERA of 4.81.

This comes from Mike Berardino, the lead Twins beat writer at the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Arroyo turns 37 years old in February and has averaged just 87.2 mph on his fastball over the last two seasons, but he’s one of the most durable starting pitchers in baseball and can junkball his way to productive results. Arroyo registered a 3.79 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 202 innings this past season for the Reds.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.