A minor league team came back from a 16-run deficit to win last night

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Via Deadspin comes a story of the Class-A Clinton Lumber Kings finding themselves down 17-1 after five innings and coming back to win 20-17:

There’s never really a bad time to score 19 unanswered runs. But trailing 17-1 after five innings, the timing of the LumberKings—a Mariners affiliate—couldn’t have been much better. Six in the sixth, five each in the eighth and ninth, and three in 12th adds up to a comeback for the ages. And all somehow wrapped up in a tidy three hours and 28 minutes!

That’s pretty trippy — Deadspin links to the radio call of the game, which is a lot of fun — but I think this is pretty significant in the world of the Unwritten Rules too. After all, the next time someone gets huffy about someone trying to lay down a bunt for a hit or steal a base in a blowout, can we not point to this game and say that no lead is safe? I mean, sure, no big league team is likely to be quite the choke artists the Burlington Bees proved to be last night, but the old saying about how I’ll stop trying to win when you do seems to be the best policy, always.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.