Update (11:07 PM): And it’s over. Dustin Pedroia leads off the seventh with a single, ending Richards’ no-hit bid. Are we a jinx? You be the judge.
Angels starter Garrett Richards is currently working on a gem. The right-hander has made it through six innings without allowing a hit against the Red Sox tonight. The only blemishes on his record are two walks: one to David Ortiz in the fourth inning, and one to Mike Napoli to lead off the fifth.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double by Albert Pujols. That has been the extent of the offense as Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz has pitched a decent game himself.
Richards, 26, was one of the five American Leaguers put on the Final Vote for July’s All-Star Game in Minnesota, but Chris Sale wound up with the nod. Entering tonight’s start, Richards had compiled a 12-4 record with a 2.58 ERA and a 152/48 K/BB ratio in 153 1/3 innings spanning 23 starts.
We’ll keep you updated here as Richards attempts to seal the deal at home against the Red Sox.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.