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Report: Pirates haven’t talked to Clint Hurdle about a contract extension

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Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is signed through the 2017 season with a club option for the ’18 season. The Pirates have not approached Hurdle about a contract extension that would keep him in town beyond that, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

In six seasons under Hurdle’s leadership, the Pirates have gone 509-462 (.524) with three consecutive playoff appearances from 2013-15. Their ’13 appearance ended a 21-year playoff drought, but they ultimately lost to the Cardinals in five games in the NLDS.

Hurdle, a baseball lifer, has been praised for his willingness to work with a front office under GM Neal Huntington that has been among the most statistically-inclined. The Pirates’ reliance on statistics has led to an abundance of shifts, a trend that has become more and more popular in baseball.

Biertempfel suggests that, if the Pirates choose to move on from Hurdle after the 2017 season, bench coach Tom Prince could be the next in command. Prince managed the Williamsport Crosscutters (short-season Single-A) in 2005-06, which was then the Pirates’ minor league affiliate. He managed the Pirates’ Gulf Coast League team in 2007. In 2014, he managed the Pirates’ advanced Single-A team in Bradenton and was promoted to manage Double-A Altoona the next season.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.