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Josh Harrison exits game after taking a 96 MPH fastball off his hand

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Pirates’ second baseman Josh Harrison was removed from Saturday’s game after taking a 96 MPH fastball to his left hand. The pitch, a wayward 0-2 ball from Reds’ right-hander Tyler Mahle, appeared to strike Harrison somewhere on his left wrist/hand area and prompted an immediate visit from a trainer and manager Clint Hurdle.

Harrison was able to finish the remainder of the fifth inning with little trouble, but was replaced by Sean Rodriguez to start the sixth. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be revealed, though it appears to be more serious than the routine swelling and soreness caused by a hit-by-pitch. Per Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Harrison received treatment after getting pulled from the game and is expected to meet with an orthopedic hand specialist as well.

Prior to the incident, Harrison went 0-for-1 with a fly out. The Pirates rebounded in the seventh inning, finally breaking a scoreless tie with Starling Marte‘s RBI single. A three-run homer from Jordan Luplow — his first big league blast — and an RBI force out from Marte gave the club a five-run boost in the eighth, just enough to cement their 64th win of the year.

Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.