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Orioles, Jonathan Schoop avoid arbitration

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The Orioles and second baseman Jonathan Schoop have avoided arbitration, agreeing on an $8.5 million salary for the 2018 season, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Schoop had been eligible for arbitration for the second of three years. He requested $9 million and the Orioles countered at $7.5 million, so $8.5 million is just a bit above the midpoint between those two figures.

Schoop, 26, hit a productive .293/.338/.503 with 32 home runs and 105 RBI in 675 plate appearances last season. His performance resulted in his first All-Star nomination and he finished 12th in AL MVP Award balloting.

Schoop will have a new double play partner this coming season. Shortstop J.J. Hardy‘s 2018 option was declined, which prompted Manny Machado to shift over to shortstop from third base.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.