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Report: Mother of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz kidnapped in Venezuela


Multiple media reports out of Venezuela are saying that the mother of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz has been kidnapped.

There is a sad, recent history of baseball players and/or their families either being kidnapped or threatened with kidnapping in Venezuela in recent years. In 2009 the mother of pitcher Victor Zambrao was kidnapped. Catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in 2011. Other Venezuelan players, such as Miguel Cabrera, have spoken out about threats their families have received and many have moved their families out of Venezuela altogether. Given the political, social and economic unrest which has rocked the country in recent years, the situation is clearly not getting any better.

Diaz himself is reportedly in the United States, preparing for Pirates spring training which begins for catcher like him next week. Obviously, however, his mind and heart are elsewhere at the moment.

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.