<span class="vcard">Aaron Gleeman</span>

Randy Choate Cardinals

Giants win Game 3 on walk-off error, take 2-1 series lead over Cardinals

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Cardinals left-handed specialist Randy Choate was brought into a 4-4 game in the bottom of the 10th inning to face left-handed hitter Brandon Crawford. He walked him.

Then right-handed hitter Juan Perez tried to bunt Crawford over to second base, but botched two attempts. Forced to swing away, he lined to a two-strike single to left field.

Choate remained in the game to face left-handed hitter Gregor Blanco, who botched his first bunt attempt and then got his second bunt attempt down. Choate fielded it on the third base side of the mound and threw the ball away down the right field line.

Game over. Giants win on a walk-off error in an inning that went like no one involved probably planned. Sort of like these playoffs, overall.

And the game was plenty weird even before extra innings. San Francisco scored four first-inning runs off Cardinals starter John Lackey, who then recovered to toss five shutout frames before being removed with only 79 pitches. The first three relievers out of St. Louis’ bullpen tossed one shutout inning apiece before Choate came in and things got crazy.

San Francisco’s bullpen was even better, as four relievers combined to throw 3.2 shutout innings after starter Tim Hudson was left in to serve up a game-tying homer to Randal Grichuk in the seventh inning.

And last but not least: Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval made a great defensive play in the top of the 10th inning, fielding Matt Holliday’s hard-hit ball down the line that almost surely would have scored Jon Jay from first base and put the Cardinals up 5-4.

Astros hire former Royals manager Trey Hillman as A.J. Hinch’s bench coach

Trey Hillman OK
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Astros manager A.J. Hinch’s coaching staff now includes former Royals manager Trey Hilman as bench coach, according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.

That’s the same job Hillman had with the Dodgers, serving as manager Don Mattingly’s right-hand man from 2011-2013. He previously managed the Royals to a 152-207 (.423) record from 2008-2010 and also managed in Japan.

This season Hillman was a special assistant with the Yankees, working in scouting.

ALCS, Game 3: Orioles vs. Royals lineups

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Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the Orioles-Royals series in Kansas City:

Royals:
SS Alcides Escobar
RF Norichika Aoki
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Billy Butler
LF Alex Gordon
C Salvador Perez
2B Omar Infante
3B Mike Moustakas

SP Jeremy Guthrie

Royals manager Ned Yost is sticking with his standard lineup, which has stayed the same throughout the postseason.

Orioles:
RF Nick Markakis
LF Alejandro De Aza
CF Adam Jones
DH Nelson Cruz
1B Steve Pearce
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Ryan Flaherty
C Nick Hundley
2B Jonathan Schoop

SP Wei-Yen Chen

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is turning back to Nick Hundley behind the plate after using Caleb Joseph at catcher in Game 2. The rest of Baltimore’s lineup is unchanged.

Rangers’ manager finalists: Tim Bogar, Jeff Banister, Kevin Cash

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Texas’ search for a new manager is down to three candidates, as the Rangers named as finalists interim manager Tim Bogar, Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister, and Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash.

Bogar was the Rangers’ bench coach and took over as manager when Ron Washington stepped down, going 14-8 down the stretch with a team that was 53-87 under Washington.

He’s been considered the favorite for the full-time job this whole time and nothing has changed that belief. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux is apparently no longer in the running, but Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that he continues to work with pitching prospects in an instructional league, suggesting he may stick around.

Joe Maddon to the Dodgers? Rays manager “absolutely” wants to stay in Tampa Bay

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As soon as news broke that Andrew Friedman was leaving the Rays for the Dodgers speculation started about his luring manager Joe Maddon to join him in Los Angeles.

One issue: Maddon, unlike Friedman, actually has a contract with the Rays and is under team control for 2015.

It’s the final season of a three-year deal believed to be worth around $6 million, so if Maddon is going to join Friedman in Los Angeles it’ll either have to wait until 2016 or the Dodgers would have to convince the Rays to trade their manager.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Friedman’s “plan for now” is to keep Don Mattingly as manager, so the odds of a trade for Maddon seem slim. And what about once Maddon’s contract is up next offseason? Shaikin spoke to Maddon, who said:

I want to continue to be a Ray, absolutely. They have to want me to be a Ray too. I’m really embedded here pretty well. The roots are pretty strong. We have a great infrastructure here. We have a great operation. We have great people. There’s so much to like. There’s only one negative. That’s the ballpark. It’s a big negative. But that’s about it.

Mattingly may keep his job, but he’ll probably hear a lot about Maddon next season.