Bill Baer

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 22: Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates with manager Dave Roberts after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning for his third homer of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 22, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Adrian Gonzalez hits three homers, drives in eight in Dodgers’ rout of Reds


Adrian Gonzalez hit three of the Dodgers’ seven home runs in Monday afternoon’s 18-9 rout of the Reds at Great American Ball Park. After his third home run in the seventh inning, Gonzalez said loud enough for the TV cameras to pick up, “I love this ballpark!”

Gonzalez’s first blast was a three-run shot to right-center field off of Homer Bailey. He tacked on a two-run homer to the opposite field off of Jumbo Diaz in the fifth, and number three was a three-run tater against Blake Wood in the seventh. Gonzalez went for homer number four in the eighth but settled for an RBI ground out. It’s the second three-homer game and the first eight-RBI game of Gonzalez’s career. Two other players have hit three homers and driven in eight runs this season: Mookie Betts and Michael Saunders.

Other performances of note in Monday’s game: Andrew Toles had a homer and four RBI. Corey Seager went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI. Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick each had three hits. Joey Votto finished a homer short of the cycle, finishing 3-for-6 with four ribbies. Reds position player Tyler Holt pitched a perfect ninth inning.

The 18 runs are the most the Dodgers have scored in a game since beating the Rockies 19-11 on September 28, 2006. The last time the Reds allowed 18 or more runs was when they lost 22-1 to the Phillies on July 6, 2009.

The Reds, as a team, have now allowed 202 home runs this season. That puts them on pace to allow 264 home runs, which would shatter the all-time record for home runs allowed by a team in a season, currently held by the 1996 Tigers who yielded 241 dingers. The National League record is 239 by the 2001 Rockies.

Report: Billy Butler and Danny Valencia got in a fight because Butler potentially cost Valencia an endorsement deal

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22: First baseman Billy Butler #16 of the Oakland Athletics looks on after committing an error during the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Coliseum on May 22, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Yankees defeated the Athletics 5-4. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Update #2 (7:21 PM EDT): Both Valencia and Butler have been fined, per the Chronicle’s John Shea.


Update (6:30 PM EDT): Slusser hears that Valencia will be fined for punching Butler.


On Sunday, Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in an “altercation” in which Butler was injured. Butler missed two games and Valencia was curiously absent from Sunday’s lineup.

Details were scant at the time, but Slusser now has reported specifics on what happened at the Chronicle. So here’s what happened.

On Friday, an equipment representative was at the ballpark before batting practice and quizzed Valencia about a pair of off-brand spikes found in his locker. Valencia said that he only uses those spikes during pre-game workouts. Butler chimed in and said that Valencia was lying. Butler also allegedly told the representative to drop Valencia from the endorsement deal. Per Slusser, endorsement deals are worth in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $20,000 and sometimes more.

Later, after the rep had left the stadium, Valencia went up to Butler and said, “Don’t you ever loud talk me in front of a rep. That was wrong.”

Butler responded, saying, “I can say whatever I want and your b— ass isn’t going to do anything about it.”

One of the players Slusser spoke to said the players bumped heads and pushed each other. Valencia then punched Butler in the temple.

As was the case on Sunday, both Butler and Valencia have declined to comment on the incident. Slusser, who is regularly around the players, makes a point to say that Butler and Valencia “have a longstanding loud, joking, back-and-forth bantering relationship.”

Slusser quotes one player who said, “Those two go at it every day, so in that way, it was pretty normal. If Bill had dropped it, Danny never would have done anything. But he kind of kept egging him on. I think it’s fair to say he was verbally provoked, very much so. I’m worried about what might happen to Danny now, but at the same time, you don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

Valencia absolutely should not have punched Butler, that’s quite obvious. Butler, though, comes off very poorly if the details of this story are accurate. It’s quite possible, based on Slusser’s description of the two players’ relationship, that he was simply trying to prank Valencia and took the joke way too far. Or Butler was simply being obnoxious.

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who was Valencia’s teammate in 2014, tweeted in support:

A’s outfielder Coco Crisp also offered his support to Valencia with a tweet, which first baseman Yonder Alonso retweeted:

Mets to place Steven Matz on the disabled list with a tight shoulder

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 18:  Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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The Mets will place starter Steven Matz on the 15-day disabled list with a tight left shoulder, James Wagner of The New York Times reports. The club hasn’t made an official announcement, but the move can be made retroactive to August 15.

Matz had been scratched from Friday’s scheduled start against the Giants. The 25-year-old has had a great season for the Mets, compiling a 3.40 ERA with a 129/31 K/BB ratio over 132 1/3 innings.

Seth Lugo started in Matz’s place on Friday and will likely continue to start as long as Matz is sidelined.