Bill Baer

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 22: Kevin Pillar #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a catch in center field of the ball hit by Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning of the game on May 22, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Blue Jays defeated the Twins 3-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Video: Kevin Pillar lays out to make a spectacular catch

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Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar made one of the best catches you’ll see this year in the fifth inning of Sunday’s series finale against the Twins at Target Field. With a 2-0 count and a runner on first base, Brian Dozier drilled a Marcus Stroman outside fastball to the gap in left-center. Pillar left his feet with a dive, snagging the ball just in the nick of time.

The grab prevented at least a double, if not a triple, and at least one run. Stroman was very appreciative, as you can see in the replay:

Pillar is considered to be, by both the stats and the scouts, one of the best defensive center fielders in the game along with Kevin Kiermaier and Lorenzo Cain.

Rougned Odor’s appeal hearing set for Tuesday


Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor will have his appeal hearing for his eight-game suspension on Tuesday, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Odor received last Tuesday news of his eight-game suspension for punching Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, who slid in late to second base on what appeared to be a ground ball double play.

Major League Baseball executive vice president John McHale will oversee the hearing. He may take a day or two to render his decision, so Odor is expected to begin serving his suspension on Friday. The Rangers host a home series against the Angels Monday through Wednesday and are off Thursday, so Odor would begin his suspension when the Rangers welcome the Pirates to Texas.

Odor has played a solid second base while batting .274/.298/.469 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 181 plate appearances this season. Jurickson Profar has been playing some second base at Triple-A Round Rock, giving the Rangers a potential fallback option once Odor is out of action.

Video: David Ortiz misses the cycle by a couple of inches

BOSTON, MA - MAY 22:  David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox smiles as stretches before a game  against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 22, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Red Sox DH David Ortiz had already singled, doubled, and homered when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth against Indians reliever Austin Adams. The NESN broadcast booth commented how they’d like to see Ortiz hit one to the 420-foot demarcation on the fence in center field.

As luck would have it, that’s exactly where Ortiz hit a 3-1 Adams fastball. The ball took one hop and hit the wall just above the 420 marker, then bounced to the right side into the stands for a ground-rule double. If it hit a couple of inches lower, the ball likely settles into the corner, giving Ortiz the best opportunity for a cycle-clinching triple. A disappointed Ortiz strolled into second base and chuckled away his misfortune.

Here’s the video.

Ortiz hit an RBI single in the first inning, an RBI ground-rule double in the second, and a solo home run in the fifth. The homer was the 514th in the 40-year-old’s career. He’s currently 22nd on the all-time home run leaderboard. With seven more homers, he can tie Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas, and Ted Williams in 19th place at 521.

John Gibbons was ejected for the third time in the last eight games

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 21: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks with home plate umpire Toby Basner #99 after being tossed as teammate Edwin Encarnacion #10 and manager John Gibbons #5 look on during the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 21, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has had trouble staying in the dugout for the entirety of a baseball game. He was ejected on Sunday, May 15 in the third inning of the infamous game against the Rangers during which Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista. Gibbons was again ejected last Monday arguing a called strike three on Troy Tulowitzki.

Gibbons made it three ejections in eight games on this Sunday afternoon. Twins starter Phil Hughes threw a couple of inside fastballs at Josh Donaldson, who hit the second of back-to-back home runs with Bautista in the first inning. Gibbons insisted to crew chief Joe West that warnings should be issued, but West disagreed and eventually ejected Gibbons.

Gibbons was also ejected once in April arguing a check-swing call in favor of White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton.

The Blue Jays still managed to beat the Twins 3-1 on Sunday, taking three games out of the four-game set in Minnesota.

Athletics place Sonny Gray on the disabled list with a strained trapezius


The Athletics placed starter Sonny Gray on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right trapezius muscle, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The A’s recalled Daniel Coulombe from Triple-A Nashville to take Gray’s spot on the roster.

Slusser suggests that Eric Surkamp or Daniel Mengden could take Gray’s spot in the starting rotation. Mengden, 23, was acquired in the Scott Kazmir trade and has put up an aggregate 0.72 ERA over 50 innings in the minor leagues this year, 23 with Double-A Midland and 27 with Nashville.

Gray, who finished third in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year, struggled to a 6.19 ERA and a 41/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings over nine starts.

Gray is the 13th member of the Athletics concurrently on the disabled list. The club lost Josh Reddick to a broken thumb on Friday.