Reds' Travis Wood loses perfect game in ninth inning

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9:18 PM:  Wood lost his bid for a perfect game on a Carlos Ruiz double with no outs in the ninth.  Still, a fine performance from a promising youngster on a first-place Reds team.

9:15 PM:  Halladay held the Reds to one hit and zero runs in the top of the ninth inning.  Wood will need to put in some extra work in order to secure a perfect game.  One thing’s for sure: Reds manager Dusty Baker will have no problem leaving the 23-year-old rookie in for well over 120 pitches.

9:05 PM:  Wood made it through the eighth inning unscathed and will head into the ninth with a chance to make history.  The score is still 0-0, however, and Wood has thrown 92 pitches.  He needs a little help from his offense.

8:58 PM:  There’s an exceptional pitching duel going on right now in Philadelphia.

Reds youngster Travis Wood has thrown seven perfect innings with eight strikeouts in his third major league start and Phillies ace Roy Halladay has allowed only four hits over eight scoreless frames.  The score is 0-0.  We’ll keep you updated.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.