Astros closer Brandon Lyon implodes as Phillies win with ninth inning rally

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Houston scored just one run off reigning Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, but managed to work his pitch count and get him out of today’s game after six innings before tacking on three runs against the Phillies’ bullpen.

With a 4-2 lead entering the ninth inning they called on Brandon Lyon to close out the unlikely win … and he promptly recorded just one out while allowing six singles on an assortment of high-80s meatballs, including John Mayberry Jr.’s walk-off “single” over center fielder Michael Bourn’s head.

Halladay was taken off the hook for what would’ve been a tough loss, Brett Myers got merely a no-decision despite seven strong innings, and after eight innings of confusion order has been restored to the National League hierarchy.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.