U.S. tops World 6-4 in All-Star Futures Game

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The U.S. squad received scoreless performances from nine of its 10 pitchers and got a homer from Indians prospect Jason Kipnis in winning the All-Star Futures Game 6-4 on Sunday.

Kipnis homered to start the bottom of the first of Braves phenom Julio Teheran, and the U.S. went on to build a 3-0 lead through five before the World Team touched Cleveland’s Drew Pomeranz for four runs in the sixth.

Keying the World rally were a two-run homer from Dodgers prospect Alfredo Silverio and an RBI triple from the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar.  Pomeranz was unable to finish the sixth, making way for the Twins’ Kyle Gibson after giving up three hits and a walk.

The U.S. came back to win by scoring three times in the eighth.  Grant Green, who took over for Kipnis at second base, drove in a run with his second double in two at-bats and was named the game’s MVP afterwards.

Phillies prospect Jarred Cosart picked up the win after striking out two in a perfect eighth.  The Mets’ Matt Harvey retired the only batter he faced in the ninth for the save.

Bryce Harper, the prospect most were there to see, played the whole game, only to end up 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The Rays’ Matt Moore, who was picked over Teheran as the game’s top pitching prospect by Baseball America last week, put on the best show of all the premium arms.  He was consistently in the high-90s while throwing a perfect fourth.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

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July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.