Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Just in case there was any lingering doubt about R.A. Dickey’s case to start for the National League in the upcoming All-Star Game, he pretty much clinched it last night.

After giving up five runs over six innings against the Yankees on Sunday, Dickey bounced right back by tossing eight shutout innings as part of a 9-0 rout over the fading Dodgers. With the victory, he became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 12 wins this season. As if you need wins to tell you that R.A. Dickey is awesome.

Dickey actually held the Dodgers to just one hit, a fly ball that center fielder Andres Torres really should have caught, over the first six innings. A.J. Ellis managed a single in the seventh and Tony Gwynn, Jr. doubled in the eighth, but that’s all the Dodgers could muster. Dickey walked one and struck out 10 in the victory.

Dickey’s June numbers were simply ridiculous: 0.93 ERA, 55/8 K/BB ratio over 48 1/3 innings, three complete games and two shutouts. The 37-year-old now has an incredible 2.15 ERA and 116/25 K/BB ratio over 113 innings this season. I hope Buster Posey and/or Yadier Molina are ready to catch some knuckleballs.

Your Friday box scores:

Astros 0, Cubs 4

White Sox 14, Yankees 7

Phillies 2, Marlins 6

Indians 8, Orioles 9

Nationals 5, Braves 4

Angels 5, Blue Jays 7

Diamondbacks 9, Brewers 3

Tigers 2, Rays 4

Padres 2, Rockies 10

Athletics 3, Rangers 4

Pirates 14, Cardinals 5

Royals 4, Twins 3

Red Sox 5, Mariners 0

Reds 5, Giants 1

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.