All-Star Jay Bruce gives the Giants a walkoff win

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Jay Bruce must have forgotten he was playing in San Francisco. Thinking there was a wall where there was no wall, he gave Angel Pagan a game-winning double as the Giants beat the Reds 4-3 on Sunday.

There were two outs in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth when Pagan hit a ball to right off Jose Arredondo. It might have been a tricky play in a few ballparks, but it shouldn’t have been at AT&T Park with its deep right field. Bruce was looking for the wall when he hadn’t even reached the warning track.

Here’s the clip.

Even Bobby Abreu is wondering what he was worried about. Pagan was credited with an RBI double, which scored Buster Posey from second base.

Bruce, one of Tony La Russa’s manager selections, was pretty clearly the weakest outfielder picked for the NL All-Star team today. He ranks tied for fourth in the NL with 17 homers, but it comes with a .257 average and a .327 OBP. He ranks 10th among NL outfielders with an .853 OPS.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.