Tigers take 1-0 lead in seventh inning of ALCS Game 2

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Hiroki Kuroda carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and has fanned nine Tigers batters without issuing a walk through his first seven frames. But the Yankees currently trail in this ALCS Game 2.

Quintin Berry opened the top of the seventh inning with a ground-rule double to center field then scored from third base a couple batters later when Delmon Young hit into a fielder’s choice. Yankees shortstop Jayson Nix made a clean play on Young’s grounder, but second baseman Robinson Cano had trouble with the exchange and wasn’t able to turn two.

Cano is also in an 0-for-25 slump at the plate. According to the researchers at ESPN’s Stats & Info, that’s the longest hitless streak in a single postseason in the history of Major League Baseball.

The Yanks will hope for more late life from their offense. Detroit leads 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh.

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.