Hank Conger bunted, fell down, and was safe anyway

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As bad as the Angels are running thus far in the 2013 season, they’ll consider this a win. In the bottom of the eighth inning of this afternoon’s game against the Orioles, designated hitter Hank Conger identified that Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s defense was shifting against him, with the third baseman playing more towards shortstop. As a result, Conger bunted Darren O’Day’s 1-1 offering down the third base line. Conger tripped about a third of the way up the line, but was safe anyway because it took third baseman Manny Machado so long to retrieve the ball.

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Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.