Red Sox grab big first-inning lead in Game 1

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The 2013 World Series is off to a pretty horrendous start for the National League-champion Cardinals.

Adam Wainwright walked Jacoby Ellsbury to open the bottom of the first inning and then gave up a one-out single to Dustin Pedroia. David Ortiz then hit a groundball to Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter that should have been turned into an inning-ending doubleplay. But Carpenter made a soft, off-the-mark flip to shortstop Pete Kozma and the ball was dropped. Second base umpire Dana DeMuth originally called Pedroia out, claiming that Kozma dropped the ball on the transfer, but the entire six-man umpiring crew got together and made things right.

A moment later Mike Napoli — who terrorized the Cardinals in the 2011 World Series as a member of the Texas Rangers — slugged a bases-clearing, three-run double into the left-field gap.

Wainwright threw 31 pitches in the first inning. Red Sox starter Jon Lester threw just 12.

Boston has a 3-0 lead as Game 1 of the World Series moves to the top of the second.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.