The Padres option Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A

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Back in December the Padres made a boatload of moves. One of them — one of the smaller ones — was sending Ryan Hanigan (who they only had for two days) to Boston for Will Middlebrooks. The idea was that he’d play first or third and add some offense to a weak infield.

Well, that didn’t work. Just now the Padres optioned Middlebrooks to Triple-A El Paso.

Middlebrooks played mostly at third, but then played some shortstop as Yangervis Solarte took over as the everyday third baseman. But that offensive part hasn’t come to fruition, as he has hit a mere .212/.241/.361.

Abraham Almonte has taken his spot on the roster.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.