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James Shields’ White Sox debut has been a nightmare


Update (9:17 PM EDT): Shields was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to Rendon to lead off the third inning.


White Sox starter James Shields made his much-anticipated debut with his new club on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field against the Nationals. It very quickly went off the rails.

After striking out Ben Revere to lead off the ballgame, Shields walked Jayson Werth and yielded a bunt single to Bryce Harper, who beat the shift. Daniel Murphy then drove home a run with a line drive single to right field. Following that, Wilson Ramos hit a 5-3 ground out to plate a second run, and then Ryan Zimmerman cranked out a two-run homer to make it 4-0. Shields was able to get Anthony Rendon to fly out to end the frame.

In the second, Shields continued to unravel, serving up back-to-back solo home runs to Stephen Drew and Danny Espinosa to open up the frame. The home crowd continued to boo Shields. Revere and Werth both reached on singles to bring up Harper. Harper worked the count full, then watched a backdoor slider for strike three. The home crowd sarcastically applauded Shields. Shields got Murphy to ground into a 6-4 fielder’s choice, but walked Ramos to load the bases. Mercifully, Zimmerman grounded out weakly to end the inning.

Through two innings, Shields has yielded the six runs on seven hits and a pair of walks with two strikeouts on 79 pitches.

The White Sox acquired Shields from the Padres on Saturday in exchange for Erik Johnson and Fernando Tatis, Jr.

Grudge continues to fester between Braves, Marlins

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The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.

In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.

Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.

Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.