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Report: Blue Jays acquire Francisco Liriano from the Pirates

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Update #2 (6:12 PM EDT): Catching prospect Reese McGuire will also head to the Blue Jays, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. McGuire was rated as the eighth-best prospect in the Jays’ system by MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old has hit .259/.337/.346 with 19 extra-base hits, 37 RBI, and 29 runs scored in 304 plate appearances with Double-A Altoona this season.

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Update (5:23 PM EDT): The Pirates will be receiving starter Drew Hutchison from the Jays in exchange for Liriano, outfield prospect Harold Ramirez, and an unknown player, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Hutchison, 25, has spent most of the year with Triple-A Buffalo, putting up a 3.26 ERA with a 110/35 K/BB ratio in 102 innings. He has 73 major league starts under his belt, but to the tune of a 4.92 ERA. He’ll have two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before becoming a free agent ahead of the 2019 season.

Ramirez, 21, was rated the Pirates’ ninth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. In 414 plate appearances with Double-A Altoona, Ramirez hit .306/.354/.401 with 25 extra-base hits, 49 RBI, and 58 runs scored.

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Robert Murray of Fan Rag Sports reports that the Blue Jays also beat the buzzer, picking up lefty starter Francisco Liriano from the Pirates. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms the deal. It’s Liriano and “prospects” to the Jays, per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates are expected to receive an “upper level” pitching prospect from the Jays, per Morosi.

Liriano, 32, has had a frustratingly inconsistent year. After putting up a 3.02 ERA in 2013 and 3.38 in both ’14 and ’15, the lefty regressed to a 5.46 ERA this season with a 116/69 K/BB ratio in 113 2/3 innings. Unsurprisingly, his 69 walks is a major league high — not nice.

Liriano is earning just under $14 million this season as well as next season, and can become a free agent heading into 2018.

The acquisition of Liriano could mean All-Star Aaron Sanchez and his 2.71 ERA over 21 starts are headed to the bullpen.

Seager homers, Dodgers edge Brewers 4-2 in wild-card opener

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Mookie Betts had two hits and an RBI, Corey Seager homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 in the opener of their NL wild-card series on Wednesday night.

The eight-time West champion Dodgers capitalized early in a bullpen game for the Brewers and can wrap up the best-of-three series on Thursday. Milwaukee – a playoff entrant despite a losing record – limped into the postseason as the No. 8 seed without its best starter and reliever, who are hurt.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead on a leadoff double by Betts and four walks by left-hander Brent Suter in the first, tying for the most walks by a pitcher in a single inning in postseason history. Betts scored when Will Smith drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded. Seager walked and scored on AJ Pollock‘s bases-loaded walk.

Suter needed 32 pitches to get out of the inning. The left-hander gave up three runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings. His five walks were a career high, and he didn’t record a strikeout.

Chris Taylor doubled leading off the second and scored on Betts’ double, making it 3-0. Max Muncy walked with two outs and Ryan Braun caught Smith’s drive to right at the wall to end the inning, potentially saving three runs.

Braun winced as he hit the wall with his right shoulder. He was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the fifth.

The Dodgers could have inflicted more damage but were just 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position in the first two innings.

Milwaukee pitchers retired 10 straight Dodgers during one stretch.

Clinging to a one-run lead in the seventh, Seager went deep to dead-center off Freddy Peralta, who gave up just two homers during the shortened 60-game season. The Dodgers led the majors with 118 homers.

Closer Kenley Jansen walked pinch-hitter Jace Peterson with two outs in the ninth. Christian Yelich came to the plate as the potential tying run, but he struck out swinging to end the game. Jansen earned the save.

The Brewers closed to 3-2 on Orlando Arcia‘s two-strike, two-run homer with two outs in the fourth. Betts made an over-the-shoulder catch to deny Avisail Garcia with a runner on for the second out of the inning.

Milwaukee had the potential tying run on in the seventh with Yelich’s two-out double in the left-field corner. Tyrone Taylor popped up to third to end the inning.

The Brewers also threatened in the sixth. Avisail Garcia singled to right and was safe at second on first baseman Muncy’s fielding error. Muncy turned and scrambled into short right, trying to pick up the ball with a swooping motion, but it booted off his glove and rolled away. Julio Urias retired the next two batters to end the inning.

Urias got the victory, allowing three hits in three innings and striking out five.

Garcia had three hits and Yelich had two to lead the Brewers.

Pitching with a blister on his right index finger, Walker Buehler allowed two runs and three hits in four innings for Los Angeles. He struck out eight and walked two.

Milwaukee right-hander Corbin Burnes and reliever Devin Williams are missing this series with injuries that occurred in the last week of the season. Burnes has a strained left oblique and Williams has a sore right shoulder. Starter Brett Anderson also was left off the roster because of a blister issue.

WITHOUT WILLIAMS

Losing Williams is a big blow after he emerged as one of baseball’s top relievers this season and is a candidate for NL Rookie of the Year. He is 4-1 with a 0.33 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 27 innings. “It’s really crushing, honestly,” said Williams, who felt tightness after last weekend’s outing. “If we make it to the next round, I should be back. With the progress we’ve made in just a few days, it’s been encouraging.”

UP NEXT

The Dodgers give the ball to left-hander Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.16 ERA) for Game 2 on Thursday. He’s 9-11 with a 4.43 ERA in the postseason and lost his lone start in last year’s NLDS. The Brewers start right-hander Brandon Woodruff, who was 3-5 with a 3.05 ERA during the shortened season. He came up big last weekend with 10 strikeouts over eight shutout innings in a must-win game that helped Milwaukee eke out the No. 8 seed.

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