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Delino DeShields to miss six weeks with broken hamate bone

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Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields has a broken hamate bone in his left hand, the Rangers announced Saturday. DeShields sustained the injury during Friday’s 5-1 win over the Astros and experienced significant swelling in his hand after the game. He underwent an MRI on Saturday and is expected to miss at least six weeks in recovery. Reliever Nick Gardewine was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to fill his roster spot.

Losing DeShields for any significant amount of time would have a lasting impact on the Rangers’ outfield and lineup configuration. Not only is he the club’s most talented and experienced defender, but he entered the 2018 season as their first choice for leadoff hitter as well. The 25-year-old outfielder is coming off of his best career year to date, one in which he slashed .269/.347/.367 with six home runs and 29 stolen bases in 440 PA.

Without DeShields, the Rangers have precious few options in center field. They’re expected to try Jurickson Profar in the outfield again and will likely stash him in the corner with some combination of Drew Robinson, Ryan Rua and Rule 5 pick Carlos Tocci covering center, though it’s worth nothing that none of the three come close to matching DeShields’ extensive major league experience or leadoff potential. For Saturday’s game against the Astros, Tocci is slated to cover center field while Robinson takes over in left. Elvis Andrus, meanwhile, will assume DeShields’ leadoff spot, leaving the no. 3 position wide open for Adrian Beltre.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.