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Indians release Matt Belisle, Twins sign him

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The Cleveland Indians gave reliever Matt Belisle his unconditional release this morning. A few hours later a division rival signed him. Specifically, the Minnesota Twins signed Belisle, bringing him back a season after he pitched 62 games in the Twins cities.

Belisle had a 5.06 ERA for the Indians in eight appearances earlier this season before being assigned to Triple-A Columbus. He pitched in nine games there, but the Indians seemed to have little interest in calling him up so they let him go. Belisle, 38, posted a 4.03 ERA for the Twins in 2017 and even served some time at closer, saving nine games.

Not gonna say Belisle has been around a while, but he was the player to be named later in a deal for Kent Mercker once. And that came five years after Belisle was drafted.

Anthony DeSclafani crushed a grand slam for his first career home run

Anthony DeSclafani
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Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:

Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.

The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.

The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.