Austin Meadows helps out David Peralta with home run

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Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows unintentionally helped out Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta with a home run in the bottom of the first inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game at Chase Field. Peralta drove an 0-2 fastball from Jameson Taillon to left-center. Left alone, the ball wouldn’t have sailed over the wall, but in Meadows’ attempt to make the catch, the ball caromed off of his glove and went over the fence for a two-run home run.

Not much has been going right for the Pirates lately, though they are leading the D-Backs 5-2 in the fifth inning as of this writing. If they win today, they will stave off a series sweep in Arizona. The Buccos haven’t won a series since taking both games in an interleague series at home against the White Sox on May 15-16. The Pirates will open a homestand with three games against the Reds starting Friday, but the schedule gets tougher as they will host the Brewers for three games and the D-Backs for four more.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.