Eric Thames exits game with hamstring tightness

Milwaukee Brewers v Miami Marlins
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Brewers outfielder Eric Thames was pulled from Friday’s game against the Pirates after experiencing tightness in his right hamstring, per an official team announcement. Thames lasted two full innings on the field and went 0-for-1 against the Pirates’ Nick Kingham before conceding his spot in the lineup to pinch-hitter/right fielder Hernan Perez in the top of the third.

Thames, 31, is recently returned from his last trip to the disabled list, when he spent over six weeks recovering from surgery on his left thumb. While there’s been no word on the severity of his latest hamstring issue, the Brewers will likely take things slow with the outfielder until regular games resume after the All-Star Break.

Following Friday’s performance, Thames is batting a modest .250/.344/.556 with 13 home runs and five stolen bases through 183 plate appearances this year. He still has some big expectations to meet after posting a few career-best totals with the team in 2017, but will need to stay healthy for longer than a month before he can match or exceed them.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.