Luis Ortiz
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Luis Ortiz pulled from first MLB start with injury

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After a disappointing debut against the Rays last weekend, the Orioles were hoping for a more stable showing from right-handed rookie Luis Ortiz when he took the mound again on Friday night. Unfortunately, the 22-year-old righty made it through just 1 2/3 innings before an apparent leg injury forced him to make an early exit from his first major league start.

The incident occurred in the top of the second inning, when Ortiz tried to beat Yoan Moncada to the bag on a grounder that skidded just past first base. He narrowly avoided a collision with Chris Davis, but may have landed too hard on his right leg and sustained an injury in the process. The rookie stayed in to pitch to Yolmer Sanchez and surrendered a walk before manager Buck Showalter and a team trainer came out to the mound to evaluate him, at which point he was quickly escorted from the field. The precise nature of the injury — and a timetable for Ortiz’s return to the mound this season — has not yet been revealed.

Jimmy Yacabonis stepped in to relieve Ortiz and induced a line out from Jose Abreu to bring a swift end to the inning. The Orioles’ offense scraped together six runs on a pair of solo home runs from Trey Mancini, Corban Joseph’s RBI single, and a handful of productive outs from Cedric Mullins and Adam Jones, but still trail the White Sox 8-6 in the ninth.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.