Blake Parker
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Twins sign Blake Parker

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Ken Rosenthal reports that free agent reliever Blake Parker is expected to sign with the Twins. UPDATE: Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one-year deal worth “slightly more than $3 million.”

Parker was non-tendered by the Angels at the end of November. It was a surprising move, as Parker had an excellent 2017 and then, last year pitched pretty well, notching 14 saves and posting a 3.26 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, and 9.5 SO/9 through 66 1/3 innings. The Angels, apparently, didn’t feel like going to arbitration with him, so their loss will be the Twins gain.

Parker, at the moment anyway, would stand to have a decent chance at being the Twins closer in 2019.

Stephen Strasburg homers, knocks in five runs vs. Braves

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Stephen Strasburg‘s bat was on fire Thursday night in Atlanta. He hit a three-run home run off of Touki Toussaint to cap off an eight-run third inning, then added a two-run single off of Toussaint in the fifth.

The last time a pitcher knocked in at least five runs was on April 11, 2014 when Madison Bumgarner homered and drove in five runs at home against the Rockies. Strasburg is just the seventh pitcher since 2000 to knock in five runs in one game. The others, along with Strasburg and Bumgarner:

  • Chris Carpenter (Cardinals) vs. Reds, October 1, 2009 (HR, 6 RBI)
  • Jason Marquis (Cubs) vs. Mets, September 22, 2008 (HR, 5 RBI)
  • Micah Owings (Diamondbacks) vs. Braves, August 18, 2007 (2 HR, 6 RBI)
  • Robert Person (Phillies) vs. Expos, June 2, 2002 (HR, 7 RBI)
  • Shawn Estes (Giants) vs. Expos, May 24, 2000 (HR, 5 RBI)

Strasburg is 3-for-3 overall as he also singled to lead off the third. Tonight’s homer marked the fourth of his career and he’s now up to 25 RBI.

Strasburg is performing well on the mound as well. At the time of this writing, he has held the Braves to a lone run on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts over four innings as the Nationals lead 10-1.