Russell Martin
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Russell Martin’s pitching appearance was one for the history books

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After a nailbiter of a loss on Friday, the Dodgers returned to their winning ways with an 18-5 lead heading into the ninth inning of Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks. Wonderful things happen when a team is that confident of a win — by ‘wonderful things,’ we mean position players pitching — and this was no exception. With three outs to go and a comfortable 13-run lead to preserve, Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts handed the ball to catcher Russell Martin.

Martin didn’t disappoint. He wielded eight pitches to induce back-to-back groundouts from Ketel Marte and Nick Ahmed, and needed just two more to retire John Ryan Murphy on a long fly ball to center field.

Not too shabby for a full-time catcher whose last pitching appearance predated his professional career.

According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, Martin’s 1-2-3 ninth inning performance — and subsequent team win — was the first by a full-time position player since 1925. It was also the first time a position player had been tabbed to close out a win since left fielder Willie Smith did so for the Tigers in 1963.

While Roberts may not make a habit of turning to Martin for future pitching opportunities, it certainly made for an entertaining finish to the team’s dominant run on Saturday. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will play their fourth and final game of the series at 4:10 PM EDT on Sunday, with right-handers Walker Buehler and Luke Weaver set to square off on the mound.

Ned Yost to retire as Royals manager

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The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.

Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.

The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.

Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: