Whit Merrifield ties Royals record with 30-game hitting streak

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With a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night against the Mariners, Royals outfielder Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 30 games.

Merrifield’s 30-game hitting streak puts him in a tie for George Brett for the longest hitting streak by a Royals batter. Brett hit in 30 straight between July 18 and August 18 in 1980. The Royals went to the World Series that year.

Merrifield’s streak began on September 10 last season. He entered Tuesday batting .325/.378/.496 throughout his streak. It’s the longest hitting streak in baseball since the Braves’ Freddie Freeman hit in 30 consecutive games between August 24 and September 28 in 2016.

In January, Merrifield inked a four-year, $16.25 million extension with the Royals. It appears the club got a bargain. Merrifield wrapped up last season hitting .304/.367/.438 with 12 home runs, 60 RBI, and 88 runs scored. He led all of baseball with 192 hits and 45 stolen bases. He’s off to the races again tto start 2019.

Dodgers, Tony Gonsolin agree to 2-year, $6.65M contract

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LOS ANGELES — All-Star pitcher Tony Gonsolin and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed on a two-year, $6.65 million contract that avoided an arbitration hearing.

Gonsolin gets $3.25 million this year and $3.4 million in 2024.

His salary in the second season can escalate by up to $3 million based on a points system in which he will be credited one point for each start, or each relief appearance of 3 1/3 innings: $500,000 apiece for 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 28 points. The 2024 salary also would increase by $1,125,000 for winning a Cy Young Award this year, $625,000 for finishing second or third in the voting and $500,000 for finishing fourth or fifth.

The sides exchanged salary proposals on Jan. 13, with Gonsolin seeking a raise from $720,000 last season to $3.4 million this year, while the Dodgers offered $3 million.

The 28-year-old right-hander was 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 24 starts during a breakout season last year. Gonsolin earned his first All-Star selection with an 11-0 record and a 2.02 ERA in the first half. He finished with the highest winning percentage (.941) in franchise history.

Gonsolin has been with the Dodgers for parts of four seasons since being drafted in the ninth round out of Saint Mary’s College in 2016. He is 26-6 with a 2.51 ERA in 59 career games.

He helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series during the pandemic-shortened season.