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Russell Martin made some history last night


It has become increasingly common for teams to use position players to pitch in blowouts. Russell Martin has become the Dodgers’ go-to guy for that sort of duty, and he’s done a pretty good job of it. He’s made four appearances in that role this season, tossing four innings, and he has yet to allow a run while giving up two hits, not walking a batter and striking out two.

His latest appearance came last night, taking the mound in the Dodgers’ 9-0 win over the Padres, preserving the shutout by pitching a clean ninth inning. In so doing he made a bit of history, albeit an obscure bit: according to STATS, Inc., Martin became the first position player, excluding two-way players, to pitch in a shutout win for his team since October 3, 1917. That’s when a very young George “High Pockets” Kelly pitched five shutout innings in the Giants’ last game of the season, a 6-0 win over Philadelphia.

Check out Martin with the high, inside heat:

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.