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Chris Martin throws immaculate inning vs. Phillies

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Braves reliever Chris Martin had the adventure of a lifetime, tossing an immaculate inning — a 1-2-3 inning with three strikeouts on nine pitches — in the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies. The right-hander was an army of one, fanning César Hernández, Jay Bruce, and Logan Morrison to send the game to the eighth.

Martin knows that everything’s not lost, as he entered the game with a 5.40 ERA in 13 1/3 innings since being acquired by the Braves from the Rangers on July 30. It was a hopeful transmission by the Braves, who also bolstered their bullpen by acquiring Shane Greene and Mark Melancon ahead of the trade deadline.

Martin’s immaculate inning is the seventh of the 2019 season, joining Josh Hader, Thomas Pannone, Chris Sale (twice), Stephen Strasburg, and Kevin Gausman. There have been 99 known total immaculate innings in baseball history by 91 different pitchers. It’s an achievement that has the hitters believing the pitches are coming in at the speed of sound.

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.