Cruz, Marisnick help streaking Pirates beat Marlins 3-2

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI — Rookie Oneil Cruz hit a tiebreaking RBI triple and Jake Marisnick homered for the second straight game, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Diego Castillo had two hits for the Pirates in their fourth straight victory. Pittsburgh is 14-6 against Miami since 2018.

“Everybody is motivated with the desire to win,” Castillo said in Spanish. “And when a club maintains consistency, good things continue to happen.”

Dillon Peters (5-2) got the win with 2 2/3 innings of one-run relief. The left-hander was activated from the injured list Tuesday.

“I felt good, I worked hard while I was injured,” Peters said. “I knew I definitely had some length in me today. Like I said, however long, let’s go.”

Cruz made it 2-1 when he tripled home Castillo in the fifth. Cruz then scored on Jason Delay’s single against Daniel Castano (1-3).

Miami got one back on Nick Fortes‘ RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. But Tyler Beede and Wil Crowe combined for three perfect innings before All-Star David Bednar worked the ninth for his 16th save.

Castano allowed five hits, struck out three and walked none in five innings.

Marisnick put Pittsburgh in front with his leadoff shot in the third. Miami tied it in the bottom half on Joey Wendle‘s sacrifice fly.

Chris Stratton threw 2 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a bullpen game for the Pirates. It was Stratton’s first start after 161 relief appearances. He last started for the Los Angeles Angels on April 23, 2019.

Getting through the first inning on nine pitches enabled Stratton to pitch into the third.

“I think the fact we were able to push him into that third inning was really important for us,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “He hadn’t gone three-ups in a while.”

After Fortes’ hit in the fifth, Miami didn’t have another batter reach base until Jesus Aguilar‘s two-out single against Bednar.

“Bullpen days, they seem to go one way or the other,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Either they go really good or they go really bad. Tonight, it went pretty good for them.”

Marlins first baseman Garrett Cooper exited in the sixth after fouling a pitch off his left knee. Cooper was added to the NL All-Star team on Tuesday, replacing Philadelphia slugger Bryce Harper at designated hitter.

“It’s swollen,” Cooper said. “Hopefully in a day or two I’ll be good. Nothing broken. That’s all that matters.”


Before the game, Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings received his 2021 Gold Glove. Mattingly and Shelton, Stallings’ current and former managers, flanked him during the brief ceremony. The occasion coincided with the Pirates’ only series in Miami this season. Stallings spent the first five years of his career in Pittsburgh, culminated by the Gold Glove-winning season.


The Pirates optioned right-hander Eric Stout to Triple-A Indianapolis. Stout appeared in two games with Pittsburgh after being acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on June 21.


Marlins: LHP Jesus Luzardo (left forearm strain) was scheduled to throw two innings of batting practice Tuesday at the club’s spring training facility.


RHP JT Brubaker (2-8, 4.34 ERA) starts the third game of the series for the Pirates on Wednesday against Marlins RHP Pablo Lopez (6-4, 2.91 ERA).

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today

ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

The Rangers were also big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.