Brian Anderson’s two-run triple in 11th lifts Marlins past Pirates

Getty Images
0 Comments

MIAMI — Brian Anderson atoned for a costly error with a two-run triple in the 11th inning and the Miami Marlins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.

Anderson originally was hit by a pitch from reliever Wil Crowe (3-6) but the Pirates successfully challenged, saying it hit his bat first. Anderson then sent a drive to deep right center that scored Jesus Aguilar and Avisail Garciia.

“At any point you don’t shut it down,” Anderson said. “When I got hit by the pitch, I was ready to go on base. I just tried to focus on what’s in front of me. I was just thankful to have an opportunity to come up there and try to put barrel on the ball.”

Joey Wendle doubled, singled and walked for the Marlins, who had their second straight walk-off against Pittsburgh and managed a split of their four-game series.

“Hanging in there, that’s what we’ve been talking about and keep fighting until the (All-Star) break,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said.

Ben Gamel‘s RBI double against Richard Bleier (2-1) in the top of the 11th put the Pirates ahead 2-1.

Pittsburgh tied it 1-1 in the eighth on third baseman Anderson’s fielding error that scored Yoshi Tsutsugo from first. Tsutsugo reached on a two-out single against reliever Steven Okert. Anderson muffed Diego Castillo’s hard grounder and Tsutsugo raced home as the ball went into foul ground in left field.

“I definitely pride myself on my defense so that’s something I have to keep working on and keep getting better at,” Anderson said.

Wendle broke a scoreless tie with an RBI double in the fifth. He was not in the original lineup but entered after Jon Berti left with an injury.

Billy Hamilton hit a two-out single and scored from first on Wendle’s line drive to right. Hamilton originally was called out on second baseman Kevin Newman‘s relay throw to the plate but a video review overturned the play.

Marlins starter Braxton Garrett struck out a career-high 11 in six scoreless innings. Garrett allowed two hits, walked two and hit two batters.

“It feels awesome,” Garrett said of his outing. “Got ahead often and stayed in the zone like I have been recently. My slider was just a little sharper tonight than it has been the last couple of starts so I threw more punch-outs.”

Facing his former team for the first time, Zach Thompson limited the Marlins to one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Thompson, who joined the Pirates in an off-season trade for catcher Jacob Stallings, walked three and struck out two.

“I think once I got past the second inning, I started calming down and kind of threw like I’m used to,” Thompson said.

Major League-stolen base leader Berti exited after the first because of a mild left groin strain. Berti drew a leadoff walk but felt discomfort after stealing second for his 28th theft.

Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas left in the ninth after he absorbed a blow to the mouth from the helmet of Oneil Cruz on an unsuccessful steal attempt of second.

NOT THE TYPICAL INFIELD

The injuries to Berti and Rojas resulted in a radically different infield late for Miami. First baseman Aguilar finished at third and Anderson moved from third to second. Wendle replaced Berti at second early before shifting to shortstop. NL All-Star Garrett Cooper, who was expected to rest another day because of knee soreness, replaced Aguilar at first.

“It’s one of those games where you’re glad there’s a DH,” Mattingly said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on like Aguilar playing third and he did that well and Anderson at second. It was a nice little team effort from them and the bullpen.”

CIRCUITOUS PATH

Pirates right-fielder Castillo took a different angle as he tracked Nick Fortes‘ drive in the second. Castillo turned right before abruptly turning and diving to his left to catch the shot on the warning track.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: C Henry Davis (left wrist injury), the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 draft, will be shut down for the remainder of the month.

Marlins: RHP Cole Sulser (right lat strain) is continuing with his throwing program.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Jose Quintana (2-4, 3.59 will start the opener of a three-game series Friday at Colorado. Quintana will face RHP German Marquez (5-7, 5.66).

Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (9-3, 1.73) starts the opener of a home series against Philadelphia Friday. RHP Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.53) will start for the Phillies.

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

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
0 Comments

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.