James Outman homers in first MLB at-bat, Dodgers top Rockies 7-3

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DENVER — James Outman homered on the first swing of his first big-league at-bat and finished with three hits and three RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-3 and closed out July with 21 victories.

Freddie Freeman added three hits and an RBI, passing teammate Trea Turner for the MLB lead in hits. Tony Gonsolin (12-1) bounced back from his first loss of the season as the Dodgers finished the month 21-5, tying the franchise record for most wins in July. They scored 147 runs in the month.

Outman became the eighth Dodgers player in franchise history – the fourth since the move to Los Angeles – to homer in his first career plate appearance, joining Jose Offerman (1990), Garey Ingram (1994) and Keibert Ruiz (2020). Outman had 21 homers in 90 games between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma this season before being promoted Saturday.

The 25-year-old Outman, with a 1-1 count, homered on a 95 mph fastball from German Marquez (6-9) to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead after Cody Bellinger singled to open the third inning. The homer landed in the Dodgers’ bullpen, making it easy to retrieve the souvenir.

Outman singled and scored in the seventh inning and drove in a run with a double to the wall in right-center in the eighth, helping push the Dodgers lead to 7-3. Outman was the Dodgers’ seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Gonsolin gave up three runs – all in the third inning – and five hits while striking out six and walking one. He has given up at least three earned runs in each of his last three starts, after giving up two or fewer in his first 15.

Brian Serven homered for Colorado to open the three-run third off Gonsolin, and the Rockies loaded the bases without getting the ball out of the infield on a hit batter, a walk, and dribbler on the chalk down the third-base line. Grichuk lined a two-run single to right for a 3-2 lead.

Grichuk had his third straight multi-hit game and was 7 for 16 in the four-game series.

The Dodgers scored two in the fourth inning for a 4-3 lead, taking advantage of the Rockies’ sloppy defense. With a runner on first and one out, second baseman Brendan Rodgers bobbled a potential inning-ending double play grounder before settling for an out at first. After a walk put runners on first and second, Bellinger doubled in one run, and the second scored when Grichuk misplayed the ball in right.

THE HITS KEEP ON COMING

Freddie Freeman (128) and Trea Turner (127) are 1-2 in the major leagues in hits, Freeman overtaking his teammate with a three-hit game Sunday after Turner extended his hitting streak to 18 with a first-inning single. The two are attempting to become the sixth pair of teammates to finish 1-2 in the league in hits in the live ball era.

Turner led the NL in hits in 2020 and 2021 and would be the second player in major league history to lead the league in three straight seasons. Ichiro led the majors in five straight seasons with Seattle, 2006-2010.

MR. RODGERS’ EXCLUSIVE NEIGHBORHOOD

Rodgers extended his home hitting streak to 12 games Sunday and was 9 for 16 in the four-game series against the Dodgers. Among major league second basemen, Rodgers ranked in the top two in four offensive categories – 100 hits (first), 23 doubles (tied for first), 154 total bases (second) and 49 RBIs (tied for second).

ROSTER MOVES

RHP Chris Martin joined the Dodgers on Sunday, a day after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs for OF Zach McKinstry. Manager Dave Roberts defined Martin’s roles as “reliever.”

“Wherever we see fit to take down some outs, that’s when he is going to pitch,” Roberts said.

Martin was 1-0 with a 4.31 in 31 1/3 innings with the Cubs this season, with 40 strikeouts and four walks. The Dodgers optioned RHP Jake Reed to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room on the roster.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner (abdominal strain) missed his fourth straight game Sunday. A recent MRI was negative, but “there is still some sensation,” Roberts said. “We don’t need to push him.” Turner is to play catch and run Monday, and the earliest he could be back in the lineup is Thursday against San Francisco, Roberts said. . IF/OF Chris Taylor (foot) is to begin a rehab assignment Monday. “I really can’t see it being less than seven games,” Roberts said. Taylor has not played since July 4. . RHP Blake Treinen (shoulder) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Wednesday in San Francisco. He has made three appearances this season, the last April 14.

Rockies: LF Kris Bryant (left foot soreness) was removed in the top of the sixth inning. After scoring on a single in the third inning, Bryant ran into the clubhouse before returning to the field, only to be removed three innings later. . 1B C.J. Cron had a day off. Cron, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist July 8 in Arizona, is 3 for 36 with one homer and two RBIs since the All-Star break.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: LHP Andrew Heaney (1-0, 0.47 ERA) is to oppose RHP Logan Webb (9-4, 2.91) in the opener of a four-game series in San Francisco. Heaney struck out four in four scoreless innings of a no-decision against Washington in his first appearance since being activated from the injured list on Wednesday. The Dodgers are 6-0 at home and 0-3 on the road against the Giants this season.

Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-5. 4.90) is to oppose RHP Mike Clevinger (2-3, 3.38) in the first game of a four-game series in San Diego. Senzatela is 0-3 with a 6.57 ERA in five road starts this season, and the Rockies have lost all five. The Rockies are 8-3 against the Padres this season.

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

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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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.