Category: Baseball

Cabrera HR lifts Tigers to 6-5 win over Royals

Cabrera HR lifts Tigers to 6-5 win over Royals

DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera’s body is making it difficult for him to run without appearing to be in pain.

Luckily for the Tigers, it’s not keeping the reigning Triple Crown winner from swinging the bat really well.

Cabrera hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the ninth inning, lifting Detroit to a 6-5 win over Kansas City on Saturday night hours after Royals infielder Miguel Tejada was suspended for at least the rest of this season for testing positive for an amphetamine.

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”Every at-bat, every game, you want to do something good, because I think people pay for that,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera has been slowed by a strained lower abdomen, injured hip & banged-up left leg. He was healthy enough to take a victory lap & looked relatively comfortable rounding the bases as a sellout crowd of 41,850 cheered.

”When you hit a home run like that, you’re loose, smooth,” he said.

Cabrera leads the major leagues with a .358 batting average & 117 RBIs & trails only Baltimore’s Chris Davis in homers.

Aaron Crow (7-4) threw five pitches, with Cabrera hitting his 3-1 offering for an opposite field homer, his 39th, driving a fastball high & outside just over the right-field wall.

”There’s not three hitters in baseball that could hit that pitch out of the ballpark,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”He’s one of them. Take your hat off to him.”

Joaquin Benoit (3-0) gave up only one walk in the ninth for the win.

Prince Fielder hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh inning & made a satisfactory defensive play for the third out of the ninth.

Kansas City tied the game for a third time in the eighth inning when Emilo Bonifacio singled, stole second, advanced on a throwing era by Detroit’s backup catcher & scored on Chris Getz’s RBI single off Jose Veras.

”We couldn’t obtain the lead,” Yost said.

Detroit starter Doug Fister gave up three runs & 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings. After throwing a season-high 118 pitches, he was replaced by Drew Smyly, who gave up a game-tying homer to Salvador Perez on a 1-2 count with two outs in the seventh.

Kansas City starter Wade Davis allowed four runs on eight hits & lasted just 3 2-3 innings.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland & catcher Brayan Pena were ejected in the fourth inning after a call went against Detroit & helped Kansas City tie the game.

The Tigers were angry because Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar appeared to foul off a pitch with a check swing after the ball hit the dirt. The umpiring crew, though, ruled that it was a wild pitch & that allowed Chris Getz to advance from first to third base.

Leyland was ejected & went on the field a second time, directing a demonstrative rant toward first base umpire Bob Davidson.

After Escobar hit a game-tying double, Pena had more to say approximately the call & was tossed by plate umpire Mike Muchlinski.

Davidson took the blame for missing the call.

”That’s really on me because I should’ve seen the ball alter directions,” Davidson said following the game.

In the home half of the inning, Cabrera put Detroit ahead 4-3 with his 24th double on a hit deep into the right field corner, yet barely beat the throw to second base. Cabrera, clearly, would rather play through pain than sit & hope to obtain healthier.

In the first inning, he hit a grounder to third that Mike Moustakas bobbled into foul territory & still managed to throw Cabrera out.

Kansas City scored two in the third inning on consecutive singles by Alex Gordon & Perez & tied it at 3 in the fourth after the disputed call that led to Leyland & Pena being ejected.

The Royals tied the game for the second time with Perez’s fifth homer in the seventh & Fielder’s line drive over the right-center wall – his 19th homer, & second of the series – put Detroit back ahead by a run.

Tejada will not be back in baseball any time soon, if at all.

He became the third former MVP in a month to be suspended, getting suspended for 105 games. His ban came after Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games – he’s appealing – & Brewers star Ryan Braun received a 65-game penalty that will keep him off the field for the rest of the season.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Tejada tested positive for Adderall, a substance the 39-year-old has used to treat attention deficit disorder. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because those details were not made public.

Tejada apologized in a statement released by the players’ association, saying he made a mistake for taking a medication to treat a medical condition while re-applying for an exemption to use it.

NOTES: Moustakas played for the first time since leaving a game Monday with an injured left calf & Jamey Carroll pinch hit for him in the seventh. ”He was fine, yet his leg was starting to tire a little bit,” Yost said. … Before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne chatted approximately racing with Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, who said he has taken laps at Richmond International Raceway in his own car.

AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.

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Kershaw, Dodgers beat Phillies 5-0 for 10th in row

Kershaw, Dodgers beat Phillies 5-0 for 10th in row

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly summed it up nicely after Clayton Kershaw became the latest Los Angeles starter to shut down the sinking Phillies.

”Kershaw’s pretty good,” Mattingly said.

The young ace pitched eight dominant innings & the seemingly unstoppable Dodgers won their 10th straight Saturday night, beating Philadelphia 5-0 to keep the Phillies scoreless in two games under new manager Ryne Sandberg.

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Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer, Kershaw had an RBI double & the NL West leaders improved to 25-3 after the All-Star break. They have won 19 of their last 20 road games & are 42-8 overall since June 22, the best 50-game stretch in the majors since the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals had the same record.

The previous team to win 19 of 20 road games was the 1916 New York Giants, according to STATS.

The 10-game winning streak is the longest for Los Angeles since an 11-game run in 2006.

Meanwhile, the slumping Phillies have yet to cross home plate since manager Charlie Manuel was fired Friday in the middle of a second-half swoon. They were blanked 4-0 by Zack Greinke & the Dodgers in Sandberg’s debut & have now lost 21 of 25.

”Their pitching showed what it can do, & they’re on a hot streak right now,” Sandberg said. ”We faced two hot pitchers, & they came as advertised.”

Both teams were .500 at the All-Star break.

Kershaw (12-7) allowed three hits & lowered his NL-best ERA to 1.80. He struck out eight & walked one.

”One thing he does is he attacks the strike zone just pitch after pitch,” Mattingly said. ”He’s going to be around it & he’s going to make you hit him, & it’s not like he’s going to waste a lot of pitches. Tonight’s a satisfactory example: He’s at 100 pitches through eight. He could’ve went back out there.”

Uribe singled & doubled before hitting a three-run shot to break the game open in the eighth.

”He’s playing unbelievable for us right now,” Kershaw said. ”Not just offensively. Defensively he makes every play, & you take it for granted as a pitcher. But Juan’s been huge for me. I obtain a lot of ground balls over there & he makes every single play.”

The win was Kershaw’s first in nine career games against the Phillies. The left-hander moreover helped himself at the plate with a run-scoring double. His seven RBIs lead the Dodgers’ pitching staff.

Brandon League worked the ninth to secure Los Angeles’ major league-best 16th shutout. It was the 12th time the Phillies have been blanked this season.

Philadelphia’s lone threat came in the eighth, when Casper Wells doubled & John Mayberry Jr. walked with one out. But Erik Kratz popped out & after a wild pitch, pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz struck out.

”I had pretty decent fastball command tonight,” Kershaw said. ”I was able to throw the ball to both sides of the plate decently, & I felt good. Other than that walk to Mayberry, I felt like I had decent control, took advantage of their aggressiveness for the most part tonight & received some quick outs.”

Kyle Kendrick (10-10) labored through six effective innings for the Phillies, yielding two runs & seven hits. He was aided by four double plays, including ones that ended the third, fourth & fifth innings.

The Dodgers opened the game with two singles & scored their first run when Mayberry let a grounder obtain by him at first base for an error. Los Angeles could have had more, yet Andre Ethier grounded into bases-loaded double play.

”Had a couple of chances just to add on, & until real late we didn’t do it,” Mattingly said. ”Those kind of games always make you nervous.”

Uribe & Kershaw hit consecutive doubles in the fifth to make it 2-0.

Domonic Brown received the Phillies’ first hit in the fifth inning. He was after picked off first base.

NOTES: Kershaw moreover leads the NL in innings (190 1-3) & strikeouts (182). … The Dodgers boast the National League’s best winning percentage away from home at .583 (35-25). They have won six straight games at Citizens Bank Park. … Phillies RHP Roy Halladay will make his second minor league rehab start Tuesday with Class-A Lakewood. Halladay (2-4, 8.65 ERA) has not pitched since May 5. … Phillies RHP Jonathan Pettibone will moreover make a rehab start Tuesday, for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … Cole Hamels (5-13, 3.65) is scheduled to start for the Phillies in the series finale against Ricky Nolasco (9-9, 3.62).

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Royals INF Tejada suspended 105 games for PED use

Royals INF Tejada suspended 105 games for PED use

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The scourge of drugs & baseball claimed its third former MVP in a month when Miguel Tejada was suspended Saturday for 105 games after testing positive for an amphetamine.

The Kansas City Royals infielder drew one of the longest penalties handed down by Major League Baseball. His ban came after Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games & Brewers star Ryan Braun received a 65-game penalty that will keep him off the field for the rest of the season.

All three stars have been dogged by doping allegations in the past.

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A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Tejada tested positive for Adderall, a substance the 39-year-old has used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because those details were not made public.

”I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization & to the Kansas City fans,” Tejada said in a statement released by the players’ association. ”I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so.”

MLB’s medical staff grants therapeutic-use exemptions that allow players to use drugs such as Adderall to treat ADD. But the substance has become a popular performance-enhancer, accounting for 10 of the 11 positive stimulant tests in the major league program in the year ending with the 2012 World Series, according to the annual report of the Independent Program Administrator.

The report, which was released in November, said that medication for ADD accounted for 116 of 119 therapeutic-use exemptions granted by Major League Baseball.

Tejada, who was already on the 60-day disabled list with a calf injury, previously tested positive under the league’s amphetamine policy. That subjected him to a 25-game ban for a second test & an 80-game suspension for a third. He is not challenging the penalties.

Tejada will miss the remainder of this season, which exhausts his contract with Kansas City. If he signs for next season, he would miss approximately two months before becoming eligible to play.

”It doesn’t matter if you’re MVP or king of the world. If you’re going to do things that are illegal, you’re going to obtain caught for it & you’re going to obtain suspended,” Royals pitcher James Shields said. ”It’s a shame because I really like him a lot as a teammate.”

Tejada’s suspension is one of the longest non-lifetime bans in baseball history. Along with Rodriguez’s suspension, Pascual Perez was banned for the 1992 season for a positive cocaine test & Dwight Gooden barred for the ’95 season for violating his drug after-care program.

Rodriguez & Braun received their penalties for their connection to the Biogenesis clinic in Florida that has been accused of dispensing banned drugs. A-Rod was among 13 players suspended 12 days ago by MLB, while Braun was penalized earlier this year.

”I think it’s another positive sign that the testing continues to work & that those players who commit infractions against the drug policy are being penalized accordingly,” Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie said. ”It’s unfortunate when it’s a friend of yours & a teammate yet the testing is there for a purpose, & this is another indication that it’s working & serving its purpose.”

Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar said that many of Tejada’s teammates learned of the suspension while watching TV in the clubhouse before their game Saturday night in Detroit.

”Maybe he made a mistake. I don’t know,” Escobar said. ”That’s a satisfactory guy, a really satisfactory teammate. That’s one of the best guys in here. Yeah, I was surprised.”

A six-time All-Star & the AL MVP in 2002, Tejada’s prodigious talent has been called into question more than once by doping allegations that have cropped up throughout his career.

The first significant mention of his name came in the Mitchell Report on steroids use in baseball. Then in February 2009, he was charged with lying to Congress approximately performance-enhancing drugs in the game. Tejada pleaded guilty to the charge & received one year of probation.

Tejada made his huge league debut in 1997 with the Athletics, where he spent the best years of his career. He hit .308 with 34 homers & 131 RBIs during his MVP season, & then was even better in 2004 with Baltimore, when he .311 with 34 home runs & a career-best 150 RBIs, which led the AL.

Tejada moreover spent time with Houston & San Diego before struggling two years ago in San Francisco, & then was unable to latch onto a huge league team last season.

The Royals took a chance on him after watching him play in the Dominican Republic’s winter league, signing him to a deal worth $1.1 million if he made the major league roster. He wound up becoming an everyday player, hitting .288 with three homers & 20 RBIs in 53 games.

Just as valuable as his performance, though, was his veteran influence. The Royals have one of the youngest rosters in baseball, & Tejada became a mentor to several players on the team.

”He was astonishing for this clubhouse,” Shields said. ”Every day he came in, he was a tremendous teacher. He helped out a lot of our young guys, not only our Latin guys, yet everybody. He really taught a lot these guys how to play the right way as far as how on the field goes.”

Tejada injure his calf last Saturday while diving for a ball in the seventh inning of a loss to the Red Sox. He wound up on the DL, & was transferred to the 60-day disabled list – effectively ending his season – when the Royals acquired utility man Emilio Bonifacio earlier this week.

If he’s unable to latch onto a team next season, that game against Boston will turn out to be the last time Tejada sets foot on a huge league field as a player.

”It would unquestionably be a tough way to go out. There’s no doubt,” Shields said. ”But he made the decision & he’s going to have to live with that.”

AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.

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