PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jacob Stallings has 19 hits
02-12-2019, 08:14 AM,
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jacob Stallings has 19 hits
in parts of three major league seasons Mitch Williams Jersey , and the rookie third-string catcher has made a some of them count.Stallings hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.It was Stallings’ second career game-ending hit. The catcher also had one on Sept. 23, 2016, against Washington as a pinch hitter.After Jordan Luplow grounded into a double play, Kevin Kramer walked and moved to second on Kevin Newman’s single. Stallings then singled into left field off Ben Lively (0-3) for his third hit of the game, scoring Kramer.Stallings was not in the original lineup. He was told 2½ hours before the game he would be subbing for ailing Francisco Cervelli.“It was pretty similar to my other one, same spot and same kind of pitch,” Stallings said. “It was good to help the team on short notice. It was fun to come through for the guys.”Stallings has spent the last three years shuttling between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis while stuck on the organizational depth chart behind Cervelli and Elias Diaz.“The biggest thing for me is staying ready,” said Stallings, whose father, Kevin, was the University of Pittsburgh’s basketball coach for two seasons before being fired in March. “On a day like today, when I’m not ready to play, I’m still ready. You get paranoid because you never know what might happen.”Stallings has made a good impression on Pirates manager Clint Hurdle.“He puts his foot down early and hits the ball hard where it’s pitched. Old-school hitting,” Hurdle said. “He’s done a very professional job on everything he’s done.”The Pirates scored twice with two outs in the eighth inning to tie the game at 6-all. The first run scored when first baseman Ryan O’Hearn failed to handle a throw from third baseman Hunter Dozier on a grounder by Pablo Reyes. Starling Marte followed with an RBI triple.Newman had three of Pittsburgh’s 16 hits as the rookie shortstop extended his hitting streak to six games and helped the Pirates win for the ninth time in 12 games.Edgar Santana (3-3) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.O’Hearn led off the top of the eighth with his 11th home run in 36 games since making his debut July 31 and gave the Royals a two-run lead.Josh Bell drew Pittsburgh to 5-4 in the seventh with a run-scoring single.O’Hearn’s RBI double capped a four-run fifth inning and put the Royals on top 5-3 following consecutive run-scoring singles by Adalberto Mondesi http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-dave-cash-jersey , Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez.Gordon doubled in the game’s first run in top of the third inning and Corey Dickerson countered with an RBI single in the bottom half. Adam Frazier’s two-run single in the fourth gave the Pirates a short-lived 3-1 lead.Kansas City’s Brad Keller allowed four runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings. Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove also pitched six innings, giving up five runs and eight hits.Keller got his first major league hit when he singled off Musgrove to lead off the fifth inning. It came in Keller’s second career at-bat after he struck out in the second.Keller was in line for his team-high ninth win until the Royals squandered the lead. He was selected from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 Draft in December after having never pitched above Class A.“He got us into the seventh and did a great job of doing that,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. “He threw the ball really, really well. He put us in position to win.”O’Hearn’s homer to right field off Steven Brault was the first allowed by the left-hander in 117 career plate appearances against left-handed batters.TRAINER’S ROOMPirates: 2B Frazier (right knee discomfort) left for a pinch-runner immediately after hitting his double. . Cervelli (flu-like symptoms) was on deck ready to pinch-hit when Stallings delivered the game-winning hit. . Diaz (strained right hamstring) has been cleared to play after sitting out since Aug. 31. . Pitching coach Ray Searage underwent cervical surgery and assistant pitching coach Justin Meccage is taking his place.AND 31 YEARS LATER .Royals 2B Whit Merrifield played his first game in Pittsburgh. Merrifield’s father, Bill, was called up by the Pirates for one day late in the 1987 season then sent to instructional league to make the conversion from third baseman to first baseman.Bill Merrifield did not appear in a game and never returned to the major leagues.REMEMBERING MACA moment of silence was held for rapper/singer Mac Miller, who died last week. Miller was a Pittsburgh native and Pirates’ fan.UP NEXTRoyals: LHP Eric Skoglund (1-5, 6.19) makes his third appearance and second start Tuesday night since being sidelined from May 26-Sept. 6 with a sprained ligament in his left elbow.Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (13-9, 3.37) has allowed three earned runs or less in 19 straight starts. ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Donaldson needed the Braves.The Braves needed Josh Donaldson.Call this one a perfect match.The slugging third baseman was officially introduced to Atlanta on Tuesday, joining the team he cheered for as a youngster. Donaldson agreed to a $23 million, one-year deal that provides the sort of flexibility both sides wanted.“We were looking for a middle-of-the-order bat,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said after a news conference at SunTrust Park, less than 24 hours after the team announced the signing of catcher Brian McCann .“We had to find a way to get it done.”Donaldson was looking for a team that would pay him big bucks, while giving him a chance to show he’s healthy after three injury-plagued seasons. He’ll make the same salary he received this past season Steve Carlton Jersey , while setting himself up for a much more lucrative deal if he returns to MVP form.Plus, he gets to play with his favorite team from childhood. Donaldson is a native of Pensacola, Florida who played his college baseball at Auburn — about a two-hour drive from SunTrust Park.“I was a huge Braves fan coming up,” he said. “My very first favorite player was Ron Gant. It’s a very full circle from coming to my very first Braves game, my first major league baseball game, when I was about 12 years old to now being 32 years old (next week), being able to wear this jersey and wear it with pride.”By only committing to Donaldson for a year, the NL East-winning Braves addressed their top priority while leaving themselves with plenty of financial flexibility beyond 2019. They have some of the most talented young players in the game, led by NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr., and didn’t want to make a move that impeded their long-term progress.“I think it’s a win-win across the board,” Anthopoulos said. “We love Josh. We’re thrilled to have him. But it’s a one-year deal. Beyond one year, we don’t know what’s going to happen, other than we hope we’re pouring champagne over each other’s heads and he’s had an MVP year again. It would be a good problem to have.”Donaldson was AL MVP in 2015 after hitting 41 homers and leading the league with 123 RBIs in his first year with the Blue Jays. He was acquired from Oakland in a blockbuster deal engineered by Anthopoulos, who was then Toronto’s general manager.While Donaldson followed up with two more 30-plus-homer seasons http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-aaron-nola-jersey , a hip injury in 2016 and a strained right calf in 2017 cut into his production. This past season, Donaldson was limited to 52 games by shoulder inflammation and more calf issues, hitting .246 with just eight homers and 23 RBIs. He was dealt to Cleveland on Aug. 31 and played 16 games with the Indians, enough to persuade the Braves that he’s fully recovered from myriad health issues.“The sample size was small, but he looked fantastic,” Anthopoulos said. “He looked like the Josh we’ve always known, one of the best players in the game.”After taking over at the Braves’ GM, Anthopoulos brought along much of the training staff that worked for him in Toronto. That was another factor in Donaldson’s decision to sign with the Braves.“They know how to keep me on the field,” he said.Donaldson is not looking beyond 2019, but he doesn’t consider himself a rent-a-player.“I’m not somebody who wants to bounce around,” he said. “I would hope that this could be the last place that I play. That being said, that’s not what I focus on. I’ve never really focused on free agency and any stuff like that. I’ve focused on going out there and helping my team win ballgames and helping my team become better.”What about Johan Camargo, who had 19 homers and 76 RBIs in his first full season as the Braves’ third baseman?Anthopoulos wants to turn Camargo into a super sub who plays all four infield positions, serves as the top pinch-hitter and maybe even gets some time in the outfield. The bench was a major shortcoming for Braves in 2018 Juan Samuel Jersey , which was especially apparent in the postseason when light-hitting Ryan Flaherty was included on the 25-man roster.“We’re going to give guys more days off,” said Anthopoulos, who described Camargo as “a big part of our lineup. He’s going to continue to play.”Even though the Braves will continue to pursue additional pitching for both the rotation and the bullpen, Anthopoulos was most concerned about bolstering an offense that ranked ninth in the NL with 175 homers and tailed off significantly in the second half.The Braves averaged just over 5 runs per game through the first half, but that dipped to 4.35 over the final 81 games. The offensive woes were especially apparent in the NL division series, when Atlanta was shut out twice and scored just eight runs in a four-game loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers .“It’s not something we wanted to announce, because we can still improve in the bullpen and in the rotation,” Anthopoulos said. “But the offense, more than anything else, we wanted to protect.”
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