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Red Sox taking advantage of Brock Holt's versatility


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(10:21 am ET) Red Sox utility man Brock Holt has played four different positions and hit in three different spots in the batting order. 

The constant change doesn't seem to be having a negative impact. Holt is hitting .579 in 19 at bats this season. He's played second, third, short and center, and he's batted first, eighth and ninth in the lineup. 

"That’s his role,” manager John Farrell said. “We try to the best of our abilities (to get play him), and as frequently as possible. We also have a very deep roster, so he accepts his role, he excels at it, and the versatility he provides is a real good fit."


Tigers' Castellanos in lineup, Avila misses second straight start


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:49 am ET) Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos is back in the starting lineup after serving as a pinch-hitter Saturday, while catcher Alex Avila is not in the starting lineup for a second straight day.

Castellanos managed an RBI single in his only at-bat Saturday to extend his hitting streak to six games. He has hit .282/.341/.462 with one home run and four RBI in 39 at-bats.

Avila entered Saturday's blowout loss in the seventh inning to play three innings at first base, just his second career appearance at the position. He has hit .190/.414/.333 in 21 at-bats. James McCann, who is 2 for 15 after going hitless in four at-bats Saturday, is behind the plate for a second straight game.

The Tigers are favorites (-135) against the White Sox Sunday, per VegasInsider.com.


Athletics 3B Lawrie after beaning: 'Why fuel the fire?'


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Fresh off a game in which he was plunked by Royals fireballer Yordano Ventura, Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie was asked why he didn't go ballistic.

"They want me to blow up, but why fuel the fire?" Lawrie told MLB.com. "Why dump another thing of gasoline on it when I can just put a smile on?"

Lawrie had been the center of controversy after his hard slide Friday night injured Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar. The hit-by-pitch came right after Josh Reddick homered to give Oakland a 5-0 lead.


Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre looking to break out


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has struggled at the plate early on in the season, hitting just .149 in 47 at-bats this season. Manager Jeff Banister thinks Beltre just keeps hitting the ball right at the defense, reports MLB.com.

"Adrian has barreled some baseballs and come up empty. I can recall four line-drive outs. Put those in the hit column and how does it look now," Banister said. "I've got to look at the track record of the guy, who he is and what he is telling me. I look at the at-bats. There have been some balls popped up but there have been some that have been barreled."


Royals ace Ventura ejected for beaning Athletics' Lawrie


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura was ejected by umpire Jim Joyce in the fourth inning Saturday night for hitting Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie with a pitch.

The benches emptied, but no punches were thrown and the players soon dispersed, according to Comcast SportsNet.

"He really just lost command most of the night," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was all over the place."

Lawrie has been in the center of a controversy after a hard slide into second base Friday caused injury to Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Ventura collapsed in the fourth after three no-hit innings. He had already given up five runs when he beaned Lawrie.


'Slidegate' intensifies between Royals' Escobar, Athletics' Lawrie


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) The soap opera involving Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar and Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie continued Saturday through Twitter.

It began when Lawrie slid into Escobar on Friday night, causing the latter to be escorted off the field with a sprained knee and bruising.

Escobar later told Sports Radio 610 that he felt it was a "dirty slide" and added that Oakland outfielder Sam Fuld did the same thing to him a year ago. Others chimed in, claiming Lawrie came in spikes high. But Royals teammates such as Eric Hosmer offered his view that there was nothing dirty about it the play.

The controversy continued Saturday when Escobar told the Oakland Tribune that he had not heard any apology nor received any text from Lawrie. Lawrie, however, claimed he had texted Escobar to let him know he had no intention of causing injury.


Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson hits walk-off HR in 11th inning on Saturday


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/18/2015) Josh Donaldson's solo home run in the bottom of the 11th inning broke a 5-5 tie and gave the Blue Jays a walk-off win over the Braves on Saturday.

That is Donaldson's fourth walk-off home run over the last two seasons -- more than 23 teams have in that span.

'"As a baseball player, as any competitor, you enjoy moments where you can win the game for your team," Donaldson said.

"Not everybody can do that," manager John Gibbons said after Donaldson crushed a 1-0 changeup from Braves reliever Sugar Ray Marimon. "Donaldson is one of those guys. He's so focused, he's not just up there swinging ... He has a plan."


Yankees LF Brett Gardner returns to action vs. Rays


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner returned to the starting lineup and will bat second during Saturday's contest against Tampa Bay.

Gardner has been sidelined since Monday with a bruised right wrist. He is hitting .261 (6 for 23) with three walks, a double, a home run, five runs scored and three RBI in six games. Gardner's return to the lineup bumped Chase Headley to the No. 7 hole in the order.


Not starting Mookie Betts Saturday no reflection of recent slump


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/18/2015) Mookie Betts' recent 0-for-7 slide isn't the reason Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't start him Saturday against the Orioles, reports WEEI.com.

With the O's starting right-hander Chris Tillman, who's considered tough with a heavy sinker, Farrell wants to get utility-man Brock Holt some at-bats. 

"A way to get Brock in the lineup," Farrell said. "He has swung the bat well in limited looks against Tillman and our goal, and my personal goal, is to get Brock [in the lineup] and keep him in the mix as much as possible."


Jimmy Paredes to DH on Saturday for Orioles


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Jimmy Paredes, activated off the disabled list earlier in the day, is playing designated hitter for the Orioles and hitting fifth in the order. 

The insertion of Paredes caused some position shuffling across the Orioles' lineup. Chris Davis, who has been playing DH, moved to first base, and first baseman Steve Pearce moved to right. Right fielder Travis Snider is not in the lineup. 

With Jonathan Schoop on the disabled list, Ryan Flaherty steps into the lineup, playing second base and batting eighth. 


Orioles' Jimmy Paredes (back) activated from DL


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Orioles infielder Jimmy Paredes (back), who began his rehab stint on Friday, was activated from the disabled list to replace second baseman Jonathan Schoop, per MASN Sports. Schoop landed on the disabled list with a partial PCL tear and an MCL sprain.

Paredes hit .286 with two home runs and eight RBI in 63 at-bats last season.


Trevor Plouffe gets the afternoon off after Friday's walkoff HR


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) The Twins gave Trevor Plouffe the afternoon off after his heroic performance the previous night, per MLB.com. Plouffe belted a walkoff home run in the 11th inning to take down the Indians, 3-2. Utility man Eduardo Nunez will get the start and hit eighth for Minnesota against Danny Salazar.

Friday's home run was Plouffe's fifth hit of the season. He is hitting .143/.231/.343 with two homers and two RBI over 39 plate appearances.


Valencia, Tolleson in lineup; Donaldson at DH vs. LHP Wood


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) The Blue Jays moved Josh Donaldson to designated hitter and included Danny Valencia and Steve Tolleson in the lineup Saturday afternoon against Braves left-hander Alex Wood, according to the Toronto Star. Donaldson remained in his normal No. 2 hole, while Valencia will bat fifth and Tolleson eighth.

Red Sox's Pablo Sandoval not sorry about slide that lead to beaning


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/18/2015) Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected Friday for hitting Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval with a pitch as suspected payback for a hard slide by Sandoval earlier in the game, according to BostonHerald.com.

"It’s the game ... I do clean slides," Sandoval said. "I slide through the base. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

First baseman Mike Napoli added that Sandoval’s slide was in line with the way the Red Sox like to play.

Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe hits walk-off HR in 11th inning on Friday


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/18/2015) Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe broke a 3-all tie in the bottom of the 11th inning Friday with a walk-off home run to sink the Indians.

The game had been tied at 3 since the sixth inning.



Rays' Evan Longoria to DH Friday night against Yankees


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Evan Longoria is in the Rays' lineup against the Yankees as a designated hitter, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune

Longoria was hit by a pitch in Thursday night's 4-2 win against the Blue Jays. He was forced to leave the game after a pitch from Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada plunked him in the left hip. Following the game, Rays manager Kevin Cash said Longoria would be day-to-day. 

Longoria said he feels fine and could return to third base on Saturday

Logan Forsythe will fill in defensively for Longoria at third base. 


Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval (foot) back in lineup Friday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval returned to the starting lineup Friday against the Orioles after missing one start with a foot injury.

Sandoval returns in time to face Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Sandoval is batting .324 (11 for 34) with one triple, two doubles, two home runs and five RBI in his career against the right-hander. He also has one walk and 10 strikeouts.

The Red Sox are favored (-125) in Friday's game.


Red Sox's Pablo Sandoval struggling with righty swing


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval is just 0 for 12 with five strikeouts from the right side of the plate this season, and manager John Farrell called his right-handed swing "a work in progress," the Boston Herald reports.

"Granted, he’s an aggressive hitter in general," Farrell said after calling him "a little overaggressive" from his weaker side, "but against a left-hander, you can see the body movement a little bit more forward toward the pitcher when compared to a right-hander. So, he’s probably trying to go out and get some pitches rather than letting the ball travel deeper in the zone."

The struggles from the right side are nothing new for Sandoval, who hit .199/.244/.319 against left-handed pitchers last season while batting as a right-hander. The switch-hitter is 11 for 24 against righties this season but has yet to pick up an extra-base hit.


Rays' Evan Longoria hit by pitch, listed as day-to-day


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning by Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada and was forced to leave the game.

Longoria was hit in the left hip. Following the game, manager Kevin Cash said Longoria was day-to-day with the injury, according to the Tampa Bay Times

The Rays were leading 4-0 when the hit by pitch occurred. Longoria went 1 for 3 with a double and scored a run in the game. 


Orioles' Jimmy Paredes (back) to begin rehab stint this weekend


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Orioles infielder Jimmy Paredes will begin his rehab stint this Friday, according to The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly. 

Paredes will play with Double-A Bowie on Friday and with Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday. Paredes was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury. He took batting practice on Thursday. 

A year ago, Paredes hit .286 with two home runs and eight RBI in 63 at-bats.


Twins' Vargas, Plouffe have good track record vs. Indians' Kluber


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) When the Twins and Indians open a three-game series Friday, Cleveland will be sending ace Corey Kluber to the mound. Twins DH Kennys Vargas and third baseman Trevor Plouffe have fairly good history against the 2014 AL Cy Young award winner.

Vargas went 4 for 11 (.364) with one double, one home run and two RBI against Kluber last season, while Plouffe is batting .360 (9 for 25) with one double, two home runs and seven RBI in his career against Kluber.

Kluber is 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 10 career starts against the Twins. He went 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts against the AL Central foe last season and is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five starts at Target Field.


Blue Jays decision to hit Josh Donaldson in No. 2 spot pays off


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was pleased with his decision to move third baseman Josh Donaldson to second in the batting order Wednesday against the Rays.

Donaldson, who spent the first eight games of the season in the No. 5, singled in the opening frame and scored on a two-run homer by Jose Bautista. He finished 3 for 5 with two singles, a double, two runs scored and three RBI in a 12-7 victory over the Rays.

"Donaldson I thought might be a good guy there, thought we'd give him a try now," Gibbons said of moving Donaldson from the fifth spot. "You always like your top hitters there. They might get that extra at-bat. He's up there setting the table. He's a threat."

Donaldson has four games with at least two hits, including two in as many days. He is hitting .286 with three doubles, three walks and six RBI in nine games.


Astros' Luis Valbuena homers in win vs. A's


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2015) Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena went 1 for 3 with a solo home run in his team's 6-1 win over the A's Wednesday.

Valbuena led off the seventh inning with his second home run of the season, and he's put together a five-game hitting streak since opening the season 0 for 10 in his first three games. The infielder has hit .226/.273/.452 with two home runs and two RBI in 31 at-bats.


Orioles' Manny Machado homers vs. Yankees Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Orioles third baseman Manny Machado went 1 for with a walk and a solo home run in his team's 7-5 win over the Yankees Wednesday.

Machado picked up his first home run of the season in the fourth inning off Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi after entering the game just 4 for 27. Machado owns a .161 average over his first 31 at-bats.


Quartet of Angels make game miserable for Rangers


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) The heart of the Angels lineup broke the hearts of the Rangers on Wednesday.

Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Matt Joyce and David Freese combined for nine hits in 16 at-bats with five runs scored and seven RBI. Oddly, all but a Joyce double was a single, but the hits were timely. The Joyce double scored two to complete a six-run second inning.


 
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