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Orioles relief pitcher Brad Brach earns first save of the year


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:28 am ET) Orioles relief pitcher Brad Brach worked a perfect 1 1/3 innings in Baltimore's 4-0 win over the Rays, picking up his first save of the season. 

Brach came on in relief for starter Miguel Gonzalez with two outs in the eighth, needing to get out of a jam, which he did, forcing forcing Steven Souza to foul out to the catcher.

"It's a game of inches. It is. I say it all the time. A ball hits a catwalk by a foot last night. A foot or two more is in the stands, and who knows what happens?" Showalter said. "But Brad was a big part of what we did last year, and he's starting to get back in sync a little bit."

Brach needed just 11 pitches in the ninth to finish things off.

"He had some life on that ball. He's got such a devastating changeup," catcher Caleb Joseph said. "That pitch has really come around for him. He's got a lot of deception, and he came in and did a good job filling in for Miggy and then closing it out in the ninth. He got a big out there with Souza. He's done a great job for us since we got here, and we are going to count on him."

Brach lowered his ERA to 4.26 in 12 2/3 innings of work. 


White Sox prospect Carlos Rodon still adjusting to new role


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon is still trying to get comfortable with his new role as a relief pitcher, according to MLB.com.

Rodon threw three scoreless innings in Saturday's loss to the Twins. He scattered six hits with two strikeouts in the appearance.

"It's a little more comfortable. I had a plan," Rodon said. "I felt good coming in. I just wish I would have got one of those guys out and kept it 3-3."

Manager Robin Ventura likes the changes he's seen from Rodon so far this season.

"He's improving," said Ventura. "Getting him stretched out, too, he's got to get in there and pitch, and that's his spot. For what he is in our bullpen and who he is facing and where he's coming in, that's his spot."


Astros RHP Samuel Deduno earns second start Wednesday


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) Astros right-hander Samuel Deduno has apparently completed a 360 in his career by going from starter to reliever to starter again. That was confirmed when A.J. Hinch announced that he would get another start Wednesday against visiting Texas.

Deduno performed well in his conversion game from the bullpen Friday night. He held the Mariners to one run on three hits with four strikeouts in four innings. He threw 41 of 61 pitches for strikes. He has a 2.70 ERA on the season.

"I think he competed very well," Hinch told the Houston Chronicle. "I think he had a few first-pitch strikes. I think his fastball was in the zone, which helped his breaking ball ... I probably overreacted a little bit by taking him out of the game so quickly. I think he probably had 10 or 15 pitches left in the tank before it was getting into the danger zone of not being stretched out. I wanted Sammy to leave with a good (feeling)."

Hinch went on to say he expects Deduno to go longer against the Rangers.


Twins closer Glen Perkins throws perfect ninth inning for eighth save


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Closer Glen Perkins nailed down the save Saturday in the Twins' victory over the White Sox.

Perkins shut the Twins down in order in the ninth inning for his eighth save of the season. He has utilized his fastball more than any other pitch so far this season, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"It's kind of a results business," Twins manager Paul Molitor said Saturday morning. "I think we all know there are times when (Perkins) is going to need a second pitch. He's pitching confidently with that fastball. He trusts the life in it right now and his ability to throw it where he wants to."

He has now allowed just one run in 11 innings this year.


Royals' Holland may return Tuesday, Young back to bullpen


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Closer Greg Holland (pectoral strain) is targeted to return for the Royals on Tuesday while pitcher Chris Young will return to the bullpen, reports the Kansas City Star.

Holland has been on the disabled list since April 18 with a pectoral strain.

"It felt really good," Holland said. "I was able to make all of my pitches. I didn't execute everything, but I never do."

Young pitched well in his first start of the season on Friday, not allowing a run and fanning nine in five innings of work to take the win against the Tigers.

"We'll have to wait and see if any issues come up tomorrow after this," Holland said. "But I'm pretty confident I'll be ready."


RF Chris Young adds insurance HR in Yankees' victory


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Yankees right fielder Chris Young provided the Yankees with some breathing room Saturday, hitting a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning against the Red Sox to push their lead to 4-2.

The homer was Young's sixth of the season.

Setup-man Dellin Betances earns first save of season for Yankees


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Yankees reliever Dellin Betances faced and struck out the final four Red Sox batters Saturday to earn his first save of the season.

Betances, the Yankees' setup man, filled in for usual closer Andrew Miller, who's pitched in four of the Yankees' last six games.

"I feel good, I feel comfortable," Betances said. "I feel like I'm going out there with a game plan and trying to make pitches."

"He's elite," Yankees catcher Brian McCann said. "He's the standard ... he's got two unbelievable pitches. No one wants to face him."


A's promote Burns, Alvarez; place O'Flaherty on DL; DFA Ross


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) The Athletics announced several roster moves prior to Saturday's contest against the Rangers, per MLB.com.

The club placed Eric O'Flaherty on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder strain, and designated outfielder Cody Ross for assignment. Billy Burns and R.J. Alvarez were both recalled from Triple-A Nashville. Burns is leading off for the A's on Saturday.

Oakland also reclaimed Alex Hassan off waivers and optioned him to Triple-A.


Andrew Miller fastest to nine saves in Yankees' history


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Yankees closer Andrew Miller notched his ninth save of the season Friday, reaching the mark faster than any pitcher in franchise history, including Mariano Rivera, reports NJ.com.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Miller, who had two career saves before this season, has been better than they had hoped. 

"His experience the last couple years, experience pitching in big games, playoffs games, really helps that transition," Girardi said. "We knew he'd be really good...he's done a tremendous job." 

Miller was signed in the offseason to a four-year, $36 million contract after pitching parts of nine seasons in the big leagues.

Miller is nine for nine in save opportunities this season and has yet to allow a run.


Tigers closer Joe Nathan will try to play again following TJ surgery


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan, who underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, says he will try to play again. But, should he be unable to return, Nathan is happy with his career.

Nathan is out for the season following the surgery, and is currently ranked seventh all time with 377 career saves. He has spent time with the Giants, Twins, Rangers before signing with Detroit prior to the 2014 season.


Angels reliever Joe Smith serves up walk-off hit Friday vs. Giants


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Angels reliever Joe Smith earned his first loss of the season as the Giants walked off with a 3-2 victory Friday night.

Smith (0-1) entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied. He loaded the bases after a single and two walks (one intentional), and Giants second baseman Joe Panik hit a game-winning single to center.

Smith had pitched a perfect inning in each of the last two nights. He recently blew a save last weekend, but has otherwise been typically reliable out of the bullpen for manager Mike Scoiscia.


Blue Jays promote Carrera, Copeland; DFA Wilkins, West


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) The Blue Jays announced several roster moves prior to Saturday's game against the Indians, per the team's official website. The club purchased the contract of Ezequiel Carrera and Scott Copeland from Triple-A Buffalo. To make room for Carrera and Copeland on the roster, the Blue Jays designated Andy Wilkins and Matt West for assignment.

Rays' Jake McGee logs 22-pitch inning in second rehab outing


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/2/2015) Rays pitcher Jake McGee logged a 22-pitch inning for Class A Charlotte on Friday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He walked two and did not allow a hit in his second rehab outing.

Manager Kevin Cash told reporters he would like to see McGee work multiple innings, and in consecutive games before he is activated from the disabled list, which could set up a return in late May.

"Everything's been really good," he said. "After each game I've been recovering quicker each time. It feels better today than it did my last time pitching, so it's just progressing each day and game to game."


Tigers grooming reliever Angel Nesbitt for bigger role in bullpen


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/2/2015) Tigers reliever Angel Nesbitt has been used out the bullpen this season primarily in a mop-up role, but manager Brad Ausmus said the rookie could soon be seeing more high-level situations, reports MLB.com.

"It's definitely on the horizon," Ausmus said. "Something we kind of had in our minds since spring training. You'd like to get him a little bit of experience out of the 'pen at the Major League level before you shove him into a one-run game in the eighth, but if I were to guess, I would say at some point he's going to able to pitch in those types of situations."

Royals' Chris Young throws five scoreless, K's nine in victory


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) In his first start of the season Royals starting pitcher Chris Young (2-0) did not allow a run and struck out nine in five innings of work to take the win against the Tigers on Friday.

Young lowered his ERA to 1.23 on the season.

Young's next scheduled start has not been announced as of Friday night.

Twins reinstate Ricky Nolasco, Brian Duensing from disabled list


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/1/2015) The Twins activated pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Brian Duensing from the disabled list Friday, the team announced.

Nolasco was pitching in Class A for his rehab assignment because of right elbow inflammation, while Duensing missed the last 14 games with a right intercostal strain.

In order to have Nolasco and Duensing on the 25-roster, the team sent pitchers Tommy Milone and Caleb Thielbar to its Triple-A affiliate.


Athletics reliever Tyler Clippard throws perfect ninth inning for save


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Athletics reliever Tyler Clippard (S,2) notched a 1-2-3 ninth inning on Friday to earn the save over the Rangers.

Astros reliever Luke Gregerson gives up two homers but still gets save


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Astros reliever Luke Gregerson (S,5) was handed a three-run lead in the ninth inning on Friday and surrendered home runs to Nelson Cruz and Logan Morrison but held on to earn the save over the Mariners.

Samuel Deduno takes no-decision Friday in first start of season


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Astros starting pitcher Samuel Deduno made his first start of the season on Friday, giving up a run on three hits in four innings for a no-decision.

Deduno struck out four in the game. The lone run he surrendered was an RBI double to Robinson Cano.

Deduno, who's made five appearances out of the bullpen this season, has not had his next start announced as of Friday night.


Twins closer Glen Perkins collects save with shaky ninth inning


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Twins closer Glen Perkins (S, 6) was handed a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning on Friday and gave up two hits before recording the final out to preserve the win and earn the save against the White Sox.

Perkins has now allowed just one run in 10 innings this season.


Yankees closer Andrew Miller shuts door on Red Sox for save


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Yankees closer Andrew Miller shut the door on the Red Sox Friday, retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth inning to earn the save.

Miller is now 9 for 9 in save opportunitie this season and has not allowed a run.

Brad Boxberger strikes out side to pick up fifth save in Rays' win


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Closer Brad Boxberger struck out the side Friday to earn his fifth save of the season in the Rays' win over the Orioles.

Boxberger has now recorded 16 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings this season.

Royals' Greg Holland to throw simulated game Saturday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Royals closer Greg Holland will throw a 25-pitch simulated game on Saturday, according to Fox Sports Kansas City. Holland has been on the disabled list since April 18 with a pectoral strain, and is hoping to be activated sometime next week.

Wade Davis will continue to fill in as the team's closer until Holland is able to return. 


Mariners RP Tom Wilhelmsen throws bullpen session Friday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/1/2015) Mariners reliever Tom Wilhelmsen threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday, the first time he's taken a mound since landing on the disabled list with a hyperextended elbow on April 13. No problems were reported following the session, according to The News Tribune.

Wilhelmsen mixed in fastballs and sinkers during the session, and will throw another one on Sunday. He appeared in two games for the Mariners before the injury, posting a 6.75 ERA over 2 2/3 innings. 


Marco Estrada slides into starting role with Blue Jays


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/1/2015) A hot stretch in relief has landed veteran right-hander Marco Estrada a starting job with the Blue Jays, per Sportsnet. The team has announced he will take over the spot vacated when Daniel Norris was optioned to the minors. He is set to pitch Wednesday, but will be on a 75-pitch limit, reports TSN 1050.

Estrada owns an 0.84 ERA after six appearances. He hasn't given up a run in his last five chances and has allowed just four hits in 10 2/3 innings on the year with 11 strikeouts.


 
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