Struggling Tebow hits first Triple-A home run


What started off as a tough spring for Tim Tebow with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, New York, took a turn for the better Sunday when he hit his first International League home run.

It came in his 105th at-bat of the season, and the former Heisman Trophy winner didn’t exactly receive a hero’s welcome when he returned to the dugout.

At least not at first.

Tebow’s teammates largely gave him the silent treatment before the celebration at NBT Bank Stadium began in earnest.

Tebow went 1-for-4 in an 8-2 home loss to Columbus, lifting his batting average to .157. He has 11 RBIs on the season. He has a hit in seven of his past nine games.

On Thursday, he told The Associated Press that he was unfazed by his slow nfl nike jerseys from china

“I think I’m improving. I’m working, developing,” Tebow said. “I think I’m getting better, adapting to some really good players, and I think that’s important.”10

Tebow’s average was at .130 after the team’s first 23 games before his productivity increased of late, a stretch that he said has helped with his confidence as he’s found more of a rhythm at the plate.

“I think sometimes if you’re not in rhythm, you can press a little bit, swing at pitches you don’t want to swing at,” Tebow said. “But when you’re in a rhythm, it just flows a little bit better. I think that’s important.”

Syracuse Mets manager Tony DeFrancesco told The Associated Press that the move from Double-A to the top rung of the minor leagues has proved nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“Double-A pitching is a lot of younger guys that have good velocity on the fastball but no secondary pitches,” DeFrancesco said. “Here, Tim is seeing everything coming at him but the kitchen sink. They’re throwing fastballs hard in on him, they’re breaking balls, they’re elevating. He just hasn’t seen enough of that right now — and they’re throwing strikes.”

DeFrancesco said Tebow’s recent surge has been encouraging and he was hoping that the power production would arrive after Tebow had six homers and 36 RBIs in 271 at-bats in Double-A before an injury ended his season after 84 games.

“He’s playing a corner position in baseball, which is offensive production, so he’s going to definitely need to drive some home runs soon,” his manager said. “Getting into June, you’ve got to be able to put up the numbers.”

Dodgers’ Ryu extends scoreless streak to 31 IP


Ryu blanked the Reds over seven innings to extend his major league-leading streak to 31, Cody Bellinger hit his 17th homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat Cincinnati 8-3 on Sunday.

“He’s just locked in right now with all of his pitches,” manager Dave Roberts said of his starting pitcher. “It’s fun to watch. He’s healthy. The conditions, the situations don’t matter.”

Ryu (6-1) had baserunners in each of his first five innings, but none of them got past second base and he retired his last eight batters. Ryu allowed five hits with one walk and five strikeouts and lowered his ERA to a National League-best 1.52 for the season. He went into the game second behind Milwaukee’s Zach nike nfl jerseys paypal

“I wasn’t crisp, especially early in the game,” Ryu said through a translator. “There was a lot of traffic out there. I was able to execute the right pitches at the right time.”9

Alex Verdugo drove in three runs and Russell Martin added a solo homer for the West Division-leading Dodgers.

Verdugo’s RBI double gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second inning and they added a run in the third on a fielder’s choice.

Reds right fielder Yasiel Puig hit the wall while making a catch with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning.

Puig leaped and reached into the stands down the right-field line to catch Ryu’s fly ball while colliding with the padded wall. He was on the warning track for a few seconds before jogging off the field, rubbing his left elbow.

He batted in the bottom of the inning before leaving the game after the seventh with what manager David Bell said was a sprained right nfl nike jerseys from china

“I felt a little bit tight,” Puig said. “I take that AB after that I told them I don’t feel good. My elbow I hit on the concrete, but I feel good about that.”

Bellinger, who entered the game second in the NL in home runs behind Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich, smacked left-handed relief pitcher Wandy Peralta’s first pitch deep to center field, where it glanced off the glove of the leaping Nick Senzel and over the fence for a two-run homer.

“With Cody right now, it doesn’t matter who’s coming into the game,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers added six runs against a Cincinnati bullpen that went into the game with a league-best 3.10 combined ERA.

Bellinger’s homer made it 4-0 in the seventh inning. Martin gave Los Angeles a 5-0 lead in the eighth and the Dodgers added three runs in the ninth on a wild pitch and Verdugo’s two-run double.

“The bullpen has done such a good job,” Bell said. “That’s going to happen. The game came down to one hit. The Bellinger home run was the difference in the game. It changed everything.”

MLB places Dodgers’ Urias on leave after arrest


Major League Baseball has placed Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias on administrative leave in the wake of his Monday arrest on suspicion of domestic violence.

Urias was arrested and charged with domestic battery after an alleged physical altercation with a woman in the parking lot of the Beverly Center, an upscale shopping mall in L.A., at 7:30 p.m. PT, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was released at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday after posting $20,000 bail and did not join his teammates later in the afternoon.

MLB said it was conducting an investigation into the matter and is “in the process of gathering facts” while Urias is on administrative leave.

In a statement Tuesday morning, the Dodgers said the team also was gathering information and would have no further comment. Manager Dave Roberts met with the media before the Dodgers’ home game against the San Diego Padres and said he was “choosing my words wisely,” adding, “I don’t know the facts.”nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“Obviously, it’s not ideal in any sense of the word,” Roberts said. “But until we know more, it just doesn’t behoove me to make any comments. Fortunately, Major League Baseball is kind of digging into this, as it well should. We’ll know more later.”

In the meantime, the Dodgers, who should soon benefit from the return of lefties Tony Cingrani and Caleb Ferguson, added right-handed reliever JT Chargois to the active roster.10

Urias’ leave expires after seven days, but the league can extend it until its investigation is complete. Urias can also technically come off leave before the seven-day mark, but in prior circumstances, this process has dragged out for several weeks and even nike jersey cheap

Eleven players have been investigated and nine have been suspended since 2016, the first full season of MLB’s current domestic violence policy. Suspensions ranged from 15 games (Steven Wright and Jeurys Familia) to 100 (Jose Torres). In between were cases involving household names such as Jose Reyes (51-game suspension), Aroldis Chapman (30 games), Addison Russell (40) and Roberto Osuna (75).

The Astros caught flak for acquiring Osuna in the wake of his domestic violence suspension, as did the Cubs for activating Russell last week.

“Every allegation of domestic violence must be taken seriously and addressed promptly,” the Dodgers said in their statement, “and we will cooperate fully with the authorities and Major League Baseball to ensure that that happens in this case.”

Urias is considered one of the most promising young pitchers in the league. He was beginning to build a special connection with the Dodgers’ fan base in L.A. largely because of his Mexican heritage, drawing comparisons to Fernando Valenzuela.

Cubs’ Zobrist remains on leave amid divorce


Cubs veteran Ben Zobrist remains on a personal leave of absence from the team, and court documents filed in Chicago indicate he is getting nike jersey cheap

According to the documents, his wife, Julianna, is listed as the plaintiff. Julianna Zobrist is a professional singer who has performed the national anthem for teams that her husband has played for. She also sang “God Bless America” before Game 4 of the 2016 World Series between the Cubs and Indians at Wrigley Field.9

Zobrist, 37, is in the final season of a four-year contract that he signed with the Cubs after beginning his career in Tampa Bay in 2006. He helped the Kansas City Royals win the title in 2015 and did the same the following season with the Cubs.

The team has not given an official reason for his absence, which began May 8, nor a potential return nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I feel for him,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Having gone through that process myself, it’s no fun. For him to do it under these circumstances, we’re going to respect his privacy. There is no timeline involved. He’ll let us know.”

Zobrist was hitting .241 with 10 RBIs in 26 games prior to taking his absence from the team.

How a mid-at-bat change to an ax-handle bat helped ignite Kris Bryant


Kris Bryant is pretty sure it’s not the bat, but right now, he isn’t leaving anything to chance.

After breaking his old bat during a late April plate appearance in Phoenix, Bryant grabbed his backup, an Axe Bat, and homered on his first swing with it. He had never used the unique-looking lumber, but since then, that’s all he has been swinging.

“I’ve been having good at-bats, so I don’t know if it’s the bat or what, but it’s always nice to use a new one and hit a homer,” the Chicago Cubs third baseman said earlier this week.

Axe Bats feature a handle that backers say is more conducive for a hitting grip. They’re becoming increasingly popular across the game, as American League MVP Mookie Betts uses one, and now a former NL MVP is as well. The manufacturer had been trying to get Bryant to use an Axe Bat, but until that game at Chase Field, he had tried it only in batting practice. Now Bryant won’t put it down, and his hitting coach is a fan as nike nfl jerseys paypal

Bryant added: “There’s a lot of science behind it. How the bat naturally comes through the zone, how it falls into the zone. You don’t have to work for it. I like the idea behind it.”10

Axe or no Axe, Bryant is in the midst of one of his better streaks at the plate, as he has reached base in a career-high 18 straight games. His OPS in that stretch is 1.077. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, since going to the Axe Bat on April 26, Bryant’s hard hit rate is 63 percent, eighth in baseball. He also homered in three straight games for the first time in his career, highlighted by a walk-off, three-run shot to win Tuesday’s game over the Miami Marlins. Bryant has been on fire.

All this good stuff has come after he struggled for the first couple of weeks of the season. But while social media was wondering if the old Bryant would return, the hitter and his team simply went to nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“It takes time, and it also takes a true trust and belief,” the hitting coach said. “You don’t want to be hunting for hits. You want to be hunting the process. That can be hard.”

Neither Bryant nor the people around him are quick to offer excuses for a slow-ish start — he was hitting .224 with a .689 OPS on April 11 — but few from the outside viewed the situation the way they did: While Bryant played much of last year with his left shoulder hurting, he lost his way. He was favoring it, swinging differently, and then he landed on the injured list. Twice. His season, from May until October, was laborious. His timing was gone.

“When you’re playing sporadic, getting days off, on the DL, changing your swing, you don’t really get into that good rhythm that you want,” Bryant said.

The bottom line — which Bryant would never state so definitively — is he missed almost a year at the plate. He injured his shoulder in May and just recently is feeling like himself in the batter’s box. The offseason takes everyone out of his rhythm, but for Bryant, it was three more months on top of about five.

Braves’ Fried takes liner off hand; X-rays clean


Atlanta Braves left-hander Max Fried exited Tuesday’s start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second inning after taking a line drive off his pitching hand.

X-rays came back negative, and the Braves said Fried is day-to-day with a contusion on the nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Fried, born and raised in nearby Santa Monica, California, couldn’t dodge an 86 mph line drive off the bat of Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo to begin the bottom of the second.9

Fried threw two warm-up pitches, then gave way to reliever Josh Tomlin. Verdugo eventually came around to score on an RBI single by Justin Turner, leaving Fried with a final line of four runs on four hits and a walk in one-plus nike nfl jerseys paypal

“I kind of saw it come toward me, and it looked like it was coming toward my face, so I just tried to protect myself and felt it hit the side of my hand,” Fried told reporters. “Luckily I think I knew from right when it hit that it wasn’t anything too bad, but it’s just frustrating. You never want to come out of a game like that.”

Indians to detail Kluber’s prognosis on Friday


The Indians decided during the winter their starting pitching would carry them to another October.

Cleveland’s ride might end before then.

Corey Kluber’s broken right arm might alter the plans for a season the Indians hoped would include a fourth straight AL Central nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Kluber, 33, suffered a non-displaced fracture Wednesday night when he was struck by a line drive in the fifth inning of a start against Miami. Kluber, who struggled through the season’s first month, couldn’t avoid the 102 mph comebacker hit by Marlins infielder Brian Anderson. After being nailed, Kluber chased after the ball while his right arm stayed motionless against his side. He swatted the ball with his glove toward the bag before walking dejectedly back to the mound.

All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor hasn’t taken off after being sidelined to start the season with a sprained ankle, and All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez has yet to break out of a slump that stretches back to August.10

When Cleveland’s front office chose not to trade Kluber or Trevor Bauer and to reconstruct the team’s roster by allowing All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley to leave as a free agent and trading sluggers Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso and Yandy Diaz, it did so believing the pitching depth would be enough to get the Indians back to the playoffs.

That theory is about to be tested.

Clevinger is still probably a few weeks from returning, although he played catch this week and appears to be ahead of schedule.

The Indians are likely to go to a five-man rotation in May with Jefry Rodriguez getting starts. He has made two starts while filling in for Clevinger and is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. Kluber would have started Monday, and manager Terry Francona will either juggle his rotation or reach down to Triple-A Columbus and bring up either Adam Plutko or Cody nfl nike jerseys china

Plutko opened the season in the minors and has been recovering from a forearm strain. Anderson has missed most of the past two seasons after Tommy John elbow surgery, but the Indians think he could be ready soon.

Red Sox get 10 straight hits in nine-run inning


The Boston Red Sox strung together 10 consecutive hits against Chicago White Sox left-hander Manny Banuelos, ending one hit shy of the major league record during a nine-run third inning Saturday night.

Banuelos retired his first eight batters before Christian Vazquez opened Boston’s two-out rally with a single. Xander Bogaerts, Michael Chavis and Eduardo Nunez each homered, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez had RBI doubles, and Vazquez capped the streak with another single before White Sox manager Rick Renteria pulled Banuelos with a 9-1 nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Carson Fulmer replaced Banuelos and interrupted the hit parade by walking Andrew Benintendi. Betts flew out to right to end the inning after 14 batters.8

The Red Sox won Saturday’s game 15-2.

The Colorado Rockies had a major league-record 11 straight hits during a 17-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field in Denver on July 30, 2010.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Boston went on to score five runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth to take a 15-1 lead.

Padres hold out Tatis (hamstring) against Braves


Tatis woke up Monday with soreness in his hamstring, which was hurt when he did an awkward-looking split while trying to stretch for a throw at second base Sunday at Washington. He left the game.

Tatis, who entered the year as a top prospect, is hitting .300 with six homers and 13 RBIs.

Though Tatis remained on the active roster, manager Andy Green said it’s too soon to know if the rookie will avoid the injured list. He said the team will be careful to protect the health of one of its top young nfl jerseys china nike

“We care a lot about him. We think a lot of him. We love the way he’s started his big league career,” Green said. “We want to take care of him. We want to put him in the best position where he has the best shot at health for a long time. We haven’t made any final determinations of what that plan is at this moment.”10

A decision on the injured list could be made by Tuesday.

Greg Garcia is making his first start of the season at shortstop and as the leadoff hitter.

Green wouldn’t say if Manny Machado might move from third base to shortstop if Tatis is placed on the injured list.

Machado played a combined 147 games at shortstop for the Orioles and the Dodgers in 2018.

“I think we always talk about what the options are,” Green said. “Those are things that, until we have to use them, I think we’ll keep to ourselves. But yeah, we have a lot of options open.’‘cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The only other player to start at shortstop for San Diego this season is Luis Urias, who was optioned to Triple-A El Paso on April 21. Urias was named the Pacific Coast League’s player of the week on Monday after he hit five homers in his past two games.

Cards RHP Wacha off IL for start at Nationals


St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha has been activated from the 10-day injured list after missing one start with patellar tendinitis in his left nfl nike jerseys from china

Wacha was scheduled to pitch the Cardinals’ series opener at the Washington Nationals on Monday night.9

Wacha is 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA in four appearances this season. He last pitched April 17, then went on the IL two days later.

The Cardinals made room on the roster for Wacha by optioning rookie righty Ryan Helsley to Triple-A nfl jerseys china nike

Helsley made his major league debut April 16 and pitched in relief three times, with a 2.84 ERA across 6 1/3 innings.