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What the Tampa Bay Rays are doing is pretty incredible. You have to go back to the 1984 Detroit Tigers for a team off to a similar start. On Friday, the Rays turned back the New York Yankees 5-4 thanks to Wander Franco’s go-ahead double in the seventh inning. The Rays are 27-6 and lead the Baltimore Orioles by 4½ games in the American League East. Not only that, but the Yankees find themselves in the unusual position of being in last place. Not only that, but 10 games out of first place in the first week of May is the earliest in their storied history of trailing by double-digits. Also, the Rays are 22-0 when scoring first (the longest streak since 1900), which they did on Randy Arozarena’s solo home run in the first inning. His homer won a free drink for everyone in Section 141, aka Randy Land.
Just Randy casually sending the rays a souvenir on their day. pic.twitter.com/JZ6by58rEy
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 5, 2023
Tatis Goes Deep Twice Off Kershaw In Padres’ Victory
It was only their first meeting of the season, but if the San Diego Padres wanted to show that their elimination of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series last year wasn’t a fluke, Friday’s series opener was certainly a good start. Fernando Tatis Jr. slammed a pair of home runs off Clayton Kershaw as the Padres toppled the Dodgers 5-2 at Petco Park. Tatis was not part of last year’s upset of the 111-win Dodgers as he was still serving an 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. Tatis became the first player to take Kershaw deep twice in the game on multiple occasions. The Padres improved to 9-4 since Tatis’ return from that suspension and are 18-15 overall, just a game behind the Dodgers.
NANDO. AGAIN. #BringTheGold pic.twitter.com/3VcL9wZJSJ
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 6, 2023
Astros’ Garcia To Have Tommy John Surgery
You can rock the baby to sleep on Luis Garcia’s season. The Houston Astros said the right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. The 26-year-old starter lasted just eight pitches in Monday’s start against the San Francisco Giants. It is a huge blow to the Astros’ rotation, with right-hander José Urquidy leaving Sunday’s game with right shoulder discomfort. Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. has not pitched this season due to a right forearm injury. The Astros will officially promote right-hander J.P. France to make his MLB debut Saturday vs. the Seattle Mariners, while Brandon Bielak will go Sunday, his first start since 2021. It wasn’t all bad news for the Astros, though, as Kyle Tucker snapped out of a 2-for-22 slump with three hits, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Mariners 6-4.
King Tuck with the batting gloves! pic.twitter.com/lnDTTyHM0D
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 6, 2023
A’s Announcer Apologizes After Uttering Slur
As if things weren’t going bad enough for the Oakland A’s, play-by-play TV announcer Duane Kuiper got himself into hot water. In a pregame segment, Kuiper described how he had spent the day in Kansas City, Mo., before the opener of the series against the Royals. Kuiper said he and analyst Dallas Braden had visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, only he said, “n—–” as the first word in the museum’s name. It took until the top of the sixth inning for Kuiper to issue an on-air apology: “Welcome back to Kauffman Stadium. I just want to — a little bit earlier in the show, I said something, didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to. And I just wanted to apologize if it sounded different than I meant it to be said. And like I said, I just wanted to apologize for that.” The A’s called Kuiper’s pregame comment “unacceptable” and were looking into possible further action.
Yankees’ Rodon To Have Cortisone Shot
The timeline for Carlos Rodón’s debut with the Yankees continues to be cloudy. The Yankees said the left-hander will have a cortisone shot in his troublesome back. Rodon, the Yankees’ biggest offseason acquisition after signing a six-year, $162 million contract, had been on the injured list with a forearm strain before his back issues popped up. Doctors told Rodon that his back troubles may be “chronic” as a result of his pitching mechanics.
Right-hander Matt Harvey, who once formed a dynamic 1-2 punch atop the New York Mets‘ rotation with Noah Syndergaard, announced his retirement. The 32-year-old had a 50-66 career record with a 4.42 ERA. But the seventh overall pick of the 2010 draft was at his peak in his first few seasons before injuries took a toll. Harvey was designated for assignment by the Mets early in 2018 and bounced around to Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals, and Baltimore Orioles. He served a 60-game suspension last year after he admitted in testimony to giving Percocet to then-Angels teammate Tyler Skaggs, who died from an unrelated overdose.
Best Moments From Yesterday
Fabulous Freidl Fetch
Defense isn’t exactly the first thing you think of when you mention the Cincinnati Reds, but T.J. Friedl certainly flashed some leather when he traveled a long distance to rob a home run from Chicago White Sox slugger Andrew Vaughn in the top of the sixth inning.
OHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYY, @TjFriedl1. pic.twitter.com/sI1gHQaefC
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 6, 2023
Shirt Says It All
While the push to eat healthily helps players stay in top shape, Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Andrew Chafin has other thoughts on the matter.
Diamondbacks pitcher Andrew Chafin's arrival fit today 😂 pic.twitter.com/SI5tSgCnQW
— MLB Life (@MLBLife) May 5, 2023
Day Late, But Worth It
Yankees outfielder Harrison Bader has a name that rhymes with a certain “Star Wars” bad guy. So the folks who run the MLB Twitter account must have been disappointed when the Yankees had Thursday off. After all, it was the day “Star Wars” fans celebrate as May the 4th be with you. But Bader made sure to use his lightsaber, er, bat for good Friday, which gave the MLB Twitter gurus a chance to pull out this amazing line:
Darth Bader. Revenge in the 6th. pic.twitter.com/VzZH9ytHEh
— MLB (@MLB) May 6, 2023
Injuries and Other Moves
Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Vince Velasquez (right elbow inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list. Right-hander Chase De Jong (lumbar spine muscle strain) was activated off the IL.
Royals outfielder Kyle Isbel (hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day IL and is expected to miss the next six weeks.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill (lower-back strain) and right-hander Jake Woodford (right shoulder inflammation) were placed on the IL.
Right-handed reliever Zack Littell was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations.
Utilityman Chad Pinder was released by the Washington Nationals. He had been in the minors.
Los Angeles Angels right-hander Austin Warren will need Tommy John surgery. He has been on the IL since mid-April.
Articles You Should Read
Darryl Strawberry recalls his debut season 40 years later — Bill Ladson, MLB.com
Cody Bellinger is in a much better place — Jay Jaffe, FanGraphs
Zach Neto’s call-up was a surprise to everyone, including his parents — Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic
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