LEADING OFF: Rays thwart Yankees, search revenge vs Astros

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A have a look at what’s occurring across the majors at this time:

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REVENGE RAYS

The Tampa Bay Rays have extra revenge in thoughts heading to the AL Championship Collection.

Mike Brosseau hit a tiebreaking homer within the eighth inning off All-Star nearer Aroldis Chapman on Friday night time, propelling Tampa Bay previous the rival Yankees of their AL Division Collection. It was a candy piece of vengeance for Brosseau after Chapman buzzed a 101 mph fastball over his head in the course of the common season, escalating tensions in an already bitter rivalry. Brosseau downplayed their previous drama.

“No revenge,” he mentioned. “We put that the previous. We got here right here to win the sequence.”

The Rays’ reward: a rematch with the Astros, the workforce that knocked them out of the 2019 postseason.

“They’ve been the workforce to beat the previous couple of years,” Brosseau mentioned. “They knocked us out final yr, so it will likely be enjoyable to face them once more.”

Recreation 1 will likely be Sunday night time in San Diego. Houston may have a completely rested rotation, with Lance McCullers Jr. or Framber Valdez most definitely to get the ball. The Rays will probably throw 2018 AL Cy Younger Award winner Blake Snell.

FINAL PREPARATIONS

Baseball’s postseason will get a full time off from video games earlier than the AL Championship Collection opens Sunday. Within the meantime, the Rangers and MLB are getting ready Globe Life Discipline in Arlington, Texas, to host baseball’s first in-person followers of this virus-altered season Monday.

Tickets are already offered out for the opener of the neutral-site NL Championship Collection between the Braves and Dodgers, though loads can be found on the secondary market. MLB is promoting 11,500 tickets for every NLCS and World Collection sport on the Rangers’ ballpark, 28% of capability.

Tickets are being offered in pods of 4, and every pod will likely be spaced no less than six toes from different followers — a transfer MLB hopes will preserve onlookers protected contained in the stadium. Masks will likely be necessary, concessions and parking will likely be cashless, and the workforce’s concessionaire is planning wrapped gadgets.

SETTLING IN

Astros supervisor Dusty Baker is managing within the postseason together with his fifth totally different franchise, however this one has definitely been totally different. The 71-year-old was employed in late January after AJ Hinch was fired in fallout from Houston’s sign-stealing scandal, and his introduction to Houston’s clubhouse was lower quick in mid-March by the coronavirus pandemic.

Baker mentioned it took till the tail-end of the 60-game common season for him to actually really feel like Houston was his workforce.

“For some time, I form of felt like a substitute trainer,” he mentioned. “I didn’t know which guys had been cussed or delicate. They didn’t understand how trustworthy or truthful to be with me or what would tick me off or make me pleased. Now I’m turning right into a everlasting trainer the final month or so.”

CATS COMING

After an inconceivable run to the playoffs, the Marlins confronted a tough actuality within the NL Division Collection: They nonetheless can’t beat the Braves.

The Marlins had been despatched to the sideline later than normal, however forcefully, when Atlanta accomplished a best-of-five sweep with a 7-0 win Thursday. The three-game drubbing confirmed the Marlins their nice leap ahead this yr left them nonetheless a methods from overtaking their NL East rivals.

“You need to measure your self with them, and have to have the ability to beat that membership,” Miami supervisor Don Mattingly mentioned. “We really feel like we’re getting nearer, however they tell us the place we’re at.”

Sixto Sánchez and Miami’s different younger pitchers had promising seasons, however the offense wants a lift. The Marlins’ productiveness elevated by greater than half a run per sport from 2019, however solely 4 groups hit fewer homers, and their OPS ranked twenty third.

Miami anticipate prospects to assist the offense proceed to development upward in 2021.

“We’ve acquired quite a few guys who’re going to should take a step ahead,” Mattingly mentioned. “And there are different cats coming, too. There’s going to be lots of competitors for jobs.”

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Extra AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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