The Boston Red Sox lost for the first time since the opening series of the season as the Minnesota Twins snapped a five-game losing streak of their own Thursday. 

German-born outfielder Max Kepler's bloop single in the ninth inning brought home Luis Arraez to end Boston's remarkable run of nine consecutive victories with a 4-3 Minnesota triumph.

On a day when every player in MLB wore number 42 to honour Jackie Robinson's barrier-breaking debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a sea of 42 jerseys gathered in celebration at Target Field.  

It was a gutsy display from the Twins, who built a 3-0 lead to back Michael Pineda's seven scoreless innings but watched the red-hot Red Sox score three in the eighth inning to equalise. 

Arraez sparked the winning rally in the final inning, though, allowing the Twins to relax a bit after a rough stretch.

"It's impossible to go out and play baseball and not feel it when it's going really well or when it's not going really well," said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. "It's really how you harness that and control it at times and sometimes how you just let it go."

 

Braves stage rally of their own

The Atlanta Braves followed the same blueprint as the Twins, stopping a four-game skid of their own after blowing a lead and then rallying to win in their final at-bat. 

Atlanta avoided a four-game sweep by the Miami Marlins with a 7-6 victory capped by Dansby Swanson's game-ending single in the ninth. 

It was a fitting finish for a contest packed with momentum swings, as Miami went out to a 3-0 lead before the Braves jumped ahead 5-3 on home runs by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Pablo Sandoval. 

The Marlins scored three of their own to surge back in front before five of the six Braves to bat in the ninth reached base, ending in the win.

 

Corbin has no answers for Diamondbacks

Washington Nationals starter Patrick Corbin got bombed in an 11-6 loss to Arizona, surrendering 10 Diamondbacks runs (nine earned) on six hits and four walks in just two innings. Corbin watched the second and third batters of the game, Carson Kelly and Eduardo Escobar, hit solo homers, then gave up a grand slam to Andrew Young in the second inning. He departed the game against his former club with an unsightly 21.32 ERA.

 

Mercedes' monster moon shot

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. muscled up on a hanging slider from Royals pitcher Kyle Zimmer for a 456-foot blast, the longest home run of his career, in the seventh inning of a 7-5 loss to Kansas City. 

 

Thursday's results
Atlanta Braves 7-6 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 8-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners 2-1 Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-2 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 Washington Nationals
Texas Rangers 6-4 Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals 7-5 Toronto Blue Jays
Oakland Athletics 8-4 Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 Colorado Rockies
Philadelphia Phillies-New York Mets (postponed)

 

Dodgers at Padres

The match-up of division rivals will feature the first MLB start for pitcher Ryan Weathers of the Padres (9-5) as he takes on Walker Buehler and the Dodgers (11-2).

Toronto Blue Jays recruit George Springer is excited about the team's young core, describing them as "beyond impressive" after making his Spring Training debut.

Springer, who joined the Blue Jays on a six-year, $150million contract via free agency – the largest deal in franchise history, debuted in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

A three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger, Springer managed his first Spring Training hit against the Phillies.

The arrival of MLB World Series champion Springer from the Houston Astros caused a splash, his wealth of postseason experience complimenting a young group of stars in Toronto – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio.

In Toronto, Bichette is the first shortstop in MLB history to have a .300-plus batting average and a .500-plus slugging percentage in each of his first two seasons (minimum 125 plate appearances in both seasons), per Stats Perform.

Blue Jays team-mate Biggio became the first player in league history to have at least 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 100 walks through his first 159 career games (that is how many games he has played so far).

As for Guerrero, he is the only MLB player currently 21 or younger who has at least 100 career RBIs.

Based on age at the time of games, the Blue Jays had the most hits (234), runs (148), home runs (38), RBIs (137), XBH (93) and BB (103) in 2020.

"A lot of people will say that they're young, but I think they're advanced for their age," Springer said post-game.

"I was having a conversation and you just kind of realise the talent it takes to play at this level at age 21, 22.

"It's beyond impressive to be in the big leagues that young and to do the things all these guys can do."

Springer impressed on his Spring Training bow for the Blue Jays, who will open their 2021 MLB season against American League (AL) East rivals the New York Yankees on April 1.

Batting leadoff at TD Ballpark on Tuesday, 2017 World Series MVP Springer hit a single as a designated hitter.

"I generally just see the ball and hit the ball," Springer said. "As Spring Training goes along, you're not facing a new guy every inning, you're starting to face the same guy over and over again.

"Sequences are starting to change, the game plans are starting to change, so as the spring progresses, it becomes more of a season-like feel."

Springer leads MLB with 136 home runs from the lead-off spot since 2015. The Blue Jays as a team have 129 homers from the lead-off spot over that time, per Stats Perform.

He has 39 lead-off home runs in his career – fourth most all-time behind Rickey Henderson (73), Ian Kinsler (48) and Brady Anderson (44).

Springer has recorded seven career World Series home runs – most from the lead-off spot all-time – and he is 19-for-56 (.339) in the World Series in his career. No other current Blue Jays player has a World Series hit in their career.

The 31-year-old's 174 home runs since debuting in MLB via Houston are third most by an Astro in a player's first seven career seasons, behind only Jeff Bagwell (187) and Lance Berkman (180).

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo added: "I like when he leads off like we did today. I like that. But we'll see."

George Springer believes the Toronto Blue Jays are "built to win for a long time" after arriving from the Houston Astros in a blockbuster move in free agency.

The Blue Jays lured MLB World Series champion and MVP Springer to Toronto on a six-year, $150million contract – the largest deal in franchise history.

Toronto, who returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016 before being swept by eventual World Series participants the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card Round, had made Springer their number one target and landed one of the most coveted free agents this offseason.

Springer brings a wealth of postseason experience to an exciting young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio in Toronto, where the Blue Jays also boast number one right-handed pitching prospect Nate Pearson.

And Springer is excited, telling reporters on Wednesday: "I think they're right there. When you play against this team like I have, you could see the talent, could see the potential in their line-up, in their staff, in their arms.

"I think this team is built to win, and I think they're going to be built to win for a long time."

Springer leads MLB with 136 home runs from the lead-off spot since 2015. The Blue Jays as a team have 129 homers from the lead-off spot over that time, per Stats Perform.

A two-time Silver Slugger, Springer has 39 lead-off home runs in his career – fourth most all-time behind Rickey Henderson (73), Ian Kinsler (48) and Brady Anderson (44).

Springer has recorded seven career World Series home runs – most from the lead-off spot all-time – and he is 19-for-56 (.339) in the World Series in his career. No other current Blue Jays player has a World Series hit in their career.

The three-time All-Star's 174 home runs since debuting in MLB via Houston are third most by an Astro in a player's first seven career seasons, behind only Jeff Bagwell (187) and Lance Berkman (180).

In Toronto, Bichette is the first shortstop in MLB history to have a .300-plus batting average and a .500-plus slugging percentage in each of his first two seasons (minimum 125 plate appearances in both seasons).

Blue Jays team-mate Biggio became the first player in league history to have at least 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 100 walks through his first 159 career games (that is how many games he has played so far).

As for Guerrero, he is the only MLB player currently 21 or younger who has at least 100 career RBIs.

Based on age at the time of games, the Blue Jays had the most hits (234), runs (148), home runs (38), RBIs (137), XBH (93) and BB (103) in 2020.

"This line-up reminds me a lot of them [the Astros]," 31-year-old outfielder Springer said midweek. 

"It is a young line-up but it's a very talented, advanced younger line-up. From everything I've seen, they're very, very ambitious. They want to win, they work hard. That's awesome to see."

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, who is eyeing the franchise's first World Series title since 1993, added: "What he's done, his athleticism, his character, his resilience and his perseverance.

"He will overcome challenges and we believe that he's going to be a very, very good player, not just for the beginning of his contract but for the duration."

George Springer is reportedly packing his bags and heading to the Rogers Centre.

Widespread reports claim the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a six-year, $150million contract with star free agent and MLB World Series champion Springer – the largest deal in franchise history, eclipsing Vernon Wells' $126m extension in 2006.

The emerging Blue Jays, who returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2016, had been looking to make a splash in free agency after recruiting ace Ryu Hyun-jin ahead of the 2020 campaign.

Toronto appear to have landed their number one target and one of the most coveted free agents this offseason, despite interest in the likes of Francisco Lindor and DJ LeMahieu, as they challenge the likes of the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox in the American League.

Springer – a World Series winner and MVP with the Houston Astros – brings a wealth of postseason experience to an exciting young core of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio in Toronto, where the Blue Jays also boast number one right-handed pitching prospect Nate Pearson.

Teoscar Hernandez also had a breakout season for the Blue Jays, resulting in his first Silver Slugger Award.

But what does Springer's arrival mean for the Blue Jays in their pursuit of a first World Series crown since 1993? We take a look using Stats Perform data.

Experience and lead-off ability

Springer led the Astros to ultimate glory in 2017.

The 31-year-old outfielder tallied a team-high 14 homers, 37 runs, 50 hits and 32 RBIs with a .265 average in 189 at-bats as the Astros reached the AL Championship Series (ALCS) last season.

Springer leads MLB with 136 home runs from the lead-off spot since 2015. The Blue Jays as a team have 129 homers from the lead-off spot over that time.

A two-time Silver Slugger, Springer has 39 lead-off home runs in his career – fourth most all-time behind Rickey Henderson (73), Ian Kinsler (48) and Brady Anderson (44).

Springer has recorded seven career World Series home runs – most from the lead-off spot all-time – and he is 19-for-56 (.339) in the World Series in his career. No other current Blue Jays player has a World Series hit in their career.

The three-time All-Star's 174 home runs since debuting in MLB via Houston are third most by an Astro in a player's first seven career seasons, behind only Jeff Bagwell (187) and Lance Berkman (180).

In 15 career games at the Blue Jays' Rogers Centre, Springer has slashed .358/.453/.604 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.

Springer to compliment Toronto's young star power

It has been a long time since Jose Bautista's memorable bat flip and back-to-back trips to the ALCS in 2015 and 2016.

But Guerrero, Gurriel, Bichette and Biggio have given Blue Jays fans a lot to be excited about.

The big-hitting quartet took the MLB by storm during last season's coronavirus-shortened campaign, lighting up the league and helping Toronto to a 32-28 record before losing to eventual World Series participants the Rays in the AL Wild Card Round.

Bichette is the first shortstop in MLB history to have a .300-plus batting average and a .500-plus slugging percentage in each of his first two seasons (minimum 125 plate appearances in both seasons).

Blue Jays team-mate Biggio became the first player in league history to have at least 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 100 walks through his first 159 career games (that is how many games he has played so far).

As for Guerrero, he is the only MLB player currently 21 or younger who has at least 100 career RBIs.

Of players aged 25 or younger, the Blue Jays topped a number of categories last season.

Based on age at the time of games, the Blue Jays had the most hits (234), runs (148), home runs (38), RBIs (137), XBH (93) and BB (103) in 2020.

Page 3 of 3
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.