Kyle Hendricks hadn't thrown a complete game or shutout in his two-year big league career. Kris Bryant, who starred at the University of San Diego, hit a two-run homer on the game's seventh pitch. ''I'm going to remember this one, definitely, for a long time,'' said Hendricks, who is from up the freeway in Mission Viejo.
The Tampa Bay Rays have used strong pitching and timely hitting to reach the top of the standings. Alex Colome and four relievers combined on a six-hitter, David DeJesus drove in two runs and the Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 3-0 on Thursday night to take sole possession of first place in the AL East. ''I think you embrace playing good baseball,'' Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.
Wandy Rodriguez's plan worked very well. Rodriguez pitched 6 2-3 solid innings, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and drove in two runs, and the Texas Rangers beat the Red Sox and their listless offense 3-1 on Thursday night. ''Really nice pitching by Wandy tonight,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
The Blue Jays haven't enjoyed many solid pitching performances this season. The right-hander snapped a two-start losing streak with a complete game, Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run home run and Toronto beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-4. ''Dickey was outstanding.'' Danny Valencia added a solo homer as the Blue Jays won for the second time in nine games.
DETROIT (AP) -- James McCann hasn't hit many homers in the major leagues. But when he has connected, he's done it with style.
The reigning NL Rookie of the Year retired his final 23 batters following a first-inning single, and Lucas Duda hit two long homers to nearly the same spot Thursday during the New York Mets' 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. In his latest stingy start at Citi Field, the only blemish was Matt Carpenter's clean single with one out in the first. John Mayberry Jr. put the slumping Mets lineup on the scoreboard with an RBI single in the fourth.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez doesn't regret calling out Milwaukee reliever Will Smith for breaking a rule that some pitchers might break every night. ''It was about as plain as it could be,'' Gonzalez said. You could see it in the dugout.'' Julio Teheran pitched seven strong innings and the Atlanta Braves took advantage of Smith's seventh-inning ejection for using rosin and sunscreen illegally in a 10-1 victory Thursday night.
Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith was ejected for having rosin and sunscreen on his right forearm in the seventh inning Thursday night of a 10-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Smith confirmed that he put the substance on his forearm before warming up in the bullpen on a brisk night. ''It was chilly and kind of windy,'' Smith said.
Madison Bumgarner acknowledged that hitting a home run off Clayton Kershaw was a little out of the ordinary. Bumgarner homered, pitched 6 1-3 solid innings and helped the San Francisco Giants shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the third straight day, 4-0 Thursday. ''He's the best pitcher in baseball,'' Bumgarner said.
Arruebarrena was suspended by the Los Angeles Dodgers for the remainder of the season on Thursday for what the team said was ''repeated failures to comply with his contract.'' Club officials declined further comment. The Dodgers designated him for assignment on Dec. 31, and when he cleared waivers he was sent outright to the team's Triple-A affiliate. The 25-year-old Cuban remained at extended spring training and did not play in any minor league games this year, when his deal calls for a $3 million salary.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he thinks the New York Yankees have grounds not to pay Alex Rodriguez a $6 million marketing bonus for tying Willie Mays for fourth place on the career home run list. When Rodriguez signed a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees in December 2007, the sides also agreed to a separate deal that called for $6 million each for up to five milestone accomplishments, payable within 15 days of designation by the team. The accomplishments were contemplated to be Rodriguez hitting home runs 660, 714, 755, 762 and 763.
New baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he understands why the Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins did not interview any minority candidates when they hired new managers this month. Then-Commissioner Bud Selig told teams in April 1999 they had to consider minorities when hiring a manager, GM, assistant GM, director of player development or director of scouting. Milwaukee replaced Ron Roenicke with Craig Counsell, and Miami general manager Dan Jennings took over from Mike Redmond.
Six hours after the scheduled time of the first pitch, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke with admiration about the way his players and the Seattle Mariners handled a tight game and a lengthy rain delay. ''It's a grind game for both teams,'' Showalter said. It's just so easy to give in.'' The Orioles and Mariners combined to use 13 pitchers Thursday in a duel that lasted 3 1/2 hours and ended with Baltimore escaping with a 5-4 victory.