Joey Votto’s status in limbo for World Baseball Classic

Joey Votto’s status in limbo for World Baseball Classic

Joey Votto is hoping to play for Team Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but he underwent knee surgery last summer and must pass a physical for insurance purposes before he’s given the go-ahead. This according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. “We have every reason to believe there will be no issue whatsoever,” Team…

Orioles fall to Mookie Betts' three homers and Red Sox

oriolescutin530refframe_1.jpg

Orioles fall to Mookie Betts' three homers and Red Sox

BALTIMORE—Mookie Betts was way too much for the Orioles on Tuesday night. 

The Boston Red Sox right fielder slugged three home runs, driving in five runs as Boston beat the Orioles 6-2 before 17,664 at Oriole Park. 

Boston (32-20) has won the first two games of the four-game series and leads the Orioles (28-22) by three in the AL East. 

It was the first three home run night of Betts’ career, and the first time an opponent had hit three in Baltimore since Ryan Zimmerman did it on May 29, 2013. 

Betts, who now has 12 home runs this season, hit two off Kevin Gausman and the third off Dylan Bundy. 

Gausman (0-3) allowed home runs to the first two Boston batters, Betts and Dustin Pedroia. 

It was the first time an Orioles pitcher had allowed two home runs to start a game since June 14, 2006 when Rodrigo Lopez did it in Toronto, and it hadn’t been done at home in 20 years. 

Betts hit a three-run home run, his 11th in the second inning, and Gausman was abruptly behind 5-0. 

Eduardo Rodriguez, who the Orioles traded for Andrew Miller in July 2014, started his first game of 2016. Rodriguez (1-0), who had been out with a knee injury, gave up a run on a single to Joey Rickard in the third and a two-out double by Nolan Reimold. 

Manny Machado nearly drove in Reimold, but his long fly ball to deep center was caught by Boston center fielder Chris Young, whose leap robbed Machado of at least a double—and maybe more. 

Paul Janish led off the fifth with a double to right and scored on Adam Jones’ single to cut Boston’s lead to 5-2. 

Gausman threw 113 pitches, the most he’s thrown in his career, and managed to make it through six innings. He didn’t allow a hit in his final 3 1/3 innings. 

Bundy came on to start the seventh, and with one out, Betts hit his third home run.

Rodriguez allowed two runs on six hits in six innings. Robbie Ross, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel combined for three shutout innings. 

NOTES: Yovani Gallardo will start the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader at Frederick. Game time is 5 p.m. … Joe Kelly (2-0, 6.30) faces Mike Wright (2-3, 5.05) on Wednesday night.  
 

Ross dominates, Nats hit four homers in win over Phillies

natscutin530refframe_1.jpg

Ross dominates, Nats hit four homers in win over Phillies

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

How it happened: Daniel Murphy wasn't signed by the Nationals to be a home run hitter, but that's exactly what he's become through two months of the 2016 season. And after his power surge last October, maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Murphy has looked like a completely different player since late last fall and the Nats are now gladly reaping the benefits.

Murphy homered for the second straight night on Tuesday in the Nationals' 5-1 win over the Phillies. That capped off the best month of his career and one of the best months in franchise history.

Jayson Werth, Danny Espinosa and Stephen Drew also homered, and Joe Ross turned in seven strong innings as the Nationals moved to 4-4 against the Phillies on the season.

What it means: Winners of three straight, the Nationals moved to 32-21 on the season Tuesday night. They now have a chance on Wednesday to win four in a row for the first time since April 29-May 2. They can also get their first sweep since they beat the Cardinals three times in a row April 29-May 1. A sweep of the Phillies would put them 12 games above .500 for the first time this season.

Danny Ballgame does it again: Murphy's homer was his ninth of the season and his seventh in the month of May alone. The only time Murphy has hit seven homers in one month was last October during his postseason tear with the Mets. Murphy is now on pace to club 27 home runs this season. Over his last 81 games played - including the 2015 postseason - Murphy has hit 20 homers, 59 RBI and a .366 batting average. That's not quite his .394 average for this year, but it's pretty darn good for what equates to half an MLB season.

Murphy ties franchise record: Murphy also reached on a single in the eighth for his 47th hit in the month of May. That tied a Nats/Expos franchise record for hits in a month. Al Oliver did it in August of 1982 and Marquis Grissom accomplished the feat in June of 1994, both with the Expos of course. Murphy now has 26 multi-hit games in 51 total outings this season. He gets multi-hit games more often than he doesn't. Murphy, by the way, is now batting .397 and we're officially two months into the season.

Ross keeps rolling: Ross was dominant through seven innings of one run ball with three hits and two walks allowed. The right-hander now has a 2.37 ERA on the season, which is best on the Nats and 10th-lowest in the majors. This was the second straight outing for Ross where he went seven innings and only allowed one run. The lone score the Phillies got off him was on an RBI triple by Cesar Hernandez in the third. Hernandez scored Lough all the way from first and it was on a line drive to right-center that may have been fielded by Ben Revere if the Nats had not been in an outfield shift. 

Werth also homers: Werth hit his eighth homer of the season and his second in the last three games. It was a solo shot that put the Nationals up 1-0 in the first inning. It was Werth's second homer off Nola, as he also got him on Sept. 14 of last year. 

Up next: The Nationals and Phillies close their three-game series with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch on Wednesday night. Max Scherzer (5-4, 4.05) will get the start for the Nats opposite Phillies lefty Adam Morgan (1-3, 6.67).

Boston's Mookie Betts hits three home runs against Orioles

showalter052316orsulakrefframe_1.jpg

Boston's Mookie Betts hits three home runs against Orioles

BALTIMORE—Mookie Betts hit three home runs in Tuesday night’s game against the Orioles. 

The Boston Red Sox right fielder led off the game with his 10th home run off Kevin Gausman, and hit a three-run shot in the second inning. 

With one out in the seventh, Betts hit his third home run of the night off Dylan Bundy. 

It was Betts’ first three-homer game of his career, and the first Orioles opponent to hit three in a game since Ryan Zimmerman on May 29, 2013. 

Josh Hamilton hit four in a game against the Orioles on May 8, 2012.

RELATED: MACHADO, TRUMBO LEADERS IN FIRST ALL-STAR VOTING