The Reds announced late this afternoon that they have signed reliever Clay Hensley to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invite to spring training. Hensley posted a 4.62 ERA and 42/30 K/BB ratio over 50 2/3 innings last season out of the Giants’ bullpen. The 33-year-old right-hander actually had a 2.95 ERA as…
Today's Game: Baltimore Orioles (27-20) vs. Cleveland Indians (26-21), Progressive Field, Cleveland, 1:10 p.m.
Starting pitchers: Chris Tillman (6-1, 2.61) vs. Mike Clevinger (0-1, 8.71)
Keys to the Game:
Can Tillman keep his string of quality starts going? He has seven straight.
Can the Orioles shake off their sloppiness? They made four errors and allowed five stolen bases in Saturday's loss.
News and Notes:
The Orioles are 3-5 on their nine-game road trip.
Tillman is 4-2 with a 3.89 ERA in seven starts against Cleveland.
Current Indians are batting .226 against Tillman.
Matt Wieters is batting .441 (15-for-34) over his last eight games.
The Orioles have allowed 10 or more runs in three games, all started by Ubaldo Jimenez.
Clevinger has started just twice in the major leagues, and given up three home runs in 10 1/3 innings.
Capitals prospect Madison Bowey will not face further discipline after he was investigated for using a homophobic slur in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Finals on Friday.
In a series in which everything has been going right for the Hershey Bears, something went very wrong on Friday in Game 4 against the Toronto Marlies. Not only did Toronto win 5-0 to avoid a sweep, but Bowey was ejected from the game in the third period after a high elbow delivered to Toronto forward Kasperi Kapanen.
Madison Bowey hits Kasperi Kapanen up high. Kapanen got up under his own power. pic.twitter.com/QnubIp1TZI— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) May 28, 2016
There's no doubt about that one. Bowey comes in with his elbow high and nails Kapanen right in the head. The defenseman was assessed a five minute major and game misconduct for the hit.
It is not the hit that has garnered so much attention, however, but what happened afterwards.
Kapanen was slow to get up following the play, but was eventually able to stand under his own power. He and Bowey then began exchanging words. At one point, Bowey was caught on tape using what appeared to many to be a homophobic slur.
There was no audio to the video, but that was enough for Toronto to puruse further discipline for Bowey.
#Leafs source confirms they are reviewing game tape for possible slur Hershey's Bowey directed at Kapanen. Will pursue further discipline.— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) May 28, 2016
Bowey, however, was cleared by the AHL on Friday and will not be suspended for what he may or may not have said.
In the video, a linesman is skating with Bowey at the point in question. It seems likely that the linesman would have heard whatever Bowey may have said which would make for a simple AHL investigation.
There is precedent for supplemental discipline in matters such as these from the NHL. Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks was suspended one game and order to undergo sensitivity training after using a homophobic slur in Game 4 of Chicago's series against the St. Louis Blues.
Though the initial report by Rob Longley indicates the AHL was still reviewing the hit, with Game 5 set for Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., it seems unlikely at this point that the league will issue any last minute suspension.
Kapanen is reportedly day-to-day after receiving the hit. Hershey leads the series 3-1 and will advance to the Calder Cup Finals with a win on Sunday to face the Lake Erie Monsters.
On numerous occasions throughout Saturday night's disappointing start — four, to be exact — Gio Gonzalez found out first hand just how pesky the St. Louis Cardinals lineup can be.
"We knew they could hit," manager Dusty Baker said. "It's not that easy to hit with runners in scoring position."
Despite striking out the side in the first inning, Gonzalez had trouble finishing off the Red Birds in the following frame. He had three Cardinal hitters in two-strike, two-out situations, and they responded with a flurry: A Jedd Gyorko walk, an RBI single by Greg Garcia, and an RBI double by Matt Carpenter (which came after an RBI double from pitcher Adam Wainwright) to make it 4-0. And a few innings later, Gio was once again one strike away from escaping before allowing another RBI two-bagger, this time to Randal Grichuk to extend the lead to 6-2.
"That out pitch, we didn't have it today with two strikes," said catcher Jose Lobaton. "We needed that fastball in or that curveball in the dirt. And sometimes he threw some curveballs that really got in the dirt, and they didn't swing.....you're gonna find some good hitters, or good days for the hitters, and it's gonna happen, what happened today."
Indeed, Gonzalez' inability to put hitters away was the story of his night; five of the six earned runs he allowed came with two outs. The result was his shortest outing of the season at 4 2/3 innings.
"My biggest [disappointment] right now is how much work I’m giving my bullpen," he said afterward. "I can’t stand it.
"I’m a way better pitcher than what I’m showing out there. And it sucks that [the bullpen] guys are constantly picking up my mess. As a pitcher, I pride myself on being the guy that can go the distance and work his tail off."
Gonzalez has now allowed 13 runs over his last two starts, a troubling trend for someone that to this point was having a bounce-back campaign. In the last two outings alone, he's had his ERA rise from 1.93 to 3.57.
Of course, two poor starts does not a season make, and Gonzalez by and large has shown that he's an improved pitcher over what he was last year. That said, he'll have reclaim his good form sooner rather than later to quell any fears of a regression to 2015 Gio.
"Just continue to be strong mentally," Gonzalez said. "Just keep finding a way. Eventually it will tilt over and things will start to go my way again. And I think that’s all it is. I’ve got to be more aggressive, more positive on that mound. I can’t let it spiral out of control."