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Posey, Pence, Ellsbury among 81 to strike deals

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Posey, Pence, Ellsbury among 81 to strike deals

NEW YORK (AP) NL MVP Buster Posey agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants, teammate Hunter Pence got a $13.8 million deal and Jacoby Ellsbury settled with the Boston Red Sox for $9 million on a busy Friday as players and teams swapped figures in salary arbitration.

Eighty-one players reached agreements, leaving just 36 headed toward hearings next month in Phoenix from among the 133 who filed for arbitration Tuesday. Most of the cases are expected to settle.

San Diego third baseman Chase Headley had the largest request and the biggest spread, asking for $10.3 million while the Padres offered $7,075,000.

Boston reliever Craig Breslow had the slimmest gap. He sought $2,375,000 - that was $50,000 more than the Red Sox offered.

Teams won five of seven cases decided by three-arbitrator panels last winter, their 14th winning record in 16 years. Overall, owners lead 291-214 since arbitration began in 1974.

Posey was eligible for arbitration for the first time after hitting a National League-leading .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBIs and helping the Giants win their second World Series title in three seasons. Posey, who made $615,000 last year, cannot become a free agent until after the 2016 World Series.

Obtained by San Francisco from Philadelphia on July 31, Pence can become a free agent this fall, as can Ellsbury.

Among those left in arbitration, Cincinnati has a major league-high six players remaining. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, acquired from Cleveland last month, asked for a raise from $4.9 million to $8 million, while the Reds offered $6.75 million. Right-hander Homer Bailey asked to be increased from $2.5 million to $5.8 million and was offered $4.75 million.

Mat Latos, eligible for arbitration for the first time, asked for a raise from $550,000 to $4.7 million after going 14-4 in his first season with the Reds. Cincinnati offered $4.15 million. The other Reds still in arbitration are pitchers Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon and outfielder Chris Heisey.

Two interesting settlements involved Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jason Vargas ($8.5 million) and Seattle Mariners first baseman-designated hitter Kendrys Morales ($5.25 million), who were swapped for each other last month.

Also reaching agreements were Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters ($5.5 million), Milwaukee closer John Axford ($5 million) and Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward ($3.65 million).

Only two players got multiyear deals Friday. Toronto catcher Josh Thole, acquired from the New York Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade, got a $2.5 million, two-year contract, and Washington reliever Craig Stammen agreed to a $2,225,000, two-year deal.

The high-spending Los Angeles Dodgers settled with catcher A.J. Ellis ($2 million) and right-hander Ronald Belisario ($1.45 million). That raised the Dodgers' projected payroll to $214.2 million after an adjustment for cash received this year as part of last summer's trade with the Boston Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.

Five players settled after the exchange of figures, with Boston and reliever Alfredo Aceves agreeing to a deal at the $2.65 million midpoint. Posey, Vargas, Washington reliever Tyler Clippard ($4 million) and Detroit reliever Phil Coke ($1.85 million) submitted the same figures as their teams, an indication they reached agreement shortly before the exchange and didn't finalize them until after the swap.

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Orioles' eight run lead not enough to hold off Yankees

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USA Today Sports

Orioles' eight run lead not enough to hold off Yankees

NEW YORK -- Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning and the New York Yankees completed a stunning rally from an eight-run deficit, outslugging the Baltimore Orioles 14-11 on Friday night.

In a game of home run derby, Starlin Castro tied it with a two-run drive that capped a three-run burst in the ninth off Brad Brach. Then in the 10th, Holliday hit the eighth home run of the evening -- five by the Yankees -- with one out off Jayson Aquino (1-1).

"I was all nervous with Adam Jones out there," Holliday said of the Orioles' Gold Glove center fielder. "Just enough to get it over the fence."

Down 9-1 in the sixth, the Yankees pulled off their biggest comeback since overcoming a 9-0 gap to beat Boston 15-9 in 2012.

On the first true spring-like day in New York, the ball was flying. Featured were all kinds of monster shots -- cleanup men Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Trumbo connected for grand slams, and Yankees fan favorite Aaron Judge homered twice, including a drive tracked at 119.4 mph off the bat, the hardest-hit ball since Statcast began counting in 2015.

Manny Machado launched a 470-foot homer, the longest in the majors this year, and Welington Castro also homered for Baltimore.

Aroldis Chapman (1-0) pitched the 10th as the Yankees won their third straight and tied Baltimore at 14-7 for the AL East lead.

Ellsbury hit his 100th career home run and first slam, tagging Vidal Nuno and drawing New York to 11-8 in the seventh.

Brach had started the season with 12 scoreless innings before the Yankees got him. A leadoff walk and a double by Holliday set up Ellsbury's grounder for his fifth RBI, and Castro followed with a shot far into the left-field seats.

Machado, who began the day batting just .205 with three home runs, also hit a two-run double and singled against CC Sabathia.

Trumbo was stuck in a worse rut, an 0-for-25 slide dropping him to .185. After grounding a soft single, he hit his fourth career slam, measured at 459 feet by Statcast and putting the Orioles up by eight runs in the sixth.

Trumbo led the majors with 47 home runs last year. This season, his only previous homer had been a game-ending shot on opening day.

Judge lined a shot into the Baltimore bullpen in the fifth. In the sixth, he hit his ninth homer, a two-run homer that made it 9-4.

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Orioles beat Rays in very weird baseball game

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USA Today Sports

Orioles beat Rays in very weird baseball game

BALTIMORE  -- First, Seth Smith circled the bases on a single.

Then, much later in a very strange game, he drove in the winning run without lifting the bat off his shoulder.

Smith drew a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk from Danny Farquhar to force in the deciding run with two outs in the 11th inning, and the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Wednesday night.

The 4-hour, 8-minute contest featured a play more appropriate for the Little League -- or the Big Top.

The wacky sequence began when Smith singled with Ryan Flaherty on first. After Kevin Kiermaier threw wildly to third base from center field, starting pitcher Alex Cobb retrieved the ball near the Tampa Bay dugout. Cobb's errant throw to third hit Flaherty in the helmet and went into left field, allowing both runners to race home.

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"I was trying to steal second and he put the ball in play and it turned into a circus," Flaherty said.

Smith stopped at every base until a Tampa Bay miscue enabled him to move up an additional 90 feet.

"It was just a bad play," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said. "We had the one mistake play with Cobb that cost us the two runs."

Manager Kevin Cash said: "That was a deflating inning. No doubt about it."

Tim Beckham hit two solo homers for the Tampa Bay, but he also made one of the Rays' three errors.

After Tampa Bay scored a run in the top of the 11th, the Orioles answered against closer Alex Colome (0-1). Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Jonathan Schoop, who hit a sacrifice fly. Flaherty walked to reload the bases, and Farquhar entered and threw four pitches -- all outside the strike zone.

Colome hadn't given up a run this season, but proved vulnerable in his second inning of work.

"I asked a lot of Alex. There's no doubt about that," Cash said. "I knew I was stretching him. But you want your best guy out there when the game's on the line."

Alec Asher (1-0) got the win for the Orioles despite giving up an RBI single to Jesus Sucre in the 11th.

Baltimore took two of three from Tampa Bay and has not lost a series this season.

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"Being down in extra innings and coming back to win is always good for the morale and moving forward," Smith said.

Dylan Bundy gave up two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings for Baltimore. He left with a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen gave it up.

Down 3-2 in the eighth, Tampa Bay used a double, a hit batter and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Darren O'Day entered and got a force out at the plate before an infield out by Brad Miller tied it.

Cobb allowed three runs, two earned, and eight hits in five innings. Though he pitched decently, his one poor throw in the field proved costly.

Beckham's drive leading off the third ended Bundy's run of consecutive scoreless innings at 15. It was the first home run allowed by Bundy in five starts.

Beckham connected again in the fifth to bring Tampa Bay within 3-2.