BASEBALL IN BRIEF
Nats get Madson and Doolittle from A’s
Looking to fortify a bullpen that has blown more than one-third of its save chances, the Washington Nationals acquired relievers Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Oakland Athletics for right-hander Blake Treinen and a pair of prospects. Left-hander Jesus Luzardo and infielder Sheldon Neuse were sent to Oakland as part of Sunday’s Major League Baseball deal. A 36-year-old right-hander, Madson has a 2.06 ERA and is seventh among relievers in hits plus walks per inning at 0.79. He has not allowed any of the seven inherited runners to score in his past 13 appearances and has held opponents to a .188 batting average. Doolittle is a 30-year-old left-hander who has held lefthanded batters hitless in 23 at-bats this year with 12 strikeouts and no walks. He is 1-0 with three saves, a 3.38 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. National League East-leading Washington has a strong rotation led by Max Scherzer (11-5), Stephen Strasburg (9-3) and Gio Gonzalez (8-4) but has converted just 22 of 36 save chances. Treinen, 29, started the season as Washington’s closer and is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in 37 relief appearances.
Farrell says Sox will file formal protest
Red Sox manager John Farrell says Boston will move forward with a formal protest over the lack of an interference call in a 4-1, 16-inning loss to the New York Yankees. Holliday walked leading of the 11th Saturday and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a grounder to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to second for a forceout. Holliday retreated toward first and slid into the bag as shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ throw arrived. Moreland wasn’t able to reach the ball, which hit Ellsbury and bounced into foul territory. Farrell argued for an interference call, but umpires allowed Ellsbury to stay on first.
Dodgers win ninth straight game
Justin Turner homered and singled to increase his batting average to .374, and the Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to nine games Sunday by beating the Miami Marlins, 3-2, in National League baseball action. Five Los Angeles pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts with no walks. Kenley Jansen got the final four outs for his 23rd save in as many chances. The Dodgers (64-29) climbed 35 games above .500 for the first time since 1977 by completing their 11th sweep of the year, most in the majors. They’ve won 29 of their past 33 games and have the best record in the big leagues.
Quintana dazzles in Cubs debut
Jose Quintana dazzled in his debut for the Chicago Cubs, striking out a season-high 12 in seven sharp innings to beat the Baltimore Orioles, 8-0, in interleague baseball play Sunday for a three-game sweep. Acquired by the World Series champions during the allstar break from the Chicago White Sox for a playoff push, the lefty ace allowed three hits, walked none and joined Matt Garza as the only pitchers in Cubs history to fan 12 in their debut. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered to help the Cubs move over .500 for the first time since June 29.
Sabathia pitches Yankees over Red Sox
CC Sabathia (8-3) allowed two hits over six innings, Didi Gregorius hit a solo home run and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-0, in American League baseball action Sunday in the opener of a daynight doubleheader. The Yankees won their second straight against the AL East leaders and closed within 2½ games of the Red Sox, a day after New York won 4-1 over 16 innings and five hours and 50 minutes.
Fiers strikes out 11 as Astros beat Twins
Mike Fiers struck out a season-high 11 over seven strong innings and Nori Aoki had two hits and two RBIs to help the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins, 5-3, in American League baseball action Sunday. The AL West leaders took two of three from the Twins coming out of the all-star break. Fiers (6-4) allowed two runs on four hits and no walks.
Desmond return sparks Rockies to rout
Ian Desmond provided an instant spark for the slumping Rockies in his return from the disabled list, and Nolan Arenado hit one of Colorado’s three homers Sunday during a 13-4 rout of Steven Matz and the New York Mets in National League baseball play. Charlie Blackmon hit an inside-the-park homer and Gerardo Parra also went deep to help the Rockies win for only the sixth time in 21 games. Despite the recent slide, Colorado began the day with a 5½-game lead in the race for the second NL wild card.
Cron’s homer sends Angels over Rays
Pinch-hitter C.J. Cron connected for a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Angels escaped a jam in the ninth to hold off the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, in American League baseball play Sunday. Trailing 4-2, the Rays scored once in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out. Bud Norris got Tim Beckham to ground into a double-play for his 14th save, ending the Rays’ four-game winning streak.