AROUND THE HORN

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

Twelve years af­ter the Padres made the short­stop the No. 1 over­all pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, Matt Bush made the Ma­jors — as a re­lief pitcher for the Rangers — on May 13. Bush pitched a per­fect ninth in a 5–0 loss to Toronto and two days later got his first win over the Jays. This time a year ago, Bush was in prison af­ter hit­ting 72-year-old mo­tor­cy­clist Tony Tr­u­fano in March 2012 and flee­ing the scene. Bush was charged with his third DUI but says he’s been sober since. He was banned from driv­ing ex­cept to and from his job at Golden Cor­ral in Jack­sonville, Fla., and the Rangers signed him af­ter a try­out in the park­ing lot there in De­cem­ber. Bush im­pressed Texas in spring train­ing. …

Bush was also at the cen­ter of a fight be­tween the two teams af­ter he hit Jose Bautista in the el­bow with a 96 MPH fast­ball in the eighth in­ning on May 15. The Rangers were still an­gry about Bautista’s home run and sub­se­quent stare-down of pitcher Sam Dyson in a play­off game on Oct. 14 last year. Bautista then slid hard into Texas sec­ond base­man Rougned Odor, who shoved Bautista and then landed a punch to the Toronto slug­ger’s face mo­ments later. In the bot­tom of the in­ning, Jesse Chavez re­tal­i­ated by hit­ting Prince Fielder in the leg, emp­ty­ing the benches again. …

The Yan­kees’ Car­los Bel­tran blasted his 400th home run off White Sox re­liever Zach Duke. Only 54 play­ers have hit 400 home runs; Bel­tran is just the fifth to do that and also ex­ceed 300 steals. …

May 13 was a big day for Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling. He earned his first MLB win and also got his first big-league hit, which came off his for­mer Texas A&M room­mate, Michael Wacha. …

Stripling’s team­mate, Clay­ton Ker­shaw, leads MLB with 77 strike­outs through Week 6 and ranks fifth with a 1.74 ERA. The lefty has taken has game to a new level: he’s walked only four hit­ters for an in­cred­i­ble 19.25 strike­out-to-walk ra­tio. …

MLB launched its in­au­gu­ral “Play Ball” week­end, as chil­dren across the coun­try were al­lowed to take the field at var­i­ous ball­parks and in­ter­act with play­ers to vary­ing de­grees. It’s part of MLB’s ini­tia­tive de­signed to en­cour­age youth par­tic­i­pa­tion in baseball and soft­ball.

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