Astros ex­er­cise Baker’s op­tion

Chicago Sun-Times - - BASEBALL -

The Astros on Tues­day picked up the op­tion for the 2021 sea­son on man­ager Dusty Baker’s con­tract.

Baker was hired in Jan­uary to re­place AJ Hinch, who was fired after he and gen­eral man­ager Jeff Luh­now ini­tially were sus­pended for a year by Ma­jor League Base­ball for their roles in the Astros’ sign-steal­ing scandal. Luh­now also was fired.

Baker, 71, is in his 23rd sea­son as a man­ager, in­clud­ing four with the Cubs.

‘‘I’ve been a lame-duck man­ager prob­a­bly four or five times,’’ Baker said. ‘‘I was one of the lamest ducks walk­ing around . . . . This is the best that I’ve been treated in quite a while.’’

On the field

The benches cleared dur­ing the sixth in­ning at Minute Maid Park after Dodgers re­liever Joe Kelly threw a pitch be­hind Astros third base­man Alex Breg­man, then threw an­other over Astros short­stop Car­los Cor­rea’s head. After strik­ing out Cor­rea, Kelly stuck his tongue out and made a face in his di­rec­tion, lead­ing to the benches emp­ty­ing and lots of yelling but no phys­i­cal con­tact.

It was the first game be­tween the teams since the Astros beat the Dodgers in the World Se­ries to cap a 2017 sea­son in which they later were found to have cheated by steal­ing signs.

Adam Fra­zier hit a tiebreak­ing two-run home run in the eighth in­ning, and the Pirates ral­lied from a four-run deficit to de­feat the vis­it­ing Brew­ers 8-6.

This and that

The Car­di­nals said right-han­der Miles Miko­las will have surgery to re­pair the flexor ten­don in his pitch­ing arm and will miss the sea­son. Miko­las, who was ex­pected to make his sea­son de­but Wed­nes­day against the Twins, is ex­pected to be back at full strength for spring train­ing next sea­son.

The Rangers put right-han­der Corey Klu­ber on the 45-day dis­abled list with a torn mus­cle in the back of his right shoul­der suf­fered while pitch­ing his first in­ning with the team Sun­day. The move likely will keep Klu­ber out for the sea­son.

AP

The Dodgers’ Joe Kelly and the Astros’ Car­los Cor­rea ex­change words Tues­day, emp­ty­ing the benches in Hous­ton.

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