A look at what’s happening around baseball today:
Tony Gonsolin (9-0, 1.58) tries to match Houston’s Justin Verlander for the major league lead with his 10th victory when he starts for the Dodgers against the rival Padres. The 28-year-old right-hander is trying to cement a first All-Star selection after already setting career highs for wins, innings (74) and strikeouts (69).
He’ll oppose left-hander Blake Snell (0-5, 5.60), who allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his previous start against Philadelphia — a game in which he plunked star slugger Bryce Harper and broke his left thumb.
The former agent of Dodgers star Freddie Freeman says the Braves are presenting a “false narrative” about the first baseman’s parting with Atlanta in March.
“I will not stand by as the circumstances surrounding Freddie Freeman’s departure from Atlanta are mischaracterized,” agent Casey Close of Excel Sports Management said Thursday in a statement.
Close said the Braves have been perpetuating a story about the contract negotiations that is inaccurate and misleading.
“Part of that false narrative is the suggestion that I did not communicate a contract offer to the Freemans,” Close said in the statement. “To be clear, we communicated every offer that was made, as well as every communication Excel had with the Braves organization throughout the entire process.”
The A’s have cleared the first in a series of legal hurdles in order to break ground on a $12 billion waterfront ballpark project in Oakland.
The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission voted 23-2 on Thursday to reclassify a 56-acre terminal at the Port of Oakland as a mixed-use area where a new ballpark could be built.
The commission followed the recommendation of its staff, which found the team demonstrated removing the terminal from port use “would not detract from the region’s capability to handle the projected growth in cargo.”
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the approval moved the city closer to bringing “this bold vision into a beautiful reality and keep our A’s rooted in Oakland for generations to come.”
Houston’s Kyle Tucker nearly pulled off a baseball first Thursday: stealing home during a delay to fix a malfunctioning PitchCom device.
Tucker was narrowly thrown out after taking off from third while Yankees starter Luis Severino toyed with his earpiece in the third inning. With Yuli Gurriel at-bat, a frustrated Severino took off his cap and held the PitchCom speaker to his ear, apparently unable to hear instructions from catcher Jose Trevino.
Tucker saw Severino was distracted and tried to sneak home. Severino had the PitchCom earpiece in his right hand and had to quickly maneuver to get the baseball back in his throwing hand. He threw home while still holding his cap, and his throw narrowly beat Tucker and ended the inning.
The PitchCom digital pitch-calling devices, which transmit signals from the catcher to the pitcher, were introduced to the majors this season. The system was designed to halt sign stealing in the wake of the Astros’ 2017 scandal.
Houston begins a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night. Right-hander Cristian Javier (5-3, 2.73) makes his first start since going seven innings in a combined no-hitter against the Yankees.
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