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Rangers vs. Mariners – Game Recap – May 16, 2018

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SEATTLE — The line drive off the bat of Seattle’s Jean Segura was estimated at 101 mph. As much as Texas starter Bartolo Colon tried to get his glove up and shift his body, there was no way he could avoid being struck.

After Colon picked up the loose ball and threw Segura out at first base, he laughed as the Rangers staff rushed to check on him.

“The important thing is we won the game and I was able to get the out,” Colon said through an interpreter. “He got me on the side. It was not in the middle. And I have a big belly so I can (handle) it.”

All kidding aside, Colon put together arguably his best performance of the season on Wednesday, allowing four hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings and giving the Rangers a 5-1 win over the Mariners. On the cusp of his 45th birthday, Colon (2-1) was excellent spotting his fastball and using his breaking pitches to keep Seattle off balance, a night after the Mariners scored nine runs.

“Everything was working. My curve, my fastball, my slider — everything was working,” Colon said.

It was the second time this season he pitched into the eighth, the previous against Houston when he was perfect through seven innings. Colon struck out two and threw 71 of 96 pitches for strikes.

“It’s unbelievable. He’s not tricking you. He just executes and gets the job done,” Seattle’s Kyle Seager said.

Offense was scarce for both teams. The Rangers took advantage of two key mistakes by Seattle in the ninth inning to earn a split of the brief series.

Delino DeShields gave Texas the lead with a two-out RBI double in the eighth inning that scored Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The Rangers added four more in the ninth, all after Ryon Healy‘s two-out error and two runs scoring on a wacky strikeout.

Ronald Guzman struck out swinging with the bases loaded and two outs, but catcher David Freitas couldn’t handle the pitch from Marc Rzepczynski. Jurickson Profar scored from third on the passed ball and Kiner-Falefa from second after Freitas made an unnecessary throw trying to get Guzman at first base.

The Rangers added two more runs — one due to the hustle of Shin-Soo Choo reaching on an infield hit — to cap the sloppy inning by Seattle.

“I threw a slider and (Freitas) was thinking fastball. I’ll just say that. We got crossed up and it ended up getting by him and cost us two runs,” Rzepczynski said.

Seager’s homer in the ninth was the extent of Seattle’s offense. The Mariners threatened in the eighth after Colon was lifted, but Jose Leclerc got Segura to pop out on the first pitch with runners on second and third.

Seattle starter Christian Bergman didn’t allow a hit until Kiner-Falefa reached on an infielder grounder in the fifth inning. Bergman allowed two hits in seven shutout innings making a spot start after being recalled from Triple-A. He was lifted to start the eighth inning after striking out five and throwing 90 pitches.

James Pazos (1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up two hits opening the eighth. It was his first run allowed since April 7.

POSITION SWITCH

Seattle manager Scott Servais said there’s a chance Dee Gordon could be moved to second base sometime this weekend. Gordon played center field again Wednesday but did pregame work for a second straight day at his old position.

ROSTER MOVE

To clear a spot for Bergman on the 25-man roster, right-handed reliever Eric Goeddel was designated for assignment by the Mariners. He is out of minor league options.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: Elvis Andrus will join the team in Chicago and may be able to resume baseball activities like fielding and playing catch. Andrus has been out since breaking his right elbow on April 12.

Mariners: Nelson Cruz was sore a day after getting hit by a pitch on his right foot and leaving a game early. Servais expects it will be a few days before Cruz is back in the lineup but didn’t believe a DL stint was needed.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (2-4) makes his 10th start as the Rangers open a series against the Chicago White Sox. Hamels has a 2.73 ERA in his past five starts.

Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (3-3) makes his ninth start of the season as the Mariners open a series against Detroit. Gonzales has thrown six innings in each of his last four starts, but took the loss in his last outing also against the Tigers.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw throw simulated game, nears return

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LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw is one step closer to a return with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kershaw pitched a four-inning simulated game Saturday, raising the possibility that he could be back in their rotation next week. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner has been on the disabled list nearly a month with left biceps tendinitis.

Asked if he should be able to go in five days, Kershaw said: “Yeah, I should be.”

Kershaw got up and down, mirroring game conditions, and pitched to Cody Bellinger, Chase Utley, Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez. Kershaw is 1-4 with a 2.86 ERA this season.

It’s not certain he’ll pitch in five days, when the Dodgers play Philadelphia in the finale of a 10-game homestand.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who watched the workout with Andrew Friedman, the team’s president of baseball operations, wants to see how Kershaw feels before determining when and where he will pitch next. Roberts had not yet talked to Kershaw before speaking with reporters.

“That’s really encouraging,” Roberts said after learning Kershaw said he should be ready to be back in the rotation. “For us, we’ve still got to talk through some things and make sure the right situation is for Kersh. A lot of it depends on how he feels (Sunday) and how things play out. Having him pitch today, feeling good coming off the mound, a lot of positives.”

Through this stint on the disabled list, Kershaw found himself examining his mechanics.

“You never should focus on mechanics when you’re competing. That’s what the in between is,” Kershaw said. “I’ve never really been a mechanics guy. The past few weeks I’ve been working on it a little bit. It’s probably the first time that I can remember that I really focused on it.”

Kershaw declined to explain what motivated him to focus on mechanics. The 30-year-old left-hander was positive about where he’s at now.

“It’s so hard to tell. Been working on little stuff here and there,” Kershaw said. “You start focusing on getting hitters out and you stop thinking about your mechanics. Start worrying about trying to get people out. Hopefully muscle memory is ingrained in there. Felt a little bit better today.”

Kershaw hadn’t felt as positive following his previous bullpen, but he was encouraged Saturday.

“You can’t simulate a big league game. All the things you do to prepare to pitch a big league game, you really don’t know where you’re at until you’re in one,” Kershaw said. “You do all you can to prepare. Ultimately, the only way to figure out if you’re ready or not is to face guys. I feel like I didn’t lose a whole lot from where I was but worked on a lot these last few weeks to try to get better and try to get healthy.”

The Dodgers, who were one win away from the World Series title last year, are below .500.

“Being on the DL is no fun. Thankful that it wasn’t too incredibly long,” Kershaw said. “Just to be able to get back out there. You don’t feel a part of the team a whole lot when you’re on the DL. It’s good to be out there and hopefully help a little bit.”

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Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia returns to lineup after knee surgery

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BOSTON — Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is back after being sidelined by offseason knee surgery.

The 2008 American League MVP and four-time All Star went 0-for-4 with a walk and scored in Boston’s 8-6 victory against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

He received a standing ovation when he came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the first. He flied out to right to end the inning.

“It was great to be back, a great win for us, and it was exciting,” he said. “I’ll never forget that first at-bat. That was pretty cool.”

The 34-year-old Pedroia admitted to some nervousness in the clubhouse before batting practice.

“Yeah, it’s been a long time, a lot of work put into to get to this point,” he said. “So, yeah, I’ll be a little nervous.”

Pedroia had cartilage-restoration surgery on his left knee seven months ago. He was not in Boston’s Opening Day lineup for the first time since 2007.

He batted sixth in his return to the Red Sox (36-16).

“I don’t want to break up the top two,” manager Alex Cora said. “I’m very comfortable with them the way they’re getting on base.

“I think that’s a good spot for him to have traffic in front of him.”

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Cleveland Indians place Andrew Miller on DL

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The Cleveland Indians have placed Andrew Miller on the 10-day disabled list, as the left-handed reliever deals with right knee issues that also marred his 2017 season.

Miller allowed three runs in less than an inning of an 11-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday. He has struggled since missing two weeks with a strained hamstring.

“I’m definitely not sharp,” Miller said after Friday’s game. “I wish I had the answers. I think there’s flashes of it, but it’s been a pretty big grind lately.”

A two-time All-Star, the 32-year-old left-hander was on the DL twice last season with patellar tendinitis in his right knee.

He was officially placed on the DL this time with right knee inflammation.

Right-hander Evan Marshall was recalled to fill the open roster spot.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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