Desperate Phillies trade for new centerfielder

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Desperate Phillies trade for new centerfielder

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Phillies filled their biggest need right before the winter meetings ended, acquiring center fielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May on Thursday.The 24-year-old Revere is expected to be Philadelphia's answer in center. He batted .294 with 40 stolen bases in 124 games last season."Ben is an outstanding, young, controllable center fielder who fits nicely with our club," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.The Phillies were seeking an everyday center fielder after trading two-time All-Star Shane Victorino last July. They pursued free agents B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan before turning to the trade route. Upton left Tampa Bay for a 75 million, five-year deal with Atlanta. Pagan got a 40 million, four-year deal to stay in San Francisco.Michael Bourn and Josh Hamilton drew Philadelphia's interest. Both All-Stars are still free agents and expected to command significant contracts.Desperate to improve their pitching, the Twins have traded two center fielders in a week. They sent Denard Span to Washington for minor league right-hander Alex Meyer. Before acquiring Worley, left-hander Scott Diamond was Minnesota's only starter assured of a spot in the 2013 rotation.Darin Mastroianni is expected to get a chance to start in center for the Twins He hit .252 in 163 at-bats last season. Aaron Hicks, the team's first-round draft pick in 2008, could be the long-term solution. Hicks finished the season in Double-A, hitting .286 with 13 homers, 61 RBIs, 11 triples, 32 steals and a .384 on-base percentage in 129 games for the New Britain Rock Cats. Prospect Joe Benson also will be in the mix after an injury-ruined season in the minors."They had a lot of interest in a center fielder, and they had some pitching they were willing to give up," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said.Ryan acknowledged trading both Span and Revere was "a risk." But he said Benson, Hicks and Mastroianni are all "pure center fielders" who are capable of handling the defensive part of the job."We don't know quite yet about whether they're ready offensively, but we're going to find out," Ryan said.In many ways, Revere is a younger, cheaper version of Bourn, who was drafted by Philadelphia and traded to Houston for Brad Lidge before the 2008 season when the Phillies won the World Series.Both are speedy, small and left-handed hitters. Revere is listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, two inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter than Bourn.Bourn had a .261 average, .325 on-base percentage, 61 extra-base hits and stole 102 bases in his first two full seasons -- both with the Astros. Revere had a .281 average, .322 on-base percentage, 33 extra-base hits and 74 steals in his first two full seasons. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is bat control. Bourn struck out 251 times to only 100 for Revere.A former first-round pick by the Twins, Revere is a .278 career hitter with 64 RBIs in his two-plus seasons with Minnesota. He has zero home runs in the majors in 989 at-bats and only five in 2,573 professional at-bats.Revere hit .314 against left-handed pitchers last year, had 37 infield hits and six triples. His eight outfield assists led the Twins. Revere made 126 career starts in center field, 84 in right field and 19 in left field.Worley was 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA last year after going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA as a rookie in 2011, helping the Phillies win their fifth straight NL East title. He had elbow surgery in September, but is expected to be ready for spring training.Worley became a fan favorite his first season in Philadelphia. He stood out as much for his quirky look -- he had a Mohawk haircut and wears glasses -- as he did for his strong performance on the mound that helped him finish third in NL Rookie of the Year voting.Worley had a 5.80 ERA in his last 11 starts before he went on the disabled list. The Phillies now will likely look for another starter in free agency or through a trade. They still have Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee as the top three. Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Cloyd finished last season in the rotation.May was 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA at Double-A Reading. He was Philadelphia's top prospect before his so-so season.The Phillies finished 81-81 in 2012, ending their string of postseason appearances at five. They still have to fill several needs, including another starting outfielder and a third baseman.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

Remember that infield hit by Jonathan Villar of the Brewers off Craig Kimbrel on May 11 in Milwaukee?

Don't worry, nobody does. That's the last hit off the Red Sox closer. That's right. One hit this month.

How dominant has Kimbrel been? Going into Saturday, right-handed hitters don't have a hit off him in their past 39 at-bats. Opponents are hitting .083 against him. Move the decimal point and 0.83 happens to be his season ERA, too, to go with 13 saves. 

Here's more via @SoxNotes:

Kimbrel, 28, has been one of baseball's best closers for years with the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres. His first year in Boston last season was solid with 31 saves and a 3.40 ERA, but his walks climbed (30 total and 5.1 per 9 innings, the second-highest totals of his career). He also struggled in non-save situations.

There's been no struggling lately. The last run Kimbrel gave up was a home run by Kendrys Morales of the Blue Jays in the ninth inning on April 20 in Toronto that tied the score at 1 in a game won by the Red Sox 4-1 in 10. Kimbrel got the win and his only blown save of the season.

His three-out save Friday night was his first outing without a strikeout since a one-out save April 23. That followed his four-strikeout inning Thursday night.