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Roughnecks win first World Series title

The Calgary Roughnecks won their first PGBL Championship in an epic wild seven-game World Series over the Louisville Long Rifles, with Kyle Hendricks outdueling Max Scherzer in a 1-0 thriller in Game 7.

Marwin Gonzalez’s third-inning homer off Scherzer accounted for the only run in the finale, capping a series that opened with a wild 21-inning win by Louisville. Gonzalez hit .448 for the series to win MVP honors.

Calgary advanced to the finals by beating Vancouver in a four-game first round North League series and outlasting Ottawa through five games of the NLCS. Louisville won the South League pennant with playoff wins over Dublin and Oakland.

In the deciding game, Hendricks held the Rifles to three hits while striking out 11 in seven innings, while Scherzer had 10 Ks and scattered eight hits in 6 2/3.

After Adam Warren allowed a one-out single to Elvis Andrus in the eighth, Brandon Morrow got the final five outs for the Roughnecks with Jonathan Schoop lining out to right fielder Chris Owings to trigger the celebration at Minute Maid Park.

 

 

 

 

FIRST-TO-WORST-TO-FIRST FOR OAKLAND

The Oakland Athletes became the first club to clinch its 2018 postseason berth, wrapping up the Cactus Division title on Aug. 29.

Oakland locked up the title after Rhys Hoskins’ three-run first-inning homer led to a 6-5 win over Louisville. Coupled with Twin City’s 10-inning 7-6 loss to Dublin, the win erased the Athletes’ magic number as they improved to 89-41 and extended their lead over the Truckers to 34 games.

With the top record in the PGBL, Oakland is on pace to complete a complete bounce-back after falling from a league-best 123-39 record in 2016 to a league-worst mark of 54-109 a year ago.

The division title is the Athletes’ third in four seasons following a run of three straight last-place finishes. Oakland also posted the league’s best record in 2015 (116-46).

Martinez, big inning spark NL to All-Star rout

TORONTO – J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first inning and the North League erupted for seven runs in the seventh in a 10-1 victory in the PGBL All-Star Game at Nationals Park.

Martinez, the designated hitter from the Cleveland Tribe, earned MVP honors, scoring twice in addition to the two-run blast. The NL also got homers from Tribe teammate Bryce Harper and Ottawa shortstop Carlos Correa.

Calgary starter Yu Darvish allowed a run on two hits in two innings before five NL pitchers blanked the South the rest of the way. Ottawa’s Carlos Carrasco was credited with the win as North pitchers totaled 13 strikeouts.

Two batters after Brooklyn catcher Buster Posey hit a leadoff double off Dublin’s Jacob deGrom, Martinez tagged the first pitch he saw over the left field fence to stake the North to a 2-0 lead.

In the second, the SL cut the lead in half when Memphis’ Nolan Arenado hit a one-out triple off Darvish and scored on a sacrifice fly by Clydesdales shortstop Paul DeJong.

Harper hit a leadoff homer in the fourth off Louisville’s Max Scherzer, who was the opening day starter for the host Toronto Tigers before getting traded to the Long Rifles.

The NL then broke the game open in the seventh against Oakland’s Zack Greinke and Tijuana’s David Price. Grienke allowed a leadoff single to Brooklyn’s Lonnie Chisenhall and walked Pittsburgh’s Manny Machado before Correa drove a 1-0 pitch out to left to make it 6-1.

After Martinez drew a walk, Price relieved Greinke. Harper reached on an error by Long Rifles second baseman Jonathan Schoop and Martinez came hoome on Ottawa’s Justin Smoak single to left.

London’s Jose Altuve lined a double to the gap in right-center that scored Harper and Calgary’s Tommy Pham plated Smoak and Altuve with asingle to center.

The South’s only hit after the fourth came on a single by Dublin’s Jose Ramirez with two outs in the eighth, loading the bases after the Tigers’ Kevin Gausman walked the first two batters he saw before striking out a pair.

Gausman escaped the jam by getting Clydesdales catcher Kevan Smith to ground out. Tribe closer Roberto Osuna finished with a perfect ninth, striking out Chris Taylor of St. Louis and Louisville’s George Springer to end the game.

The NL improved to 10-7 in All-Star Game history (dating to 2002) with it’s eighth win in the last nine contests.

Box score

Darvish, deGrom tabbed to start All-Star Game

Traded for each other before the season, Dublin’s Jacob deGrom and Calgary’s Yu Darvish have been named the starting pitchers for the 2018 All-Star Game to be hosted by the Toronto Tigers at Nationals Park.

South League starter deGrom entered the All-Star break with a 10-2 mark and a sparkling 1.96 ERA for the Guinness, while NL pick Darvish owned a 13-4 mark with a 2.36 ERA.

Calgary acquired Darvish and NL starting third baseman Adrian Beltre along with two other players in a preseason deal with Dublin, with deGrom among a package of three players and four draft picks going to the Guinness.

With deGrom joined by teammate Stephen Strasburg on the SL staff, Dublin matched division rivals Louisville and St. Louis with five representatives apiece. Brandon Belt and Jose Ramirez were named as reserves to accompany starting catcher Willson Contreras.

Louisville’s four additions to starting second baseman Jonathan Schoop are outfielders George Springer and Corey Dickerson, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Max Scherzer. St. Louis will be represented by pitcher Chase Anderson, utility player Chris Taylor, catcher Kevan Smith and starting shortstop Paul DeJong.

League-leading Oakland added pitcher Zack Greinke to its group of four elected starters, while the other six SL teams each had one representative. Brandon Morrow was picked to represent Twin City, David Price for Tijuana, Luke Weaver for Compton and Cesar Hernandez for Flagstaff.

Ottawa and Cleveland each have four players on the NL squad. Pitchers Carlos Carrasco and David Robertson and first baseman Justin Smoak were added to the roster for the Argonauts, while the Tribe had closer Roberto Osuna and shortstop Jean Segura added to their two players voted to the lineup.

Darvish and Beltre are joined by outfielder Tommy Pham in giving Calgary three players on. Boston will also have three representatives with catcher Alex Avila and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes added to the bench.

Second baseman Jose Altuve makes London the only NL team with one All-Star. The host Tigers have Kevin Gausman and Josh Hader on the pitching staff while Pittsburgh’s Manny Machado and Cole Hamels were also among the additions.

Brooklyn outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall completes the NL bench while Vancouver’s Kenta Maeda rounds out the pitching staff.

SOUTH LEAGUE ALL-STARS
Pitchers
Jacob deGrom (SP), Dublin
Chase Anderson, St. Louis
Zack Greinke, Oakland
Brandon Morrow, Twin City
David Price, Tijuana
Max Scherzer, Louisville
Stephen Strasburg, Dublin
Luke Weaver, Compton

Reserves
Brandon Belt, Dublin
Corey Dickerson, Louisville
Cesar Hernandez, Flagstaff
Jose Ramirez, Dublin
Kevan Smith, St. Louis
George Springer, Louisville
Chris Taylor, St. Louis
Ryan Zimmerman, Louisville

Lineup
RF Avisail Garcia, Oakland
1B Joey Votto, Oakland
CF Aaron Judge, St. Louis
DH Jose Martinez, Las Vegas
2B Jonathan Schoop, Louisville
C Willson Contreras, Dublin
3B Nolan Arenado, Memphis
SS Paul DeJong, St. Louis
LF Rhys Hoskins, Oakland

NORTH LEAGUE ALL-STARS
Pitchers
Yu Darvish (SP), Calgary
Carlos Carrasco, Ottawa
Kevin Gausman, Toronto
Josh Hader, Toronto
Cole Hamels, Pittsburgh
Kenta Maeda, Vancouver
Roberto Osuna, Cleveland
David Robertson, Ottawa

Reserves
Jose Altuve, London
Alex Avila, Boston
Yoenis Cespedes, Boston
Lonnie Chisenhall, Brooklyn
Manny Machado, Pittsburgh
Tommy Pham, Calgary
Jean Segura, Cleveland
Justin Smoak, Ottawa

Lineup
C Buster Posey, Brooklyn
SS Carlos Correa, Ottawa
DH J.D. Martinez, Cleveland
LF Bryce Harper, Cleveland
1B Justin Bour, Boston
2B Daniel Murphy, Vancouver
CF Mike Trout, Chicago
LF Giancarlo Stanton, Chicago
3B Adrian Beltre, Calgary

Big bats dominate All-Star lineups

All the top sluggers and both league batting leaders were voted to the starting lineups for 2018 PGBL All-Star Game, with Cleveland’s J.D. Martinez, Oakland’s Avisail Garcia and Aaron Judge of St. Louis elected unanimously.

Martinez, who leads the PGBL in home runs (36) and RBIs (90), headlines a North League lineup that includes an outfield of the league’s other top-four homer leaders: Chicago’s Giancarlo Stanton (34) and Mike Trout (29) and Tribe teammate Bryce Harper (24).

The NL order also includes Calgary third baseman Adrian Beltre, who tops the league with a .331 average and will be making his seventh All-Star appearance.

Not to be outdone, the South boasts batting leader Garcia (.357) in an outfield that includes Judge (25 HR) and Oakland teammate Rhys Hoskins, who has a league-best 29 homers and is tied with Garcia with 79 RBIs.

Also representing the league-leading Athletes is first baseman Joey Votto, a triple crown threat (.350, 25 HR, 70 RBIs) who boasts a whopping 1.129 OPS. He joins Memphis third baseman Nolan Arenado as the only 2017 starters among the 18 players chosen.

The SL middle infield features Louisville’s Jonathan Schoop at second and Clydesdales rookie Paul DeJong at shortstop. Dublin’s Willson Contreras will handle the catching while Las Vegas DH Jose Martinez won a tight three-way race by one vote.

Winning the NL’s second base spot by one vote was Vancouver’s Daniel Murphy, whose 74 RBIs rank third behind Martinez and Stanton (79). His middle infield partner will be Ottawa’s Carlos Correa, who is back in the lineup after starting in 2016.

Brooklyn catcher Buster Posey, with an NL-best 109 hits, was elected for the third time in four years. Boston first baseman Justin Bour rounds out the lineup for the North, which will serve as the home team as the Toronto Tigers play host at Nationals Park.

2018 All-Star starters
SOUTH LEAGUE
C – Willson Contreras, Dublin
1B – Joey Votto, Oakland
2B – Jonathan Schoop, Louisville
SS – Paul DeJong, St. Louis
3B – Nolan Arenado, Memphis
OF – Aaron Judge, St. Louis*
OF – Avisail Garcia, Oakland*
OF – Rhys Hoskins, Oakland
DH – Jose Martinez, Las Vegas

NORTH LEAGUE
C – Buster Posey, Brooklyn
1B – Justin Bour, Boston
2B – Daniel Murphy, Vancouver
SS – Carlos Correa, Ottawa
3B – Adrian Beltre, Calgary
OF – Mike Trout, Chicago
OF – Giancarlo Stanton, Chicago
OF – Bryce Harper, Cleveland
DH – J.D. Martinez, Cleveland*

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