Sports MLB trying pre-tacked baseball prototype at Triple-A
Judge, Sánchez rally Yanks from 5-run deficit over Twins 6-5
NEW YORK (AP) — Down five runs in the third inning with a rookie on the mound, the New York Yankees saw their season spiraling out of control. Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez revived them with the type of win they had not put together in more than a year. Judge hit a tying three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning and Sánchez singled in the 10th to drive in Gleyber Torres on the day the infielder lost the shortstop job, lifting the Yankees over the Minnesota Twins 6-5 Monday. “It’s a roller coaster, but you got to enjoy the ride,” Judge said. “It’s not over yet.
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is experimenting with pre-tacked baseballs at some Triple-A games during the last stretch of the minor league season.
The test run could be a step toward updating the big league balls after the league cracked down midseason on the use of illegal sticky substances used by pitchers to improve grip. MLB confirmed the trial to The Associated Press on Thursday after it was initially reported by Baseball America.
MLB has been experimenting with tacky baseballs since at least 2016, when some where game-tested at the Arizona Fall League. Feedback from pitchers was generally unenthusiastic, but that was before the league upped its enforcement to prevent the use of long-used concoctions like a mix of sunscreen and rosin, as well as recent innovations like grip enhancers created for professional strongmen.
LEADING OFF: Key showdown at Fenway, Cards on 12G streak
A look at what's happening around the majors Friday: ___ WILD, WILD EAST Yankees ace Gerrit Cole starts the opener of a crucial three-game series at Fenway Park with the Red Sox two games ahead of New York for the top AL wild card. Boston has won seven straight to build a small cushion over the Yankees and Blue Jays. With New York closing the season against AL East foes Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay, Cole said Wednesday he is drawing inspiration down the stretch from a story he had been told recently about ancient warriors honing their warfare skills against elite fighters from neighboring cities to stay sharp.
Pitchers have complained that the current major league ball is slick and that the mud rubbed on it before games is inconsistent, sometimes becoming dry and powdery.
The prototypes used in Triple-A have a substance applied to them to create a bit of tackiness. The league hopes to find a ball that will be easier for pitchers to grip but won't allow them to enhance the spin rate of their pitches.
Only a few Triple-A teams will use the prototype balls over the final 10 games because MLB has limited supplies.
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Jake Seiner, The Associated Press
Braves, Brewers spurred to playoffs by bold midseason deals .
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Freddie Freeman and the Atlanta Braves left spring training with high hopes following three straight NL East titles. Then star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. tore the ACL in his right knee, and it fell on the front office to get underwhelming Atlanta the help it needed. The Braves hadn’t been above .500 all season when general manager Alex Anthopoulos essentially acquired an entirely new outfield at the trade deadline. Those moves helped Atlanta surge to another NL East crown and a Division Series matchup starting Friday with the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers, who benefited from their own roster adjustments.