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Kyle Schwarber having a blast as Nationals’ leadoff hitter, smashing 12th homer in 10 games

Kyle Schwarber celebrates his solo home run with Nationals teammate Juan Soto during the first inning Tuesday.
Kyle Schwarber celebrates his solo home run with Nationals teammate Juan Soto during the first inning Tuesday.Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Kyle Schwarber led off the first inning with his 12th home run in 10 games, and the Washington Nationals beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, Tuesday night to move above .500 for the first time since the opening week of the season.

Schwarber tied Albert Belle in 1995 for the most home runs over a 10-game span since at least 1901. He has 16 home runs in 18 games since being moved into the leadoff spot in the Nationals’ batting order on June 8.

Schwarber drove Rich Hill’s first pitch 434 feet off the upper-deck facade in right for his major league-leading seventh leadoff home run — all in June. Schwarber’s 16 home runs this month are the second-most in any June behind Sammy Sosa’s 20 in 1998.

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The 28-year-old Schwarber is batting .253 with 25 homers and 53 RBIs.

Juan Soto followed two batters later with a two-run drive, and Victor Robles added a solo homer in the second for a 4-0 lead off Hill (6-3).

Washington has won three straight and 12 of 15 and at 39-38 has a winning record for the first time since beating Atlanta on Opening Day.

Yankees GM: We stink ‘to high heavens’

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said his fourth-place ballclub is “as bad as you can be” right now, but he’s not placing the blame on manager Aaron Boone or the coaching staff.

“We suck right now,” Cashman declared Tuesday prior to New York’s 11-5 home win against the Angels — overcoming two more home runs by Shohei Ohtani.

The two-way Japanese sensation has connected 11 times in 13 games, and he’s expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday night when he takes his first turn on the Yankee Stadium mound.

The Yankees (41-38) are 7½ games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox. The Rays and Blue Jays are also ahead of New York.

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“Trying to knock ourselves out of that is obviously the effort,” Cashman said. “Until we get online and start flying high again, it’s going to look bad. It plays bad and it stinks to the high heavens.”

The team-wide struggles have prompted criticism of Boone and his staff, but Cashman isn’t pinning New York’s woes on them.

“This is not an Aaron Boone problem and this is not a coaching staff problem,” he said, adding, “They’re doing what they need to be doing. We’re just not getting the results.”

Cashman added that as the head of baseball operations, “that’s more on me than them.”

No no-no for Rockies’ Márquez

German Márquez came within three outs of what would have been a record-tying eighth no-hitter this season before allowing Ka’ai Tom’s single leading off the ninth inning in the Rockies’ 8-0 win over the visiting Pittsburgh.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan righthander faced one batter over the minimum. After Tom lined a knuckle-curve into right field. Michael Pérez then grounded into a double play and Adam Frazier grounded out.

Elías Díaz homered for the second time in two games, a solo shot in the three-run fifth.

Márquez, a 2018 Silver Slugger winner, doubled twice and drove in a run.

Márquez (7-6) struck out five and walked one, throwing 65 of 92 pitches for strikes in his fourth complete game and second shutout in 123 starts.

There have been seven no-hitters this season. The only season with eight was in 1884, the first year pitchers were allowed to throw overhand.

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There has been only one no-hitter at Coors Field, the Rockies’ hitter-friendly home since 1995. Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers no-hit the Rockies on Sept. 17, 1996, a 9-0 Los Angeles victory.

The only Rockies pitcher to throw a no-hitter is Ubaldo Jiménez against the Braves in Atlanta on April 17, 2010.

Police investigating claim against Bauer

Pasadena, Calif., police are investigating an allegation of assault against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer and an attorney for the accuser says the woman has obtained a protection order.

Major League Baseball also is looking into the allegation.

“The Dodgers were made aware of the allegations against Trevor Bauer late this afternoon and immediately contacted MLB, which will be handling this matter,” the team said in a statement during its game Tuesday night against San Francisco.

“The Dodgers take any allegations of this nature very seriously, but will have no further comment at this time.”

The protection order was obtained under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and was the result of an “assault that took place at the hands of Mr. Bauer” where the woman “suffered severe physical and emotional pain,” attorney Marc Garelick said.

Pasadena lieutenant Bill Grisafe confirmed that the department is looking into accusations, but provided no additional details.

TMZ, which first reported the story, said Bauer lives in Pasadena.

Jon Fetterolf, Bauer’s co-agent, disputed the allegations that Bauer committed any nonconsensual violence. He said Bauer met the woman in April, and the two had “a brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship initiated” by the woman.

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“Her basis for filing a protection order is nonexistent, fraudulent, and deliberately omits key facts, information, and her own relevant communications,” Fetterolf said.

Giants’ Santos banned 80 games

San Francisco Giants pitcher Gregory Santos was suspended 80 games without pay under Major League Baseball’s drug program Tuesday following a positive test for Stanozolol.

The 21-year-old righthander made his big league debut April 22 and was 0-2 with a 22.50 ERA in two innings over three games when he was optioned to the minors six days later.

He is 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA in 14 relief appearances for Triple A Sacramento.

Santos will lose about half his salary, which is $46,600 while in the minor leagues and the $570,500 minimum while in the major leagues.

He became the third player suspended this year under the major league program, after Miami pitcher Paul Campbell and Colorado third baseman Colton Werker.

Gregory Santos made the last of his three appearances with the Giants on April 27.
Gregory Santos made the last of his three appearances with the Giants on April 27.Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Blue Jays add Corey Dickerson

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired injured outfielder Corey Dickerson and reliever Adam Cimber in a trade with the Miami Marlins.

Miami obtained infielder Joe Panik and minor league reliever Andrew McInvale.

The 32-year-old Dickerson, who will be joining his sixth team in nine years in the majors, is sidelined with a bruised left foot and is expected to be in a walking boot for at least two more weeks. He is batting .260 with two homers and 14 RBIs.

“He’s going to be a good addition,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday before Toronto began a three-game series against the Mariners in Buffalo. “We have a righthanded lineup, and to add him to the lineup, a lefthanded bat like that, it’s going to help us a lot.”

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As part of the trade, the Blue Jays will send the Marlins: $2,652,884 in equal payments of $1,326,442 on Sept. 3 and Oct. 3.

That money will offset some of the salary difference. Dickerson is owed $4,387,097 from an $8.5 million salary, Cimber $447,419 from a $925,000 salary, and Panik $954,839 from a $1.85 million salary.

Montoyo is familiar with Dickerson from their time together in Tampa Bay. Dickerson was an All-Star for the Rays in 2017, when Montoyo was a bench coach.

The sidewinding Cimber has a 2.88 ERA in 33 games. He is expected to join the Blue Jays in Buffalo, Montoyo said.

Panik is batting .246 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

McInvale has a 2.55 ERA in 15 games at Single A and Double A.

White Sox activate Hamilton, but lose Lamb

The Chicago White Sox placed Jake Lamb on the 10-day injured list and reinstated fellow outfielder Billy Hamilton from the IL.

The AL Central-leading White Sox also recalled first baseman Gavin Sheets from Triple A Charlotte and optioned outfielder Luis González to their top farm club.

AL MVP José Abreu was in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against Minnesota after the first baseman was hit on his left knee by a pitch Sunday. Manager Tony La Russa said Abreu ran without a limp earlier in the day.

But third baseman Yoán Moncada was sidelined by a “barking” right shoulder, according to La Russa.

The 25-year-old Sheets, a second-round pick in the 2017 amateur draft, also was in the lineup for the series opener against the Twins, playing right field and batting seventh in his big league debut. He was with the White Sox for a couple of days earlier this month, but did not get into a game.

The 6-foot-5-inch Sheets batted .292 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in 41 games with Charlotte. Sheets’s father, Larry, played for Baltimore, Detroit, and Seattle during eight years in the majors.

The White Sox also announced center fielder Luis Robert has been cleared to increase his level of baseball activities at the team’s complex in Arizona. Robert tore his right hip flexor May 2. The move means Robert could be cleared for a minor league rehab assignment in approximately four weeks. There is no timetable for his return to the majors.

The 30-year-old Lamb has a strained right quadriceps. He is batting .224 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 31 games in his first season with Chicago.

Hamilton was placed on the IL on June 6 with a strained right oblique. He was hitting .217 with 2 homers, 10 RBIs, and 5 steals in 36 games for the AL Central leaders.

Tigers to play two in Cleveland

The Tigers and Indians stopped before they started.

Following a lengthy delay before the first pitch, Tuesday night’s game in Cleveland was postponed by rain.

Both starting pitchers warmed up in the outfield bullpens and it appeared the second game of the series between the AL Central teams was set to start on time when the grounds crew brought out the tarp just minutes ahead of the first pitch.

Only a light rain came down in Progressive Field before it was officially called after an 87-minute delay, triggering boos from disappointed fans.

The game was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader Wednesday, two seven-inning games starting at 4 p.m. The weather forecast, however, was not very promising.

The family of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs filed lawsuits in Texas and California charging the team and two former employees with negligence in his drug-related death two years ago.

The lawsuits — filed by Skaggs’s parents in Texas and his wife in California — name the Angels organization as well as former Los Angeles communications directors Tim Mead and Eric Kay as defendants. Neither complaint specified how much money the family is seeking.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his suburban Dallas hotel room on July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers.

Kay was indicted by a federal grand jury in October on drug charges for allegedly providing Skaggs with the drugs that caused his overdose death.

Kay was charged with drug distribution and drug conspiracy in Skaggs’s overdose death, according to the indictment in Fort Worth, Texas. The charges carry a maximum of a life sentence and 20 years in prison, respectively. His trial is set to begin Aug. 16.

A coroner’s report said Skaggs had choked to death on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the drugs fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, which Kay was accused of providing.

Kay was the Angels’ director of communications, and he served as their public relations contact on many road trips. He was placed on leave shortly after Skaggs’s death, and he never returned to the team.

Mead was Kay’s boss, and the lawsuits allege that Mead knew about Kay’s issues with drug addiction, including that he was distributing drugs to players.

“In spite of this knowledge, the Angels continued to allow Kay to have unrestricted access to the players and even permitted him to accompany the team when it traveled for away games,” the suit says.

Mead’s attorney Eric D. Vandevelde denied the allegations.

“Before Tyler Skaggs’s tragic death, Tim Mead was not aware, informed, or had any knowledge whatsoever that Tyler may have used opioids, or that Eric Kay or any Angels employee had ever provided opioids to any player. Any statement to the contrary is reckless and false,” Vandevelde said in a statement.

Mead left the Angels in April 2019 to become President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Mead left the Hall in May 2021, saying in a statement that “these last 22 months have been challenging in maintaining my responsibilities.”

Team officials have said they had not been aware that Skaggs was an opioids user and didn’t know any employees were providing drugs to players.

Skaggs’s parents, Debbie Hetman and Darrell Skaggs, filed their suit in Tarrant County District Court in Fort Worth, Texas. His wife, Carli Skaggs, filed her complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

“As you might expect, the decision to file these complaints has been a very difficult one for Tyler’s parents and his wife,” said the family’s attorney Rusty Hardin. “Nothing will ease the pain and heartache of losing their only child and, for Carli, her husband and soulmate. But they want to get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s tragic, untimely and completely avoidable death, and to hold the individuals and entities — including the Angels — accountable for the actions that contributed to it.”