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Cleveland COVID-19 outbreak expands to slugging first baseman Josh Naylor

Josh Naylor has been one of the Guardians' best hitters so far this season, batting .347 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 20 games.Quinn Harris/Getty

Cleveland Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor was added to the team’s COVID-19 injured list on Friday, the first player to be sidelined by the team’s recent outbreak.

“We’ve had dozens of tests over the last few days,” general manager Chris Antonetti said before Minnesota beat up Cleveland, 12-8. “We’ve been following the guidance of both MLB protocols and recommendations from our medical personnel to determine our testing.”

Cleveland’s game at the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday was postponed because of COVID-19 concerns, and the team was off Thursday. Pitching coach Carl Willis ran the team Friday night at Minnesota after manager Terry Francona was among several coaches placed in health and safety protocols.

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Naylor has been one of the team’s best hitters so far this season, batting .347 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 20 games. Under the current guidelines, Naylor will need to be out either 10 days from the day of symptom onset or after receiving two negative tests, per Antonetti. That means the members of Cleveland’s coaching staff who were sent home this week will not rejoin the team in Minnesota.

Francona, who has dealt with several health issues in recent years, is resting in Cleveland.

“He’s hopefully on the path to recovery,” Antonetti said.

Royce Lewis hit a grand slam for his first big-league homer, capping a nine-run fifth inning for the Twins. Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, and Gary Sánchez also homered for Minnesota, which was shut out in two of its three games against Houston.

Also Monday, the White Sox placed ace Lucas Giolito on the COVID-19 injured list. Giolito began experiencing mild symptoms Wednesday, a day after he pitched seven innings in a win over Cleveland, and the team hopes to have him pitch during its series at Kansas City next week.

Source: Trevor Bauer appeal to start May 23

Trevor Bauer’s arbitration appeal of his unprecedented two-year suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy has been scheduled to start May 23, a person familiar with the hearing told The Associated Press.

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The appeal will be heard by a three-person panel chaired by independent arbitrator Martin Scheinman. It will include one representative each from MLB and the players’ association.

Bauer was suspended by Commissioner Rob Manfred on April 29, a penalty that if unchanged will cost the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher just over $60 million of his $102 million, three-year contract. Bauer immediately said he would challenge it.

A San Diego woman, whom the pitcher had met through social media, has alleged Bauer beat and sexually abused her last year. She later sought but was denied a restraining order. Los Angeles prosecutors said in February there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman’s accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bauer, who hasn’t played since the allegations surfaced last summer and MLB began investigating, repeatedly has said that everything that happened between the two was consensual. Bauer also has sued the woman in federal court.

Two women from Ohio also have accused him of sexual misconduct.

Yankees keep swinging, stay hot

Giancarlo Stanton homered in his third consecutive game, Aaron Judge went deep for the second time in two nights, and the New York Yankees beat the White Sox, 10-4.

After connecting twice and driving in a career-high six runs in Thursday’s 15-7 win, Stanton smacked a two-run drive Friday in the first inning against Vince Velasquez (2-3). That propelled the Yankees to their 19th win in 22 games.

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Judge made it 6-0 when he hit a solo drive in the fourth for his major league-leading 12th home run. Josh Donaldson homered and drove in three runs, and Joey Gallo also went deep.

Gerrit Cole (3-0) lasted 6⅓ innings, allowing three runs and six hits. The righthander struck out nine and walked one, helping New York improve to a major league-best 24-8.

Rays keep Blue Jays reeling

Brandon Lowe hit a pair of triples and Manuel Margot had a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning, leading the Tampa Bay Rays over the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-2, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Lowe’s RBI triple capped a three-run eighth as the Rays sent Toronto to its fifth straight loss.

“We’re probably pressing,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “What I know from experience is that good hitters are going to hit, and you can’t panic about a good offense when you have 129 games left. It’s just that right now, because we’ve played so many close games, everything gets magnified because everybody is expecting our offense to be one of the best in baseball.”

The Rays broke a 2-2 tie with three straight hits off starter Kevin Gausman (3-2). Margot returned to the lineup after missing two games with a tight hamstring and extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his go-ahead single.

Andrew Kittredge (3-0) got the win in relief and Jason Adam pitched the ninth for his first major league save.

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Clayton Kershaw goes on injured list with hip inflammation

The Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the injured list with inflammation in a pelvic joint several hours before he was slated to face the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium. Walker Buehler started instead.

The 34-year-old Kershaw is off to an outstanding start to his 15th season with the Dodgers. The three-time NL Cy Young winner has 32 strikeouts and just three walks in his five starts since signing a $17 million, one-year deal in March to return to his only professional club. Kershaw (4-0, 1.80 ERA) also became the Dodgers’ franchise leader in strikeouts on April 30.

Kershaw has spent time on the injured list in each of the past seven seasons. He was bothered by left arm pain for the entire second half of last season, and he missed the Dodgers’ playoff run.

“I do believe it will be a brief stint on the IL,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Just looking at previous years of this, going through this similar situation, getting an epidural, and how his body responds to it.”

Buehler (4-1, 1.96 ERA) is making his fill-in start on normal rest because the Dodgers had an off day since his last start. He is also off to an outstanding start to the season with 32 strikeouts and a 1.06 WHIP.

Cabrera’s latest long ball gets Detroit past Baltimore

Miguel Cabrera doubled and hit career home run No. 504 to help the slumping Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles, 4-2. Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2) pitched 6⅔ scoreless innings, allowing five hits and walking four as the Tigers won for just the second time in 11 games. The Orioles left the bases loaded in each of the last three innings and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position . . . The San Diego Padres say no cancer was found when manager Bob Melvin had prostate surgery on Wednesday. Melvin, 60, was recovering at home after being released from the hospital, the team said. Also Friday, San Diego said it plans to use veteran second baseman Robinson Canó as a lefthanded bat off the bench after signing him to a major league contract. Canó was not in Friday’s lineup against Atlanta, but acting manager Ryan Christenson said he could get some occasional starts at second and designated hitter. “I’ve got a lot left in the tank,” the 39-year-old Canó said. “I know I can still play this game and just go out on top” . . . Kansas City outfielder Andrew Benintendi won his arbitration case, receiving $8.5 million instead of the Royals’ $7.3 million offer. The former Red Sox hit .276 with 17 homers and 73 RBIs last year, earning a Gold Glove in his first season with the Royals. Seattle second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier also won his case, the 2021 All-Star receiving $8 million rather the Mariners’ $6.7 million offer . . . Colorado outfielder Kris Bryant took swings in the cage for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore back nearly three weeks ago and is eyeing a minor league rehab assignment as soon as next week . . . Mets catcher James McCann will be sidelined for approximately six weeks after he broke the hamate bone in his left wrist, which will require surgery. Tomás Nido takes over as the starting catcher . . . Rather than make his Citi Field debut against the team that traded him, Jarred Kelenic was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma by Seattle after the team arrived in New York for a weekend series against the Mets. The 22-year-old outfielder was hitting .140 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 30 games . . . Righthander Kumar Rocker agreed to a contract with the independent Tri-City ValleyCats of Troy, N.Y., after failing to sign with the Mets after they made him the 10th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft. Rocker is eligible for this year’s amateur draft, which starts July 17, and his contract runs up until the draft.

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