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le: April 26, 2019, 04:56

WEST PALM BEACH , Fla. (AP) — The Washington Nationals are counting on Tony Sipp to give them something they think will matter a lot in the NL East: a lefty reliever to go after lefty hitters in late-game situations.Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Wednesday that the team and Sipp agreed in principle to a deal, pending the successful completion of a physical exam.Rizzo did not disclose the financial terms, but a person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press that Sipp is guaranteed $1.25 million and the agreement includes a mutual option for 2020. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized.“We think he’s a really good value for us. It was time for him to sign, and we have opportunities for him. This is one of the places he wanted to be, because he’s got a chance to win and he’s been used to that,” Rizzo said. “He was a guy that we were monitoring.”Sipp would get a $1 million salary this year, and the contract includes a $2.5 million mutual option for next year, with a $250,000 buyout. There are not any performance bonuses.This move gives Washington’s rebuilt bullpen someone to use in a key spot against left-handed batters — such as Bryce Harper, the former Nationals slugger who joined the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent for $330 million over 13 seasons. Sipp and Harper have never faced each other.Other key lefty bats in the division include Freddie Freeman with the Atlanta Braves, and Robinson Cano with the New York Mets.“You can’t have enough lefty specialists,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “You really can’t.”The Nationals were in the market for a left-handed reliever after releasing Sammy Solis last weekend.Solis agreed to a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.“They really want that lefty matchup guy and I think you look around our division now and each team really has at least one or two big (lefty hitters),” Nationals closer Sean Doolittle said. “Unfortunately, he is going to have his work cut out for him. Welcome to the NL East. Here’s Harp. Here’s Freeman. Here’s Cano.”The 35-year-old Sipp is entering his 11th season.He has a 25-20 career record with a 3.67 ERA and 513 strikeouts in 482 2/3 innings spanning 580 appearances for Cleveland, Arizona and Houston, all in relief.Last season with the Astros Mike Piazza Jersey , Sipp was 3-1 with a 1.86 ERA, holding lefty hitters to a .191 batting average. That was his final season of an $18 million, three-year contract.“I think that he balances our bullpen out. He’s had success in big moments. He’s been in the playoffs and had success. I think that, not only with our division but just in general, I think he’s a sound relief pitcher,” Rizzo said. “And he gets righties out, too. Let’s not forget that.”Notes: The Nationals optioned RHP Austin Adams to Triple-A Fresno and reassigned five players to minor league camp: INF Luis Garcia, INF-OF Brandon Snyder, INF Matt Reynolds, C Taylor Gushue, INF Jacob Wilson. KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Curtis Granderson held up both hands, showing 10 fingers, one for each grand slam.Granderson ran his career grand slam total into the double digits, Marco Estrada pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Wednesday night.Jorge Lopez (0-2), who was making his Royals debut after being acquired July 27 from Milwaukee as part of the Mike Moustakas trade , threw a 2-0 fastball that Granderson drove over the Royals’ right-field bullpen gate with two outs in the fourth inning.Granderson’s 10th career grand slam was his second this year, both against the Royals. The first was April 18 in Toronto. He has 19 home runs and 50 RBIs in 106 games against Kansas City.“You never envision that they’re going to happen, because everything has to line itself up for it,” Granderson said. “Actually, finding out today that it was 10 of them. Sure enough, it was the 10th one, but any time you can do that and score that many runs with one swing is cool.”Royals pitchers have yielded a major league-leading 10 grand slams.A report surfaced Tuesday that Granderson had cleared waivers, making it possible for the Blue Jays to trade the veteran, who still has pop in his bat at age 37.“It’s interesting,” Granderson said. “What that means? Not too much, except that there are possibilities, at the same time all outside my control.”Kevin Pillar singled home Teoscar Hernandez with the first run of the fourth and contributed an RBI single in the second for the Blue Jays, who have won three of four.Lopez was removed after 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter.“I’m a little disappointed with the outing, but it was just one pitch took away the outing Chase Utley Jersey ,” Lopez said. “When you miss like that with the good hitters, it’s always trouble.”Estrada (6-9) gave up four runs on six hits, two of them homers by Salvador Perez, over 6 2/3 innings to pick up his first career victory at Kauffman Stadium.“I located pitches,” Estrada said. “Even the pitch to Salvy, the second home run, I threw it exactly where I wanted. Just one of those where you make the pitch and kind of look back and, how did he hit that? But he’s a good hitter.”Perez connected in the first with Whit Merrifield aboard and led off the fourth with his 21st home run. Perez has hit at least 20 homers in four consecutive seasons, joining .John Mayberry, Steve Balboni, Bo Jackson and Mike Sweeney among the Royals to accomplish that feat.“It means a lot to me,” Perez said. “Twenty homers is a lot of help for the team.”Brett Phillips tripled in the seventh and scored on Alcides Escobar’s two-out single for the other run off Estrada.Ken Giles allowed a pinch-hit homer to Ryan O’Hearn but still earned his 15th save in as many chances and his third with the Blue Jays.The Royals lost for the 11th time in 13 games and are 1-5 against the Jays this season.Rain delayed the start of the game by 15 minutes.HE’S THAT FASTAdalberto Mondesi stole three bases, including one when he was picked off first base, on Tuesday. Royals manager Ned Yost compared Mondesi’s acceleration to former Kansas City speedsters Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore. “It’s up there,” Yost said. “It’s very easy, quick , hard speed. It’s just, boom, he’s gone. It’s like the Road Runner. You expect a little pillow of dust following him. He’s that fast.”ROSTER MOVESBlue Jays: LHP Tim Mayza was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. LHP Thomas Pannone was optioned to the Bisons.Royals: RHP Blaine Boyer, who yielded a two-run eighth inning homer on Tuesday in a 6-5 loss to Toronto, was released. Boyer had a 12.05 ERA in 21 relief appearances. … The Royals sent Gore to the Cubs for cash considerations. In parts of four seasons with Kansas City, Gore was primarily used as a pinch runner, stealing 21 of 25 bases and scoring 24 runs, but went 0-for-11 in 49 games.TRAINER’S ROOMBlue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (bruised right index finger) made a rehab start for Class-A Dunedin in the Class A Florida State League, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing one run on two hits, while walking four and striking out three. He threw 35 strikes in 74 pitches.Royals: OF Brian Goodwin (left groin strain) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Omaha.UP NEXTBlue Jays: RHP Sam Gaviglio (2-5, 4.86 ERA), who was with the Royals last September and traded to Toronto in spring training, will start the series finale.Royals: RHP Glenn Sparkman (0-1, 5.06) will make his first career start after eight relief appearances.

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