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Bautista, Lawrie lift Blue Jays over Twins 9-3

Jose Bautista's 3 hits, Brett Lawrie's grand slam lift Blue Jays over Twins 9-3
Jon Krawczynski, The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - The Toronto Blue Jays were getting mowed down by Phil Hughes through the first five innings on a chilly night at Target Field, but the big swingers never panicked.

The Jays have a long history of beating up on the former Yankees right-hander, so they knew it was only a matter of time before they got him in his new home in Minnesota.

MLB marks 67th anniversary of Robinson debut

Major League Baseball marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking colour barrier
Ronald Blum, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Marking the 67th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson broke baseball's colour barrier, the Rev. Jesse Jackson praised Commissioner Bud Selig for the strides the sport has taken in minority opportunities over the past two decades.

Jackson travelled to baseball's 1992 winter meetings to criticize its lack of minorities in management, and he pushed for change.

Buehrle, Blue Jays cruise to 11-3 win over Orioles

Buehrle earns 3rd win as Blue Jays use 3-homer attack to beat Orioles 11-3
David Ginsburg, The Associated Press

BALTIMORE - When the Toronto Blue Jays broke out their two-week slump at the plate, nothing could stop them from circling the bases — except a gaffe by an overeager ball girl.

Jose Bautista launched a three-run homer and Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie added solo shots as the Blue Jays set season highs for runs and hits Sunday to beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-3 Sunday.

Orioles outlast Blue Jays 2-1 in 12 innings

Orioles beat Blue Jays 2-1 as Lombardozzi scores game-winner in 12th inning
David Ginsburg, The Associated Press

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles had to go into extra innings to earn a victory that seemed assured far earlier in the night.

Working overtime, however, did nothing to temper the enjoyment they derived from a 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Steve Lombardozzi tripled and scored on a single by David Lough in the 12th inning for the Orioles, who also got a key RBI from rookie Jonathan Schoop.

McGowan leads Blue Jays past erring Orioles 2-0

McGowan earns 1st win since 2008, leading Blue Jays to 2-0 win over Tillman and Orioles
David Ginsburg, The Associated Press

BALTIMORE - Dustin McGowan has endured injuries and operations, long stints on the disabled list and countless rehab assignments to keep his baseball career afloat.

It all paid off Friday night, when the Toronto right-hander earned his first victory since 2008 with an effective and emotional effort at Baltimore.

McGowan allowed five hits over 6 1-3 innings, and the Blue Jays used two unearned runs to beat Chris Tillman and the Orioles 2-0.

Japan commissioner apologizes over livelier ball

Japanese baseball commissioner apologizes for tests that show ball livelier than it should be
The Associated Press

TOKYO - The commissioner of Japanese baseball has apologized after random tests showed the official ball is livelier than it should be.

The tests revealed that balls used at six stadiums on March 29 were livelier than they should have been.

Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki says "I want to apologize for causing a commotion."

Japanese baseball plans to re-test the ball and has asked ball manufacturer Mizuno to explain why the balls are livelier than what the league specified.

NL Capsules

NL Capsules
The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning and Jason Grilli retired Emilio Bonifacio on a bases-loaded grounder to end the game, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

The Pirates trailed 4-0 heading into the seventh, but two big drives changed things.

Pinch hitter Travis Snider cut the deficit in half with a two-run homer off Brian Schlitter. Alvarez put Pittsburgh ahead with his three-run drive against James Russell (0-1), his third homer in two games.

AL Capsules

Thursday's American League Capsules
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Michael Pineda won while pitching with some substance smudged on his hand as the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 Thursday night.

New Yankees star Jacoby Ellsbury drew all the pregame attention after switching sides during the off-season. But it was the dark brown, seemingly tacky substance on the lower palm of Pineda's pitching hand that quickly became the focus.

MLB names reliever awards after Rivera, Hoffman

Major League Baseball names reliever awards after Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Now that they're no longer receiving awards, Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman are getting their names on some.

Major League Baseball said Wednesday it created a "Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award" and a "Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award."

Rivera, a 13-time All-Star, retired after last season with a record 652 saves. Hoffman, a seven-time All-Star, retired after the 2010 season and is second with 601 saves. Both spent their entire careers in one league.

Selig's contract extended through 2014 season

Baseball commissioner Selig's contract extended through the 2014 season
The Associated Press

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig received a two-year contract extension Thursday through the 2014 season.

Selig has held the position since 1992, first as acting commissioner and then as commissioner since 1998. He will turn 80 in July 2014.

If he stays until September 2016, he would surpass Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1920-44) as the longest-serving baseball commissioner.

Selig's contract had been due to expire this Dec. 31.

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