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  • July 10, 2019
    J.A. Happ has been splendid since joining the New York
    Yankees — so good that he is undefeated.Happ looks to stay undefeated as a
    Yankee on Monday night when he pitches in the opener of a three-game series
    against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.Since being acquired from the
    Toronto Blue Jays on July 26 for Brandon Drury and Billy
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    , Happ is 5-0 with a 3.10 ERA in seven starts. He also is a
    leading candidate to get the ball should the Yankees hold onto their current
    spot in the standings and host the American League wild-card game.More Twins
    coverageGiants bench coach Meulens to interview with TwinsAfter disappointing
    season, Sano begins critical offseason for TwinsPhotos of the Week: 9/30/18 –
    10/6/18Top Tweets: Local teams give shoutouts to Twins’ MauerLove for Twins’
    Mauer off the charts after emotional dayOverall, the 35-year-old
    free-agent-to-be is 15-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 26 starts this season, his last
    under a three-year, $36 million contract signed with the Blue Jays ahead of the
    2016 season.His resurgence since donning pinstripes has led some to wonder
    whether he’d be open to returning to New York next season. It is a notion Happ
    isn’t ready to address just yet, but also hasn’t completely ruled out.“I’d hate
    to get too far into that, but the one thing that I’ll say is, I’ve been
    impressed since I came over here with how things have worked so far, and all the
    baseball-related things have been a positive,” Happ told reporters last week.
    “So I think I’d be foolish to cross anybody off the list. But, yes, certainly,
    judging by how the first month has gone, it would be a place that I for sure
    would consider coming back if there was interest.”Happ bounced back from a rough
    outing against the Detroit Tigers to hold the A’s to a run and two hits in
    six-plus innings on Tuesday. The Yankees are 3-3 on their nine-game trip and 2
    1/2 games ahead of Oakland in the wild-card race.The Twins will still be without
    former Yankee Tyler Austin. The first baseman missed Minnesota’s weekend series
    with the Kansas City Royals because of back stiffness. He’s expected to take
    batting practice Monday but isn’t likely to start against the
    Yankees Mike
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    , who dealt him to the Twins on July 30 for right-hander
    Lance Lynn.In 20 games since, Austin posted a .243 average (17-for-70) with
    seven home runs and 11 RBIs along with an .865 OPS. He was sidelined last week,
    though, by a bout of back tightness that kept him out of action during a weekend
    series with the Royals.Twins manager Paul Molitor is optimistic that Austin will
    return to the lineup sometime during the series.“Obviously, I probably wouldn’t
    play him right out of the gate after a couple of days off,” Molitor said.
    “Hopefully, we’ll see him before the end of that series. He’s heading in the
    right direction.”Miguel Sano will be out for at least the opener, too, as he
    waits for his bruised left knee to show improvement. Sano injured it last week
    while sliding into second against the Astros and also sat out the Royals
    series.An MRI showed no structural damage to the knee, but the Twins are taking
    their time with the third baseman.“We’re hopeful,” Molitor said. “Each day
    hopefully he has a little less soreness he has to be concerned about and can
    start trying to do some things on the field.”Right-hander Kyle Gibson gets the
    nod for Minnesota, which is 3-7 in its last 10 games after Williams Astudillo
    hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of a 3-1 win on Sunday.After posting a
    5.28 ERA in August, Gibson bounced back with a solid showing against the Astros
    last week, allowing just two runs — solo home runs — in seven innings.Gibson is
    1-4 with a 7.71 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees. The Cubs lost a
    game that had a lot of things happen in
    it ,
    and that they should have won."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Chicago Cubs
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    Shop About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub 鉁旵hicago Cubs recapsRangers 8,
    Cubs 6: WalkathonNew,244commentsThe Cubs lost a game that had a lot of things
    happen in it, and that they should have won.CDTShareTweetShareShareRangers 8,
    Cubs 6: WalkathonJim Cowsert-USA TODAY SportsOne thing is for sure: Yu Darvish
    appears to be healthy starting the 2019 regular season.One other thing is for
    sure: Darvish needs to go back to the drawing board and work on his command. He
    had the shortest outing of his career and set a career high in walks, and no, we
    are not talking about Tyler Chatwood.The Cubs broke out to an early 3-0 lead but
    the Rangers got a three-run homer from Joey Gallo off Carl Edwards Jr. in the
    eighth inning and beat the Cubs 8-6, despite some outstanding relief work from
    Jose Quintana. (Weird, I know, but this entire game was pretty strange.)Darvish
    didn’t allow the Rangers to put a ball in play until their 11th batter — the
    first 10 either walked or struck out. By then, RBI singles by Javier Baez and
    Kyle Schwarber had given the Cubs that 3-0 lead. Willson Contreras’ RBI double
    [VIDEO] made it 4-1 Cubs in the third.Your browser does not support HTML5
    video.Darvish stopped walking people in the bottom of that inning, instead
    giving up a long two-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera. Darvish walk facts:Enough? I
    thought so. For his part, Darvish might have let the situation get to
    him:Obviously, that’s got to change before his next start.Schwarber extended the
    lead to 5-3 with this mammoth home run in the 5th [VIDEO].Your browser does not
    support HTML5 video.That ball: Crushed!Contreras’ second double of the
    game Garrett
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    , a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly made it 6-3.Quintana,
    making his first relief appearance since Game 5 of the division series against
    the Nationals in 2017 (and first in the regular season since his rookie year,
    2012 with the White Sox), threw pretty well, but eventually ran out of gas and
    allowed a pair of runs in the seventh, making it 6-5. Q did strike out eight in
    four innings of relief. Fun fact time!Unfortunately, CJ allowed a hit and a walk
    before the massive blast by Gallo, and that, as they say, was that. CJ’s
    velocity was down, according to the Jordan Bastian article linked above:That,
    too, is going to have to get better. And even though Gallo’s homer was by a Cubs
    opponent, have a look:This nifty pickoff [VIDEO] by Quintana in the fourth is
    worth a look.Your browser does not support HTML5 video.And so is this
    caught-stealing by Contreras [VIDEO].Your browser does not support HTML5
    video.But Cubs pitchers issued 12 walks in this
    game ,
    and you simply can’t do that and expect to win. The last time any Cubs team
    walked 12 opposing hitters in a game was this awful game June 28, 2002 against
    the White Sox, a game in which they blew an even bigger lead (8-0) than they had
    Saturday night. Rangers pitchers walked seven, and usually seven walks, eight
    hits and six runs should be enough to win a game. But Cubs pitchers are simply
    going to have to do better than this. This was not the way to end this very
    winnable game.But in baseball, you generally get another chance the next day.
    Sunday, the Cubs will go for the series win with another former Ranger, Cole
    Hamels, on the mound. He’ll face one of our old friends, Lance Lynn. Game time
    is 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via NBC Sports Chicago. (There’s also a
    national broadcast on ESPN, available outside the Chicago and Dallas