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Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts, left, thinks starting pitcher Trevor Bauer is being unfairly singled out as officials try to crack down on pitchers using foreign substances. David Zalubowski/Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said he believes right-hander Trevor Bauer is being “singled out” by Major League Baseball after umpires in Oakland collected several baseballs he threw in his last start, apparently to examine for foreign substances.

Roberts also acknowledged Friday that he has noticed umpires collecting sample balls from every pitcher as part of the sport’s crackdown this season on pitchers tampering with balls. But the World Series-winning manager openly wondered why only Bauer’s name appeared as an apparent target of MLB’s investigation in a report by The Athletic on Thursday.

“I just hope that our player is not singled out,” Roberts said. “That’s the one thing I want to guard against.”

When asked directly if he felt Bauer is being singled out, Roberts replied: “At this point, yeah. … I don’t know (why). That’s the only name I’ve heard floated around.”

In his pregame news conference before the Dodgers received their World Series rings in their home opener at Dodger Stadium, Roberts wondered why Bauer was specifically mentioned in The Athletic’s report, which was based on unnamed sources.

“I’ve noticed every game so far, they’ve taken balls out of play” from every pitcher, Roberts said.

Bauer reacted to the report on Twitter on Thursday, writing: “wonder where the articles about balls from every other pitcher being taken out of play in literally every other game this season are? Also lol to (at)MLB who already has ‘sources’ talking to gossip bloggers about a supposedly confidential process a week into the season.”

Baseballs loaded with foreign substances such as pine tar typically have higher spin rates when thrown properly, improving the movement of both fastballs and breaking pitches.

MLB disciplinarian Mike Hill sent a memorandum to all 30 teams in late March announcing an increase in the monitoring of baseballs. Statcast data is also being reviewed by the commissioner’s office to analyze spin rate changes among pitchers and comparing game data with career norms.

Bauer’s spin rates have gone up and down during his career, and he has spoken openly about the efficacy of using foreign substances to improve pitches, saying in 2018 that the competitive advantage created is significant, and that cheating is likely impossible to police.

Bauer’s spin rates rose significantly last season when he won the NL Cy Young award with Cincinnati, but he is far from the only pitcher with improvement in that area.

• Los Angeles placed former NL MVP Cody Bellinger on injured reserve with a bruised left calf on Friday before Bellinger and his teammates received their championship rings ahead of the Dodgers’ home opener against Washington.

Bellinger was accidentally spiked by Athletics reliever Reymin Guduan on Monday while beating out an infield single in the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 10-3 win in Oakland.

YANKEES: Gio Urshela was scratched from the lineup about an hour before Friday’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field because the third baseman had a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine and was placed on MLB’s new COVID-19 injured list.

Urshela wrenched his neck in a game-ending play at the plate in Wednesday night’s extra-inning loss to the Orioles, but Manager Aaron Boone said that he had avoided injury. The Yankees switched DJ LeMahieu to third base and played Tyler Wade at second Friday. They recalled Mike Ford to take Urshela’s roster spot.

• Right fielder Aaron Judge was held out of New York’s lineup for the second straight game because of soreness in his left side.

BLUE JAYS: Toronto placed outfielder Teoscar Hernández on the injured list after he was exposed to someone with a positive coronavirus case outside of the team.

Left-hander Ryan Borucki also went on the injured list because of vaccine side effects, which included a fever and fatigue. He was sent home after arriving at the ballpark for Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

DAVID CARPENTER, a free-agent pitcher, was suspended for one year for violating the minor league joint drug prevention and treatment program.

A person familiar with the matter said Carpenter’s ban was for refusing to take a test and is effective immediately. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the commissioner’s office didn’t disclose that information when it announced the suspension.

Carpenter, 35, has pitched in six big league seasons and last appeared in the majors in 2019 for the Texas Rangers. The right-handed reliever has a 3.69 career ERA but hasn’t held down a full-time bullpen job since 2015, when he made 30 appearances with the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees.

PIRATES: Phil Coyne, who spent more than 80 years ushering Pittsburgh Pirates fans to their seats through varying stages of success and failure by the team died at age 102.

The team said Coyne died Friday. No cause of death was given.

“Phil was and always will be a true Pirates legend,” team chairman Bob Nutting said in a statement.

Coyne began working for the Pirates in 1936. For the next eight decades, he served as a fixture in the stands as the franchise moved from Forbes Field to Three Rivers Stadium to PNC Park. The club estimated he worked more than 6,000 games, a span that included three World Series titles and a close-up look at the Hall of Fame careers of Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski and the meteoric rise of Barry Bonds and Andrew McCutchen.


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