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SPORTSBRIEFING STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Guardians option LHP Logan Allen to minors

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Guardians’ starting rotation remains under construction.

Cleveland optioned left-hander Logan Allen to Triple-A Columbus on Sunday, one day after he struck out a season-high nine in 4 1/3 innings against the San Francisco Giants.

The somewhat surprising move comes a week after the AL Central leaders sent Triston McKenzie down to the Clippers after he struggled in recent starts.

Allen is 8-4, but he has a 5.67 ERA in 18 starts. On Saturday, he allowed just two runs but walked four.

Manager Stephen Vogt said the club needs more consistency from Allen.

“We’ve seen it where he’ll have one outing where he’s efficient, he’s filling up the strike zone,” Vogt said. “He goes six innings, and then he’ll have one where it kind of struggles, a lot of pitches, struggles to find the strike zone and doesn’t quite make it that far.”

“We just felt like this is a time for you to go down, take a deep breath, continue to work on those things, get back to being the best version of you.”

Allen’s demotion clears a roster spot for Spencer Howard, who was acquired in a trade from San Francisco on Friday. Vogt said the club is still working through when Howard will make his debut.

Howard went 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA in seven appearances — two starts — for the Giants.

Allen’s turn would be Thursday, when the Guardians are in Detroit.

The Guardians have been juggling their rotation since the start of the season. Ace Shane Bieber made two starts before he was shut down to have Tommy John surgery. Gavin Williams only made his debut last week after being sidelined after hurting his elbow in spring training.

Cleveland recently signed free agent left-hander Matthew Boyd for the remainder of the season, but he won’t be ready until August after undergoing elbow reconstruction last year with Detroit.

Pirates starter Falter has left triceps tendonitis

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Starter Bailey Falter was placed on the 15-day injured list with left triceps tendonitis by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

The 27-year-old left-hander lasted two innings on Saturday, allowing three runs on five hits and leaving with the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning of a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets. Falter is 4-7 with a 4.08 ERA this season, his first full one in Pittsburgh after being acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 1, 2023.

“I just obviously wanted to try to stay in the game for as much as possible, just to give the bullpen a little break,” Falter said after the game Saturday. “But I noticed a little discomfort in the warmup pitches in the third. Didn’t really throw too many strikes. It kind of flared up after that and I kind of just lost feel for (the strike zone).”

Falter is the second Pirates starter to land on the IL in the past four days. Rookie right-hander Jared Jones (5-6, 3.56) left five innings into his start on Wednesday, going on the 15-day list because of a right lat strain the next day.

Pittsburgh, which has alternated wins and losses its past seven games, recalled outfielder Joshua Palacios from Triple-A Indianapolis when Jones was shut down.

Right-hander Brent Honeywell Jr. was selected from Indianapolis in a corresponding move to Foster on Sunday. Left-hander Justin Bruihl was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Honeywell was 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA, seven saves and 33 strikeouts in 31 appearances in Triple-A this season.

“I want to win,” Honeywell said. “I think we all want to win. I think it’s the biggest thing to me. It’s a good club, man. I think the main thing is keeping them going where they’re at right now. Just kind of move right into being a cog in the machine and help them win.

“I think the biggest thing is guys do come down (to Triple-A), go up. That’s just how baseball is. But the biggest thing is it’s always good to see guys when they come down, but it’s also like, ‘Eh, I wish you were up there.’ We talk about it. Winning first, I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Bronny makes NBA debut

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Once that second-quarter layup went in and he finally had his first NBA points after a trio of misses, Bronny James could exhale and everything began to slow down.

He hardly expects to be perfect at this early stage of his professional career, and every touch and possession will provide an opportunity for growth and learning.

He sure felt the love and support Saturday, even playing in the Bay Area ruled by Stephen Curry and the Warriors.

“The atmosphere, it was more than I expected,” a grinning James said. “It’s a big game for me, but I didn’t know the people of Golden State would come and rep for me, so that was pretty nice to see.”

The younger James wound up 2 for 9 for four points, missing all three of his 3s, with a pair of assists, two rebounds and a steal in just under 22 minutes of court time — 21:43 to be exact — as the Lakers lost 108-94 to the Sacramento Kings.

“Moments like that can slow the game down for you especially because I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to beforehand,” he said. “… I couldn’t get the 3-ball to fall, but all the reps it’s going to come more smooth.”

Bronny did not play on Sunday against Golden State due to knee soreness.

Chester secures win

POLAND — The Chester Old-Timers defeated Jamestown, New York 9-0 on Sunday to move to 4-4 on the season.

Marshall Simcox picked up the win on the mound.

Doug Comm led the team at the plate with two doubles and a single. Dave Smith added a double and two singles. Mike Logston, Homer Martin and Casey Arnott had two hits.

Chester plays at United at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Skenes reflects on selection

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Paul Skenes’ first All-Star selection was as speedy as his fastball.

Just eight weeks after his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 22-year-old right-hander was selected Sunday by Major League Baseball for the National League roster in the July 16 game at Arlington, Texas.

“It’s happened quick,” Skenes said. “Hopefully, I’ll have some time when I get out there to take it all in and be able to experience it all. It’s just a really cool opportunity all around.”

Skenes’ final outing before the All-Star break is likely to be midweek, so he could be a possibility to start for the NL.

“That’d be cool. No expectations,” he said. “I don’t know who gets to decide that kind of thing, but that’d definitely be cool.”

He made his first big league start on May 11 and is 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 10 starts and 78 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings. He has thrown 74 pitches of 100 mph or more.

“This is cool, and I’m just grateful for all you guys,” Skenes said.

to teammates in the clubhouse after being told by manager Derek Shelton. “Since the first day I’ve been here I’ve been part of the team. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.”

His 11 games would put him on track to have the fewest for player in an All-Star Game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Detroit’s Mark Fidrych in 1976, the Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo in 1995 and Florida’s Dontrelle Willis in 2003 each had 13. (While Boston’s Don Schwall had 11 at the time of the first All-Star Game in 1961, he did not appear, and he had 15 when he pitched three innings three weeks later in that year’s second All-Star Game.)

Skenes looked forward to the possibility of facing the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Juan Soto.

“I would imagine that it’s probably going to be a blur, a lot happening over a short span of time with the Home Run Derby and then the All-Star Game,” Skenes said. “Just try to meet as many people as possible and pick their brains, and because the concentration of talent and knowledge at the All-Star Game is unlike anything that I’m ever going to experience in my life, so I’m just going to want to experience that and learn as much as possible.”

After leading LSU to the 2023 College World Series title, Skenes was selected by the Pirates with the top pick in last year’s amateur draft, two days before the All-Star Game in Seattle. He signed for a $9.2 million bonus.

He made five appearances at rookie league, Class A and Double-A, then had a 0.99 ERA in seven starts this season at Triple-A Indianapolis, striking out 45 in 27 1/3 innings.

“Starting the year in Triple-A the odds of going to the major league All-Star Game are pretty slim,” Skenes said. “So that wasn’t one of my goals necessarily or expectations of the season, but just a huge honor that I’m able to do it, obviously, over a short period of span in the big leagues.”

He has at least seven strikeouts in nine of 10 games, the first pitcher to accomplish the feat.

“It’s going to be fun to watch. I think we’re all going to enjoy it if he gets the opportunity to pitch,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “There’s no challenge that Paul’s ever stepped away from. I’m pretty sure he’ll enjoy it.”

Outfielder Bryan Reynolds also was picked from the Pirates, his second All-Star selection. He is hitting .281 with 16 homers and 54 RBIs, raising his average from .233 through games of May 12.

“It’s a little bit bittersweet because I think that we have three or four other guys that are deserving of going,” Skenes said. “It would be really cool to share it with more people than just Bryan and let everybody see how good of an organization and the talent that we have here is.”

Skenes looks forward to achieving bigger goals, such as pitching in the postseason.

“I still hope I do something cooler than making an All-Star Game,” Skenes said.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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