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Baseball notebook: Good seats still available

The Pirates’ Jason Jaramillo – and few others – watch his RBI single Monday in Game 1 of a doubleheader. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
The Pirates’ Jason Jaramillo – and few others – watch his RBI single Monday in Game 1 of a doubleheader. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press


A tiny crowd finally cheered when Darnell McDonald scored from third base on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday, giving the Cincinnati Reds a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a makeup game played with tennis-match silence most of the time.

Fewer than 2,000 fans showed up for the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Great American Ball Park, which turned into a red-seat echo chamber.

Fans could hear the players’ banter. Players could hear the fans’ chatter. It didn’t take long to take a head count.

“I felt like I was back in the Florida State League,” said rookie Drew Stubbs, who led off the Reds’ first inning with a homer. “I could hear (announcer) Jeff Brantley’s voice from out on the concourse and the cars on the highway outside.”

Dodgers add Thome, Garland for stretch

The Dodgers have bolstered their roster for a playoff push, acquiring slugger Jim Thome from the Chicago White Sox and right-hander Jon Garland from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The deals were announced by Los Angeles in the top of the eighth inning of its game against Arizona. Both trades were for players to be named and were completed before the midnight EDT deadline required for postseason eligibility.

Cubs sale gets good news from judge

The judge presiding over Tribune Co.’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case has approved an expedited process for court action surrounding the company’s sale of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

The family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, has agreed to buy a 95 percent stake in the team and its Wrigley Field home for $845 million.

Judge Kevin Carey approved a process that calls for any objections to the sale to be filed by Sept. 17, followed by a Sept. 24 hearing on court approval of the deal.

Clearing the bases

Brad Penny and the Giants agreed to a minor league contract, adding another proven arm to San Francisco’s strong rotation for the stretch run. Penny cleared waivers after he was released by Boston last week. Because he reached a deal before today, he is eligible for postseason play with the Giants. … Carlos Beltran is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment. The Mets’ All-Star center fielder, sidelined since June 22 with a bone bruise on his right knee, was examined by team medical director Dr. David Altchek and cleared to play without his knee brace. Beltran is slated to be in the lineup Wednesday night for Class-A Brooklyn.

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