Kingham goes four scoreless in win

FORT MYERS, Fla. –Nick Kingham struck out the first nine batters he faced in a scoreless four-inning day on the mound, and Colin Moran went 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 6-1 win over the Boston Red Sox in spring training action Wednesday.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, a member of the Altoona Curve in 2018, had an RBI double in the eighth inning. All seven of his hits so far this spring have gone for extra bases.

Kevin Kramer had an RBI single and Jose Osuna was 2-for-3 at the plate.

The Pirates are scheduled to play the Baltimore Orioles today in Bradenton, beginning at 1:05. Jordan Lyles is expected to start for Pittsburgh.

MLB looking into tampering

BOSTON — Major League Baseball is investigating whether new Philadelphia slugger Bryce Harper committed a tampering violation when he lobbied for Mike Trout, who isn’t a free agent for two more seasons, to join the Phillies.

Speaking to a group of Boston business executives on Wednesday, commissioner Rob Manfred said he doesn’t want players recruiting other players, a practice that has been winked at in the NBA. Manfred said he didn’t want to see the same thing happen in baseball.

“Given our rules, players recruiting other players who are still under contract or under reserve to another club is a rule violation,” he said at the Boston College Chief Executives Club. “So, obviously not anxious to see that.”

Harper signed a $330 million, 13-year contract with the Phillies last week, and said at his introductory news conference: “There’s another guy in about two years that comes off the books. We’ll see what happens with that.”

That would likely not be tampering, but he may have crossed the line when he told Philadelphia radio station 94WIP: “If you don’t think I’m gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you’re crazy.”

Wright suspended for HGH

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will sit out the first 80 games of the season after testing positive for Human Growth Hormone, a second suspension for the knuckleballer who missed 15 games last year for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Wright, 34, said in a statement issued through the Major League Baseball Players Association that he learned of the positive test during the offseason.

The commissioner’s office said Wright tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2). He is the second player under the big league program to test positive for HGH, which has been screened for by baseball in blood tests since 2013.

Elsewhere in baseball:

n It’s not collusion, it’s a “distributional problem” that has shut dozens of baseball players out of the free agent market this offseason, commissioner Rob Manfred said on Wednesday.

Speaking to a group of Boston business executives, Manfred said the percentage of revenue going to the players hasn’t changed in the past 15 years or so. If players are unhappy about how it’s being spent, Manfred said, he’s happy to talk to them about solutions.

“The money that’s going for them in aggregate is the same,” he said at a meeting of the Boston College Chief Executives Club. “It may be that you (players) think some guys are getting too much, some guys are getting too little. You’d like to create additional opportunities. It’s up to you to explain to us what you’re looking for in terms of distribution of those dollars.”

n New York Yankees ace Luis Severino expects to resume a throwing program in two weeks.

Severino will miss his scheduled opening-day start on March 28 because of right-shoulder inflammation. He was scratched from his first planned spring-training start on Tuesday after feeling discomfort after throwing his first slider in a pregame bullpen session.

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