Daily Dose: Ibanez blogged down by injury

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Call it the Jerod Morris hex
or merely a coincidence, but Raul Ibanez was put on the disabled list
Thursday for the first time since 2004. Ibanez has been in a funk since
taking Morris to task last week over a blog entry,
going 5-for-27 (.185) with 11 strikeouts while receiving more media
attention than ever before. After seeing him struggle to run out
grounders, the Phillies shut him down for a couple weeks.

John Mayberry Jr. is back for his second stint in the majors after
being called up from Triple-A to replace Ibanez and went 2-for-5 with a
homer while throwing out a runner at the plate from right field
Thursday. He stands 6-foot-6 and has lots of power with 24 homers and
75 total extra-base hits in 166 games at Triple-A, but Mayberry also
hit just .261 with a lowly .323 OBP and 141/51 K/BB ratio there.

While the Phillies give the 25-year-old Mayberry a shot at regular
playing time for the rest of the month, here are some other notes from
around baseball …

* Jim Leyland avoided calling it a benching, but did say Thursday
that he’s going to get Magglio Ordonez “away from it … indefinitely”
amid a 38-game homerless streak. Ordonez is batting just .273/.347/.343
with two homers and 22 RBIs in 57 games overall after hitting
.323/.383/.510 in four previous seasons in Detroit, but the problem is
that fill-in Ryan Raburn’s career .251/.310/.411 line is just as bad.

* Frank Francisco tossed a perfect inning in a rehab appearance
Thursday night at Double-A, setting him up to return from the disabled
list Friday. Francisco has been out for over two weeks with shoulder
tendinitis, so the Rangers have talked about slowly easing him back
into the closer role. That means C.J. Wilson could get another save
chance or two before dropping back down into a setup role.

* Brandon Webb was scheduled to take the next step on his road back
from right shoulder soreness with a mound session Friday, but instead
has been shut down indefinitely after suffering a setback. He felt pain
after throwing from flat ground earlier this week and seems highly
unlikely to make it back by the All-Star break as previously hoped.

* Chien-Ming Wang was shaky while lasting five innings in his
Wednesday outing and is now 0-5 with a 12.65 ERA, but manager Joe
Girardi announced Thursday that he’ll remain in the Yankees’ rotation.
Girardi suggested that Wang “threw the ball pretty well” while allowing
three runs Wednesday, so Phil Hughes will remain in the bullpen where
he’s given up two runs while striking out 10 in 7.2 innings.

AL Quick Hits: Gavin Floyd turned in another strong start
Thursday, allowing one run in seven innings before the bullpen coughed
up his win … After watching him go 1-4 with a 7.49 ERA in seven starts
the Tigers returned Dontrelle Willis to the disabled list Thursday with
the same “anxiety disorder” … Franklin Gutierrez had a pair of homers
Thursday after coming into the game with four long balls in 189 at-bats
… Brandon Morrow made his second start Thursday, giving up two runs
with six strikeouts and just one walk in four innings … Jeremy Accardo
picked up a save Thursday in his first appearance since last May, but
don’t expect him to be the Blue Jays’ primary closer … Vince Mazzaro
hurled his fourth Quality Start in as many tries Thursday … Brett
Gardner left Thursday’s game with a bloody face after running into the
outfield wall chasing a fly ball … Derek Jeter’s ankle is healthy
enough for him to ground out as a pinch-hitter Thursday.

NL Quick Hits: Brad Lidge (knee) threw a bullpen session
Thursday and is set to begin a rehab assignment at Double-A … Craig
Stammen and four relievers shut out the Yankees on Thursday as the
Nationals won a series in New York … Joel Pineiro fell to 1-8 in his
last nine starts despite allowing one earned run in seven innings
Thursday and was helped off the field after cramping up … Khalil Greene
returned from the disabled list Thursday and whiffed off the bench …
Jonathan Broxton (toe) was unavailable again Thursday after getting a
cortisone shot, so Ramon Troncoso picked up a save … Tommy Hanson
tossed six shutout innings Thursday for his second victory … Livan
Hernandez gave up two runs in seven innings Thursday, but missed a win
when Francisco Rodriguez blew his second save … Kevin Youkilis’ solo
homer Thursday was the only hit allowed by Ricky Nolasco in a
rain-shortened complete-game win.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 11, Twins 3: The Twins took a 3-0 lead, but after that it was all Yankees. Aaron Judge hit his AL-leading 45th home run and crossed the 100 RBI mark. Gary Sanchez went back-to-back with him in the third. Didi Gregorius hit a three-run shot. The Yankees are rolling at just the right time. Or at least that’s what I’m reading everywhere, despite the fact that momentum is a false construct. And despite the fact that, hey, the world is probably going to end on Saturday.

Athletics 3, Tigers 2: Daniel Mengden tossed seven scoreless innings and continued to test my theory that, if they wanted to, sports writers could totally make up names for Oakland A’s players and most of us would nod and say “hmm, OK . . . Mengden.” Marcus Semien homered and drove in three as the A’s swept the Tigers. Who, after a decade or so of being a team full of famous players, is about to enter a period when we could play the same game with their relatively anonymous players as we’ve played with teams like the A’s for so long.

Marlins 9, Mets 2: Giancarlo Stanton hit his 56th homer and drove in three. In keeping with the silly trend of people pretending that passing Roger Maris at 61 would somehow be a significant record as opposed to merely a neat accomplishment, I am going to officially proclaim that Stanton NOW has the home run record. Hey, if subjectivity matters for things like this, so too does my personal subjectivity. The rundown:

  • Ken Griffey Jr. hit 56 twice, but he once used a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon that was expired, sullying it;
  • Luis Gonzalez and A-Rod at 57? They were Freemasons;
  • Four players hit 58 in a season once — Foxx, Greenberg, Howard and McGwire — but that sounds like a law firm, undermining the purity of the accomplishment;
  • Babe Ruth hit 59 and 60, but he purchased alcohol during prohibition, setting a terrible example for lack of temperance;
  • Roger Maris’ 61 was hit in front of a half-empty Yankee Stadium crowd. The Yankees were amazing in 1961 and everyone was talking about him passing Ruth, so something fishy was going on. I’m going to guess radiation contamination on site scared people away and, in turn, powered Maris artificially, like someone in a comic book;
  • That just leaves Sosa, McGwire and Bonds and they murdered all of those people so it’d be wrong to honor them.

Congratulations, Giancarlo Stanton: The Single Season Home Run Champ!

Giants 4, Rockies 0: The Rockies lose their third in a row. Thanks to the Brewers losing too they keep their one-game lead for the second Wild Card, but they really need to cut this out. Brandon Crawford hit a solo homer and Matt Moore and four relievers combined to shut Colorado out.

Red Sox 9, Orioles 0: Chris Sale tossed eight shutout innings and struck out 13. In so doing he became just the second pitcher to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years, joining Clayton Kershaw. Before that Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002 (Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000 as well). Sale is just the second Red Sox pitcher to do it, following Pedro Martinez, who did it in 1999. Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero went deep for Boston. The Red Sox have clinched a playoff spot.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 5Aaron Altherr hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh. The Dodgers added a run, so Altherr hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth. That’s three in a row over the Dodgers for Philly. They go for the sweep this afternoon. The Dodgers have lost four straight and 20 of 25. Their magic number for the NL West remains at two.

Pirates 6, Brewers 4Adam Frazier hit a two-out, two-run, walkoff homer off of Corey Knebel, averting extra innings and giving the game to the Buccos. Knebel’s streak of 21 consecutive save chances converted ended just before that when his own throwing error allowed the Pirates to tie it. We all have a bad day sometimes.

Royals 15, Blue Jays 5: Mike Moustakas broke the single-season home run record for the Royals. But, like I said above, this is all apparently subjective now, so I’m gonna stick with Steve Balboni’s 36 as the true mark, because this:

Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield also went deep as the Royals victimized Brett Anderson for eight runs on seven hits in an inning and a third and rattled off 18 hits on the night.

Cardinals 9, Reds 2Dexter Fowler homered for the third straight game. Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong also went deep, Tommy Pham had three hits and two RBI and Yadier Molina added a two-run double. Luke Weaver allowed two runs in five innings to win his seventh straight start, making him the current active leader in consecutive wins.

Rays 8, Cubs 1: The Cubs seven-game winning streak comes to an end thanks to Blake Snell‘s two-hit, seven shutout inning performance. The Cubs now open a four-game series in Milwaukee. They have a three and a half game lead over the Brewers and can either put them away or give us an exciting last week of the season. So, nothing personal Cubs fans, but let’s go Brewers.

Nationals 7, Braves 3: The Braves had a 2-1 lead heading into the eighth and then the Nats went and put up an eight-spot. Three of those runs came on bases loaded walks from Arodys Vizcaino. Maybe Brandon Snitker is a fan of the movie “Tin Cup” or something. I don’t know. I’m just glad I wasn’t feeling well last night and took a NyQuil at 9:30 and missed it.

Astros 4, White Sox 3: That’s six straight wins for Houston. Yuli Gurriel had three hits, including a two-run double, Brad Peacock allowed two runs on only one hit in six innings.

Diamondbacks 13, Padres 7: Hunter Renfroe hit three homers. Wasn’t enough, though, as the Dbacks overcame a 6-2 deficit and scored 11 runs in the final four innings. J.D Martinez, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Jake Lamb all went deep for the Snakes.

Indians 6, Angels 5: Four wins in a row for Cleveland who is now 26-1 over their past 27 games. They haven’t lost a road game since August 20. This is just crazy stuff. Francisco Lindor snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run homer and  Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Ramirez added RBI singles. The Angels remain one and a half back of the Twins for the second Wild Card.

Rangers 8, Mariners 6Rougned Odor hit a grand slam to cap a seven-run fourth inning and the Rangers held off Seattle. Alex Claudio earned a six-out save. The Puerto Rican native was distracted and worried about his family and homeland in the wake of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria. I have no idea how anyone could concentrate under such circumstances, but he did.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.

The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.