Link-O-Rama: Hyperbole, thy name is Ron Washington

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* This isn’t really Quote of the Day material, but when asked yesterday
why the Rangers are moving Derek Holland back to the bullpen manager
Ron Washington said:
“We know he can pitch out of the bullpen very, very effectively.” Maybe
it’s just me, but the combination of “we know” and “very, very” is
amusing about a guy who’s made a grand total of 12 relief appearances
in his entire professional career and has a 5.40 ERA as a big-league
reliever.

* Jamie McOwen of the Mariners’ high Single-A team extended his hitting streak to 44 games last night with a broken-bat single in the eighth inning. McOwen, who was involved in that crazy 33-18 game
last month, now has the longest minor-league hitting streak since Roman
Mejias hit safely in 55 straight games in 1954. McOwen is batting .353
after hitting just .263 for the same team last year.

* The latest plan for Raul Ibanez involves coming off the disabled list Friday and starting the All-Star game Tuesday.

* Justin Morneau announced yesterday
that he will not defend his Home Run Derby crown, although ESPN and
most fans probably “remember” Josh Hamilton winning the contest last
season anyway.

* Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star is not a big fan of proposing to your girlfriend at a baseball game, likening it to “wearing acid-washed jeans.”

Red Sox lose on Mark Teixeira’s walkoff grand slam, but still clinch AL East

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Dustin Pedroia #15 and pinch runner Marco Hernandez #41 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after both scored in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.

A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.

For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.

This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.

John Jaso hits for the cycle

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 27:  John Jaso #28 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the game against the Seattle Mariners during inter-league play on July 27, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
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Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. Jaso’s cycle is the first to be hit at PNC Park. It’s also the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.

Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.

Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.