Reimold's ROY bid shut down by Achilles' tendon injury

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Rookie of the Year candidate Nolan Reimold was shut down by the Orioles on Friday, with the simultaneous announcement that he’d undergo surgery for an Achilles’ tendon injury next Wednesday.  He’s expected to need 3-4 months to recover, giving him plenty of time to get ready for spring training.

 

Reimold was the most productive hitter in the AL rookie class after an Adam Jones injury brought him to the majors in mid-May.  It originally figured to be a short-term assignment, but he took over as the everyday left fielder and hit .279/.365/.466 with 15 homers in 358 at-bats.  He also swiped eight bases in 10 attempts.

 

Realistically, Reimold needed a big final three weeks if he had any shot of winning any hardware.  Elvis Andrus has probably been at least as valuable as Reimold once defense is factored in.  Jeff Niemann has a 12-6 record and a 3.80 ERA as the AL‘s top rookie starter.  Also, Oakland‘s Andrew Bailey has been one of the circuit’s very best relievers and deserves strong consideration.

 

Reimold, though, accomplished exactly what he needed to this year.  He entered spring training with no chance at all of making the Orioles, yet now he’ll enter 2010 guaranteed of being the team’s primary left fielder. 

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.