UPDATE: Beltran was 1-for-5 with an RBI single and two walks as the designated hitter in his second extended spring training game on Saturday afternoon.
Friday, 9:01 PM: Carlos Beltran was 2-for-6 as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game on Friday afternoon, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork. It was Beltran’s first game activity since undergoing surgery on his right knee in January.
Beltran didn’t run beyond first base in the controlled setting, thus the Mets downplayed the significance of the event as “nothing crazy,” but before Friday’s game against the Marlins, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said that it is “fair to start the clock” on his return.
While the news is something for Mets fans to be excited about, general manager Omar Minaya told reporters last week that Beltran is unlikely to be activated from the disabled list before the All-Star break.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.