UPDATE: Nava came up with the bases loaded again in the third inning, however he struck out. Too good to be true.
5:00 PM: If you aren’t watching this afternoon’s Phillies-Red Sox game, you just missed something pretty special. Daniel Nava, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, connected for a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major league at-bat in the bottom of the second inning. In fact, it was on the very first pitch he saw.
Nava is the fourth player in major league history to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat in the big leagues. He’s the first to do it since Kevin Kouzmanoff on Sept. 2, 2006.
Nava became the 10th player in Red Sox history to hit a home run in his first major league
at-bat. The last (and only other) player to hit a grand slam in his first Red Sox at-bat was Rip Repulski on May 10, 1960.
Nava, 27, has a .342/.434/.545 batting line over four seasons in the minor leagues. If you’d like to learn more about the rookie outfielder’s incredible story, check out this piece by Tony Lee of NESN.com. He’s a real story to root for.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.
On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.
Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.
Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.
Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.
The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.