Diamondbacks trade Conor Jackson to A's

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Reports yesterday had the Rangers pursuing Conor Jackson but this afternoon the Diamondbacks traded him to a different AL West team, sending Jackson to the A’s for right-handed reliever prospect Sam Demel.
Jackson missed most of last season with valley fever and has struggled to bounce back this year, hitting just .238 with one homer and a .657 OPS in 42 games. He was a solid hitter from 2006-2008, posting an OPS above .800 each year, but while still just 28 years old Jackson is making $3.1 million and could be a non-tender candidate this winter if he doesn’t get on track in the second half.
Demel was the A’s third-round pick in 2007 and has good stuff, with an average fastball around 92-94 miles per hour and 200 strikeouts in 180.2 innings as a minor leaguer. His control is iffy, but Demel has a 2.61 ERA and 61/30 K/BB ratio in 61 innings at Triple-A and projects as a potential late-inning reliever. Still, that he’s the guy going to Arizona in a 1-for-1 deal shows just how far Jackson’s stock has declined.
While cutting bait on Jackson doesn’t necessarily have any impact on the Diamondbacks’ plans, he might be the first player out the door in a more extensive rebuilding effort that could include Adam LaRoche, Chris Snyder, Kelly Johnson, Aaron Heilman, and perhaps even Dan Haren.

Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.

Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.

The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.

Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.