9:18 PM: Wood lost his bid for a perfect game on a Carlos Ruiz double with no outs in the ninth. Still, a fine performance from a promising youngster on a first-place Reds team.
9:15 PM: Halladay held the Reds to one hit and zero runs in the top of the ninth inning. Wood will need to put in some extra work in order to secure a perfect game. One thing’s for sure: Reds manager Dusty Baker will have no problem leaving the 23-year-old rookie in for well over 120 pitches.
9:05 PM: Wood made it through the eighth inning unscathed and will head into the ninth with a chance to make history. The score is still 0-0, however, and Wood has thrown 92 pitches. He needs a little help from his offense.
8:58 PM: There’s an exceptional pitching duel going on right now in Philadelphia.
Reds youngster Travis Wood has thrown seven perfect innings with eight strikeouts in his third major league start and Phillies ace Roy Halladay has allowed only four hits over eight scoreless frames. The score is 0-0. We’ll keep you updated.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.