Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin sidelined with injuries

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Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin were forced to leave Friday’s game against the Cardinals due to injury, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

Just one day after being activated from the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Ramirez left after the first half-inning due to a tight right calf muscle, the very same injury that forced him to the disabled list in late-April.

Ramirez, 38, is batting .317/.409/.516 with nine homers and 39 RBI in 186 at-bats this season. Come to think of it, we’ve probably written more about Ramirez’s various injuries than anything he has done on the field this season, if that means anything.

Martin left after an at-bat in the eighth inning due to a swollen left thumb. According to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com, he failed to informed the team’s medical staff of the injury, even though it had been bothering him for several days.

“I remember catching a ball and kind of having a stinging sensation in
there, but I didn’t really feel it that much,” Martin said of the moment
he initially felt something after catching a particular pitch earlier
this month. “It’s always a possibility, where you mis-catch a ball or
take one off your thumb. But it kind of flared up, and that last time up
[in the eighth inning], I felt it swinging the bat.”

Martin is currently in the middle of his second straight disappointing season. The 27-year-old backstop is batting just .241 to go along with a .328 slugging percentage, five homers and 22 RBI.  

Neither player is in Saturday’s lineup against the Cardinals. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, they are both expected back in the lineup early next week.

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.