Mike Lowell was nearly a Yankee again

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox nearly had a deal in place on Friday that would have had Mike Lowell going to the Yankees.  Not directly — the Rangers would have been used as an intermediary in a three-way trade — but for all practical purposes it would have been a Yankees-Red Sox trade.  Two curious things about this:

1) Rosenthal says that the trade would not have prevented the Yankees from continuing on to do the Berkman trade. He doesn’t mention the Austin Kearns deal, but does anyone else sort of feel like the Yankees are playing with a 35-man roster right now?

2) I love the notion of the Yankees and Red Sox feeling like they can’t do a deal with one another and thus tried to bring the Rangers into it. It’s like the U.S. and the Soviets communicating through the Brazilian government during the Cuban Missile Crisis or something. Detente anyone?

Of course nothing happened, and Mike Lowell — who appears like he can hit and everything based on his latest rehab assignment — remains a man without a country.  And maybe soon without a team, as it appears that the Red Sox are going to have no choice but to designate him for assignment.

Rich Hill has a perfect game through eight innings

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UPDATE: He’s perfect through eight! He has ten strikeouts on the night. One more inning to go. And, of course, the Dodgers need to give him at least one run or else this thing doesn’t end in nine. Note: No Dodgers pitcher has tossed a perfecto since Sandy Koufax did it against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965.

9:09 PM: Dodgers starter Rich Hill is facing off against the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight. And he’s not having any trouble with them: he’s absolutely perfect though seven innings. He’s needed 73 pitches to get that far, so if he can keep the perfection up he certainly has enough in the tank to finish it.

Thing is: he may not even get the win. That’s because Pirates starter Trevor Williams has blanked the Dodgers through eight, scattering seven hits and four walks yet, somehow, not allowing a run to score.

The Pirates are coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth. We’ll keep you posted.

Zach Britton’s consecutive saves streak has ended at 60

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On September 20, 2015, Zach Britton blew a save against the Rays. Little did he know that he wouldn’t blow another save until August 23, 2017, converting 60 consecutive save opportunities.

Britton took the mound with a 7-5 lead in the top of the ninth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Athletics. He yielded a single to Jed Lowrie, a double to Boog Powell, an RBI single to Marcus Semien, and a sacrifice fly to Matt Joyce to allow the A’s to close the two-run deficit. In the next at-bat, he uncorked a wild pitch and then walked Khris Davis before being removed from the game. Miguel Castro relieved Britton, but walked Ryon Healy on four pitches to load the bases. Castro wriggled out of the jam by getting Matt Olson to pop up and striking out Matt Chapman, stranding two of Britton’s runners.

Britton entered Wednesday’s action 11-for-11 in save chances on the season with a 2.88 ERA and a 19/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He missed two months earlier this season with a strained left forearm.