Gerald Laird sets new high with six-game hitting streak

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Tigers catcher Gerald Laird went 2-for-5 in Wednesday’s 12-inning loss to the Royals, extending his hitting streak to a career-high six games.
The huge day, which included a double for his 11th extra-base hit in 237 at-bats this season, raised his average to .203. It’s the first time all season that he’s finished a game with an average over the Mendoza Line.
Before this week, Laird had hit in five straight games just once before, that happening in May 2008. Once a reasonably productive catcher, Laird hit .296 and slugged .473 in 243 at-bats for the Rangers in 2006. Even two years ago, he came in at .276/.329/.398 in 344 at-bats for Texas.
Laird, though, was pretty brutal in his first year as the Tigers’ starting catcher in 2009 and he fell completely off the map this year. At 537, he has the worst OPS of any major leaguer with at least 250 plate appearances this season.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.