The Twins sprayed beer and stuff all over themselves early this morning, so it’s no surprise that the lineup today is a tad different from the one they used last night:
CF Denard Span
SS Alexi Casilla
DH Jason Kubel
3B Danny Valencia
1B Jose Morales
2B Matt Tolbert
LF Ben Revere
RF Jason Repko
C Drew Butera
That’s the look of a team playing a day game after a clinching the previous night. I expect great, great things today.
And heck, maybe it could happen. As I’ve said, like, three times this week, I’m reading a book about 1970s baseball. One of the anecdotes I came across in the early going was about one George Mitterwald, the Cubs backup catcher in 1974. He partied hard one night, thinking he’d get the day game off the following afternoon. Nope: he was in the lineup. All he did was go out and hit three home runs and set the single game franchise record with 14 total bases.
So, Drew Butera? Do you have a little Mitterwald in you?
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.
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.