Ron Roenicke told reporters this morning that there’s no timetable for Corey Hart’s return from a strained oblique muscle and the right fielder isn’t healthy enough to begin a minor-league rehab assignment:
We’re still trying to push things and get him to 100 percent. He still feels that if he does throw, there’s going to be tightness. He’s got to get through it. He’s no 100 percent yet. There is not a timetable. We have to get him 100 percent throwing and swinging the bat. We don’t think it’s that far away, maybe a couple of days, but he has to get over that.
When he suffered the injury in late February the initial timetable was around two weeks, but Hart later aggravated the oblique strain and now a late-April return seems like the best-case scenario. In the meantime the Brewers started Mark Kotsay in right field on Opening Day and again in Game 3, used Erick Almonte there in Game 2, and are going with Nyjer Morgan in Hart’s place today.
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.