The Phillies made a last-second change before their Thursday evening game against the visiting Rockies, scratching right-hander Joe Blanton from his scheduled start and replacing him with long reliever Kyle Kendrick. The news comes via Dave Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Blanton spent a little over two weeks on the disabled list in late April and early May because of an impingement of his right elbow. Either that injury is not fully healed or the Phillies are simply playing it safe with the 30-year-old because of the rainy conditions that are expected to hover around the Philadelphia area for most of the evening. A slick turf can often lead to injury setbacks.
Kendrick, 26, has posted a strong 1.64 ERA in 22 total innings this year despite an ugly 6/12 K/BB ratio. He’s made two starts and looked fairly sharp in both of them, but the Rockies will provide a big test.
UPDATE: According to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, the Phillies have confirmed that Blanton is again dealing with elbow issues. It’s not yet known if he is going to need another stint on the disabled list.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.