32-year-old infielder Alex Cintron, who had been playing with the Padres’ Triple-A club, decided to retire Tuesday, according to Tucson broadcaster Tim Hagerty.
Cintron chose to quit even though he was playing quite well. He had two hits in his final game Monday, and he was sporting a .350/.394/.500 line in 60 at-bats for Tucson.
It’s easy to forget now, but the switch-hitting Cintron had 2,056 major league at-bats to his credit. He won the Diamondbacks’ starting shortstop job by hitting an impressive .317/.359/.389 with 13 homers in 448 at-bats in 2003. Technically he wasn’t a rookie at the time — though he had only 82 at-bats between 2001 and 2002, he spent too much time on the major league roster to qualify — or he would have found himself on some Rookie of the Year ballots.
Unfortunately, Cintron never duplicated that success. He played in 154 games for the Diamondbacks in 2004, but he hit .262/.301/.363 and finished with only four homers. He was somewhat better as a utilityman in 2005, but the Diamondbacks traded him to the White Sox for reliever Jeff Bajenaru after that season. He went on to hit .268/.299/.366 with seven homers in 473 at-bats for the White Sox over the next two years.
After the 2007 season, Cinton started bouncing around. He had 133 at-bats with the Orioles in 2008 and 26 with the Nationals in 2009. He didn’t appear in the majors last year, and he opened this season in Mexico before signing a minor league deal with the Padres.
So, it wasn’t a remarkable career, but it was certainly a very good one for a guy who lasted all of the way to the 36th round in the 1997 draft. Cintron twice finished in the top 10 in the NL in triples, and on July 8, 2004, he became the first player in Diamondbacks history to homer from both sides of the plate.
The Marlins were somehow able to muster up the strength not only to play Monday night’s game against the Mets, but also win it convincingly one day after losing Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident. The Marlins and Mets helped pay tribute to Fernandez prior to the start of the game as outlined here.
When the game started, the Marlins came out of the gate with a bang. Dee Gordon homered in his first at-bat, then the club hung a four-spot in the second inning. They tacked on two more in the third inning to chase starter Bartolo Colon and take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Mets chipped away for two runs in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run homer and tacked on one more in the eighth, but ultimately fell short by a 7-3 margin.
Gordon finished 4-for-5 with the homer and two RBI. Justin Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, and a walk along with an RBI and two runs scored.
A.J. Ramos, who closed out the win, placed the ball on the pitcher’s mound for Fernandez. The Marlins huddled around the mound and said a prayer. The players huddled closer to the rubber on the mound, then left their hats behind as they retreated to the clubhouse as fans at Marlins Park chanted, “Jose, Jose, Jose.”
In a post-game interview, Gordon called his first-inning home run “the best moment of my life,” as NBC 6 Sports reports.
The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.
Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.
In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.
Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.
The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.
Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.
The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.
The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.