Maybe it’s not quite the same as starting a career 7-0, but Dillon Gee’s win tonight made him the first rookie to open a season 7-0 since Jered Weaver won nine in a row for the Angels after debuting in 2006.
Gee limited the Pirates to one run in a career-high eight innings as part of New York’s 8-1 victory. The Mets improved to 9-0 in his starts their season. They’re 22-32 the rest of the time.
Gee went 2-2 after debuting last September, so he’s not perfect for his career. However, he is technically a rookie and he’d surely be the choice for NL Rookie of the Year honors if the balloting were held today. He has a 3.05 ERA in 62 innings for the season. Excluding his three relief appearances, he’s at 2.67 in his nine starts.
Supporting Gee tonight were Jose Reyes, who went 3-for-5 and hit his second homer, and Angel Pagan, who tripled and doubled. The Mets roughed up another one of the NL’s biggest surprises in Charlie Morton, sending him to the showers with his worst start of the season; he gave up seven runs — six earned — in four innings.
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.