Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens emphatically reclaimed the major league lead in ERA on Friday by throwing a one-hit shutout against the Orioles. It was his first career shutout and second complete game.
The performance lowered his ERA from 2.07 to 1.89. Jered Weaver had held the major league lead with a 1.97 ERA.
Jurrjens took a no-hitter into the seventh before Adam Jones singled to break it up. Jones was one of just two hitters to reach base for the Orioles in the game, as Jeremy Guthrie fell to 3-10 despite another solid effort in a 4-0 loss. He pitched seven innings and allowed three earned runs.
Jurrjens ended up with eight strikeouts, besting his previous season high by two. His career high for strikeouts is 10, achieved Sept. 11, 2008 against the Rockies.
The 25-year-old has won his last three starts, and he’s tied for the major league lead with 11 victories. He probably won’t be the choice to start for the NL in the All-Star Game — Roy Halladay is the likely selection there — but he’ll almost certainly be on the roster and he could be the second or third pitcher into the contest for the Senior Circuit.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.