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.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.
The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.
Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.
Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.