Working the top of the seventh with the Phillies down by a run to the Padres, Brad Lidge pitched a perfect inning Monday in his season debut.
Lidge, who went down in the spring with a sore shoulder and later dealt with elbow problems as well, threw 11 pitches, nine of them sliders. His first fastball came in at 89 mph. The second was a 90 mph pitch that nearly hit Jesus Guzman in the head.
Other than that, it was all sliders. His first five were mediocre at best, but he got better from there, particularly with the two that proved to be strike two and strike three to Kyle Blanks. His other two outs came on grounders.
All in all, it was a positive debut. Still, the circumstances were very favorable, as the one left-handed hitter he faced, Will Venable, had three homers in 221 at-bats for the season. Hitters no longer have to be afraid of Lidge’s fastball, and good left-handers should be able to wait him out until getting a hanging slider or a walk.
NEW YORK — With star outfielder Adam Jones nursing a tender hamstring, the Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie and optioned pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk.
Borbon was inserted in the starting lineup for Baltimore, batting ninth against hard-throwing New York Yankees rookie Chad Green.
“We had some other center field options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Borbon is our best option at this point.”
Jones left Friday’s game in the second inning with a left hamstring strain. He departed the previous night’s game at Washington in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps and aggravated the injury hustling down the first base line on a soft grounder to third.
“I got a feeling that if he hadn’t had that first swinging bunt, it might not have been a problem,” Showalter indicated. “He’s not going to trot to first base as much as I talked to him about it before the game.”
Although Jones was unable to talk his way into Saturday’s lineup, Showalter speculated that he might be available to pinch-hit.
The 30-year old Borbon was 2 for 9 in five games with the Orioles earlier this season, but was designated for assignment on July 26. To create room for Borbon on the 40-man roster, pitcher Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment on Friday.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.