That’s not where anyone expected him to go.
The Nationals announced Tuesday that they’ve acquired outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash from the Reds for outfielder Bill Rhinehart and left-hander Chris Manno.
Even though the Nationals are 49-52, leaving them nine games back of the Braves in the wild card and 15 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, they’re picking up an outfielder who is set to become a free agent at season’s end. Gomes is a useful player with his ability to smack lefties around, and he’ll be a nice fit as a platoon partner for Laynce Nix in left field for the next couple of months. Whether that really does the Nationals any good or not is debatable.
In return, the Reds get a 26-year-old Double-A outfielder and a 22-year-old low-A-ball reliever. Both players have terrific numbers this year; Rhinehart is hitting .283/.376/.587 with 21 homers and 59 RBI in 276 at-bats for Double-A Harrisburg, while Manno has a 1.04 ERA and a 69/15 K/BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings for low-A Hagerstown. Still, neither is considered a very legitimate prospect. Manno has the better chance of surfacing in the majors someday.
The bigger news for the Reds is that Gomes’ departure has resulted in Yonder Alonso’s arrival, as the former first-round pick was called up today. Alonso, a natural first baseman, hit .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers while playing mostly left field for Triple-A Louisville. A left-handed hitter, he’ll likely share time with the right-handed Chris Heisey in left field, leaving Fred Lewis to take a backseat.
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.