MRI on Hanley Ramirez’s shoulder confirms: it’s sprained

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The Marlins have avoided a bit of a scare.

According to the club’s official Twitter account, shortstop Hanley Ramirez was diagnosed this evening with a sprained left shoulder after undergoing an MRI back in Miami. No structural damage, and all that good stuff.

Hanley will likely spend the night in south Florida before rejoining his teammates Thursday night at Sun Life Stadium. The Fish are hosting the second-place Cardinals this weekend in a four-game series that could play a rather crucial role in the way the National League Central shakes out. (Florida is eight games out of the Wild Card hunt, and 16 games back of the Phillies in the NL East).

Hanley will look to return at some point during the four-game set against St. Louis, probably on Saturday or Sunday. He might even do what all the cool kids are doing and develop a sudden rivalry with Tony La Russa.

Ramirez is batting .280 with six homers, 10 doubles and 28 RBI over his past 44 games.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.