Adrian Gonzalez has hit just one homer in 140 plate appearances since the All-Star break and manager Terry Francona speculated today that a stiff neck may be to blame for the lack of power.
“I think he still feels it,” Francona told Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston. “It may have cut into his power a little bit, but he’ll play and will continue to play. If there were ever a chance we could give him a couple of days off, we’d probably do it, but it’s not the time to do it right now.”
Francona noted that most players are at less than 100 percent by this point in the season and, despite his lack of homers, Gonzalez has hit .331 with seven doubles in 30 games since the break. Overall this season Gonzalez leads the league with a .348 batting average and ranks third in on-base percentage, sixth in slugging percentage, and fourth in OPS.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.