UPDATE: And so much for that. Danny Valencia led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a double to right field, ending Zach Stewart’s bid for a perfect game and no-hitter.
10:04 PM: Zach Stewart is now perfect through seven innings. Ben Revere flied out to shallow left-center field, Trevor Plouffe skied out to right and Joe Mauer lined one right at shortstop Alexei Ramirez for the third out.
Stewart is at 75 pitches and will get Danny Valencia, Rene Tosoni and Luke Hughes in the eighth. By the way, Valencia is batting cleanup tonight. Ouch.
9:58 PM: We have a perfect game alert on this Labor Day evening in Minnesota.
White Sox rookie right-hander Zach Stewart is perfect through six innings tonight against the Twins.
Stewart, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in July as part of the three-way Colby Rasmus trade, has struck out six batters and thrown 45 out of 65 pitches for strikes. This is his eight major league start.
The White Sox plated two runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 4-0, an inning which also included a pitching change, so it will be interesting to see if the long break affects Stewart on the mound.
Stay tuned to see if the rookie right-hander can make a little history.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.