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.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.