Baltimore Orioles v Kansas City Royals

Platinum Sombrero! Chris Davis is first player to strike out five times this season

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If you had to pick which player would be the first to strike out five times in a game this season “someone on the Orioles” would be a pretty good guess.

Mark Reynolds led the league with more than 200 strikeouts in each of the past three seasons and leads the AL with 170 this year, but surprisingly he’s never whiffed five times in a game and instead it was teammate Chris Davis who took a Platinum Sombrero today against the Yankees.

Of course, Davis’ career strikeout rate of one every 3.1 plate appearances is nearly identical to Reynolds’ one every 3.0 plate appearances. Davis just hasn’t had the same number of chances because he hasn’t hit as well as Reynolds.

In whiffing five times today Davis became the first player with a five-strikeout game since Ryan Howard on August 24 of last season. He had a sixth at-bat in the 11th inning and fell behind in the count 0-2, but grounded out to second base with the bases loaded.

Sammy Sosa is the all-time leader with four such games, followed by Ray Lankford with three and nine different players with two apiece (including active hitters Jim Thome, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rios, and Andruw Jones).

Congrats!

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.