Victor Martinez exited last night’s game after fouling a ball off his right big toe and Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that the Tigers’ medical staff had to drill a hole in the nail to drain it, but the designated hitter made it very clear that he plans to be in the lineup for Game 1 of the playoffs:
You’re going to have to kill me to keep me out of the lineup. I’m just DHing and I’m going to go out there like I’ve been doing the whole season, just go out there and battle and give my best effort.
Martinez actually remained in last night’s game for another five innings, singling in two post-injury at-bats, but then finally departed in the seventh inning when the pressure build-up made putting weight on his foot hard.
He played in 145 of 162 games in the first season of a four-year, $50 million contract, making up for just 12 homers by hitting a career-high .330 with an .850 OPS that’s nearly identical to his career mark.
Detroit opens the postseason Friday against the Yankees.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.