Mariners shortstop prospect Nick Franklin stole the show in Saturday night’s Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, finishing 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI as the West beat the East 11-2.
The switch-hitting Franklin, considered a Top 50 prospect by most ranking services, also scored three runs. He homered in the first inning off the No. 1 overall pick from June’s first-year player draft, Gerrit Cole, then added doubles in the second and third. Franklin also singled in the fifth.
Cole, a hard-throwing righty now in the Pirates’ system, didn’t make it out of the first inning. He displayed elite velocity, hitting 99 mph at one point, but was charged with five runs on four hits and also walked a batter.
Nationals outfield prospect Bryce Harper went 0-for-2, Royals outfield prospect Wil Myers was 3-for-5 and Cubs infield prospect Junior Lake was 1-for-3 with two strikeouts. For more, check MiLB.com.
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.