UPDATE: After being examined by the Royals’ team doctor Duffy has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which is the injury that requires Tommy John surgery. He’ll seek a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum first, but it looks like season-ending surgery for the promising left-hander. What a shame.
Danny Duffy exited yesterday’s start in the first inning with a sore elbow and the Royals left-hander is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today.
Duffy faced just three hitters before noticeably shaking his arm in discomfort, at which point manager Ned Yost and a trainer made a mound visit and removed him from the game.
Yost said afterward that he wasn’t going to take any changes with the 23-year-old Duffy, who also missed a start with elbow tightness three weeks ago.
Kansas City is very deep in young hitting talent, but losing Duffy would be a big blow to a pitching staff that still needs plenty of help. After a rough rookie season Duffy has thrown 28 innings with a 3.90 ERA and 28/18 K/BB ratio while showing off impressive fastball velocity.
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.