A.J. Ellis continues to take advantage of his first chance at regular playing time in the big leagues.
Ellis went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a walk-off walk in a 6-5 win over the Cardinals last night as the Dodgers improved to a major-league best 26-13 on the year.
Of course, walks are nothing new for Ellis. The 31-year-old backstop is hitting .327/.459/.490 with a 22/23 K/BB ratio across 124 plate appearances this season. He’s second to David Wright (.510) in on-base percentage and only Joey Votto has walked more often this season. He leads the majors in pitches per plate appearance.
Who knows whether Ellis can keep up his unlikely hot start. His .397 batting average on balls in play hints that some regression is likely on the way, but he did have a .280 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage over nine seasons in the minors before he got his first real shot at being an everyday catcher. Seems he has a knack for this whole patience thing.
Your Friday box scores:
White Sox 3, Cubs 2
Reds 0, Yankees 4
Marlins 3, Indians 2
Pirates 0, Tigers 6
Orioles 2, Nationals 1
Red Sox 4, Phillies 6
Mets 5, Blue Jays 14
Braves 5, Rays 3
Rangers 4, Astros 1
Twins 11, Brewers 3
Diamondbacks 6, Royals 4
Mariners 4, Rockies 0
Athletics 6, Giants 8
Angels 7, Padres 2
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.