UPDATE: Chicago just announced the Hudson signing and, as expected, placed Morel on the disabled list.
It’s not official yet, but manager Robin Ventura confirmed what Peter Gammons of MLB.com reported over the weekend: Orlando Hudson is signing with the White Sox after being released by the Padres.
And not only that, with third baseman Brent Morel likely headed to the disabled list with a back injury Hudson is expected to see regular starts at third base, where he’s never played in 11 seasons. In fact, the 34-year-old Hudson has never played an inning anywhere other than second base.
San Diego is on the hook for the remaining $6 million or so on Hudson’s two-year, $11.5 million contract, so it’s a low-risk move for Chicago. Hudson hit just .238 with a .657 OPS in 154 total games for the Padres, but was a solid all-around player for the Twins as recently as 2010 and won’t have to hit much to be an upgrade over Morel offensively.
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.