Jose Valverde has been OK in save situations. Tie games, well, they don’t stay tied for very long.
Valverde was charged with six runs — one earned — in two-thirds of an inning Friday as the Rockies broke out with eight runs in the 10th inning and beat the Tigers 12-4, snapping an eight-game losing streak.
It was the most runs scored in an extra inning since the Angels scored nine in the 13th against the Orioles on Aug. 16, 2009.
Valverde dug his own hole tonight. Eric Young Jr. attempted a sacrifice bunt after Michael Cuddyer singled to lead off the 10th, and Valverde threw the ball away, giving the Rockies runners on first and third. The Tigers were able to cut down the go-ahead run at home plate on another grounder afterwards, but Wilin Rosario broke the tie with a two-run single.
Valverde remained in after that, but he wishes he didn’t. He was finally replaced after a walk, a sac fly and an RBI single. Luis Marte took over and immediately gave up back-to-back homers to Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer, scoring the final four runs of the frame.
The Tigers fell to 30-34 with the loss.
The Rockies had been 0-9 against American League teams this season.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.