Mitch Moreland exited last night’s game after injuring his hamstring and it sounds like the Rangers expect him to need a disabled list stint.
Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram reports that he’ll undergo an MRI exam today, so an official move may wait until Thursday.
Moreland has quietly been very productive at the bottom of the AL’s highest-scoring lineup, hitting .272 with 10 homers and an .838 OPS in 55 games to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 and basically duplicate his strong rookie numbers from 2010.
Michael Young figures to be the primary first baseman in Moreland’s absence, leaving the designated hitter spot open for Mike Napoli to take some time off from catching.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.