Phil Hughes serves up four homers in 4.1 innings, takes over MLB lead in homers allowed

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Just last week I wrote about how Ervin Santana was on pace to allow the third-most homers in baseball history, but now he’s not even the MLB leader in long balls allowed this season.

Phil Hughes took over that honor by serving up four homers in 4.1 innings against the Braves today and has now allowed 19 homers in 78.1 innings overall this season compared to 18 homers in 89 innings for Santana.

Oddly enough Hughes’ last outing versus the Nationals on June 15 was the only time in 13 starts this season that he hadn’t allowed a homer. So of course he allowed four today to make up for it. It’s also worth noting that despite all the homers Hughes had given up two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts before this afternoon’s quick hook.

Assuming he stays in the Yankees’ rotation to make 33 starts, Hughes’s current pace would equal 45 homers, narrowly avoiding a top-three spot all time.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.

Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.