Toronto was ecstatic to land closer Sergio Santos and his team-friendly contract from the White Sox this winter, but the early returns have been awful.
Santos allowed six hits, four walks and five earned runs in five innings of relief before landing on the 15-day disabled list in late April with inflammation in his right shoulder. He hasn’t returned since, and can now be ruled out for the rest of the 2012 campaign.
According to beat writer Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Santos is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder later this week. The Blue Jays are optimistic that he’ll be back near 100 percent health for the start of the spring training next February, but there’s no guarantee.
The converted outfielder registered a 3.55 ERA and 13.1 K/9 in 63 1/3 innings last season, converting 30 saves in 36 chances. He’s making just $1 million this year and owed only $6.5 million total through 2014.
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.