Losers of nine straight games entering play tonight, the Rockies are *literally limping to the finish line.
Carlos Gonzalez is out of the starting lineup tonight for the sixth time in the past seven games due to a strained left hamstring. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Gonzalez underwent an MRI today and could potentially be shut down for the rest of the season.
Gonzalez grounded into a fielder’s choice during a pinch-hit appearance yesterday, after which he told Owen Perkins of MLB.com his hamstring was “not very good.” The Rockies are buried in last place in the National League West at 58-94, so there’s little reason to bring him back if he’s not making progress.
While we might not see Gonzalez again this year, Troy Tulowitzki could head into the offseason with some peace of mind. The 27-year-old shortstop took batting practice before tonight’s game and remains on track to be activated for the final couple games of the regular season. He hasn’t played a game with the Rockies since May 30 due to a groin injury which required surgery.
*Seriously, try using “literally” in a sentence without thinking about Chris Traeger. It’s impossible.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.
The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.