Baltimore signed Randy Wolf four weeks ago to provide some veteran pitching depth down the stretch, but after just two starts and three relief appearances the 35-year-old left-hander may be finished because of an elbow injury.
Wolf underwent an MRI exam Tuesday and will meet with Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed Tommy John surgery on Wolf back in 2005.
“There are two or three options,” manager Buck Showalter said, via Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. “Randy’s still got some questions he wants to ask Dr. Wilckens and Dr. Yocum before he and we make a definite decision about his availability for the rest of the year.”
Wolf was released by the Brewers after going 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 24 starts and agreed to pitch out of the bullpen for the Orioles, but quickly moved into the rotation. And his elbow started hurting during the fifth inning of his Saturday start versus Boston.
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.