We heard yesterday that Mark Teixeira tested his left calf by taking some at-bats and playing an inning in a simulated game. He won’t be able to help the Yankees this weekend in Toronto, but his return isn’t far off.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Teixeira took six at-bats of live batting practice today and is expected to play in an instructional league game tomorrow. Barring any setbacks, he is expected to rejoin the Yankees when they begin the final series of the season Monday against the Red Sox.
“Everything looks pretty good right now,” Joe Girardi said. “He ran better today, said he felt better today. He took a ton of ground balls and he’s going to play in a game tomorrow. Then we’ll go from there. He’s passed every test he was supposed to up to this point. He’s on schedule for what was scheduled, so that’s a good thing.”
Teixeira has appeared in just one game since originally injuring the calf on August 27. While he may not be 100 percent the rest of the way, he could provide a nice boost next week as the Yankees try to hold off the Orioles in the American League East.
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.