UPDATE: The Orioles got out of it. Darren O’Day struck out Alex Rodriguez swinging for the second out before Buck Showalter made another change, this time bringing in Brian Matusz. The southpaw issued an intentional walk to Robinson Cano before getting Nick Swisher to fly out to left field to end the inning. The Orioles lead 3-2 as we move to the bottom of the seventh in Baltimore.
11:07 PM: That extra breathing room didn’t last long. Eduardo Nunez led off the top of the seventh with a double before Derek Jeter brought him home with a single to cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-2. Wei-Yin Chen got Ichiro to ground into a fielder’s choice before Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought the hook.
Chen was given a standing ovation from the Camden Yards faithful as he walked off the field. Darren O’Day is in to face Alex Rodriguez with one out and a runner on first.
10:56 PM ET: The Orioles have a little breathing room over the Yankees.
Matt Wieters led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to right-center before Mark Reynolds brought him home with an opposite field single to push the Orioles’ lead to 3-1. Andy Pettitte was able to strike out Jim Thome and get Manny Machado to hit into a double play to escape any further damage.
Wei-Yin Chen is still in there for the Orioles. He has allowed six hits and a walk while striking out three. Chen wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth and sat down the Yankees on four pitches in the fifth before working around an error by J.J. Hardy with two outs in the sixth. Pretty impressive for his first career playoff start.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.