Tigers right-hander Doug Fister has been uncharacteristically wild in this ALCS Game 1 at Yankee Stadium, allowing three walks through two innings. But he was bailed out on a nice play by Jhonny Peralta with the bases loaded in the first inning and a blown call by first base umpire Rob Drake with the bases juiced again in the second.
Robinson Cano hit a ball off Fister’s wrist and beat out Peralta’s throw to first base. If called correctly, Russell Martin would have scored from third base.
As is, this first game of a best-of-seven is tied 0-0 entering the bottom of the third inning.
Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte has been sharp, yielding just two hits while fanning three Detroit batters over his first three frames. He entered the evening with 270 career postseason innings to his name and looks about as comfortable as a person can possibly be on the mound in a mid-October start.
There were quite a few empty seats when the game began, but Yankee Stadium now looks pretty full.
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.