Despite reports that manager John Farrell wanted Rick Peterson as his pitching coach Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the Red Sox “are expected” to give the job to Juan Nieves.
Nieves has spent the past five seasons as the White Sox’s bullpen coach and also spent nearly a decade as a pitching coach in the minors.
Before getting into coaching he pitched for the Brewers from 1986-1988, becoming the second-youngest player in baseball history to throw a no-hitter, but arm problems ended his career at age 23.
Nieves made headlines a couple years ago for saying during a radio interview that White Sox pitchers should intentionally throw at Twins hitters to “see if you can start a fight.”
Nieves takes over a pitching staff that was coached by Farrell from 2006-2010 and ranked 12th and 9th among AL teams in ERA during the two seasons he spent as Blue Jays manager.
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.