Baltimore had won 17 straight extra-inning games dating back to April 11, 2012, but that streak came to an end this afternoon against Toronto.
Orioles closer Jim Johnson, who’d been such a huge part of all their late- and extra-inning success, walked Maicer Izturis with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and the lineup couldn’t rally in the bottom of the frame.
Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com notes that the 17-game extra-inning winning streak was MLB’s longest since the Pirates won 21 straight in 1959-1960. And the Orioles nearly made it 18 in a row with a walk-off win when J.J. Hardy singled with a runner on second base in the 10th inning, but–as pictured–Manny Machado was thrown out at the plate by Rajai Davis.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.