David Ortiz has been on fire since returning from the disabled list to make his 2013 debut, hitting .487 with three homers and seven doubles in 10 games for an incredible 1.409 OPS.
Ortiz missed nearly the entire second half of last season, but he ended the year with a hitting streak that has now stretched to 22 games dating back to July 2. That’s a career-long streak for Ortiz at age 37 and Chris Toman of MLB.com notes that it’s the longest streak by a designated hitter since Paul Molitor had a hit in 39 straight games in 1987.
Hitting streaks can often be kind of silly and obviously Ortiz isn’t making a run at Joe DiMaggio, but what he’s done since coming off the DL is ridiculous and the fact that his streak picked up from last July just makes it even more impressive following such a long layoff.
Since the beginning of 2012 he’s now hitting .336 with 26 homers, 33 doubles, and a 1.067 OPS in 100 games.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.
The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.
Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.
The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.