April is the cruelest month. Especially if you’re a baseball that had the misfortune of being pitched to Justin Upton or Chris Davis:
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has been voted the Budweiser Presents American League Player of the Month for April … Davis batted .348 (32-for-92) with eight doubles, nine home runs, 28 RBI, 19 runs scored and 16 walks in 27 games to claim his first career Player of the Month award and the first for the Orioles since Melvin Mora took home A.L. Player of the Month honors in August 2008.
Outfielder Justin Upton of the Atlanta Braves has been voted the Budweiser Presents National League Player of the Month for April … In 26 games last month, Upton clubbed his way to the top of the Major League leaderboards with 12 home runs and a .734 slugging percentage — both the top-ranked marks in all of MLB. Upton hit .298 (28-for-94), while also ranking among N.L. leaders with 22 runs scored (T-1st), 19 RBI (T-8th) and a .402 on-base percentage (10th).
So far in May Upton is 1 for 3 with no extra base hits. Davis is 0 for 3 with a walk. Quit resting on your laurels, guys, or we’ll find somebody to replace you.
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.