It was not a matter of “if”, but “when”. All good things must come to an end. And other cliches. Today, the Orioles finally lost a game when leading after seven innings for the first time in 110 games, per ESPN Stats & Info.
The Orioles led 6-4 over the Rays heading into the ninth. Closer Jim Johnson had his 35-game consecutive save streak end on Tuesday, when the Padres scored two runs in the top of the ninth to eke out a 3-2 victory. Johnson once again did not have his stuff today, as he would be shellacked for five runs on two walks and three hits (including a Kelly Johnson solo home run) as the Rays hung a six-spot in the ninth en route to a 10-6 win, ending the Orioles’ illustrious streak.
The loss is the fourth in a row and the sixth in eight games for the slumping O’s. With the Yankees winning again, they drop to 3.5 games out of first in the AL East.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Gregor Blanco to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Blanco hit a mere .224/.309/.311 in 106 games with the Giants in 2006. It was his worst campaign in his big league career, not counting a 24-game stint with the Braves in 2009. Blanco suffered at least one concussion in 2015 and was on the DL for concussion issues twice that season. There’s no telling if that had anything to do with his subpar year, however.
He’ll fight for a backup job for Arizona, who already has A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas in the outfield.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.