David Price felt “great” after a bullpen session on Tuesday and has now been cleared to take a major step in his recovery from a strained left triceps.
According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, the ace left-hander is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday with the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs. The Rays aren’t mapping out an exact timetable for their ace, but he shouldn’t have to make more than three total appearances on the farm as long as he is feeling good physically.
Price has been on the disabled list since May 15. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2012 after posting an outstanding 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205/59 K/BB ratio in 211 innings (31 starts).
The 27-year-old had a 5.24 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 55 innings this year before hitting the shelf.
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.