Wade Davis entered the night with the worst ERA among all starters (min. 90 innings). Slated opposite Chris Sale, who entered the night with the 13th-best ERA in baseball, it looked like a mismatch. Nevertheless, Davis persevered, shutting out the White Sox over seven and one-third innings. He allowed four hits, walked three, and struck out four. Louis Coleman finished off the eighth for the hold, and Greg Holland escaped some ninth-inning trouble for the save, his 26th of the season.
Sale allowed one run over a nine-inning complete game loss, falling to 6-10. The only damage occurred on a Lorenzo Cain RBI double in the sixth. Sale otherwise kept the Royals quiet, surrendering seven hits and one walk while striking out seven. It is the third time this season Sale has allowed one or zero runs and been saddled with the loss. Someone notify Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny).
The Royals continue to hang onto the fringe of contention, now 50-51. After the Tigers wrap up a victory over the Phillies tonight, the Royals will be seven games out of first place in the AL Central and six games out of the second Wild Card if the Orioles don’t come back against the Red Sox.
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.