The Yankees have activated outfielder Curtis Granderson from the disabled list and will bat him fifth in tonight’s starting lineup against the Padres. Granderson missed the first 38 games of the season with a fractured right forearm. In his eighth game of the season on May 24 against the Rays, Granderson was hit on the left hand with a Cesar Ramos fastball, fracturing the fifth metacarpal. He missed 60 more games.
Granderson’s return is a boon for the Yankees, who enter tonight’s game against the Padres with the fourth-worst aggregate outfield OPS in the American League at .696. By isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average), their outfielders have hit for the least amount of power at .122. The league average is .151 and the Rangers lead at .184.
Granderson, 32 years old, is a free agent after the season. The Yankees picked up his $15 million option for the 2013 season, the final leg of a five-year, $30.25 million extension signed with the Tigers in February 2008.
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.