Jim Leyland’s club are doing their best to make sure there will be no September drama in the American League Central this year.
The Tigers notched their 12th consecutive victory tonight with a 10-3 win over the Indians at Progressive Field. It wrapped up a four-game sweep of Cleveland and extended their lead to seven games in the division.
Detroit scored six runs in the third inning, chasing Indians’ starter Zach McAllister from the ballgame. They added two more in the fourth and fifth innings, which was more than enough for Max Scherzer, who gave up two runs over seven innings to improve to 17-1 on the year. Yes, wins aren’t everything, but consider that no other pitcher in MLB has more than 14 of them right now. With a 2.84 ERA and 175 strikeouts over 158 1/3 innings, Scherzer is looking like the early leader in the clubhouse for the AL Cy Young Award.
The Indians had designs on making their move in the AL Central this week, but they were so thoroughly beaten down that Indians manager Terry Francona let position player Ryan Raburn pitch the ninth inning tonight. He actually delivered a 1-2-3 inning, including a swinging strikeout of Matt Tuiasosopo, but that was a minor highlight in an otherwise disappointing week for Cleveland.
The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.