Diamondbacks reliever J.J. Putz stuck out his pitching hand in an attempt to field Phillies utility infielder Kevin Frandsen’s grounder in the bottom of the seventh inning tonight. The ball ricoheted off of Putz’s hand to shortstop Cliff Pennington, who threw to first to retire Frandsen and end the inning. Putz retired the side in order, but paid the price for his attempt to play defender.
Via Twitter, Nick Piecoro reports that Putz will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with a dislocated his right pinky finger and a small laceration.
Putz, now 36 years old, was already on the disabled list for 46 games earlier this year with a sprained UCL, a strained flexor pronator, and ulnar neuritis. When he has been on the field, he has pitched well, owning a 2.51 ERA in 28.2 innings of work this season.
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.