Veteran right-hander Roy Halladay was shaky in his two minor league rehab starts and had to be rushed to Citizens Bank Park on Sunday morning for his first major league outing in almost four months. So his performance was pretty good all things considered.
Brought back from the 60-day disabled list in an emergency move following Saturday night’s 18-inning marathon, Halladay threw six innings of two-run ball in Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Diamondbacks. He struck out only two batters and his fastball averaged just 87 mph, but the crafty 36-year-old held a good Arizona offense to four hits and two walks while making it all the way to 94 pitches.
Halladay posted a disturbing 8.65 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in his first seven starts this season for Philadelphia and then underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on May 16.
The impending free agent will try to build up some value before the winter hits.
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.