Joey Votto

Joey Votto has reached base in nine consecutive trips to the plate

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Reds first baseman Joey Votto last made an out in the eighth inning on Thursday in the series finale against the Cardinals. Since then, he has gone 4-for-4 with five walks in nine trips to the plate against Dodger pitchers.

Last night, in a 3-2 victory, Votto drew a walk off of Chris Capuano, singled off of Stephen Fife, drove a two-run home run to the opposite field against J.P. Howell, and drew a walk against Paco Rodriguez.

Today, in a 4-3 extra-innings victory, Votto singled, doubled, and drew a walk off of Zack Greinke, then was intentionally walked once each by Rodriguez and Howell.

Ted Williams holds the official modern era record having reached base in 16 consecutive plate appearances from September 17-23, 1957. He walked nine times (once intentionally), was hit by a pitch, singled twice, and hit four home runs. While we shouldn’t hold our breath expecting Votto to reach base in seven more consecutive plate appearances, that he is more than halfway there is impressive in and of itself. Mike Trout reached base in 10 consecutive at-bats earlier this season against the Rangers, reaching base six times on July 29 and four times on July 30.

Dodgers trade A.J. Ellis to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.

Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:

Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.

Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.

Jose Bautista returns from the disabled list

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jayshits a two-run home run in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.

Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.

Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.