Tigers setup man Bruce Rondon made his first appearance since September 2 on Tuesday night against the Twins and struck out all three batters he faced. But he might have to be shut down again.
According to beat writer Chris Iott of MLive.com, the hard-throwing right-hander woke up Wednesday morning with renewed soreness in his troublesome pitching elbow. Tigers manager Jim Leyland would only describe the situation as “not good” and head trainer Kevin Rand chose not to speculate about the severity of the setback when probed by reporters.
Rondon, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, has a promising 3.45 ERA and 30/11 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings this season. Detroit is already missing left-hander Phil Coke, who is battling elbow problems of his own, and veteran right-hander Octavio Dotel, who was ruled out for the rest of the year in late August.
The Tigers will need some excellent performances from their starting pitchers this October.
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.