Grant Balfour says Victor Martinez gave him “the death stare” and things escalated from there. While no punches were thrown, things got quite heated in the ninth inning of Oakland’s Game 3 win over the Detroit on Monday, adding some extra drama headed into Game 4.
Here’s the video:
And here’s Balfour talking to CSNBayArea.com afterwards.
Martinez didn’t have anything to say after the game, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland just chalked it up to some extra playoff intensity, while adding that Balfour is always that intense anyway.
One thing that will be interesting to follow in Tuesday’s Game 4: Tigers starter Doug Fister finished second in the AL with 16 hit by pitches this year. It wouldn’t necessarily be intentional, but the A’s may decide to take it personally if they start getting plunked.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.