We finally have an answer to the question of who the A’s will start in their decisive ALDS Game 5 against the Tigers on Thursday evening at O.Co Coliseum.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it will be 23-year-old Sonny Gray rather than veteran Bartolo Colon. Gray had a 2.67 ERA in 64 regular-season innings and hurled eight scoreless innings in the A’s Game 2 win. Colon posted a 2.65 ERA in 190 1/3 regular-season innings — a much larger sample size — but the Tigers tagged him for three runs on 10 hits in his six-inning Game 1 defeat.
The winner of Thursday’s ALDS Game 5 will face the Red Sox in the best-of-seven ALCS.
Detroit will be starting ace right-hander Justin Verlander against Oakland.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.