Bad news for the Athletics: Justin Verlander has another run to work with.
Sonny Gray was pulled from the game after he gave up back-to-back singles to Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta to begin the top of the sixth inning. He was relieved by Dan Otero, who got Victor Martinez to ground into a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning. Josh Donaldson then snagged a ground ball off the bat of Omar Infante and attempted to start an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Alberto Callaspo bobbled the ball on the transfer and was unable to make a throw to first base. As a result, Martinez was able to score to extend the Tigers’ lead to 3-0.
Verlander will carry his perfect game into the bottom of the sixth inning in this win-or-go-home Game 5.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.