The Royals announced this evening that outfielder Lorenzo Cain has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. The club has called up left-hander Justin Marks from Triple-A Omaha to replace him on the active roster, which means that Kansas City is now carrying 13 pitchers.
Cain suffered the injury during last night’s win over the Astros. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain, which is the least severe, and that he hopes to return when he’s eligible in two weeks.
Injuries have been an ongoing storyline with Cain during his career. Acquired from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke deal, the 28-year-old plays excellent defense in center field and has shown some ability on offense, but he has has yet to play more than 115 games in a season. The speedy Jarrod Dyson is making the start in center field tonight and should see increased playing time during his absence.
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.