The Rockies walked off in the tenth inning on Justin Morneau’s two-run home run, but that wasn’t the most interesting part of Sunday’s series finale against the Padres. In the top of the third inning, pitcher Juan Nicasio was in a bit of a pickle with runners on first and second with no outs, already down 1-0.
Carlos Quentin hit a weak grounder to third baseman Nolan Arenado, who stepped on third base and quickly made a jump-throw to second baseman D.J. LeMahieu for out number two. LeMahieu took the ball out in front of the second base bag and avoided a sprawling Seth Smith to fire the ball to first baseman Justin Morneau, but he was a bit too late to get Quentin. Second base umpire Seth Buckminster, however, ruled Quentin out as a result of Smith’s interference, giving the Rockies a triple play. It appeared that Smith made contact with LeMahieu’s foot with his hand, though he did not grab the Rockies’ infielder.
Interference is not reviewable by instant replay, so the umpire’s ruling was final. Watch the play as it unfolded:
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.