MLB.com’s Joe Frisario has an update on veteran infielder Rafael Furcal, who hasn’t appeared in a game this year …
The 36-year-old infielder’s legs are holding up nicely, and the Marlins could reinstate him as early as Friday for the start of the homestand against the Pirates.
“I don’t know when that day is coming, but it is probably coming soon,” Miami manager Mike Redmond said. “It was coming soon about a month ago, too, and it didn’t. I think it’s safe to say coming soon.”
Furcal signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with Miami over the winter and was expected to open 2014 as the Marlins’ starting second baseman, but he injured his left hamstring at the end of spring training and then suffered a groin strain on a late-April rehab assignment.
Furcal hasn’t played in the majors since 2012, when he batted .264/.325/.346 for the Cardinals.
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.