Rangers outfielder Alex Rios left before taking the field for the bottom half of the fourth inning in Sunday’s series finale against the Rangers. In the top half, Rios had doubled in a run with no outs. After the Astros retired two Rangers consecutively, Adam Rosales weakly lined a single into the hole between shortstop and third base. The ball skipped away from Marwin Gonzalez, and Rios was sent home after rounding the third base bag. Rios slid foot-first into catcher Carlos Corporan’s mitt, kicking the ball out but injuring his ankle in the process. Jim Adducci took his place in right field after the frame.
Rios was making his first start since Wednesday due to reaggravating his right ankle. He suffered the initial injury in July, missing a few games shortly after the All-Star break. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that Rios will be reevaluated on Monday.
Rios, 33, was having a great season, but his numbers have fallen as of late, posting a .486 OPS since returning from the All-Star break. Including today’s limited action, Rios has a .294/.324/.415 slash line with four home runs, 46 RBI, and 16 stolen bases.
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.