UPDATE: The Orioles announced that Machado has a right knee sprain. That’s a vague diagnosis, but more on his status should be known after he’s reevaluated tomorrow.
8:47 a.m. ET: The high-profile injuries keep on coming, as Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was forced to exit tonight’s game against the Yankees in the bottom of the third inning with an apparent injury to his right knee.
Machado suffered the injury after broke his bat on a swing. His right knee buckled and he fell on his back in obvious pain. He needed help getting off the field and down the dugout steps. You can watch it here.
Machado tore the medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee last September and underwent surgery one month later. He didn’t make his season debut until May 1 this year and got off to a slow start upon his return, but he had really taken off recently, hitting .345 with eight homers and 21 RBI over his last 35 games. Another serious knee injury would be quite a blow for the Orioles’ postseason hopes.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.