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Twins GM on manager Ron Gardenhire: “He’ll be back”

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Researching managerial numbers can be a little tricky, but as far as I can tell the only manager since 1960 to have four consecutive 90-loss seasons and keep his job is Tom Kelly of the Twins in the 1990s.

And now the guy who replaced him as Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, may be joining him on that exclusive list.

Minnesota has lost 95-plus games in three straight seasons and the Twins are on pace to lose 90 this year, but general manager Terry Ryan indicated to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Gardenhire will be back in 2015.

Here’s the exchange between Hartman and Ryan:

What about Gardenhire?

“Same stuff. He is signed for next year, so you don’t have to worry about him.”

He’ll be back?

“Yeah, yeah, I would say he’ll be back,” Ryan said.

Does Ryan think Gardenhire has done a good job this season with a struggling Twins club?

“We can all do better,” Ryan said. “We’re not where we need to be. We can all do a better job. He has to, I have to, as an organization, we all have to. We’re just not playing up to what we’re wishing we were, consequently we’re not playing games that mean much in September.”

Ryan is the same GM who kept Kelly around and the Twins are known for their incredible loyalty, for better or worse, so it certainly shouldn’t shock anyone in Minnesota if Gardenhire sticks around.

Still, if the Twins retain two managers following four consecutive 90-loss seasons and the other 29 teams have done the same a combined zero times in 50-plus years … well, plenty of Twins fans won’t be very happy and it’ll be hard to blame them.

Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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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.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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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.