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Steve Palermo — umpire, hero — passes away at age 67

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Major League Baseball has announced that retired umpire Steve Palermo has passed away at the age of 67.

Palermo broke into the majors as an ump late in the 1976 season and was a full-time umpire through the middle of the 1991 season. On July 7 of that year his on-field career was cut short, however, when he was shot in the back while he and fellow umpire Rich Garcia intervened to stop a mugging of two waitresses outside a restaurant near Dallas following a Texas Rangers game. It was an act that would define his life and legacy.

Palermo sustained a bullet wound to his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down. While it was first thought he would never walk again, just over three months later he threw out the first pitch at a World Series game with the aid of a cane and leg braces. He would later serve as supervisor of major league umpires, worked as a motivational speaker and did some pregame TV work for the New York Yankees, in addition to charitable work and further ceremonial duties with Major League Baseball.

Our thoughts go out to Palermo’s family, friends and loved ones.

Kenley Jansen’s consecutive saves streak ends at 34

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Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.

Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.

After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.

Zach Britton sets American League record with 55th consecutive save

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Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.

Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.

Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.