Author: Bill Baer

Barry Zito
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Zito-Hudson duel lasts only two innings


In Saturday afternoon’s duel between two former teammates, Athletics starter Barry Zito went two innings and Giants starter Tim Hudson went 1 1/3. Zito left to a standing ovation and Hudson gave a curtain call to the Oakland crowd. Hudson has announced he will retire after the season, and Zito will likely do the same.

Zito gave up four runs on six hits and a walk with no strikeouts in his two innings of work. He was relieved by Pat Venditte in the third. Hudson yielded three runs (two earned) on a hit and three walks with no strikeouts, leaving with one out in the second inning, giving way to Ryan Vogelsong.

Zito and Hudson were teammates on the Athletics from 2000-04 before Hudson was traded to the Braves. The club had drafted Zito in the first round, ninth overall, in the 1999 draft while they took Hudson in the sixth round in the 1997 draft.

Here’s video of both players getting some much-deserved adulation from the crowd:

Jose Altuve exits game after collision with Carlos Correa

Jose Altuve
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Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman Jose Altuve collided with each other on a ball put in play by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus in the seventh inning of Friday night’s contest. Correa’s arm hit Altuve in the face. Altuve exited and will likely have to undergo concussion protocol. In cold fashion, the official scorer saddled Correa¬†with an error on the play.

It’s more bad news for the Astros, who continue to cede ground in the AL West to the Rangers. Entering the night, the Astros had a 3.5 game deficit to their in-state rival after leading by 5.5 games as recently as August 26. The Astros were swept by the Rangers in a four-game set last week.

Giants interested in bringing Marlon Byrd back in 2016

Marlon Byrd
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Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Giants are interested in bringing outfielder Marlon Byrd back next season. Byrd is in the last year of a two-year, $16 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in November 2013. However, he has an option for 2016 that automatically vests at $8 million with 37 more plate appearances. With 10 games left, Byrd — if he plays every game — would have to take about four plate appearances each game.

Byrd, 38, has performed much better at the plate with the Giants than he did with the Reds. His stats with both teams:

  • Reds: 388 PA, .237/.286/.448, 19 HR, 42 RBI
  • Giants: 125 PA, .291/.328/.479, 3 HR, 26 RBI

Byrd would likely be used as a fourth outfielder next season if he were to return to the Giants.

Video: Mookie Betts preserves Rich Hill’s shutout, robs homer to end game

Mookie Betts
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Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts ended Friday night’s game against the Orioles by robbing Chris Davis of a home run. The blast would have ended starter Rich Hill’s bid for a shutout. The Red Sox took the first game of the three-game set 7-0.

Hill, in the outing, limited the O’s to two hits and a walk while striking out 10. The 35-year-old lefty made his season debut on September 13, making his first major league start since 2009. Now with three starts under his belt, his stats are mind-blowing considering where he’s been in recent years: