Author: Bill Baer

David Ortiz, J.P. Arencibia, Adam Hamari
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Video: David Ortiz hits his 500th career home run


Red Sox DH David Ortiz joined the 500 home run club on Saturday night in Tampa against the Rays. He entered the night sitting on 498. In the first inning, he slugged a three-run home run off of lefty starter Matt Moore, then followed up in the fifth inning with a solo blast off of Moore.

No. 500 was a no-doubter. Ortiz sat on a low-and-inside breaking ball and ripped it many rows back in right-center field at Tropicana Field. He slowly trotted around the bases as if to savor the moment, then was greeted in front of the visitors’ dugout by his teammates. The relievers and catchers in the bullpen trotted down to add to the crowd.

The next milestone for Ortiz is 505, which would put him ahead of Eddie Murray for sole possession of 26th on baseball’s all-time home run list.

David Ortiz joins the 500 home run club

David Ortiz
AP Photo

Red Sox DH David Ortiz joined the 500 home run club on Saturday night with a two-homer performance against the Rays, belting No. 499 in the first inning against Matt Moore and No. 500 in the fifth inning. The first one was a three-run blast, staking the Red Sox to an early 3-0 lead. They’d tack on two more in each of the third and fourth innings, and Ortiz added the solo shot to lead off the fifth inning to make it an 8-0 game.

Ortiz now has 34 home runs on the season along with 94 RBI and a .271/.358/.542 triple-slash line. One more home runs would match last year’s total (35), and two (36) would mark his highest total since 2006, when he hit 54.

Ortiz is the 27th member of the 500 home run club. Eddie Murray is 26th with 504 in his career.

Here’s video of No. 499. We’ll provide video of No. 500 once it becomes available.

Jonathan Lucroy diagnosed with a concussion

Jonathan Lucroy
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Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hasn’t been in the lineup since September 8 due to concussion-like symptoms. On Saturday, he visited a concussion specialist at the University of Pittsbrugh Medical Center and was officially diagnosed with a concussion, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Given the expanded September rosters, the Brewers won’t have to do any maneuvering while Lucroy is out. Martin Maldonado will handle the majority of the duties behind the plate.

Haudricourt added that Lucroy isn’t sure if he’ll play again this season as he still feels “foggy” and “slow“, but hasn’t experienced some symptoms associated with concussions such as nausea.

Lucroy, 29, hit .259/.322/.390 with seven home runs and 41 RBI in 402 plate appearances this season.

Cubs push Dan Haren’s start back to Sunday

Dan Haren
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Due to inclement weather in Philadelphia, the Cubs announced that Dan Haren‘s start has been pushed back to Sunday and will start Travis Wood on Saturday night against the Phillies. In the event that Saturday’s game was interrupted for a lengthy period of time by rain, the Cubs didn’t want to deal with potentially wasting Haren’s start.

Haren, 35 next Thursday, has compiled a 4.78 ERA with a 29/9 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings in seven starts since joining the Cubs. The Cubs picked him up from the Marlins in a trade at the deadline.

Wood, 28, has a 4.34 ERA with a 100/36 K/BB ratio in 87 innings across seven starts and 38 relief appearances. Manager Joe Maddon has chosen to bat him eighth in Saturday’s lineup.

James Paxton cleared to return to Mariners’ rotation on Sunday

James Paxton
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Mariners starter James Paxton threw a bullpen session on Thursday, and on Friday, he reported no issues after having his rehab set back due to a blister on his throwing hand. As a result, he’s been cleared to start on Sunday against the Rockies, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports.

Paxton hasn’t started since May 28 due to a strained tendon in his left middle finger. The blister wasn’t a huge impediment, as the Mariners had previously been expecting him to return in early September as opposed to mid-September.

The 26-year-old left-hander has, in 10 starts, a 3.70 ERA with a 45/22 K/BB ratio across 58 1/3 innings.