Check out this first-inning diving catch Tuesday from Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton …
It looked like he might keep sliding there, right on into the infield dirt. Hamilton entered play Tuesday night with a weak .223 batting average and .262 on-base percentage, but his defense has remained excellent.
As expected, the Padres have activated Yonder Alonso from the disabled list following a four-week absence due to a bone bruise in his right shoulder.
Alonso is starting at first base and batting fifth for the Friars on Tuesday night against the visiting Mets.
It will be his first major league game since May 7.
The 28-year-old was off to a very promising start before the injury, slashing .333/.427/.437 with one home run, 10 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 26 games. Yangervis Solarte served as San Diego’s primary first baseman while Alonso was on the shelf. Solarte is out of the starting lineup Tuesday.
Athletics left-hander Scott Kazmir had to make an early exit from a start last Wednesday against the Tigers after experiencing tightness in his throwing shoulder, but he made it through a 30-pitch bullpen session Sunday without issue and said he felt “great” after a followup throwing session Tuesday.
MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that Kazmir has been cleared to return to the A’s starting rotation this Friday night for the opening of a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park. There will be no pitch count, though the A’s trainers are sure to watch him closely considering his littered history of arm injuries and the value he gives Oakland as a (healthy) trade chip.
Kazmir, 31, has a 2.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 57/25 K/BB ratio through 58 1/3 innings this season for the last-place A’s, who entered play Tuesday with a disappointing 20-33 record. Kazmir is in the final year of a two-year, $22 million contract.
Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander pitched in a live game Sunday for the first time since spring training and his arm didn’t fall off, but the results weren’t all that inspiring.
Verlander surrendered six hits, two walks, and three runs over just 2 2/3 innings at Triple-A Indianapolis, needing 79 pitches in an outing that didn’t make it into the fourth inning. The veteran figures to make at least one more minor league start before the Tigers consider putting him into their rotation.
Verlander has been out all season with a right triceps strain.
He finished the 2014 campaign with an ugly 4.54 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 206 innings.
This would have been an inside-the-park home run for like 90 percent of major leaguers …
What a beauty. That was only the second extra-base hit of Bartolo Colon’s 18-year big league career.