Expect to see Astros outfielder George Springer on the end-of-season highlight reels. The 25-year-old robbed Leonys Martin of a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday against the Rangers.
With the score tied at 4-4, the Rangers loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the 10th inning on a single, a hit batsman, and a walk. Martin swung at a 0-2 Tony Sipp slider, sending a fly ball to deep right field. Springer ranged back and leaped to snag the ball just as it appears it would have gone over the fence for a walk-off grand slam. At the very least, it would have been a long walk-off single if Springer had not caught it.
The Astros took a 6-4 lead in the top of the 14th thanks to a two-run home run from Hank Conger. The Rangers again loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 14th, but Rougned Odor lined out to — who else? — Springer in right field to end the game. Sam Deduno earned the first save of his career.
Four months and 18 horrible starts into a four-year, $49 million contract Ricky Nolasco revealed to the Twins that he’s been pitching through elbow pain since spring training.
That apparently came as a complete shock to the Twins, who’ve placed the 31-year-old right-hander on the disabled list with a strained elbow.
Nolasco posted a 5.90 ERA in 104 innings before being shut down, allowing the most runs and the most hits in the American League while seeing his secondary numbers collapse and his velocity slip as well. Minnesota signed Nolasco in large part because of his durability, which included starting at least 30 games and logging at least 185 innings in five of the previous six seasons.
Sam Deduno figures to replace him in the rotation and if Nolasco’s injury proves to be a major one the Twins may turn to prospects Alex Meyer or Trevor May to fill his spot.
The Twins were pondering moving starter Mike Pelfrey from the starting rotation as the right-hander has been all kinds of awful through five starts. He has a 7.99 ERA with 18 unintentional walks and 10 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings. The team’s decision was made a little easier as Pelfrey will land on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin.
MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports that the Twins will make the roster move after Friday’s game. They are expected to recall a position player, and Sam Deduno will move into the rotation to replace Pelfrey.
Deduno, 30, had been serving out of the bullpen. In 18 2/3 innings, the right-hander posted a 2.89 ERA with 18 strikeouts and eight unintentional walks. He’ll make his first start of the season, in Pelfrey’s place, on Tuesday against the Indians on the road.