With the Athletics looking like one of the few obvious sellers leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, reliever Tyler Clippard figures to be a popular name. One surging team in the AL East has already reached out to express interest in a deal:
The Blue Jays were reportedly interested in Clippard over the winter, so it’s easy to understand why they are revisiting the possibility. The 30-year-old has functioned as Oakland’s closer this season, posting a 3.20 ERA and 22/13 K/BB ratio over 25 1/3 inning while going 9-for-11 in save opportunities. He’s making $8.3 million this season and will be a free agent this winter.
Brett Cecil is Toronto’s closer right now, but they haven’t needed him much in that capacity recently. He notched his first save since May 4 last night.
Make that nine wins in a row for the Blue Jays, who put together a huge comeback in a 13-10 victory over the Red Sox last night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox jumped all over Drew Hutchison early, so they had an 8-1 lead in the third inning, but the Blue Jays scored three runs off Joe Kelly in the fifth inning before this happened in the seventh. Warning: This image contains graphic material that some may find offensive:
Yikes. The first nine hitters all reached base in the seventh and all of them eventually came around to score. The big blow was a go-ahead bases-clearing triple off the bat of Russell Martin, but Justin Smoak followed with a two-run home run.
The Red Sox threatened in the eighth and ninth, but the Blue Jays hung on and Brett Cecil got his first save since May 4. Not only was it Cecil’s first save since May 4, but it was Toronto’s first, as well. That means the team went 34 games without a save. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, that’s the longest streak since the Orioles went 36 games without a save in 2002.
With nine straight wins, the Blue Jays sit at 32-30 on the year, just two games back of the Yankees in the American League East. As for the Red Sox, the ugliness continues. They have lost four straight to fall to 27-35. Only the Athletics have a worse record in the American League.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Reds 5, Cubs 4 (11 innings)
Yankees 3, Orioles 11
Indians 0, Tigers 4
Braves 3, Mets 5
Blue Jays 13, Red Sox 10
Phillies 0, Pirates 1 (13 innings)
White Sox 5, Rays 7
Rockies 1, Marlins 5
Twins 2, Rangers 6
Nationals 4, Brewers 8
Royals 0, Cardinals 4
Mariners 0, Astros 10
Dodgers 4, Padres 3
Athletics 4, Angels 5
Diamondbacks 1, Giants 0
Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak hit an RBI triple in the second inning of Friday night’s game against the Red Sox, chipping into what was a five-run deficit. The 28-year-old, a veteran of six seasons in the majors, hadn’t hit a triple in his career spanning 2,316 plate appearances entering the game. That was a record until it was snapped.
As our own Matthew Pouliot noted on Twitter, Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo now has the most plate appearances without a triple.
On the triple, Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts slammed face-first into the center field wall at Fenway Park. He stayed in the game initially but exited after two innings with a sprained lower back, per ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes.