* Gordon Beckham played primarily shortstop at Double-A, but moved to third base for his final game there and stayed at the hot corner last night in his Triple-A debut.
I’ve been assuming that the White Sox view Beckham as the long-term
answer at second base and they’ve gotten the AL’s third-worst
production from the position, but perhaps they’re more interested in
ditching third baseman Josh Fields, who’s hitting .229/.293/.314 with
* Chris Davis is striking out more often than any player in baseball
history and he’s hitting just .203/.259/.456 in the process, so the
Rangers are running out of patience.
Davis is batting .368 with 12 homers in 87 at-bats when he makes
contact, but he’s whiffed in an amazing 41.7 percent of his plate
* Cecil Cooper’s job might be safe for a while longer, but the Denver Post reports that Rockies manager Clint Hurdle is “on borrowed time.”
* In case you haven’t heard, the Matt Wieters Era begins tonight in Baltimore. Based on the hype, he should have the Orioles in first place by Monday.
* After being part of umpire Todd Tichenor’s ejection-fest yesterday afternoon, Red Sox manager Terry Francona “was examined by emergency medical technicans to check on his blood pressure.”
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.