UPDATE: Alfredo Simon could be cleared and released as soon as Wednesday

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UPDATE: Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Alfredo Simon could be released as early as Wednesday. According to Phil Isaac of the Para Sports Group, one of Simon’s agents, a ballistics test proved that the bullet that killed Michael Esteban Castillo Almonte didn’t come from the gun Simon turned into authorities. Simon could be released after his attorneys file another appeal on Wednesday.

9:20 AM: Orioles’ reliever Alfredo Simon has been in a Dominican jail for a long time now, suspected but not yet charged in the shooting death of Michael Castillo on New Year’s Eve.  The Orioles have placed him on the restricted list, likely figuring that it would be a long, long time — if ever — before they see him again.

Now that has changed, with Brittany Ghiroli reporting that authorities have moved on to a different suspect and that Simon may be released from custody in a week to ten days.  His agent said “we fully expect him to be back up — and pitching very soon.”

As Ghiroli notes, even if he’s released Simon is a longshot to make the Orioles Opening Day roster.  Still, good news for Simon if this is borne out. I mean, no one who has been in the bigs wants to pitch in Norfolk, but it sure as hell beats a jail cell.

(thanks to reader Random Digits for the heads up)

Odúbel Herrera has homered in four consecutive games

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Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera produced what proved to be the game-winning hit on Wednesday afternoon, drilling a go-ahead solo home run to right field off of Cardinals reliever Sam Tuivailala in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Phillies went on to win 4-3, as the bullpen actually held on to a lead for once.

Herrera has now homered in four consecutive games and in five of his last six contests. The major league record is eight consecutive games with a home run, held by Don Mattingly, Dale Long, and Ken Griffey, Jr. The Phillies record is five consecutive games with a homer, held by Dick Allen, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley (twice), and Rhys Hoskins.

On the season, Herrera is batting .299/.355/.491 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI, and 35 runs scored in 297 plate appearances.