Chris Perez came on to get the save in last night’s Indians-White Sox game. He closed it out with a strikeout of A.J. Pierzynski and by inducing a groundout by Alex Rios. Then, as closers are wont to do, he gesticulated and emoted some, with a few fist pumps and huzzahs. This did not please Rios:
After the borderline strike to Pierzynski went his way, Perez celebrated with a strong fist pump on the mound. When Rios made contact on his game-ending play, Perez once again started yelling, and Rios didn’t understand what he was doing or appreciate the actions. He had more than a few words for Perez as he was running back to the White Sox dugout, but the situation didn’t come close to escalating into something more.
“Well, I don’t know what was wrong with him,” said Rios with a wry smile. “He just started yelling for no reason. I don’t know why he started yelling, and that’s it.”
I’m on Rios’ side here. I mean really, how great a trick is it to retire Alex Rios? Why is that anything worthy of celebrating? Now, if it were Paul Konerko or someone sure, but Rios? Pfft! Child’s play.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.