The Orioles are already without two-thirds of their outfield with Nolan Reimold and Nick Markakis on the DL. Now they’re holding the breath awaiting word on Adam Jones, who will undergo an MRI on his right wrist Monday.
Jones has been feeling pain in the wrist for weeks, and he had X-rays after coming out of Sunday’s game in the ninth inning for a pinch-hitter. Those came back negative.
“It just didn’t feel right,” Jones said. “I can feel it when I’m hitting. [The doctors] wanted to get a picture of it, and I wanted to get a picture of it, and see what’s going on in there so we can be sure and relieve any doubt.”
The timing is interesting, given that Jones just signed a new six-year, $85.5 million contract extension a week ago. The wrist injury obviously predates that agreement. However, it’s not like the wrist has been hurting his performance at all. He smacked two homers in a game Tuesday, and he’s currently sporting a .965 OPS after “bottoming out” at .905 on May 13.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.