Sending a star player for an MRI exam just days after signing him to an $85 million contract extension is rough timing, but fortunately for the Orioles the news on Adam Jones’ wrist injuries is pretty good.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that MRI exams on Jones’ right and left wrists both showed no structural damage and the center fielder could be back in the lineup as soon as tomorrow.
Jones was plunked on the left wrist by a Brandon Morrow pitch on May 30 and played through the pain until aggravating the injury on a slide Sunday. He later revealed that his right wrist has been bothering him since weeks before the Morrow plunking, which makes it pretty remarkable that he’s hit .327 with 10 homers in the past 28 games.
For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.
Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.
Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.
Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.
The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.