Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings turned the rare 8-unassisted double play in the top of the third inning during today’s game against the Athletics. After Eric Sogard singled with one out, starter Jeremy Hellickson got Coco Crisp to fly out to center. Sogard misread Jennings’ ability to catch the ball, so he rounded second hard instead of retreating to first base. Jennings caught the ball on the run, and lightly jogged towards first base to get the second out to end the inning.
ESPN Stats & Info tweeted, via the Elias Sports Bureau, that Jennings’ 8-unassisted was the first since Mike Cameron accomplished the feat in 2003.
Click here to see a .gif of the play.
Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.
Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.
Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.