A true rarity proved to be the difference in Wednesday’s matinee between the Reds and Padres. With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, Rene Rivera hit a liner to center that Billy Hamilton got his glove on, but couldn’t haul in. All three runners came around to score, but Rivera got only as far as first on the play, setting up the highly unusual three-run single.
You can see the video here.
According to Baseball-reference’s Play Index, it was the first three-run single since Magglio Ordonez had one for the Tigers in a 17-4 win over the Rangers on Sept. 17, 2008.
Rivera’s hit ended up providing the only scoring on the day, as the Padres went on to win 3-0 and complete their first three-game sweep of the season. Tyson Ross went the distance for San Diego, striking out nine in a three-hitter. It made a hard-luck loser out of Johnny Cueto, who hurled a three-hit shutout of his own last time he faced the Padres on May 15. He’s now 8-6 with a league-best 1.99 ERA on the season.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.