White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu grabbed the MLB home run lead on Friday night, but Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz took it back tonight with this two-run shot off Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg in the first inning. He’s now up to 28 home runs on the year.
John Lackey couldn’t be reached for comment. By the way, Cruz has already passed his home run total from last season and is just five away from matching his career-high. The Orioles still have 73 games left to play this season after tonight.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.