Brad Penny has been impressive enough after signing a minor-league contract with the Marlins last month that they’ve promoted the 35-year-old right-hander from Single-A to Triple-A.
Of course, it’s all relative. Penny went 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in two Single-A starts, striking out just four batters in 10.2 innings. He also walked zero batters and allowed zero homers and … well, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes that “the plan calls for Penny to make at least two starts for New Orleans before the Marlins decide whether to bring him up.”
Penny has a July 31 opt-out clause in his contract, so that’s apparently driving the decision. His deal would be worth $800,000 if he’s called up to Miami, but he hasn’t been effective in the big leagues since 2010.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.