Cleveland’s already banged-up lineup just lost another regular, as a strained oblique muscle sends corner outfielder David Murphy to the disabled list alongside Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.
Oblique strains tend to take 4-6 weeks, so it’s possible we’ve seen the last of Murphy this season. He’s hit .262 with seven homers and a .708 OPS in the first season of a two-year, $12 million contract, which is actually a big improvement over his awful numbers with the Rangers last year.
The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.
Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.
In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.
The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.