David DeJesus should have been retired for the final out in the bottom of the fourth inning when he hit a line drive to left field in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Orioles. However, an unfortunate collision between Alejandro De Aza and David Lough sent the ball towards the left field corner, allowing an out-of-breath DeJesus to touch home plate for an inside-the-park home run.
In the replay, you can see that the ball was in De Aza’s glove but it was jarred loose when Lough ran into him. That’s an unfortunate way to give up a run.
The O’s still managed to win though, thanks to Nelson Cruz. Cruz knocked in all seven of the Orioles’ runs on the afternoon, including the final two with a two-run home run in the 11th inning to break a 5-5 tie. Cruz leads the majors with 39 home runs, is second in the American League in RBI with 101, and also has an impressive .262/.331/.532 slash line.
For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.
Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.
Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.
Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.
The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.