The American League East is turning into a runaway.
The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 4-0 at Fenway Park this evening to extend their division lead to 10 games over the Yankees and Blue Jays. They also trimmed their magic number to 11.
Miguel Gonzalez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the victory while allowing six hits and three walks. He was pulled after loading the bases with three straight singles in the seventh, but Tommy Hunter wiggled out of the jam by getting Will Middlebrooks and David Ross to strike out swinging. Gonzalez has allowed just four runs in 34 2/3 innings over his last five starts and now sits at 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA on the year.
Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce each had two hits for the Orioles, though three errors from Boston helped give Baltimore’s bullpen some extra breathing room.
Per Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com, this is the largest division lead for the Orioles since way back on September 22, 1979. They currently have the biggest lead of any of the six division leaders.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.