As first reported by Hector Gomez of the Dominican Republic’s Listin Diario, Alfonso Soriano is retiring from baseball after a 16-year major league career.
Soriano would have struggled to find a deal on the open market this winter following a 2014 season that saw him hit .221/.244/.367 in 238 plate appearances for the Yankees, who released him in July. That was the final chapter of the eight-year, $136M contract that he signed in November 2006 with the Cubs.
Soriano spent time with four different clubs — the Yankees, Cubs, Nationals, and Rangers — during his mostly-illustrious career, batting .270/.319/.500 with 2,095 hits, 412 home runs, and 1,159 RBI in 1,975 total major league games. He began his 16-year run in the bigs as a second baseman with the Yankees but was shifted to the outfield in 2006 when he joined the Nats.
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.