CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles and reliever Tommy Hunter have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.65 million contract.
Hunter earned $3 million last season while posting a 2.97 ERA, 11 saves, and a 45/12 K/BB ratio over 60 2/3 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander began the year as Buck Showalter’s choice for closer, but he struggled miserably before going on the disabled list with a groin injury in May. Zach Britton ran away with the closer role from there, but Hunter was much better in a set-up role upon his return, putting up a 1.83 ERA over his final 41 appearances.
This was Hunter’s third go-around with the arbitration process and he’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.
The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.
The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.