Twins closer Glen Perkins is struggling through neck problems again

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For the second straight year a neck injury threatens to ruin Twins closer Glen Perkins’ otherwise outstanding season.

Last year he was cruising along with a 2.44 ERA through late August when he began to struggle while trying to pitch through a neck injury, allowing 10 runs in eight appearances before being shut down in mid-September.

This year Perkins converted each of his first 29 save chances while posting a 1.37 ERA through late July, but he’s allowed eight runs in nine appearances since then and is now in need of a cortisone short and further examination.

For now Perkins remains on the Twins’ active roster, but if the injury is truly similar to last season it’s hard to imagine the three-time All-Star pitching through it.

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
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Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.

It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.

Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.