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Justin Verlander still remembers Erick Aybar’s bunt five years ago


Erick Aybar is now a teammate of Justin Verlander‘s, as the Tigers acquired the infielder from the Braves on Tuesday night in exchange for Mike Aviles and a minor league catcher.

That’s notable because, five years ago when he was with the Angels, Erick Aybar disrupted Verlander’s attempt to complete his third career no-hitter by dropping down a bunt in the eighth inning. Verlander fielded the ball cleanly, but made a wild throw to first base, allowing Aybar to move to second base. The right-hander was charged with an error, but would allow an RBI single to Maicer Izturis later in the inning to break up the no-hitter. The Tigers would hold on to win 3-2 and Verlander got the win that afternoon.

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Verlander wasn’t happy about Aybar’s bunt, calling it “bush league,” as Chris Iott of reported at the time. In baseball’s “unwritten rules,” many feel that it’s disrespectful for a hitter to bunt for a hit when a pitcher is working on a no-hitter.

Verlander still remembers that bunt,’s Jason Beck reports. The veteran starter said, “I haven’t hit him like I said I would, so at least that’s a good thing when he gets to the clubhouse.”

ESPN’s Katie Strang quoted Verlander as calling Aybar’s bunt “water under the bridge.” He said, “Everything changes when a guy becomes your teammate.”

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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