In the first inning of Sunday’s Pirates-Brewers matinee, Pittsburgh infielder Josh Harrison made a one-handed grab on an Orlando Arcia line drive up the middle, then caught Keon Broxton off the bag to turn two. The double play was a boon for left-hander Steven Brault, who allowed Broxton a leadoff double and was one line drive away from handing the Brewers their first run of the game.
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It’s not the first time we’ve seen an outstanding play from the second baseman. Heading into Sunday, Harrison ranks sixth among major league second basemen with 79 double plays and fourth with seven Total Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) in 2016. His speed and pop at the plate only up his appeal, with 19 stolen bases on the season and a not-terrible .275/.303/.375 batting line. He’s also working a 10-game on-base streak, which was extended this afternoon on a leadoff single against Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson in the bottom of the first.
The Pirates are looking to avoid the sweep in this afternoon’s division match-up and sit just 2.5 games back of a wild card spot.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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