Mariners shortstop Jean Segura left Thursday afternoon’s game against the Rockies after making the final out of the bottom of the fourth inning. Segura slid late into second base and appeared to jam his ankle.
Segura was 0-for-2 with a walk before exiting. Taylor Motter moved from left field to shortstop, Guillermo Heredia moved from center to left field, and Jarrod Dyson entered the game to play center. If Segura needs a stint on the disabled list, Motter will handle most of the playing time at shortstop.
DH Nelson Cruz was hit on the hand by an 89 MPH change-up from Kyle Freeland in the third inning. He stayed in the game but didn’t take his next at-bat in the fifth inning. Boog Powell pinch-hit for Cruz.
Segura entered Thursday’s action batting a league-leading .344 with an .858 OPS in 195 plate appearances. Cruz was hitting .279/.362/.519 with 12 home runs and an AL-best 42 RBI in 213 PA.
The Mariners should provide an update on the conditions of Segura and Cruz at some point this evening.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.