Shin-Soo Choo waved the white flag during Nomar Mazara‘s at-bat on Saturday afternoon. With the Rangers down 3-1 in the seventh inning, Mazara lashed a particularly deadly foul ball off of the Nationals’ Matt Albers, sending it hurtling into the visitors dugout and ripping a sizable gash in the wall. The ball nearly struck Choo, who leapt off of the bench and waved his towel in surrender as Mazara finished his strikeout:
Thankfully, it didn’t look like either player was fazed by the incident. In the ninth, both Choo and Mazara returned to the plate to send the game to extras with a solo home run and RBI double, respectively. Robinson Chirinos secured the win with a three-RBI, 358-foot homer off of Shawn Kelley in the 11th inning.
Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.
After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.
Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.
Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.