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Rays’ rookie reliever Jose Alvarado tossed an immaculate inning

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Rays’ lefty reliever Jose Alvarado tossed an immaculate inning on Friday, becoming the seventh Major League pitcher to do so in 2017 and the 83rd in MLB history. Better yet, he’s just the fourth rookie pitcher to record an immaculate inning, joining the likes of Sloppy Thurston (1923), Nolan Ryan (1968) and Wade Miley (2012).

You already know the script for this one: Alvarado threw nine pitches to retire the side, whiffing Travis Shaw, Jesus Aguilar and Hernan Perez in the ninth inning of a 2-0 loss to the Brewers. He went to his changeup to catch Shaw swinging for the first out, then used his curveball to retire Aguilar and blew past Perez with three straight fastballs for the final out of the inning.

It was quite the comeback for the Rays’ reliever, who made his big league debut in May and struggled to a 5.89 ERA before getting demoted to Triple-A Durham. The same couldn’t be said for the Rays, however, who were stymied at the plate in the bottom half of the inning, leaving Daniel Robertson stranded to preserve the Brewers’ shutout and take their first loss of the month.

Dallas Keuchel could make season debut on Friday vs. Nationals

Dallas Keuchel
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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.