Last month, tempers flared between members of the White Sox and Royals when pitcher Brad Keller threw at shortstop Tim Anderson. Anderson had celebrated a home run off of Keller earlier in the game, so Keller exacted revenge by throwing at Anderson, causing both teams’ benches to empty. Keller was suspended for five games and Anderson was suspended for one game (for using “a racially charged word”).
The White Sox and Royals didn’t meet up again until Monday in Chicago, with the White Sox winning the first two games of the three-game set. In the second inning of Wednesday’s series finale, after Eloy Jiménez singled, Royals starter Glenn Sparkman hit Anderson on the bill of his helmet with a 1-0, 86 MPH change-up. Sparkman was ejected immediately without any warning issued by home plate umpire Mark Carlson.
It is clear by the context of the situation, by the type and location of the pitch, and by Sparkman’s reaction that there was no malicious intent. It was a pitch that simply got away from Sparkman. The White Sox, already having scored two runs in the first inning, plated five runs in the second inning to take a commanding 7-1 lead.
We shall see if Sparkman receives any punishment from Major League Baseball. I would bet against it.
There’s no two ways about it: Aristides Aquino is having a rookie year for the ages. The hot-hitting Reds outfielder tacked another item onto his already lengthy list of accomplishments on Friday, clubbing a two-run, 396-foot home run off of Adam Wainwright in the sixth inning of the Reds’ 13-4 loss to the Cardinals.
The blast came far too late in the game to upset the Cardinals’ nine-run lead, but was otherwise perfectly timed for the rookie. It marked his 10th career home run in just 16 major-league games, officially making him the fastest MLB player to 10 homers in league history. (On a less-thrilling note, it was also the first home run allowed by the Cardinals in 32 2/3 consecutive innings.)
So far in 2019, Aquino is batting a robust .353/.400/.961 with 11 extra-base hits, 19 RBI, a 1.361 OPS, and 0.8 fWAR through 55 plate appearances. Friday’s feat follows other impressive performances from the 25-year-old, who collected three homers against the Cubs last Saturday and tied Trevor Story‘s previously unbeaten record for most homers through his first 10 career games. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon adds that Aquino’s torrid home run pace also eclipsed the standing record held by the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, who delivered nine home runs through his first 16 career games in 2017 (per Elias).