Oneil Cruz
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Video: Pirates make two outs at home on the same play

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The Pirates made a laughable base running blunder on Monday afternoon during a Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays. In the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Blue Jays up 2-0, the Pirates threatened Jays hurler Hector Perez, loading the bases with no outs on a Phillip Evans walk, a Kevin Kramer single, and another walk by Jacob Stallings. An Andrew Susac pop-up for the first out brought Oneil Cruz (pictured) to the plate.

Cruz slugged a 0-1 pitch from Perez that likely would have been a home run on most days, but with the wind blowing in from right field, the ball hit near the top of the fence. Evans scored easily. However, the faster Martin was hot on Kramer’s trail and both were thrown out in succession after a relay to home plate.

Oops. Brings to mind this famous Carlton Fisk play from 1985 in which Dale Berra and Bobby Meacham both made outs at home on the same play:

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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