Indians’ Eddie Rosario placed on IL with abdominal strain

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The injury-depleted Cleveland Indians placed outfielder Eddie Rosario on the 10-day injured list with a right abdominal strain.

Rosario, hurt running out a grounder in the second inning of Monday night’s 9-8 loss at Tampa Bay, joined a list of key players out that also includes starting pitchers Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac.

Ramirez also left last Thursday’s game against Houston with right abdominal tightness, one day after fouling a pitch off his left cheek against Detroit. He sat out Friday’s game against the Astros.

“We think it’s mild,” Cleveland president Chris Antonetti said. “That’s our best assessment at this point. We just felt with the continued lingering soreness in there it made sense to make the IL move, especially with the All-Star break and you’re not playing games for four days. It just seemed to make sense that now was the right time to give him a bit of a rest.”

Plesac is scheduled to return and start Thursday night’s game against Kansas City after being out with a broken thumb on his pitching hand. The right-hander, 4-3 with a 4.14 ERA in 10 starts, was hurt while yanking off his undershirt following a rough outing in late May.

All-Star Shane Bieber, placed on the 10-day injured list June 14 with a right shoulder strain, will be re-examined this weekend to determine if he is ready to start a throwing program. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner is 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA over 14 starts.

Civale, out since June 22 with a right third finger sprain, is playing light catch.

Antonetti said there is no definitive timetable for when Bieber and Civale will be back.

“It’s safe to say we’re still weeks away,” Antonetti said.

Bieber, Plesac and Civale are combined 21-9 this season for the Indians, who started Wednesday at 42-40.

Cleveland, which entered Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Rays on a seven-game skid, made a number of moves that included clearing a roster spot by transferring outfielder Josh Naylor from the 15- to the 60-day IL.

Naylor sustained season-ending multiple leg fractures, a broken ankle and torn ligaments in a collision with a teammate during a game at Minnesota on June 27.

“We have a whole offseason in front us and we’ll learn more over the course of the next few weeks as he really starts to get into the rehab process,” Antonetti said.

Naylor and rookie second baseman Ernie Clement ran into each other as they converged on a fly ball in short right field. Naylor’s foot got trapped underneath him after he slammed into Clement. Naylor was sent sprawling and his lower right leg was bent back awkwardly.

Right-hander DJ Johnson had his contract purchased from Triple-A Columbus, while left-hander Logan Allen was optioned to the minor league club. Outfielder Daniel Johnson was recalled from Columbus and infielder Owen Miller was added as the 27th player.

NOTES: Antonetti said Bieber and Civale eventually rejoining the rotation will not necessarily impact the desire to add pitching before the trade deadline. “Whether or not we’re able to do that and what opportunities present themselves is really hard to forecast, but I anticipate we will be active on that front,” Antonetti said. … RHP Brad Peacock, signed to a minor league contract late last month, had his second outing with Columbus on Tuesday night. He could be a major league option after the All-Star break.

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

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TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.