Grossman draws bases-loaded walk in 9th, Braves beat Marlins

Larry Robinson-USA TODAY Sports
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ATLANTA – Robbie Grossman drew a tiebreaking bases-loaded walk against Steven Okert in the ninth inning, bailing out closer Kenley Jansen and giving the Atlanta Braves a 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Saturday night.

Matt Olson singled to begin the ninth to break an 0-for-22 skid and advanced to third on Michael Harris II’s double. After Okert (5-2) intentionally walked Vaughn Grissom to load the bases and pinch-hitter Travis d'Arnaud lined out against a five-man infield, Grossman took drew the walk to win it.

It gave the Marlins their 30th one-run loss of the year, most in the majors.

Jansen, who leads the majors with 31 saves but has struggled in giving up five total earned runs in his last four appearances, began the top of the ninth by giving up a leadoff bloop single to Nick Fortes and a clean single to Brian Anderson before JJ Bleday walked with no out.

After Jerar Encarnacion hit sacrifice fly to tie it the score at 1, home plate umpire Mark Ripperger was injured on a foul ball and a 10-minute delay ensued. Jansen was replaced by Tyler Matzek (4-2) with a 2-2 count on Miguel Rojas and runners on first and second with two outs. Matzek retired Rojas on one pitch.

Austin Riley homered in his fourth straight game and Bryce Elder pitched six strong innings in a spot start for Atlanta.

Riley went deep for the 35th time, one off the NL lead, to make it 1-0 in the fourth, his 439-foot shot landing in the second deck of the seats in left. It marked the second time in his career that Riley connected in four consecutive games, the last time coming from July 27-30 last year. His 73 extra-base hits are most in the majors.

The Braves have won four in a row and 19 of 24 to move a season-high 32 games over .500. They moved within two games of the first-place New York Mets in the NL East.

Miami tied a season high with its sixth straight loss. The Marlins have been held to two runs or fewer in seven straight.

A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the seventh and Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the eighth for Atlanta.

Elder, a rookie in his fourth stint with Atlanta this year, was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start in place of Jake Odorizzi, who has arm fatigue. Elder gave up two hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

Marlins starter Edward Cabrera, who gave up one run and four hits in five innings, had not allowed a run in his previous three road starts, but Riley changed that with one swing, giving the Braves an NL-best 202 long balls this season.

Before Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly, the Marlins were 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position dating to the seventh inning Tuesday against Tampa Bay, and 2 for 31 since Aug. 28.

The Braves are 36-17 against Miami at Truist Park, which opened in 2017.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: INF Jon Berti, the major league leader in stolen bases with 32, missed his second straight game with a sore hip. With a day off Monday, Berti could miss Sunday’s game to get five straight days off before Miami begins a three-game series at Philadelphia.

Braves: Manager Brian Snitker said Odorizzi is not expected to miss another start and should be ready next weekend at Seattle. … 2B Ozzie Albies took some grounders before the game as he continues to rehab a broken left foot. He is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett and went 2 for 3 before rain halted Friday’s game. … RHP Mike Soroka (Achilles) pitched four scoreless innings in the same game, allowing one hit, striking five and issuing no walks.

THAT HURTS

Ripperger had a ball bounce off the top of his facemask and had to leave the game with two outs in the ninth. After being consulted by a Braves trainer, Ripperger walked off the field under his own power and was replaced behind the plate by Cory Blaser.

UP NEXT

Braves LHP Max Fried (12-5, 2.56 ERA) will face Marlins RHP Pablo Lopez (8-8, 3.64).

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

aaron judge
Cole Burston/Getty Images
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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.