The last time we checked in with Pat White was in March of 2011 after he informed the Royals of his intention to retire from baseball. Nearly two years later, he’s thinking about giving it another shot. According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, White said on 640-AM in Miami today that…
CLEVELAND—After four straight losses, and a boatload of strikeouts, manager Buck Showalter decided to bat Adam Jones in the leadoff spot.
Jones, who had been in a 3-for-39 slump, had three hits in five at-bats as the Orioles beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 before 21,054 at Progressive Field on Friday night.
The Orioles (27-19) scored three runs in the first when Jones led off with a single up the middle. Hyun Soo Kim was hit by a Trevor Bauer pitch. Manny Machado’s single to center scored Jones. Chris Davis walked to load the bases.
After Mark Trumbo and Nolan Reimold struck out, Jonathan Schoop’s single scored Kim and Machado to give Mike Wright a 3-0 cushion before he faced a batter.
In the second, Jones and Machado each singled, but Davis was called out on strikes to end the inning.
Wright gave up a run in the second on back-to-back doubles by Jose Ramirez and Juan Uribe. Mike Napoli hit a long home run, his ninth, in the fourth.
Machado led off the fifth with a double to center, but he unwisely tried to make it a triple when the ball escaped Rajai Davis. Davis’ throw nabbed Machado, and Reimold’s single was wasted.
Wright didn’t make it out of the fifth. Chris Gimenez began the inning with a walk, Davis singled, and Carlos Santana walked to load the bases with none out. After Jason Kipnis struck out, Francisco Lindor’s fly to right scored Gimenez to tie the game at 3, and Dylan Bundy replaced Wright.
Bundy (1-1) got four outs for his first major win.
In the seventh, Machado doubled and scored when Davis doubled. Trumbo hit an opposite field home run to right off Zach McAllister (2-2), and the Orioles had a 6-3 lead.
Brad Brach pitched a scoreless seventh, but Lindor led off the eighth with his fourth home run off Darren O’Day to cut the lead to 6-4.
Cleveland (25-21) looked as if they could change what Showalter likes to call “the karma of the game.” Napoli walked, Ramirez doubled, and Uribe struck out. Lonnie Chisenhall was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Gimenez hit a ball that looked as if it was going to right field, but Schoop snared it, and threw to Machado to begin the double play that ended the eighth.
Zach Britton earned his 13th save with a scoreless ninth.
NOTES: Machado has 19 doubles. … O’Day has allowed four home runs so far this season, one below his total for the entire 2016 season. … Ubaldo Jimenez (2-5, 6.04) faces Danny Salazar (4-3, 2.32) on Saturday afternoon at 4:10 p.m.
Postgame analysis of the Nats' 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Nationals Park.
How it happened: Max Scherzer's play this season continues to be an outlier both for the Nationals' 2016 rotation and within the context of his career. The former Cy Young winner put in yet another uncharacteristic outing on Friday night, not only losing command of the strike zone, but issuing runs in a fashion you just don't see often from the Nationals' ace.
Scherzer gave up five runs in total to the Cardinals on Friday and four of them came on a grand slam by Stephen Piscotty. It was just the second grand slam Scherzer has ever allowed and the first since 2010. Scherzer also walked in a runner with the bases loaded for just the fourth time in his nine MLB seasons.
Those two plays happened in back-to-back at-bats. You just don't see that very often.
The Nationals' unbeaten record against St. Louis was broken with the 6-2 loss, the fourth defeat for the Nats in their last seven contests. The Nationals are now an even .500 at 13-13 in the month of May.
What it means: The loss doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but Scherzer's season remains a concern. Things could be worse, of course, but he has clearly been the weakest link in their rotation so far. It's unexpected and the Nats are fortunate the rest of their starting group has otherwise been so good. Even with Scherzer's 4.05 ERA, the Nats rank second in baseball as a rotation in the category. This is the latest Scherzer has held an ERA above 4.00 since 2012 and after his 11th start, it's no longer early.
Homer, walks do Scherzer in: Six of the seven innings Scherzer threw were scoreless and he allowed only three hits, but a disastrous third inning was all it took to ruin his Frday night. Scherzer first ran into trouble by giving up a one-out single to pitcher Jaime Garcia. He then walked Greg Garcia, allowed a single to Aledmys Diaz and then a walk to Matt Holliday to bring in a run. It was the first time since April 24, 2013 that Scherzer has walked in a run. The next at-bat was Piscotty's grand slam, a towering shot to left field off a slider. Scherzer has allowed a league-high 15 homers this season. No pitcher has given up more than the 42 bombs he's surrendered since the start of 2015. It was also the second time Scherzer has allowed four walks this season. He didn't walk four batters in a game all of 2015. Over his last six starts, Scherzer has alternated between zero walk outings and ones where he issues three or more. It's a strange trend that even he probably can't explain.
Espinosa homers again: Danny Espinosa homered for the second straight night and now has five on the season. He has four homers in May. He also had four homers last May, more than any other month in 2015. His career-high is eight set back in May of 2011. Espinosa likes hitting homers in May, apparently.
Murphy ties hits record: Daniel Murphy got another hit in this one, a single to left field in the sixth inning. That gave him 40 in May, which tied a Nationals record for hits in a single month. Denard Span also had 40 hits in August of 2014. Murphy has four more games left in May to break it. The odds are pretty good he'll end up closer to 50 than he will 40 with the way he's been playing. The record for hits in one month, by the way, is held by Ty Cobb. He had 68 in July of 1912. Murphy's been good, but he isn't getting anywhere close to that.
Up next: The Nationals and Cardinals continue their series with a 7:15 p.m. first pitch on Saturday night. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 2.87) will square off with Adam Wainwright (4-3, 5.77) in a rematch of Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS.
Nationals minor league pitcher Taylor Jordan, a veteran of three MLB seasons, underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm. It was the second time Jordan has had the procedure.
The 27-year-old went under the knife after making three starts for Triple-A Syracuse this season. He held a 1.72 ERA across 15 2/3 total innings.
Jordan also had the surgery back in 2011 and made a full recovery to debut with the Nationals in 2013. In 18 total MLB games he has a 4.48 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings. Last season Jordan gave up 10 earned runs in four appearances in the big leagues.
The Nationals took Jordan in the ninth round of the 2009 draft out of high school. Dr. James Andrews performed his Tommy John surgery. The rehab process is generally 12 to 18 months.