Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is looking like a genius these days.
When asked in late February about Baltimore’s decision to sign free agent Nelson Cruz to a one-year, $8 million deal, Markakis said: “Sometimes, you wait on those guys, and in the long run, it’s a good team deal.”
The Orioles certainly got a good deal. Cruz, who was coming off a 2013 season shortened by a 50-game suspension in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal, has a .288 average and is leading the league in home runs (28) and RBIs (74).
On Tuesday, Cruz will be the American League’s starting designated hitter in the All-Star Game.
“Any time you get selected by the fans, it’s more special,” Cruz said. “That means they want to see you there. It’s always a blessing when you’re an All-Star. Like I said before, I’m happy where I am, and I know that I made the right decision to be a part of this team.”
The feeling is mutual.
Since June 2, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw posted a win in eight straight starts throwing a total of 808 pitches (566 for strikes), compiling an ERA of 0.74 over 61 1/3 innings and holding opponents to a .146 batting average with 80 strikeouts and six walks.
Cleveland’s Roberto Perez hit a home run in his major-league debut Thursday against the Yankees.
In his last 14 games, Baltimore’s Manny Machado is batting .404 (23 for 57).
The Nationals are 2-8 in extra-inning games this season.
The Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie has a 15.75 ERA in two July starts.
Washington’s Bryce Harper is five for 35 (.143) since coming off the disabled list for a torn ligament in his thumb.
From Bill Chuck: Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter now has 1,000 regular season multihit games.
The Angels franchise recorded its 75,000th hit on July 6 when Erick Aybar singled in the eighth inning of a game against the Astros. Over 54 campaigns in the majors, the team recorded 53,398 singles, 12,734 doubles, 1,590 triples and 7,278 home runs.
After defeating the Rangers on Thursday, the Angels were over .500 as a franchise (4,273-4,272) for the first time since the club won its first ever major-league game in 1961 (a 7-2 victory over the Orioles) giving it a 1-0 record.
You need to know
After defeating the Rangers on Wednesday, the Astros moved out of last place in the AL West. It was the latest point in a season Houston has been out of the cellar in their division since it finished the 2010 campaign in fourth place in the NL Central.
The Cardinals played 12 consecutive games in under three hours each from June 13 to June 23, the longest such streak in the majors this season. Through Wednesday, the Padres had played the most sub-three-hour games this year with 54 while the Rays had played the fewest with 22.
The A’s are renting a 14-seat jet to transport their All-Stars (and some family members) from Seattle to Minneapolis on Sunday.
Words of wisdom
“Of course, man. What kind of question is that? Some guys want to stay on a losing team? That’s mind-boggling to me.”
| Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon when asked if he would accept a trade to a contender
| Compiled with help of baseball reporters around the country