Baseball

Diamond Digest: Baseball’s top story lines this week

Lynchburg Hillcats catcher Francisco Mejia hits a single, extending his hitting streak to 43 games during the first inning of a minor league baseball against the Potomac Nationals in Lynchburg, Va., on Monday, Aug, 1, 2016. The Cleveland Indians prospect had his streak snapped at 50 games on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016.
Lynchburg Hillcats catcher Francisco Mejia hits a single, extending his hitting streak to 43 games during the first inning of a minor league baseball against the Potomac Nationals in Lynchburg, Va., on Monday, Aug, 1, 2016. The Cleveland Indians prospect had his streak snapped at 50 games on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. The News & Advance (Lynchburg, Va.)

Here are five interesting stories in baseball this week:

Streak ended, restored, officially ended

This weekly feature normally focuses on the major leagues, but let’s take a step to the minors.

The 50-game hitting streak for Cleveland Indians minor leaguer Francisco Mejia is over.

Mejia went 0 for 3 with a walk Sunday for Class-A Lynchburg in a 6-0 win over Winston-Salem in the Carolina League.

Mejia’s streak was tied for the fifth-longest in professional history, the best since 1954 and the longest by a catcher at any pro level. The record is 69 games by Joe Wilhoit of the Western League in 1919.

On Saturday, Mejia’s string seemed to end. But more than an hour after the game ended, the official scorer reversed his ruling, giving Mejia a double on a play originally scored an error on the third baseman.

Betts has a triple double

Mookie Betts hit three home runs and drove in a career-best eight runs to power the Boston Red Sox to a 16-2 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

The Red Sox said Betts joined Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who had two three-homer games in 1957, as the only Red Sox players since 1913 to accomplish the feat.

“It makes you feel pretty good anytime your name’s said with his. It means you’ve done something well,” said Betts, who matched David Ortiz with the club lead with 26 homers.

Betts is the 21st player in major-league history and the first since Albert Pujols in 2006 to have two three-homer games in the same season. Sammy Sosa did it three times in 2001.

A-Rod won’t play again for Yankees

His tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez began his final game with the New York Yankees by hitting a run-scoring double in the first inning Friday night in New York.

He drove a 96 mph fastball from Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer into the right-center field gap, scoring Brett Gardner from first base and ending an 0-for-11 slide.

Rodriguez, 41, was unconditionally released Saturday, ending his 12 years in pinstripes and perhaps his big-league career after 22 seasons.

New York’s move Saturday leaves the team responsible for $27,103,825 remaining in his $275 million, 10-year contract.

Porcello’s feat is first since 1946

In Boston’s rout of Arizona on Sunday, Rick Porcello became the first Red Sox pitcher in 70 years to open a season 12-0 at Fenway Park.

Porcello (16-3) allowed one run on three hits over seven innings and became the first since Dave “Boo” Ferriss to win his first 12 decisions at Fenway.

Injury forces Fielder to retire

Prince Fielder wiped away tears, still wearing a neck brace 12 days after a second cervical fusion, wept Wednesday as he said health issues were forcing him to end his 12-season career.

“To not be able to play, it’s going to be tough,” said Fielder, once one of the most durable players in the majors.

When the Rangers acquired him in November 2013 for second baseman Ian Kinsler, the first baseman had played at least 157 games every year since 2006, and appeared in 809 of 810 possible games the previous five seasons. But Fielder was limited to 289 games with Texas because of two neck surgeries in just more than two years.

Fielder, 32, will finish his career with 319 career homers, the same number that his father, Cecil, had playing one more season but 141 fewer games. The only other father-son duo with more than 300 homers each is Bobby and Barry Bonds.

Compiled by Noel Harris with information from The Associated Press

  Comments