– Matt Cain and Jason Marquis have both failed twice and Johan Santana and Adam Wainwright once apiece, so now Tim Lincecum will have a shot at becoming the first NL pitcher to reach 13 victories. He’ll be facing the Reds for the first time in 80 career starts. I’m not positive about this, but with nine strikeouts tonight, it looks like he’ll be the earliest to get to 200 in a season since Randy Johnson’s 334-strikeout campaign in 2002. Erik Bedard got their on Aug. 15 in 2007.
– The Braves will attempt to recover from a devastating loss Thursday tonight in the second game of a four-game series in Los Angeles. The Braves led 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth on Friday, only to see Rafael Soriano give up a walkoff homer to Andre Ethier. Tonight’s game will be a rematch of the contest five days ago in Atlanta, which the Dodgers won 9-1. Chad Billingsley threw five scoreless innings in that one before leaving with a hamstring cramp. Jair Jurrjens surrendered four runs in five innings to take his first loss in five starts. He’s 9-8 with a 2.85 ERA, while Billingsley is 11-6 with a 3.82 ERA.
– Carlos Lee will aim again for his 300th homer, this time against the Brewers’ Carlos Villanueva. He has four extra-base hits in his last three games, but all were doubles. He’s 4-for-13 with a homer against Villanueva in his career.
Game of the Night
Boston vs. New York – Having fallen to 8-1 against the Yankees, the Red Sox are terribly desperate for a win, what with there only being 45 games left and them being a mere two games up in the wild card (even if that is the same lead they held 10 games ago). With the season on the line, they’ll send Josh Beckett to the mound. He’s 2-0 in three starts against the Yankees, despite having a 5.82 ERA. Burnett has been roughed up in both of his outings versus Boston, compiling a 12.91 ERA in 7 2/3 innings.
MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports that Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.
In a statement, via Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Polanco denied knowingly using the substance. Polanco said, “To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid. I now know, however, that my intention alone is not a good enough excuse and I will pay the price for my error in judgment. The substance that I requested from my athletic trainer in the Dominican Republic and consented to take was a combination of vitamin B12 and an iron supplement, something that is not unusual or illegal for professional athletes to take. Unfortunately, what I was given was not that supplement and I take full responsibility for what is in my body.”
Last year was Polanco’s first full season in the majors. He hit .256/.313/.410 with 13 home runs, 74 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 544 plate appearances.
The Twins have Ehire Adrianza and Erick Aybar to handle shortstop while Polanco is out. The club could also give the starting job to prospect Nick Gordon, ranked No. 4 in the Twins’ system according to MLB Pipeline. Gordon had a solid 2017 campaign at Double-A Chattanooga, posting a .749 OPS with 29 doubles and 13 steals in 578 PA.