The Cardinals' skid continues, lose to Astros 5-2

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Another series against a bad team in the books, another series loss. The Cardinals lost 5-2 to the Astros today, completing the sweep for Houston.  This follows the Redbirds dropping three of four to the Nats and two of three to the Pirates.  If you can’t get right against those teams, you’ve got a hell of a lot wrong with you. By the time we go to bed tonight, they could be eight games back.

Today’s loss was the same story it’s been for a couple of weeks now: no offense. The return of Jeff Suppan from the disabled list was no manna from heaven either, as he gave up four runs — and walked four — in five innings.

The Cardinals get a day off tomorrow before the Reds come to town. It will be the last time those two teams face one another this year. To say this is a make or break series for St. Louis would be a profound understatement.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.