Homer Bailey placed on disabled list with shoulder impingement

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The hits just keep on coming for the defending National League Central champions.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Reds have placed Homer Bailey on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement.

It sounds scary, but Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters this afternoon that the 24-year-old right-hander is only expected to miss two starts.

“It’s something he could pitch with,” Jocketty said. “But discussing with Dr. (Tim) Kremchek, Dusty (Baker) and Bryan (Price), we decided to shut him down for about a week. Then he’ll start throwing again. We anticipate him missing his first two starts.

“It’s could have pitched with but it would have lingered through the year. He feels fine. He’s pitching fine. But in certain areas when he gets his arm back, he feels a little something.”

If you recall, Bailey was placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation last May, but he eventually returned to the big club in August and posted a 3.55 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio over 58 1/3 innings down the stretch. He entered spring training out of options and was all but assured of making the Opening Day roster.

Johnny Cueto is already sidelined with shoulder inflammation, so the Reds are set to begin the year with Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Travis Wood, Mike Leake and Sam LeCure in their starting rotation. At this rate, Dusty Baker will destroy his entire starting rotation by the end of May.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.