Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals - Game 4

World Series Game 4 Live Blog: Cardinals vs. Rangers

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11:14: Feliz gets Holliday swinging to end it. The Rangers top the Cardinals 4-0 and tie the series at two games apiece. C.J. Wilson will take on Chris Carpenter in Game 5 tomorrow night. We have one heckuva World Series on our hands here, people.

11:11: Pujols skies one to Craig Gentry in center field for the second out. Matt Holliday will try to keep the Cards alive in this one.

11:10: Pujols popped one in foul territory, but neither Moreland or Cruz could catch up to it.

11:08: Uh oh. Feliz walks Allen Craig. Runners on first and second with one away for Albert Pujols.

11:04: Holland issues a one-out walk to Rafael Furcal and that’ll be it. The young left-hander pleaded his case with Ron Washington, but Neftali Feliz will come in to try to finish this one. Holland gets a well-deserved standing ovation from the Arlington faithful as he walks back to the dugout.

11:01: Nick Punto retired on a ground ball to Adrian Beltre. One away.

10:59: Derek Holland, currently at 105 pitches, will try to finish what he started. He’s back out there for the top of the ninth.

10:57: Moreland’s struggles continue, as he grounds into an inning-ending double play. Nicely turned by Punto and Furcal. Last licks coming up for the Cards as the Rangers lead this one 4-0.

10:56: Westbrook got David Murphy to ground out, but issued a walk to Mike Napoli. Runners on first and second with one down for Mitch Moreland.

10:50: Allen Craig misjudges a fly ball in right, resulting in a leadoff single for Nelson Cruz.

10:48: Jake Westbrook on to pitch for the Cardinals in the bottom of the eighth while Skip Schumaker takes over in center field.

10:45: Wow. And he gets Theriot swinging, as well. Holland has allowed just two hits over eight shutout innings while striking out seven and walking just one.

10:44: Two quick outs for Holland. Here’s Ryan Theriot, pinch-hitting for the struggling Jon Jay.

10:41: Interesting. Derek Holland back out there for the top of the eighth.

10:38: Nice job by Boggs. He retired three straight after the leadoff double by Andrus to keep the score 4-0.

10:35: Boggs gets Michael Young swinging for the second out. It’s up to Adrian Beltre to keep the inning alive.

10:33: Zooey Deschanel and her FOX cohorts have left the building. What a shocker.

10:31: Nope. Hamilton lines out to center field. One away for Michael Young.

10:29: Allen Craig comes up empty attempting a diving catch in right, which results in a leadoff double by Elvis Andrus. Let’s see if Josh Hamilton can cash in again.

10:28: Mitchell Boggs remains in the game to begin the bottom of the seventh. Jake Westbrook up in the bullpen for the Cardinals.

10:24: Holland gets Lance Berkman looking on the inside corner to end the inning. Seven shutout innings. What a night for the young left-hander.

10:21: And now Matt Holliday bounces out to Holland. Two away for Berkman, who has both of the Cardinals’ hits tonight.

10:17: Derek Holland retires Pujols on a comebacker to begin the top of the seventh. Now he’ll face Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.

10:14: Boggs gets Mitch Moreland to ground out and fans Ian Kinsler to end the inning, but the damage is done. 4-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the seventh.

10:09: And Napoli promptly crushes a high fastball from Boggs for a three-run bomb to left. There’s your No. 8 hitter, ladies and gentlemen. 4-0 Rangers.

10:07: The Cardinals stalled long enough so that Mitchell Boggs had enough time to get ready. He’ll come in to face Mike Napoli with runners on first and second and one away.

10:04: Oy. Make that seven walks for Jackson. Time for the hook?

10:02: Nelson Cruz draws a one-out walk. Edwin Jackson has now walked six batters tonight.

9:58: Adrian Beltre fouls a ball off his leg to begin the bottom of the sixth. That’s just what he does. Edwin Jackson is still out there, by the way.

9:55: Allen Craig strikes out swinging for the third out. Holland has thrown 77 pitches over six shutout frames.

9:51: Derek Holland issues a one-out walk to Nick Punto. While Edwin Jackson has been erratic, that was Holland’s first walk of the evening.

9:46: Michael Young flies out to right field to end the inning. Edwin Jackson is now at 94 pitches through five shaky innings of one-run ball. Good chance he’s done for the night.

9:42: Josh Hamilton goes down swinging for the second out of the inning. Big strikeout for Jackson, who is approaching 100 pitches.

9:38: Andrus fails to get the bunt down and then flies out to right for the first out of the inning. No advancement by Kinsler.

9:36: Ugh. Making Elvis Andrus bunt? Don’t like.

9:35: Edwin Jackson issues a leadoff walk to Ian Kinsler, who will no doubt be more careful at first base this time.

9:31: Yadier Molina lines out to Josh Hamilton for the final out of the inning. Make that five shutout innings for Holland.

9:28: Lance Berkman singled to lead off the top of the fifth, but David Freese grounded into a double play.

9:27: Anybody else see Baseball Reference and Rotoworld on that Google “perfect game” commercial? Neat.

9:25: And Edwin Jackson gets Moreland swinging to end the threat. The Rangers have a 1-0 lead going into the top of the fifth.

9:22: After a lengthy at-bat, Napoli draws a walk. Runners on first and second with two outs for the struggling Mitch Moreland.

9:18: Edwin Jackson issues a two-out walk to David Murphy. Here’s No. 8 hitter Mike Napoli. Did I mention he’s batting eighth tonight?

9:15: Jon Jay makes a leaping grab near the center field wall on a fly ball off the bat of Nelson Cruz. Two away.

9:10: Matt Holliday set aside on a grounder to third baseman Adrian Beltre. Derek Holland now has four shutout frames under his belt.

9:08: Albert Pujols pops out to first baseman Mitch Moreland in foul territory for the second out of the fourth. He’s slumping.

9:03: Michael Young skies out near the warning track in distant center field for the final out of the third. It’s 1-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the fourth.

9:01: Tim McCarver: “What are Sprockets?” Classic.

9:00: Dirk doing “The Wash.” Awesome.

8:55: Furcal retired on a comebacker for the final out of the top of the third.

8:53: Very close play on that Jay grounder to Andrus, but it looks like first base umpire Ted Barrett got it right.

8:50: Oh boy. Yadier Molina throws behind the runner and catches Kinsler napping off first base. Inning over.

8:47: Ian Kinsler reaches with a two-out single to left field. Here comes Elvis Andrus, who singled in the first inning.

8:43: Napoli flies out to the warning track in center field. That’s a long first out.

8:41: Eighth place hitter Mike Napoli. That sounds about right.

8:38: Good play by Ian Kinsler to catch up to a ground ball off the bat of Yadier Molina for the final out of the inning. At first it looked like Kinsler was going to eat it, but then he realized a Molina was running.

8:37: Holland goes to the insider corner again to get David Freese looking for the second out. Freese isn’t pleased with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa.

8:34: Lance Berkman goes the opposite way for a double, the first hit of the evening for the Cardinals.

8:32: Matt Holliday rung up on a fastball on the inside corner for the first out.

8:28: So much for that. Murphy put a charge in one, but Matt Holliday tracked it down near the warning track in left for the final out of the bottom of the first. It’s 1-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the second in Arlington.

8:27: Jackson walks Nelson Cruz to load the bases for David Murphy, who was moved up to seventh in the order tonight.

8:23: Adrian Beltre goes down swinging after being fooled badly on a slider. Runners on first and second with two away for Nelson Cruz.

8:21: Michael Young walks on four straight pitches. Just look at that classy stroll down to first base.

8:19: The Rangers strike first courtesy of an RBI double by Josh Hamilton. He turned around on a changeup from Edwin Jackson and yanked it into the right field corner. Andrus scampered home from first base.

8:17: Elvis Andrus singles to left for the first hit of the ballgame. Here comes the ailing Josh Hamilton.

8:15: Ian Kinsler breaks his bat on a groundout to begin the bottom of the first.

8:11: And Pujols is retired on a grounder to Elvis Andrus. It’s a 1-2-3 inning for Derek Holland to get us started.

8:10: Holland gets Allen Craig swinging for the second out. Oh boy, here comes Mr. Pujols.

8:08: Adrian Beltre snags a screaming liner off the bat of Furcal, robbing him of what was likely a leadoff double. One away.

8:07: And we’re off. Rafael Furcal fouls off the first pitch from Derek Holland.

8:03: Are we sure Zooey Deschanel can’t hang around and sing a few more tunes? Or just stand there for a while? Sigh. Anyway, first pitch is a minute or so away, so hang tight.

7:55 p.m. ET: The Cardinals hold a 2-1 advantage over the Rangers in the World Series going into Game 4 tonight in Arlington. We’ll have all the action covered in a live blog, beginning right around first-pitch at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Here are tonight’s lineups and starting pitchers, as mentioned by Drew earlier this afternoon:

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS             TEXAS RANGERS
1. Rafael Furcal, SS            1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Allen Craig, RF              2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Albert Pujols, 1B            3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Matt Holliday, LF            4. Michael Young, DH
5. Lance Berkman, DH            5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. David Freese, 3B             6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Yadier Molina, C             7. David Murphy, LF
8. Jon Jay, CF                  8. Mike Napoli, C
9. Nick Punto, 2B               9. Mitch Moreland, 1B

SP Edwin Jackson, RHP           SP Derek Holland, LHP

Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section. Let’s do this.

Darvish wins 1st start since 2014 as Rangers top Pirates 5-2

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Yu Darvish struck out seven in five strong innings in his first start in the majors in almost 22 months, and the Texas Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Saturday night.

The Japanese right-hander allowed three singles with a walk in his return from last year’s Tommy John surgery, ending Pittsburgh’s five-game winning streak.

Adrian Beltre had a two-run homer in the first inning off Juan Nicasio (3-3) to become the fourth third baseman with at least 1,500 RBIs, finishing with 1,501.

Mitch Moreland snapped a 1-for-27 skid with a solo home run in the fourth.

Four Texas relievers allowed four hits and a run with four strikeouts in four innings.

The “Yuuu” calls from a sellout crowd started early for Darvish, who last pitched in the big leagues on Aug. 9, 2014. He missed the rest of that season with right elbow inflammation, and ended up needing ligament reconstruction surgery after his only spring training appearance last year.

Darvish (1-0) had a 0.90 ERA in five rehab starts this month, culminating with an 87-pitch outing. He threw 81 against the Pirates, hitting 98 mph with his fastball in the first inning and displaying his usual array of breaking pitches, some as slow as 70 mph.

John Jaso had a leadoff single on Darvish’s second pitch before Andrew McCutchen struck out. The Pirates didn’t get another hit until Francisco Cervelli‘s sinking liner in front of rookie right fielder Nomar Mazara in the fifth.

No. 9 hitter Cole Figueroa ended Darvish’s shutout bid by pulling a hanging slider into right-center field for a single that scored Cervelli from second. Darvish then struck out Jaso for the second time to finish his outing.

Beltre’s homer just cleared the wall in center field after Prince Fielder‘s RBI groundout to score leadoff hitter Jurickson Profar, who had two hits filling in for suspended second baseman Rougned Odor. It was the second game of Odor’s seven-game ban.

SHORT HOPS

Joey Gallo, who had just one at-bat in his five-day stint, was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room on the roster for Darvish. … Pirates lefty reliever Tony Watson came off the paternity list and pitched a perfect eighth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: Manager Clint Hurdle planned to give 2B Josh Harrison the night off after he came out of the series opener early. He’s been battling an illness that kept him out of the lineup Thursday as well.

Rangers: C Robinson Chirinos is expected to start a rehab assignment Tuesday with Double-A Frisco. He’s been out since April 10 with a broken right forearm and could be activated as soon as he is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on June 9.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-3, 4.30) has won his last four starts against the Rangers and is 5-1 with a save and a 2.89 ERA in nine career games against them, most of those with Minnesota. His last appearance against Texas was Sept. 10, 2013.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 3.13) makes his team-high 11th start and has gone 2-2 with a 2.23 ERA in his past six starts. He threw six shutout innings in a 4-1 win over the Angels in his last start

Utley answers with slam, solo HR as Dodgers rout Mets 9-1

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NEW YORK (AP) After the New York Mets missed, Chase Utley connected twice.

Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing New York 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch – which certainly appeared to be his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year’s playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers’ bench to keep teammates calm – and later responded by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

“I think a loud, energizing environment gets the best out of you. I think it’s fun,” said Utley, who has 19 RBIs this season, nine in the first two games of this series. “It kind of gets the adrenaline going a little bit, makes you kind of dig down deeper.”

Asked if he thought Syndergaard delivered a purpose pitch, Utley said: “Possibly, but I understand it.”

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets’ 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Howie Kendrick and Corey Seager also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that hit him on the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings. The right-hander yielded two hits, both singles in the first, and stopped his three-game losing streak.

“Pretty impressive. You wouldn’t see too many other pitches staying in the game at that point,” Utley said.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets – and their fans – were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night; Utley played all four games without incident May 9-12 when the teams split a series in Los Angeles.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard’s first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

“The ruling was that he intentionally threw at the batter,” crew chief Tom Hallion told a pool reporter. “We can either warn or eject. And with what happened in that situation, we felt the ejection was warranted.”

Hallion said no warnings were issued before the series.

“We take each game individually,” he said when asked if last year’s playoff series played a role in the ejection. “We have to make a snap decision. We can’t think about, OK, well this guy did this or he did that in Game 6 of whatever. We don’t have enough time to think that way. We make a decision on what happens in the game.”

Collins said he had never before seen a pitcher get ejected without a warning.

“My argument was, nobody got hit,” Collins said. “There was a time when, in this game, where you had a shot and nothing happened, the ball went to the backstop. So that was kind of my argument.”

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

“It was just a pitch that got away from me. That’s all I got,” Syndergaard said. “I can understand why he did what he did. I still think a warning would have been better.”

Collins acknowledged he’s a little concerned Syndergaard might get suspended.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett’s first pitch of the sixth for a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, making it 6-0 with his 38th homer against the Mets.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

“We came together as a group,” Utley said. “We battled, and it was a good win.”

WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts vs. the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May – including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

Mets Syndergaard ejected after throwing behind Utley

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NEW YORK — In a scene that has seemed inevitable since October, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard has been ejected for throwing a 99 mph fastball behind Chase Utley of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since his late takeout slide in last year’s playoffs broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.

New York was incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules on slides at bases this season. But the Mets had not attempted to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard’s first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman’s back by a considerable margin.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting irate Mets manager Terry Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected.

Indians’ Brantley unsure of return from shoulder injury

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CLEVELAND — Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has no timetable for his return from the shoulder injury that has sidelined him for the second time this season.

Brantley spoke to reporters Saturday for the first time since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 14. He began the season on the DL following surgery for a torn right labrum in November. Brantley hit .231 with seven RBIs in 11 games before being shut down again.

“I wasn’t bouncing back quick enough to keep playing back-to-back games, which is very important,” he said. “I want to be healthy each and every day and I have to play at a high level. This is the major leagues. You have to be at the best of your ability and the highest health-wise you can be.”

Brantley, who received an anti-inflammatory shot in the shoulder two weeks ago, doesn’t think he returned from the surgery too soon.

“I was ready,” he said. “We talked about it. We had a great process laid out. Everything went smoothly. It was just a bump in the road.”

Brantley has been hitting off a tee but isn’t sure when he will begin taking swings in the batting cage. He is playing catch since he throws left-handed but wants to be cautious about resuming a hitting program.

“Surgery is nothing to play with,” he said. “You have to be smart and understand your body.”

Brantley visited Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed the surgery, in Wilmington, Delaware after he returned to the DL. An MRI showed no changes in the shoulder.

“He said everything checks out good, just make sure to take your time and we’ll see what happens from there,” Brantley said.

Brantley finished third in the AL MVP voting in 2014 when he hit .327 with 20 homers and 97 RBIs. He batted .310 with 15 homers and 84 RBIs last season.