Here are the lineups for Game 6 of the Rangers-Cardinals series tonight:
TEXAS RANGERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B 1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Elvis Andrus, SS 2. Skip Schumaker, CF
3. Josh Hamilton, LF 3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Michael Young, 1B 4. Lance Berkman, RF
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B 5. Matt Holliday, LF
6. Nelson Cruz, RF 6. David Freese, 3B
7. Mike Napoli, C 7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Craig Gentry, CF 8. Nick Punto, 2B
SP Colby Lewis, RHP SP Jaime Garcia, LHP
With a left-hander on the mound Ron Washington is starting Craig Gentry over David Murphy, using him in center field while shifting Josh Hamilton and his sore groin to left field. That should help Colby Lewis, who’s a fly-ball pitcher. Beyond that it’s a standard lineup for the Rangers, who continue to bat Mike Napoli much lower than his performance all season warrants. Hamilton is the only left-handed hitter in the lineup versus southpaw Jaime Garcia, who shut out this identical lineup for seven innings in Game 2.
Tony La Russa made one change compared to the lineup that scored one run in 6.2 innings off Lewis in Game 2, benching Jon Jay in favor of Skip Schumaker in center field. Lance Berkman is in the cleanup spot, with Matt Holliday batting fifth. And Nick Punto gets the nod over Ryan Theriot at second base. Allen Craig is back to a bench role after starting all three games in Texas.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.