Matt Holliday pads Cardinals’ lead with solo homer

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David Ross gave the Braves an early 2-0 lead with a two-run homer, but the Cardinals have scored four unanswered to go up 4-2 as we go into the top of the seventh.

Chipper Jones committed a throwing error in the top of the fourth inning which opened the door for the Cardinals to score three runs. Allen Craig delivered an RBI double while Yadier Molina had an RBI ground out and David Freese had a sacrifice fly.

The Braves had two runners on with one out in the bottom of the fourth after Freddie Freeman singled and David Ross reached on a bunt single, but Andrelton Simmons bunted and was called out for interference. Watch the play below.

On the TBS broadcast, the announcers said that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez called for a safety squeeze and that it was not the result of a missed sign by Simmons. It’s possible he was just covering for his rookie shortstop, but it’s still a bad play with the pitcher on deck. Kris Medlen struck out swinging and the rally was snuffed out.

The Cardinals stretched their lead to 4-2 with a solo home run by Matt Holliday in the top of the sixth. Kyle Lohse was pulled in the bottom of the inning with a runner on first and one out, but Lance Lynn was able to get David Ross to fly out to right center to end the threat. To the seventh we go.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.