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.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.