Brandon Phillips launches two-run homer as Reds strike first in NLDS Game 1 vs. Giants

2 Comments

The Reds lost their ace in the bottom of the first inning to a back injury, but they have an early lead in this NLDS Game 1 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

Drew Stubbs hit a leadoff single in the top of the third inning, then Brandon Phillips waited on a hanging curveball from Giants starter Matt Cain and deposited it with authority into the first row of the left-center field stands, pushing Cincinnati ahead 2-0.

Cain was on a run of 23 2/3 straight scoreless postseason innings before giving up the two-run blast.

Mat Latos will enter in the bottom of the third for Sam LeCure, who took over when Johnny Cueto went down after just eight pitches. Latos was scheduled to start Game 3, so changes will need to be made.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.