Giants 2, Reds 1: No one would ever get rich betting on things like “Scott Rolen will make a critical error on a relatively easy bouncer to third,” but that’s what happened. It was set up by a passed ball, allowing the winning run to get to third. The Reds have still not won a home playoff game since 1995. Still, it’s not like the Giants’ offense is fixed — and if Hunter Pence were a horse he would have been shot by now — so you have to assume that Cincinnati stands a good chance of winning one of two.
Athletics 2, Tigers 0: Masterful pitching by the Brett Anderson and a bullpen that is not yet out of gas, it seems. And great defense helped matters. They face each other again tonight.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.